In August of 2017, I went to a crochet workshop at the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the crocheter known as Olek was teaching the crochet technique she uses to make her large crochet installation pieces.
She had designed a piece to honor Nina Simone, and the finished piece was going to be installed on one of the outside walls of the Raleigh Convention Center. Composed of one hundred and sixty-two 2’x 2′ crochet panels, the finished piece (before being stretched onto its frame) measured 36′ by 18′.
And that is why Olek was in town teaching crochet that particular weekend. The project was huge, and she needed help.
Several weeks later, after the many volunteers had completed the panels, we met up again, but this time, the purpose was to assemble all of the pieces so the steps for the final installation could be completed, and all of that effort resulted in this:
I learned a lot from working on the project, not the least of which was how to break a very large crochet project into manageable pieces, and since that time I have wanted to make a crochet installation using the techniques I learned at the workshop.
This past Friday, I decided that there is no time like the present.
I had been browsing images of Day of the Dead sugar skulls rendered in all kinds of crafts, and I decided that it would be the perfect subject for my first ever crochet installation.
Given that I have less than a week to get it done, I decided that instead of trying to make a huge installation, I would start small with one that would measure (I hope) 4′ x 4′.
The first thing I needed to do was create some kind of a pattern to work from. I knew from working on the Nina Simone piece that graph paper would be a good place to start, I but I had no clue which box I had packed it in.
Lucky for me, I had this Moleskine notebook right by my bed:
and using a black pen and the letters B (black), R (red), and W (white), I was able to come up with these two charts:
After taking a few minutes to think about whether I should finish figuring out the other six charts I would need or just plow ahead and crochet, I got out the CraftSmart Value yarn I was using for the project, a 4.0 mm hook, and started to crochet:
Pleased with the result, I continued crocheting, only stopping when I ran out of charts to crochet. Then I would stop to figure out the details of the next chart:
and continue on my merry way crochet hook in hand:
I have a lot of work to do between now and next Thursday when I hope to have this progressive installation up, but I will continue forward, one stitch at a time.