Seeing as how Kit's sister's birthday is coming up, she wanted to make her something fast (due date is May 12). A shrug seemed to be adequate since the local environment is still in the throes of indeciveness between summer and winter. This could be called 'spring', but it doesn't seem definite enough.
The shrug will be made on size 8 needles out of Bernat's Boucle in a light sky blue that Kit found while packing up to move. It was originally intended to be hair for a cloth doll that was to look like Tasuke's buddy from Fushigi Yuugi. Unfortunately, the doll was never made, but the yarn is delicious enough to be used for other purposes. Certainly it knits up very soft in a simple garter stitch.
Now for the informative part of the post: how Kit creates a swatch.
It starts with casting on 20 stitches. Once the twenty stitches are knitted up to twenty rows, Kit measures them. Say it is 5" per 20 stitches and 4" per 20 rows (this is made up, honestly). Now, the intended measurements, say, 15" by 20".
It's minor algebra. 20st/5" = x st/15". Multiply both sides by 15": 20st x 15" / 5" = x st = 60st! So, to get 15", one casts on 60 stitches.
I find it easier than trying to cast on to so many inches because CO's never seem to be accurate in length/width, whatever.
Now to watch a movie and knit furiously. >d