A token of my respect for you crafty folk

Once upon a time, I made some unfortunate remarks about knitting, and I felt like I’d prodded Madame Defarge, which is never a good idea.

But really, I love you guys, and here’s a whole page of cephalopod craft patterns to show it.


  1. JoJo says

    Has Nisbet been whining again? For a communicator, he spends a lot of time trying to stifle other peoples’ communications.

  2. Nerd of Redhead says

    Now the Redhead wants me to print out all the patterns. She wouldn’t of known of your insult (I’m not even sure it was an insult) if you didn’t do this post. Good thing I have a large supply of ink on hand.
    Patricia, I’m sure on of the ilk knows of some cephalopod tatting patterns.

  3. says

    Ravelry (the knitter/crocheter social website) has a group called “Cephalopod-along” where we knit cephalopod-related things together. (There’s also a Pharyngula Phan Club but it’s quiet there. You’re gonna have to show us more love!)

    This page is awesome. Thank you for showing us knitterly dorks some love. Must knit more giant octopi heads!

  4. Wendy says

    Here’s something I made:


    It’s crocheted, though, not knitted. Also, the linked article, in which knitting is compared to religion, misses an important point. It’s not true that knitters do not believe themselves to be better than everyone else (or at least better than those who crochet). Anyone who believes this has not spent nearly enough time in the company of knitters. :D

    (Okay, so not all knitters feel this way. Probably not even most. But there really is a well-known rivalry among yarn crafters, and I’ve seen some really HARSH comments be flung in various online and real-life knitters vs. crocheters “wars.” To my knowledge, though, neither side has killed over the issue, nor tried to start an actual crusade. Still . . . knitters can be dangerous).


  5. Nerd of Redhead says

    RZ, thanks for the tip on the knitster/crocheter web site. I have been trying to convince the Redhead that the computer mouse doesn’t bite. A social site might encourage her along those lines.

  6. Wendy says

    @Robin – Thanks for the heads-up about the two Ravelry groups! *runs off to join both of them*

  7. Ichthyic says

    Still . . . knitters can be dangerous

    *starts thinking about opening a shop to provide lethal needles to knitters and crocheters*

    “C’mon down to Needles ‘R Us!”

    “Guaranteed no waiting period, and all the deadliest needles money can buy!”

    “Don’t let you neighbor win the arms race! Get your diamond-tipped serrated needle with kung-fu grip today!”

    “Don’t leave home without it!”

  8. Nerd of Redhead says

    Ichthyic, considering that more husbands/boy friends/significant others are metaphorically skewered at knitting meetings than yarn, giving knitsters the real point could prove troublesome for us. Funny idea though, and I can just hear Johnny Carson doing the voiceover in my head.

  9. Eli says

    Thanks for the show of respect.

    I say, as a fearsome godless knitter, that knitting is in fact superior to religion. Give me two sticks and some string, and I can make a scarf or a hat… something useful to keep you warm in the cold Michigan (or Minnesota) winters. Give the religious crowd two sticks and some string and they’ll tie the two sticks together to make a ridiculous cross… totally useless.

  10. Ichthyic says

    Unless you absolutely need to torture somebody

    …or some frog?

    ok, too much cross-contamination.

  11. says

    So here I am checking the stats for my cephalopod pattern page and the visits have skyrocketed in just a couple hours. I look at the referrers and see one of my favorite blogs! Absolutely rocks.

    Glad you guys like the patterns I’ve been adding new ones to the page as I find them so if anyone knows of other ones out there let me know.

  12. Sharon says

    There’s also an Atheist & Agnostic Crafters forum on Ravelry. I found Pharyngula there and have been an regular reader ever since. ;)

  13. says

    Over at Ravelry, in addition to the Cephalopod and Pharyngula groups,there is also the Atheist and Agnostic Knitting group and the Lazy, Stupid, and Godless group. We have a lot of fun. I post over there under a different name. There are projects like the Satanic Mittens,and the Zombie Jesus Socks, as well as the Mr. Hankie chew toy project.

  14. Anna Lemma says

    Oops. I didn’t see the post above. Hi Sharon and Robin,for a blast check out the LSG group. It’s especially for us attention whores and slacker bitches.

  15. says

    @26 – Oh, have no fear! I’m a long-time LSG’er and AAC’er. The Atheist and Agnostic group is where I spent most of my time until I found LSG. I don’t keep up there as much as I used to but I pop my head in every once in awhile to hear the news about bat houses and batshit neighbors ;)

    Awesome to find kindred crafters here. PZ was right to placate us!

  16. peanutga11ery1 says

    Yet another godless heathen multi-craftual scientist rav AACer to give you some love. I think I need to make a ceph hat

  17. CanadianChick says

    squeeee! cephalopod sewing patterns for those of us that think needles should be small, sharp and used for joining pieces of fabric together!

  18. Buffybot says

    Hey, I’m an LSG’er too. This is weird, meeting incognito like this. Bookmarking the link for a knitted cephalopod-frenzy.

  19. says

    Yoo-hoo! Another Ravelry member here (on Ravelry: Knitivity), long-time knitter and crocheter (40-ish years) and full-time yarn dyer to feed the addictions of fiber artists. And fan of PZ/Pharyngula, of course!

    (blatant, shameless plug– if any of y’all take advantage of my Labor Day Sale on sock or lace yarns, email me first to get a Pharyngula discount!) ray (at) knitivity (dot) com

    Gotta love the free-thinking fiber artists!

  20. says

    Woohoo! It almost makes up for the knitting stuff. Of course, if you had taken a swipe at crochet, it would have made me really, really sad.

    And yes, I am another godless heathen fiber junkie.

  21. Saint Pudalia says

    But what about us sewists? Are there no cephalopods for us? Sock monkey-style octopi don’t count!

  22. jim says

    Looks like fun. But the last time I tried knitting it rather upset my wife–largely because I turned out to be better at it than she is! I think I’m still supposed to be making her a cable knit sweater as a penance…

  23. Annie says

    Anyone interested in participating in the cephalopod craftalong, hit up Ravelry. There are threads going under the Atheist/Agnostic and the Pharyngula Phan Klub, so check it out!

  24. Patricia says

    #8 – Nerd – Are you serious? Only one of the Ilk, Maureen, knows what tatting even is. ;)

  25. kmarissa says

    Oooh! Tatting is awesome… mostly because people have no idea what you’re doing ;)

    Down side is, I never know what to do with my various doily results. I think they’ve all turned into Christmas decorations, now.

  26. Carlie says

    Knitting needles are godly, being as one can make the sign of the cross from them, and knitting is a divine gift from above. Crochet needles are single, and thereby resemble the devil’s pitchfork, and therefore crochet is the tool of Satan.

  27. Carlie says

    Tatting, with all those little pins, though… that’s just straight Kafka, is what that is.

  28. kmarissa says

    @ 43

    Perhaps that’s why I prefer crocheting to knitting… ;)

    Oh, that, and the obvious enormous advantages of crocheting over knitting. ;)

  29. kmarissa says

    Hm… I’ve only done the tatting with a tatting shuttle. Is there a kind with pins? I thought those were used for straight-up pin lace-making.

    But not to derail or anything. Uh, science! Science!

  30. Carlie says

    Crap. I confused tatting with pin lace. My bad. Wait, it wasn’t my fault! I noticed a crocheter muttering something nearby! She bewitched me into confusion! Saaaaataaaannn!!!

  31. Nerd of Redhead says

    Patricia, I typed “tatting+cephalopod” into Google and got 390 hits, including this thread. So patterns are available.

  32. kmarissa says

    AmyD, I’m intrigued. I may have to learn more.

    Carlie, admittedly, I only prefer crocheting because for whatever reason I find it much easier to understand how the stitches come together, and therefore can make up my own patterns or play around with the ones I’ve got. Knitting is much more of a black box to me. That, and how I can’t travel with it without losing half the stitches off the needle.

  33. Sili says

    It is said that Dirac was once visiting a colleague (perhaps Wigner?, I forget). After a long evening of physics chat he took his leave.

    Several hours later he came back and knocked loudly on the door so that poor mrs Wigner (or whoever it was) had to get up and open the door in her housecoat. Outside she found a very agitated Dirac:

    “Ah, mrs Wigner! Just the woman I was looking for! That thing you sat doing with your yarn all evening? There are exactly two topologically identical ways of doing that! Let me show you the other!”

    And he them proceeded to show her with his pudgy fingers what everyone knows as purl.

    Lovely story, but unlikely to be true since very little knitting gets done with just plain (correct me if I’m wrong – I never got any good at it. And I can crotchet at all). Also it doesn’t take into account twisted stitches – though I’ll grant that they may be considered topologically different.

  34. says

    Saint Pudalia #35: There’s a couple/three sewing patterns on that page, I think. I got so distracted when I saw the crochet patterns that I really didn’t notice too much else.

  35. Sarah says

    Gasp! That was before I became a regular reader. Yes, knitting is far, far superior to religion. But knitters are far superior to non-knitters, and we do want to convert everyone.

  36. Carlie says

    kmarissa – My grandmother tried to teach me to crochet when I was a kid. I never got beyond a double stitch, and that badly. I never could get the hang of it. I started knitting in grad school, and it seemed a lot easier. However, that early training didn’t leave me, and I somehow improvised a Continental sort of hold with a weird yarn twist because I held it all like it was crochet. The real knitters in the grad group I was in didn’t know what to do with me when I asked for help, because they just couldn’t grok what on earth I was doing. :)

  37. Patricia says

    They have two patterns for sale. The sillies I can make the things from just looking at the picture.
    The free seahorse pattern and dragon flies are nice too.
    I’ll gussy mine up with colors and beads.

    Did you check out the pictures on Cuttlefish’s link? Nudibranchs!

  38. Patricia says

    Could one of you post the knitting pharyngula fan site so I can just click on it?
    You have all posted some lovely art here!
    I had my mom go buy the tatting pattern for me to make the Octopus (felt guilty). I’m curious about the two shuttle split ring thing.
    Knitter man – your dye job Southern Belle looks like the cephalopod PZ posted a couple of weeks ago in colors. How tightly is that stuff spun? I can’t tat with anything less than #10 DMC thread. Usually I favor #30. DMC Cebella or silk when I can get it (ha!) are what I like best.
    I don’t knit or crochet (I can) but it would be fun to see the pharyngula fans projects. We tatters are the most horrid old snobs in the world, but what the hay! We can all squid together. ;)

  39. dieselrain says

    The tatted octopi are precious! Wish I knew how to tat. After 50+ years of knitting, I still love it and am not ready to give it up for another needlework skill, so am happy and willing to let the tatters reign supreme in the world of “needle arts.” Thanks for the pattern references, all, and add me to the pharyngula knitters cohort: another godless knitter, minding her knitting! (Here we have the Minnesota Knitters Guild, open to all who want to join. On the web, etc.)

  40. says

    My kids have a whole pile of cephalopods and other marine creatures I have crocheted and kit for them over the years. I am a godless, knitting, crocheting, sewing, homeschooling mom with a marine biology degree that goes unused except for some really great biology lessons for my kids and, of course, anatomically correct yarn creations.

    I am in the AAC group on Ravelry too. (same name)