Over the last several months, I have been slogging away at a piece for Knitting Nancy Dives In – an exhibit for the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which has about 30 artists making an underwater world with knitting and crochet. I decided early on that my contribution to this project would be a black devil angler fish. (they’re the scary dudes with the glowy lures and the pointy teeth.)
I found a pattern in Hansi Singh’s amazing book, Amigurumi Knits, which pretty much blew me away. It was full of stuff I’d never tried before, like grafting and short rows, but I was determined to conquer it.
After a while, I had this:
And I had realised two things: (1) the shaping of the body was completely amazing, and short rows were my new religion, and (2) there would be only be three seams to sew up. THREE SEAMS. In this entire fish? Magic.
So after a little more effort and swearing, I had this:
By this stage I’d adapted the pattern a few times. In the original, the glowy lure is knitted in a creamy white wool. In my version, it was crocheted out of glow-in-the-dark jelly string, bought from a museum gift shop. Then, I designed some wire headgear for my evil fishy – partly to deal with the added weight of the lure, and partly so the teeth would be wired and poseable. (It’s the shiny copper mess in the bottom right.)
And finally, after swearing a LOT more, picking up too many stitches, almost running out of yarn, wriggling the headgear into place, sewing up the mouth and carefully blunting a fishing hook, I had this:
my gorgeously creepy, glow-in-the-dark, deep-sea denizen, the Black Devil Angler Fish.