Author Archives: Zsuzsi

The Toroidal snark and knitting

A toroid is a donut shaped object, and a snark is an imaginary animal that is difficult to track down.  The website “toroidal snark” has many great links about the relationship between math and knitting.  Carolyn Yackel and Sarah-Marie Belcastro have put together this wonderful set of links which will give endless examples of patterns to choose from, or colour combinations, or objects that can be knitted. There are also links to talks about math and knitting.  This is a great hub of possibilities.

Image Courtesy: Made by Eva

Knitting, Math and the Great Barrier Reef

In a sixteen minute video, Margaret Wertheim, from “The Institute For Figuring … an organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and engineering”, gives a TED talk on the role of math in knitting and crochet, in a exhibition that brings attention to the Great Barrier Reef and the problems it is having because of global warming. Whether you are interested in the interplay or science and art or not, she exhibits some fantastic crochet and knitting work that is really worth a look.

Image courtesy:

Crochet Steam Engine Cover

Textile artist, Agata Oleksiak has completed her largest work covering a steam locomotive and two carriages with crochet, working round the clock through rain with a team in Lodz, Poland.  This work was created to commemorate the Polish Poet, Julian Tuwin whose poem celebrates the steam train history in Poland.

Advice for New Knitters by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

“When choosing a pattern, look for ones that have words such as “simple”, “basic”, and “easy”. If you see the words “intriguing”, “challenging”, or “intricate”, look elsewhere. 

If you happen across a pattern that says “heirloom”, slowly put down the pattern and back away.

“Heirloom” is knitting code for “This pattern is so difficult that you would consider death a relief”.

― Stephanie Pearl-McPheeAt Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Rethreads – Recycling Yarns

Reasons to recycle:

• ECONOMICAL and environmentally friendly.

• Yarn quality – thrift store finds such as angora, cashmere, alpaca, merino.

• Yarn colour – just the shade of pink you need.

How To:

1. Choose simple hand-knit garments made with good quality yarns and in good condition.

2. Unpick all seams and remove findings (buttons, zippers, etc.). Do not use seaming yarns for knitting. Use it to tie the skeins before soaking.

3. Unravel yarns – Use a ball-winder for speed. Tie any short lengths together in the same ball.

4. Wrap yarn in long skeins – use a ‘Niddy Noddy’ OR the back of a chair. Tie ends around skein.

5. Soak 10-15 minutes in HOT WATER with non-rinse soap such as ‘Eucalan’. The hot water is necessary to remove the kinks from acrylic yarns.

6. To wring out excess water in a top loading washer, rinse yarn in cool water. Then place skeins in the bottom of the empty washer and advance to spin cycle. DO NOT ADD WATER or AGITATE. Just spin.

7. Remove skeins and shake out. Hang to dry.

8. Using an umbrella swift and ball winder – wind yarn into balls.

9. And you are ready to knit or crochet!