Balloon Animals

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balloon animalRemember 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.

balloonHere 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.

DSCN1494.JPGCiD 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?

Sheri whojustkeepsaddingfunprojectstoher”toknit”list


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31 comments on “Balloon Animals

  1. For me, it never feels “great” to rip out… probably because I wait too long to rip hoping that a miracle will occur to make what was wrong a right. Lesson to learned: “Never wait too long to rip.”

  2. I have a problem with frogging becuase unless I do it stitch by stitch I do not end up with the right number of stitches when I am ready to start knitting again. ughhhh

  3. I think frogging is a necessary evil and only do it if I can’t find another solution or “fix” to the problem. If you make a mistake and can repeat it 3 or more times, it becomes a design feature.

  4. I’ve done frogging more then I would care to admit. It makes me feel good when I finally get it right. Sometimes its just best to get it done with and then go on.

  5. Definitely a liberating freedom! It’s kind of like a clean house…you really don’t want to do it, but it feels so much better when it’s done :)

  6. Liberating freedom. Why knit something I won’t love? It’s better to only have partially invested time and effort in knitting and frogging than fully investing time and effort into finishing something that I don’t love.

    Rippit! Rippit!

  7. It depends on what I’m frogging and why. Sometimes, it’s DEFINITELY a liberating freedom. Other times, it’s just annoying. I’ve been known to frog and restart something 4 or 5 times, though, if it’s not doing what I want it to. And at the moment, I’ve got a sweater that I started, then set aside, and somewhere the sticky note fell off the chart (cables) and the yarn’s too dark for me to read well, so that’ll be frogged and restarted. Rather have it be nice/right., KWIM? :-) But as I collect frogs, no problem for me to hit the pond.

  8. I’m not a fan of frogging anything, but I am a perfectionist. So if it means that I’ll fix something, and make it better, I will absolutely frog it. I think during the Girasole KAL I frogged some 15 times. I got to chart C and screwed up (prior to my understanding lifelines) and frogged to beginning. I’m just like that.

    Also, the dolls are adorable! <3

  9. Yay! I just bought the balloon animal patterns at the last sneak up! i am making the crocodile for my daughter.
    I’d say frogging is a bit of both for me. I always feel sad while i’m ripping, but once i’m done and the yarn is all balled up agan i usually feel better. I hate leaving mistakes in my knitting, so i do a lot of frogging.

  10. I really try not to frog. I think I begrudge the time something has taken. Not to say that I don’t frog, but more that it probably doesn’t happen as often as it ought to!

  11. I have never actually ripped out row by row. I’m always afraid I’ll lose a stitch somewhere along the line. I unknit stitch by stitch…. Not very liberating at all!

  12. I don’t think too many people like frogging, but I know if I leave a mistake in a project, it will keep bugging me until I do something about it – so for me it is a necessary evil. It is also a little reminder that I need to slow down and pay better attention to my knitting at times.

  13. I view frogging differently for every project, depending on how much I am loving it (or not). Sometimes it just feels good to undo it all and pretend it never existed and other times it’s like removing a part of myself, seeing all that time invested just disappear. Usually I can catch mistakes fairly quickly so it amounts to just tinking back a few stitches. The items I end up frogging are items that I started and lost momentum and interest and they languish in my knitting basket till I get sick of moving them aside in favor of other projects that still hold my interest.

  14. Both! When it comes to ripping out the whole thing and starting over with something else, it’s wonderful. Liberating freedom at its best! When I’m just fixing a mistake, it’s a royal pain in the butt.

  15. Of course it’s not fun to frog but the result is what I am looking for. I am rarely in a hurry with my knitting but try to truly enjoy the experience. If I finish something with an error or does not fit I am not a happy camper therefore I do rip.

  16. That is an adorable pattern.
    As for frogging, I don’t mind it ( I don’t love it, but it doesn’t stress me either). I take a look at it and decide whether I can live with the mistake (which is usually no) and then fix it. And I agree with it being liberating to just rip something that is not working and making it into something else I like. I have visited the frog pond more than once and will again.

  17. The Chik-Fil-A near us has a “family night” every week, and there’s a guy who will come in and make balloon animals for the kids. He’s a hoot, and we’ve been often enough that he recognizes us.

    That happens when you have a five year old. :-)

  18. I started as a crocheter 41 years ago and learned to frog from the start. Barbie clothes not crocheting up right? Rip it out!

    Yesterday I went through all 20-something of my wips and frogged everything I knew I was not going to finish. It was difficult frogging one of those self-patterning socks, but it was only 3/4 done. It seems, for me, coming back to a project months later, I can’t get the stitch rhythm back. I can tell where I re-started. Easier to frog than stare at the one spot where I re-started.

    I will frog 1/3 of a shrug tonight to re-do the armholes. DIC Baby is a great yarn-forgives the frogs. : )

  19. Good question. Sometimes it’s a PITA, when I’ve screwed up something that I really want to make and can’t live with the error. But when I’ve made up my mind that I really don’t want to make the object on the needles, frogging is a liberator. It shows that I do, in fact, have control of my knitting and not the other way around. (Usually that’s about all I have control of). If the project is taunting me, out it goes!

  20. I see frogging as a liberating freedom. My husband, on the other hand, hates to see me frog anything–but he’s learning that sometimes it’s a necessary part of the process. :-)

  21. When I’ve decided “that project is not working” frogging is great. The project I’m not happy with is gone, and look, more yarn to knit with!

    When I’m fixing a mistake because I know I’ll never be able to live with it…Oh the tedium of carefully taking out just one (or a few) rows. Oh woe is me!

  22. I don’t generally frog projects and re-purpose the yarn. Occasionally I do–for example, my Girasole was originally Malabrigo Lace which I discovered was too fine for size 6 needles. I used DIC Baby cloud jungle that I bought for another stole (hanging gardens). The Malabrigo it’s gonna be a honeybee stole. I do change my mind about making a project before I cast-on and redirect yarn to something I’ll wear more or that I like better. I generally will finish projects once they’re on the needles.

  23. For me, frogging is a last resort and it means either my guage lied or the whole thing just isn’t working.

    So it’s a necessary evil if my guage lied, a liberating freedom if the yarn just wants to be something else.

    But tinking back is another story… I’m a master tinker!

  24. I’ve been going on a shawl kick lately- next up to knit are another Multnomah shawl (as soon as I finish my current one!) and the Seriously Simple Shawl that Wendy Knits just posted the pattern for not long ago (just ordered some gorgeous sparkly yarn for that one, too!)

  25. I only frog things that I’ve decided not to knit, so it’s alright. I could never frog correctly to get back to a mistake if i’ve made one so I typically tink (unknit). That is a necessary evil for me and verrrry tedious. I’ve had to tink back two and three long rows before so i’ve become a bit .. compulsive .. about counting stitches lol