I’ve written before about my infinity blanket which has now reached five rows of 20 granny squares I think. So it’s about as slow growing as coral reef. Turns out that my blanket has more in common with coral reef than the slowness of its growth. The hyperbolic growth structure of coral reefs can only be mapped in crochet. Watch this brilliant presentation by Margaret Wertheim from TED.com – it speaks to so many nerdy aspects of my life. I’m going to make myself some of that gorgeous coral reef. I have just the wool at home too.
Check out Wertheim’s Flickr Photostream as well. Some amazing stuff including a Business Card Sponge.
A Latvian mathematician called Daina Taimina is using her crochet skills to “create a model of hyperbolic space”:
When she picked up her crochet hook a decade ago, Taimina had a more ambitious goal than making a scarf or hat: her aim was to create a model of hyperbolic space, a strange world where parallel lines do not stay the same distance apart but curve away from each other. It is so conceptually challenging that for a century mathematicians were unable to visualise what this type of space might actually look like. In fact, there is no formula that accurately describes hyperbolic space, so computers cannot model it either.
Her most ambitious crochet model weighs 4.5kg (10lb) and uses 5.5km (3.5 miles) of yarn. “It is probably the largest hyperbolic crochet ever,” she says. “[Making] it was a long and painful time – it is very heavy, and so it took a lot of energy to turn it.”
Sounds just like mine! I also think that you have to be quite mathematically minded to do set-dancing because it’s all about patterns and triads and eights. I wonder is there any research about the link between dance and maths?