Blanket math

I took some time this afternoon to lay out the log cabin squares I’ve knit for my Fussy Cuts blanket. As you can see, my feline assistant is unimpressed as she dozed on a folded-up knit blanket I made a few years back. The other feline assistant is that lump in the covers. Seriously, does a long-haired indoor cat actually get that cold?

Anyway, blanket math. While blanket math is not as devious as gauge, some knitters find themselves flummoxed in calculating the number of squares to get the size blanket they want or the amount of yarn needed to make that blanket. In my case, there was a bit of both. I am using a different yarn than called for up in the pattern and making a bigger blanket too.

Usually you can get fairly close if you match the gauge in the pattern. Then see how many yards of yarn are specified. A sketch with the desired finished measurements is helpful at this point. Figure out the square footage of the blanket in the pattern, then the same for the blanket you want, and then it’s just a bit of math. Say the original blanket is 4 by 5 feet or 20 square feet, and you want a blanket that’s 5 x 6 feet or 30 square feet. Your blanket will be 1.5 times larger so multiply the yardage of the needed for the original by 1.5. Fair warning: the numbers probably won’t be that tidy so use a calculator and round up so you have a little extra yarn.

If you have multiple colors in your blanket and aren’t using yarn with multiple colors in each skein like I am, you’ll need to multiply each color by the number you figured out. In all cases, lay them out at some point to see how it’s coming. Fussy Cuts will be the size of a queen bed, so it looks like 6 squares wide by 7 squares tall is what I need. Each square will have a border so I’ll be able to tweak the size when I get to the border. But first, 42 squares. For anyone keeping score at home, 9 done and number 10 is on the needles.

I’ve heard knitters complain about having to do math or that math is hard or they hated math in school. Good news for you then: math is all around you so you can and ARE doing math. Like skating or playing an instrument or reading a book, the more you do it, the better you get at it. You already make stuff out of fluffy string; you have the brain power! If you can do that, you can figure out blanket math.

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