Thursday, March 31, 2011

Giving Up.

For the second time in my life I am giving up on a book. The first was Catch22. Started several times but could never make the end. This time it's book 2 in the Crowthistle Chronicles by Cecilia Dart-Thornton, The Well of Tears. While the prose is pretty the plot and characters could not keep me interested. The first book, The Iron Tree, was certainly enjoyable but the sequel I failed to be captivated by in any way. When I do have time to read for the sheer delight of it I prefer if the book is at least pleasant or interesting. I'm now reading 'Finding Moonshine - Mathematicians, Monsters and the Mysteries of Symmetry' by Marcus du Sautoy and it is a far more gripping, enthralling read. I loved his previous book 'The Music of the Primes' and so far his latest offering is just as beautifully written.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seanad Election 2011 - the NUI

Recently I received my ballot paper for the Seanad Election by registered post. As a graduate of UCD I am entitled to vote in the NUI constituency. I registered in the run up to the last Seanad election. I am supportive on the original idea behind the Seanad and certainly the university representatives have included some very eminent persons. That said the entire construct is unbalanced and ineffective. Nonetheless I consider any vote a grave responsibility and so I have endeavoured to research the (many) candidates on the ballot. Thus far I have discovered very little beyond this short summary on the NeverFeltBetter blog and the leaflets on the site for Irish Election Literature. I am as yet undecided but will fulfil my civic duty to the best of my ability. Is anyone else contemplating their Seanad vote?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Emergency Shawl

Thanks everyone for the good wishes! This is the shawl that started the Secret Garden adventure. Updates will be on the ravelry page. I'm in the middle of a colour transition so it's not portable knitting at the moment.

In fact the project has been temporarily abandoned until I finish a shawl for a wedding next weekend. I accidentally found the perfect yarn for the dress on Wednesday, the beads that evening and did the resizing calculations that night. The yarn is Malabrigo lace in Emerald Blue. I'm working off a previous crochet shawl, also in Malabrigo Lace. Started a 414 stitch chain yesterday, the rows are long and I'm almost through the first skein already. Hope I did those calculations right!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Into the Secret Garden

As part of the 10 shawls in 2010 challenge I won a spot prize for my southbay shawl, as photographed by Julie of and the prize was the making of another shawl. So I've had the Secret Garden pattern and 6skeins of Luxe yarn from the Unique sheep in the Eleanora gradience colourway sitting ready to go.

After practising several cast ons and some gauge swatches with some spare Malabrigo sock I decided to cast on. This will be my first circular shawl and my first project of this size. I'm excited and a little scared. I'm hoping to have it done and blocked my the end of June. This gives me about 3 months. I think I'll need it. The needles were flying along until I reached the Fountain Lace pattern and the first colour transition. Double decreases over stitch markers are not fun and so I'll be knitting mostly marker free. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ladybird Collage


Playing around with picassa I've put together my first collage, of some ladybird items in my posession. Collages are fun and could be a great way to blog my fibre art accomplishments. Expect to see more.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writing Scared, Sick and Tired

First thing this morning an email arrived. The final version of my paper has been received and compiled. Whew. Soon I will be excited about going to Paris to present it. Right now I'm exhausted.

Back in January I realised the submission date for the International Workshop on Coding and Cryptography was approaching fast. By the time I'd agreed to submit a paper with my supervisor I had five days to write up my work as a paper. At which time I came down with a viral infection. Thankfully I had the research complete and most of it loosely typed up. Unfortunately it's the words in between the maths, the history and conclusions that I find the hardest of all. Years of practice studying pre-tonsillectomy, lots of determination and a HUGE amount of support from G and Suey meant I made it. My first paper submitted to an International conference.

A few days recovering from the illness were ok but I still had seminar to write and present, a talk to prepare and give and on top of all that a more general theorem to prove. When March 1st came along I found out my paper was accepted! Delighted! There were a lot of corrections to do before final submission though, not surprising given my feverish, analgesic addled state writing it. Finally got it all adapted, edited and typeset perfectly last night, just in the nick of time.

While it is joint work with other authors, I would like to secretly dedicate "Characteristics of Invariant Weights Related to Code Equivalence over Rings" to writing 'even though' scared (even though you're scared you won't be able to do it, scared it won't be good enough, scared you'll make a mess of it, scared you'll miss the deadline), sick (trying to plan your painkillers so you're not too fuzzy-headed to think, or too in pain to concentrate, even though you should be in bed, ignoring how your body feels so you can work) and tired (tired of writing, tired of having to work all the time, tired of being awake for too long) and the amazing magical people that encourage and support us to do it.

Now back to writing the Thesis.

Monday, March 7, 2011

World Book Day

I didn't get to celebrate World Book Day on March 3rd so I did on the 4th instead. I splashed out on a copy of 'The Name of the Wind' by Patrick Rothfuss. Possibly the best fantasy book (or even book?) that I've ever read. Given the rate at which I typically read books that's quite an honour. Although I've had very little time for enjoyment reading lately. With the launch of the sequel I thought it was essential that G rectify the travesty of not having read the first book yet. I hope he enjoys it as much as I did. Looking forward to a quick re-read before I can borrow the latest book. Despite running out of shelf space this book definitely deserves a place on the bookcase.