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Pat Ashforth's Profile

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We are known as the Woolly Thoughts people but we are really Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer, a husband-and-wife team of mathematicians and designers. We each have over thirty years experience of teaching Maths and, until very recently, taught in UK High Schools.

We are called Woolly Thoughts because that was the title of our first published book, way back in 1994, and the name has stuck with us ever since. Woolly Thoughts was republished, by Dover Publications, in July 2007. We have written several other books. The most recent is Toilet Roll Covers, published September 2007. You can find details of all our published works, and much more, at www.woollythoughts.com

Steve is a trained artist and I am a self-taught fibre artist. Over the years we have worked in many different art and craft fields, very often using mathematical ideas…

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  • Joined May 20, 2007

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About

We are known as the Woolly Thoughts people but we are really Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer, a husband-and-wife team of mathematicians and designers. We each have over thirty years experience of teaching Maths and, until very recently, taught in UK High Schools.

We are called Woolly Thoughts because that was the title of our first published book, way back in 1994, and the name has stuck with us ever since. Woolly Thoughts was republished, by Dover Publications, in July 2007. We have written several other books. The most recent is Toilet Roll Covers, published September 2007. You can find details of all our published works, and much more, at www.woollythoughts.com

Steve is a trained artist and I am a self-taught fibre artist. Over the years we have worked in many different art and craft fields, very often using mathematical ideas.

We have become best known for our large afghans or wall-hangings. These were originally created for own use in the classroom but, as their fame spread, more and more people wanted their own. Making them for other people was an impossible task so we started to sell booklets of instructions. These can’t really be referred to as patterns as they contain much more than conventional patterns. If you want to know about the mathematics it is there for you, or you can ignore the technical stuff and simply follow the instructions, which are written in words anyone can follow. We have over 50 afghan designs, each of which is available in its own little booklet.

Demand from customers led us on to producing two books of cushion (pillow) patterns. These are available as complete books or individual patterns.

In our shop you will find other items we have created. These include knit and crochet patterns for other items and a range of cartoon pictures.

We both have a love of word play and Steve draws the silly pictures to match! He can draw seriously, but rarely does so. The best known person he has illustrated for is BBC personality Alan Titchmarsh.

Amongst our proudest achievements are:

* Having four of our original knitted hangings bought by the London Science Museum for their Mathematics collection
* Setting up a Maths/Knitting project for UK schools which ran for seven years
* Being invited to address the National Association of Mathematics Teachers and Advisors (They were our bosses' bosses!)
* Running a workshop for knitting mathematical hats in a former palace at an International Science Festival in Genoa, Italy (with the aid of a simultaneous translator)

Our greatest desire is to remove any fear of Mathematics and we hope our methods go part way towards that.

In recent years we have become world leaders in the Arrt of Illusion Knitting.

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