Binary Trees

One of the most prominent features of the platforms will be the trees. Most likely stunted in their growth because they can’t root deeply in the platforms, our trees need to be a maximum of about 20 cm in height. Botanica Mathematica is a textile community project creating plant forms from mathematical principles and one of the main inspirations for this project.

The first trees I’ve been making for my sample platform are based on the Binary Bonsai pattern recipe from Botanica Mathematica. The basic recipe can be easily adapted to both knitting and crochet. I made a sample for both.

Knitted Tree

I started this tree with 32 stitches, using a solid brown yarn together with some variegated sock yarn leftovers. This is the first tree I made, and I promptly forgot to take loads of in progress pictures, so here’s the finished tree:Knitted Binary Tree

It’s pretty much invisible to see in this picture, but the trunk is mostly stockinette with a few patches of purls randomly distributed. Here’s a pic with both the knitted and the crocheted tree before stuffing, where you can see the colours and the structure a bit better:

Binary Trees before Stuffing

Crocheted Tree

The crocheted tree is basically made from the same recipe, also using a brown and a variegated yarn and starting with 32 stitches in the round. This time I did remember to take a picture before adding the leaves:

Crocheted Binary Tree

I didn’t manage to crochet the smallest branches with just four stitches in the round (although I’m sure there are amigurimi specialists out there who can do it), so I worked those flat along the long side: chain as many stitches as you want the branch to be long, and then work back and forth in single crochet a couple of times, attaching to the existing branch when you get there. For the last row crochet each stitch into the starting chain as well as into the previous row to close the tube.

General guidelines for making the trunk and branches

  1. These are organic structures. Vary the number of rounds for each segment and don’t worry too much about having the right number of stitches at every point. Variation is good!
  2. Add structure by using variegated yarns and/or different stitch patterns. There’s a post about how to add interest to your trunk still waiting to be written.
  3. Do add leaves of some description, we’re not in the middle of winter. There are lots of possibilities here that will deserve their own category, also still to be written.
  4. Here are instructions on how to stuff your tree using stuffing and chenille sticks for structural integrity.
  5. While this isn’t earth, we’re still going for browns and neutrals as the primary colours for the trunk and branches. Adding a different colour or a variegated yarn gives some additional interest and a more exotic feel.

One thought on “Binary Trees

  1. Pingback: Crochet Leaves – The Raksura Colony Tree

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