Just for fun – how monsters spin and knit


Enthusiastically but badly.
How do I know?
I have been one.

The story starts several years ago with our younger daughter, her husband, and two friends inventing a monster family – Tangle, Dangle and Mangle.


They made their first appearance at Kiwiburn in early 2014

Since then they have proved that they are multi-talented. They perform various death-defying feats.

Dangle is particularly skilled at aerials.

Baby Mangle is a very independent little monster-person, who hates having a bath.

It seemed to me that they needed another family member – Grangle, in fact. You may have noticed her beside certain forum posts on Ravelry. She loves to spin and knit, as she first demonstrated by knitting a scarf for her little grandchild.

It was a great day when the family came to visit and she proudly gave Mangle his new scraf (monsters have their own ideas about spelling).

You can see that with her furry paws she finds spinning and knitting a bit difficult. But she loves her crafts.


She also likes to help her friends fix their spinning wheels. She had a lot of trouble with this one, which she said didn’t werk proply.



Later she made Mangle a swetur too. Of course it had lots of mistakes. From a human point of view, making effective deliberate mistakes turned out to be much harder than I expected.

With hindsight, I should have chosen a smoother yarn. This shaggy stuff is appropriately monsterish, but mistakes don’t show up well. Random crossed-over stitches and mini-cables were a waste of time. I had high hopes of wrapped stitches (wrapping the yarn two or three times instead of once to make a long stitch), but they’re not nearly obvious enough.

Holes (yo, k2tog) show up quite well and I should probably have made a little row of them. Slipping a few stitches and leaving the yarn across the right side of the work was useful. So were a few purl stitches among the knit.

I tried leaving a long hanging loop, tying it off so it wouldn’t affect the whole fabric too much, but the knot looked too intentional. So I half-undid it and got a tangly-looking knot – much better.

Dropped stitches had to be used sparingly. I didn’t want the ladder running right down to the border (this has to stay on the little sausage-shaped creature, not sag right off) so the trick was to make a new stitch and mark it. Quite a few rows further up, the stitch above this one was dropped. At first I put in two of these but having two ladders spoiled the effect so I hooked up the second one.

I have enjoyed getting to know the monsters and being part of their family.


Some of this post is based on an article first published in Creative Fibre magazine, September 2014.
There are a lot more videos by the monsters here.

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