F Number – Fibonacci is not a dirty word!!

For a while now I have been aware of the correlation between knitting and mathematics. As knitters we are constantly counting stitches and rows and memorizing patterns.

Recently I bought The book, Stitch ‘n Bitch: Superstar Knitting and have been reading it like it was a mystery novel. The biggest plot twist for me was a chapter devoted to the Fibonacci Sequence. It sounds like something out of The Da Vinci code and actually it is! The Da Vinci Code examines the F Sequence as the main character uses it to crack a code left by a deceased museum curator.

Your high-school or college teachers probably told you about the F sequence or F numbers but most of us never thought we would ever find a practical use for them in our everyday lives.

Biologists can probably tell you the significance of the F numbers as they are present in almost every plant. The ever elusive four leaf clover is elusive because four is not a F number. You see flower petals, seeds and leaves come in quantities of: one, two, three, five, eight, thirteen, twenty one, thirty two, fifty three, eighty five … Do you see a pattern? It is probably not coincidence that these numbers have such a strong correlation to nature since they can also be used to create an aesthetically pleasing set of “random” stripes for knitters.

After ready my F Sequence chapter in Stitch ‘n Bitch, I decided to give it a try with a couple of baby blankets I had planned to make. I love the look of random stripes but my random stripes never looked good like the ones in the magazines. What did they know that I didn’t? The F sequence!

OK the f sequence numbers are found by adding the last number to the one in front of it. So if you start with one then the next number is one (the number before) plus the number before it (zero). So now you have one as your first number and one again as your second number. Our third number is one plus one. Now we have 1, 1, 2. And you can go on calculating the F numbers from there. The official F numbers are:
1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 …

You can also use the same formula used to find the F numbers and start with a random number like four which is not an official F number.
4,4,8,12,20,32,52…
But notice that these numbers are all corresponding with the F numbers.

I chose to use these numbers to count my pattern repeats in my blanket. My repeats were four rows long. But instead of counting row I counted the repeats. One repeat then four rows of another color then two repeats of my next color then three repeats of the last color petting the F numbers guide me. I chose to start again at one repeating from the beginning each time but you also can reverse the patern until you are back at one again.
To make sure my 1 repeat row of knitting wasn’t always the same color I decided to use 5 colors but only 4 F numbers so that my colors shifted through the pattern.

Not every striped blanket I see uses the F numbers to decide the thickness of each stripe and I haven’t figured out what mathematical formula they are using but for once I created a striped blanket that looks random and nice at the same time.

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Why can’t my son just be a Pirate?

 

Why can’t my son be a pirate or a police officer or even an Angry Bird for Halloween? I was talking to my friend the other day telling her how I made my son’s costume last year, bought the one before that at a garage sale and was given the ones before that. I think the only costume I’ve ever bought from the store was a tiny pumpkin that he wore when he was about 3 months old. Even then, we didn’t take him trick-or-treating with it. We wanted to show him off but were too embarrassed to be collecting candy on behalf of a 3 month old who obviously wouldn’t eat it.

Last year he was Luke Skywalker and although the store had plenty of costumes available, the creativity junkie in me took over. You know the one that swears she can make a costume that looks better than the store-bought version. So I did.

I had just finished a slipper pattern so I made some big slippers and extended them upwards for boots that he could slip on over his shoes. I also made a dickie-type neck wrap which was bigger on one shoulder than the other (like Anakin wears in the new animated series.) I found an old karate jacket at the thrift store on base and it was super cheap because the pants weren’t included. Then I crocheted (my craft of choice at the time) a belt for my Jedi added a pair of khakis and off he went. He got so many compliments and was so proud to be wearing a costume that nobody else had.

This year he wants to by Lloyd Garmadon from (BIG SURPRISE) Ninjago. At first I dismissed this and tried to convince him to choose a pirate costume from Walmart. But then those creative juices started to flow and I began to feel that making a costume for him wasn’t an obligation but a privilege. How many parents make their costumes these days? I’m going to watch on Halloween and see if I can spot even one. Do the same and let me know how that works. I feel proud when my son is rocking his one of a kind costume that the other kids wished they had.

Lloyd Garmadon

So with my completely egotistical motivation fully fueled I went in search of a black hoodie and some fabric paint. My naive husband said I should get one that already has a set of skeleton ribs on the front. I laughed at him. Short of spending a bunch of money for a customized one online that wasn’t going to happen. But I walk into Target and voila! There was a black hoodie with skeleton ribs already on it. I had to text him a picture.

 
He already has a cape in his tickle-trunk (any Mr. Dress Up fans out there?) leftover from a Darth Vader costume. Now all he needs is a purple belt and a green 5 over his heart.

The purple belt is easy – I have purple yarn in my stash. The green 5 was more challenging. I had made a blanket with numbers on it a couple years ago so perhaps I could get out that pattern and crochet a green 5 and sew it on. After a trip to Michael’s I came home with a 5 stencil, lime-green fabric paint, lime-green yarn, a swatch of lime-green felt and a roll of iron-on adhesive.

 

My little Lloyd wannabe decided that he’d like to cut the 5 out of the felt but then decided the color wasn’t quite right. I showed him the crocheted 5 but he wasn’t a fan (gasp) of my work. He decided he wanted it painted on. Of the three options; sewing on a crocheted applique, sewing on a felt cut-out or painting on a 5, painting one on scared me the most. That’s pretty permanent. Oh well I think the hoodie was $15 so here goes. I used a stencil from a previous project and tested the paint on a old pair of sweat pants to make sure the green paint would show well on the black fabric. It did so I went to work on the hoodie. Three coats later and Voila.

 
I’ve got a tube of yellow face paint for his face and hands although I’m still considering an attempt at “Lego” hands out of yarn. Add a Darth Vader cape black sweatpants and his purple crocs and I think he is set. I’m not sure how many parents will recognize who he is but I think we’ve got a good shot! Worst case scenario he decides at the last minute to be a pirate after all and he’s got a killer Lloyd Garmadon hoodie.
 
NOTE: Lego man mitts are finished and fabulous. See the picture above.  You can find the pattern at: