Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magical Moebius - Free Book!

Riddle: If your sock drawer has 6 black socks, 4 brown socks, 8 white socks, and 2 tan socks, how many socks would you have to pull out in the dark to be sure you had a matching pair?

I mentioned Godwin knitting a moebius (also spelled mobius) scarf in the book I'm writing. I remember learning about moebius strips in eighth grade, when the teacher took a strip of paper about seven or eight inches long and an inch wide, put a half twist in it and taped the ends together. She had us follow suit, then take a pen and start drawing a single line down the length of it. It took longer than it should have to complete the circle – because the line covered both sides of the strip. “You see, this paper now has only one side,” she explained. I thought that was magical. But I had two uncles who were farmers and discovered they knew all about it, because they attached one end of a long canvas strip to the side of their tractors and the other to a mechanical saw or other implement and used the tractor's motor to run it. The strip had a half twist in it so it would wear evenly on both sides. Still, it was kind of wonderful to use such a magical device in such a pragmatic way.

The reason a person might want a moebius strip scarf is that the half twist makes the scarf lay in an attractive way around the neck. And it is possible to knit such a scarf all in one piece. My problem is, it is hard to cast on the doggone thing. I have a pant suit in a shade of gray that goes good with light brown, and found some knitting yard in overdyed dark brown, light brown, buff, dark gray and light gray. A narrow moebius scarf in that yarn would look fabulous with that suit. I have so far tried five times to cast on the yarn on the circular needles the pattern calls for with no success. The instructions are not difficult, but I keep messing up. Sometimes I wonder where I got the nerve to continue this needlecraft series after the first three! I'm using an online instructor now, where there is a video of the teacher casting on the yarn. She makes it look so easy! Maybe this time I'll get it. Here's the YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVnTda7F2V4

The second book in my first series of mystery novels is going to be offered as a free download Wednesday and Thursday. It's okay to read it without having read the first one; it's a prequel (in fact, I wrote it first; I learned how to write a mystery novel in writing this one. Get The Unforgiving Minutes here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00507U1ES

Answer to riddle: Five. There are only four colors, so pulling five socks guarantees that two will be the same color.


Christine Thresh said...

Oh, I really want to knit a Moebius scarf. I will keep watching the video. Thank you. (I have tried to do this in the past and failed.)
Are you writing a new mystery series?

Michelle said...

There's a mobius scarf pattern that I'd love to knit. I cast on a small test piece and it worked just fine, but by the time I got long enough needles to do the scarf, I'd forgotten how the first one worked so well. Same instructions, same knitter, but could I repeat those first results? Nope!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'd no idea there were so many different kinds of scarves I never heard of, Monica, but a moebius scarf is among them! And, as always, I enjoyed your riddle.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the free book! Sounds interesting, but Besty and crew will always take top billing in my kindle.

Monica Ferris said...

Anonymous, if you ever do read this novel, let me know what you think, please. Thank you!

Anne Canadeo said...

I enjoyed your description of the moebius form...and it's practical applications, Monica.
Including the scarf. Hope to try it sometime.