Something Completely Different

You are probably aware of the Crocheted Coral Reef, a massive project conceived and curated by the sisters Christine and Margaret Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring. Inspired by the brilliant Daina Taimina, who came up with the formula for hyperbolic crochet (surprisingly easy and fun to make, mind boggling to describe) the Coral Reef has grown, traveled the world, and spawned many satellite reefs. What you see here are my own experiments, prompted by a social network call for "anyone who knows how to crochet".
"Well, I do", I answered. It is not my preferred medium, but that is mostly due to the denseness of the stitches and their (IMO) unsuitability for garments. But I was game, did a little research, and started churning out brain corals, polyps, anemones and sea slugs. It turns out crochet is ideal for making sculptural forms, and manky thrift store yarn is the ideal fibre to use.
It turns out that a crocheted coral reef may not exactly be what is required for the project. An underwater world is just one of the sets for the multi-media episodic musical performance that these experiments got my foot in the door for. I will keep you posted as the project unfurls.
 But oh! Such fun to make.

These guys are what I came up with for lichens/fungus-y objects.
Beads can be added to the outer edge.

A not-entirely-successful sea urchin.
Remember Phentex? That horrid plastic yarn? This what went into this.
I crocheted throughout our trip to Haida Gwaii.
The green and white piece at the back was not made by me - it was found at Value Village! Whether an intentional coral or an misbegotten doily, it fits in just fine.
Here's a pattern:


  1. these are wonderful, crazy, colourful and fun. Love that you are using yarn from the thrift store. I had never heard of the project but what a super idea. Do you have the book? the price on Amazon is unbelievable. I'm not very good at crochet, they would look great strung out along the beach.

  2. Hi Jean! I have the Daina Tamina book - it was pricey but good. I don't think the IFF book is still in print, which might be why it is so expensive. BTW, my friend Jean-Pierre has something for you, something fibre-y, but I can't remember what it is. He will bring it late August, I think.


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