Tag Archives: knitting

Pi(e) Day

Book Cover of How to Bake Pi by Eugenia ChengI know basically every celebration of pi day (March 14, because pi = 3.14…) turns into a celebration of pie, and I’d never say no to pie, but what if we could celebrate with delicious pies while also learning more about what math is at the same time? Conveniently enough, Eugenia Cheng, author of  X + Y, has already done this for us:  How to Bake π.

Now, I’m going to take a bit of a detour away from tasty delicious pie and into the world of knitting for a brief moment. Upon asking a college classroom what came to mind when asked about mathematics, math professor Sara Jensen found the top two words were “calculation” and “equation”. Asked the same question, professional mathematicians gave quite a different response: “critical thinking” and “problem-solving”. Which prompted Jensen to “eliminate pencil, paper, calculator (gasp) and textbook from the classroom completely. Instead, we talked, used our hands, drew pictures… And of course, we knit” (Jensen, Why I Teach Math Through Knitting), in an attempt to bridge the gap between how students approached math (calculating equations, memorizing proofs…drudgery) and how math could actually be used as a tool, engaging learners by making the learning interesting and more hands-on. I’ve joked before about how I’ve done more linear algebra while knitting than learning it in class, and certainly with more of a vested interest in how the abstract numbers translate to the physical object! And I’ve also thanked Pythagoras before for imparting his theorem to us while figuring out how to calculate length as I knit on a bias. In fact, I have found myself wanting to engage more with math as I knitted more and more, making alterations and designing my own items – it’s all the same math I learned by rote back in school, approached with a lot more enthusiasm now in comparison, and willingly at that!

And it’s exactly this work of transforming how we think of math, from equations and calculations to problem-solving and critical thinking, that Cheng does in How to Bake Pi. She makes math fun to learn, and accessible to audiences of varying levels of math knowledge, which is quite a feat!

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Me-Made May 2017

MMM2017If you do just about any amount of crafting and you are aware of the internet, you might have heard of Me-Made May, which was started a number of years back by a sewing blogger. If you haven’t heard about it yet, this year’s your chance to take part!

So what is MMM?

It’s a month that is dedicated to encouraging you to wear the items you’ve made – whether you sew, knit, crochet, quilt, or anything else – so that you love and treasure these items while also putting them to use. (As opposed to leaving them forever in a pristine pile for photography purposes, or out of fear that you’ll ruin the item somehow by wearing it.) You spent the time and effort making your clothes: you should wear them with pride! It’s not really about making new clothing, but rather about appreciating and celebrating the things you’ve made and are making, and the entire process. You’re free to make new clothing and accessories this month, and you’re also free to not – no pressure, whatever you choose to do! The most important thing is to have fun!

You decide your own commitment levels, so if you want to try to incorporate one item that you’ve sewn/knit/made into your outfit every week, that’s perfectly ok. And if you want to wear 100% handmade every day, all month long, that’s totally ok too!

Best of all, it’s open to any and everyone, of all ages and experience levels! See below for a couple of items from a selection of crafts to help you get started (or to give you some inspiration) for this month! Continue reading