Stronger, Faster, Higher

It’s day 6 of the Winter Olympics, and my going slower, weaker, and… well, slower. That’s not saying much, though. I felt like a speed demon yesterday afternoon as we set out from our weekend in PA; I was nearly at the end of the lace center of Serra, and had graduated to the longest needle at my disposal.

But there’s nothing like pre-stringing beads to slow you down to the rate of a full semi truck entering Cumberland with a nervous driver in a snowstorm. (Ask me how I know how slow that is. It has something to do with the 4-hour drive last night that ended up taking 6.5 hours.)

This afternoon I decided I had strung “enough” beads – that number in between the amount that will make you crazy because it’s impossible to keep pushing all those beads down your yarn, and the amount that will make you crazy because you have to split your yarn and string more on so soon. And I started a-beading.

Yep, there’s no doubt – this will in fact take forever. A little math reveals just how much forever it will take. A circular shawl is made by starting with a few stitches in the middle, then doubling the number of stitches every time you double the number of rows. (Made possible by your friendly neighborhood equation, c=pi x r squared.) The total number of stitches in the center, complicated portion is around 12,331. (Or thereabouts.) But in the outer section, the total number of stitches is around 29,000. In other words, it’ll take about two and a half as many stitches to do the outside beaded portion as it took to do the inner lace section. Add to that the extra time required to continually push beads down the strand, the fact that you have to pay attention to every stitch of fagoting lace, and the constant need to make a decision about where to position the next “randomly placed” bead, and it takes me about an hour to do one round. There are about 50 rounds of fagoting. So, all told, the outer portion will probably take about five times as long as the inner portion.

So the fact that we’re already a 3rd of the way through the games should cause a little concern.

I’m so glad I have a blog to make me figure out all this math. I’m going to go sit my butt down and do some fagoting. (Erm, that’s a kind of lace stitch. Really.)

One thought on “Stronger, Faster, Higher

  1. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and on no account seem to get something done.


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