Monday, 25 March 2013

Knitting Science

With the Edinburgh Science Festival just around the corner, here’s a post to show you all our new window display in Edinburgh: Knitting Science!

Knitting Science

The weird and wonderful objects featured in the display have been knitted and crocheted to illustrate various mathematical concepts and ideas. For example, these cowls are actually Mobius Strips (surfaces which have only one edge and one side) and these little trees (the brilliantly named Binary Bonsai) can be used to calculate or illustrate probability.

Mobius Strip Cowls
Binary Bonsai

My personal favourite has got to be the crocheted hyperbolic forms, which look like they belong either on the bottom of the sea or in outer space! You can create your own by starting with a few stitches (either in a line or in a circle) and then rapidly increasing the stitches at a constant rate.  For example, you could create one new stitch after every three.  This causes the shape to expand at an increasing rate and mimics the way many plants grow (and explains why these pieces look a lot like a coral reef).

Hyperbolic Crochet

The display will be up for the next few weeks, so feel free to swing by the shop for a closer look.

Special thanks to Julia and Madeleine for the kind loan of their woolly maths.

Post by Heather in our Edinburgh branch


  1. Wow!I wish I lived closer to Edinburgh. I really like the hyperbolic crochet. Maths and Knitting - it opens up a whole new world of ideas.I'm just finishing a neck warmer following the Fibonacchi sequence in cream and black pillar stich. Very relaxing and very easy. I'm interested to see who recognises the sequence when I wear it.

  2. I'm glad you like it! There's some pretty interesting stuff here and we've had lots of people stopping to look in our window. The collection has expanded a little since this post too - there's a Borromean Ring tea cosy that was donated by the Edinburgh University School of Chemistry. We've put a picture on our Facebook page if you're interested!

    Your neck warmer sounds like a great idea! You'll have to send us a wee picture when it's done!