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So far, I think I am doing pretty well with this piece of knitting practice, although last week on the bus home, I started wondering how much more knitting I’d have to do to finish the ball of yarn. Since I have no experience gauging how far yardage goes in knitting, I first wondered how much of the ball had been used up versus how much remained.

While I don’t know exactly how large the ball was to begin with, I do have two balls each made from a single skein of the same yarn. One is wound more tightly, the other more loosely. But how would those help me, you ask?

This is where my physics major finally becomes useful! (Unfortunately, not even. The math involved here I learned when I was 13. Bah.) Of course, when you haven’t done more than basic accounting math for 4 years*, this is what happens on the first try: Your math tells you that the full ball of yarn has a volume over 1000 cm^3. That is, more than a liter of water would fit inside it. Yeah, that wasn’t right.

Eventually I got my math all worked out. Comparing how much yarn remained in my bright green ball to this light green one worked out to 61% of the yarn remaining to be worked. When the prospect of only being 39% through with this thing was too depressing, I measured the less tightly wound ball.

I dashed ahead to averaging between the two, which told me I have 53% of the skein remaining. Going purely from the larger ball’s volume, however, I only have 47% left!

So how long will my scarf be before blocking?

Somewhere between 77cm and 107cm, depending on which estimate I go with.

In the end, after all the fun math, I’m still only about halfway through this project. I get bored with knitting so much more quickly than crochet, I think. I really like how it’s turning out, but I’m impatient!

* I originally thought 5 years, but exactly 5 years ago this time I was struggling with but still getting an A in Math Methods for Physicists, so I was relatively capable of math back then.

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