Where have I been, you wonder? Lost in Numberland, I reply. Wandering vaguely.
There’s this blouse, you see, that inspired a vision, a vision of a yoke embracing back and shoulders but transforming into a ruffled front. Simple enough, thought I, knowing that it’s all in the numbers.
But a merry chase those numbers have led.
Sideways wouldn’t work; beginning at the front, relying on short rows, proved a dead end. Rip and try again.
Top-down held promise, relying on regular increases. The yoke, a series of wedges, complied. The ruffle perplexed. Follow along:
(Row 1: *KLL, k9. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: *KLL, k10. Row 4: Purl. Row 5: *KLL, k11. Purl.)
Can you see the wedges developing? So far, so good.
Now the ruffle for 12 stitches:
(Row 1: *KLL. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: *KLL. Row 4: Purl.)
Right: all jammed up. Rip and try again. Give it more room.
Same song, second verse, ruffle for 12:
(Row 1: *KLL, k1. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: *KLL, k1. Row 4: Purl.)
Any better? A little, but needing more room. Rip and try again.
Same song, third verse, ruffle for 12:
(Row 1: *KLL, k2. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: *KLL, k2. Row 4: Purl.)
After 18 rows of this logic, the ruffle-for-12 no longer fit on the needles, the increases were crowded in so tight.
Then came my epiphany: the yoke worked because, numerically, it resembled a slice of a Fibonacci sequence, an ever-expanding spiral. The ruffle didn’t work because it didn’t build on itself in the same way; it was creating a spiral whose width didn’t expand. I was merely building wider corkscrews.
Palm to forehead. Duh!
Here’s what I know and had forgotten: Numbers only look flat. Beyond that deception, their implications play out as replicating wedges, expanding spirals, constrained corkscrews. Because every number has its numberNESS, its geometry as a result of its arithmetic.
This is what designers go through. Or avoid, if they’re experienced/smart enough.
We rip so you don’t have to.