A bag of vintage hyperbolic crochet curlicues

My efforts to bring order to my life and crochet continue, and in one of my recent forays into storage, I came across a bag of what appeared to be vintage yarn. Curious, I took a peak into the bag and found a surprise.

Unlike most of the unfinished crochet projects I find in storage, these are not mine.

Intrigued, I sorted through the bag, finding small bits of vintage yarn like this blue which I intend to use to square off one of my extra boho crochet hearts:

a small bit of vintage yarn to be used to square off a boho crochet heart
A scrap of vintage blue acrylic yarn and a boho crochet heart

and a collection of crochet curlicues which appeared to be the elements of larger, never finished crochet projects. There was this lone, rather small curlicue worked in what was most likely a dk weight light blue:

a light blue hyperbolic crochet curlicue
A hyperbolic crochet squiggle before hyperbolic crochet was a thing

and these larger crochet curlicues worked in an assortment of variegated yarns like this blue with hints of perwinkle:

hyperbolic crochet curlicues worked in a variegated blue colorway
An unfinished crochet project from the 1970s

as well these orange and lavender curlicues:

hyperbolic crochet curlicues worked in a variegated purse and a variegated orange
Hyperbolic curlicues crocheted with variegated yarn

The curlicues, crocheted in variegated colorways that hail from the 1970s, evoke a particular time and place. My best guess as to the origin of these lovely bits of crochet is that they were the work of my late mother-in-law, Alice Jones.

The curlicues themselves are ahead of their time — two rows of double crochet stitches resulting in curlicues in a style that would now be identified as “hyperbolic crochet.”

Hyperbolic crochet as a tool for understanding geometry is the brainchild of Daina Taimina, a mathematician whose hit on the idea of crochet to make durable models to be used to understand and study hyperbolic geometry. The techniques employed in this kind of crochet caught on in the early aughties and several large scale crochet installation have been assembled hyperbolic crochet pieces.

I haven’t decided what I will do with the curlicues yet, but I know that at some point I will, and when I do, i will be ready to move forward, one stitch at a time.