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Butterfly Effect Pullover

I’ve always found the concept of the “butterfly effect” fascinating. We read a short story about it in 5th grade and since then, I’ve always enjoyed reading about it.

TwoLorenzOrbits

butterfly effect illustrated

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a hurricane (exact time of formation, exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. The butterfly effect is exhibited by very simple systems. For example, the randomness of the outcomes of throwing dice depends on this characteristic to amplify small differences in initial conditions—the precise direction, thrust, and orientation of the throw—into significantly different dice paths and outcomes, which makes it virtually impossible to throw dice exactly the same way twice. It is a common trope in fiction, especially in scenarios involving time travel. Additionally, works of fiction that involve points at which the storyline diverges during a seemingly minor event, resulting in a significantly different outcome than would have occurred without the divergence, are an example of the butterfly effect.

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I started swatching out a cable a while back that looked like a butterfly. The concept of the butterfly effect can be applied to knitting as well… Change a stitch here and there and the outcome of your final project can vary greatly from the original idea.

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The result? A top-down raglan pullover with butterfly-esque cabling motifs on the torso and sleeves. An open placket ensures no fussiness over a tight collar (something my son hates) and the classic fit makes it unisex. Generously sized from 0-3 months all the way through 12 years, this is the kind of knitting I love to bring with me when we’re traveling. Throw it in your carry-on while you fly or pack it in the front seat while you’re driving to your holiday(s) destination! The cable motif is an easy 21 rounds and a great introduction to cabling.

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Knit in the Knitting Boutique’s scrumptious DK weight Potomac yarn (merino, silk and baby camel, oh my!) on US 5’s, this pullover has no finishing, no seaming and because it’s top down, it’s easy to add length to the torso or sleeves while kids are still growing. Sample pictured is size 18 months.

The Butterfly Effect Pullover can be downloaded here.

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