This project made possible by funding from The West Oxford Agricultural Society ~ presenter of The Fryeburg Fair

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crochet War Coral and Pattern

Google Images boggles my mind! Every time I do a search for coral to inspire a new piece for the Maine Reef Project something amazing catches my attention.

This time, Australian War Coral met my needs for both visual appeal and yarn in my stash and so here it is...... Similar to the Zoanthids with the center circle of color but without the tentacles.

This photo is from Aquatic Connection, a company that grows and sells coral on line for aquariums.

And here is my rendition.....

This is a free form piece but the general pattern  is as follows:
Create a center one of two ways; use a circle of chains and either SC or DC around. OR, chain 3-5 st and crochet 3-4 st (either sc or dc) in the 2nd ch from the hook and then one st in the back loop of ea st, when you reach the last ch, sc or dc 3-4 sts in the same ch to round the end and continue to crochet in the round on the loop on the opposite side of the st and crochet until you reach the end and tie off. This is how you also would begin a double hyperbolic plane. If you need help with that, go to the patterns page to find directions for that. I also mixed up the stitches sometimes using SC and DC near one another to make an irregular center.

Now attach a different color yarn to your center piece and chain 6-8 sts. This creates the first bullion st. Then wrap your yarn around the hook 8 times, Sl St in the next space on the circle and draw the yarn through each wrap on the hook and CH 1. Be sure that you have enough slack in the yarn once you have made that chain st so that the bullion you have made is not scrunched up. I did 2-3 bullion sts in each st around. The more irregular your center and the more bullions you do in each st will give the individual elements a more organic ruffled look. Once you have gone all around, tie off.

Make as many pieces as you want to end up with whatever sized finished piece that you want, and using the same yarn stitch them together so that they overlap in an irregular fashion. I ran the yarn through some edges and pulled taught a bit to gather the edge so that the individual pieces curved under and gave it more dimension.

Finally, I did a row of SC along the outer edge of the entire piece. It's not important to go into every stitch. I used my own judgement as to how much smaller I wanted the edge to be so that it allowed the piece to mound up once stuffed.

Once you have gone around the entire piece with the SC, CH 4, skip 2, DC , ch 2, skip 2, DC in nxt st, all around. When you get to the end of the round attach to the ch 4 space and begin the next round again with ch 4. Note that you need to use your judgement as to when you need to decrease. Your ultimate goal is to have a flat bottom so that the piece rests flat once stuffed. I did this totally free form adjusting by either reducing from 2 ch, to 1ch or none between DC. I also skipped where I felt I needed to to reduce the size to maintain a flat bottom. There are no real mistakes here. It doesn't really matter what it looks like. As long as the holes are not so large that you lose your stuffing and it sits as flat as you want it to, you will be successful. I left a large center hole so I could stuff it for the photo but had to be able to un- stuff it to pack it for Maine. You can stuff yours and continue to close it up if you prefer.

My directions may be hard to understand but the idea is to create a mesh bottom that looks like this....
You can see that it is irregular but fills the need of rounding the edge of the piece to give it depth, as well as creating a pocket for filling and lets it sit flat.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gorham's Baxter Library to Offer FREE Hyperbolic Crochet Classes

Gorham's Baxter Library now has a small display of Maine Reef contributions and information to educate and inspire the public about the project and also has some of our free patterns for anyone to pick up.  Folks creating pieces can drop their contributions off anytime during regular library hours.

Baxter is also offering  the following FREE hyperbolic crochet classes with Crochet Artist Jeff Carpenter:
Mondays from 2:00 - 3:00 pm:
July 9th
July 16th
July 23rd

Contact the Library at 207-222-1190 to sign up.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

More Maine Reef Contributions!

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, FIVE bags full! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Ann got a bunch of great work this week! Lyn Terranova from Chesterville, Maine, Kathy Schulz from Topsham, Maine, and Marcia Duenkle of North Bradford, CT. WOW have the been busy Beavers!

What a day for Ann to find all this stuff in the mail! There was so much that she didn't have time to photograph each piece individually but they look great! Love the purple grouping!

Doesn't it make you want to make something to contribute??

There's still time and we NEED and WANT ANY and ALL work that anyone sends us.

I am SOOOooooooo excited! This really is going to be an amazing exhibit! Be sure to make plans to come and see this DO NOT MISS event!


Kathy Schulz & Lyn Terranova
Check out the little sea creature!

Love these grassy shapes!

Yummy Purple!

Very organic!

Thanks again for sharing your time and resources for this project! We appreciate it!

Crochet Green Anemone Pattern

Anthopluera Xanthogrammica or the Giant Green Anemone, is a species of intertidal sea anemones, of the family Actiniidae. Go the Wikepedia links above to learn more.

I loved this bright beauty! In the wild it grows over 6" wide and can be as much as a foot tall.

Here is my version which began as a round with randomly added tentacles. I did not create a base for it which would make it look  a bit like a mushroom does but I may do that in the end.

Rnd1:   make a circle with 4 ch sts
Rnd 2:  sc 8-10 in the circle and mark the end of the rnd
Rnd 3:  2 sc in ea sc
Rnd 4:  2sc in nxt sc, sc in nxt sc. repeat around
Rnd 5:  2sc in nxt sc, sc in nxt 2sc. repeat around
Rnd 6:  2sc in nxt sc, sc in nxt 3sc. repeat around

Continue to increase the number of sc between increases until your piece is as large as you want it to be and tie off.

attach the yarn to the base using a sl st and chain 4, 5 OR 6. Then sl st the second ch from the hook and in ea remaining chain. tie off from the underside of the piece. NOTE that in hindsight, I would make the tentacles longer perhaps as much as double. That would translate to chain of 8, 10 or 12.

The tentacles are placed randomly using various lengths along the way in whatever pattern you prefer.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Maine Reef Got More Mail!

Thanks to Pat Burkard from Bolsters Mills, Maine, Ann got another box of wonderful stuff!

Great job and Thanks Pat! 

Notice to our knitters out there... 

Especially Love the Jelly Fish and Urchins......

Different from anything we have received so far!

The fun fur edge on this one gives it a very natural quality....

WE love all of our contributors!

Keep it coming everyone..........

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Scrumble Crochet!

Life never ceases to amaze me with  new information!

I feel I am well informed. Yet, after spending more than a year working on this project and spending many many hours on line searching for inspiration about crochet, I stumbled upon a term and idea that I had only seen glimpses of. I knew it as free form crochet but lo and behold there is an entire movement in the free from crochet world that I had never heard of!

Scrumble or Scrumbling...... That's what it's called.... and when I came across it, I was amazed! Perhaps you are more informed than I am but in any case, check out these links and see how closely many "scrumbles" resemble the crochet reef project satellites in mini form! Maybe there's a scrumble in your future :-)

Although most Scrumbles are one cohesive piece created as one piece a collage of work can also be considered a Scrumble.

So here is a Maine Reef version of a scrumble....

Here are a few more for you to enjoy!

What is a scrumble? Learn the answer here:



More Scrumble photos here.

AND let's not forget to include some SCRUMBLE PATTERNS from Ravelry.com

Gandhi once said, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

So I continue to enjoy new things and know that I am NEVER too old for learning......

Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Drop Location for Maine Reef Project Contributions!

The Gorham, Maine, Library is now officially a new drop location for completed pieces of the Maine Reef project! Ann Thompson and Jan Windsor brought a small display of completed pieces so folks can be inspired to create.  We also provided the library with some patterns that anyone can pick up and info about the reef project. Stop by and check it out!

Jan is expected to be teaching some children's classes for us during the library's summer program. A schedule of Maine Reef presentations and classes to be held at the library will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Thanks to the Gorham Art Alliance's Amy Valentine who learned of the project from UNE, and Kathy Stevens of the Gorham Library for helping to make this happen! We appreciate it!