My Prime Factorization Scarf

I finished it! Last week, I finished sewing the ends in on my new Prime Factorization Scarf.

The scarf is similar to my Prime Factorization Sweater, using a new color for each prime factor. For the scarf, though, instead of making a grid of squares representing each number, I used two-row stripes for each factor. I separated each number with two rows of black, which represented the number 1 (since 1 times anything doesn’t change the value.)

I like the way the scarf gives the flow of the numbers. You can look closely at the blue color for 2 and watch it repeat. Then notice how the pink color for 3 repeats a little more slowly. And 5 a little more slowly than that. The scarf goes all the way up to 50.

Here are some sections up close. First, this picture shows 1 through 21:

2 is blue.
3 is pink.
4 = 2 x 2, so it’s two stripes of blue.
5 is yellow.
6 = 2 x 3, so it’s a stripe of blue and a stripe of pink.
7 is purple.
8 = 2 x 2 x 2, so it’s three stripes of blue.
9 = 3 x 3, so it’s two stripes of pink.
10 = 2 x 5, so it’s a stripe of blue and a stripe of yellow.
11 gets a new color, green.
12 = 2 x 2 x 3, so it’s two stripes of blue and a stripe of pink.
And so on….

Here is a picture showing 17 (light pink) through 35:

And finally, 33 to 50:

My earlier posts explained why I chose the pattern I did. I wanted the scarf to be reversible, but it’s not quite as easy to read as plain garter stitch stripes.

What’s next? A cuff-to-cuff cardigan! Only, I want to go higher than 50, so I decided to combine factors in one stripe — unless you have perfect powers of a number. Here’s a preview. I’m working on 33 now. (You can see that since 32 = 2^5, it’s 5 rows of blue.) It’s going to be flamboyantly bright, but I plan to wear my primes with pride!

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5 Responses to “My Prime Factorization Scarf”

  1. [...] But since then, I’ve designed a t-shirt for sale to all on Cafepress. I’ve knitted a scarf that uses color-coded stripes to represent the prime factorization of numbers up to 50. And [...]

  2. [...] Marlee the character really would have loved the prime factorization scarf I wore to the talk. I didn’t get a chance to show it to Kristin, but here’s the post [...]

  3. [...] have several colors dangling as I knitted each row. I also didn’t want to use stripes like my prime factorization scarf or the prime factorization cardigan I’m working on. To make a wide enough blanket, that would [...]

  4. [...] turquoise blue left over from another project. Turquoise worked out very well as the color for 2 in my prime factorization scarf. It doesn’t cry out “boy,” but neither is it a bad color for a girl. And best of [...]

  5. [...] occurred to me that if I used stripes, I could deal with one color at a time. I made a reversible Prime Factorization Scarf, where the thickness of the stripes tells you how many times a factor occurs. It also uses a [...]

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