I was working on some homework with one of the boys and I noticed something very curious. There are a large number of hits on Google containing the words Crochet and Maths (or Math). I’ve got to admit to becoming distracted at that stage and having to be brought back to the task at hand by my son! He rather enjoyed it and it taught me a short but very salutary lesson on the strength of mind it takes to concentrate on subjects which are less than close to your heart. So back to Maths and Crochet. It’s an art called Hyperbolic Crochet and it looks like recreating the coral reef.
There are research papers dedicated to it published by Cornell University the beginning of which is very interesting and readable but I have to admit I got lost towards the end where the Greeks (letters) came into it. There is a website (or more!) dealing with Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef , a project to engage people in science and as I was catching up with my favourite blogs this weekend, guess what Daniella Joe’s Thank Goodness It’s Friday entry was about?!
I did a little research and it seems that the technique is quite simple AND the best yarn to use is stiff man-made fibres. So if you’re hands are up to it, these are the instructions:
Step 1. To crochet a basic hyperbolic model, begin with a line of chain stitches. Between 15-20 should be fine.
Step 2. Pick a “magic number”, 5 will work fine for your first hyperbolic plane (keep in mind, the smaller the number, the bunchier it will be).
Step 3.Begin the first row by crocheting 5 stitches then increasing in the fifth stitch (crochet twice in the same loop). Repeat the following pattern: crochet 5 stitches, increase 1; crochet 5 stitches, increase one – until the end of the line.
Step 4. At the end of the line, make one extra chain loop.
Step 5. Turn around and repeat the pattern in the next row and all other rows.
And you should get something like this:
Now why didn’t I think of this before? And apart from giving myself a good scrub in the shower, what are it’s uses?