Botanica Mathematica

a textile taxonomy of mathematical plant forms

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knitted chanterelles

knitted chanterelles by MadeleineS
knitted chanterelles, a photo by MadeleineS on Flickr.

Whoops! this picture was originally posted without any text – sorry.  I was testing a new uploading app for Flikr and hadn’t realised it had appeared on the blog too.

Anyway these cute little knits are a couple of hyperbolic chanterelle mushrooms that I knitted up using different increase methods.  The knit front and back method is definitely more realistic but the holes from the yarn over technique create interesting patterns of their own.

So how do you make one?  These are knitted in slightly heavy double-knitting weight yarn on 4.5mm circular needles but you can make them bigger or smaller by choosing different yarn and needles.  Cast on 6 stitches and work a short i-cord stalk (6 rows or so). Now increase every fourth stitch till you get 8 stitches.  After that it’s a bit too big to work as i-cord so work flat stocking stitch instead but slow down the increase rate.  On the plain rows increase every fourth stitch.  On the purl rows don’t increase at all.  After about 20 rows cast off and you should have something that looks like one of the mushrooms in the photo.

Have a go! Have fun with it and let us know how you get on.


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Botanica Mathematica at Edinburgh’s first Maker Faire

Yesterday was our first proper outing for Botanica Mathematica. We took all our specimens and workshop kit to Mini Maker Faire at Summerhall, Edinburgh and let the hordes of people join in with what we’d been up to.

The venue is a former vetinary college and a lot of the original fittings are still in place – like the display cases at the back of this photo. We filled them with highlighted pieces of work and had two small tables for display, all of which you’ll see in the photo gallery on the right (click it to see the full set. There was also a large communal table for vistors to work at. we had wool from our Madeleine’s stash, some lovely exotic yarns donated by Suzanne McEndoo and a large collection of wools from our commercial sponsor McAree Bros, Howe Street Edinburgh.

People were very keen to get stuck in with the hyperbolic crochet. We couldn’t have coped with the demand without the assistance of Carmen Moran and Jo MacRae from Craft Reactor.

Thanks are also due to Edinburgh International Science Festival for setting up such an exciting cross disciplinary event. The ultimate thank you, however, goes to the audience for being so open to all the weird and wonderful ideas on display. If even half the people who took pattern leaflets away send us a binary bonsai we’ll have a forest of the little trees!