Remember Balloon Animals? You take a big long tube-type balloon, blow it up, and then twist and turn and flip and flop and suddenly you have a recognizable animal (or flower, or some such thing). I wondered who first came up with such a thing, and went searching. According to ‘Great Balloons! The Complete Book of Balloon Sculpting’ by Jean Merlin (1994), the first recorded “balloon” animals were actually made by the Aztecs out of animal bladders (more than I needed to know). They fashioned them as gifts to the gods as a sacrifice, and there were only two models made – dogs and a type of donkey. The process took several days to complete. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.
Here is something that’s a whole lot more fun! Check out this new pattern pack from CiD Designs. By knitting up tubes in different yarns (patterned, solids, etc), you can have the fun of a balloon animal design, with something that will last a whole lot longer. Aren’t they cute? I had to sit and play with the samples when I saw them. The packet of 10 patterns come in this vinyl packet. With just a few increases and decreases, you can knit up a bunch. Great for leftover sock yarn. You get patterns for a Monkey, Bee, Penguin, Tiger, Poodle, Elephant, Duck, Crocodile, Bird, and Flower Tiara.
CiD also has other really cute patterns, which are also great for using up bits of yarn. I like that the patterns come with the accessories, like the eyes. I am kind of taken with Sheldon Turtle, Squeak, and Tadeus Croaker. It seems like every knitter needs a frog on the shelf, just to remind us that frogging is a necessary evil. Or a liberating freedom. I see it as a liberating freedom. If I’m in the middle of something and it’s not working the way I want it to, it feels great to just rip it out and move on. But I know some people do everything possible to avoid it. How about you? Do you see frogging (ripping out) as a necessary evil or a liberating freedom?