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Knitting and Math: A Closer Look

Knitting and Math: A Closer Look
Date: February 4, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

A Lecture by Jill Schoof

Knitting and Math: A Closer Look will discuss the many ways that knitting and other fiber arts assist mathematicians, while the mathematics also inspires art.

Preregistration is required and a ZOOM link will be sent to participants.  A list of selected books can be found below.


 Many areas of math which may be very abstract in textbooks can be understood intuitively using knitting and crocheting and other fiber arts.  The books of Sarah Marie Belcastro and Debbie New have led a generation of mathematicians to utilize fiber arts in modeling, and have led fiber artists to explore mathematics-based designs.

Use of knitting and other fiber arts is a very exciting tool for teaching abstract math. Unlike computer graphics, a knitted object is flexible and can be physically manipulated and offers insights into the mathematics.  Mathematical objects that can be made using knitting and crochet include topological surfaces, polygons, Mobius strips, Sierpinski triangles, and hyperbolic surfaces.

These surfaces are interesting artistically as well as mathematically, and we will look at many beautiful and interesting examples of work in which Mathematics serves Art, and vice versa.

Selected books – introduction to mathematical knitting (and other fiber arts)

  • Belcastro, Sarah Marie, Crafting by Concepts
  • Belcastro, Sarah Marie, Making Mathematics with Needlework.
  • Taimina, Daina. Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes
  • New, Debbie. Unexpected Knitting
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