Pattern of the week

I’m trying something new!

Every week I’ll pick a pattern that will be discounted for that whole week, starting right now (Sunday night), and lasting until next Sunday, when it goes back to its normal price and a new pattern will be discounted. Sounds exciting? I’m excited 🙂

This week’s pattern of choice is the Compass Jellyfish!

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The price has been lowered both on Etsy and Ravelry, but due to Etsy’s new VAT rules, the price you see in the shop may vary depending on where you are in the world. If you’re not from the US, it’s most likely cheaper for you to buy from Ravelry, where you don’t even need to be a registered user to buy patterns, as long as you have the direct link 🙂

(Just this once, here are the countries that charge VAT from the buyers: Countries in the EU, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, South Africa, India, South Korea and New Zealand.)

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Free monster pattern!

So these things happened… 😛

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Basically I made these guys because I got some new safety eyes, and while trying out a few different colors for one of the Halloween Dudes, I realized I had to use them all somehow. They are very bright and fluorescent, and glow like monster eyes when I photograph them with flash. So I decided to do some basic shapes and tentacles in colors to match the eyes. The bodies are done in shades of gray and black to show off the colors better.

So what are they? Honestly, I have no idea 😛 Either some sort of mutant jellyfish, or weirdly shaped octopuses with too many arms. You decide 🙂 The important thing, though, is that the pattern is FREE! You can download it from Ravelry 😀

Man-of-war!

Alright, so I didn’t finish the pattern yesterday like I promised, but now it’s all done and posted on Ravelry and Etsy 🙂

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Another jellyfish! The Portuguese man-of-war has fascinated me since I was a little kid and read about them in a book. I think maybe it was the name that got my attention and made me remember it.

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.

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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 🙂

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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 🙂

Jellyfish pattern!

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I did it again! I finished a crochet pattern when I didn’t think I’d have time. Just finished with the first two of my three exams this year, and I guess I didn’t really prioritize the second one. Heh. But the pattern is done, and I am now ready to focus on chemistry 🙂

Anyway. About the pattern. This thing was actually so complicated that for the first time ever, I had to make a pattern chart. I just hope it’s understandable. If not, please contact me and I’ll try to explain with written instructions as best I can 🙂 It’s mainly the color changes on the bell that cause problems, the construction itself is fairly straightforward. Because of the stripes I had to move the increases around so that the red lines wouldn’t get all crooked, and some of the increases are even made in two colors. For this reason I rate the pattern as intermediate, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you are comfortable with a lot of color changes 🙂

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The tentacles were a challenge for me, both because I had to make so many of them and because I had some trouble getting them right. This kind of jellyfish (the compass jellyfish, Chrysaora hysoscella) has four ruffled arms and twenty four really long tentacles. I decided to make only sixteen of them, as I felt it looked crowded enough and twenty four crocheted tentacles would be too much. You always have the option of using yarn strands if you don’t want to crochet all those tentacles 🙂

I think I started working on this some time this summer, so it’s taken me quite some time to finish. In the beginning of November I visited Berlin for a week, and I brought this along because I can’t go anywhere without something to work on. Didn’t get much more done while I was there, but to my great joy I actually got to see these jellies up close and alive at the aquarium! It was really cool, I’m still excited about it 😀

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See, aren’t they pretty? They might not look very much like the one I’ve made, because I modeled mine after a picture and a description in a book I have. Later, after I’d made most of the parts, I realized that they vary greatly in color, and the placement of the 24 tentacles is very different. The book (and Wikipedia) says that the tentacles are placed on groups of three around the edge of the jelly, but the pictures on Google shows that that’s not necessarily true. So I don’t know. I had to make a decision about the design, and this is what I ended up with. You feel free to experiment with the pattern 🙂