Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: March 2004

About Mobius Strips

Grace and I have been chatting over the past week on making mobius strips. Searching on the web on mobius strips, I found that there are quite a few directions for making mobius strips. Some are done by making a long strip, then grafting the start and end together after making a half twist. Some are done with that funky “knit into the bottom of the stitch” business that had always made my eyes crossed thinking about it. Then, there are the misnomers.

The last category is when you accidently put a twist in the cast on, when you are connecting it in a round. I’ve seen various places where people call it a mobius. It’s not. It’s just a full twist mistake.

First, let’s go back to the definition of a mobius. The mobius strip only has one edge and one surface.

Exercise #1:

  1. take a long strip of paper
  2. pull the ends together to form a loop (as you would when you make a paper chain)
  3. turn one end one half turn
  4. tape the ends together

What you have now has one edge and one surface. This is a mobius strip. The coolest and simplest 2 dimensional object in the world. Nay, universe. This is the first method for knitting a mobius scarf described in the first paragraph.

Exercise #2: Okay, let’s do another experiment.

  1. take a long strip of paper
  2. pull the ends together to form a loop
  3. turn one end a full turn
  4. tape the ends together.

Can you see the difference? The second loop has 2 edges and 2 surfaces. This is not a mobius strip. This is what happens when you accidently join your circular knitting with a single twist in the cast on.

Let’s take a look at this in terms of knitted fabric. Follow the link for the pictorial on knitting a mobius. I’ve moved it so that you don’t have to take a nap while waiting for this page to load unless you really, really want to see how I did it.

Mobius Basket

Mobius Basket, felted

I present you, Mobius Basket! I must say, I am itching to make another one right now. A tall skinny one to use as a pen/pencil holder. I’m going digging into my stash.

Spun Skein - Paradise Fibers Winter SolsticeIt was a beautiful day yesterday (70F +), so I took my spinning wheel outside and played for a bit. Every once in a while, a male Anna’s Hummingbird, in full mating plumage, would buzz over my head to get to the hummingbird feeder. What a beautiful sight. Our big disappointment in moving from the cottage is that we won’t be there for the nesting season. We had 2 hummingbird nests within 4 feet of the front door. I had never seen one before, and was hoping to see them build the nest and lay eggs.

Spring tip for Spinners: Gather up all that scrap fiber. You know, all that awful bits that are too horrible to spin. Put them in a mesh bag and hang them on a tree for the birds to gather for nesting materials.

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