October 2012

Crocheting the Coral Reef (Hyperbolic Crochet)

Mathematicians knew about hyperbolic planes, but could not show it using flat surfaces. Creating a hyperbolic plane with paper is very tedious and almost impossible. In June 1997, Daina Taimiða was listening to a lecture by David W. Henderson about hyperbolic planes noticed that paper was not a good medium for showing this concept. Knowing how to knit and crochet, she made her first crocheted hyperbolic plane and could show other mathematicians the way it should look. You can read her mathematical and crochet approach on

Turns out, the shapes of coral reefs and many sea creatures such as the sea slug are actually hyperbolic. In 2003, twin sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim decided to show the environmental impact of the warming of the oceans on coral reefs by creating the shapes and exhibiting them in a way that people would understand. They started the Institute For Figuring (IFF), a non-profit organization in Los Angeles, California to combine math, marine biology, and crocheting to discuss the environmental crisis of global warming. With the help of public they have created crocheted coral reef exhibits for the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), The Hayward (London), the Science Gallery (Dublin), and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (Washington D.C.). More than 3 million people have visited these exhibitions and learned from them. For more information watch Margaret talk about this project:

I Love Yarn Day

October 12, 2012 is designated as the I Love Yarn Day. This designation is to promote knitting, crocheting, and any other craft that uses yarn. On this day, show your love for your art by wearing badges made of yarn; donate your knit/crochet pieces for worthy causes such as chemo caps, prayer shawls, baby items, etc. For more information check out:

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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