Heather Ames Lewis

Professor of Mathematics
Nazareth College
Rochester, New York

I use knitting to explore the interplay of mathematical ideas. I like the technical challenges, the meditation in the creation, and the opportunity to create a tactile article that illustrates mathematics in a fun and interesting way.

Flexagon Illusion
Flexagon Illusion
11" x 11"
Knitted yarn (Plymouth Encore, 75% acrylic, 25% wool) and plastic canvas

This tetra-tetraflexagon was inspired by both the crocheted hexaflexagon and the knitted illusion designs at Woolly Thoughts. As the figure is flexed, it cycles through the colors purple, green, yellow, and blue. Each face looks striped when viewed directly, but a diamond or hourglass appears when the piece is viewed obliquely. The stripes also indicate whether the next flex will be horizontal or vertical: the figure opens along an axis parallel to the stripes.