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Croshare at Portsmouth Festivities 2017

[Updated Friday 10 January 2020: The hyperlinks to the patterns made available to us from Search Press were disabled as these should have been live only until the end of Portsmouth Festivities 2017. Please accept our thanks for your understanding and our apologies for any inconvenience.]

Croshare is proud to announce its participation in Portsmouth Festivities 2017. This Sunday 18 June at Aspex in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, Croshare will welcome members of the public to Trawl: a fun, large and bright crochet installation celebrating Portsmouth’s long and proud relationship with the sea, as well as a reminder of our responsibility in caring for it. And, what’s more, from now until Portsmouth Festivities starts, you have the opportunity to make or give us something that will become part of this installation.

If you live on the UK’s only island city, you’re part of a seaside and maritime community that’s hundreds of years old, and whose culture, society and geography have been shaped by the ebb and flow of the same tides that have been washing the shores of faraway places such as Guaitecas in Chile or Kanomi in Papua New Guinea for just as long. We think this history is something to celebrate, and we’d like very much for you to help us.

Just as many hands make light work of the creation and repair of fishing nets in artisanal fishing communities across the World, we want you to come together to help us make a crocheted fishing net that will help us capture the creative and community spirits of Portsea Island; we’ll have another to fill with all manner of made and found objects that help tell your stories and the stories of where you live.

Why nets? Well, the net is one of the objects we use to explore the very depths of the sea and the potential of this astonishing environment. It’s also an object that causes a lot of damage when not used or discarded properly – this poignancy helps us tell both sides of the story, because it wouldn’t be fair to tell only one and ignore the other.

On the day, we’ll use basic crochet skills to work on one net, and we’ll fill another with all the weird and wonderful things made and do given to us beforehand. So, the nets will made possible because of the knowledge and skills of those who’ve come before, and will be filled thanks to the knowledge and skills of those who are here now. By now, we bet you’re asking yourself what you can make and bring to fill the net with. Well, here you go!

Go beachcombing or beach cleaning! But remember to do it safely. There are loads of good guides out there on beachcombing and beach cleaning – we found the 2 Minute Beach Clean website a good place to start looking for advice on best beach behaviours, but there are others out there. Find us all sorts of interesting driftwood, sea creature bones, seaweed and bits of old rope or net to bring to us

Crochet (or knit) something from the sea! Our wonderful friends at Search Press have made some of the patterns from their books 200 Fun Things to Crochet, 200 Fun Things to Knit and Mini Knitted Ocean available to Croshare at Portsmouth Festivities 2017 participants – we’re sure you’ll find something wonderful from the below list that you’ll not be able to resist whipping up and sending in to us! Simply click on the PDF to download it once you’re on the page.

Blue Starfish from 200 Fun Things to Crochet

Branching Seaweed from 200 Fun Things to Crochet

Mermaid’s Cup Seaweed from 200 Fun Things to Crochet

Sardine from 200 Fun Things to Crochet

Common Starfish from 200 Fun Things to Knit

Fiddler Crab from 200 Fun Things to Knit

Jellyfish from 200 Fun Things to Knit

Red Star from 200 Fun Things to Knit

Sprat from 200 Fun Things to Knit

Striped Scallop from 200 Fun Things to Knit

Mini Crab and Hermit Crab from Mini Knitted Ocean

Jessica Polka, the designer of many of the patterns made available to us by Search Press, has given her enthusiastic support for Croshare at Portsmouth Festivities, along with her permission for those interested in making something for us to use any of the relevant patterns on her blog, Wunderkammer: A handmade cabinet of curiosity, that are under a Creative Commons CC BY licence. Thank you, Jessica!

If you can’t visit us on the day but would like to contribute to Trawl, you can post us whatever you make and find (within reason – nothing dirty or alive, please). Alexsis, from Portsmouth haberdashery Seeded, is a supporter of Croshare at Portsmouth Festivities along with Aspex and Search Press, and has said it’s OK for those interested in participating to post things to her up until the week before the event – we will need a little time to get everything together! The address is:

Croshare at Portsmouth Festivities 2017
C/o Seeded
125 Winter Road

We’d like to collect the names of everyone who gives or makes something for us, so make sure to collect include this information when you post us whatever it is you post us, or make sure to tell us on the day. We’ll want to talk and write about the whole experience afterwards and want to make sure we can thank everyone who will have made it a success.

So, we guess that’s it for the moment – time to get looking for some things and making others! If you have any questions, then please get in touch. We hope to see you on Sunday 18 June at Aspex, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth for a day of fun and play. You can just turn up between 11am and 4pm but, if you want to make sure we know you’re coming, you can book a free ticket on Eventbrite.

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