Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Volunteering at Folklife Festival was wonderful!!

I was so thrilled to be demonstrating how to crochet a piece for the community coral reef for the Smithsonian and teaching folks how to crochet yesterday. Even under the tent it was H.O.T.!!! Temps in the high 90s. Humid. But a breeze (blowing in a major severe thunderstorm it turned out). I made it back to shelter just as the advance raindrops fell. Whew!! What a deluge! But it didn't last long, thank goodness.

Late last night I realized I hadn't been crocheting. Guess it's because I was crocheting all day at the Festival! LOL

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smithsonian Coral Reef project

That's all I'm working on now is the Smithsonian Coral Reef project. This is the community satellite reef I've written about before.

I like to use Red Heart yarn (the Super Saver size is great). So many nice colors and color combinations. I've liked the pink camo color and wished I had a little girl to use the yarn for. Now I've got a piece of coral in it! :) I'm going to bring this piece to the Folklife Festival when I'm demonstrating/teaching crochet at the coral reef table. I don't care how many people handle it; it's acrylic and will wash well!

I'd like to start something while I'm there so I'll probably work on one of the basic hyperbolic planes. At home, I think I'll move on to some of the other coral shapes. I want to make more of a neat-o brain coral. I have one piece done and I think it'll look great in a cluster so I need more.

I think I'll probably get back to stitching in September!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Smithsonian Institution's Community Coral Reef Project

I am so enamored of this! I read about the crochet coral reef project on Stitch DC's blog. I attended a demonstration of crocheting hyperbolic planes at the Museum of Natural History in DC last Saturday. I immediately signed up to attend the lecture and workshop being held there this coming Sunday from noon to 4 pm. I'm so excited by this!!

Crocheting is the only way to easily demonstrate the mathematical concept of the hyperbolic plane. I'll let you Google it and let the experts describe the whole thing, but the bottom line is once you've completed one it looks like a piece of coral! How cool is that?!

I did a smallish one to test it out by chaining 18 stitches. Then single crochet in 3chains and 2 single crochet in the next chain. Repeat this stitch pattern until you're happy! My piece is about 4 inches deep. It grows exponentially and in doing so creates all sorts of ruffles and flourishes. Very pretty!

I am currently working on one in turquoise Red Heart Super Saver yarn. This yarn is perfect because it looks nice and has a great stiffness that enhances the coral appearance. This piece started with a chain 3, slip to join, then do 11 single crochet in the circle. My increase pattern is to single crochet in two chains, then do 2 single crochets in the next chain. It developed most unusually with it looking like a flower tube at first. Finally after 30 or so rounds, it began to flair and is now very curly and lettuce-y looking. I plan to stitch on it until the entire skein is used up. Probably a total of 200 yards (I'd already used some.)

I'm so into this idea and being a part of the Smithsonian's community reef that I volunteered to demonstrate/teach hyperbolic crochet at their table in the Ocean tent at this year's Folklife Festival. The exhibit will open in October of this year and I can't wait to see and it (and see if I can spot my creations within the reef!!).

To demonstrate a skill at the Folklife Festival has been a lifelong dream, but so unrealistic as to be unattainable. It was ridiculous to put it on my bucket list. After all, I don't earn my living as a folk artist or come from a foreign country where I am a folk artist. It was a dream. But now I can put it on my list and check it off in two weeks! I hope it's not scalding hot on the Mall, but I won't even care. :) :) :)