Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Someone else's attic

"Everyone wants them kept" said the recently retired professor of history at Oxford, when discussing the collection of New Scientists from the 1950s which I have acquired "but preferably in someone else's attic".

Monday, September 29, 2008

Still here

I've been swotting up for my History of science exam next week, which means I haven't been doing anything blog-worthy. Oh I suppose I could tell you about the Freiburg Mining Academy, but really, you don't want to know.

However you might be more interested in a program about the history of maths starting next Monday (6th October) at 9pm on BBC4.
memo to self: set the video

As a break from studying, I have been making steady progress on the Loden Jacket. However it doesn't change much, just gets longer. This photo was taken at the University of Birmingham, where I went on Saturday for a meeting organised by the BSHM. I wanted to take a photo of it with the University's red brick buildings behind, but then I would have had to explain what I was doing to other BSHM members. And I couldn't quite bring myself to do that...
lace knitting

Thursday, September 18, 2008



said the sign in the shop window. "No Ferret's not", I wanted to say "she's in Scotland". Then I read the rest of the sign "three ferrets escaped from their cage".

Another thing that is missing is my camera. On my camera are the pictures I need for my next planned blog post. That's all right, I thought, I'll just take a photo of...

By the way, Joao de Castro has discovered strange fluctuations in compass readings off the coast of Bombay. In other words I am revising for my exam in the History of Science. I may be some time.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bought at I-knit day

My aim was to buy more patterns then stuff to make patterns with, and I think I succeeded.

First the books:
I've been looking out for the Mason-Dixie book for a while, and hadn't seen it. From a casual glance it looks as good as I was hoping.

The gingerbread book has ginger recipes, including beef and orange stirfry.

Helene signed the Icelandic book - the charts are really intriging, although the patterns themselves might best be described as terse. But its the history side is fascinating.

Then the wool: a kit from Heathland Hebridean to make a bag using wool from rare breed sheep.
big balls of wool
Two balls of sock yarn:
two balls of wool
Correction, two tiny balls of sock yarn, 4 buttons shaped like rulers and a collection of badges.
badges, buttons and balls of wool

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I-Knitted Day

Yesterday - I Knit Day - seemed to fly past.

I did some knitting in the charity knitting area.
Knitting with large needles

I joined a very wet queue to enter the other hall for Stephanie's talk - we were standing outside in a downpour.

Stephanie's talk was very funny, and the audience was very enthusiastic - for a British audience. We even laughed out loud.
distant talker
The audience knitted.
a row of knitters

Then, it was back to the main hall, where I heard Helene Magnusson talk about Icelandic 'rose' patterns. She is a French lawyer who moved there and came across knitted slipper inserts. She has now written a book about them - and I have a signed copy.

I didn't queue up to see Yarn Harlot, because the conversation would go something like "I sometimes read your blog. It's quite amusing".

My purchases were fairly scant, and may be shown in the next post. Just as a hint - cute balls of sock yarn.

Friday, September 05, 2008

1926 words

Phew, it has been submitted and the electronic submission service has accepted it.

The final tally was 1926 words. Lots of discussion, emphasis on role of patronage, rather then development of science, hope that's OK.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

1900 bad words, 2 good and 94 adequete ones

I have an essay which is 1996 words long, excluding the footnotes and essay question. I've used the word 'good' twice. There is a 94 word paragraph that is pretty neat, if I say so myself. The rest of it - well, I've got 24 hours, must be able to do something with that.

The good paragraph is about Euler. He went to St Petersburg (Russia) because Peter the Great wanted an academy full of German-style scientists. He was recruited to the Berlin Academy, but unfortunately Frederick II wanted an academy full of French-style academics. Easiest thing would have been for Frederick II of Prussia to have changed jobs, and become King of France. Peter the Great could have left his job as Tsar of Russia and become Emperor of Prussia. That would have left a vacency in Russia, but that job could have been offered to Louis, King of France.

(Actually Peter was dead by then, but that would spoil a good story. And I don't know who the King of France was without checking, but Louis is a good bet, they had 16 of them.)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

i-Knit Day and 2000 words.

  1. I've got a ticket for i-Knit Day on Saturday - yeehaw.

  2. I've got a 2000 word essay to write for Friday - boo hiss

If you see me not writing my essay you are to give me a servere ticking off and tell me to get back to it.