As a kid, my favorite holiday decorations were Christmas tree door hangings that my mother crocheted at some point well before I came along (I’m guessing the early '70s during the height of the crochet craze) because yarn and crochet hooks weren’t exactly a common sight in my house growing up.
Because of my early experiences with the craft, the size and scope of crocheting always seemed limited — caps, placemats, Christmas ornaments, handicrafts galore — and somewhat of an endangered practice in comparison to traditional knitting. Well, eco-felter Katie Pokorny has changed my preconceptions with a most ambitious endeavor: she’s crocheting an actual mini-home, a yurt to be precise, with a single strand of continuous felted wool.
If you’re unfamiliar with yurts, they’re the traditional dwellings of nomadic populations in Central Asia and can best be thought of as a mix between a giant camping tent and an igloo. Although traditional yurts have felt covers, Pokorny is taking DIY to new extremes with her crocheted yurt, a type of structure that’s never been built before. Pokorny’s reasoning for constructing a mini mobile home from over 500 pounds of wool locally sourced from sheep in New Hampshire — why not?
Actually, there’s a bit more behind Pokorny’s DIY-on-steroids project. Inspired by Margaret Wertheim’s TED Talk about hyperbolic geometry, coral reefs, and crocheting (you read that right), Pokorny began crocheting herself. She also began to think about the possibilities of creating a sturdy, built-to-last oversized dome structure with renewable fibers like wool. Now, well into her project, Pokorny believes through crocheting a yurt, she’ll be able to “experiment with the dome form by using different materials that could be used as reusable, transportable shelters.”
But Pokorny (who works in PR during the day) needs your help given that 500 pounds of quality New Hampshire wool and felting supplies don't come cheaply. By January 1, Pokorny needs to raise $5,500 dollars to finish the project. She’s got a steady start (she’s over the $3,500 mark) but the clock is ticking. Backers can receive everything from personal “yurt alerts” to crocheted “mini yurts” to photos of the sheep involved. Generous folks who donate $1,000 or even get the chance to spend two nights in the completed yurt in New Hampshire.
So, if you’re looking to support sustainable design this holiday season, head on over to Kickstarter to find out how you can help.