Of whirligigs and whimsy

I love things that are both whimsical and enlightening in unexpected ways. I don’t know that the afghan I am featuring today rises to that level, but it was inspired by a nighttime roadside attraction known as Acid Park. The first time I saw it, I wanted to make one of my very own, but in crochet.

Acid Park is located in Wilson County, North Carolina, situated where Willing Worker Road meets Wiggins Mill Road. It is the creation of Vollis Simpson, a longtime denizen of Wilson County, where, after returning from serving in the Pacific in World War II, he set up shop repairing tractors, until, over time, his work shifted to full-time whirligig and windmill creation.

Composed of equal parts whirligigs, windmills, and myth, I first heard the Legend of Acid Park in 1993 when I lived in Greenville, North Carolina, for a year; however, it wasn’t until well after I returned live in North Carolina in late 1999, that I finally saw it for myself.

Acid Park at night is a spectacle. To my mind, you get the best view if you approach it by heading south on Willing Worker Road. The headlights of your car will hit the myriad reflectors that are secured to many of the surfaces of the structure, and the whirligigs and windmills will move or not depending on the wind.

It was for me, a inspiration, and what I attempted to do with this afghan was to use yarn the colors of rainbow sherbet to create an afghan with actual moving parts that was composed solely of crochet. I did manage to create movable, if not moving, parts.

This is the afghan in it’s entirety:

whirligig crochet afghan
Crochet whirligig afghan

This is a detail of the front of the afghan:

whirligig crochet afghan
Detail of the crochet whirligig afghan

This is a detail of the back of the afghan:

whirligig crochet afghan
Detail of the back of the crochet whirligig afghan

This are details of the sprials:

crochet spiral
Spiral detail of the crochet whirligig afghan

crochet spiral
Another crochet spiral detail

This is a detail of one of the flowers:

crochet flower appliqué
Crochet flower detail of the whirligig afghan

One day, I would like to revisit this project and attempt another afghan that builds on the things I learned making this one, because life, like a whirligig, has moving parts.