“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie
Marie Curie is one of the most ass-kicking, shade-throwing, convention-dismissing women of her time. And also of any other time. She did so much in her short life that it’s overwhelming sometimes for me to try and really conceptualize it. She was not only the first woman to be recognized with a Nobel Prize, but she is also one of only 6 people ever to receive 2 Nobel Prizes. And just in case you aren’t adequately impressed, she is the only person in all of history to be awarded Nobel Prizes in 2 different sciences. In 1903 she received the award for Physics and in 1911 she received the award for Chemistry.
Marie is best known for her work in radioactivity. Fun fact: in addition to pioneering it’s uses, she also named it! Her credits include creating practical field X-rays that were particularly important to medical care during World War 1. She discovered 2 elements: Radium and Polonium. She founded the Curie Institutes, and led the first studies into the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes. At only 66 years old, Marie died of Aplastic Anemia, which had resulted in her ongoing exposure to radioactivity, most of which was due to carrying test tubes of radioactive substances around in her pocket.
For this square, I chose Polonium and the symbol for radioactivity to honor Marie’s scientific contributions. The rings and dots are the electron configuration for Polonium, and the center is the very recognizable radioactivity symbol. This was one of the more challenging patterns to actually knit because the pattern lulls you into a false sense of symmetry, but it also went faster than most of my knits because I really had to pay attention to it.
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Marie Curie pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag #geekalong!
If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.
Fun fact: Marie was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, and was very proud of her Polish heritage. Polonium was named after Poland.
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