KasCare, February 2011
Statistics. Love them or hate them – and they have long been the province of rogues – they can also be a heap of fun.
British comedian, Bob Mortimer, says there are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up, and the kind you make up.
So if you like knitting or crochet, and you like your craft a little quirky, drop the needles and the hook for a moment and check out these weird knittistics.
Our knit-a-square.com knitting charity urges knitters and crocheters from around the world to make and send 8”/20cm squares to our volunteers in South Africa. There, they sew them into blankets for the estimated 1.9 million AIDS orphans and abandoned children living in desperate poverty.
In less than two years, more than 5,000 members from 40 countries have contributed 175,395 knitted squares. On top of that, they’ve thrown in 13,065 items of knitted and crocheted clothing. None of this takes into account the toys, books, stationery, pictures and allied gifts that make their way into the parcels of your lovingly packed squares.
I was curious about how much yarn went into a square. So I asked one of our founding members, Zanny Blew, from Daylesford, Australia. She took the trouble of knitting a square, unravelling it, and measuring. It turns out her average square contained 232 feet or 70.6 metres of yarn. (And being the generous soul she is, she promptly re-knitted the square and sent it off to South Africa.)
The world’s full of interesting numbers. For example, 232 feet is just over five feet short of the Olympic record that Czech, Barbora Potáková, created in Beijing. She flung the equivalent of an oversized knitting needle 237 feet, 1 2/3 inches (72.28 meters). Of course there were no strings attached.
And it’s only four feet less than the previous single handed fly fishing cast world record. American Steve Rajeff broke his own 20 year old record in 2009 with an effort of 246 feet. How about that for casting off!
If we joined all the wool from all the squares received until the end of January 2011, it would make a strand 2,726.2 miles, or 12,382.9 km long.
If world 100m record holder, Usain Bolt, were to miraculously run that distance at world record pace, it would take him 4.86 days of non-stop, track-blazing sprinting around 10,968,4 laps of an Olympic track. Hmm. Gives me a stitch just thinking about it.