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on parabolae

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I started out the weekend thinking about parabolas.  I've (almost) finished the weekend looking at parabolas with my very patient husband.  According to google, the most common plural form of a parabola is 'parabolas.'  However, as I have been thinking about maths until my head drops sideways, I think the older and less common term 'parabolae' is a better fit, because it sounds a bit like a disease.

I present to you the following images:


1. Where the weekend started.  If I'd heard of a parabola before, I didn't remember.  My first kind & patient maths teacher told me it was like a breast, so I could visualise the shape I was then invited to consider lines skimming along and gradients being calculated.  I made some progress, and then it stuck in my head, the equivalent of poorly digested food (that's the fault of my brain, no one else's).
2. I didn't have paper when I tortured my second kind and patient maths teacher at some ungodly hour of S…

Princess seams & jackets

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I've spent at least one entire winter's worth of sewing on jackets or cardigans which still don't work on me after three iterations.  I never want to see McCalls 6844 again in my life, and I'm over the Muse Patterns Jenna cardigan as well.  But winter is always cold, and so the project is reincarnated.  Last year I had a go at McCalls 6898 (below right).  It is a blouse with princess seams and cup sizes.  The first version was unwearable, but I did learn useful things, like how short my arms really are and that I can need a full bust adjustment AND something new to me called a hollow chest adjustment on the same body.  The same neighbouring parts of the body, no less.  The next version is the white one below left, and that was quite successful and has been worn.  I did buy some beautiful liberty fabric on sale to make another version and then cut into it for a short-cut dress that I'm not so sure fits.  Cut in haste, repent at leisure...

From that pattern, I learn…

Sewing, maths & feminism

For many years, I thought I would return to playing the violin.  As a teen learning the violin, several adults revealed that they had also played when my age, but had never gone back to it.  I was not going to be like them.  I would serenely fit violin playing into my successful adult life.  I would not spend my thirties wishing I could go to the toilet by myself.

I did not anticipate returning to maths.

The maths I liked when I was at school had satisfying procedures.  I liked long division and I liked all those layers of multiplying long numbers with each other.  I liked algebra.  Geometry was not so exciting.  The later stages are a bit blurry and then I quit.  I was going to be a journalist and maths had gotten a bit hard and I fobbed my parents off with geography and accounting.  I also dropped chemistry, because even though I liked it, it was quite difficult and my arrogance knew few bounds.  If I couldn't get good grades easily, why bother.  Why anyone believed that I would…

Will I post again?

It's a funny thing, blogging.  I didn't mind blogging for the whole world to see, but once my out-in-the-ether-blog collided with my people-I-look-at-many-days world, that's when I got too self conscious.

Then Facebook came along and changed the landscape.  I could do short posts and it was easy to post photos of my sewing without many words.  The original reason I'd been blogging (space of my own while I was raising small children) has passed now I'm at work lots and the kids are bigger.

This morning, surfing the net instead of sleeping, I wondered about blogging again.  I've gone back and read the writing I'd stored on a private blog.  Some of the writing is okay, but what really struck me is that I had a record of some very specific experiences, and they are precious now.  I've written the story of each child being born, and I have an unfinished piece I really like about visiting Cousin Mary's house and the stories I learnt about each object.  I …