how i use ravelry bundles

I recently went through and overhauled my favorites on Ravelry so I could properly find things when I wanted them, and it took enough effort that you all get to see exactly what I was doing. You can peek at my favorites here.

Ravelry has a couple different ways you can organize patterns: the Favorites and the Library. I like to think of Favorites as patterns I like but may or may not own, and the Library as a record of patterns I’ve bought. In practice, I just use the Library to re-download things as I need to, and the Favorites as an amalgamation of to-make and inspiration.

Within the Favorites, you have your bundles and your tags. I use my bundles to put together patterns of similar types and my tags to mark attributes I might find useful later–like drawers in a file cabinet and folders within those drawers.

I try to keep my tags simple and fairly self-explanatory. I tag the method (knit, crochet, tunisian), and then the attributes (colorwork, cables, beads, lace). Then I have some tags which are more for me: “water” is ocean- and marine-themed patterns, “fandom” is patterns based off of existing franchises (this one is mostly Pokemon right now), and “rainbow” is simultaneously patterns with rainbows and LGBT-themed patterns. Some of my tags are a little more cryptic: “construction” is for patterns whose construction I found to be clever in some way, and “colors” is patterns which allow you to play with color combinations, whereas “colorwork” is actual stranded work.

Basically, my tags break down into techniques, personal interests, and themes. When creating your own tag system, think about what parts of a pattern are going to draw you back to it, and use those as your tags.

My bundles are way more broad. I have 17 right now, and add more whenever I find new categories worth keeping.

I have Wishlist, Amigurumi (Crochet), Amigurumi (Knit), Baby Blankets, Bags, Books & Bundles, Children’s Clothing, Doilies, Doll Clothes, Gloves, Hats, misc., Ocean Apparel, Projects, Shawls/Wraps/Scarves, Socks, and Tops. All self-explanatory, except perhaps for Projects, which is for projects by other Ravelers which I found to be inspirational in some way.

Some of them I don’t really need anymore: now that I have the “water” tag, I don’t think I need the Ocean Apparel bundle; “water” has some amigurumi and non-wearables in it, but they overlap so significantly that I might delete the bundle. Also, given that I sort of consider my entire favorites list a sort of “wishlist”, I might also not need the Wishlist bundle. It’s an evolving system.

If you haven’t organized your favorites, but would like to, one feature I found really helpful was the “not bundled” and “not tagged” sections under “Top Tags”. I could just click on those to find the favorites that hadn’t yet been organized, and go through them that way. It made everything a lot simpler. If you’ve already organized everything to your liking, how did you do it? What’s your system?

the perils of making it up as you go along

A month or two ago I made a post about all the things I wanted to make for the newest addition to our family, the kitten. It is now past Christmas break, and only a few things actually got done. No biggie. I have the rest of Twinkle’s life to spoil her.

Anyways, I talked about wanting to make her a cat bed that was somewhat cave-like, so that she could hide in it, and I did the thing! Sort of. Ish.

I feel like my attempts were doomed from the beginning, given that A) I’ve never attempted anything like this before, and am not sure I will after, and B) I wasn’t working from any sort of logical pattern at all. (Also, C) I was working entirely from stash, and stash turned out to be extremely mismatched in color and somewhat variable in weight.)

This is made out of about six skeins of Lion Brand Homespun and two skeins of Loops & Threads Cozy Wool. Both of those are super bulky. Then the base is half a skein of New Zealand wool I got at Goodwill ages ago, which is only bulky weight. Also one of these loop things from JoAnn, the intended purpose of which I don’t actually know.

(I wanted to put a picture of the loop right here, but mysteriously, I couldn’t find it on the JoAnn website. Where did it come from, where did it go.)

So, for starters, I crocheted a really big circle. Three times. Because the first time I couldn’t get it to lay flat, and then the second time I couldn’t get it to lay flat either. Third time was the charm (sort of, but I told myself that once it was finished it would flatten itself out). I went around and around until it looked sort of big enough for an adult cat, and then the kitten sat on it and it clearly wasn’t big enough at all, so I went around and around for some more.

The rest kind of baffled me even though I was the one doing it, honestly, but it went sort of like this:

  • Crochet around the base. Attempt to incorporate the loop by doing a stitch around it each row and then turning. Fail.
  • Frog back. Crochet a bunch of stitches around the loop and then, using same thread, start crocheting around the base.
  • Crochet all the way around.
  • Realize that you can’t do that, and you actually need to decrease where the loop stands perpendicular to the walls, or there will be too many stitches.
  • Decrease by three stitches at the corners.
  • Realize that’s too few.
  • Decrease by four stitches on subsequent corners. Realize this makes the previous rows act strangely bulgy. Do not frog. You have come this far, you refuse to go back now.
  • Do this for about ten to fifteen rows. Get suddenly scared that doing this for the entire cat igloo will result in the back being slanted funny, despite not having any real basis for this fear. Stop doing the thing.
  • Begin to crochet only on the wall stitches, turning to go back and forth.
  • Discover that the bulky yarn is going to collapse on itself due to its own weight no matter what you do. Ignore this fact in favor of relentlessly continuing onwards.
  • Get fed up after another 20~ rows, and, even though you have the space and skeins to make the igloo taller, start counting your stitches to calculate your decreases. Discover you don’t have an even multiple of six (the circle constant).
  • Fudge by decreasing several times in a row in some places. This creates weird puckers. Disregard, keep going.
  • Decrease evenly by six until the hole in the top closes up. Sew in all your ends. Pretend that you haven’t created a saggy abomination. Present to cat. Pray desperately that cat appreciates your efforts, because no one else will.

  • Thank the universe that at least the cat loves you, even if yarn doesn’t.

BRINGING HOME A BABY

Okay, not a human baby.

twinkle1

My family is bringing home a kitten from Gentle Touch Ragdolls on the 9th of December; her name is Twinkle! Naturally, even though I’m not going to see much of her living in the UW dorms, I have to spoil her rotten. Obviously. Look at that precious face. How can I not shower her in gifts.

I’m thinking a handful of cat toys and a bed. Just for starters. Next Halloween, when she’s all growed up and big, I’m gonna start making some stupid-cute kitty costumes.

cat-toy-collection

From top to bottom, left to right: Meelai’s Easy Peasy Catnip Mouse Toy, Selina Kyle’s Catnip Bunny, Hanna Breetz’s Quack – Knitted Duck Toy, Lion Brand Yarn’s Door Hanger Bouncy Cat Toy, Nina Shimizu’s Roly Poly Cats, and Maz Kwok’s Bouncing Rainbow Jellyfish.

I’m thinking some normal mice and bunnies, and some laced with catnip. The roly poly cats would be excellent vessels for jingle bells–even if they’re too big in worsted weight, working them in sock weight or substituting this pattern will make them good for giant jingle bells. The ducks are technically dog toys, but I think they’re cute, and being of a more elongated shape than the other toys makes them good candidates for bunny kicking–that thing that cats do where they roll on their back and kick whatever they’re grabbing with their hind legs. This is usually done in play, but it’s an adapted defensive/aggressive behavior designed to disembowel the opponent. Cats are great.

Finally, maybe one door hanger with catnip and one with a jingle bell? Maybe crinkly paper, instead? An extra long one for playing one-on-one? The possibilities are endless.

I also wanna make sure the little twinkie is comfortable, so, pet beds:

pet-beds-collection

From left to right, Hanne Katajamäki’s Nest, Iona van Deurzen’s Cat Nest, and Cris Porter’s 1 Skein Pet Bed.

I love the first one, Nest, and it’s certainly the most popular pattern, but it also seems poorly supported, and a lot of the finished projects seem to collapse in on their kitties. Cat Nest has a wireframe opening, so it’s sturdier, but it’s also more bowl-shaped than cave-shaped. And of course, the 1 Skein Pet Bed is simple, cute, and easy, but in my experience whether or not a cat will go for a flat mat is totally hit and miss.

I’m going to have to go home before Christmas and get my bulky yarn, which I didn’t bring to college because it takes up a lot of space and I don’t use it as often. After that, I think I may have to do some wire engineering and combine Nest and Cat Nest to make something sturdy and cozy.

Currently, my shopping list includes:
  • Catnip
  • Jingle bells
  • Crinkly paper? (Might snag some wrapper somewhere instead.)
  • Some piping or wire for bed construction
  • A basket. This has nothing to do with kittens, but my finished items are starting to pile up in odd places in the dorm and I need somewhere to put them all. Gimme a bit longer to get over the midterm hump, and I’ll have a post up showing them off.

There’s so many things to make for cats, Twinkle might be the only one getting Christmas presents this year, to be quite honest. Sorry, fam.

stashbusting

It’s been two weeks, I know. I have excuses, like that I’ve been busy with the quarter barreling full-speed ahead, or that I’ve been in a weird mental place for the past couple weeks, but really I think I just felt bad about not doing anything of note in the fiber art ways.

Mostly, I’ve just been stashbusting. My yarn hangs in one of those fabric organizers in my closet, and directly below is my laundry basket. I’ve been finding yarn balls in my laundry every time I try to wash my clothes, because they keep falling down. This inevitably leads me to the conclusion: I have too much yarn. Time to use some of it up.

I started with a market bag.

diamond-market-bag

This I did mostly freeform with a couple of colors of Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids, using a stitch pattern I cribbed from the Diamond Lattice Scarf pattern I bought a while back. I haven’t gotten around to making an actual scarf out of the pattern yet, but I’m calling it a purchase well made. I keep my apples in the bag and use it for grocery shopping sometimes. I only need to feed me, it’s plenty big.

pumpkin-hanging

I made this doorknob hanger decoration thing from Pumpkin Bracelet, which recommends crochet cotton and four pumpkins to make a bracelet-sized thing. I went with worsted scraps and some thread to outline the pumpkins and made my room a little more festive.

tiny-christmas-sock-wip

Then, against my better judgment because it’s still October, not Christmas, I started on a tiny Stranded Christmas Stocking (3mm needles instead of the recommended 4mm). My mom asked for Christmas decorations. I probably won’t give this one to her, because it’s tiny and while I’ll finish it, I’m not making four more stranded stockings on 3mm needles for the family. I’ll think of something else for Christmas. Plenty of time, right? Right?

baby-blanket-wip

Finally: a baby blanket. I have a Sugar & Cream ball in waiting and 1 and a half balls of Lion Cotton knitted up. This is just a 3×3 garter rib, which didn’t come out well at all in the photo because it’s black. I know black isn’t necessarily the most traditional of baby blanket colors, but I’m pretending it’s modern and trendy, because when you stashbust, you work with what you got. Also, black doesn’t show stains. I know this because I cut my finger and got blood on this blanket, and you can’t see it. Perfect for the harried parent and their filthy spawn. (It’s getting washed before any babies get anywhere near it, don’t worry.)

As an aside, you may wonder if I am knitting a baby blanket because I know someone who’s having a baby. The answer is no. I don’t even know anyone who’s pregnant. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from knitting blogs, it’s that you don’t start knitting when a baby is announced. You keep a stash of baby items in reserve, or you end up frantically binding off and trying to wash a blanket on your way to the hospital.

Unless you’re a deadline-driven masochist, in which case don’t start knitting anything for babies until like, two months after the mum tells you she’s going to have one.

As for the rockfish project? What I’m supposed to be working on? Well…

i-wrote-that

lazy

I thought about doing a book review this week–I have both the crafter’s guide to taking great photos and crafting by concepts, but the first belongs to me and the second isn’t due back to the library for five weeks, so I’m not in any hurry. I also thought about maybe writing something of a musing about the nature of art and how I feel about my textiles; especially given that most of my art background is actually in drawing and visual arts, and how do textiles fit into that framework? We’ve been talking a lot about that in class lately.

But ultimately, I have almost made it through my first two weeks of college now, and frankly I am tired. It’s going to be something of a lazy weekend (I get Mondays off before fall quarter starts) so you don’t get a review or deep ponderings on art. You get more fish.

IMG_20160901_172601243

These are all the pieces for my rockfish minus the body. From top to bottom, left to right, we have soft dorsal fin, lips, bony dorsal fin, anal fin, fish eyes, paired pelvic fins, and paired pectoral fins.

(Thinking about redoing the bony dorsal, but haven’t decided if I’m finicky enough about the color to make changing colors in a fdc row worth it.)

Anyways, that’s a lot of different kinds of fins, huh? Especially when the highly distilled popular culture image of a fish (think goldfish crackers) basically only has the caudal and the pectoral fins. But if you hang out with enough fish, you get to know them pretty well.

Dorsal fins go on the back and prevent a fish from rolling over and aid in navigation. Most fish have one; rockfish have two, the first of which is armed with nail-like spikes. Some species can also inject poison through these spines. Charming!

The anal fin is similar to the dorsal fins, but it goes on the underside, usually after where the actual anus is. It acts as a stabilizer.

Pelvic fins don’t look at all like they are attached to a pelvis, and strictly speaking they’re not. However, they are analogous to hind limbs on vertebrates that have legs. They help in sharp turns, up and down, and quick stops.

Pectoral fins are generalized structures that are often highly adapted to particular functions. In rockfish they are probably used to help navigate, but in flying gurnards they function as an intimidation device and make gurnards impossible to swallow whole, and in sea robins they have been adopted into creepy spider-leg things.

The caudal fin does propulsion. It’s not in my aggregate image of yarn rockfish parts because I designed it to be crocheted along with the body instead of separately. They can be quite fancy in some species–for instance the domestic (and artificially selected) butterfly-tail goldfish and betta–or lethal, in the case of the thresher shark.

Adipose fins don’t exist on rockfish. What are they?

we just dont know gif

(No, really–we have no idea what they’re for, which is a problem, because we regularly cut it off as a method to mark fishery-raised salmon.)

Yarn yarn yarn yarn yarn

It is amazing how inspiring new yarn is. I went back up to 55th St to buy myself some nice quality tea after having a terrible day involving getting very, very lost, and was seduced back into Acorn Street Shop by the call of squishy, plush skeins and beautiful, inspiring finished objects to pet. I shouldn’t be allowed out on my own when there are yarn stores around, honestly.

But the damage has been done! I have new yarn.

It isn’t really special yarn, I’ll give you that. No mohair or baby alpaca or silk laceweight for me, just some good solid Plymouth Encore in Gold and Red.

plymouth encore goldplymouth encore red

They don’t even have interesting color names like Drunk Fuschia or River Periwinkles or something. (Do those yarns exist? Tell me if they do. I will buy them.) OH WELL, I say, because I am inspired.

About half a year ago-ish I worked out a pattern for a rockfish of the genus Sebastes, and then settled on making it specifically Sebastes nigrocinctus, commonly known as the tiger rockfish. Sebastes means august or venerable, and nigrocinctus is a combination of niger (dark) and cinctus (belt), referring to its dark stripes. They come in an array of bold colors, and I consider them one of the most striking fish in the Puget Sound. I got stymied because I couldn’t find appropriate colors.

What colors are tiger rockfish? I will show you.

This first fellow is a pretty average color for a tiger; almost-black red stripes, lighter orange body color. Look at his grumpy lips. This is the one I still haven’t found an exact color match for; that particular shade of pinkish-yellowish-orange is a tough one to match in yarn. But it’s okay, because…

another rockfish

Copyright Jeff Whitlock 2008. From The Online Zoo.

…they also come in this sweet strawberry-ice-cream pink, with paler red stripes. This one is a perfect match for Berroco Vintage in colorway Fondant. This one doesn’t seem to be as common as the orange, perhaps because the paler color makes it more difficult for them to survive past the younger stages of life. I recreated one of these, but was unsatisfied because despite being pretty, they really aren’t very common or representative of tiger rockfish.

And then, if strawberry and apricot weren’t sufficient for you, they also come in this violent shade of…carrot? Maybe even more orange than that. This is peak Orange Fish, and basically only Red Heart Super Saver will do for this particularly neon shade. I have yarn for this puppy, but I have received some feedback that they do not look like real fish when they are this color, so I am hesitant on actually making a rockfish out of these colors. Also, like the pink ones, they are less common. I’ll do it once I’ve finished the less extreme ones, probably.

Finally, we have the one that matches the colors that so inspired me. He’s a nice shade of orangey-gold, and if my picture of the Plymouth Encore isn’t quite this shade, I assure you it is camera error. His stripes are definitely much brighter than the Encore red, but I’m okay with that because I know that darker stripes are natural and common for rockfish, and was just having trouble finding an accurate body color to match my reds to.

Tigers max at about 24″ and 115 years. My rockfish prototype is 12″ and 1 year old, and I am excited to get back to him. Velociraptor is on hold again. Designing from scratch is hard when you’re still trying to figure out college and only getting about six hours of sleep a night.

Lookit my fishie.

original rockfish prototype

Pyukumuku: Free Crochet Pattern

I’m pretty sure the newest Pokémon game (coming out November 18th!) was made for me. Pokémon Sun and Moon is set in a region based off of Hawaii, and is filled to the brim with new and incredible aquatic Pokémon. This cutie, Pyukumuku, is the Sea Cucumber Pokémon! Its name is apparently a combination of “puke”, “mucus”, and “cuke”, which I find utterly charming. Since no pattern for Pyukumuku seems to exist yet, I made one myself. Since this pattern doesn’t make use of safety eyes, it’s great for even the littlest Pokémon trainer.

Supplies
Partial skein (60-70 yards) of black worsted weight yarn
Scraps (20-30 yards) each of white and pink worsted weight yarn
5mm/H crochet hook
Tapestry needle
White embroidery thread
Fiberfill or stuffing of your choice
Stitch marker

Body (make 1 in black)
If you are having difficulty with the beginning of the body, refer to Mohumohu’s oval tutorial here. The bobble stitch I used is based off of this one, but I only use three partial double crochets (4 loops on hook total) for a smaller eye.
1. ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, 3sc in last ch. Rotate foundation chain to work in back loops. Sc in next ch, 2 sc in last ch sp. (8)
2. Inc, sc, inc 3, sc, inc 2. (14)
3. inc, sc 2, (inc, sc)x3, sc, (inc, sc)x2 (20)
4. inc, sc 3, (inc, sc 2)x3, sc, (inc, sc 2)x2 (26)
5. inc, sc 4, (inc, sc 3)x3, sc, (inc, sc 3)x2 (32)
6. sc 11, bs in pink, sc 16 in black, bs in pink, sc 3 in black. (32)
7-18. sc around (32)
Stuff firmly. Continue to add stuffing as you decrease.
19. dec, sc 4, (dec, sc 3)x3, sc, (dec, sc 3)x2 (26)
20. dec, sc 3, (dec, sc 2)x3, sc, (dec, sc 2)x2 (20)
21. dec, sc 2, (dec, sc)x3, sc, (dec, sc)x2 (14)
22. dec, sc, dec 3, sc, dec 2 (8)
23. dec 4 (4)
Finish off. Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull shut.

IMG_20160819_194542018

“Tail”* (make 3 in white)
1. MR 6
2. inc around (12)
3. sc around (12)
4. dec around, slst (6)
Tuck starting end in, stuff firmly, and finish off.

Small Spikes (make 4 in pink)
1. MR 4
2. inc around (8)
3. sc around (8)
4. sc around, sl st (8)
Finish off, stuff firmly.

Large Spikes (make 2 in pink)
1. MR 4
2. inc around (8)
3-4. sc around (8)
5. (inc, sc)x4 (12)
6. sc around, slst (12)
Finish off, stuff firmly.

Assembly
Embroider Pyukumuku’s “mouth” between its eyes with your white yarn or embroidery thread. Sew the white bits on the other end. Sew the spikes on Pyukumuku’s back as the pictures show, angling them to your liking. Congratulations! Wild Pyukumuku was caught!

IMG_20160819_194239716

Fascinatingly, Pyukumuku’s ability is Innards Out, where it ejects white, sticky strands to deal damage to the enemy. Real sea cucumbers grow these strands at the base of their respiratory system, near the anus (which is the organ through which sea cucumbers absorb oxygen), and when threatened eject them from the anus to distract or entangle the predator. New tubules grow back within a few weeks. So yes: Pyukumuku’s face is actually an anus.  As for the fluffy “tails”?

*They are likely feeding tentacles, which are fluffy, (usually) white appendages that the cucumber uses to scrape up algae and other tasty morsels from the sea floor. I love it when Pokémon takes inspiration from real-world biology.

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to contact me by commenting or emailing me at quillen@seafarersyarn.com.

Tiny things

I’ve been on a bit of a tiny thing kick. I can’t help it, they make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

poliwag1 tinybun1

The first one is a Pokémon. Its name is Poliwag, a bastardization of “pollywog”, since the Pokémon itself is conceptually based off of Costa Rican glass frog tadpoles (sixth on this marvelous list of transparent animals; warning for visuals of internal organs, since despite all of these animals being alive and well, you can see right through them). The pattern is from Ravelry right here. I used cotton thread and a 2mm hook to make him tiny and adorable.

The second is Rachel Carroll’s Dutch Rabbit, done with sock yarn and 2.25mm needles with seed bead eyes. Quarter for size reference! The breed features some of the most aesthetically pleasing rabbits out there, in my opinion.

This is just a quick post. I’ve been swatching for my Velociraptor, trying to work out the most difficult parts: the wings. Next week we’re going to have a saunter through the dinosaur wing, including why a flightless hunter like Velociraptor would have had wings or feathers at all, and how I intend to represent them in crochet.

One more pic of the bunny for luck.

tinybun2

I published a pattern

Dear readers, my deepest apologies for missing two Sundays in a row. It turns out getting your wisdom teeth out and then having family in from out of state is an excellent way to get everything derailed.

Things that have happened in my absence:

1: My little sister won second place for her age group at the state-level golf championship! Everyone is extremely proud of her. Next year she’ll do even better.

2: I popped into the knitting group at the local yarn shop and had a go at swatching for Hexagons in Zitron Pro Natura. These will be my first ever socks. I was informed that this was extremely ambitious of me, but the actual techniques used for the socks (knit, purl, ssk, k2tog, use of dpns, picking stitches up) are all things I’ve done before. I’m making them for my mother for Christmas, since she’s a quilter who works entirely with hexagon motifs. They’re sort of her signature. I also frogged a couple of knit projects that were not going anywhere.

However, I am sick up to the neck of knitting at the moment, and have put socks and other knitting notions away for the moment. Sometimes I need a good knit as a break, but crochet is my one true love, which I was reminded of when I picked up a 2mm and some cotton thread to have a go at crochet lace. The hook just feels right in my hand the way needles don’t. Still:

3. Doing any crocheting on my planned Velociraptor will have to wait for a bit; I intended to get more done on it before things got so busy, but that didn’t happen. First I was stuck in bed and then Sister’s championship and family happened, and now I have two weeks before I move into my college dorm, so things must be squared away before I do any more serious designing.

4. After making a doily for a palate cleanser, I started work on an older pattern: a semi-realistic Triceratops I designed for a friend who was having twins. The crochet has been finished for a while. I just needed to photograph it and finish the PDF files, but now it is done! It is done! You can find it here on Ravelry. There are more pictures on my project page here, as I don’t like to picspam.IMG_20150825_191046063_TOP
This is my first published pattern. My family and I are going to have a celebratory dinner, and then it’s right back to working on more patterns and more designs (and hopefully ironing out the legalities of getting licensed as an official business). The future is so exciting.

Projects projects projects

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.