Wooly Logic

 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?”

Golf cozy sans pom pom.

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

                                 1.64                1
                                     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!”

Pom poms!

*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.

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3 thoughts on “Wooly Logic

  1. I am extremely proud and I will be sharing this with my math students when I get back. You never know when you will need to use math later on. Good for you to post this, many people would be too afraid, like you said, “there is probably a big mistake but it is all about personal growth.” The math looks good to me, but I don’t knit. 42.64 yards seems like a lot of yarn, but I have no idea how much yarn is used to make things. Keep up the great work!

    • It does seem like a lot of yarn. Although if I ‘eyeball’ what’s left, it seems like I could get two or three more cozies. I was half hoping that a glaring mathematical error would catch more web traffic. 🙂

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