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Is this a spiral? Could it be a labyrinth?

The boundary between the light blue and dark blue stripes forms a continuous line which works its way into the centre then back out again.

See Ring-road for an anamorphic representation of this design.

The Long and Winding Road may look as though it is worked in strips but it is really another use of our basic rules for shapes with 45 degree angles. It is made from four shapes which are very like triangles except that they have bits missing or bits added on at the top, to make them fit together.

Each piece is a series of stripes. In addition to the mathematical rules we set ourselves we also had one rule on the technical side - that only one yarn should be used at a time. Our methods were developed to be able to use lots of colours individually.

The four pieces were started at their inside edges, which are much smaller than the outer edges. This means it is easier to pull undone or have a change a plan, if necessary.

Scroll down for more information about

Long and Winding Road




Spinning a Yarn

Swirl Without End

Wheels Within Wheels

Best of Both Whirls



Wind Up


Knitted in four pieces, using one yarn at a time. The four pieces are stitched together.

It is possible to make the second and subsequent pieces by connecting them to the first piece as you go but this makes the knitting more unwieldy.


Use any yarn, in two colours, and needles of your choice.

The overall size of the afghan can be changed by having more, or fewer, stripes and/or changing the width of the stripes.

The pattern includes several variations, using more colours and a square-shaped spiral.

The mathematical dictionary defines a spiral as ‘any plane curve formed by a point winding round a fixed point at an ever-increasing distance from it’. The Long and Winding Road does not fit this definition because it is based on a rectangle not a curve. It has been described as a ‘rectangular spiral’ but this is not a mathematically accurate definition.

It is not even correct to describe it as having a path which is always the same width winding around itself.

The straight sections are all the same width but measuring into the corners would give varying widths there.

When the stripes are removed it can be seen to be one continuous line which starts at the edge, winds its way to the centre, then returns to the edge.

The version was made by Ruth, who said:

It was so easy to make! I had fun. My husband chose the colours and I think it turned out beautifully. It measures 57" x 72". That should be large enough to keep someone warm. I'll donate it to Blankets 4 Canada.

... and then she made another