Even though Gentleman Prefer Blondes, and Blondes prefer diamond tiaras, I, Jenna Ruth Wolf, “always say a kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a giant squid lasts forever.”
And so true it is, which is why I’ve always been fascinated by the cephalopods–whether my intrigue be whetted by films documenting famous Japanese scientists in search of the mighty beast or even a tea kettle of scalding water, a ream or two of fiber, and my hands agitating wool to boot.
There’s nothing better than what I call a felted squiddle, the above Mr. Herman Squiddle drying out after one too many dunks in the moonshine barrel (translation: felting process) ages ago. And as most of my friends who have been gifted similar squiddles know, they absolutely melt your heart–and last forever.
Herman Squiddle was knitted up in the round using somewhat of an adaptation of this Naughty Squiddy pattern, which is available courtesy of Island of Misfit Patterns. I decided to felt it up quite tightly, molding the yarn for hours in order to get a distinctly smooth, round body. What’s more–instead of knitting every tiny leg in the round (which I certainly did on several trys and found it tedious), I found creating an i-cord was more preferable. Of course, as always, instead of embroidering eyes I used my favorite teddy ones, which give it an added oomf, me thinks.
And it’s all about the touches–its bottom knitted up in a moss stitch of sorts, so as to look like little “suckers”…the only thing I’ve never resolved is that weird “beak” the squid has…but then again, I’d like to think my Herman Cephalopod doesn’t have anything sharp hiding about its tummy. What do you think?
If you want to make your own squiddle, certainly follow the above pattern–which calls for size 7 dpns, feltable yarn (that means a natural fiber wool, nothing acrylic!), and of course a tea kettle of hot water and some dishwashing soap. Agitating the wool allows you to really manipulate how you want the squid to look–and you may add the teddy eyes before or after, either one has various issues (before means you have to be careful not to pull them out as you agitate the wool and after means its harder to push them through the felted body and apply the fasteners).
Once you’ve felted it up, it will need a couple of days to fully dry out before you stuff it with fiber fill. I suggest stuffing the squiddles empty innards with plastic shopping baggies and some paper towels, but make sure not to overstuff or understuff. I always like to use the plastic baggies to mold the squid into the perfect shape that will stick when dry. Of course, when it seems no longer water logged, just add the stuffing and sew up the bottom–I just eyeballed a standard moss stich swatch which would cover the underside and easily be darned into place…its that simple, so fear not!
Not the crafty kind but sensing you can’t live without one of these? Place your order for a felted squiddle now…I’ll send you one, price negotiable.