This week, Joyce and I are looking at back-to-school with a couple of bookmarks. Hers is crochet, mine is knit. You can see them both and get the patterns on the left side of this post.
My bookmark is double-knit in stripes, but not just any stripes. My stripes describe a small portion of the Fibonacci Sequence. This is really getting into the "Math" portion of "Math4Knitters". If you want to explore this issue a lot further, you should visit The Home of Mathematical Knitting. Sarah-Marie has written a fabulous and rich annotated list of links to explore geeky knitting to your heart's content.
The Fibonacci Sequence is described by starting with a 1 and another 1, then adding each number to the number before it to get the next number. So, the sequence continues with 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144...
Stripes that are formed using the Fibonacci Sequence work in at least two ways. One way, knit with contrasting colors, the stripes grow larger or smaller in a pleasant, natural-looking manner. Knit with two very similar colors, the stripes aren't very obvious. This is a good way to blend together two dye lots of the same color if you happen to run out of your first color.
Why does the Fibonacci Sequence look natural and pleasant? If you take the time to count them, the individual seeds of pinecones, daisies and sunflowers add up to Fibonacci numbers. The numbers of petals of flowers are often (not always) Fibonacci numbers. Also, the number of branches on a tree are Fibonacci numbers. When something turns up often in nature, we are used to seeing it. Maybe that makes it seem more pleasant to us. So, we see it often, so we like it, even though we don't think about it. That's just my theory, anyway.
If you have not worked in double knitting before, this is a great, low-stress project to try it. It makes the stripes very easy to work, with no extra ends to darn when it's all over. It's also a good little stashbuster. Try one in your school colors, or just try two colors to see how they will look together before you use that combination in another project. Double knitting is easier than it sounds, and it's fun. You may know that a purl stitch is just the back of a knit stitch, but working in double knitting will make you BELIEVE it. The method I used in this week's pattern is extra-fast, because you work two rows at the same time.