Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Crochet Brains: Easier Than You Think!

Who doesn't love a good brain? We all have 'em, some get used more than others, some are more appreciated, others overlooked, and if zombies dream of anything I expect brains would be on the list. I was playing around with some ideas as I get ready for Fan Expo and wanted to try my hand at crocheting some brains of my own. I love the result! And it's not that hard either. In fact, I'll tell you just how not-hard it is :)

Ever heard of "hyperbolic crochet"? It's pretty awesome and exquisitely nerdy- some universities have adopted the practice of teaching crochet for certain math / physics courses so that students can create models that are impossible to visualize on 2-dimensional diagrams. Hyperbolic crochet occurs when the number of stitches per row expands exponentially, the same way that a plane does for the mapping of a hyperbolic function. It's easier to create than it is to understand ;)

So here's what you do!
Grab a G size hook (4mm or 4.25mm), a darning needle, and some size 4 yarn in pink, or green, or flesh, or grey...or any other colour :)

1. Decide approximately how long and large you want your brain to be and crochet a chain of corresponding length (your brain will come out a little longer than this chain). For a brain that will fit in the palm of your hand, a range of 6-9 chains is adequate. The longer the chain, the bigger the brain.

2. Start crocheting hyperbolically! That means that you choose an expansion factor for each row and watch your original chain morph into awesomesauce. I chose a factor of 3 for my first 2 rows and then a factor of 2 for my third (last) row.
Example: Row 1- (3sc) in each ch, at end of row ch 1 and turn. Row 2- (3sc) in each sc, at end of row ch 1 and turn. Row 3- (2sc) in each sc, at end of row cut yarn leaving a long tail (like an arms length), tie off. Thread your darning needle onto the long tail.

3. It won't look quite like a brain when you finish crocheting, but if you look at the outer shape, it should be the size you were aiming for. If not, you may want to add another row, or try another attempt with different factors for your rows. Now you have to get playful and rearrange where all of the folds go. Just keep playing until it starts to resemble a brain. Once it does, hold the folds gently in place and start working the darning needle through in a haphazard kind of fashion to secure the brain layout you've just created.

4. I used the tail ends to create a brain stem with some friendship-bracelet-style knotting, but it will look like a brain without it.

And there you have it! BRAINS! Would make a funny cat toy ;) If you whip one up I'd love to hear about it in the comments or to see a photo shared on the Nerdifacts facebook page, or Twitter (@Nerdifacts).



  1. Excellent. Thank you, this exactly what I needed when making a zombie mask for my son's Gnasher for his zombie Dennis the Menace costume.

  2. I've made a few of these brains over the past year. Super easy and they look great!