Crochet is one of the simpler thread and yarn hand crafts. You need only yarn and a hook. Scissors help, but aren’t essential. Granny square afghans are favorite creations of crocheters as they’re made square by square, use up leftover yarns, and make good portable projects.
However, thanks to Diane Savona, I’ve discovered a whole ‘nother crochet mindset. Savona curated a fiber show with a scientific bent that never happened, but she shared her choices for that show here. Through her post I found Gabriele Meyer and Caitlin T. McCormack who have developed strangely beautiful art from the simple hook and yarn.
McCormack, who has a BFA in illustration, views her work as sculpture. I’ll warn you her work is macabre, creepy even, and would work well for Halloween. I believe she uses glue to stiffen the threads. Apparently she unravels old, discarded garments and linens for the thread. And, yeah, her grandmother taught her to crochet.
Meyer is a math professor at the University of Wisconsin in real life, but she crochets what she calls hyperbolic surfaces, often turning them into hanging lamps. Crochet, as seen in Meyer’s lamp shade, is the perfect tool to help people visualize Lobachevskian geometry. Meyer started by crocheting an ordinary spiral. Then on the edge, she added more stitches than fit in a flat space, creating frilly, billowing edges that catch light or let it through. You can read the math details here.
Maybe all this time my crochet projects were trying to be art, not afghans. Heavens knows they have enough ripples in them.