I may have to learn to use that hookie thingy

I recently had to travel to DC BUT I managed to sneak in 2 Fiber related exhibits I just had to share with you.

 The Textile Museum

green-the color and the cause
Second Lives: the Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles

Even if your travels do not bring you to DC soon they have excellent materials, photos and workshop ideas on their website.

I was disappointed that they did not allow photography within the museum but I did enjoy their garden setting.

They also had a very nice gift shop and learning center with library and hands-on exhibits on weaving, knitting, needlepoint…

It was a glorious Spring day so we walked through the neighborhoods around Dupont Circle until my GPS announced that we had reached our destination,

The Blue Duck Tavern.

We enjoyed a long late lunch and I have to say that I would go back just for their absolutely quintessential Spring dessert, Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble with Creme Fraiche.

Then we wandered down to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History exhibit on

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

Please click on this image to see full resolution and crafty details

click here to see more photos from this exhibit
of course this project has it’s own Ravelry Group

Crochet (and some Knitting) was used to create this AMAZING Coral Reef.

I just could not stop taking photos of this HUGE exhibit. I kept finding new things, different materials and identifying specific yarns. You know you knit too much when you are looking at a coral reef and say,

“Hey, I have that yarn!”

How did I never hear about this ongoing project? Perhaps because it focuses on crochet but I saw plenty of knitted objects too.
This is a traveling exhibit and ongoing social project so check out The Institute For Figuring website to see where you might catch a glimpse.

Although attracted to this exhibit for it’s Fiber content, I was pleased to learn that it’s origins were geeky.

In 1997, Dr Daina Taimina, a mathematician, discovered how to make physical models of the geometry known as “hyperbolic space” using the art of crochet. Until that time many mathematicians believed it was impossible to construct such forms; yet nature had been doing just that for hundreds of millions of years. Many marine organisms embody hyperbolic geometry in their anatomies, including corals. This geometry maximizes surface area in a limited volume, thereby providing greater opportunity for filter feeding by stationary corals.   (excerpt from the Coral Reef display)

There were many different reefs displayed. Some alive and beautiful, others all made in whites showing that they had been bleached, others were made entirely from recycled objects like plastic bags, wire, and cassette tapes. I could have looked at each display case for hours but instead I quickly snapped photos so I could share a small portion with you all.

Flotsam & Jetsam Recycled Coral Reef

And then we were off to our dinner destination and I had to explain to our dinner companions why we were a little bit late 😉

Additional photos from the Coral Reef Exhibit may be viewed at

DC Fiber Related Travels April 2011 (public)

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One Response to “I may have to learn to use that hookie thingy”

  1. Michelle (ravelry: daTwine) Says:

    Aloha! How fortunate that you got to see the Smithsonian reef exhibit! Though the deadline is quickly approaching, please consider trying your hand at making these types of forms (either with knit or crochet) for the Hawai’i Hyperbolic Crochet coral reef project! To be exhibited in June in Honolulu. Full prospectus on Ravelry and Flickr. Mahalo!

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