Cellular Automata Tea Cozy
I came up with this after reading part way into
Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram. Getting a knitting pattern out
of it made me feel a little less gypped.
It's baggy on top, for my housemate's 4-cup teapot.
You will need:
- Red Heart brand worsted weight acrylic yarn, "royal" and "aran"
- Pair of #6 (4mm) circular needles, plus a set of double ended ones
- 80-bit pseudo-random seed, such as the des key for your favorite afs cell.
- Crochet hook, darning needle, etc.
- Sharp sewing needle and cotton thread
- Cast on 80 stitches using double strand method.
- Make a loop, and knit around four rows (since this is shorter than
either needle, you'll need to use both, switching off appropriately).
Add a marker and purl the fifth row, then knit one more.
- Take 80-bit seed, put it in binary notation, and declare the zeros
to be white. Holding the white yarn in one hand and the blue in the
other knit the seed pattern.
- For all rows onward, which color to use depends on the three
stitches below it. It's easier if you make this decision before you
pull the stitch you just knitted off the left needle, when you've got
the three stitches in a row. This pattern is:
which is rule 30 in Wolfram's notation (binary 11110, reading up from
the bottom of my list).
If it looks like you'll be stuck with one color for a while, twist the
two threads around each other on the back, so the loop isn't too messy.
- Work in this manner for some reasonable distance. When you decide
to narrow it for the top, you will knit two together, every ten stitches,
or eight times around. Place a marker so you know where the row ends.
Each time you knit two together, since the decrease will slant to
the right, the first of the two stitches you knit will not count in
the pattern. Get a headache trying to keep track of this. Decrease in
this manner, with the decreases on every other row, lining up with each
other, for a while.
- Get fed up with decreasing so slowly, and start to decrease on
every row. Switch to four small needles at some point.
- When you get down to eight stitches pass both loose ends through
all eight stitches and tie them off.
- Pick an area lining up with one of the decreases, and with a sharp
needle and sewing thread do a row of backstitching on either side of a
vertical row, being sure to catch all the ends on the underside, and
repeating each stitch a couple of times in each spot. Make sure to
catch a stitch at the top and bottom, too.
Wish for a sewing machine.
- Take a deep breath, and carefully snip down the middle of the row
- Crochet a row of single crochet around the opening, using the
blue yarn. Hope that all the fluffy bits are hidden. End with a slip
stitch into your first stitch, and darn in both ends.
- Fold the bottom in along the line of purled stitches, and sew it
down, using the darning needle and blue yarn. Sew into a row of bumps
on the underside, mostly ignoring the bigger loops from the other color
not being in use.
- Wish for some elastic to put into the hem.
- Decide that this was a horrible idea, and resolve to do fold-over
ribbing along the bottom, next time.