Pushing the Envelope
Curve Stitching -- How-to and Learn more

Pushing the Envelope

Curve stitching is similar to string art in that the way yarn or thread is pulled through hole patterns forms wonderful geometric patterns. The designs can be simple or complex, depending on the placement of the holes and the sequence of where the yarn is pulled.

Curve stitching was invented by Mary Everest Boole in the mid 1800s.

The AMS will be hosting this activity at the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival held in Washington DC April 16-17. Susan Wildstrom and some of her students from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD, will lead the activity, with help by AMS staff Robin Aguiar, Anita Benjamin, Mike Breen, Annette Emerson and Samantha Faria. Whether or not you attend the festival, here you can learn more about how to stitch curve patterns and the math behind the patterns.

Curve stitch pattern Curve stitch pattern
Curve stitch pattern Curve stitch pattern

Download and print pattern sheets (1, 2, 3, 4) with instructions. All you need is some yarn and a safe plastic needle.

Read more about the math behind the curve, by Susan Wildstrom.

More Curve Stitching How-to resources and patterns

More on the mathematics behind curve stitch patterns

(There are articles in academic journals that require subscription to access.]

Have fun!

Math on the street

A few weeks after the 2014 festival, AMS staffer Samantha Faria noticed this on her way to work.

Providence cables

American Mathematical Society