Friday, October 29, 2010


That's what I am.

I went a little overboard with fiber buying last week.

At least I finished a hat. And it is not handspun!

Well, what can I say.

My name is Aporanee and I am a fiberholic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A picture paints a thousand words

The Hyperbolic Coral Reef is here!

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Exhibit opened at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall in Washington DC on Sunday. It was originally scheduled to open on Saturday, but a watermain break on Constitution Avenue right in front of the museum caused the delay of the opening.

I walked over from my office after work yesterday.

Situated in the Sant Ocean Hall of the museum, it is a sight to behold.

The original reef was the brainchild of two Australian sisters, Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles. Christine is a mathematician and Margaret a fiber artist. Christine came up with the idea of using crochet to explain hyperbolic plane to her students. Margeret saw what her sister did and thought it looked like a coral reef. The two sisters are from Queensland, home of the Great Barrier Reefs. They thought it might be a good idea to use this fiber craft as a means to show people the beauty of the coral reef and raise the public awareness of the
dangers coral reefs around the world are facing from global warming, natural disasters and pollution.

Thus the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef was born. The first one was displayed in Australia. The idea took off and subsequent reefs were made and displayed around the world.

The Smithsonian Community Reef was made by over 800 men, women and children from the National Capital Area as well as contributors around the country who heard about the project. There are over 8,000 pieces. The youngest crocheter was three; the oldest 101.

The exhibit will be on displayed until April 24, 2011.

Go take a look. Take a camera with you.

Here are some eye candies.

The are all kinds of colors. And then there are the white corals. The white corals are dead corals, or known as bleached corals. It is the biggest problem corals around the world are facing right now and it is caused primarily by the increased temperature of the water in the tropics. The warmer temperature causes algae to grow and the algae feeds on the corals, killing them. The dead corals lost thier colors, thus the "bleached" status.

Most people don't get to see the coral reefs up close and personal. Most people also don't realize the importance of the coral reefs to the survival of the ocean life. The reef is the largest hatcheryand nursery. More than half the fish in the ocean mate, lay eggs, feed and spend their juvenile years around the coral reefs. It is the biggest food source for the fish in the ocean.

The Smithsonian reef is the largest ever made. There are over 8,000 individual crocheted pieces.

And among these I managed to find Bill's reef.

It brought tears to my eyes. Bill loved the ocean. He was an avid diver. He loved the reef. His remains are a part of an artificial reef in the Chesapeake Bay. And now his reef is a part of the Smithsonian.

I am proud to be a part of this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look! Look! Look!

It's not blue!

The three-ply fractal is done!

I got about 210 yards out of 4 0z of polwarth roving. 14 wraps per inch, so it is more of a sports weight rather than fingering. I don't think it will be as stripey as the two-way fractals. I am not sure I will knit socks from this, though. I have another 4-oz braid of coordinating color so I might spin that up and see what I can do with both of them. Maybe gloves or mittens.

Tuesday musings

We took a quick trip to Philadelphia this weekend to see the Cleopatra exhibit at the Franlkin Institute. Awesome! Didn't get much knitting done and only took a couple of pictures. But in all a very enjoyable weekend.

And the Foucault's Pendulum at the Institute.

I did manage to get the TTL Soctoberfest Mystery Socks 2010 started:

Of course it's blue. What did you expect?

Friday, October 08, 2010

More fun with fractal

The fractal Lavalette is finished. It blocked out really nicely

I used all of the yarn. About one foot left!

I think I am keeping this for myself.

I have another fractal spinning/knitting in the pipeline. This one is going to be the famous Girasole blanket. I have 24 ounces of this beautiful merino/silk roving dyed for me by the talented Midnight Purls.

There are six 4-oz braids. I am dividing them into three pairs. I have spun up the first pair. The first braid was divided into two equal parts and then spun across the web one after another onto one bobbin. The second braid was divided into two halves. The first half then divided again into two and the second half into three parts. Then they were all spun onto the second bobbin one after another starting with the thinnest strips. Then the two bobbins are plied together. The idea is to have the shortest repeats of colors first for the center part of the blanket. Then as the row grows the color repeats will become longer. I plan to divide the second pair into one and two and leave the third pair whole. I hope I am doing this right.

I like the result of the first pair any way.

I was charging the solar-powered ghosts for the Halloween decoration and couldn't resist.

I need to get the second pair of braids on the wheel but in the meantime we are having a three-ply sock yarn spinning challenge at my LYS, Uniquities. I figured this would be a good time to try three-way fractals.

The fiber is polwarth that I got from Corgi Hill Farm.

The fiber was divided into thirds. The first third was spun whole across the web. The second part was divided into two and the third into fourths.

I don't think the finished yarn will be quite stripey as the two-ply fractal.

And have you noticed something?