Geeky things to do with bits of string

2009 September 12

I knit. Sometimes I crochet, and sometimes I sew, but mostly, lately, I knit. My Nanna taught me when I was a kid, and I’ve done it on and off ever since.

Sometimes people look at me funny for liking textile crafts, as if it were a strangely un-reconstructed 50s housewife sort of thing to be into. I disagree, but let’s save that for some other time.

Instead, have some geeky things made out of string:

  • Crocheted coral reef.
  • Woolly Thoughts publish patterns for mathematically-inspired afghans, cushions, and more.
  • On a similar note, the book Making Mathematics With Needlework: 10 Papers and 10 Projects.
  • A hat shaped like the Tardis, R2D2, or of course the classic Jayne hat.
  • Space invaders socks.
  • Binary scarf — knit your own message in ASCII, or use Unicode for a wider shawl, I suppose.
  • Tetris baby blanket.
  • Captain Capacitor: “He’s ready to save the day with his superhuman energy storing capabilities.”
  • Kara Thrace sweater.
  • Stargate dishcloth or Star Trek potholders.
  • The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Brain Art including a knitted brain. “While our artists make every effort to insure accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording.”

Got any more to add to the list?

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This post was written by skud.

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17 Responses
  1. Bene permalink
    September 12, 2009

    Big knitter here! I love the Nautie, Francois the lobster, and this here cuddly scorpion.

    And of course, the classic uterus.

    I’ve only made the lobster, but it was a very fun knit.

    • Skud permalink*
      September 12, 2009

      “And, of course, the uterus is not normally bubblegum pink.” Wait, it isn’t? *disappointed*

      • Bene permalink
        September 12, 2009

        Mine is black like my soul.

        …sorry, I had to go there.

  2. rivenwanderer permalink
    September 12, 2009

    I crochet–geeky things I’ve made include a nautilus inspired by the nautie linked above, a Klein Bottle dice pouch, and a sunner (marine wildlife from the 1997 adventure game Riven).

    Fandom Knit is a cool LJ comm about the fannish side of geek knitting/crochet.

    I personally love the way crocheting engages the 3-dimensional visualization bits of my brain! It’s immensely satisfying to improvise patterns and see good approximations of the shapes I wanted emerge bit by bit. I’m really intrigued by crochet pattern generation and wish it was open source so I could see how it works!

    • Skud permalink*
      September 12, 2009

      I can’t believe I forgot to mention klein bottles! I’ve even checked out this klein bottle hat site before. Not to mention moebius knitting a la Cat Bordhi.

    • Bene permalink
      September 12, 2009

      What a cute sunner! I keep meaning to make a Klein bottle hat but I am Lazy. And of course there is the Moebius strip stuff, can’t believe I forgot that.

  3. Mackenzie permalink
    September 12, 2009

    I’m a senior, working on a BS in Computer Science. Consequently, I keep being asked what I’m going to do after I finish my degree. Truthfully, I don’t know, but I’m toying with some ideas. One is a craft shop specializing in textiles. Mentioning this gets interesting reactions…especially the time I simplified it to “become a weaver…you know, making fabric?” My Operating Systems professor was very confused by the “craft shop for textiles, middle school math/computer teacher, or maybe computational linguistics*” response since none are tech (er, I think I’d disagree on that last one, but ok…). I told him tech is a hobby.

    * Mary keeps mentioning computational linguistics on here, and I’m a language geek aside from being a computer geek…so this may actually be a good fit.

  4. Skud permalink*
    September 12, 2009

    Katamari Damacy earmuffs or a hat the size of the baby wearing it.

    Space Invader cushion

    Amigurumi space robot, Star Wars characters, Wall-E and Eve.

    Moar robots.

    • Naomi Parkhurst permalink
      September 13, 2009

      Mobius Stitch
      DNA scarf
      Geekcraft Ravelry Group (for registered Ravelry users only)
      Lorenz Manifold

      And I didn’t know that Alan Turing used to knit geometric shapes! (There’s just a short reference in a longer article about math, knitting, and crocheting.)

  5. Melissa permalink
    September 13, 2009

    Probably old news now, but Discworld in crochet is one I came across recently.

    • Dorothea Salo permalink
      September 13, 2009

      I hadn’t seen that one! Thanks! That made my day.

  6. Dori permalink
    September 13, 2009

    Somewhat tangentially: does anyone here know of a good book or web site or video for someone to learn how to knit? I took classes once but got nowhere as I didn’t have anything to refer back to when I got home.

    Every time I see cool stuff like this, it makes me want to try again, but I have no idea where to start.

    • Skud permalink*
      September 13, 2009 is awesome and has many videos. That and a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s “Knitting Without Tears” would be my recommendation, given that you already took a class (even if you don’t remember it so well).

      Btw, if you don’t have an account of Ravelry ( you should get one! The pattern search engine and the forums are both fantastic resources, especially if you’re learning.

    • Bene permalink
      September 14, 2009

      I personally picked up a lot from Debbie Stoller’s book Stitch and Bitch, and Skud’s recs are good too.

  7. Layla permalink
    September 14, 2009

    lol, knitted brain!! :)

    My nana taught me how to knit too, eons ago..
    I recently knitted some dish cloths, but that was it.. (or pot holders, more likely – we’re afraid to wash dishes with them!)

    I’d like to improve my knitting though not sure if I have the patience for bigger things.. (I once started a pullover and got to only 1/5th or so..)

    /goes off to search for organic yarn in Europe.. :)/

  8. Kat permalink
    September 14, 2009

    I have never knitted; I do beads and wire. Have made something like the binary scarf, though — binary (two-color) seed-bead bracelets, with messages in them. (This line in the instructions jumps out at me: “You can choose the order of ones and zeroes any way you like; I find it’s easiest to do it randomly.” Sure, you *can*, but then it’s a little embarrassing when people ask you what your scarf says…)

  9. Skud permalink*
    September 18, 2009

    Periodic table sweater.

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