Jellyfish are often misunderstood creatures in Florida, especially since they often hurt surfers with stings that range from annoying to scream worthy.
I’ve had my fill for a lifetime, believe me.
In actuality, many of these “jellyfish” are groups of polyps clinging together, drifting with the ocean’s currents. These type are known as Chondrophores, which include the Man O’ War, a particularly famous critter that gives humans a painful sting. However, there are other types of unique Chondrophores here in Florida that don’t pack quite the wallop.
Blue Buttons are part of this group, and can be found in Florida quite often. They are small (usually only 1-2 inches in diameter), but they are beautiful to look at. So, I decided to make a jumbo, huggable version out of yarn. Just because, of course.
Below I’ve shown a bit of my process in pictures for those into amigurumi:
I used three basic blues with a 3.5 mm hook
Making a circle for one side, starting to change color to make stripe
Using a half- color change technique
Top half done- I made it a bit taller
Two halves complete
Each tentacle is from 5-8 inches
Lots o’ tentacles
Pulling each tentacle into the half
Knotted inside and ends trimmed
Stuffing and sewing shut
So happy together
At da beach….
With the oxygen levels dropping in the ocean as sea temperatures rise, expect to see more jellyfish (and colonies). They serve as a canary in the coal mine, if you will.
At least the signs of our stupidity will look pretty….
I’m the first to admit I’m a material hoarder. Lots of people don’t realize that clothing makes up a large fraction of landfill trash, and these days, much of it is synthetic and breaks down slowly.
I like to save old Lycra from random rashguards and surf gear, so I decided to cut pieces up into small quilt squares to make a simple two sided squishy pillow filled with scrap neoprene. Woah…that’s being supa Bro–active about our environment, yo.
Pile o’ Lycra
Cutting pieces into smaller squares from various pieces
Laying out a fun pattern
I serged into rows first
Layout of the other side of the pillow
Both sides of the pillow
Pinning the pillow to stitch it up before stuffing
Neoprene beans from wetsuits
I stuffed the pillow casing I made with quite a bit of the cut up neoprene “beans” I had cut up previously (see this project).
Clipped the opening closed and I whip stitched it closed
That’ll fit my rear, watch out, Max….
So I figure this pillow with be perfect for the beach, since I can rinse it off, toss it in the wash with no worries, and it’s small enough to sling over my bag.
Hey, if this helps the environment, great. I mean, it’s your world, brah.
Talk to some “old school” surfers, and they’ll call it a Kook Cord, meaning that only newer, clumsier surfers require being attached to their surf craft. I say leashes are litigation deterrents- a little insurance in a crowded lineup of surfers and swimmers. If I’m alone and the surf’s small, okay, I’ll skip da leash. Otherwise, better to be safe all around.
My issue has been finding a decent lightweight leash that’s 9′ long to use with my longboards. The Comp weight doesn’t seem to tangle as much as the thicker cord types, but the 9’+ length can be tricky to find. I’m never going to surf Pipeline, so I don’t need the reinforced titanium nitro supa thick variety. Also, for longboarding, I like to use a Knee Leash as opposed to an Ankle Leash to help keep it from being tangled around my feet. Hopefully.
I ended up buying an XM 9′ Comp leash I found and just wrapping the ankle strap around my knee instead.
Ow. The exposed edges of the Velcro raked the heck out of the back of my knee after a few weeks of use. Since open wounds and ocean water make for a doctor’s visit, I decided to make the strap a bit more comfy.
First, I took off the side of the strap with a seam ripper.
It came apart pretty easily
I saved the pull tab to reattach it later
Using some scrap neoprene taken from the chest panel of an old wetsuit, I made an extender strip as wide as the original leash strap.
I used the chest panel since it’s got a rubber layer over the neoprene
Once I had my new longer neoprene strip ready, I glued it back into place using E6000 industrial glue. I had some nylon thread as a backup, but I didn’t need it! Woo Hoo!
I sandwiched one end with glue on both sides
I used quilting clips to hold everything in place while it dried
Next, I took a bit of the loopy side of some 2″ Industrial Velcro and used glue with the adhesive on the back of the strip, similar to what I did on the Board Bag mod.
I used a lot of glue
Clamped and drying
I gave the leash about 48 hours inside to fully cure, since the weather’s been so hot.
After surfing with it
It feels MUCH better on my leg now, with no more burn. Hey- if I’m going to get rug burn from Velcro, I’m going full YOLO….