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Evolution Simulation

Ninety of the 110 hanging forms (“drops”) were made using a random number table to direct increases and decreases in crochet stitch number. When decreases outnumber increases, the drop dwindles to nothing (extinction). The yarn colors are also random.

Twenty drops were made following a pattern.

The flat pieces (“blobs”) also contain random increase and decrease elements, with extra increases to make the blobs approximately flat. The central yarn colors are random whereas the colors around the edges were chosen.


The drops are crocheted. Each drop is started with a hanging chain, which is increased to a base ring of 8 or 10 stitches. Crocheting proceeds following a random number table. Each line in the table has 2 elements: number of stitches (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) and increase vs. decrease. The two elements are randomized separately. For example, a line might read Increase 5, meaning crochet 6 stitches into the stitch, or Decrease 1, meaning crochet next 2 stitches together.

I continued crocheting each drop until the number of stitches reached zero (extinction), or until I had crocheted 160 lines from the random number table. Of 40 drops started with 8 base stitches, 36 decreased to extinction and 4 continued to 160 lines, with an average of 35 lines per drop. Of 40 drops started with 10 stitches, 32 decreased to extinction and 8 continued to 160 lines with an average of 52 lines per drop.

The 20 drops that appear more symmetrical or regular were made following patterns. There are also 10 flower-shaped drops, which were ended early.

The colors were chosen randomly. Two strands are used in each drop, with one strand being repeated in the next drop. Most of the yarns are multicolored.


Blobs were started with a ring and some random increases and decreases, as were the drops. Knitted rows with additional increases and non-random crocheted rows were added to make relatively flat pieces. The center colors are random but the outer colors were chosen. Short row techniques were used to make the some of the pseudopods. It was very difficult to stop working on these.

Multi Yarn Series

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Site Credits

All work copyright Catherine C. Reed except as noted.

Photos by Sri Prabha, Priscilla Otani, Norm Westhoff, David Owolabi, Ben Westhoff, Catherine Reed, and Ann Dean.

Web site design by David Otto.