How to Make a Sock Squid
Science fiction and fantasy fans may know David Erik Nelson from his quirky stories in magazines like Asimov’s SF Magazine, his Nebula Award nomination, or from his posts at the Giant Squid and Newswire blogs. However, Nelson’s also an accomplished craftsperson whose first DIY book, the delightful Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids, was recently published by No Starch Press.
What should you expect besides lots of snipping, burning, soldering, and shredding? You’ll learn to sew, perform simple carpentry, and engage in screen printing while creating x-ray drums, guitar effects, steam ships, boomerangs, kites, and games. In other words, the book contains a great mix of the practical and the imaginative, suitable for the entire family.
However, Omni’s favorite project might just be Nelson’s sock squid, which is a rather ingenious fiber project you also can turn into a sock Cthulhu, the legendary monster chronicled by H.P. Lovecraft.
But we’ll let Nelson tell you more about it himself…
How to Make a Sock Squid (and Enhancements)
By David Erik Nelson
I'm warning you: the sock squid is a gateway fiber project. Today you're thinking "I'm just gonna sew this one little fella to give to my buddy, sort of almost as a gag gift," and before you know it you'll be lining laptop sleeves in microfiber and crocheting iPhone jackets. It is a sickness, and it starts by snipping slits in socks and learning a couple simple hand stitches.
The sock squid was my first sock animal experiment: In the late-1990s I went through a sock animal period--much like Picasso--during which there was no gift-giving occasion that didn't see the birth of a creepy, gangly, adorable socky simulacrum. Prior to this, my sewing had been entirely limited to emergency mending; I had no interest in threading a sewing machine, following a pattern, or learning anything beyond the plain-vanilla whipstitch. Today, I unwind by sewing a travel pouch for my tea infuser, then try to tell myself that this is basically what any red-blooded American man might do on a Friday night.
This particular project begins: "Mysterious, charming, and delicious, squid have fascinated and terrified humanity ever since Pliny the Elder reported a giant squid attack on seaside Spanish fish-brining tanks, with several dogs and fisherman bludgeoned in the melee (recounted in his "Naturalis Historia," circa 77 CE). Hence, the squid is a natural subject for adorable handicrafts."
With the appropriate mood having been set, you'll then sew a sock squid and, if you're game, upgrade it to a sock Cthulhu. The sock squid is slightly easier to make than a sock monkey (no stuffing the damn legs and tail; no tricky monkey ears), whereas the sock Cthulhu is slightly more challenging (legs, yeah, but also wings). Here’re all the step-by-step details.
Need a finished example? How about this fetching argyle sock Cthulhu by Cory Johnson?