This is a free-form crochet project that I decided to turn into a challenge entry when I saw this month's challenge posted. It's a ruffled pillow, inspired by the hills and hills of wildflowers near my house. It's symbolic of a blooming Earth in the spring, as I decided to incorporate elements that represent water, soil, greenery, and sand, as well as the wildflowers that were my original intention.
Also, another inspiration of mine was a book by Jacques Cousteau. The pillow resembles a coral, showing the prominence of the oceans despite the surface color scheme of vibrant greens and pastels. A hint of the core of the work can be see, and it is a deep, rich blue. I think the coral really resembles the state of the Earth, because a slight imbalance can lead to decalcification and difficulties for coral. It takes years to see visible growth in a coral reef, and yet they have become a staple of marine life, showing the lasting beauty of the Earth. Coral reefs can be seen as oases of the oceans, which are mostly made up of large expanses of watery desert. On a larger scale, the Earth is a small oasis of life in a universe that otherwise appears void of life in every direction (as far as we know). On a microscopic scale, this pillow resembles the mitochondria, which has much surface area, but little volume for efficient use of its membranes in animal cells. Nature is so elegant!
From a crafter's point of view, this is GREAT for stash reduction. In the ruffled regions, a skein will only give you about four rows, at most, as I decided to do overlapping rows, which give it more structure. Thus, this project has taken me about four to five skeins so far, and yet is a space-conserving model (as I said, lots of surface area, small volume). I plan to continue this project, finishing up more of my stash.
The only drawback would be the time it takes to complete one row- about an hour and a half. My fingers hurt, and unfortunately I can't do my homework or read while crocheting because the thing eats up my desk space. The notebook in the picture above is a standard notebook with 8.5x11 paper. I can't watch a movie, either. The widescreen monitor (which usually is unaffected) is obstructed.
Despite all of the drawbacks, though, there's a satisfying *thud* whenever I drop this.
The height is about five to six inches. I began this project with a loom knitter's magic circle, which can be found in this pattern: http://www.box.net/shared/6v6c7y2zib
I also used the above pattern to make the flat base for my pillow (I could have used a bath puff method, but, as I said, this was free form. Feel free to experiment.)
Then, I increased randomly and erratically to create the large ruffles, ceasing when I decided I'd rather just knit overlapping rows.
Stay tuned for more updates on this!!! This isn't the last you'll see of it! I'll keep adding my stash to it, just so I can see what happens. I wonder how big I can get it to be....