"Yarnboa Delawarensis" Has Slithered Into Place

TWO UPCOMING EVENTS: ***Saturday, December 13, 2014, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Chester County Book Company--one of the few remaining independent book-sellers still around, and an excellent one at that. I'll be signing copies of Tunisian Crochet for Baby as part of a multi-author event. My bag is packed with samples to show you, but the signing is BYOB (Bring Your Own Baby). More information here.***












***Sunday, December 14, 2014, 1-3 p.m., at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, informal meet-and-greet. I'll answer all of your questions about the yarn installation and will teach finger crocheting to anyone who is interested. Hope to see you there! Find information about the Museum, including hours, admission fees, and directions, here.***

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post...

The past month has whizzed by with so many exciting things happening that I can hardly believe it. At the top of that list is the yarn installation at the Delaware Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, my first fiber art exhibit. Indoors--with the help of some volunteers who crocheted snake segments for me, and Museum staff who hung it--is Yarnboa delawarensis, a 40-foot yarn snake. Approximately 9,000 yards of yarn, including a box donated by Plymouth Yarn Company, went into the critter. That's five miles of yarn. Yarnboa is stuffed with recycled plastic bags and newspapers. When it is taken down on January 26, the segments will be reconfigured into blankets, which will be donated to the Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children in West Chester, PA.

Here are some photos of Yarnboa from the first segment, through partial construction at my home, to its move to the Museum, to its hanging place.

001 (3)

Finished snake segment

Just hanging around

Yarnboa awaiting installation

Looking from the back end






















But wait, there's more! I wanted to do a real yarnbomb, not just a finished object. There were some wonderful opportunities outdoors with the Museum's statues and signage. Multi-colored motifs blanket the tortoise to create "Shell Game." 'The grizzly bear sports a web of snowflakes to turn him into "Polar Bear." A young fawn sports a Tunisian crochet coat in "Flawnt." Thanks to a wonderful suggestion from Helen in the Museum's exhibits department, I also made leg-warmers for a couple of the signs.













Polar Bear

Shell Game











Things went remarkably smoothly during the two days of installation. Helen and I got started on Monday, December 1, aided hugely by unseasonably warm temperatures and dry weather. I didn't even need my coat or gloves. Helen was indispensible; I learned how important it is to have a teammate to make suggestions and to provide an extra pair of hands. I had crocheted some of the bear's snowflakes together into panels at home, but there was still quite a bit of work needed to attach the front to the back and fill in blank areas. As for Yarnboa, I had sewed and stuffed about eight separate sections; in the afternoon of Day One we joined those together and got the snake ready to hang in place.

001 (2)


004 (2)













Day 2 was all about hanging the snake. Chris got the lift ready, and up Helen went! It was not an easy task to knot monofilament line and feed it through the ductwork, but Helen had tremendous stamina for the job. I wasn't much help: my role was pretty much to stand around and say, "That looks great!"


Careful, Chris, something is hissing


Maybe we should hang it there

Up goes Helen in the lift










We started before the Museum opened and were finished mid-morning. It was gratifying to see and hear the reactions from visitors. One mom used the segments to ask her child about colors. A grandmother and her grandson were fascinated with the lift itself. A group of students couldn't stop smiling and pointing. We also got some nice press coverage in a Chadds Ford Live article by Kathleen Brady Shea. You can read it here.

I am very grateful to the Halsey Spruance, Executive Director at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, for his enthusiasm and his permission to do this installation. When I asked him whether I could do a yarn-bombing, he suggested "Yarnboa" to go with the Museum's "Titanoboa: Monster Snake!" exhibit. I also owe a huge thank-you to the Museum staff, especially Helen Bilinski, Chris Hayes, and Daniel McCunney, and to the volunteers all over the country who sent in snake segments. I would love to do more of these fiber art exhibits, and I couldn't have gotten this experience without all of them.

The exhibit runs until January 26th, 2015.

A lot more has been going on in my work life, including the imminent release of Tunisian Shawls Leisure Arts, another book I submitted to them that will be out mid-year, and a compilation/update of my first two crochet titles into Basic Crocheting Plus Projects from Stackpole Books, scheduled for release sometime in 2015. More details in the next blog post, which I will try to do in the near future.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying December so far. Decorate, bake, visit...and get some crocheting in, too!


Volunteers needed to crochet snake segments for the Delaware Museum of Natural History Yarn-Bomb!

NOTE: GAUGE INFORMATION BELOW HAS BEEN UPDATED, 11/3/14 I'm so excited! I've been invited to do a large-scale yarn-bombing and creature installation at one of my favorite local sites, the Delaware Museum of Natural History! It's in conjunction with their exhibit Titanoboa: Monster Snake! and involves creating a 40-foot yarn snake (Yarnensis delawarum) to hang in their display corridor. I'm also going to be decorating some of their outdoor signs, and covering two of their outdoor statues with yarn. The bear statue will be completely encased in white motifs to create "Polar Bear," and the turtle scutes will have colorful motifs on top of the bronze ones. (I'll be asking for volunteers to help with those later; for now I need helpers to make snake segments.)

You can become a part of this unique crochet event! If you'd like to contribute a snake segment, Please sign up for Yarn-bomb for DE Mus. of Nat. Hist.! 

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: 1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/4XYtJY 2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot) 3. Sign up! Choose your spots - VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!

(Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me, Sharon@SharonSilverman.com, and I can sign you up manually.)

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring attention to fiber arts and especially to get children interested. It's also a great way to support the Delaware Museum of Natural History and to give their Titanoboa: Monster Snake exhibit a holiday season boost. Also the perfect way to use up some of your stash yarn! Thank you very much for your participation, I deeply appreciate it! Email me, Sharon@SharonSilverman.com, if you have any questions.


And here is the pattern:


Thank you for agreeing to crochet a segment of Yarnensis delawarum, a 40-foot long snake that will be on display at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. Your name will appear on the Museum’s list of volunteers when the exhibit is installed in December 2014.

Before you start, a few important notes:

  • Yarn MUST be from a SMOKE-FREE environment.
  • Some of the people who will install the snake in the Museum have severe cat allergies. Please do not send anything made with yarn that could have cat hair on it from the animals themselves, your furniture, storage bins, or your clothing.
  • Gauge is essential! The segments must line up properly and to have the same amount of stretch. Please test your gauge and make sure it meets the specifications below.


Crochet hook size G/4.25 mm (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Worsted weight yarn (any content as long as it meets the “Acceptable” criteria below)


Solid color







Novelty yarn



With G hook, in pattern,

56 stitches = 12.5 to 13” (width of segment)

(approximately 18 stitches/4")

10 rows = 5.5” (length of segment)



Back loop only (blo)

Chain stitch (ch)

Double crochet (dc)

Double crochet 2 together (dc2tog)

Loop (lp), loops (lps)

Stitch (st), stitches (sts)

Yarn over (yo)



Back Loop Only: When the hook is inserted only the back loop only, the empty front loop creates a ridge on the side of the work facing you. Look down at the top of the work and you will see a series of V-shaped stitches. The back loop is the part of the V farthest from you.  This is always the case, whether you are working on the right side or wrong side of the work. To work a dc in the blo: Yarn over, insert hook through back loop of stitch, yo, pull up lp, (yo, pull through 2 lps) twice.

Double Crochet 2 Together: To get the waves in chevrons, multiple stitches are worked at the top of each wave. That means there has to be a corresponding decrease in the number of stitches at the bottom of each wave. This is accomplished by working 2 dc stitches together. To do so, work the first dc until 2 lps remain on hook; work a second dc into the next stitch until there are 3 total lps remaining on the hook, yo, pull through all 3 lps. To put it step by step: Yo, insert hook where instructed, yo, pull to front, yo, pull through 2 lps. You will have 2 lps still on the hook. Yo, insert hook into the next stitch, yo, pull to front, yo, pull through 2 lps, yo, pull through remaining 3 lps. Dc2tog completed.


Ch 59. Last 3 chs count as first dc on Row 1.

Row 1: Dc in the 4th ch from hook, dc in next ch, (dc2tog over next 2 chs) twice, dc in next ch, 2 dc in next ch, *2 dc in next ch, dc in next ch, (dc2tog over next 2 chs) twice, dc in next ch, 2 dc in next ch. Repeat from * across.

Notes: The ch-3 at the beginning of Row 2 and all subsequent rows counts as the first dc. Starting with Row 2, work all double crochet stitches into the back loop only.

Row 2: Ch 3, turn. Working in blo, dc in first dc (at base of chains), dc in next dc, (dc2tog over next 2 sts) twice, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, *2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc, (dc2tog over next 2 sts) twice, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc. Repeat from *, working last 2 dc in 3rd of 3 ch.

Rows 3-10: Repeat Row 2. Fasten off.


About the Delaware Museum of Natural History

As the state’s only natural history museum, the Delaware Museum of Natural History opened in 1972 to excite and inform people about the natural world through exploration and discovery. The Museum houses Delaware’s only-permanent dinosaur display, surrounded by exhibits of mammals, shells, and other specimens from around the world. The Museum manages world-renowned scientific collections of mollusks and birds, including one of the top 15 mollusk collections in the United States. The Delaware Museum of Natural History is located five miles northwest of downtown Wilmington and three miles from the Pennsylvania border at 4840 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Wilmington, Delaware, 19807. www.delmnh.org

About Titanoboa: Monster Snake

From a Colombian coal mine 60 million years deep, scientists have uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world – Titanoboa! Measuring 48 feet long and weighing 2,500 pounds, this massive predator could crush and devour a crocodile. Now that scientists have discovered dozens of Titanoboa deep in a fossil bed, prehistoric life will never be the same. Explore this ancient reptile at Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Smithsonian Channel, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Florida Museum of Natural History. Sponsored locally by DuPont. Additional support from Corporation Service Company.