My Probability Scarf


I’ve started collecting my Mathematical Knitting posts at Sonderknitting, a Mathematical Knitting Gallery.

But I’d never done a post about my Probability Scarf.

This is not my idea. I don’t remember where I saw the instructions, but they are easy and a lot of fun.

1. Choose six colors of yarn that go together well. Assign them numbers from 1 to 6.

I chose leftovers from my Prime Factorization Sweater.

2. You’ll be knitting a scarf the long way, using the ends as fringe. Start by casting on to a circular needle however long you want your scarf to be. (Try to keep it loose!)

3. For each row, roll a die to decide which color to use. Flip a coin to decide whether to knit or purl.

4. Continue in this manner until you’ve run out of one of the colors.

You now have a scarf demonstrating the Uniform Distribution.

This scarf was fun to knit. It was hard to stop knitting, because I kept wondering what the next row would look like.

It occurs to me that it would be fun to do a Probability Scarf using a different probability distribution. You could find a generator based on another distribution (where the colors wouldn’t all be evenly distributed) and use that to decide which color to use. This would be fun if you wanted to use a second or third color just for highlights. Or maybe you didn’t have the same amount of each yarn. Maybe that will be a future project….

My posts on Mathematical Knitting and related topics are now gathered at Sonderknitting.


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