Basic Number Theory in Knitting

Sep 18, 2019 09:30:38 #

mathrox
(a regular here)

As a math teacher, I have been wondering why some patterns tell you to cast on an 'uneven' number of stitches instead of simply saying 'odd'. Is this a common term in other countries (I am in the States) as we say Math and other countries say Maths?

And why say 'cast on a multiple of 2'? That's just an even number. A 'multiple of 2+1' is an odd number.

I do understand why you need to specify a 'multiple of 4' as not every even number is divisible by 4 or a multiple of 3 as those can be even or odd ....

I was just curious.

And why say 'cast on a multiple of 2'? That's just an even number. A 'multiple of 2+1' is an odd number.

I do understand why you need to specify a 'multiple of 4' as not every even number is divisible by 4 or a multiple of 3 as those can be even or odd ....

I was just curious.

Sep 18, 2019 09:42:22 #

smasha12
(a regular here)

In answer to the first question, it might be because of the other meanings of ‘odd’. People might take it to mean ‘any number of stitches’. Uneven to me is mother precise.

The second question, I don’t know.

The second question, I don’t know.

Sep 18, 2019 09:55:04 #

knit4ES
(a regular here)

The ' a multiple of 2+1' is done (IMO) because,

the usual phrase is 'a multiple of X + Y' where X is the stitch pattern repeat and Y is the necessary addition to complete or even out the entire stitch sequence.

People are familiar with this phraseology and for many it would confuse them to say it the way you mentioned.

We are creatures of habit; when it is not said in the usual way, we look for `hidden` implications AKA overthink

the usual phrase is 'a multiple of X + Y' where X is the stitch pattern repeat and Y is the necessary addition to complete or even out the entire stitch sequence.

People are familiar with this phraseology and for many it would confuse them to say it the way you mentioned.

We are creatures of habit; when it is not said in the usual way, we look for `hidden` implications AKA overthink

Sep 18, 2019 09:56:50 #

mathrox
(a regular here)

knit4ES wrote: The ' a multiple of 2+1' is done (IMO) because, ... (

Ok ... I can understand that ... thanks

Sep 18, 2019 10:00:34 #

ade
(a regular here)

I suppose the instruction of casting on a multiple of a number is so that you can easily figure out how to enlarge the pattern to your own chosen width. It is a common instruction in books of patterns. I wonder if people who unravel are knitting it back up. Ravelling is perfectly clear, is it not? Ravelling is undoing, so is unravelling re-doing? Not worth fretting about. Frogging doesn’t seem so much of a chore as ravelling, does it?

Sep 18, 2019 10:38:52 #

I have seen both "uneven" and "odd" used for odd numbers. Perhaps because the word "odd" can mean unusual, and historically, many patterns were passed down verbally. So, "uneven" is a bit more precise than "odd".

As to the second question - it is a standard. Meaning, if nearly all stitch combination patterns are written as "multiple of X" or "multiple of X + Y", then it would be keeping to the same form if X = 2. The only time that I find it kind of strange, is when Y > X, which happens with some integrated borders. Not often, but it does happen.

As to the second question - it is a standard. Meaning, if nearly all stitch combination patterns are written as "multiple of X" or "multiple of X + Y", then it would be keeping to the same form if X = 2. The only time that I find it kind of strange, is when Y > X, which happens with some integrated borders. Not often, but it does happen.

Sep 18, 2019 13:07:42 #

mathrox wrote: As a math teacher, I have been wondering why some ... (

For what it's worth, a multiple of 2+1 is odd, but different than a multiple of 6+1. Both are odd but meaning totally different things. The repeat in 2+1 is 2 stitches (however many times you wish to repeat it) + 1 extra stitch and the repeat of 6+1 is 6 stitches (however many times you wish to repeat it) + 1 more stitch. So although both are odd, they need to be differentiated in some way.

Sep 18, 2019 13:22:09 #

mathrox wrote: As a math teacher, I have been wondering why some ... (

Why worry about such petty stuff. Just knit and enjoy.

Sep 18, 2019 13:53:27 #

scumbugusa wrote:

Why worry about such petty stuff. Just knit and enjoy.

I know how she feels. Not everyone has a 'need to know' but there are some who do and I would imagine that to be doubly true for a math teacher. I like to know the why's and how's and feel a better sense of satisfaction when I do and all works out as I expected it to.

It just proves the old adage, different strokes for different folks. Apparently you don't share our gene.

I think we all enjoy, just in different ways.

Sep 18, 2019 14:37:52 #

Evie RM
(a regular here)

You guys are boggling my mind. I am not a math person. I just follow patterns and do the simple math of counting stitches and counting rows.

Sep 18, 2019 14:48:18 #

Evie RM wrote:

You guys are boggling my mind. I am not a math person. I just follow patterns and do the simple math of counting stitches and counting rows.

Sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. I just identified with the OP, that's all.

Sep 18, 2019 15:03:24 #

Evie RM
(a regular here)

Susan from NJ wrote:

Sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. I just identified with the OP, that's all.

You didn't upset me. I usually joke about my math challenged mind. Not my best subject in school. My hubby does math in his head and can up quickly with correct answers. So, I leave the math to him and I only do the simple stuff like adding and subtracting.

Sep 18, 2019 15:18:13 #

Evie RM wrote:

You didn't upset me. I usually joke about my math challenged mind. Not my best subject in school. My hubby does math in his head and can up quickly with correct answers. So, I leave the math to him and I only do the simple stuff like adding and subtracting.

Smart woman! Let him do the mental gymnastics while you knit!

I'm glad that I didn't upset you, I was only amazed at how the OP and I were alike in that way and you weren't. (Yes, I was a math major too.)

Sep 18, 2019 16:45:52 #

scumbugusa wrote:

Why worry about such petty stuff. Just knit and enjoy.

Because some people, like me, enjoy pondering how things like words used, came about. I'm always looking up the origin of words and phrases simply because I enjoy it. Like, where did the term "knit" come from. Or the word "crochet". I find it interesting.

Sep 19, 2019 07:05:29 #

ckmc wrote:

Because some people, like me, enjoy pondering how things like words used, came about. I'm always looking up the origin of words and phrases simply because I enjoy it. Like, where did the term "knit" come from. Or the word "crochet". I find it interesting.

I'm with you....curious minds want to know.

Sometimes I wish I could be like the second poster in this thread, but you are who you are.