February 27, 2011

About crochet

Posted in Math and Science at 12:07 pm by changisme

Recently, I was gifted a few balls of yarn during an episode of internet withdrawal*. I started started to remember all the crochet patterns I was taught in school and by my grandparents, singles, doubles, squares, puffs, etc. Once upon a time when I was still young and idealistic (cough cough), I didn’t like crochet, because I felt it was one of those things I shouldn’t do if I didn’t want to conform to domestic femininity. My grandma never taught my male cousin to crochet, but told me that little girls should learn such things, together with how to use a sewing machine and how to cook (it turns out my cousin is a better cook now). I loved all the crocheted gifts my grandma made me, slippers, purses and hats, but I resisted really getting into it myself.

The funny thing was, I liked learning it, but I told myself, learning this is just piety. Now that I’m picking it up again, I feel less resistant. I don’t know if it’s because I’m starting to conform to traditional female roles, or better, I feel comfortable enough about my sexual identity that I don’t need to avoid some symbol because it signifies ideals contrary to my belief. Similarly, I’ve been wearing pink more. I used to love pink in my elementary years, but since puberty, I felt that I shouldn’t like that colour. Either because it’s not cool, or because it’s too girlie. Now I just feel, gosh, pink really simulate my visual cortex!

Crochet has a very geometric charm that goes even beyond cross-stitches, which is another one of my grandparents love. In crochet, how shapes are defined is very interesting, such as what makes a square square are its corners or vertices, while in geometry, we name convex polygons by their vertices because of this identifiability. Another very interesting part about crochet is how shapes affect one another. Often times, if there is a curve, the curvature is almost always determined by the shape next to it. In geometry, arc AB is not simply defined by points A and B, but also another point O at the center of the circle arc AB resides. Aside from these parallels, it’s also interesting to observe how two dimensional shapes assemble and forms a curved surface in the third dimension. I wonder if you could crochet a Klein bottle without breaking a yarn….

Last but definitely not least, I’ve been watching Star Trek and 3rd Rock from the Sun while crocheting. It’s much better than watching than while doing homework!


*while I was away from the computer, Zhangfei put “…. suffering from an episode of JON RULES KAREN DROOLS WOOOO”. And I’m very mature as to footnote this original line… just for proper practice…