Decorating with natural specimens doesn't seem to be fading from design schemes anytime soon. And while coral is exquisite, and sea horses are quirky and quaint – there’s no need to raid the reefs for marine creatures such as these when you can create your own charming inhabitants of the deep.
Where to start? Let Jessica Polka show you the way. San Fransisco-based Polka is a designer of soft sculpture and embroidery; and the wizard behind Etsy shop, Wunderkammer. The "specimens" here were inspired by Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities -- an 18th century collection of the world's most unusual specimens of natural history.
For $3.50 a pop, you can receive a detailed, illustrated, and easy-to-understand pattern for any of these sweet specimens. As well, Polka is only too happy to answer questions that crocheting crafters may have in the case of getting stuck along the way. Patterns are delivered by PDF file by email. How nice that we can now create our own samples of the natural world!
Blooming CoralThis pattern shows you how to 'grow your own' budding and blooming coral, pictured above. There is room to play around and create endless variations of height and number of buds as well as the size of the formation.
Voluptuous Octopus (No. 4)
Make your own undulating octopus with worsted weight yarn and a G hook, the finished product will be about 3" tall, with legs that can 'hug' prey up to 9" in diameter.
Squid in Love (No. 9)
Create a cute cephalopod couple, a playful pair of foot-long squid with tickling tentacles.
Jellyfish (No. 65)
A foot-long, sting-free jellyfish can be yours in an evening.
Seahorse (No. 33)
These 5-inch seahorses are easy to make, Polka thinks an entire school of them would look great displayed in a shadowbox, suspended from filaments in glass jars, or made into ornaments.
Branch out with this foot-long coral, no reef-rousting required.
We want to cuddle this cuttlefish. As Polka observes, it probably won't be able to emulate some of the features of its namesake (floating in mid-water, ejecting a cloud of ink for protection, or stunning prey with colorful changes of its skin), but it will be soft and adorable.
Gentleman Prawn (No. 26)
Who's your dandy? Make your own dapper prawns, complete with fancy mustache antenna -- way better than sea monkeys!
For more, you can follow Polka's blog, or dive in with her delightful book, 75 Seashells, Fish, Coral & Colorful Marine Life to Knit & Crochet