# Knitting as computation

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Wouldnâ€™t LIFO be â€śLast In, First Out?â€ť

Yep, but never mind. Maggie Bowden wrote about knitting and computation in the seventies in Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man and a few people have followed her since. Always loved the analogy

The Inca did some fine work with this topic as well.

Iâ€™m reminded of Sharon Lee and Steve Millerâ€™s Liaden books about Theo Waitley, taught to make lace in order to intuitively understand mathematical concepts. Excellent series, btw. (first one is called â€śFledglingâ€ť)

Also, there are strong and (somewhat) profound links between double crochet and low-dimensional differential geometry: when youâ€™re crocheting, youâ€™re basically creating a 2-manifold by choosing its Gaussian curvature at every stitch.

The amusing thing is that since the resulting crocheted object is flexible, youâ€™re not really choosing the way that the surface sits in space when youâ€™re crocheting: youâ€™re really only generating the intrinsic geometry of the surface. The distinction between intrinsic and embedded geometry is probably one of the biggest ideas you see in a grad school differential geometry class, and was one of the big advances in differential geometry a century ago or so. (Iâ€™m a combinatorist, not a differential geometer, so Iâ€™d be happy to be corrected on any of the above points - but I believe that Iâ€™m correct)

Wikipediaâ€™s already collected most of the links that I would have posted here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_and_fiber_arts

Some interesting ideas here; Iâ€™m a computer science student who knits rather often and Iâ€™d never thought of it this way.

(Side note: the data structure to which the author refers should be spelled deque, not dequeue to avoid confusion with the dequeue operation of removing an item from a queue)

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