Cthulhu LIVES (because someone put food in a pocket)

So, yeah. Cthulhu is alive and well, after being really dead for a while.

And partially it’s my fault, because I should have known better than to skin a Great Old One and turn him into yarn. Or try to do something useful with him. But, hey, you’d think a monster like that would knit up into something both waterproof and warm, right?

But I also blame my older son, Mark, who asked me (three years ago) to knit him a sweater. He was driving a long-haul truck at the time, had put on some weight from the combination of brutal job that prevented exercise and short stops that required pretty much living on fast food, and he said driving through the mountains out west, he spent a lot of time being cold.

Mark and the Cthuhlu Sweater
Mark and the Cthuhlu Sweater

I started on the sweater. The two of us had bounced ideas around about what would make a sweater that was both warm, and cool. That would fit him. That would fit his passions and his personality.

And fortunately for me, I also decided to make it a sweater that would be as close to one size fits all as possible. Which dictated the design—primarily 3×3 ribs, which offer both a lot of warmth and a lot of elasticity, the weirdness that … er … crawled out of doing a LOT of ribs, and the outcome. Which was the fact that when he finally had both the time off and a working vehicle he could use to come down and see me, it fit him.

Sweater back — everything’s okay, right?

In the interim, you see, he became a FedEx guy, started schlepping between 80 and 140 packages around every day, including ones that weighed a hundred pounds or more… and he lost a lot of weight.

All is NOT well…a tentacle escapes

The idea was to make a sweater that looked mostly normal, pretty mundane, but that would have a couple of interesting surprises for the observant.

The sweater was a trip to make.

I did not use a pattern.

A rib sprouts tentacles
A rib sprouts tentacles

Did not swatch. I knit the entire thing top-down in one piece including the button placket, but excluding the pockets, which are sewn on.

I used my own process of biometric knitting, in which you grab any needles you think will make the yarn look nice, any yarn, do ONE biometric measurement, cast on, and knit.

The tentacles got around
The tentacles got around

As I knit, I tried it on myself, and made sure that it was bigger. Having not seen my son for years, I had to guess at height, arm length, torso length, shoulder width, adjust for possible weight changes, and hope like hell I got it right, because there is no way to undo a single-piece sweater to make little adjustments.

Please note the visible, readable, care label, which describes NOT feeding the sweater.
And of course I signed my work, because I’m pretty happy with this.

Ribs. Ribs, I tell you. They are better than spandex or elastic.

I tried three different approaches to the sleeve and pocket tentacles before Necessity, Mother of Invention, suggested an invention that worked really well.

And the kid liked it, too.

Guy who just received a really weird sweater made by his mom.
image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page



, ,




28 responses to “Cthulhu LIVES (because someone put food in a pocket)”

  1. Mike C Baker Avatar
    Mike C Baker

    Ah, so now we know where the Mountains of Shadow stretch to, perhaps? The West has many … things to explore.

    GREAT sweater. A proper outer-wear sweater, at that, with pocketses. Now, to see if I can sweet-talk a local knitter or two into some experimentation. (I’m wondering if my friend Cathy could work a Klingon forehead “turtle” into a watchcap by similar means…

  2. Kathryn Kistner Avatar
    Kathryn Kistner

    I LOVE the tentacles!

    Not only do you THINK twisty… you KNIT twisty.


  3. Joanne Roberts Avatar

    Holy wow. You are a genius. I wish I was into Cthulu and you were my mom. As is, I’d rather have some steampunk octopus thing. Apropos of nothing, find and play Unspeakable Words card game. As a cthulu fan and writer, you will love it…or go insane. One of the two. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Phoenix Avatar

    Oh, wow. This is 1000% amazing. I adore ribbed anything for how well it stretches and this is exactly the kind of understated nerdy thing I love. Looks like I’m off to Google biometric knitting!

    1. Holly Avatar

      Biometric knitting is, as far as I know, my own thing.

      1. Phoenix Avatar

        Well, damn.

        Still, knowing the process is feasible gives me somewhere to start when it comes to researching similar things. (I love researching this kind of thing.)

  5. Denise Loughlin Avatar
    Denise Loughlin

    What a glorious sweater – gorgeous model! Superb knitting, love the detail, the colour and how it fits – wow! Great read, better story – what fun!

  6. Karen Lynn Avatar

    The sweater is amazing! Very tentacle-y. I had no idea Cthulhu was such a lovely forest green. I might vote for him in the next election.

  7. Mike Avatar

    Awesome! I’d definitely wear a sweater like that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. dragon Avatar

    That is …. just so cool. I have to admit, I crocheted dresses for my eldest when she was small, and a cape, almost a full circle, for my grand daughter, but making it Cthulu eldritch had not occurred to me … hmm, plot bunny … with fangs and tentaclesfd … Hmmm

    1. Holly Avatar

      Thoughts along those lines ran through my mind while I was knitting it. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. dragon Avatar

        Good. I’d hate to think I’m the only one …LOL

  9. Reziac Avatar

    That’s a freakin’ AWESOME sweater.

    The kid’s not bad either! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Holly Avatar

      Naw. The kid’s awesome. I have three amazing kids.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Stephen! Awesome to see you. How have you been?

      1. Stephen Bagley Avatar

        Hanging in there. No excitement like what you have been enduring. (That Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times” is more of a curse that I realized.) Your account of a hurricane was chilling and gripping. Of course, in Oklahoma, we have many tornadoes, but they’re over in hours. A tornado that lasted days? I would be moving to Antarctic, which also doesn’t have mosquitoes.

        1. Holly Avatar

          I have considered the Antarctic.

          1. Stephen Bagley Avatar

            We could insulated domes near each other. We’d need tunnels underground to connect the domes as well as to the agriculture dome. Maybe a livestock dome, too.

            It would like Mars except with air and water. ๐Ÿ™‚

            1. Stephen Bagley Avatar

              We could have insulated domes near each other. Weโ€™d need tunnels underground to connect the domes as well as to the agriculture dome. Maybe a livestock dome, too.

              It would be like Mars except with air and water. ?

  10. Francine Avatar

    Nice sweater – but your son had better watch out – he may start to eat weird things, or decide he’s the ruler of the world.

    1. Holly Avatar

      He’s a pretty mellow guy. The eating weird things, though? Yeah…

  11. Irina Avatar

    Good Go…Eldrich Abomination! This is gorgeous!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    He is a lucky guy ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Holly Avatar

      The words “eldritch abomination” and “lucky guy” rarely appear so close together. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. John Cryar Avatar
    John Cryar

    Great sweater. Lucky guy. Love the stitchwork.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Thank you. Taught myself to knit when I was fifteen, and I’m pretty hardcore about it.

  13. Deb Salisbury Avatar

    LOL! It’s a fantastic sweater! I love the tentacles. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Holly Lisle Avatar

      The tentacle on the left from pocket actually has a loop in it that separates from the main fabric, so that it can grasp things. Like a pen, or a penlight, or some other small object.

      One of those weird nerd-mom touches I could not resist adding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x