Monday, March 23, 2015

Knit over break

Despite being sick, I did make a few things over break.

This is the first one I'm sharing:

Oribatid mite

It's the oribatid mite I promised (threatened?) to make using the Flapjack Frogs pattern. I used Wool-Ease Chunky in the color called Walnut. It took less than a skein of it. The mite came out a little bigger than the worsted-weight frogs, but not as huge as I thought it might. (I used US size 8 dpns).

Orrie's legs (yes, I named the mite Orrie, what else could you name him?) are lengths of 4-stitch i-cord sewn to the body. Mites are arachnids, like spiders are, so they have eight legs. Oribatid mites used to be known as Cryptostigmatid mites (there's also an Astigmatid mite group; I always wondered if they needed glasses). They're more commonly known as beetle mites because they have round, hard, brownish bodies, and superficially resemble tiny beetles. You can see some photographs of real oribatids here.

Oribatids are one of my favorite groups of soil organisms because they're so easily recognizable. They are also mostly detritivores, which means they eat dead stuff (mostly plant matter) in the soil and recycle its nutrients - so they're good for the environment. They're an extremely widespread group, found throughout the temperate zone and even into colder climates. And individual mites can be fairly long-lived; some of them spend two years in development from larval to adult stage. Some species are all female and reproduce by parthenogenesis (essentially, the female mite becomes pregnant without mating and has babies that are clones of her).

I just did a very simple face on Orrie; that's how I wanted it - just a pair of eyes.

Orrie #2

He turned out surprisingly cuddly. And he pleases me a lot....turned out cuter than I thought he would.

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