I don't always, but sometimes an idea takes hold and won't let go. Last night we were watching a movie, Life of Pi. I hadn't read or seen much about it, other than noticing that it received some attention at the Oscars, so we didn't know what to expect. I wound up really liking the movie, but something in the back of my mind kept saying... "What if you did something with pi?"
Actually, I already had one idea about combining Pi with beads, a couple of years ago. The result of that idea is this Piece of Pi bracelet I made using square stitch.
Knowing that there's no real "pattern" to the number sequence in Pi, it still made me wonder what would happen if I strung beads using Pi as the stringing sequence and then crocheted them. Hmmm.
And so it began. My first thought was to create a bead crochet rope using black and white beads, just alternating the colors for each number. I'd even thought out using a bead of a different color for the decimal. And that all worked -- until I hit the first zero in the sequence. Naturally, I chose red to represent the zeros; and I was off and counting. Thanks to the interwebs, it was no problem finding sites about the numerical sequence in Pi, so I printed off the numbers from a site that has Pi to 10,000 digits.
After about an hour of counting and stringing, I have approximately 18' of beads on my thread. This is Pi to 1000 digits.
As I was stringing the beads for this rope, I started thinking about other ways I could do the stringing... I could assign a specific color to each number and string beads of all different colors. Or, I could assign different shades of the same color (say, all shades of blue) and string a monochromatic Pi. Just imagine the difference between stringing one bead to represent each color and stringing multiple colored beads to represent each number (for example, 3 red, 1 blue, 4 green, etc.).
I was so anxious to see how this would look that I couldn't wait to start crocheting. I chose to use six beads around (and if you know bead crochet at all, you realize that changing the number of beads around would drastically change the look of the rope), and as the rope developed I started to see bits of what look like patterns. Not really patterns, but it definitely looks different than a rope that's strung in truly random order. To me, it kind of looks like birch bark.
Those strings you see at the ends of the rope aren't part of the design... I'm just trying to figure out how I want to finish this off. Using an invisible join, one of my favorite ways to finish bead crochet ropes, seems wrong somehow -- that would mean that the 1000th digit of pi is connected to the first digit. Nope, can't do that. And I don't want to hide the ends of the rope under bead caps because then all the digits wouldn't be visible. I'm still thinking about it (any suggestions?).
I'm not the only one who decided to combine beads with Pi. A friend of mine, Lidia, recently finished work on a loomed bracelet whose colors are mapped to the numbers in Pi. One really interesting coincidence in our both coming up with Pi ideas? We share the same birthday, February 28, so we're both PIsces. Funny, right? :-)
She's graciously given permission for me to post a picture of her bracelet here so you can see it. Yes, she even says it looks a bit like bead soup; but when she wears it she knows that it's really a representation of pi and not soup at all.
Lidia's bracelet was woven on a loom (as opposed to what I do most often, off-loom weaving using peyote stitch). She said it actually took longer for her to map out the graph than it did to do the actual looming! I can see why...
So what now? I think there will definitely be another version or two of pi for me. I'm not sure when, but the idea's still churning around in my head, and I have another copy of the digits printed so I'll be all set. Maybe this time I'll make a rope using Delicas.