About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Seat-of-the-pants Algebra

Do you remember summations in algebra? Did they teach you that cool little trick where you estimate the total by adding the values at the extremes and multiplying by half the number of values [and then adding half of the highest value if there are an odd number of values]?

If you have the digits 1 through 10, then you would add [1 + 10], [2 + 9], [3 + 8], [4 + 7], and [5 + 6] to get 11 x 5 [because 5 is half of the ten individual values] = 55. If you have the digits 1 through 7, you would add [1 + 7], [2 + 6], [3 + 5], and then 4 to get 8 x 3 = 24 + 4 = 28. [Half of 7 is 3.5; we are estimating the total.] If you are dealing with large numbers, then you have to use the summation form Σ and then the A’s and the N’s and all that other good stuff that drove you nuts, umpteen years ago.

Why on earth am I bugging you with algebra on a Saturday morning when sensible people are sleeping in? Well, because I am knitting a red silk scarf with a pointy end, and I think that I might like the other end to be pointy. So, [2 + 17], [3 + 16], [4 + 15], [5 + 14], [6 + 13], [7 + 12], [8 + 11], [9 + 10]. Count the number of bracketed sums. Eight. Ergo, if I mark my scarf, knit eight rows of 17 stitches, mark where I stop, frog back to the first marker and measure how much yarn I have used, I will know how much yarn to leave at the end of the ball in order to use it all up.

Eight rows of 17 stitches = 136 stitches. In my world, that’s not a whole lot of frogging or tinking. If I were knitting a stole with two pointy ends and forty-five bajillion stitches, I would simply weigh the first pointy end and start decreasing when I had that many ounces left.

And on to my next major decision: do I want to knit a buttonhole into the other end of this scarf? Somewhere in my sewing stash, I have one impeccably-covered black velvet button that might be an excellent option. This will depend, of course, on how long the scarf is when I need to start decreasing for the second pointy end.

It saved sideways, and I am not in the mood to turn it. The ends that are sticking out on the side are from where I was knitting happily along and the yarn just stopped; not much of an improvement over a knot mid-skein, in my opinion. But other than that, I am loving this project for its sheer exuberant mindlessness.

What’s on the agenda today? I will probably finish the red scarf, either during the day or at the dance tonight.

I have another drive-by fooding of the missionaries this morning. I will probably buy them a large sub and a gallon of ice cream. I’m sure they wouldn’t object to either. I am out of carrot sticks and something else which escapes me, so I need to make yet another run to the store; this will dovetail nicely.

I need to get a nail repaired. I’ve been holding it on with a clear Band-aid for two days, because he is closed on Wednesday nights, and I have water aerobics on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I need a haircut. I could squeak by for another two weeks, but I really don’t want to. There is a “gala” dinner and dance for the singles on the first of March, and I dont want to be dealing with freshly-cut hair if I decide to go.

I think the dinner group is meeting tonight before the dance. I need to log on and see if there has been a consensus. And I need to check with Brother Sushi and see if he is attending either or both.

LittleBit worked last night and is working again tonight. She’s sleeping now, so I don’t know if HerBoy got his weekend pass and if he is staying with his folks, his best friend, or one of her friends.

OK, I’m officially cold and sleepy again. I’m going back to bed for awhile.

1 comment:

Tan said...

Never wait to get your haircut after the point when you think you need one. The following week you will hate your head all week and not be able to get in to the hairdresser you like.