Even Sharks Don’t Celebrate Shark Week

So, like three years ago, I got a great idea for a halloween costume- a surfer being eaten by a shark, head first. I had seen a shark hat on the internet, but it was ridiculously expensive, and I thought, I could make that. Then, the boy wanted to be a praying mantis that year, and wanted me to be a venus flytrap…so I put it off. Then last year, I thought of it again, and googled instuctions, or patterns, whether knit or sewn, and preferably, free, of course. Nothing.

 Now, I am a pretty good knitter, good enough to follow patterns, and good enough to figure things out on the back of an envelope. So, I bought some Cascade 220 at the local yarn store, now sadly out of business (moment of silence, please) and examined an extrememely realistic plastic shark out of the boy’s toybox. I started knitting. Like, almost a year ago. What slowed me down was uncertainty about the fins. I wanted to felt the hat, shrinking it on purpose in the washing machine, and I know that I can expect about a 25% decrease in length, but less than that in width, so knowing that, how long do I make the dorsal fins? And the pectoral fins are smaller, but by how much? And the tail, it’s crooked, but is it crooked enough to rip out and try again, or is that the kind of thing felting will hide?

Before felting the shark is floppy and flaccid.

The thing with felting is, there is no going back, so the hat sat in a tote bag for almost a year, not because of a failure of knitting, but a failure of nerve…of will… Anyway, with Halloween coming up again, I figured it was time to do or die, so I took a few photos and threw it in the washing machine. I checked it once in the middle, decided it could go a little longer, then left it in slightly too long. I got distracted. It is really cute, but it isn’t as long as I’d like. Some might say my head is too big. They might be right…

Felted stuff shrinks a mysterious amount- it is hard to predict how it will fit.

Knitting patterns, I have discovered, are hard to write, so if I get organized between now and the rapture, I’ll write it up- this has really great possibilities, of course, thing about the variations of “being eaten by something” costumes. I long for a little blond girl I can dress up as the Princess Bride being eaten by a screaming eel…what about a worm, or a goldfish? Squeeee! Someone needs to have a baby so I can make a goldfish hat!!!!

Oh, wait, someone did have a baby. Excuse me. I have to go buy goldfish colored yarn.

Eyeballs, gills and gums (do sharks even have gums?) then I added lacy picot stitched teeth. I might redo the teeth, except it's kind of a pain.


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