Science once again catches up to knitting. This article from Live Science details some recent advances in knot theory – a discipline that examines the rules, topologies and probabilities of physical tangles. It’s actually a useful area of study. There are lots of areas ranging from biochemistry to materials sciences that would benefit from a better understanding of what happens when filaments, proteins, or fibers touch. Still, it’s hard not to say “No kidding!” when faced with some of the observations listed in the write-up:
- It is virtually impossible to distinguish different knots just by looking at them
- “Surprisingly little disturbance or motion is even needed [to generate knots]”
- “A highly flexible string placed in a very large container will have a
higher probability of becoming knotted than a stiff one that’s confined
in a smaller container.”
I can now officially classify my knitting bag as an Official Basic Science Research Laboratory. Perhaps I can apply for grants to fund further exploration of the phenomenon.