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.
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)
As an avid knitter, and mathematician, the birth of a small human in my family inspired me to create a mathematical toy for the tiny person to enjoy while learning about shapes. With my favourite platonic solid being the icosahedron, it was the obvious choice for a knitted toy, and with stellation being all the rage, sticking a point on each face was the obvious next step, especially when it’s such a convenient thing for tiny inexperienced hands to grasp.