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Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects [Hardcover]

sarah-marie belcastro , Carolyn Yackel

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Book Description

12 Dec 2007
Mathematical craftwork has become extremely popular, and mathematicians and crafters alike are fascinated by the relationship between their crafts. The focus of this book, written for mathematicians, needleworkers, and teachers of mathematics, is on the relationship between mathematics and the fiber arts (including knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, and quilting). Each chapter starts with an overview of the mathematics and the needlework at a level understandable to both mathematicians and needleworkers, followed by more technical sections discussing the mathematics, how to introduce the mathematics in the classroom through needlework, and how to make the needlework project, including patterns and instructions.

Frequently Bought Together

Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects + Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes + Crafting by Concepts: Fiber Arts and Mathematics
Price For All Three: 74.71

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The most awesome book I’ve ever seen…
I opened the book and was hooked. … One thing I found wonderful about the book is that, while I’ve had quite a bit of math, I’m not a mathematician and struggle reading math journal articles. However, I haven’t had any difficulty reading and understanding the technical sections of the projects. While the authors use mathematical notation and equations to describe the work, they keep it at a level that any scientifically literate person should be able to understand. …
—FCIWYPSC blog, January 2011

The book contains interesting pictures and photographs. Anyone interested in mathematics or needlework will find new, interesting topics and inspiration in the book.
—The European Mathematical Society, October 2011

A ‘confluence of mathematics and fiber arts’ written for mathematicians, mathematics teachers, and devotees of needlework … . Thank you for providing me the opportunity to review this excellent book.
—Margaret A. Reilly, Ph.D., Association for Women in Science, August 2010

… The color photographs are delectable, and the illustrations in color are very helpful. It makes a great coffee table book for people to flip through and then decide to explore further. … As a member of the mathematics community, I thank the two editors for building a community of mathematicians and needleworkers, and for bringing their passion in all they do into their professional lives. …
AWM Newsletter, January 2010

…a charming book. It includes precise and detailed instructions for projects both practical and whimsical. The mathematics applied to knitting is particularly useful in the construction of knitted garments, providing simple formulae for ensuring that stitches are picked up evenly. The analysis of all possible variations in basic stocking stitch is fascinating, and the innovative ideas for the construction of knitted garments encourages further experiments in producing garments without seams.
Australian Mathematical Society Gazette, May 2009

…demonstrate[es] how knitting and other needlework techniques can provide interesting and useful models and the construction methods themselves yield interesting mathematical questions.
CMS Notes, November 2008

This book provides straightforward applications of traditional needlework skills to mathematically inspired craft projects. … contributes something quite innovative to the two areas it unites. More importantly, perhaps, this book will be an important starting point for scholars who want to show that the traditional activities of women require at least a tacit understanding of mathematics, and the mathematics embedded in such activities can be challenging, novel, and interesting.
Journal of Mathematics and the Arts, October 2008

For mathematically minded readers who know about and practice the fiber arts, this is a nice source of ideas and information … almost any reader will learn about both art and mathematics in this well-organized and amply-illustrated book.
Mathematical Reviews, August 2008

At first glance the patterns capture the reader’s attention: they are colorful, stylish, and have clear instructions. A second, slower paging through the book reveals the structural symmetry of each design, and the ‘ah, ha’ of mathematics makes its presence known … . Fiber arts enthusiasts who would like to improve their design skills will find the book useful and inspiring … . This meshing of mathematics theory and fiber arts applications is also useful for people who teach mathematics.
The Stereopticon, August 2008

Beautifully illustrated, and with complete patterns and the mathematics behind each project, this book successfully connects the worlds of mathematics and the fiber arts … will inspire mathematicians, mathematics educators, and crafters.
L'Enseignement Mathématique, August 2008

… an excellent synthesis, one that offers enough ideas to keep geeks (of both the crafty and mathematical varieties) busy with needles and yarn, pencil and paper, for years to come.
American Scientist, May 2008

Profusely illustrated, the text is fully accessible to non-specialist general readers with an interest in needlecraft, in the mathematics underlying needlecraft, as well as having a very special attraction for math students and fiber art enthusiasts alike.
The Midwest Book Review, February 2008

… I am soon charmed by the way that the laying out in mathematical terms of a process I know by heart can inspire a confident sense of knowledge.
—The London Mathematical Society, February 2008

I encourage you to let the authors’ passion for their projects speak for itself. It takes more than exclamation points to convey enthusiasm, and these authors have it leaping off the page throughout the book.
SIAM, December 2007

This book demonstrates the interplay between mathematics and needlework, including stories of what happens when mathematicians turn to their hobbies but still continue to think about mathematics. I hope this book will encourage mathematicians to develop more tactile ways to explore abstract ideas and to make them more accessible to their students. But even if you are just looking for ‘math craft’ ideas, this book—with clear instructions and beautiful pictures—is for you. Have fun with it!
—Daina Taimina, adjunct professor of mathematics, Cornell University

… I wish this had been one of my textbooks when I was in school.
—Norah Gaughan, author of Knitting Nature

A wonderful and validating book: mathematics from your fingertips to your brain and back again!
—Helaman Ferguson, mathematical sculptor

About the Author

sarah-marie belcastro and Carolyn Yackel earned their Ph.D.s in mathematics from the University of Michigan. Carolyn Yackel is an Associate Professor in the mathematics department at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, specializing in connections between mathematics and art. sarah-marie belcastro is a Research Associate at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special attraction for math students and fiber art enthusiasts alike. 3 Feb 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Knowledgeably compiled and deftly co-edited by Sarah-Marie Belcastro (Co-Director, Hamshire College Summer Studies in mathematics and Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Smith College) and Carolyn Yackel (Mathematics Instructor, Mercer University), "Making Mathematics With Needlework: Ten Papers And Ten Projects" is unique in that it combines mathematics papers with fiber arts project instructions. Each chapter showcases a particular project and that project features sections on mathematics and mathematics education along with detailed instructions for completing the needlecraft project. The featured projects include a Quilted Mobius Band (making a mobius quilt); Diphantine Equations (making a bi-directional hat); Sierpinski Variatins (making a Sierpinski shawl); a Two Knit Stiches Tours; Symmetry Patterns in Cross-Stitch; Algebraic Structure (making algebraic socks); Fortunatus's Purse; (K)Not Cables and Braids (making a pillow of Braid Equivalence); The Graph Theory of Blackwork Embroidery (embroidering a Holbeinian Graph); and making Hyperbolic Pants. Profusely illustrated, the text is fully accessible to non-specialist general readers with an interest in needlecraft, in the mathematics underlying needlecraft, as well as having a very special attraction for math students and fiber art enthusiasts alike.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous geeky idea 28 May 2013
By C. Eimer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this book along with its sequel (Crafting by Concepts) for my daughter's college graduation gift. She adores it. I would recommend this book (with its sequel) for those who love crafting and higher mathematics and who have the background to understand the technical papers presented with the projects.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mama says very neat 6 Jan 2013
By George Settle Whittemore - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Got this for my wife for Christmas. She says she'd only give it 4 stars because, "It has a fairly narrow range of people being interested in this subject, but it's a great way to show off mathematical concepts in something you can wear." She loves it. It's great for anyone that is crafty and loves math.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting for math maniacs and needleworkers 13 April 2013
By Dee leach - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book proved to be what I was expecting. A lot of math and a lot of needlework patterns to back up the math. I was not so interested in the math but the knitting/crocheting/cross-stitching etc that was featured. I have not read through the entire book yet, but I plan on doing so.
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