In that sweet space between right and left

You know how people talk about left brain vs right brain people? That’s never really worked for me.

See, I have a bunch of both. My left brain leads me to make up math problems that I worked on when I finished standardized tests early, and do logic puzzles, and feel awkward when writing creatively. My right brain drives me to play made up games with my best friend that lasted an entire school year, be on stage singing and dancing, and connect to people in an empathetic way.

Are you more left or right?

The awesome thing about knitting for me is that it blends both the traditional left and right sides of the brain. Yes, it is a creative, crafty pursuit. I get to play with color and get inspired by beautiful stitches. But there is also so much math. I love a nice colorwork repeat or an evenly spaced crown decrease on a hat. It’s really the perfect blend between the fun and creative and the logical and mathematical. And recently, I’ve really enjoyed developing that part of knitting even more.

For example, about a year ago I read a blog about how you determine the weight of the yarn if you are holding two yarns together. It inspired me to create this Excel tool, which was a super fun hour and a half of my life. I really enjoyed solving that problem and coming up with a solution that worked for everyone.

About a year ago, I expanded my love of data and knitting to creating Excel spreadsheets to track my sweater knitting. I create a table with each row and the number of stitches per row, and then mark what date I complete each row. I then can use a few Excel formulas, some handy pivot tables, and I have nice pretty charts to keep track of how much I knit. It’s super fun for me and I love having the data to know how much I knit. I published the file for my Zweig, and while I’ve made a few changes since, the basic format can be found here. The images below are from when I knit the Soldotna Crop, which was a great knit.

What do you think? Does the idea of tracking your knitting in Excel excite or terrify you?

11 comments

  1. Oh, my goodness, I keep excel spreadsheets too. I track how many skeins and if I just stick in some formulas I can track the yards. Awesome!!

    I had a friend who kept track of all her fleeces on a spreadsheet. If I put my stash into one my head would explode…

    So I’m both sides of the brain too. I spent all week fussing and worrying over color and fiber combinations tho knot a couple of cats and I new sweater. I finally have made all the decisions and can stay knitting.

    1. Oooh I never thought to track the yardage! That would be so helpful as you get toward the end without having to weigh it every 5 minutes lol
      Yeah I’ll just use Ravelry’s stash feature, it’s a bit scary how much is there…
      Omg matching sweaters with cats sounds amazing. Please be sure to post about it!!

      1. I use the scale a lot when I’m playing yarn chicken or deciding how long to make sleeves.

        Wow. I just read how garbled my message to you was. I’m picking the yarns to knit two cats and a sweater. What I wrote made almost no sense, but it almost looked like I was talking about making sweaters for cats. Which makes me remember that I was going to knit MacKenzie a little hoodie to wear outside…

  2. .. I gotta admit that I never thought of it that way! I use excel (or rather, the open office version) to keep track of my stash, how much I have knit and bought, what’s going in, what’s going out, that kind of thing. I know that a few friends of mine are using excel to keep track of how much they have worked on during big projects (sweaters, blankets, etc.), especially when they are working on something with a deadline.
    Me? This is kinda not something I’d do. No judgement here! But I have grown a little tired of all the “track your progress!” and “make goals and accomplish things!” that have taken over – be that with books (goodreads or other apps), knitting (the project challenge) or wherever else. 😉

    That being said, if that’s your jam, go for it! I imagine that it can be very satisfying!

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