Finished Friday: Knitted Jellyfish

Today’s finished project seems like a bit of a cheat because this is not a UFO that’s been lying around for months or years, but a project I started and finished in just five days. In my search for my next creative outlet, I picked up Hansi Singh’s Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 Cute Mini Knits and let myself play.


I love the patterns in this book. They have two things going for them: their sculptural forms and their unusual subjects.

As knitted creatures go, Singh’s animals are exquisitely shaped and detailed. Most knitted toys are suggestive at best — blobby shapes for head and body, snake-like tubes for limbs. But Singh’s octopus is not a blob with snakes. The body is a smooth gourd shape, reminiscent of a butternut squash, or better yet, the body of an octopus. The tentacles are tapered and can be twisted into clinging shapes.

The other plus for me is that the book is full of unusual but captivating creatures. Her critters are far from cuddly, but they are still attractive. I don’t love spiders or snails, but one look at  her knitted versions and I’m ready to make them just to find out how she does it. When I first bought this book, I was mainly interested in the pattern for the Loch Ness Monster (aka Nessie), but since then I’ve become more and more intrigued by everything from the hermit crab to the praying mantis. Even the chapter of vegetables (her “easy” patterns) are tempting, because the final forms are so lovely.

Hansi Singh's amazing hermit crab (from her book)
Hansi Singh’s amazing hermit crab (from her book)

Back in 2010, I made Nessie. I was mystified by the pattern. She used short rows to shape the body, but the numbers associated with the rows and turns seemed almost random. When I picked the book up this week, I chose another pattern that looked mystifying, determined to learn its secrets.

That’s how I wound up knitting a jellyfish.

I was mesmerized by the oral arms (the twisty bits that dangle down) and wondered how she got those shapes with knitting. I had to find out, and I did.

My version of the jellyfish
My version of the jellyfish
My jellyfish: close up
My jellyfish: close up

I’m fascinated by 3-D fiber art work, and I see now that this book can be a classroom for me, a place where I can learn tricks to design the kind of detailed knitted creatures I’d like to be able to make. Expect to see more amigurumi projects on Finished Friday.

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