Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July everyone!

A few things I have been working on lately involve absolutely no patterns. The best kind of projects. I decided that I should be able to just cast on some stitches and "go for it". I had a few creatures in mind, kept them in mind every row, and increased or decreased when needed. This all started when I was designing a Deep Sea display in my classroom. The background is black felt, runs floor to ceiling, and will be filled with hanging creatures fromt he deep. The only problem, no one makes deep sea stuffed animals. I have found some plastic models, but they are too small and not ideal for my creation. My boyfriend Mike jokingly suggested I knit the scene, and after some thought, I realized it might just work. I ran to the yarn store, this time Joann's in Santa Monica, for some cheap and bulky yarn. Usually, I like comfy yarns that make my hands feel good, but these unknown animals needed a lot of yarn, so Joann's was my place. This weekend, while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, in high definition no less, I began with a big red jellyfish.

I cast on 7 stitches, and started increasing each round. Trial and error was my motto, so i just kept going around until I got to the circumference I wanted, then I started decreasing. At this point, it looked like a weird red beret. I kept decreasing until about 15 stitches remained, then I stuffed it with fiberfill and cinched these last stitches. Voila! A jellyfish body. I added lots of long tentacles and I had my first animal.

I moved on to the gulper eel, my favorite deep sea creature, then added a club-tipped anemone and another small red jelly. My deep sea "aquarium" is shaping up nicely.

Somehow, I will also hang the giant squid hat in there so that it is "fighting" with a sperm whale I made from a piece of styrofoam. Pics to follow of the whole scene.

I have moved into my new classroom at Pali, a much bigger room with 5 saltwater fishtanks. This is a new experience for me, since I have never owned a saltwater tank before. I have been going in to school everyday this summer to feed the fish and make the move from my old room to the new room. I filled a dumpster with stuff from my old room and TWO dumpsters with stuff from the new room. The retiring teacher just walked away and never got rid of anything. I found specimens in his cabinets of preserved animals from the 50's. Scary. The coolest thing happened yesterday in the coral tank. The pufferfish blew up! i have unofficially been calling him Bloat (from Finding Nemo) and now I know he can do it. Here is a blurry pic of his exploits. Sorry for the blur, but he would not stay still.

FYI: I am teaching a lace bolero jacket class this Thursday evening (6:30 to 9:00) at Yarn Garden in Studio City. Should be fun, we had a blast with it last month, so it is back by popular demand! See you there!


mehitabel said...

Wow! Those are looking great! How about a bat ray (in grayish green), a translucent jelly (could be done w/ strips of mylar ribbon), and a big ol' sunfish--blue and yellow and very flat, easy to stuff!

beth said...

Awesome knitted creatures!

A word of caution about the pufferfish. When they puff, they release toxins. In the ocean, the fish swims away and the toxins dissipate. In a tank, however, the toxins stick around and can poison other fish, including the puffer itself.

A puffer that's puffing is very stressed, and potentially dangerous to itself and its tankmates. (And also very cute! I know!) But watch out. A partial water change might be a good idea after any puffing incidents.

Askinstoo said...
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tomtom said...

My friend and I are IN LOVE with the pattern for the perfect green cable bag on your front page. We are frequent shoppers at the Yarn Garden but only recently found your site. Is there any way you would share the pattern- or have I missed it here? I would so love to make one- and surprise her with another!