Did you know that the man-of-war is not one single organism (like true jellyfish are), but four different species? So they are not really jellyfish, but something called a siphonophore, which is basically a colony of different creatures living together, so specialized that they can’t live without each other. The long stinging tentacles is one kind, the floater is another, and the two types of shorter polyps are used either for feeding or for reproduction.
I’ve had the idea to crochet one for ages, but the first I tried to make (years ago when I was still learning to crochet) was such a failure that I gave it up. Then, as I was finishing the compass jelly, it suddenly occured to me how the problem could be solved 🙂 It was mainly the sail part of the floater that gave me problems, I did so many versions before I found a solution… I initially tried to make the sail and floater as one piece, but found it too difficult to get the shape right, so I made it as two parts. (Just to clarify: The whole body part of the jellyfish is commonly known as the sail, but since I made to separate pieces, I called the upper part the sail and the lower part the floater.)
Finally I decided to make the sail in solid white, but the real ones can be really colorful, so feel free to experiment 🙂 You can either crochet lines in between the ridges or sew them on afterwards. The sail pattern uses many different stitches, so I’ve drawn up a chart to make it easier to follow. Hopefully the written instructions will be understandable as well, but the chart is there just in case 🙂
This jelly is pretty big. Even though the floater is no more than 21cm from front to back, the longest tentacles measure about 55cm. The jelly has a total length of 70cm from top to bottom! The live ones are about the same size as mine (up to 30cm), but their tentacles will grow much longer, up to 50 meters! Quite impressive 🙂 The sting is painful, but usually not lethal unless it causes severe allergic reactions.
Well. I think this will be the last pattern from me for a while. School has started again, and in an couple of weeks my schedule will be absolutely full of assignments and lab classes. If I manage to get my laptop fixed, there might be a new pattern up before Easter. We’ll have to wait and see 🙂