Saturday, March 25, 2017

Natal Infinity Scarf

  For awhile now I've been working on writing a program that takes your natal astrology chart (the main planets and their placements by sign and degree) and generates a knitting pattern for an infinity scarf based on that chart.
  I've written the program in Python, one of my favorite programming languages. Although I am a bit of a hack with it, and my code is... messy and hard to follow. So it doesn't really live up to my coding standards in general. But the program works. And even though it is riddled with print statements to debug the logic, the end result is that it prints out the pattern.
  Each scarf/chart pattern is constructed from a library of knitting stitches, which I pulled from a knitting stitch dictionary online. They had the stitches consistently arranged with a page about how many stitches were involved in repeating the stitch, and over how many rows. They range from simple to complex.
  My approach was to catalog each of these stitches, their number of stitches in repeat and their number of rows. I also went thru each and every stitch to determine some basic shapes that appear in the pattern once it is knit. This was made easier by this stitch dictionary because it also included a picture of each of the patterns done on a little swatch.
  I then determined a heuristic to map the aspects planets in the given chart made, and what shapes those corresponded to. An easy example, was I mapped the astrology aspect of "square", which is a 90 degree angle, to the knitted shape "square".  The astrology aspect "trine", which is a 120 degree angle, I mapped to the knitted shape of a triangle. Some patterns contained multiple shapes, and some aspects also came to represent multiple shapes.
  The hard word was making the program figure out how to pick which pattern. Some of that determining was also based on how many rows it took to produce a pattern, and how wide of a span an aspect had influence over the chart.  This "range of influence" as I call it, is basically an area of the chart where, if a planet or object were to occupy that place in the chart, it would be making a particular aspect (such as a trine or square) to a planet in the chart.
  I originally started with the basic aspects in astrology, such as square, conjunction, trine, sextile, opposition, but I think I ended up adding a few minor ones as well such as quincunx and semi-sextile for a little more fine tuning.
  Ultimately, I had to make some decisions in the program that are somewhat arbitrary. I tried to use what elements the signs and planets represented to help drive some of the decisions as well. I think when I got to refactor my code a bit to clean it up, maybe it will be more straightforward to explain.
  But the next phase is the fun part? Where I need to actually knit the thing! I copied the pattern output, which details the written pattern for all 360 rows, each 35 stitches long, for my chart, into a word document.  It is 18 pages long!!
  My original intention for this program was to produce a pattern with a chart - think, the pattern represented on graph paper. But that will take a bit more work, since I'd need to come up with a decent symbolic representation of all of the stitches involved, and then write those out to excel. Unfortunately I am not sure if the python writing to excel capability is going to make that easy or more difficult. I have written python that writes to excel before, so this may become a later phase that I try to embark on!
  But I think I want to see the scarf in the yarn first. And that's where the next challenge lies as well. Originally, I was going to change color of yarn (or maybe even type of fiber) for every sign in the chart. Or maybe every house. I was going to map the energy of that sign/house to a fiber and weight of fiber and color of fiber! So if you had libra in the first house, which is an air sign, but the house that is traditionally ruled by Mars, what fiber in what weight in what color would you choose?
  My mom, however, put the kibosh on this idea, saying it was far too complicated. (I'm Virgo rising with moon in Capricorn, I might over complicate things). I agreed that doing all these different stitches in different fibers may end up making the scarf a complete mess in the end so sticking with just one color, and a consistent weight- I.e. One type of yarn - isn't such a bad idea.
  But alas, now I am at the crossroads where I still have to CHOOSE some yarn to use. And I'm going to pick something I like, something that ultimately I will want to wear in a scarf. Since it may end up just being a prototype in the end, but hopefully functional.
  Oh, and did I mention the cool planet buttons I bought that I'm going to place along the scarf that represent where those planets are in the chart? Yeah, the program has a little instruction for that too.
  Btw, I totally forgot to mention the whole goal of this project. Which is to create an alchemical healing process, where you knit your natal chart, and the process of doing so creates healing and helps you to integrate all the parts of yourself, no matter how challenging or disparate. Some of the more complex areas of your chart will likely produce more complex patterns to knit. But the act of knitting those will help you to integrate these energies.
  So what do you think? Thoughts, ideas? Or do you just want to see this prototype?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Gambling by the Moon

  My husband and I love to gamble. In particular, we both enjoy the game of Craps. While I also love to play Roulette, and he enjoys Black Jack, we both seem to like playing Craps together.
I also love to study Astrology. To me it is a complex science of describing the "cosmic weather", and like predicting the weather, is often under scrutiny about its accuracy.

   Development of the Theory
   Astrology is so broad, there are so many possible factors, that I really didn't know where to start looking for pointers to gambling success.  A web search produced few results, and none that I found applicable to my situation, nor practical to "test". Two successful gambling trips however, and my handy moon phase astrology app on my phone, quickly gave me clues on what to hone in on.
   Turns out during both of our recent trips, the moon has been Void-of-Course, a condition where the moon will make no further aspects to any other major planet before it changes astrological sign. Incidentally, both trips had also occurred when the moon was void in Scorpio, heading to Sagitarrius, the sign currently occupied by Saturn.
   A quick glance at the moon calendar told me this timing occurs about once a month, so I made plans with my husband for the next two following months when this particular moon configuration would be occurring.   

   Refining the Parameters - Details about the strategy
  Close to the center of Colorado, there's a small mountain town named Cripple Creek. There are only a couple of casinos there, of which only 2 where we managed to play any craps. We stopped there on a drive down to Telluride, because the moon was going to be void in Scorpio, and I wanted to test out if astrology could predict gambling success.
  The first place we played seemed promising. We liked the dealers but the table was large (a 14-footer) and the other people at the table didn't seem quite into the game.  We managed to shoot for a little while, but our initial $200 was quickly spent. The second casino we found also had a large 14-foot table, and we were quickly the only ones shooting on it. The dealers at this casino were not very engaging either, and we quickly lost the remaining $100.
  This experience, though totally unsuccessful from a winning perspective, set up two more of the parameters of the experiment: 1) the dealers have to be nice, cool, and engaged in the playing; and 2) the Craps table needs to be no longer than 12 feet long. Both of these parameters were determined by the success during our first two outings, where both of these had been met, and the subsequent failure in this third outing, when those parameters we not met.
   Finally, I realized that when we did well, we both "felt" the table and were drawn to play. On multiple occasions, if either one of us was not into the table, even if the other played along, we ended up losing our money.
  Challenges of the approach
On the last trip, I discovered a challenge of the chosen moon time. When the moon is void-of-course, it's easier to zone out and lose track of time and focus on things, the energy is much more condusive to non-focused activities or rest. On this particular trip, my husband and I had had a few beverages and were having a good time. His friends showed up and I found him particularly distracted and unable to focus on us actually doing the experiment.
  The moon was only void for a total of 5 hours this time too, which also made it more difficult to find a table and meet all of the conditions in order to achieve success. During the last 20 minutes of the 5 hours, we did manage to get into the "sweet spot" of the zone, where I felt all parameters were being met, and we actually started to win  some money. At one point, my husband had won back all of the money he had lost on a earlier table (one that I hadn't wanted to play on, but we did anyway and both lost). But shortly thereafter, he wanted to leave the table. He ended up sticking around, because I still wanted to play, but this meant that one of the parameters was no longer being met, and immediately the magic was off, and we started to be on the not winning side of rolls. 

  Results of past iterations of the experiment
  The first trip was on Christmas of 2016, when we decided to fly out to Las Vegas for 8 hours.  This tradition, which we'd started the previous year on NYE when we flew to Vegas for a mere 5 hours, was such a great time we decided to do it again. Xmas was a success. New York New York casino and the Bellagio, both of which I had a feeling about, turned into financial success for us. We ended up leaving Nevada up $766, more than we'd ever made on a gambling outing.
  The second trip was up to our regular casinos in Black Hawk and Central City. We used our latest strategy, which also proves to be an important part of the formula, which is max odds betting, playing as if the max odds are at least 3x-4x-5x. We had started with $300 each, and both got down to our last bit, and we were both all in on this roll.  Amazingly, we came back from this to both be up over $1000 - each, totaling a profit of over $2000, a huge up for the year!

  Beginning with the intention to play Craps betting max odds (at least 3-4-5x), and have fun doing it together, the remaining ingredients for wild success appear to be: 1) my husband and I both having a good feeling about the table; 2) the dealers being nice or cool or otherwise positively contributing to the atmosphere of the table; 3) finding a spot at a table that is no longer than 12 feet; 4) the moon being void-of-course in Scorpio.
  There did seem to be one other ingredient that seemed to relate to our success, which was the concept of "lighting the table on fire". During our first outing in Vegas, while on a table in the Bellagio, though full of people seemed to have kind of mediocre energy. I was feeling good from earlier success at New York New York and said to my husband how we had to "light this shit-stack on fire". I then proceeded to roll some very strong dice, and essentially "heat up" the table. Indeed the right energy for craps is important to the success of this strategy. It is a somewhat unspoken rule that to win, and win big, the dice or the table have to be "hot". But what I learned is that, with the right parameters and setting, we can bring that heat to the table, and then, profit.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Knitting By The Moon - Knitting Class

Happy Full Moon in Aquarius!
     I'm excited to announce that coming this fall, I will be teaching my very first Knitting By The Moon class at the Recycled Lamb in Lakewood, CO. (Check out their website if you'd like to sign up!
     The class, aka Knitting Time Management, will help students to focus when they start and finish projects and align the timing of those activities with the moon. As you've seen on this blog, I've been following the moon's phases for some time now and aligning my own knitting projects to it. Now I want to share that with others, as part of a larger experiment.
     The dates of the class are as follows: Monday, Sept 9th, Weds Sept 25th, Weds Oct 9th, and Weds Oct 30th. I choose these particular dates because the moon is not void of course on any of them (at least, not during the 6-8pm class time) and on Sept and Oct 9th, the moon is waxing, where on Sept 25th and Oct 30th, the moon is waning. So the goal of the waxing moon classes will be to start projects and the goal of the waning moon classes will be to finish them.
     I'm thinking that we'll also do some experimenting with starting and attempting to finish projects off cycle - i.e. start a project during the waning moon and finish one during the waxing - and see what happens!
     During class time, in addition to providing any knitting help and guidance on projects that my students need, I also plan to discuss some basic astrology, to the level that they are interested.
     As our class commences, I'll be sure to provide updates with how it goes.

Today's full moon in Aquarius at 7:44pm (MDT) begins a short Void of Course period, until 10:43pm tonight when the moon enters Pisces.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Looking back - Knitting with the Moon

Before I began my foray into knitting by the moon, I did a little statistical analysis on my previous projects. Since I'd kept pretty good records in Ravelry of the dates I started/ended projects, it wasn't too difficult to look up the moon sign, phase and whether it was Void of Course (VOC) or not.
Looking Back 2010-2011
Here's a summary of my data:
Looking back at projects in 2011 and 2010, I started AND completed the most projects while the moon was in a Fire sign. 
Starting projects mostly in fire (36%), followed by water (27%), then earth (21%), finally the least started with the moon in an air sign (16%). 
Completing projects mostly in fire(31%), followed by earth (29%), then water(27%), finally air(12%). 
I did not start or complete many projects while the moon was definitely VOC (only 3% definite). 
But since the moon goes VOC sometimes in the middle of the day it was hard to know for sure. I tracked the days that were ‘Maybe’s. Of the maybe’s, I started 35%, and completed 55% while the moon was possibly VOC.
In terms of phase of the moon, I started (30%) and completed (29%) the most projects while the moon was a Waxing Crescent. 
Though interestingly the next most frequent moon phase for starting projects was Waning Crescent (21%). 
The next most frequent for completing projects was Waning Crescent (22%) tied with Waxing Gibbous (22%). 
The least frequent phase for starting projects was Third Quarter or New Moon (tho this phase spans less of the total month) 
and for completing projects was First Quarter or New Moon (again, these phases only being a day long).
Here are a couple of links I used to identify if the moon was VOC and what phase the moon was in: 
Moon VOC Calendar 2010 
Phases of the Moon Calendar 
Knitting with the Moon in 2012
Since it's now half way thru 2013, I've gone back and looked at 2012. 
From what I've recorded in Ravelry, I completed 26 projects in 2012, only one of which was started in 2011. 
Of those, I started the most projects when the moon was in a Waxing Crescent phase(38%). This was actually the goal as well and what I viewed as the optimal time to start projects. The sign that the moon was in when I started the most projects was Taurus(23%), and Earth signs in general also had the most project starts (46%).
For finishing projects, my goal was to finish them when the moon was waning. But it appears I actually finished the most projects while the moon was in Waxing Gibbous (27%). And I finished the most projects while the moon was in Pisces (15%). The moon was most often in a Water sign when I finished projects (31%). 
As for Void of Course Moon, which I tried to avoid starting projects during, I only ended up starting 15% during this phase for sure, and possibly another 19% but again, without knowing the exact time of my project I can't know for sure. 
For finishing projects I only finished 11% during a Void of Course Moon with a possibility of another 38% when the moon might have been void.
Although I started the most projects with the moon in an Earth sign, the next highest element was Fire (23%), then Air (19%) and finally Water (15%). 
For finishing, Water was the most comment (31%), then Earth, Air and Fire were all tied at 23%. 
For starting projects, Taurus was the most popular sign for the moon at 23%, followed by Aries at 19% and Capricorn at 15%. 7% of the time I started projects in Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, Aquarius and Pisces. I didn't start any projects when the Moon was in Leo or Scorpio.
Finishing projects happened most often while the moon was in Pisces (15%), then 11% of the time in Aquarius, Gemini and Taurus. 7% of the time in either Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagitarrius or Capricorn. Only 3% in Virgo and never in Libra.
Taurus, which is ruled by Venus, seems to be an appropriate sign for the Moon to start knitting projects. Perseverance and Patience are some of Taurus' keywords which indeed knitting projects require. Venus also seems to be a good planet for knitting beautiful things. 
Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac may be an appropriate choice for finishing projects. Also, my Sun is in Pisces. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The intent of this blog + links

Greetings dear readers,
   After the initial idea to write this blog came to me last knit night when I was blabbing on about astrology and how I'm paying attention to certain astrological things and how they influence my knitting, the confirmation came a few days later after googling around for some other people who may have written about the relationship between knitting and astrology.
   So to give credit where it's due and also to provide you with some other perspectives, here are a couple of the links that I found and enjoyed.
   The first is really a 'just for fun' one, from a fellow knitter-designer who wrote up little knitter horoscopes for each of the signs. Here I'll provide the link to my Sun sign, Pisces. But you can link to the rest of the signs from her blog:
    The next one I found extremely awesome, it's written by an astrologer/teacher and I love her analysis. Probably part of the reason is that I found many of the traits mentioned to be true in my own natal chart! Here's the link:  
   Here's the things she mentioned which I also have in my chart:

  • Virgo, sign of the craftsman, which is my rising sign. 
  • A stellium in Capricorn. I have Moon/South Node/Venus
  • Either Virgo or Capricorn on the angles - I have Virgo ASC and Capricorn on the IC
  • Hard Moon-Saturn aspects - I have Moon square Saturn
  • Pluto - Although she doesn't mention specific placements or aspects to pluto, I have a stellium involving pluto in my first house, with Mars and Saturn. And she does point out a strong/ruling Saturn as well could indicate someone who is a knitter.
   The next link I actually got from that last one, and she linked to another blog: This author seems to be more of an astrologer than a knitter and went onto, a site of course I'm familiar with being an avid knitter, and read through the different groups postings that applied to astrological signs. I also found her analysis to be very amusing of the different signs. I too have gone onto those groups and looked at the posts but I liked her notes and analysis.   
    As it turns out, I have become the moderator of an astrology group on Ravelry as well. It just so happened the previous moderator wanted to step down right around the time I was looking to take a more active roll. The group doesn't get a ton of action, but it's more lively than some. Here's the link if you are interested:
    I actually posted an analysis of the moon's sign as it correlated to when I started and finished knitting projects in 2010 and 2011 as a page on that group.  The analysis also included other factors such as when the moon went Void of Course and what the moon phase was. I will likely repost that information here and further the analysis into 2012-2013.