Sunday, 23 January 2011

oh and here's the code (for excel)

This will take text input into cell b2 and spit out both the ASCI and binary for each character in turn.

Sub Conversion()

Dim AscVal As Integer
Dim i As Integer
Dim InputString As String
InputString = Range("b2")

For i = 1 To Len(Range("b2"))
PasteLocation = Len(Range("b2")) * 2 + 4

AscVal = Asc(Left(InputString, 1))
Range("B" & i + 3) = (AscVal)
Range("c" & i + 3) = IntToBin(AscVal)
'BinOut = BinOut & IntToBin(AscVal)
InputString = Right(InputString, Len(InputString) - 1)
Next i

End Sub
Function IntToBin(ByVal IntegerNumber As Long)
    IntNum = IntegerNumber
        'Use the Mod operator to get the current binary digit from the
        'Integer number
        TempValue = IntNum Mod 2
        BinValue = CStr(TempValue) + BinValue
        'Divide the current number by 2 and get the integer result
        IntNum = IntNum \ 2
    Loop Until IntNum = 0
    IntToBin = BinValue
End Function

Messing about with binary

or 1001101 1100101 1110011 1110011 1101001 1101110 1100111 0100000 1100001 1100010 1101111 1110101 1110100 0100000 1110111 1101001 1110100 1101000 0100000 1100010 1101001 1101110 1100001 1110010 1111001
I've been thinking how to represent text in knitting, encoding information in the stitches if you like.
I'd got as far as taking text, converting it to the ASCI values of each character and then converting those to binary (which is what the string of 1s and 0s above is... just another way of saying Messing about with binary).

From twitter (@peterrowlett to be precise) I found work other people had done in a similar vein (see his blog post ).

So I've been having a play using excel.
 This will represent a zero (4 stitches over two rows)

 This will represent a one (4 stitches over two rows)

This is scarfscarf, displayed as:

I think it's a bit of an eye-boggler, so I tried tweaking the shapes used to denote the 1 and 0.



 scarf displayed as





Much more appealing!

My eyes are now thoroughly crossed so back to the knitting!

edited a week or more later when I realised my key was wrong. 50/50 chance of getting it right, and I didn't!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Nearly daylight

At last light is starting to return to my weekday mornings.
I really need to find the charger for my Nikon, and possibly buy a tripod.
This was taken with my FUJIFILM finepix. A little camera I bought because it's small enough to stick in a pocket. It's perfect for grabbing a moment, not so good for taking a "good" photo.

I also really want some wool in the colours of the sky in this picture.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

where's my polygon?

Sometimes ideas seem to collide. I've been listening to the bbc's history of mathematics podcast and thinking about how to knit blankets.

The current "not quite Pi" blanket is progressing along in mindless knit stitches so I've been thinking about how to construct the second one.

Which leads to this:

Any n-sided regular polygon can be constructed out of n-isosceles triangles.
An isosceles triangle can be divided into two equal right angled triangles.

Right angled triangles can be constructed in knitting using short rows.

For example, a hexagon:
r is the radius of the polygon (how wide do you want it)

e is the edge of the isosceles triangle

a is the angle between the two equal sides of the triangle (and is equal to 360/n)

The triangle is then split into two right angled triangles thus:

R will be the cm value of the rows needed
s will be the cm value of stitches needed

How many stitches do you need though?

Enough to make s cm.
s is the acute of angle a, so s = cos(a/2) * r
how many rows will you need to work in total?
R is the obtuse of angle a, so R= sin(a/2) * r

so for a 40 cm radius, 6 sided polygon...
The individual triangles will have 34.6cm worth of stitches, and 20cm worth of rows.

Translating R and s into knit stitches will give a shape something like this (note this is not the actual number of stitches and rows!):

Using Rowan Alpaca Cotton (simply because I have a ball band to hand) which has a gauge of 30 stitches and 38 rows to 10cm. Each triangle would have 104 stitches and 76 rows.

I'll try and set up an excel spreadsheet that asks for n (how many sides), r (how wide the shape should be), stitch and row gauge, then spits out instructions on how to actually knit the triangles. More coffee required first however.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

True Pi Shawl

I'm using the Elizabeth Zimmerman method to make my Pi Shawl (cast on 9, work 1 row, k1 yo for a row, work 3 rows, k1 yo for a row, work 6 rows,  k1 yo for a row, work 12 rows etc).

The issue I have with this is (as the fair-isle version highlighted) as the number of rows between increases grows, the amount that the stitches are stretched width-wise increases. This is because the relationship between the circumference (stitch count) and radius (row count) is linear. Stitch count = 2 * Pi * Row count.
By not increasing every row... we are short stitches until we do an enormous catch up at the next increase.

Boring proof below:

Row 1: Stitch count should be 2 * Pi * 1 = 6 (actual = 9)
increase row =
Row 2: Stitch count should be 2 * Pi * 2 = 12 (actual = 18)
Row 3: Stitch count should be 2 * Pi * 3 = 18 (actual = 18)
next increase row =
Row 6: Stitch count should be 2 * Pi * 6 = 36 (actual = 36)
Next increase row =
Row 13:Stitch count should be 2 * Pi * 13 = 78 (actual = 72)
then we knit 12 rounds. on the last of these
Row 25: Stitch count should be 2 * Pi * 25 = 150 (actual = 72) 

At row 25 we have less than half the stitches we should have  - no wonder the stitches are stretched so much.

I'm going to experiment with the following formula for the second shawl
Cast on 6 stitches
knit one row 
increase in every stitch (12 stitches total)
Increase in every other stitch (18 stitches total)
increase in every 3rd stitch (24 stitches total)
increase in every 4th stitch (30 stitches total)

and after a while it can just be increase 6 stitches randomly every round.

No more stretched stitches, no more bands of increases. Just how to place the increases so they don't 
1) line up turning it into a hexagon
2) end up looking like semi-random moth holes!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

First frog of the year

Turns out there is a reason I haven't seen any fair-isle or stranded pi-shawls. As soon as I got to 24 rows between increases it became obvious that the work wouldn't stretch properly. The patterns disappear after 7 rows as the stretch required reveals the colour carried behind. Oh well, live and learn. Two layered throws will be warmer than one multi-coloured one, and as a bonus, a lot faster to knit.

Going for a simple one in cream (knit 2 tog, yo) worked every 6th round between the increases.
The brown one I'll look up some interesting lace patterns for (or maybe just use the lovely hemlock ring blanket from Brooklyn Tweed).

Entertained myself whilst knitting with The wonders of the solar system. if I had known 20 years ago how much fun you can have with a physics degree I wouldn't have dropped it for economics!

Monday, 3 January 2011

new love

Yesterday started well. I sewed the toes up on a pair of plain socks I'd made for my dad, and cast on for a pair for myself. I like cherry tree hill super-sock it makes a nice firm fabric using 2.25mm needles. I went for an easy-toe start so I could use all the wool.

Unfortunately they won't help to keep me warm for a while. There is a large window behind my sofa, and I could feel the cold air coming from it as I sat knitting. The socks went on hold and a blanket was started. In my new love. I have 1 kilo of handspun undyed Wensleydale, 500g each of cream and brown. It sounds scarily like I completed something here (the spinning), but alas 3 batches of the cream still need plying - so close!).

Anyway I digress. I cast on for a pi-shawl, using 4.5mm needles and the brown. It grew. I threw in some cream rows. It grew. I got a mad idea and grabbed my copy of Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila McGregor. It grew a little slower.

Yep, I'm now working on a blanket, that will definitely end up with 576 stitches on the needles, and I'm stranding colour work into it. It is so soft I can't wait to curl up wrapped in it. I'm toying with the idea of ignoring the gym and sneaking off to a cafe at lunchtime to work on it instead. 

Apologies for the poor quality pictures. It's dark and I haven't had coffee yet :(

Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year, New Identity

I thought woolyheadedwonderer was a cool name for a knitter's online presence. It seemed to suit me, a bit fuzzy at times, but always thinking about random stuff.

Then along came ravelry, and without thinking too much I abbreviated it to woolyheadedwonder. In retrospect not my smartest move. The only wonder about me is how I ever finish anything given how easily distracted I am combined with a tendency to procrastinate!

So new year, new identity for a blog and ravelry. Beaten to the punch by someone else, I've become I AM Knitting UK. Technically incorrect since I'm not currently knitting (I haven't worked out knitting whilst typing yet, but find me some accurate voice recognition software and I'll be all over it like a rash), but I will be soon, once I've decided between knitting, spinning or drinking another cup of coffee.

In the meantime a preview of what's to come:
Pattern for a striped double knit scarf (with links to how to do double knitting)
Pattern for thrummed mittens (super warm though they are so fat they feel like I'm wearing boxing gloves)
Pattern for socks
Pattern for fingerless mittens
Reviews of the pod-casts, audio books and TV shows that have entertained me whilst I knit and spin.