For the first (delayed) bloglet of 2013 I had planned a slightly serious and reflective piece as befitting the start of a new year. And then I changed my mind.
As I mentioned in one of my Posts in October I have been knitting and crocheting items to be added to a display in the Riverside café during the Farnham Maltings Unravel weekend. The novelty of knitting seaweed gradually wore off and so I moved up a notch to crocheting coral – which led me to think again about hyperbolic space (as you do). Before posting my thoughts on connections between science/maths and knit/crochet I decided to spend a few minutes looking through the internet for references; thereby losing the equivalent of two days of my life in the big hole that is the Webosphere.
But so much fun!
I started at The Institute of Figuring website where they discuss The Crochet Coral Reef Project . This project was set up to draw attention to the deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef by pollutants, fishing practices and climatic changes. A crocheted interpretation of the Reef was created and exhibited internationally. I was fortunate to see it when it came to The Hayward Gallery in 2008. The partnership of crochet and coral was inspired by the development of ‘hyperbolic crochet’ by a mathematician, Dr Daina Taimina, and if you want to see her in action lecturing about her work – do go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1TBZhd-sN0 - I think it is fascinating.
On a similar theme Javelin Chi who trained as a chemist and now works as a research technologist started selling her crocheted molecules on her Etsy shop, Prim and Plush, as a sideline. You can see her ‘Crocheted Caffeine Molecule’ on The Finch and the Pea website . While you are there also have a look at Laura Splan’s knitted ‘Blood Scarf’ – Laura is an artist as well as a phlebotomist – yep the resulting work is as weird as you imagine….
Kathryn Vercillo aka CrochetBlogger talks about the 2012 exhibtion ‘Sticks, Hooks and the Mobius: Knit and Crochet Go Cerebral’ on her website Crochet Concupiscence which is worth a look. If crochet is your passion – with or without maths and science – have a look at her site and blog anyway – all and everything crochet.
For those that prefer knitting there is an interesting piece called ‘Knitting on the Web’ written by Dr Alice Bell aka Slippedstitch. She introduces, amongst other things, a term I hadn’t come across before ‘the nerd-knitting subculture’. The readers’ comments that follow the Post are worth having a look at and if you are a knitting and science fan then her blog is a must http://slippedstitch.blogspot.co.uk/ .
As I swam in the Webosphere of lost hours I realised that there were too many fascinating people exploring knitting/crochet with maths/science for me to write about however there are just two more delightful items that I can’t leave out. The first is a website called ‘Bugbear: 1999 Experimental Website’. This small but perfectly formed site looks at the similarities between using the Internet and knitting. I won’t describe it as it needs to be viewed rather than explained but please leave a comment here if you know more about the ideas behind this site – was it ever followed up or is it a cobweb? There is also a link to the site through the Home page of www.freddierobins.com.
My last mention goes to an article written by The Telegraph entitled ‘Psychiatrist knits anatomically correct woolly brain’ – hmm perhaps it could have been shortened to ‘Shrink’s knitted grey matter’.’ The psychiatrist in question is a Dr Karen Norberg – who obviously wearied of producing scarves and the inevitable fingerless gloves and moved to something a bit more racy. Intrigued I then moved to the site of ‘The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art’. And it is exactly that. However it was the sobering note of caution that caught my eye:
‘While our artists make every effort to insure accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording’.
I fear this was too late for Monty Python. Imagine the scene, “Nurse, I seem to have mislaid my surgery notes and technical diagrams, quick, bring me this month’s ‘Knitters Monthly’ from the waiting room”.
I have two Pinterest boards that include, what I think, are either beautifully bonkers or wonderful things made of yarn, some with a scientific or mathematical twist – do share if you have some good Pins yourself.
Cheers – until next time – KN