Book Review: Crochet Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

Author: Daina Taimina
Price: $35.00 (buy here)
Skill Level: Beginner
Daina Taimina is the genius behind the famous Crochet Coral Reef that has traveled the world’s museums. Her book, Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes, isn’t so much a crochet pattern book as it is a lesson in geometry, but it provides the framework for the coral reef project. It begins with some background information on hyperbolic planes, which are surfaces with constant negative curvature (such as a coral reef), and then shows how crochet can be used to explain the concept. From there, Ms. Taimina also uses crochet to teach us about other geometric shapes, such as pseudospheres, catenoids, and helicoids.
While the mathematical concepts within this book may seem daunting, we are classifying Ms. Taimina’s crochet techniques as “Beginner” because one must only have knowledge of two stitches: the chain stitch and single crochet. In fact, since Ms. Taimina techniques are based on formulas instead of patterns, the hyperbolic plane technique might be a fun experiment for those who are just learning to crochet.
As mentioned above, Ms. Taimina does not actually provide any crochet patterns in her book. Rather she presents a crochet formula and shows how different the outcomes of that formula can look when changing the variable. She also explains how various other shapes can be made, but does so in a teaching fashion (she is a math professor, after all), rather than by writing it out in a pattern. 
The Animator’s Wife says...
With all the information we’ve given you so far, it sounds like this book would be more interesting for mathematicians than crocheters, doesn’t it? But that’s not true! In the same way that a die-hard Lucille Ball fan might read her autobiography to learn more about the actress, a die-hard crocheter should consider checking out this book to see why certain shapes are formed when stitches are worked just so. Reading through this book is kind of like stumbling upon a documentary on TV. Maybe you never intended to learn the math and science behind your hobby, but I assure you, the information in this book will suck you in, fascinate you, and inspire you to create.