Homemade Topological Shapes

So you dabble in a little recreational mathematics and read up on a few funny surfaces in topology. Fair enough, that's fun. And maybe you'd love actually to hold and explore those surfaces. Sometimes that's easy; anyone with a little paper, some scissors, and some tape can make a Möbius band. But making a decent Klein Bottle isn't so easy. (You can, however, buy some very lovely Klein Bottles from Cliff Stoll (the well-known author) at www.kleinbottle.com. Go there anyway; it's a great read even if you don't buy anything.) I started wondering about what I could do in terms of making some of these shapes--even simple ones like Möbius strips--using my (very) meager skills at handicrafts. Believe me, I'm really no artist or sculptor, but I've done some neat things with knitting needles and crochet hooks that I think are getting cool enough that others should see them. So don't panic, none of this is difficult (or I couldn't have done it).

I don't know how these pages should be organized; I guess I'd best just do what I can and develop it more as we go. Eventually maybe I'll put up a proper gallery of pictures of these weird things. Let me know what you think!

Möbius Strip

Klein Bottle

Real Projective Plane

What Do You Think?

So what do you think about these little projects? Aside from stuff like, "You have way too much time on your hands!" I don't, but that doesn't affect anything. Are these things truly innovative? Perhaps, probably not, but I don't really know. Please let me know if you have any comments on all this, or ideas for new ones. Thanks!

More Mathematical Knitting

For more stuff on mathematical knitting, the best source is sarah-marie's mathematical knitting pages. My work was shown at the AMS Special Session on Mathematics and Mathematics Education in Fiber Arts, thanks to sarah-marie's involvement. Photos of same can be found at her photo page. My stuff is on the second page of the gallery. Please take a look!