The allure of patterns

Sometimes a crochet pattern takes forcible possession of my brain. My sister keeps sending me these. I know I'm going to have to pick up a tiny crochet hook and some tatting thread and make edgings for something. Sometimes I have to make many linear yards of a pattern before it releases me. That last one is going to do it this time, I think.


Grim said...

I clearly don't have the same impulse at the same strength, but every now and then I'll look at an intricate pattern and feel like there's something important hidden in it. Some secret, that if only you had the knack you could reveal to yourself. I suspect it is at the back of the myths about Odin sacrificng himself to gain the secrets hidden in the runes; and, therefore, of Tolkien's use of runes and 'moon letters' and secret writings and mysterious carvings and so forth.

Tom said...

For me, it's Go.

raven said...

Ever notice the exact same wave patterns can be found in clouds, beach sand, seashells, wood,and minerals?
My wife and I work in different mediums, we are both fascinated with natural patterns.
Things like how dry rot will texture a old stump, or how a strong wind creates a beach sand pattern with a tiny dune behind each piece of broken shell...the world is filled with beautiful patterns.
Her grandmother hand-made lace and hand wove linen in Italy. Must be in the blood.

Anonymous said...

That last pattern is certainly worthy of grabbing you!

douglas said...

It's interesting we find comfort in order.

These are quite lovely. We have a couple pieces of handmade Hungarian lace we were given by a Professor of mine and my wife's just after we were married. I really need to make a frame and hang them up.

An interesting book on patterns and order in nature is "The Power of Limits- Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture" by Gyorgyi Doczi.

Mike Guenther said...

Interesting that the cover shows the golden ratio on the cover. In every book I've read and studied about woodworking and design, the golden mean and the Fibonacci number sequence. But John Brownlee of Fast Company says the golden ratio as used in design and art is a fallacy.

I think he's full of himself. Look at something as common as a dresser. Apply the golden mean to it and you will see how it applies. Also, look at the drawers and how the height of the drawers progresses towards the bottom.

Looking at the crocheted lace designs in the photos, one can see the ratio applied. I think it's an unconscious thing anytime someone starts out to make something, almost instinctive.

douglas said...

I wouldn't go that far, but I think it's that so much in nature is related to that ratio, and our brains pick that up *in various forms* and still see the relationship (which is pretty amazing, that we can perceive the relationship between the growth spiral of a nautilus shell, and the pattern of branching in a tree).

I've seen arguments like the one you linked to many times before and it's full of hollow arguments. Asking modern architects who weren't really educated in classical proportioning if they've ever used the golden mean in design is a meaningless question. Also the studies asking students which rectangles they like better- were they asked to pick based on aesthetic pleasantness or beauty, or just what they liked (which could bring a whole lot of other things into play)? Add in that so many modern people are so detached from nature that they might well not any longer see a beauty in the golden ratio- as what we find attractive has lot to do with what we see a lot of and perceive to be the norm. The "most attractive" faces are actually, mathematically, the most average in geometry. Familiarity also is a major influence on what we find 'attractive'. We saw the underlying formula of nature before because we used to always be exposed to it. That's not true for so many now.