Hat tip to Boing Boing for the link to a Science News article about how some mathematicians are using knitting and crocheting to create physical models of mathematic principles, from simple Mobius strips to, um, whatever this thing is. A hyperbolic plane! That’s it!
During the 2002 winter holidays, mathematician Hinke Osinga was
relaxing with some lace crochet work when her partner and mathematical
collaborator Bernd Krauskopf asked, "Why don’t you crochet something
useful?" Some crocheters might bridle at the suggestion that lace is
useless, but for Osinga, Krauskopf’s question sparked an exciting idea.
"I looked at him, and we thought the same thing at the same moment,"
Osinga recalls. "We realized that you could crochet the Lorenz
I am SO using that line on Jane the next time she is at loose ends. "I know, darling, why don’t you go crochet the Lorenz manifold?"
BoingBoing includes links to other nifty math-craft posts (including instructions for the aforementioned Lorenz manifold).