Mobius strip or Moebius band “Knitting”

Möbius strip

Möbius strip

In 1858 August Ferdinand Mobius discovered this mathematical band for which this strip was named. Coincidentally at the same time, though independantly, another German mathematician also discovered it, Johann Benedict Listing.

By taking a rectangular piece of paper and giving it a half twist, then taping the ends together, the result is a Mobius strip. Take a pencil and draw a line down the center of the strip, don’t stop until you end up where you started. It becomes one continuous line. How curious…it only has one side, one surface.

While I was researching this topic I came across the part that piqued my interest. Those of you who read my blog regularly know I am a spinner. So it’s the Z and S twist that puts a smile on my face. The moebius strip is multi-directional. 🙂 In Euclidean space (if you want to have that explained you will need to google it) there are two types of Mobius strips. They differ in the direction of the half twist, clockwise and counterclockwise. The word for the day is CHIRAL, meaning handedness, as being right or left, clockwise or counterclockwise, z or s twist.

Mobius and knitting met back in the 1960’s, though it was first made popular by Elizabeth Zimmerman (Baby Surprise Jacket). She made a scarf, then put a half twist and sewed it together (extrinsic twist -the twist is put in at the final stage). The key to Mobius knitting or crocheting is to use a stitch that on both the front and back looks the same.

Cat Bordhi (intrinsic twist -put in during the making) uses circular needles that are at least 40+” long, incorporating the moebius band as she knits. If your interested watch her video on YouTube.

If you made a Mobius cowl, send me a photo. I would love to update this post and show it off.

photo by David Benbennick