Sunday, November 20, 2011

Harmonic Curves

As you may have guessed by now, I like (and play) the harp. As of today, I've designed, knit and released into the wild two new coordinating patterns: the Harmonic Curves Tam and Harmonic Curves Wristwarmers.

“Harmonic curve” is a mathematical term describing a parabola, or a U-shaped curve formed by the intersection of a plane and a cone. Musically, it is the term for the shape of a harp’s neck (the piece across the top). A curve is necessary so the harp’s strings can change in length rapidly as the notes get higher. The exact shape of this piece varies depending on the luthier (harpmaker). On both pedal and lever harps, the harmonic curve will resemble the design depicted in the new patterns.

One of my favorite things about the design is the difference made by a change in fiber and color. The tam is very floppy, so choose your size accordingly. The brown and white hat is size medium, the black/multi tam is small. Blocked over a bowl, it would be a regular slouchy hat; blocked over a dinner plate (as these were), it becomes a tam. The wristwarmers have a finger loop that keeps them in place without getting in the way of the fingers.

Harmonic Curves Tam: $6.95 at Ravelry
Harmonic Curves Wristwarmers: $5.95 at Ravelry

You may be wondering about that book I mentioned in my last post, The Bride of Newgate by John Dickson Carr. I wouldn't rank it among the great literature, but I did rather enjoy it. There was lots of swashbuckling, and I did not see the ending coming. Set in Napoleonic England, it is considered to be the one of the first historical mysteries. The author includes an afterword of explanation as to how much of the novel is fiction and how much is fact. While the main characters are all fiction, there are quite a few historical personages who make appearances in the background. He also researched speech patterns of the time to make the dialogue as realistic as possible. There's a good no-spoiler summary of the mystery at, and I mostly agree with the reviewer's opinions of it. Wikipedia also has a page about the book. The book reminded me on a very small scale of The Count of Monte Cristo, a massive and sweeping historical novel which I much enjoyed. As thick as it was, I couldn't put it down.

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