November 3rd, 2006
|10:45 pm - An interesting side effect of women in the sciences|
This is the result of women going into what used to be traditionally male fields like mathematics -- outside-the-box thinking!
Crocheting mathematical models
A male mathematician would never have come up with an idea like this, in my opinion. Only a woman would have thought of using needlework to make previously-unvisualizable mathematical models of hyperbolic geometric shapes, since crochet and knitting are not things most men are taught, whereas many women learn these skills as girls.
Precisely because hyperbolic space expands exponentially, Taimina explains, it requires crocheting rather than knitting. "In knitting, all the stitches you are working with, you have on your needles," she says, adding some stitches to a shape she is completing. "So given the rate of increase, very quickly you cannot move your needles." Crocheting doesn't require all the stitches to be held on the needles simultaneously, enabling Taimina to pack more stitches into a smaller space. Crocheted forms are also stiff enough to hold their shape.
A gallery of crocheted hyperbolic models
For those handy with a crochet hook, here are the instructions for making your own crocheted hyperbolic plane:
Current Mood: geeky
Current Music: "With You There to Help Me" by Jethro Tull
How funny to see you post this the day that I went to stitch'n'bitch! I am learning how to knit mittens just now, but there's a workshop later in the year for learning how to knit a "DNA scarf." Geeky, I know, but fun. :)
i have often tried to explain knitting patterns by comparing them to the periodic table. the stitch before and the stitches above and below dictate what is to come next.
Hmmm ... I wonder what happens to the stitches when the "element" above them "decides" to decompose into two different "elements" ... is this why I have so many problems with knitting? :)
Perhaps you should stick with crochet then . . . I find it much easier and more enjoyable than knitting, personally.
But I'm making a mitten.
At the rate I'm going - yes, just one. I realized today that I was doing *everything* wrong.
I've never come across that analogy before -- it's an interesting one.
A "DNA scarf"???
I'd love to see the instructions for that or a picture of the finished product. I wonder if you need to use four different yarns . . . ?
You can see a lot of different examples if you google image search for "DNA scarf"
but here is one example
. Scrolling down, there's a science joke about histones, which is what made me click on this one. :)