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The terrible purple lump has resolved itself into a Finished Thing!

Modeled picture of capelet
Now that all those long, long rows are done, I actually find myself missing knitting the thing. The pattern called for worsted weight yarn, but I achieved gauge with fingering weight yarn and 6mm needles. Somehow I managed to make 420 yards of fingering stretch further than 420 yards of worsted was supposed to, because once I knit the last stockinette stripe, I still had a rather generous amount of yarn left. I did a beaded picot cast-off, and that didn’t use up the yarn either, so I took the opportunity to finish the neck and arm holes with a row of single crochet worked with a 3.5mm hook. It’s almost invisible, but will prevent stretching and deformation of the piece.

I still ended up with a ball of yarn with an inch and a half diameter. Baffling! I’d weigh it, to see exactly how many yards I have left, but I don’t feel like getting out the scales. Have some detail shots of the capelet instead.

Detail of beaded picot cast off edge
Little beaded picots…and a stitch detail:

Stitch detail of capelet
Now that my knitting is finished (for now…I have some requests for Christmas that will require me to pick up the needles again), it’s back to crochet and toymaking! I’ve been working steadily on the third prototype of an older toy I designed to get it ready to be a Real Actual Pattern, which I will show you at a later date, but I’m thinking it’s time to get some fresh blood in my project bag.

The last two toys I designed were fish, and as much as I do love fish, I’m looking for a more dramatic shaping challenge. Fish, precious things they are, tend to be variations on a few very similar body plans: flat and horizontal, flat but vertical, spherical, and tube-shaped. (Notable exceptions include the mola mola, cubicus or yellow boxfish, flying gurnards, and the slantbrow batfish. All those links include pictures. Go on, click them. I know you want to.)

Still, regardless of the exceptions to the general shaping plans of fish, I wanted something a little more…sinuous. So I picked my next favorite group of creatures, Dinosauria, and designed a little Velociraptor character.

Velociraptor toy design!
Velociraptor mongoliensis was, despite the depictions in Jurassic Park and related media, a small feathered fox-sized predator from Mongolia. Fossil specimens have been found in locations that would have been desert when Velociraptor lived, rather than jungle or forest. The presence of quill knobs on the arms is evidence of fully feathered wing structures, and research on dromaeosaurs (the family Velociraptor belongs to) and closely-related species like Tyrannosaurus suggests this kind of sitting position. The color is based off of this paleoart, suitable for a desert creature.

As for the actual crochet part, I’m debating whether to crochet “patches” of color that are sewn on afterwards, or doing colorwork directly on the body. For sure, I’m thinking about using a wire slicker brush to create the fluffy appearance and using short rows to shape it so that the head, neck, body, and tail can be done all of a piece. Surface crochet is a given, because I love it. The jury is still out on safety eyes or more detailed crochet eyes. I can’t wait to get started prototyping.

Infinite stitches

I identify as a crocheter, for the most part, because I’m better at it than knitting and because I do more of it than knitting. However, my best friend’s birthday is in August, and she picked out StarBurst Cape by Jeanne Abel, so I picked up my circulars and gave it a go.

Reader, this seafarer was utterly unprepared for what it is like to knit 270 some stitches in a single row. Crochet rarely increases that quickly or to more than two digit numbers. (Unless you crochet shawls, which I do not, because I feel that crochet as a general rule makes too dense of a fabric to make good shawls.) It has been tedious. Very tedious. This cape is worked in stockinette and reverse stockinette alternately, with radiating eyelets where it transforms from knit loops to purl bumps. Ergo, mostly it’s just purling or knitting, over and over and over again.

skyscape cape 1

Also, it looks an awful lot like a terrible purple lump at the moment. The yarn is Color Dance’s Moonwalk series, in the colorway Purple Rain. It’s not a terribly well known yarn, as it is from a local creator with a small business, but it can be obtained from her Etsy here and is truly a joy to knit with. Still, I feel like I won’t be able to fully appreciate it until it’s off the needles and properly blocked.

Eighteen more (very, very long) rows of stockinette to go.

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the Seafarer’s Yarn blog. My name is Quillen, and in the interest of sparing my family excessive amounts of talk about wool and blocking and double crochets and all that yarn nonsense, I have instead decided to inflict such things upon the internet. Ravelry has reliably informed me that other crocheters and knitters are usually significantly more interested in listening to this sort of thing than one’s non-crafty family.

Some facts about me to start off:

1. I consider myself a crocheter and a toymaker, but occasionally I cheat on both my hooks and my toys with some fingering weight and a pair of needles. I can’t help it. I need variety in my life. I’m fairly equal-opportunity with my knit and crochet, but I am so, so bad at gauge and only engage in projects that absolutely require it if forced.

2. I like to make toys of animals, and particularly animals that no one else really cares to pay much attention to. In conservation biology, they talk about “charismatic megafauna”. That refers to the animal that goes on the zoo posters and looks charming so people will throw money at the zoo to save the pandas and the tigers. Crochet and knit toy makers are all absolutely taken with these kinds of animals (giraffes, monkeys, bears, ad infinitum), so as much as I too find the charismatic megafauna charming, I seek to branch out in the animal kingdom a little more when making toys.

3. I study Aquatic and Fisheries Science at the University of Washington! You can count on me to live up to the seafaring part of this blog’s name.

4. Unlike other yarn people, I sadly am catless. I keep fish. They are not as cuddly or adoring of me, the food-bearer, but they are less prone to sit on my yarn when I’m trying to block things.

There you go, reader. Welcome to the blog.