A lacy hyperbolic bush

I’ve got a collection of books reprinting fairly traditional crochet lace patterns, intended mostly for crocheting around handkerchiefs. Wouldn’t those make great edgings for hyperbolic shrubbery as well? Showing off all the different things we can do with our crafts is part of the point of this project, after all.

Here’s the finished piece, together with the pattern it came from:

Hyperbolic lace bush and instructions

And here’s a close up of the crochet edging:

Hyperbolic Lace Edging - Closeup

The edge itself is mostly straight, so I did fairly strong increases in the brown setup rows. The last brown row is the first row of the pattern, but I only made two chain stitches instead of the original five between stitches, so there is effectively some increasing in the second pattern row compared to that.

Here’s the finished piece installed at an edge of the platform:

Hyperbolic Bush - Installed

The brown is fairly floppy, being worked in treble crochet stitches instead of the double crochet of the other versions, and being crochet thread instead of thicker wool as well, but I do like the lighter appearance this has.


Hyperbolic bushes – multicolour version

Those hyperbolic bushes seem to be addictive, I couldn’t help making another one! This time I tried to get a more naturalistic look by using different colours. Here’s the result:

Multicolour Shrub

And here are the yarns I used:

Multicolour Shrub - Yarns

From left to right I started the base and the first rows with the brown yarn as the branches. After a few rows, I doubled up the brown with the lovely multicolour green to depict older leaves growing on the lower branches. I then left out the brown and added the light green instead to show the fresh growth of young leaves.

For the last row, I stopped using the hyperbolic recipe and made a little fringe from the light green yarn only, working a single crochet in each stitch of the previous row with seven chain stitches between each single crochet. I think it works to make things look a bit less rigid:

Multicolour Shrub - Installed

I think variegated yarns, especially ones that mostly stay in one colour and don’t jump all over the colour wheel, are a great choice for making things look more organic. On the other hand, the way those hyperbolic bushes are worked “from the ground up”, it’s easy enough to switch and mix colours every few rows.

Hyperbolic Shrubbery

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef was definitely one of the inspirations for this project. I’ve long been fascinated by hyperbolic crochet: I had the opportunity to add a small piece to the UK Reef way back in 2008, and I created and ran the Hyperbolic Crochet Community Project at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki in 2017.

The charm of hyperbolic crochet is that you can create organic forms using a very simple set of instructions. If you can create corals, why not leafy things as well? Here’s my result of trying to make a bit of shrubbery:

Hyperbolic Shrub

For this, I made a fairly long chain and then used single crochet (US term)/double crochet (UK term) working back and forth. The ruffling is created by increasing regularly at a fairly high rate, I increased every second stitch here, so two stitches in one row become three in the next. In the last couple of rows, I added some multicolour thread to the fairly light green base yarn for some visual interest. Doesn’t look like much, but makes exactly the right impression when installed:

Hyperbolic Shrubbery - Installed

To achieve this effect, I laid the base chain down in tight curves, forcing the ruffle to turn into itself and creating an impassable piece of shrubbery. I’m currently fixing all the bits and pieces to the platform using glass-head pins, in order to be able to move them around and rearrange them easily.

A hint on size: We’re going for trees with a maximum height of 20cm, assuming that would be about 20 metres in reality. So the distance between the base chain and the last row should be at most about 5 cm (2 inches), which would make a substantial stand of bushes around 5 metres tall.