The LA-based Institute for Figuring has installed several reefs of crocheted coral in the South Bank Centre and in the Hayward Gallery. Unfortunately in the Hayward photos were not allowed.

This is an image of the “toxic” reef, I believe. But it may also be the UK reef– contributions from UK crocheters for the project.

There is math involved– a hyperbolic plane to be exact, or in IF’s words, the “wild and unruly” space of non-Euclidean geometry. Coral grows in a hyperbolic structure. Cornell University mathmetician Diana Taimina discovered crochet was the perfect medium for demonstrating hyperbolic space. Dr Taimina’s record plane, featured in the Smithsonian’s collection of American Mathematical Models, began with 24 stitches, with stitches added in every stitch, to measure 369 inches around the perimeter.  It weighs nearly a pound, but the piece is just four inches across. It’s interesting to note Dr. Taimina tried knitting a hyperbolic plane but the number of stitches on the needle became unruly– it is possible, but impractical. It has been postulated that our universe may in fact be hyperbolic in structure. A crocheted universe…now there’s a thought.


Knitting at Parliament, originally uploaded by dansette.

OK, so this post is a bit late. Last weekend my friends Kate and Alice and I formed a team for the I Knit treasure hunt, put together by the fabulous Craig and Gerard at the shop

We ended up going around all kinds of secret corners as well as places mobbed with tourists, all the while knitting as we walked and tried to solve cryptic clues. (We realized that as right-brained knitters we weren’t that great at solving lateral-thinking puzzles. While knitting in crowds. Our competitive edge just started to wane!). A tourist did clock me knitting in front of Big Ben so it I can feel satisfied that I was actually Knitting in Public (I was knitting a scarf for the challenge non-stop for the total 4 hours of the hunt! Knitting while walking through tourist hoards! Through mobbed squares! But my scarf wasn’t that long compared to other teams– even though I’m a loose knitter, some teams seemed to be using needles much larger than the size 6’s in the rules. I’m sure we could have also gotten farther in the hunt if we had Google on our mobiles or had other pocket-brain devices to consult!) Next year I might just look for something that entails the mighty spectacle of a right-brained knitters together somewhere en masse! Flash mob knitting– that’s the ticket!

(I had many other great images taken by Kate but for some reason WordPress will let me upload them but not put them in the post. Drat.)

Favourites, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

I started a new blog about my other passion, beer. I wish more women loved beer. It seems the machismo of beer marketing and beer culture in general really puts women off. I’m trying to do what little I can to hopefully change that in my corner of cyberspace, and maybe even find other women to raise a cyber-pint with!

I knit these from a pattern by ysolda– a ravelry download which at the moment of this posting seems to be broken. They were fun to knit and are very warm. They used just a bit over 50g of Peruvian Highland Wool. It’s amazing what you can do with short rows!

Capecho Shrug, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

I finally finished Norah Gaughan’s Capecho shrug, after working on it for the last five months.

I had to redo the collar and make it thinner because the original stood up to my ears and covered my chin.

The problems with fit on this pattern were universal, apparently– it is very wide and short and of course with my generous bust that was a fit challenge. I ended up kitting extra partial pentagons under the arms and at the bottom front so that my breasts would be totally covered.

The yarn I chose– Schoeller Stahl Merino Stretch– is very stretchy. It was hard to really determine gauge and now I’m thinking maybe this was the wrong yarn choice as the texture seems to muddle the stitch definition. Anyway, I’m still rather pleased with it, even though it seems to be a rather impractical garment. It is some of the more impressive looking knitting I’ve undertaken, even though the execution is actually quite simple.

Calm after the storm, originally uploaded by iknitlondon.

Two of my favourite knitters, Craig and Gerard from the I Knit London shop which just moved to a new, bigger and more central location in Waterloo. Woohoo. They have a lot to celebrate.

They had an opening party and the pear cider was flowing freely. These men are really generous spirits. I don’t know how they do it all! My favourite moment was watching Craig sat on the sofa, pounding out shelf labels on yellow paper using his old 1930’s typewriter. If it’s worth doing…

I brought Mike along in hopes he might start knitting again but he’s feigned amnesia and impatience for learning anew. Oh well. He found this new Regia Sock yarn– the color schemes masterminded by Kaffe “king of 80s intarsia” Fassett himself. Mike was like, “Who is this joker on the label?” It was hard to explain given my mixed feelings for Fassett who has a lot of double consonants in his name. When I told Mike I would make socks for him out of this yarn, he felt a lot more generous about it.