Geeking out (again)

I have worked on two unbelievably geeky projects recently.

Riemann surface neckwarmer

First up was a Riemann surface neck-warmer. I’m not going to attempt to explain the mathematical properties of a Riemann surface (not least because I’m not sure that I really understand them anymore), check out Wikipedia if you’re really interested. The point is that they’re really quite pretty and very geeky. There was a discussion on the Ravelry Geekcraft group about how you might knit one and then Behavioural Geek came up with a  pattern. This coincided almost exactly with me thinking that I could do with a new scarf, neck-warmer type thing and that I still had rather a lot of the Noro Cash Iroha that might work nicely. The result — a lovely, soft, warm, exceedingly geeky neck-warmer. I modified the pattern slightly (details on my Ravelry page) but I’m not very happy with the way that I grafted this so I’m thinking about re-knitting this so that I’ll be happier wearing it.

Second project — a dice bag:

Dice bag

This one wasn’t for me, in fact, this one wasn’t even all my work. Steven bought some new dice at a role-playing convention recently and mentioned that he could do with a new dice bag. Since he had also expressed an interest in maybe learning to use my sewing machine at some point, I got him to do all the machine-stitching while I did the hand-stitching.

Dice bag

We used a tutorial that I found, although our bag is much smaller and doesn’t have a little heart appliquéd on it since, for some reason, Steven wasn’t very interested in having a little heart on his dice bag. I also use two cord loops rather than one to make it easier to close the bag.

Dice bag

The fabric is “Stripes” and is one of the limited edition prints from the Quilts: 1700-2010 exhibition that was at the V&A last year. It is actually the first piece that I’ve used from the pack that I bought after I had been to see the exhibition last year. This particular print is based on a fabric used in a patchwork quilt from the late 18th century. (Don’t shoot the messenger but the fabrics associated with the exhibition are currently on offer in the V&A shop!)

Knitted Mathematics

Today, via a post about an obscure pattern in a Ravelry forum thread, I stumbled across Woolly Thoughts for the first time. In their own words:

We are designers of mathematical knitwear. Or perhaps we are mathematical designers of knitwear. Whatever you want to call us, many of our designs are simple geometric shapes combined to make elaborate patterns.

But that is not all that we do.

We are mathematicians at heart and so most of what we do has a mathematical basis.

I’ve always thought that there should be a way for me to combine my love of maths and knitting but never taken the time or effort to investigate and now I don’t have to, it’s all been done for me!

I love geometric designs, especially when there’s a particular mathematical thought behind them, so I was just blown away by their selection of throw patterns. I ended up buying the booklet for Double Vision, mainly thanks to the beautiful pictures of finished items. There are lots of other things on there, not just throws, so it’s worth taking some time to have a wander round the site. They don’t publish patterns as such, the booklets are more like guidelines, leaving plenty of room for your own interpretation.

Double Vision takes a lot of yarn so I’m unlikely to be knitting any of their other patterns any time soon, although there are a couple that I’m thinking would translate well to painted canvases to decorate our new flat and another couple that I’d love to make up as cushion covers. Apparently I’ve been well and truly inspired!

I also received a very friendly email from them along with the electronic delivery of my pattern, which given my recent ranting about customer service, was much appreciated.