You can easily indicate the state of the machine with just one light. If the light is off, so is the machine. But what if the machine has three states? You need a second light.
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No lights means the machine is off, the first light means the machine is warming up, and if the second light is on, the machine is ready. For every state your machine can be in, you need to add an extra light. This is not the most efficient way to encode information — you need a lot of lights if the machine is very complex — but its advantage is its reliability. We can use the same technique to encode our category data. Instead of a machine that can be in various states, we have a single column of data, each row of which indicates one of several categories.
For each row, all of these columns have a value of zero, except for the one that corresponds to the category of our item, which is set to one. We can determine the category of each item in the dataset by looking at which column has a value of one. Our stuffed friend, Mr. Dangly from above, might be represented in part by the following row in our table:.
Recommendations of this sort are essentially about calculating similarity. We want to find the most similar pattern to Mr Dangly. Just as we can calculate the distance between two sets of latitude and longitude coordinates on a map, we can calculate the distance between two rows of numeric data in a table. Dangly at all, neither easy to make, nor a stuffed animal.
Our data for these hypothetical patterns looks like this:. The distance calculations become clear when we draw them on a two-dimensional chart:. The euclidean distance between Mr. Dangly, has the largest euclidean distance, and is the least similar. The fascinating — and confusing — thing about euclidean distance is that the calculation holds for any number of extra dimensions. You can imagine adding a third, height axis to this chart, representing maybe one of the keywords. The line in three-dimensional space would be longer for those patterns that did not share the keyword. It gets harder for me, at least to visualise this in more than three dimensions, but I am assured that the maths is entirely sound, and practice bears this out.
This chart also exposes one of the problems with this approach. Our algorithm assumes that both of these patterns are equally similar to Mr. Dangly, that they are equally good recommendations. Is this a good assumption? Is the difference in one point of difficulty equivalent to the difference between a stuffed animal and a jumper?
Intuitively, it feels like no. But how can I know? If these two differences are not of the same magnitude, how different are they?
How much should I weight difference in difficulty compared to a difference in category? I am completely unqualified to answer.
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This is the point at which I far, far too late elected to enlist some outside help, so I could understand more about how knitters choose patterns. The result was… humbling.
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Knitters will often look for patterns that work with the yarn they already have, rather than purchasing new yarn for each pattern. That means that their choice of patterns is often constrained by the kind of yarn required to make the pattern. To fix these issues, first I had to go back to the source of the data and, cursing myself, download it all again, including the extra metrics I now realised were vital to the analysis. Then, in consultation with my hastily-recruited knitting experts, I created weightings — a value to scale each metric by to reflect its importance to knitters in choosing patterns.
With these improvements, I could make recommendations that started to make sense to actual knitters.
The final algorithm chiefly considered the craft of the pattern whether it was knitting, crochet, or something else , the category, the yarn weight, and the difficulty. But it also took into account keywords, the needle gauge, and a host of other factors. The more factors they had in common, the smaller the distance. For Mr. They were similarly easy to knit, employed similar techniques — a seamed construction, and use of fringing for Mr. In many respects, this is a very good recommendation. But there was something not quite right. Dangly has a certain eccentricity about him, a degree of whimsy or style that makes him stand out.
By contrast, while superficially similar to Mr Dangly, the Spring Collection are missing his unique charm. They seem a little bland, and slightly twee. I feel like friends of Mr. Dangly are unlikely to get on with the members of the Spring Collection. The algorithm has made a suggestion which is correct on paper, but which misses some of the nuance of the patterns.
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Crocheting is quickly becoming a favorite hobby for many. In fact, there are a number of things that you can easily crochet right now and have them finished by the end of the day. There are also many great gift ideas in my free crochet patterns for beginners. You can also check out these 25 arm knitting projects — they make wonderful gift ideas as well.
There are even a few patterns to make accessories for your crocheting friends.
This gorgeous laptop case can easily be crocheted in just a couple of hours and it gives you the opportunity to work with different colors of yarn. This gorgeous infinity scarf is as easy to make as it is fun to wear. If you need a quick and stylish gift idea, this is it. If you have an upcoming baby shower and you want an adorable homemade gift, this baby cardigan is perfect. Plus, it will only take you a couple of hours to finish even if this is your first crochet project ever.
This snowflake trivet can be used as a last minute Christmas gift or anytime throughout the year. Even if you have never crocheted or never even made jewelry, you can do this in just about an hour or so and it will make a wonderful gift for anyone you know who loves unique jewelry. This chain necklace crochets really easily and you can complete it in an afternoon.
If you need a unique gift idea for someone who loves jewelry, this is perfect. Do two different colors and practice on color changing. Well, she had several that she had crocheted and I remember thinking how detailed and beautiful they were. Any woman would love receiving a hand crocheted hot pad for her kitchen and you can make these in just about an hour each. Give a gift that your recipient will use over and over.
This grocery bag is so easy to crochet and you can make a couple of these in a day.