Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Tangrams and knitting
My son is working on the classic Geometry tangram project, Lewis Carroll's concepts for Alice in Wonderland. He's figured out the Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit. Next come the Mad Hatter and the cranky Queen. I think just about every Geometry student has tackled this project at one time or another. And, believe it or not, there are solutions on the internet. Cheating sure wasn't that easy when I took Geometry (admittedly a really long time ago).
I haven't enlightened A about the solutions. And, bless him, it hasn't occurred to him to look.
Tangrams remind me of the complex interrelationship of knits and purls to create dimension and pattern. Geometry is at the heart of knitting design - slopes and angles, lines and planes - calculating proportions exactly is the difference between good design and bad fit.
Math was never my strong suit. I'm a writer, not a calculator!
But I'm going to have to overcome my reluctance to do the math as I embark on my first major design. I have in mind a long, hip-hiding, figure-flattering, perfectly fitted, kimono-style sweater. There will definitely be math.