Crochet is not only a craft, it is also a community, and the work of the installation artist known as Olek both relies on and is made possible by this truth.
Her current project, Love Across the USA, is going to be making a stop in Raleigh, North Carolina, and lucky for me, one of my crochet peeps alerted me to the event.
As a result, I registered for one of the crochet workshops, and this past weekend, I got to meet other like minded crocheters, see Olek in person, and hear her tell her story:
After an overview of her current project and some of the specifics of the Raleigh installation, as well as some specifics about how the panels for this project will be crocheted, her assistants passed out yarn so we could get to work.
Using a 4.0 mm hook and my crochet tension regulator, I started by chaining 15. Then, following the guidelines given in Olek’s lecture, I worked one double crochet stitch and then another, and in seemingly no time, had my swatch done:
Once my swatch was evaluated for stitch definition and gauge, I got to sign up to make some of the 2 x 2 panels for the upcoming installation in Raleigh.
After sorting through the panels still available for crocheting, I settled on three with the idea that having something I could crochet would help me get through these next few challenging weeks while I focus on the very detailed detail work of my state fair project.
The first square I chose I selected because it only needed one color for the foundation chain, and I thought I would get my feet wet with a panel that did not require any new skills on my part, just obsessive counting.
Here is how it looked after I finished the first 8 rows:
Then things got a little more complicated:
and then still more complicated:
To my relief, the ends will not be woven in, but tied in square knots, as actually weaving in the ends renders the result panel less “stretchable,” which, it turns out, is an important quality for crochet panels to have if you are going to use them to wrap a building.
And there was one more bonus. I got to meet one of my readers, and just like me, she carries a crochet hook and tape measure wherever she goes, because face it, you never know when you might encounter a crochet emergency.