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Totally Sensible

January 20, 2010
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Two days ago, I took a day off from revision. I had other stuff to do in the morning, and decided that the afternoon should be all mine.

Then I decided that the best use of my time would be learning to crochet lace. Like you do. I got books out of the library and everything.


I can think of a few possible explanations for this.

  1. I love John Lewis’s haberdashery section beyond all reason and they had a sale on soft, thin yarns.
  2. I’m rebelling against my maths side by finding ever more time-consuming crafts projects.
  3. I’m indulging my maths side by finding crafts that use letters and numbers instead of words in their instructions.
  4. It’s just one more skill that might come in handy in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse.
  5. I’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy.


Next term, to mix things up a bit, I will be mainly attempting to knit a klein bottle.* Because I’m just that cool.

*link is a youtube video of one of my lecturers. The transcript would boil down to: “klein bottle: a shape that doesn’t really exist in 3 dimensions.  However, I have made one with pipecleaners. And if it were solid, and you tried to paint one side of it, you’d end up painting all of it. Also, if you get bored, you could wear it as a hat.”

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 7:46 pm

    I’ve considered learning to crochet, it’s something to do with your hands during bus rides, watching television, or other times with reading isn’t particularly easy. It doesn’t require a lot of gear, just a hook and yarn. And you’ve got something that’s potentially a weapon if you need it.

  2. January 20, 2010 10:26 pm

    Actually, I recommend knitting for that – it’s less fiddly and more repetitive, so it’s easier when you also have to keep an eye on your surroundings.

    And yes, knitting needles and crochet hooks are indeed potential weapons. But the problem with that is that, in the real world, if your potential attacker is much stronger than you, the odds are that your needles/ hook will end up lodged somewhere painful for you, not for them.
    Which is one of the reasons I use brightly coloured plastic children’s needles. Less pointy, less threatening, more bendy. And less likely to get you thrown off your bus for looking menacing!

  3. January 21, 2010 12:31 am

    Well Mom only crochets, so I don’t know too much about knitting (not all that much about crocheting either). If I were looking to add another hobby, I have a bunch of knot books I collect. I’d probably work on that. Especially since knots are of mathematical interest. (I don’t have a lot of interest in topology, but I wouldn’t call it dull)

    Well, I’m 6’2″ and about 19 stone, so I don’t often get concerned about being overpowered. However, for that matter, I also don’t have much concern about being attacked. The potential weapon aspect has only ever been an idle consideration, not something I’ve given serious thought to.

  4. January 21, 2010 12:56 pm

    On a related note, I saw a youtube video of some bloke doing crochet tutorials. He started off by saying that it was totally not a “sissy” thing to do, since it was related to working with knots. Presumably this is a more masculine hobby, in his mind.

    And… I’m 5’6″ and probably around 11 stone. Not tiny, but most men are still taller than me. I tend not to worry about being attacked, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered my belongings as potential weapons in a serious way. For example, keys are also not clever to use as a weapon, since they’re more likely to cut into the palm of your hand than actually inflict any harm on your assailant. I suspect the best weapons I actually carry are a) my voice, b) my teeth and c) my phone, for police-calling purposes.

  5. January 21, 2010 6:52 pm

    I thought your best weapon was always your mind. You did go ahead and get your brain steel plated and covered in spikes, right?

    Well, yes, technically, crotchet, knitting, and any other sort of textile work is all about rope work, for sufficiently small values of rope.

  6. January 21, 2010 8:49 pm

    Haha! Yes. Yes, I did. I used to have steel-capped boots to match, but they fell apart after I stomped about in them continuously for a couple of years.

    I wonder if that guy also considered creating doll houses to be masculine, on the grounds that it’s all about construction work, for sufficiently small values of construction!

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