Midweek Squee: Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Remember me complaining that I’ve not had time to crochet? Well that changed! Firstly, I managed to crochet on the train the last two mornings (WIP, more to follow in the next few weeks hopefully) although now I’ll be back in the car commuting so that’ll stop. And secondly, I stumbled across the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield. These are apparently running across the world, so if what you read here sparks your interest give it a Google and see if there’s one near you.

How did I come across it? Well, the other week my tutor said to us ‘If you can, go and visit some galleries while you’re in Sheffield’ (we’ve done a few days of my course there this week and last instead of at our usual base). At this point she made no mention of what exhibits were currently running, so I wasn’t overly bothered to go out of my way if it wasn’t compulsory. Monday came round and a lad on the course mentioned a knitted Reef at one of the recommended galleries and since I decided that I couldn’t face another mad dash over to the station after the seminar ended, and decided, begrudgingly I might add, to go be a dutiful student. I didn’t expect much from it – he hadn’t been overly enthused, and the photos I found online on my phone were a bit blah. So I went in not really expecting to be there over five minutes.


There’s an exhibition called ‘Under the Sea‘ running until Oct 14th, and part of it is a gigantic crochet (and knit) Coral Reef. I wasn’t allowed to take my own photos, but here’s a few of the gallery’s own shots:

Credit to Shrunklies on Flickr

Credit to Shrunklies on Flickr

(Gallery credit: Shrunklies)

And a close up:

Credit to Design Week

Photo Credit: Design Week

The whole thing was started by Rowena Hamilton, who is the exhibition curator for craft and design at Museums Sheffield and has been created by community groups and schools and museum visitors and is added to on a weekly basis. It’s apparently nine meters long now. It’s so amazing to look at – there’re hundreds of the squiggly Coral forms that you can see, plus little amigurumi fish and even a big amigurumi octopus. I wanted to take so many photos of my own, but I was stopped because all the artists need to give consent and obviously most haven’t been asked, never mind signed something.

I was sad.

Then I asked if there was any way I could contribute, thinking that she’d day ‘Sure, come to this really expensive class which you’ll never be able to afford in a million years’. Instead she pointed to a bucket of yarn and said ‘I’ve even got a crochet hook I can lend you’ (I had a hook with me as it happens, but hers was nicer).

I was then very, very happy. And I spent forty glorious minutes where I was forced to sit on a sofa in an art gallery making this:


I improvised the pattern, and I’m not claiming to have reinvented the wheel, but I was pretty damned pleased with myself. It has five tendrils in reality not just the three you can see, I just didn’t get a really great picture (she didn’t mind me photographing my own addition, but I did feel like I was being watched in case I whipped my camera round and started shooting the Reef, so I didn’t take my usual in progress and multiple angle shots!).

I’m planning on quickly whipping up another at some point this week (I wrote down my pattern as I went thankfully) and improving it a bit, maybe give it a face, so I’ll hopefully be making it my freebie this weekend. Watch this space!

The upshot of this post is, don’t miss out on opportunities by not taking that little bit of time to look somewhere new. I had an hour to kill before my train, and normally I’d have slopped off round the shops. Instead I got to not only indulge my hobby, but add to a great work of art in the process!