Thursday 18 June 2020

Covid critters

With our dining table, which I normally claim as my sewing table, having to also be a homeschool table, my sewing time has been seriously restricted.

Yet I seem to have had endless hours to crochet pointless critters. Here's our underwater Covid19 critter collection:

It all started with Hermie the Hermit Crab.

He became our Covid19 Shelter-In-Place mascot. Hermit crabs being very good at that. :)

Hermie was made entirely with oddments of yarn that I had lying around. Ages ago my husband's aunt made a crochet blanket for our daughter and she included the yarn leftovers when she posted it (as if, at that time, I might have possessed the skills to make any running repairs! Ha!)

That's why his legs are a little more "sun tanned" than his body

Working with what was to hand, I made his shell out of variegated hemp twine. It was hellish on my hands to crochet but I love the effect as a shell texture/colour.

The shell is then "lined" with a cashmere/cotton blend (leftover from the mice). First time around it came out much too small, so i just changed hook size and made it again. That's what you do when you're stuck at hone and your sewing table has been turned into a school desk and you're overseeing spelling and algebra.

It's incredibly snuggly inside and I think any hermit crab would be delighted to call it home.

Back in May when we were under stricter lockdown conditions than now, and the only reason we could find to go outdoors was exercise, we took Hermie on a bike ride to the beach.

We snuck him into a musette and took him to the beach for a photoshoot.

He was a very good model and luckily no seagulls thought him realistic enough to be worth investigating!

Just before homeschool was ending and the kids were looking to go back to "proper" school, P had the assignment of creating a comic strip or stop motion animation. This was Hermie's chance to shine, so P made a series of "Hermie's Adventures" videos.

Here's Hermie checking his CrabSafe app on his mobile device...

And testing the waters as to whether it's time to come out of his shell...

Then Hermie sat on a window ledge and oversaw homeschool/home office for a while.

I crocheted some budgerigars whom you've already met, sewed a couple of shirts and various other things (yet to be blogged)....

Then the pull of the couch and crochet-in-front-of-the-TV drew me back. What's more; now I had all these leftover yarns from the budgerigars to use up, right?!

The jellyfish came next. It was a lot of fun to make, but mostly fun to try and photograph in action with his tentacles swirling dangerously...

After the jellyfish came an aborted attempt at a seahorse. I think I was misreading the pattern and assuming every round should start with a chain and finish with a slip stitch. Whereas it was, simply, a growing spiral of never ending rounds as per the pattern instructions.

But while I was ripping out the seahorse, I posted Hermie's videos to Instagram and discovered a 4 year old fan of sea creatures and admirer of my crochet.

Since I'm all about the making, and never about the having, I new I had a recipient for even more sea creatures. Licence to crochet!!

Next up was Mr Starfish:

I began with the same mistake I'd been making on the seahorse, but it quickly became apparent that his legs and spots weren't going to line up, so that error was picked up much earlier.

He's made from a mostly swan bill orange (swan reveal pending), with a bit of budgie breast for his underneath and some budgie beak for the highlights. A very satisfying use of remnants.

So I posted the starfish and the jellyfish off to my new 4 year old bestie on Monday and they arrived already by Tuesday and it seems he was delighted. Awesome!

I wish I could say, truthfully, that this was the end of the sea creatures...

But I can't. Just in the last few nights I've used a bit of budgie purple and the last of that budgie breast to make a sea anemone. Here's his Instagram photo feature as he probably won't warrant a blog photoshoot of his own:

As addictive as this has been. The kids are back at school and I've got plenty of ideas of things I want to sew. I might be returning to the "normality" that is crazy amounts of sewing instead of crocheting sea creatures*.

All the patterns used in this blogpost come from the book Crochet Sea Creatures by Vanessa Mooncie (Booktopia link) and the yarns are mostly 4ply cotton from Scheepjes via Bellemae Yarns

* Who am I kidding? I mean, have you seen that Octopus? How cool is that?!


  1. Shelley you are amazing! I love your whimsical creatures and how wonderful to be able to gift them to a child who will treasure them. I have a crocheted snake (not made by me) called Sammy at my work and he helps the little kids learning to say their S sounds. They love him. 💚 I look forward to seeing more of your creations 😊

  2. The sea creatures are amazing and I can image the joy of the 4 year old in receiving them.


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