A couple days ago, I knitted a striped golf club cozy in Bernat Softee Chunky on US size 8 circular needles. After casting-off, it occurred to me to write a pattern for it which prompted the question “How much yarn did I use to knit the golf club cozy?”
Since I already had another cozy in the works, I couldn’t simply subtract the weight of the finished cozy from the original weight of the yarn ball. After thinking over the problem, it started to sound like a typical mathbook conundrum where some goofy (probably unemployed) person without surname wants rectangular garden plots with proportionate square footage, or wants to bake a batch of cookies using one sixteenth of the original ingredients. You know, one of those scenarios that’s easily* solved with cross-multiplication: that mathematic routine most of us probably thought was as pertinent to real life as a knitted golf club cozy.
According to the label, one complete ball of Bernat Softee Chunky contains 164yds of yarn weighing 100 grams.
164 yards / 100 grams = 1.64
1.64 yards = 1 gram
My finished golf cozy weighs 26 grams. If someone wanted to use the same yarn, this might be enough information. But since many people don’t pull out a gram scale for little knitting projects, and since someone may want to use another brand of bulky yarn, I need to find the yardage.
Because I know the number of yards per gram (1.64) I can plug that value into a cross-multiplication problem to help me determine the unknown yardage.
1.64 yards = 1 gram
x yards = 26 grams
x = 26
(1.64)(26) = 1x
42.64 = x
Thus, the striped golf club cozy was made with about 42.64 yards of Bernat Softee Chunky. In answer to the age-old question:
“Yes, you will use cross-multiplication after high school!”
*Actually, after reading through a couple “Algebra for Morons” web tutorials, I confused myself and had to ask for help. I’m also worried that as soon as this goes up, someone will find a mistake. BUT, it’s all about personal growth, right? I guess I benefitted from a little math refresher, but it’s still pretty discouraging to realize my brain has totally flushed a code of operations it used to use every day.