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It was my birthday last week, and to celebrate I went to a crochet workshop at the Royal Institution of Australia to whip up an addition to their artistic coral reef.

I was lucky to nab some chunky bright orange yarn and made the piece pictured in about two hours.

It was good times – a glass of wine and nibbles, plenty of wool and spare crochet hooks and a group of thirty or forty people creating a hum of conversation and creativity.

My friends grabbed a spot on the floor (the tables were taken, and I prefer floor-sitting anyway) and started talking. A couple of the group were beginners, and I’m not much better, but they picked it up in about forty minutes.

The hyperbolic shapes, curvacious and wiggly, are made by frequent increases on each row. It’s kind of a funky shape, and it might look good as a scarf or fascinator, even a cuff. What do you think?

The RiAus Adelaide Reef in their downstairs gallery has closed over spring to make room for a new art installation Energy landscapes, a new frontier. It opens again over the holiday period from early December to the end of January.

I saw the exhibition a few months ago and it’s HUGE! A large room is full of pieces, handmade by people in Adelaide. They’ve linked the crochet to environmental problems plaguing the Great Barrier Reef, like coral bleaching.

A section on coral bleaching. Image by RiAus.

I’m keen to go to the next workshop, which is on Thursday 17 November 6-8pm. You can register here. It’s free.

The project is a satellite of the worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles.