This scarf depicts the Yang-Baxter equation of statistical mechanics, a variation of which is the braid equation in algebra, or the 3rd Reidemeister (equivalence) move in knot theory. Assigning the numbers 1, 2, 3 to the colors blue, green, gold, respectively, the Yang-Baxter equation reads: R12 R13 R23 = R23 R13 R12, where Rij denotes strand i crossing strand j — the two sides of the equation being depicted on the two ends of the scarf, with equality represented by the middle portion.
For the equation to read correctly, the fabric needed to be double-sided. To create the two-sided fabric and traveling cables simultaneously, the artist introduced a hybrid of double-knitting and tubular knitting. As a result of this technique, the colored strands are produced as embedded I-cords in the brown body of the scarf.
A fashionable equation: the Yang Baxter scarf, by Robin Endelman, 2013. Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend (merino and silk, hand-dyed).