March 6, 2011

365: Day 40 The Big 40 and My Sock Part 1

After making the seahorse I thought about other sea creatures that I could craft from my own pattern. Squids can be pretty cool but then I remembered one of my daughter's favorites: nudibranchs. Amazing ocean critters. If you have never seen one just Google nudibranch or better yet National Geographic has a nice slide show presentation with lots of pics of these outrageously colored soft bodied creatures.

Nudibranchs are extremely toxic and are being studied for potential medical/drug benefits. They cannot see each others dramatic colors as they have no eyes and also lack noses and ears. Those strange "branches" on their faces and bodies act as their eyes, ears and noses. They are hermaphroditic and can change sex anytime in order to procreate. Fascinating eh?

Alright, now I am making a nudibranch and sketching out a pattern to make one from felt. My clever child pipes up with "Why don't you make one from a sock like I did with sock-toe-pus?" Pure genius. Just stuff the sock to get the proper roundness as the sock ribbing will allow it to expand until I have the shape I want. 

First step is to cut the sock ribbing from the heel to toe section. I am using a dark blue sock and will embellish with a bright yellow embroidery floss. These creatures are not shy with their colors so I have free license to get gaudy!

Next I needed to sew up one end of the sock and decided to use a simple whip stitch. This stitch will cause the fabric to ripple which is perfect as the bodies of nudibranchs are very wavy and rippled. Pull the thread into place but not too tightly otherwise the floss tends to get lost in the sock fabric.

Start stuffing. Once that was to my liking I started to whip stitch all the way to the open end of the sock. The ribs can be used as a sewing guideline.
 On this fine knit sock I whipped the floss around 3 ribs at a time. This gave it a nice edge. As I approach the other end I wanted to make that section narrower so I simply whipped the floss over 4-6 ribs till I got to the end. Now I just worked my way back up to the front mouth area.

Tomorrow I will start embellishing, perhaps with large beads or circles of felt. Not sure how to accomplish the branches. Perhaps I will figure that out in my sleep. Ooohh maybe puff paint. Yeah that could be cool and. . . easy?

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