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What inspires: Shapes from Nature – Hexagons

It feels like ages since I wrote Knitting Nature, but the process of writing it left an indelible influence on my work. Spirals, fractals and other shapes in nature provided great fodder for designs in my book and still rattle around in my head, but it’s polygons, especially hexagons, that have become a permanent part of my design vocabulary.

My first explorations of hexagons as texture and garment structure were stylized imitations of rock formations, honeycombs and snow flakes.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 10.01.49 AMPhotos from Knitting Nature by Thayer Alison Gowdy.

More recently, I use the polygons as building blocks.  Hexagons or partial hexagons become fronts, peplums, inserts or entire sweaters.

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Knitting for nerds is definitely trending, and I couldn’t be happier! Here are a few of my favorite knitted geometric patterns from Ravelry and beyond:


Brent Annable designed this amazing Knitted Kaleidoscope (on left), and here are Wooly Thoughts’ brilliant crocheted hexaflexagons (right).

To understand more about just how cool a hexaflexagon is, watch this amazing math video by Vihart. If you aren’t familiar with her videos already, you are in for a treat.

Thanks to Brent Annable and Pat Ashcroft of Woolly Thoughts for permission to use their photographs.  Snowflake and honeycomb photos are from Wiki commons.

3 thoughts on “What inspires: Shapes from Nature – Hexagons

  1. Its very synchronistic that today’s blog is on hexagon’s and referneces ‘knitting nature’ as I am nearly finished with the hex afghan from the front cover of the book. I remember when the trunk show with the finished garments for your book came to my LYS, I just fell in love with all the pieces and years later it’s still my reference…I just love your patterns!

  2. Thanks for this post, I always love to read your inspiration stories! You change the way I look at the shape of things around me.

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