Friday, September 29, 2006

Counting down...

A week from tomorrow is my high school reunion. I've inadvertently become some sort of class officer (Class Webmistress, perhaps?) by asking a few questions and volunteering to set up a blog and a discussion group.

We have accounted for about a third of our graduating class, many of them people who are still in the Midwest. I wonder what happened to the rest of us. How far away from Indiana have we scattered?

I'll be flying on Tuesday, so next week is a really short work week for me. I'm looking forward to spending some time with family. Apparently, my niece is starting to walk!

It'll be homecoming at my undergrad, so I'm contemplating driving over there and looking up some of my old professors, depending on how much time I have free and whether or not I have access to a car. I should check what rental rates are and decide if I want to shell out the cash for one.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy 30th Anniversary!

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. If I'd remembered earlier, I would have sent a card, but instead, you get a public announcement. :)

Lazy, yet productive, weekend

I feel like I didn't do much this weekend, but when I think about it, I realize we did get a lot accomplished.
  • We're caught up on laundry. We even used the clothesline instead of the dryer for all our loads. We shall be clothed this week!
  • I went to a knitting group on Saturday afternoon. I had a great time socializing and I knitting most of the cuff of sock number two of my current pair. I'm rather proud of this pair I've been working on this past week. I'm experimenting with shaping to cradle the arch of my foot. The first sock feels neat, but I'm not sure how I'll like them after wearing the pair for a full day.
  • While I was at the knitting group, my husband bought a lot of groceries. (Okay, I can't claim credit for that, but it was something accomplished this weekend.)
  • I mowed the front lawn, or at least, I ran the mower over the front lawn. The grass sort of laid down before the blades and very little was cut. When I looked behind me, I could see wheel dents in the grass, but the length was pretty much the same as before. Oh well, I tried.
  • Today, I scrubbed the stove. I removed the burners and found some sort of disgusting grease pit that I suspect the previous owner never touched. I know I didn't want to touch it. Much scrubbing later, I still wouldn't want to run my hand across it, but it is much better than before. I'll try to make a little more headway every time I clean the stove.
  • While I was fighting the grease monster, my husband reorganized the storage shed so now all of his tools fit and are accessible without having to move the bikes. Given that until now, his toolbox has been on the living room floor, it was a great improvement. (Again, not me, but my husband deserves some big praise. I'm still not sure how he fit everything in there.)
  • I swept up some dust bunnies while talking to my mother on the phone.
  • I wove a few inches on my test piece. The loom works reasonably well, aside from some ratchet issues, but I really will need to have a bench before I can work at it for long periods of time. Currently, I have a chair with a couple of big books stacked on it to bring me up high enough, but that isn't very comfortable.
  • I've read one and a half science fiction novels, which probably explains why I felt like I didn't do much. Usually, when I read a book in a day, I don't get much else done, but these have been pretty lightweight.
Anyway, writing that list makes it clear that I have been busy and that the spinning wheel and fleece chiding me for ignoring them will just have to stop whining. I can only do so much in two days!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Closed-form heel formula

In my notes on modifying the heel from my Widdershins pattern, I gave a recursive formula to determine the number of stitches needed for the heel flap. In the comments on that entry, Carol posted a closed form:
Embarrassingly, I had to ask my son, who's studying math at university what k was. He told me to think about it. It finally clicked.
I still couldn't figure out how to program the formula but did get it into closed form.
I think it reduces to
h(n) = n – 2 – 2 * int(n/9),
where int(n/9) stands for the integer part of n/9.
btw. I really like the heel.
Of course, I had to try this out. Being a bit to lazy to do a real proof, I just coded it up quickly and compared the two functions for values up to 150. If anyone is planning on knitting a sock over 300 stitches around, I could go higher.
>>> def h1(n):
... def h(k):
... if k < n/3:
... return k
... else:
... return 4 + h(k-6)
... return h(n)
>>> h1(33)
>>> def h2(n): return n-2-2*(n/9)
>>> h2(33)
>>> for i in range(150):
... val1 = h1(i)
... val2 = h2(i)
... if val1 != val2:
... print i, val1, val2
8 4 6
17 11 13
26 18 20
35 25 27
44 32 34
53 39 41
62 46 48
71 53 55
80 60 62
89 67 69
98 74 76
107 81 83
116 88 90
125 95 97
134 102 104
143 109 111
For some numbers, my formula suggests one more pair of turning rows than Carol's formula, but given that my original n/3 came from me thinking, "Oh,one-third of the stitches in the center sounds reasonable." I don't think it'll make too much difference unless you are really picky about how pointy you like your sock heels. Thank you, Carol! I was feeling a bit guilty about not providing a closed form, but the guilt didn't motivate me quite enough to get out my college textbooks and remember how to solve it myself. Now I don't have to!
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Audio: At the Wine Festival 6

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Audio: At the Wine Festival 5

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Audio: At the Wine Festival 4

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Audio: At the Wine Festival 3

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Audio: At the Wine Festival 2

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Audio: At the Wine Festival 1

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Alas, poor Mazda, I knew you well...

My husband's car died on Thursday evening and we've decided to just let it stay dead. Therefore, instead of going to the Saturday afternoon knitting group, we shopped for cars. Lots of cars. So many cars!

Today, we're going to get some food, check out one of the dealerships again, and then just head off to the wine festival. (Hey, we have to do something fun on Labor Day weekend!)