Cthulhu LIVES (because someone put food in a pocket)

By Holly Lisle

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.

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