Ellie Baker

Artist and Computer Scientist
Lexington, Massachusetts, USA

I'm drawn to crafting objects whose construction requires puzzle-solving, such as this toroidal scarf and bracelet set. The scarf, made from fabric I designed for an earlier piece (exhibited JMM 2016), uses a transforming bead crochet tessellation pattern, based on puzzles described in the book, Crafting Conundrums, that I coauthored with Susan Goldstine. But it incorporates a new “twist” — both tori are also trefoil knots. For the bracelet, this is straightforward. For the scarf, however, this required understanding how to construct an inverted trefoil-knotted torus, so that I might sew it in its inverted form (which looks quite strange and different) and then turn it right-side out to hide the raw seam edges on the interior.

Trefoil-knotted Toroidal Scarf and Bracelet
40 x 40 cm
Crepe de Chine fabric, glass seed beads, thread

Trefoil-knotted toroidal scarf and bracelet. The scarf is constructed with a small hole left in one seam so that, in addition to functioning as a scarf, the wearer can explore what happens when the knotted torus is inverted. Since its meridan and longitudinal loops swap roles when a torus is inverted, the inverted scarf becomes an unwearable torus with a knotted hole (see drawing upper left). The bead crochet bracelet pattern is one of the tessellated waves from the scarf fabric. The bracelet is worn by placing your hand through the central hole of the knot and rolling it on. The scarf can be worn several ways, but my favorite is likewise to put my head through the center, which creates a braid form of the knot with a flattering drape.