Thursday, January 01, 2009

A competition for the new year

In 2008, I started off with the idea of calculating metres and grammes of yarn in and out of my stash. In the event, I gave up on "metres in" quite quickly in the new year (basically, once I started going to I Knit on a regular basis); but I kept on with the calculation of metres and grammes knitted. And about a couple of weeks in, I thought this would make a nice end of year competition for the blog so I didn't tell anyone the totals.

There will be prizes; nice prizes. There will be handpainted yarns (of various weights), and handmade silk viscose knitting accessory thingies, and stitch-marker-and-notebook sets. If a non-knitter gets a best-guess, we can negotiate.

OK: I'd like best-guess answers to the following questions

1. How many metres of yarn did I knit up this year?

2. How many grammes of yarn did I knit up this year?

3. What was my best month (grammes)?

4. What was my best month (metres)?

5. What was my least stash-reductive month (grammes)?

6. What was my least stash-reductive month (metres)?

7. What was the longest-metreage project I knitted up this year, and how many metres of yarn did it take?

8. What was the heaviest project this year, and how much did it weigh?

A bit of background information:

  • I only log metres/grammes if I finish an item. Therefore 500g/850m of the She Gansey from No Sheep for You, and 600g/however many metres that is, 1500m? of Tahoe from Knitty will not count as they're heading for the frog-pond having been tried on and found wanting.
  • I only log metres/grammes when I finish an item. This seriously skews totals...
  • I finished no adult sweaters or other adult-garments-you-put-on-over-your-head in 2008.
  • Any WIPs at the end of the year don't count, however near completion they are...
  • Not everything I've knitted this year has been blogged; however both of the 'largest items' are there. I did have a question about a "smallest item", a tiny beaded Victorian purse, but removed it, having found I didn't actually ever blog the thing because it was so difficult to photograph (and because although the knitting is done, the finishing isn't - I need some dove-grey silk taffeta...)
  • You don't have to answer all the questions - just put the number in front and I'll know what you've chosen to answer...

On sending in your answers (sorry, short librarian-type essay here, skip to the next bolded bit if you really don't care):

There are two phenomena which were discussed by several speakers at Online Information last month, one called the wisdom of crowds, which says that if you ask a large number of people a question, and then average out all the guesses, you'll get a much better result than by asking a small number of experts. Which is why asking the audience in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire often works better than phoning a friend for some questions...

There's then the one called the madness of crowds which says that if you ask a large number of people a question, and the first three come up with the same answer or sets of answers, the likelihood is that nearly all the subsequent people will agree with that, regardless of what their own personal answer would have been... Google relies on this 'popularity' phenomenon for some of its results weightings. It's the same sort of thing that causes runs on banks and occasional flocks of sheep tripping gaily and unexpectedly off cliffs in mountainous areas.

The crucial difference is that in the first method, nobody knows what anyone else has guessed...

So on that basis and just for this post, I'm going to shut down comments and ask you to mail me at a new e-mail address: (This also gives me the advantage of having your e-mail in case you won anything, so you don't have to keep checking back). I will e-mail back to anyone who enters, to let you know I have received your entry. (I will not use your e-mail address for any other purpose).

In the event of a tie in any question, I'll get someone at the KTog on January 17th to draw names out of a hat.

The closing date is midnight UK time (7pm EST) on Friday 16th January 2009.

Good luck!