Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Patronus

So my classes in Ravelry's Group HPKCHC, We are having to do a lot of assignments based on our personal Patronus.
I have been trying to settle on what mine is-- and had a horrible time settling on the right animal.
I tried searching online for various crochet patterns that I could manage (not too many separate parts, not too fussy, easy for a beginner...) Nothing struck me.
I tried going through my vintage crochet magazines. Lots of cute critters, but none of them were IT.
So then, I just quit focusing on what it would be & would think about it later.

Again, back to researching & I decided I needed a water animal, but it wasn't a fish. My thoughts went to manatees, but that wasn't quite right-- they didn't project quite the right vibes. Whales & dolphins-- nope. Crabs or shell fish- too fiddly. Then I decided on a Jelly Fish.

That would work. There are lots of patterns for these & it shouldn't be too hard to make. So I googled for a pattern. Found one I liked-- who knew there were so many ways to make a jelly fish? Pulled out my desk yarn & started-- made a few rounds. Then back to the internet for a bit of research on the traits I wanted my patronus to exemplify. WHOA. there are eleventy-billion different kinds of jelly fish. And they have all kinds of different traits.

Did you know that Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) is the source of a jelly fish's bioluminescence? And scientist have been able to make this protein & they use it as a marker when inserting genes into cells or organisms? HOW COOL IS THAT?

You can eat some kinds (they show a photo of tentacles in soy sauce in the wikipedia entry -- GROSS. And then they talk about treatment for stings. Vinegar, can be used but should not be used for treatment of Portuguese Man of War stings. AH HA. THATS IT! MY POTRONUS!!!!

See, "my" beach gets these quite regularly. They are beautiful. They are shimmery & iridescent. They have log tentacles that will sting the bejeebies out of you, even after cut off the creature. YES, this is my Patronus.

A little bit of research tells me that the Portugese Man of War is actually 4 types of creatures that live together as one unit. There is a fancy scientific word for this-- but you can check the wikipedia, cause I can't spell it & can't say it-- so why type it!

The Sail or floaty part is a clear iridescent bluish color, or sometimes pinkish or purple. The tentacles are a beautiful aqua blue with touches of purple. Good colors for me! (I even have yarn for this!) The floatie bit is usually 2-4 inches long, and a couple of inches high, but the height can expand up to 15cm (6inches). The tentacles range in length, but are usually about 3 feet with one or two or more long ones- up to 158 feet in length. YIKES! Most of the ones that get washed to shore have shorter tentacles, as they have been broken off. However, I have seen some spread maybe 10 feet along the sand.

So Back to my lovely Patronus.
WHY does the Portuguese Man of War suit me for my patronus? Its pretty. Its shiny. Its dangerous. And its more than meets the eye.
Although I'm not much of a girly girl, I have been known to pull out all the stakes & model, or win a beauty pagent-- or really out shine the others at a formal event. That takes care of the pretty.
Shiny Iridescence? I love jewelry. I love buying it, wearing it, making it.
Danger-- oh yes. I have a high tolerance for stupid people, people who piss me off, and idiots. Push me too far & I'll let you know it. I can be one very "Not-Nice" fishie. I think just like the tentacles, I can really pack a punch!
More than meets the eye. Just like the Man of War looks like a simple singular creature, I've got you fooled. I have multiple talents, multiple careers, multiple functions within my family. I am a complex creature.

Another thing-- there are few predators for the Man of War. I want my protector to be safe!Remember I said that the Man of War has only a couple of inches present on the surface of the ocean-- with varying amounts of length below? Well, there are three things that feed on these creatures in my part of the world. A little 6cm blue sea slug, a 4cm little common purple snail & the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

Now loggerheads are near & dear to my heart-- as many seasons sections of "my" beach have been closed for nesting. (Turtle nesting is ok, but those dang tern nesting ares- bah.) I've seen evidence the morning after hatching, but I've never been there. My mother has been out several times and seen turtles laying eggs. And she was able to assist when a turtle was confused by the conflicting sounds of the surf & couldn't figure out which way to go back to the water. That turtle had laid her eggs on the point, and could hear the surf both to the north and the south. So, yeah, I'm okay with the turtles taking a little nibble.

So, after happily discovering my patronus, I've found the pattern I want to use for my project & I already have the perfect button to use! Now to find time to work on it! More to come!

Thanks for reading!


dinah34 said...

i can't wait to see the finished product!

April and Vince said...

My first thought was an owl, though I know you made owls for one of the other assignments. But I think this is a great fit and can't wait to see it.

GrandmaMarilyns said...

Can't wait to see what you come up with.