Many knitters, including myself, are fascinated with the science and mathematics behind knitting. And there’s a lot of it, which I think is awesome given that mathematics were long considered a male thing, while it was mostly women that knitted. There’s also plenty of knitting scientists out there. This results in some fascinating books, projects, patterns and weblogs. Check out these must reads for the scientifically minded knitter.
- Sarah-Marie’s Mathematical Knitting pages
- Woolly Thoughts
If you really want to delve into the material, Sarah-Marie’s Belcastro is undoubtedly the absolute authority on the study of the connections between knitting and mathematics. She has published and co-edited papers and books on the subject, as well as represented her findings at conferences.
Some really interesting information can be found on her website. I love her examination of Mobius knitting.
You can also read one of her articles here.
Slightly less heavy stuff than Sarah-Marie’s website are the many fun science inspired knitting patterns that can be found out there.
How about this water molecule?
The pattern can be found on ravelry.
(Image © Dawn Finney)
Or how about this free pattern for baby’s first knitted DNA model? (Image © Kimberly Chapman)
On amazon, Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects looks absolutely fascinating, as the book promises not only some excellent patterns, but also essays on the science behind them. And guess what, the book was edited by the above mentioned Sarah-Marie Belcastro. I think we can overcome the fact that it’s not exclusively about knitting, but needlecraft in a more general sense.
Very pricy, but very tempting is also this Japanese import book onillusion knitting magic tricks.
Rebecca from ChemKnits has a PhD in biochemistry and takes a scientific approach to knitting, yarn and dying. Her science inspired patterns are well worth a look too.
Last but not least, Woolly Thoughts deserves a mention.
“Mathematics through knitting and crochet” is how Pat and Steve describe their work. They have some stunning geometric designs that are just so clever. I started Revolution years ago (I should really get back to that one!) and it’s a great pattern. There’s also a bunch of phenomenal illusion knitting patterns.
Want to read more?
If you feel like browsing even more knitting websites and blogs, the Knitter’s Handbook masterlist of recommended reading can be found here. For previous posts with my descriptions of my favourite blogs check out the blog tag.