Challenge 2015: Post War Blues at the Brooklyn Army Terminal


2014 Farm/Art DTour Crochet Challenge

In 2014, I issued an international "crochet challenge" for people to participate in the installation Invasive Species, for the Farm/Art DTour, which is part of the Reedsburg's Fermentation Fest in Wisconsin.

Below are some information about the installation and the people who made it all possible!

About the installation:

Invasive Species are introduced into new environments for a variety of reasons: to expand crops, beautify gardens, and control pests. Or: accidentally as part of globalized travel and trade. The kudzu vine is a prime example of an outside plant that has become invasive, especially in the southern United States.

Plastic has likewise thoroughly invaded our lifestyles. It is in virtually everything we use: clothes and shoes, toys and tools, food shipping and storage containers. Plastic has filled garbage dumps to overflowing and created hundred-mile toxic gyres in our oceans. In our pursuit of consumerism, we have allowed our lives to be taken over by a harmful material that we cannot discard without creating massive environmental hazards.

In Invasive Species, over 5000 kudzu vine leaves engulf an abandoned farmhouse. The leaves are made of crocheted plastic shopping bags: the bags are cut in strips which can then be used as yarn to crochet. The plastic leaves will climb and cling to the house, slowly "choking" it with their invasive growth.

The final installation was hugely successful, thanks to the efforts of all the crochet participants.
Wisconsin was beautiful and I am extremely grateful that I was selected to participate in this year's Fermentation Fest.

Congratulations to Nancy Schofield (215 leaves!), Maryellen Cudney (126!) and Jan Bishop (121!) for winning the challenge. And big thank to all the participants: Pat Andreessen, Holly Hammel, Jan Walkington, Roxana and Dayana Garcia, Brenda Hofmann, Sonja Nelson, Michele Brody, Hofmann, Wendy Shafer, Beulah Kinney, Becky Powers, Stephanie Beardsley, Marilyn Kinsman-Kharbush, Susan Goode, Eve Foege, Paulette Jones, Betty Walsh, Mona Whitten, Carrie Covell, Lynn Flatley, Laverne Wagner, Katie Schofield, Heidi Hankley, Mary Rogers, Rayna Thompson, Pat Williams, Mary Jo Colwell, Diane Weiss and Meredith Hays

Thank you for the bag donations from Michele Tashinian, Craig Haupt, Kate Black, Mary Lopez, Greg Gassman, Scott Holcomb, Sarah Valeri, Rachel McIntosh, Juline Koken, Dr. Don Collins, Charlotte Collins, Beatrix Piesh, Alicia DeBrincat, Wessie Dietz and all the people of Reedsburg!

A big thank you to my mom Huguette Garbani for tirelessly making yarn for me all through the summer and supporting my art. And an enormous thank you to Dan Collins for being a great supporter the past 17 years!

About the Fermentation Fest - Farm DTour:

The Farm/Art DTour is a 50-mile self-guided back roads tour by car, bike or buggy through the beautiful, unglaciated hills and valleys of Sauk County.

The DTour is punctuated by temporary art installations and artist-built Roadside Culture Stands selling fresh, locally grown produce as part of our new Food Chain initiative. You’ll also find Field Notes (rural culture education sites), Farm Forms (creations made by farmers, area businesses and community groups), Pasture Performances and more!

Visit their site at and plan your trip to Wisconsin!

Photos of Invasive Species:


Meet the Reedsburg Crew:


First visitor!


Volunteering on a Saturday (Tricia I need your selfie!)


A lovely Sunday morning breakfast for the local crochet artists:


Nancy finds one of her leaves!


My host family in Reedsburg:


Meet the Brooklyn Crew:


Sorting leaves in the studio:


Iviva, tireless artist helping with the sewing:


Little Isabelle (Iviva's artwork) supervising the studio:


Best boyfriend, volunteering his time:


Hard at work:


Work Process:


Nylon netting is cut to shape, then hung of the studio walls:

Individual leaves are then sewn on the net:

Detail of the final cluster of leaves: