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Nobody wanted her crochet blankets or winter scarves any more. They pretended to be grateful but really she knew that they didn’t appreciate her efforts. But she loved to crochet.


As the years went she made dolls clothes, then cushions and sweaters for her husband and clothes for her children. When the children left home she had more time to crochet and she became quicker and quicker. She barely noticed when her husband packed his brown leather case and moved out. She didn’t care that the dust was building up and that the garden was becoming more and more overgrown as she sat on the lounge, with her crochet.


As she reached out to grab more yarn from her basket her hand touched the electrical cable of the lamp standing beside her chair. She wrapped the cable around her hook and pulled it through the previous loop. She carried on until she reached the end of the cable and the lamp fell to the floor. She quickly tore off the fabric that made the shade and ripped it into ribbons, weaving them together with the cable. She carried on crocheting. When she finished the fabric she looked around the room and her eyes settled on the long, slightly creased thin white curtains hanging in front of the window. She pulled down the tracks, cords and fabric and again ripped them to ribbons, hooking as she went. 


The crochet grew. The small circle had turned into a big tube. The big tube had started to coil up like a snake and was forming a big pile on the stairs. As she continued to crochet the pile slowly crept higher and higher until the stairs were completely blocked and she was trapped in the bedroom. She carried on weaving in her clothes as the pile inched towards the window.  


The cables, papers and ribbons all pushed against the glass until a crack appeared. The window broke and she tumbled out into the garden below, grabbing handfuls of grass and knotting them together to join with the crochet. She grabbed twigs and leaves.


The children began climbing the dome and sliding down onto the grass. The local cat spotted an opportunity and pounced onto the softest mound, turning around a few times before settling down and wrapping his tail around himself.


All the noise bought the neighbours to their windows and one by one the curtains and blinds flew open as they stood watching the growing piles of crochet moving along the street. Some of them threw out their old clothes and curtains from the windows to the boys standing below, piling them up. A group of girls ripped the fabrics into ribbons and those that could crochet started to add to the soft structures, weaving long chains with their hands. They created towers, slides, ladders and caves, simply making up the forms as they went, loop by loop.


The local café owners and shop keepers soon noticed that their stores were beginning to feel empty as everyone was busy with their crochet. They decided to move their coffee machines and crates of supplies into the new soft spaces.


The nearby school principal also slowly realized that the children had begun to disappear. With all the classrooms empty the teachers decided to fill their cars with books and supplies and drive towards the growing crochet towers where the children would listen whilst swinging on woven chains and ropes dangling from the roof.


Electrical cables, ducts and water pipes were coiled around the soft rooms, poking through from one area to the next. The crochet shielded the hot sun and the breeze flowed through the holes in the weave and the shadows cast patterns onto the floor. The inner core of the village was protected with a clever arrangement of pipes, umbrellas and tarpaulins strung together with ropes.


The community grew stronger. Inspired by the towers, valleys and endless possibilities, their creativity and union began to break free from the usual boundaries of society. Arbitrary rules and stale traditions were cast aside. Irrelevant laws and unfair hierarchies were ignored.


The rule makers began to squirm.


The politicians felt their powers start to slip away as the bureaucrats gradually ground to a halt. Employees abandoned their corporate bosses and offices like fleeing rats from a sinking ship.


The derelict halls of power and towers of commerce were slowly subsumed by waves of crochet. It broke through the windows and crept into the corridors. It opened up all the closed offices and threw about stacks of paperwork. The chains pushed up the stairs and lifts and out of the upper windows, forming rope bridges in the sky. The city became a network of routes between buildings, with connections at every level and giant soft chutes down to the ground. The city slowly evolved into a giant playground.


One office building resisted the transformation. The board of directors came together for an emergency meeting. With 360 degree views through the faceted glass windows of the gold mirrored dome around them, they could see the progression of the crochet sea below. They began to talk.


They board of directors had ordered all the windows to be reinforced against the onset of the upcoming crochet. The doors were barred from the inside and any vents and openings were sealed tight. The electricity generator was turned on and the emergency oxygen supply was released. The CEO of the board started to deliver a presentation and put forward two plans of action: beat them or join them.


As the board carried on talking the local spiders began to notice a change too. The usual window cleaners were nowhere to be seen and a few small webs formed around window crevices started to grow. They seized their opportunity and as the crochet city expanded, they began their own weaving around the tower. The spiders produced continuous lengths of sticky silk that clung to the building and formed the base for their webs.


The board could not come to a decision. They carried on talking. They didn’t notice that the daylight was slowly being blocked out by a fine silk mesh. They didn’t notice the vibrant communities forming within the city or the happy sounds in the soft streets. They did not want to change. They carried on arguing as the spiders slowly sealed up the building waiting for the oxygen tanks to run dry.


Digital collage.


Developed for the Blank Space Project Architectural Fairytale Competition 2016

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