The Occasional Joy of Unexpected Free Time - The Story of the Fibonacci Necklace

I’ve heard a number of people, upon reflecting on a year of covid restrictions, laugh at themselves for how much they expected to get done under lockdown. A lot of us thought we would use this sudden expanse of time doing things we’d always planned on, like learning a new language or getting more reading done. I too had such lofty ambitions, though I should have known better! Seven years ago, after my double mastectomy, I planned on a terribly intellectual six-week recovery, reading all the academic books on my shelves which I had bought with great ambition, and never read. I don’t need to tell you how that went do I? Yeah, I watched all seven series of an American sitcom and ate a lot of chocolate mousse.

Once in a while, though, being unexpectedly housebound has paid off for me creatively. Years ago (at least ten) I was starting Beloved with my lovely colleagues, and everything felt rather frenzied and stressful. There is a transition period when one goes from part time consultant to full time creative business owner when the reality of your new role sets in. All of a sudden you’re worrying about contracts and leases and invoices and payroll and registration and and and… The creativity your business is founded upon takes a back seat, and you have to fight to make time for it and find the inspiration again. At that time the inevitable happened, the burnout manifested as a bad chest infection, and I was stuck at home for days trying to recover.

I had been rather obsessed with the Fibonacci Sequence for a while. Related to the Golden Ratio, it is a sequence frequently found in natural forms, and has a simple rule of adding the previous two numbers in the sequence together to get the next number, like this…

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89… and so on.

I would really recommend reading the information on the Maths Is Fun website about this.

I really wanted to try beading with this sequence but finding the time to sit and play was difficult. Until, that is, I got the chest infection! Apart from feeling physically grotty, I had a lovely time. I used a netting stitch and varied the number of beads between the connector beads by the Fibonacci Sequence. It won’t surprise many mathematicians reading this to know that what resulted looked like a natural form, many say it looks like a lotus. If you know our work well, you’ll know it as the Fibonacci Necklace.

Lungi wearing a Fibonacci Necklace


Here it is being modelled by our dear friend Lungi.

We’ve recently put the necklace in our shop in two new colours – gold and rose gold. If you have a friend who is a mathematician and they have a particular interest in biomimicry, I would highly recommend this one as a gift!

Fibonacci Necklace in Rose Gold

I hope you have a lovely weekend. And please go easy on yourself with the pressure to achieve things during rough times. If inspiration strikes then great. If it doesn’t, that’s ok too.