Heather Ames Lewis

Professor of Mathematics
Nazareth College
Rochester, New York

I use knitting to explore mathematical ideas. I like the challenge of research and design, and the opportunity to create a tactile article that illustrates mathematics in a fun and interesting way.

Norwegian Frieze
44 x 51 cm
Knitted yarn

This collection of traditional Norwegian designs – one for each of the seven frieze pattern symmetries – was inspired by photographs of Selbu mittens at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. There were a wide variety of designs on the cuffs of those mittens, but to find examples of all symmetries I had to expand my search to other parts of Norway.

These particular patterns were found in photographs or charts described by Annichen Sibbern Bøhn (Norwegian Knitting Designs), Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel (Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from Versterheim Museum), Sheila McGregor (Traditional Scandinavian Knitting), and Terri Shea (Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition).