Tag Archives: #math

Lock, stock and … drill

The day began with fetching the morning paper as usual. Less than usual I did not have to unlock the door today because I was unable to do so yesterday evening.

So this morning I tried oil. The weather here in Denmark is a drought currently but in winter I did see dew on the inside of the lock and thought it may be rust.

Oil and time, even more oil and more time did not help. So I tried rust remover. To no avail. Gave in and found a locksmith. Thankfully this trade shares a feature with ER and midwives: A lot of their work is unplanned calls to people who need their help NOW.

The half hour or so was fine, I was not in labour and did not desperately need to leave the house together with my grown daughter. Told him (a rather handsome, youngish man!) what the problem was and what I did.

He then knew exactly what was wrong: The door had a fault from the factory that had allowed too little extra room for the protruding bit of metal to fit into the frame of the door. Apparently all doors sink a little over time. My door had sunk too low by a fraction to give enough room.

Hence the drill: He simply drilled away a bit of the metal. And now it works again!

And the stock bit? I just stocked a couple of items for sale onto my site.

Five to the longest second

5 i anden

This has taken me forever to finish. It’s spent a lot of time lying idle, but even in efficient time I spent hours on it. Because everything is hand-sewn.

It’s also a bit of math. Within the same size square i patched 1X1, 2X2, 3X3, 4X4 and finally 5X5. That’s a LOT of patches; the corners alone consist of 100 tiny patches in all.

Taht said I really like the effect. It could be expanded to xXx given sufficient patience, nerdery and of course material. The one thing to calculate is the fact that it grows fast.

Just one more would necessitate larger squares – the smallest patches are just 1X1 cm; really small – plus two more squares on each side. The number of patches more or less expplodes when going up just a single size.

I could still imagine this pattern turned into a bed spread. It would be time to learn to patch on machine, I think.

and it’s one, two, three, what am I stitching fo(u)r

Or: N squared.

Wait – does that mean more math?!

The answer is yes: 1-2-3-4-5 i anden

Within the same size square I sew patches together as either 1 patch each side, two each side, three, four and five. Eventually five anyway. To enhance the pattern I change between blues and reds and use the same two colours or sets of colours for each number: 1 X 1 are two blues, 2 X 2 are two sets of pinkish reds et c.

Why I stop at five? Because it gets me down to individual pathes that are 1 X 1 cm. I flat out refuse to go below that size (unless of course I come up with some “brilliant” idea that demands it … ), and because of how the pattern works I end up with a nice size when I stop at five.

That’s the main snag about these mathematical patterns: The size of the finished example grows in jumps. If I include 6 X 6 patch-squares I would end up with an example measuring 66 X 66 cm. whereas this on will end up as 45 X 45 cm.

So U Did One Known Obsession?

færdig patchwork-sudoku

OR: One finished patchwork sudoku.

I think the colouring works well to bring out the nine different blocks, and at closeup the individual squares made up of 1-9 patches are actually discernible.

So will I ever make another? Possibly. This example measures 40,5 cm x 40,5 cm and will most likely find use as a bread basket liner. The measurement is 27 units of 1,5 cm. each. But if one unit was 8 cm. the finished sudoku would be 216 cm. square, making it a good size for a bed spread for a double bed. It could be kind of cool.

Painted interruptions

Know the feeling? You have any number of wonderful things to do – important things – and you have to postpone doing them because life or even worse work gets in the way.

That’s the kind of week it was. billede af Farvino

Then again I did choose to start up a business selling a game of my own invention and should tehrefore be happy when enough games are sold to necessitate making more. And as seen in the photo I still get to work with colours and a math discipline: combinatorics.

Adding colour to a day off colour


It seems there are advantages to feeling poorly an entire day. Sunday was one such day: Headache, feeling cold, knackered, hardly any appetite. Reading was impossible as I could read and re-read a paragraph three times and still not understand the words.

Instead, sewing proved possible. My sudoku grew and now begins to show what it’s about. With three of the nine blocks done one can – at least in close-up – see how the square containing 3 stripes changes position from block to block as do the other squares. It still to a certain extent feels like a mad or at least rather odd idea. It’s an idea that actually works.

Sudoku interpretation or: A note on hand-sewing


GADS! This piece of patchwork is forever a WIP. Or maybe it only feels that way. The obvious reason is that each of the 81 squares of which it consists is made up of 1-9 patches in themselves.

Wait a minute – 1-9 patches? Is that the sudoku part?

Yes. Thinking of ways to innovate patchworking I stumbled on the mad idea of crossing this old craft with maths. Of all things. Arguably, sudoku isn’t strictly math as much as it’s a brain teaser of a pattern. Which makes it completely obvious to turn into patchwork which is all abour patterns, right?

So to keep a firm grip on the correct distribution of the squares I got an old guest towel, cut the pieces and pinned them on while keeping a solved sudoku by my side. Each square is unpinned one at a time, edged (on my sewing machine as I’m not a complete hand-sewing fanatic), then stitched together by hand. The edge is basted into correct size and pinned back on until I can put more pieces together.

And now onto another blue 7-piece square …