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The Gainesville Florida Reef: FAQ

A satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute for Figuring in Los Angeles.

FAQ: Crocheting

How do I get started?

The beauty of this project is how simple it really is.  Find some yarn, grab a hook and pick one of the shapes on the patterns page.  We suggest starting with the hyperbolic plane shape to begin, especially if you are somewhat new to crochet.

What kind of yarn should I use?

We all started our coral pieces with whatever yarn we had around the house.  Some folks reccommend acrylic yarns because they tend to be a little stiffer when finished. We are also having good luck with cotton yarns. But really, whatever you have is fine, in whatever size.  Really fine yarn makes delicate little shapes and really thick yarn makes great big shapes. Both are beautiful and will fit in just fine to the reef.

What size hook should I use?

Please use whichever size is appropriate to your yarn or whatever you are most comfortable with.  If your yarn has a label, start with the hook size suggested on it, and adjust if you know you are a "tight" or "loose" crocheter.  While we do suggest using using a smaller appropriate hook in order to get stiffer coral pieces, please work with what you are comfortable with.  If you want to buy one hook, buy an "H."  The "H" works best with medium-weight acrylic yarn.

How do I make bigger/smaller pieces?

For smaller pieces, use a smaller n -- increase in every 3rd or 2nd stitch to make the ruffling happen sooner; the piece will look finished after fewer rows or rounds.  For bigger pieces, use a larger n -- increase in every 6th or 8th stitch to make the ruffling softer; the piece won't bunch up right away and you will want to keep working for many more rows or rounds.

I don't like to crochet. Can I still participate?

Prior to beginning this project, one of our members swore she could not crochet and yet she is churning out parabolic planes and pseudospheres with astounding speed. However, if you really don't want to mess with a hook and are dedicated to another art form, do not despair. There are a lot of knitting patterns for reef creatures and we have a woven man-of-war already in our display. So, if you have an idea, contact us and we'll see where it will fit into the exhibition.

FAQ: Project business

When is the exhibit opening celebration?

April 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm in the Marston Science Library. Speakers:

Dr.Kevin Knudson, Director of the Honors Program and Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Gustav Paulay, Curator of Marine Malacology at the Florida Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Associate Professor of Zoology

For how long will the exhibit be displayed?

Through the end of October 2011.


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