Monday, 7 February 2011

Geek Knitting

Hi Folks

Here at Knit Nottingham we have been thinking about geeks. Eleanor has recently had a couple of commissions for "interesting" striped hats. Now, Eleanor hates maths with all the fury of hell, but since a fateful encounter with the stock markets she has become obsessed with Fibonacci.

You might have a vague recollection of the Fibonacci sequence from your school days, but the full force of this theory Eleanor proposes, can only be realised through the medium of knit wear. Basically speaking  the Fibonacci sequence is just a series of numbers: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89....
Each number is the sum of the previous two numbers and the relationship of the numbers next door to each other and next door but one are a series of ratios. These ratios can be translated into percentages, which are found throughout nature, science, architecture and are ever present in analysis of the stock market.
We won't bore you here with the details of the maths - we're too busy knitting - but have a look at this article for a fuller explanation.

Eleanor interpreted the sequence into stripes on the hat, knitting one row of one colour, one row of the next colour, two rows of another colour  then three rows and so on. It's a dead easy stripe pattern, that looks effective and the maths keeps it interesting. You might be starting to think that Eleanor is some sort of genius, but sadly she's not, plenty of geeky knitters have got there before her.

Here's our pick of the best geek patterns:

Beginner knitters are always shocked to find out that knitting is simply a series of knits and purls but its never a suprise to computer nerds that two simple actions, repeated again and again produce infinitesmally complicated results; we're talking binary codes. Using knits as "1" and purls as "0" you could program a whole computer using instructions from a knitted blanket. Taking it slightly less literally, we've found this pattern which uses colourwork to display binary code. You could also interpret a word using cables, say one cable crossing for a "1" and two cable crossings for a "0".

It turns out that there is a complicated mathematical equation that can only be displayed through knitting and crochet - let us introduce you to the Hyperbolic crochet reef project. Don't ask us to explain this one but do watch the video below for a layman's explanation. The creations are really quite beautiful and the project combines three themes close to our hearts; knitting, crochet and conservation.

During the course of a week in the shop, Eleanor finds herself ranting about a few issues over and over. Curling stocking stitch is one of those unavoidable and irritating facts of life a bit like death and taxes. he problem is when you don't know any better you think its your fault and that you should be doing something to prevent it. You might of been on the receiving end of Eleanors rants about heads and legs and if you haven't been or didn't get why Eleanor was frothing at the mouth, this is the lady that started it all. The tech knitter's blog is an incredible resource for anyone interested in intelligent knitting. The sort of knitting whereby you know why your knits and purls look like they do or why you choose a certain cast on and when to swap a skpo to an ssk. We love her clear diagrams and straight talkin'.

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