### Irony, or, A Maths Lesson

My SAT scores should explain to you quite clearly why I am currently finishing up a dissertation on 19th-century novels. My embarrasingly low total score was 1170, out of which 690 points were on the English side of the column. Which means, according to my calculator (no, seriously) that I earned 480 points in math. And keep in mind, they give you 200 points just for showing up, so really, I only earned 280. Say it with me: math is hard. And I am bad at it.

That is why it is totally ironic (not Alanis Morisette ironic, but really, actually ironic) that I like to knit. Because knitting makes me do math.

Now, I do not blame knitting per se for its mathiness. Instead, I blame pattern designers, for thinking that an XL chest measurement is 38", and also myself, for being freakishly tall. So until someone writes a knitting book entitled Knitting for the Amply Bosomed and Freakishly Tall, I have to do a lot of figuring to get patterns to fit. For example, here is how my Frieda Sweater pattern looks:

See all that scrawl in the margins? That is the result of math. And not easy math either, like adding. No, this math is about fractions and percentages and things. Like, if I have to add x number of stitches to the body length, and I want to add them all before I hit the armscye shaping but I want to distribute them evenly over the three sections of the body under that, how many do I add in each section? People, that is practically calculus if you are challenged in the brains like I am.

Still, I persevere. But if this sweater comes out all jacked up, I am not blaming myself. I am blaming math.

OK, friends--I am going radio-silent for a few days. My dissertation is due on Friday, and sadly, you can't knit a dissertation. Unless you are in some super-cool MFA program. Which I'm not.

That is why it is totally ironic (not Alanis Morisette ironic, but really, actually ironic) that I like to knit. Because knitting makes me do math.

Now, I do not blame knitting per se for its mathiness. Instead, I blame pattern designers, for thinking that an XL chest measurement is 38", and also myself, for being freakishly tall. So until someone writes a knitting book entitled Knitting for the Amply Bosomed and Freakishly Tall, I have to do a lot of figuring to get patterns to fit. For example, here is how my Frieda Sweater pattern looks:

See all that scrawl in the margins? That is the result of math. And not easy math either, like adding. No, this math is about fractions and percentages and things. Like, if I have to add x number of stitches to the body length, and I want to add them all before I hit the armscye shaping but I want to distribute them evenly over the three sections of the body under that, how many do I add in each section? People, that is practically calculus if you are challenged in the brains like I am.

Still, I persevere. But if this sweater comes out all jacked up, I am not blaming myself. I am blaming math.

OK, friends--I am going radio-silent for a few days. My dissertation is due on Friday, and sadly, you can't knit a dissertation. Unless you are in some super-cool MFA program. Which I'm not.

## 5 Comments:

19th century novels? My favorite (well, one of my favorites)! So, what's your dissertation on, specifically? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wow, you're almost done with your dissertation? Congratulations! I hope your finishing week goes well!

Good luck finishing up the dissertation! I'm so jealous. Hey, 38" sounds pretty nice over here in 32 land.

Good luck with your dissertation... can you give us the really short version when you're back?

Hi!

I know you're over in SmartGirlVille getting your dissertation on, but I needed to comment anyway. You know.

So, how's it going? How's Bailey? I hate math, too. HATE YOU MATH. Once I tried to add up the approximate amount of money in my checking account in my head, and because I am lazy I forgot to write down checks and so on, and it was a disaster. Thank God for online banking.

Ok, Ashley, I hope your dissertation is going... dissertingly well! Post soon. Your stalkers miss you.

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