Category Archives: Denver Satellite Reef

Harvest Time!

Over the spring and summer, the Denver Art Museum (the DAM) had an amazing exhibit entitled Spun, featuring fabulous textile art of many kinds. I told you a bit about it, specifically the Denver Satellite Reef. Crocheters from all over contributed their own pieces of coral to the reef, including me.

At the same time, the Ladies Fancywork Society created an amazing crochet installation that hung on the outside of the museum.

IMG_3480 IMG_3477 IMG_3478 IMG_3482 IMG_3481

The pun lover in me was extra super pleased by the title- Garden of the DAM(ed). The piece was amazing- HUGE! COLORFUL! QUIRKY! It had flowers, fairy doors, gnomes, mushrooms, squirrels, a black widow, and so much more.

On the last Friday of most months, the DAM hosts an awesome event called Untitled. Each month has its own theme, fun activities, snacks, and more. Best part? It’s free with membership, which we have.

In August, the LFS were onsite to talk about their piece and teach folks about yarn tagging. (Fun fact: they’ve been told that any attempt to yarn tag Bluecifer would actually result in terrorism charges.) Annie and I went and had a blast- and we learned that the September event would be extra awesome, with a harvest theme. As part of the harvest, the public was invited and encouraged to “harvest” pieces from the Reef and the Garden of the DAM(ed). I loved the idea of the reef continuing to live on all over the city…


And it was even better in practice! People had so much fun choosing their piece of coral (one per person). Many many folks actually found ways to wear theirs, as scarves, hats, corsages and more.


I’m shy about taking photos of strangers, so you’ll have to take my word for it. It was awesome! Annie, my mom, and I each harvested a piece- none that I had made. My mom picked a tiny piece that looked like an actual shell, Annie picked a long long piece that she can wear as a scarf, and I picked a fun piece of many yarns that Annie is holding in the photo below.


Over the course of the night, the reef went from this:

IMG_3492 IMG_3490 IMG_3493 IMG_3494

To WAY less than this:


We got there at the early end, and I was quite thrilled to see that my monster piece of coral had already been claimed! I have no idea what happened to the other pieces I made, but it’s fun to think of them going on to new lives…

After harvesting the reef, we moved on the see what was left of the Garden. I was thrilled that a gnome was still there! And Annie chose a string of flowers- she’s planning to alternate between using it to decorate her room, and wearing it as a scarf.



How often do you get to touch the art at a museum, let alone choose a piece to bring home? I love the ways that the DAM finds to bring people and art together. Can’t wait til the final friday in October!


Filed under Crochet, Denver Satellite Reef

Our Trip to Knit the Bridge

Last week the kids and I went to visit my 97 year old grandma, who lives in Pittsburgh. It was an overdue visit, but a lovely one.


Because grandma is frail, our time with her was limited to an hour or so a day- and we explored the city again in the rest of the time. My aunt and uncle were wonderful hosts, and we went to the Zoo and the Carnegie Science Center (one of the kids’ favorite places in the world). As a bonus, a friend of mine from high school recently moved to the Burgh, right down the street, literally, from my family. We hadn’t seen one another in 20ish years, so it was great to catch up- and to see our kids meet!

And of course, we managed a fiber field trip, too. Pittsburgh is soon to be the home of the biggest yarn bombing in American history. The city of three rivers has over 450 bridges, and in August the Andy Warhol Bridge will be covered completely in knitted and crocheted pieces! You can learn loads about the project on their blog and their Facebook page– and also in their Ravelry group. The scale of this project is mind-boggling!

On our last day in Pittsburgh, we stopped by their home at the Spinning Plate Gallery, and checked it out.

DSC_0613 DSC_0614

Currently they are collecting and cataloging the pieces. They have nearly enough, but some need to be adjusted to the right size. Each piece is being measured, photographed, and if needed, sized up.


The ones on the floor are ready to go… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yarnberg?


The pieces on the table are not quite the right size and need some work. Happily, volunteers and guests are welcome to stop in and help. Which is exactly what Annie and I did…

DSC_0628 DSC_0631

Annie worked some rows of single crochet on a piece, and I knitted some garter stitch out of some black acrylic- the black bits will be the joining pieces between all the colorful panels, and they still need LOADS of those bits.

When we stopped in we met Amanda and Kitty, and another lovely woman whose name I have forgotten- I am so sorry about that! Kitty gave me a wonderful tour, and was such a gracious hostess. We saw the blueprints for the project…

DSC_0600 DSC_0604_2

and the knitting machines…


which are using super fine yarn to make some massive solid stockinette pieces…


which are then being reinforced with strong plastic construction materials.

Even the maps tracking the locales of the participants are fiber-tastic! (Locations of contributors are marked with embroidery floss.)


While we were there, some folks  came in to drop off some pieces- and they were visiting from Barcelona! There have also been pieces contributed from Buenos Aires! Since Annie and I are both working on pieces for the Denver Satellite Reef, we feel like we represented for Denver- and there were some random crocheted bits and bobs that Kitty gave us to take home to add to some of our coral- so Knit The Bridge will also be a part of the Denver Satellite Reef. How cool is  that?

I am beyond impressed by the scope of this project. My budget is tight, but I did contribute a small amount through the Indiegogo campaign that has been set up… (It’s tax deductible, to boot.) The amount of work, planning, materials, community, and fiber that has gone into this project is simply amazing. And I cannot wait to see the finished project.


Thank you, Knit The Bridge, for letting us be a tiny part of your amazing endeavor! We wish you all the best!


Filed under Denver Satellite Reef, Knitting, Travel

More Coral

I’ve been yarning away on more coral for the Denver Satellite Reef. It’s been growing by leaps and bounds, but I don’t have any new photos to show you. I’m hoping to make it over there next week, but meanwhile, I can show you what I’ve been up to.

My first few submissions were limited by the amount of yarn I had on hand. I was working mainly with leftovers and scraps, so when the yarn ran out, the coral pieces stopped growing.

Even one of my most recent ones had the same issue:


The center is so random, I don’t even know what it is or where it came from. I found a tiny ball in my stash. The outer edging is also a random leftover, no idea what project it was from. The entire coral fits in my hand.

I wanted to try something bigger… So a few weeks back I bought myself one of those giant skeins of yarn at Michael’s- not a Pound Of Love, but very similar. Over 1200 yards of worsted weight lavender. My goal was to use the entire skein on one coral. But I didn’t get that far. It grew and grew, and eventually, when I had used up about 2/3 of the skein, each row was taking 3-4 hours to complete. My experiment stopped being fun, so I switched to the multicolored edging yarn.

Check out the leftovers below…


It took over one entire skein, over 240 yards, to complete the final edge row! And then I added a row of picot edging. THAT row took over 2.5 skeins! Over 600 yards. And 2 weeks. Take a look at my monster-piece. And check out the quarter in the photo for perspective…


Yikes. And can you guess how much this piece of coral weighs?

Over 26 ounces.

I dropped both these pieces off at the Denver Art Museum this afternoon, so hopefully in a few weeks, after they go through the freezing process, they’ll be visible in the Reef!

Speaking of the Reef, check out this very cool postcard the DAM sent out to members this week:

Scan 20And the back-

Scan 21

While the reef on the front isn’t the Denver Satellite Reef, the one on the back is! If you’re in the Denver area, come check it out! And if you don’t know how to crochet but you’d like to learn, join in one of the free weekend workshops listed above. You’re not into crochet, you say? Spun covers quilting and spinning and so many other textile arts… you’ll love it all!


Filed under Crochet, Denver Satellite Reef

The Denver Satellite Reef

What have I been up to lately, you ask?



Why, churning out pieces of crocheted coral, of course… Isn’t that what everyone’s doing these days? Actually, in Denver, we kind of are…

Want the backstory? The Denver Art Museum was recently awarded a massive grant to expand their permanent textile exhibit, and at the same time they embarked upon the creation of a temporary textile exhibit, called Spun.


The entire Denver area textile community is going bonkers over this exhibit- as well we should. Not only is the eye candy ah-may-zing, multiple parts of the exhibit allow for community participation.

Like the Denver Satellite Reef, being created by area crochet artists in conjunction with the exhibit. A few months back, the DAM put out a call for crocheters. They invited us to a private workshop with Christine Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring, the creators of the original Crochet Coral Reef project back in 2005. There we learned about hyperbolic crochet, and the history of the Crochet Coral Reef, including the many “people’s reefs” around the world. And the DAM invited us to help create their Satellite Reef, to be displayed in the museum itself!

Um, awesome.

So I finished up some stuff I was already working on, and then busted out my leftover bits of wool and acrylic, as well as the random novelty yarns I bought way back when I started knitting, and got to work. Thus far I’ve only finished the 4 pieces you see above (said pieces are currently in the freezer at the DAM, completing their 2 week quarantine to ensure they don’t bring any pests in with them), but I have big plans to keep on going. This stuff is very addictive. The DAM will continue adding pieces to the reef all summer long. If you’re local, you can drop in and crochet in the reef itself every saturday and sunday- and if you want more info, leave me a comment below.

Here is what the reef looked like as of Thursday.


The entire exhibit won’t be open to the public until Sunday, but this Wednesday, there was a grand opening- that I, as an official contributor(!) got to attend with my family!


We got a sneak preview, got to enjoy the fabulous food and drink, and the yarn-y decor contributed by, of course, Fancy Tiger.

IMG_1861 IMG_1863

And, in what seems like the most brilliant visual joke ever, because I am punny and have a silly sense of humor, they greeted everyone at the entrance with: cotton candy! For a textile exhibit! Whee!


And then I went right back to the museum on Thursday, to attend the Insider Moment with Margaret and Christine Wertheim. I took my current piece of coral along with me, and worked on it during the talk. At one point, Christine used it as an example for the entire group.! She even graciously posed for a photo with me and my pseudosphere.

But the best part of the entire thing? After going to see the exhibit on Wednesday night, Annie was so into the reef that she wants to learn how to crochet her own pieces. Time for some mother-daugther yarning!


Filed under Brushes with Greatness, Crochet, Denver Satellite Reef