Jade’s Finished Outliers Scarf!

Today I finished the Normal Distribution Scarf I made for my transgender daughter Jade!


This scarf shows that it is the outliers that make life beautiful.

A lot of things in life have a normal distribution — height, intelligence, and many other things. Most people are somewhere near the middle of the bell-shaped curve.

All her life, Jade has had qualities that are outliers. And I do believe that has much to do with why she is such a beautiful person. She definitely adds spice to life!

Here’s how I made the scarf:

I chose four colors of yarn. Then I generated random numbers from a normal distribution. I used the website random.org/gaussian-distributions/.


The numbers told me what colors to use for each row.

OutliersScarfLengthIf the number was negative, I knitted. If it was positive, I purled. (This will be about even for each.)

For numbers from -0.5 to 0.5, I used brown, Color A.

For numbers from -1.0 to -0.5 and 0.5 to 1.0, I used a brownish burgundy, Color B.

For numbers from -1.5 to -1.0 and 1.0 to 1.5, I used bright red, Color C.

For numbers less than -1.5 and bigger than 1.5, I used a rainbow yarn, Color D.

The rainbow yarn changed only gradually. It started out orange and gradually changed to yellow, then green, then pink. But this yarn for the outliers definitely is the most noticeable yarn throughout.

The only thing I didn’t like about this scarf is that there were far too many ends to sew in, and I didn’t feel like I did a great job of covering that up with a crocheted edging. If I make a normal distribution scarf again, I will probably knit it lengthwise, even though that won’t use as many numbers.

I was also thinking I’d like to use an additional color for 1.5 to 2.0. Then the outliers yarn would be more rare. I also might try using an amount of 0.75 for each section instead of 0.5, so that the sections would be 0 to 0.75, 0.75 to 1.5, and 1.5 to 2.25.

I’m going to test these two ideas on a coloring sheet before I try knitting another scarf.

You can find various more mathematical knitted objects and coloring sheets at sonderbooks.com/sonderknitting.

Ready to Start My Prime Factorization Scarf!

My yarn arrived tonight! 26 shades of Plymouth Encore yarn (on sale at yarn.com), so I can make a Prime Factorization Scarf that goes all the way up to 100!

Now, a lot of the shades ended up looking more alike than I hoped they would. But I can always hold those toward the end where they only turn up once. I also didn’t realize what large skeins I was getting — I will need to make a sweater after this, because I’m going to have all kinds of leftover yarn. But I can change the color scheme to keep it interesting.

My mission first: Decide which colors will be most dominant. I’m planning on black for 1 this time, but I’m going to swatch out some different combinations for 2, 3, 5, and 7, to decide how I like it. I was planning on red for 2, but it’s so bright — I might not want that much red in the scarf. And I really like the turquoise blue that came. So we shall see… I’ll make some small swatches before I try the actual scarf.

If anyone wants to play along and make a scarf with me, let me know! It might be a lot smarter to make this as a leftover-yarn project and use up old yarn, instead of buying all the same yarn. I wish I’d thought of that! Anyway, I will think in terms of using the yarn for a cardigan later. For now, I’m looking forward to playing with some swatches!

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