The Twists and Turns of a Moebius

I am a geek.  I freely admit this.  So it is fitting that the first design I ever sold would reflect my geekery.

Lace With A Twist Wrap – DRG Publishing Photo

I had thought a lot about making  a Crocheted Moebius as a sort of Poncho/wrap.  I had seen many patterns, but most were having you make a rectangle then add the twist and seam the ends together.

One of the lovely things about crocheting a moebius is that you can make a “true” moebius.  Taking a flat foundation, you twist it 180 degrees before joining in a ring.  That twist is the trick.

In case you aren’t certain what a moebius is, here is a photo of one made from a strip of paper.

Paper Moebius Strip

In Geometrical language a Moebius is an object with only one side and one edge.  Though, as you can see from the photo,  it appears to have 2 sides and 2 edges.

If you make a moebius yourself with a strip of paper you can test this.  Cut a strip about 1 inch wide and 10 or 12 inches long.  Twist the strip once and staple the ends together.  You can use a pencil to draw a continuous line that will meet up with the beginning point.

That line is drawn on the one side of the moebius.  When I made my moebius for these photos I used pinking shears on one edge so you can see how the edge becomes continuous.

That continuous edge works to your advantage when crocheting a moebius .  Each crocheted round creates what appears as a row on either side of your foundation round.  So it gives the look of 2 sides.  It’s a bit mind-boggling at times (one of the reasons I like geometry) and looking at the finished garment you would be certain there are 2 separately worked sides.

One trick with working rounds this way is to turn each round, otherwise you end up with one side of the foundation that is the “Right side” and the other the “Wrong side”.   By turning at the end of each round and working back the way you came you avoid that problem and the finished garment will appear more balanced.

Being the geek that I am, crocheting a moebius is a great deal of fun.  I find it lovely to work 1 round and end up with double the fabric length.  I know that technically I am not really doing less stitches for the accomplishment…but it is still a fun illusion.  For “Lace With A Twist Wrap” after 13 rounds from foundation to finishing it’s a wrap.

Addendum January 3, 2013: I’ve had requests for this pattern from a number of folks. I don’t own the pattern, it belongs to Crochet! Magazine/Annie’s Publishing. You may be able to acquire a back issue of the March 2010 magazine or if you get a digital subscription. Or contact Crochet! Magazine thru their website www.crochetmagazine.com. Hope that helps those of you on the search for this pattern. 

Frost and Snow

Backyard Forest dressed for Winter
Backyard Forest dressed for Winter

This weather is definitely inspiring me to get out the warm fibers and make something cozy.  Was just thinking this morning that my youngest is outgrowing all his winter gear.  May be time to make up a fun felted mitten pattern.

Anyone else in the Northern Hemisphere feeling the pull to play with the yarn and make something warm?

What If?

I have been asked many times where I get my ideas for my art pieces or crochet designs.  There isn’t really one simple answer. 

Some ideas seem to pop up into my conciousness fully formed.  Other times it is a vague wisp that wanders around in my brain and sketchbooks for weeks, months or years as it gathers more form. 

I have realized recently though that a great way to generate ideas was given to me when I was in college.  I had a professor in one of my writing seminars that said to develop a story one should always ask “what if…” and explore those ideas.

The same exercise can be applied to any creative process.  Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist or creative “type” you can use this.   If you look at a pattern and think, “What would that look like in a different color?”, you have just used the “What If”.

What if I take a tank top design and add this stitch pattern for sleeves?

What if I modify this stitch pattern to work in the round and make fingerless mitts from it?

What if I use these pieces of junk mail to create the colors and texture for a sculptural collage/painting?

What if I reinterpreted that knit sweater into crochet?

Of course “What if” often leads to “How do I”, but that is a topic for another day.