A conversation about mathematics inspired by a ball of wool (yarn). Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett, with special guest Pat Ashforth.

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A conversation about mathematics inspired by a ball of wool (yarn). Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett, with special guest Pat Ashforth.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Subscribe: RSS | List of episodes

If you remember our post about Fabienne Serrière’s amazing Cellular Automaton Scarves Kickstarter back in 2015, you’ll be pleased to hear Fabienne has now put the patterns, and all the code you need to make your own scarves, online on her Ravelry page.

If you have a knitting machine and are prepared to hack it to take code input (you can read Fabienne’s blog to find out how she’s done that), you can use JPG files to generate knitting patterns of your own, or use Fabienne’s code to create cellular automata from a seed row of pixels of your choice. She’s included the code for Rule 110, but I’m sure you could work out your own automata and knit those too. The patterns can also be knitted by hand, if you’re incredibly patient.

*via KnitYak on Twitter.*

Before Christmas, we launched a winter-themed maths competition – to design a sensible hexagonal snowflake, using a square grid, which could be used to knit a wintery jumper and not **a)** look terrible or **b)** have non-hexagonal symmetry. We had a deluge of entries, some valid and others less so – in fact, we may have had at least one entry break each of the rules we set. Below is a round-up of all the entries we received.

COMPETITION DEADLINE EXTENDED – SEE BELOW!

To celebrate the year end, as well as our daily Advent Calendar posts, we’re also running a little competition – last year we did a pun competition, and this year it’s something a bit more crafty – well, it’s a knitting competition in which the knitting is optional.

If you like your accessories ‘provably unique’, check out this mathematically interesting Kickstarter project – KnitYak, aka Fabienne Serriere, is going to generate some knitting patterns for scarves algorithmically, so no two scarves will be the same. They’ve hacked a knitting machine to use cellular automata to generate unique black-and-white patterns, which will be knitted in merino wool using a Jacquard (double) knit, resulting in lovely well-finished pieces by the sound of things (although the scarves start from $150, so you’d expect something pretty nice).

Check out the video below, and consider chucking some money on the KnitYak Kickstarter page.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fbz/knityak-custom-mathematical-knit-scarves

Pat Ashforth has written in to say that she’s released a new free knitting pattern for a Klein bottle hat with a – wait for it – *twist*!

Following on from our maths/knitting post earlier this month, we’ve found a knitting blog full of knitted MC Escher designs. The famously mathematical graphic artist MC Escher was king of tessellating designs with repeated fish, birds and other animals.

Jana, who writes the blog in question, has taken on the formidable challenge of writing knitting patterns for a variety of different Escher designs and not without a deal of success. The designs are all hand-knitted and are ridiculously intricate: while some are made from separate shapes stitched together, there are some which are knit in rows with two colours, using a pattern of her own design. Much maths and knitting respect is due.

All posts on her site tagged with ‘Escher’ can be found here; particularly noteworthy are a blanket with a fish design, and some beautiful cushions.

(via Rudy Rucker and Edmund Harris on Twitter)