Thursday, June 09, 2011

Crocheting a Coral Reef

Nearly four years ago I posted a story about knitting Escher inspired shapes and hyperbolic planes. Today in my mailbox I found a post from Let’s Play Math about a Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. I immediately knew I had to share the information. If you don’t know much math, don’t worry — you can still crochet these mathematical objects and be a part of this wonderful project. Watch the video. Margaret Wertheim connects the crochet pieces to the evolution of life on earth, mathematics, history and traditional feminine arts. Through crochet, women have been able to model shapes in nature that have been ignored by mathematicians. This could even be a great after school project for suitably motivated people. If you are interested, I suggest you read all of the links in this post.

Let's Play Math gives simplified directions for crocheting the hyperbolic planes. Here is a link to a pdf file that gives more detailed directions on how to crochet these shapes: You can even buy a book of instructions at

Some fascinating articles about the coral reef project can be found in this article at

Finally, here is a slide show of the crocheted coral reef:

The Coral Reef Project is from the Institute for Figuring. It is a fascinating group and worth browsing their site.

Happy crocheting!



  1. wow!!..... thanks for posting the article on fb.... love to crochet... and our reefs are sadly disappearing... it is absolutely incredible to see the crochet images as reefs... thank you, renee/ms pie

  2. Thank you, Renee. The entire thing totally fascinates me. There are so many connections here. Have fun and share your crocheting!


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