Handwork Strengthens Math Skills

Following a knitting pattern requires children to use all four math processes; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Over the years as the handwork projects become more advanced, so do the math skills. Drafting sewing patterns or weighing out wool and calculating shrinkage rates require students to use geometry, fractions, measurement, and algebra.

When we think outside of the box we can take the math skills in handwork even further with platonic solids, tessellations, or hyperbolic planes. We can challenge our students to use their hands to create 3 dimensional textural mathematics. These are wonderful opportunities for handwork teachers to collaborate with main lesson and math teachers to integrate learning.

Here are a few books I love that are full of ideas for bringing more math into your handwork classes.

Crafting by Concepts edited by Sarah Marie Belcastro and Carolyn Yackel

This book brings math concepts into knitting, crochet, cross stitch, and sewing.


Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes by Daina Taimina


Patchwork Puzzle Balls by Jinny Beyer

This book brings geometry through polyhedra, tessellations, and quilted patchwork balls.


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