Meet Plarchie: the giant plastic knitted squid

The arrival of Plarchie, the 8-metre giant knitted squid made entirely from plastic bags, came as something of a shock to me. One minute I was wandering the echoey rooms of London’s Natural History Museum pondering what knits might spring from my needles. The next thing I knew I was half-awake buried in a pile of crumpled plarn ends with my needles smoking in my clawlike hands. I had no idea what I’d been up to for the last three days of my life.

And then a cephalopods-shaped shadow fell over me and I turned slowly to meet the horror I had created…

The Giant Squid lurks at 1000 metres below sea level. Doesn't he?

Plarchie was big. He was bigger than big. He was giant. He was made entirely from Sainsbury’s carrier bags and rustled eerily as he walked. But, as his eyes were bulging from the sides of his colossal squid head and he looked out to the sides, he had no idea I was there. I scurried behind a fossil display and observed my handmade horror as he made himself at home.

He tried out a table...

...but found it too hard

He attempted a tentacled dangle. But found he had to hold on. It was a bit scary.

He tried a friendly lap and it was juuuuuuuuust right.

He looked so nice and relaxed. All squishy and slimy and supine. I took a deep breath and approached the ten-tentacled terror. After all I was his creator! Shouldn’t I be able to tame the crinkly beast?

Chillin' with Chuck D

Softly I approached, attempting the crooning melodious call of the sagacious squid whisperer as I neared him.


I can confidently report there is nothing quite like being slapped in the face by an 8-metre giant plastic knitted squid to remind you stitched sea life are a dangerous breed.

Safe distance squid observation

The last I saw of him Plarchie was headed for Heathrow Airport, his tentacles wrapped firmly around the panic-striken driver of a black taxi cab. Heaven knows what will happen as another of my uncontrolled knits is released upon the world. What calamari catastrophes will he bring about?

I suspect this is not the last I will see of the magnificent mollusc. I pray I see him before he sees me…


Want to make a woolly mini Squid of your own? Buy the Finger-fighting Stitched Squid knitting pattern

See more Stitched Sealife Escapees over at Knit the City’s: Yarnstorm the Eleventh: Stitched Sealife Escapees

On Ravelry? Visit Plarchie’s project page.

Stalking Neil Gaiman? The fabulous Mr Gaiman tweeted Plarchie on February 19. Plarchie now demands his own trailer. Sigh.


  1. Rachel
    February 11, 2011

    I love giant squid and I love knitting. Plarchie is fabulous. Well done. It looks terrific!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 11, 2011

      Thanks, chickie. Plarchie waves a tentacle of thanks too. 🙂

  2. Tess
    February 11, 2011

    Plarchie is awesome and has good taste in literary figures. I’m glad he didn’t actually TASTE said figure.

  3. craftygal
    February 11, 2011

    Wow! I am gobsmacked!

  4. Susan
    February 11, 2011

    Plarchie is v. handsome. Wish I were there to give him a hug.

  5. Liz Burton
    February 11, 2011

    That is amazing!!

  6. Katie
    February 11, 2011

    Omg this is pretty much the best thing EVAR, you are my hero. I wanted to let you know that I mentioned Plarchie in my newest blog entry, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 11, 2011

      Woot! Thanks so much. It is indeed hard to pull off a decent plarn knit. I’ve seen some scary ones…

  7. Howie Woo
    February 12, 2011

    You made Plarchie out of plarn, but filled it with wonder & whimsy 🙂 Congratulations on your creation and the hilarious photos! Long live seafood!!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 12, 2011

      Why thank you, sir. Plarn people have feelings too. 🙂

  8. Jessamy
    February 12, 2011

    Plarchie Teuthis is astounding. Your fearlessness in bringing him into the world is even more impressive! I only wish I could make one in the States, but our plarn (I like this word!) is usually a dull tan color or a lifeless white. Nothing that would do for a Plarchie.

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 12, 2011


      Maybe you could make an albino cousin for him. 🙂

  9. Emma
    February 14, 2011


  10. Anxiety Knits
    February 15, 2011

    I need a huge knitted squid, and I need it now.

  11. Sanna
    February 15, 2011

    This is too awesome for words.

  12. Kate a.k.a. Knitapotamus
    February 16, 2011

    Awesome squid . . . love it! Go you!! I am feeling very inspired by your calamitous calamari 🙂

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 16, 2011

      Awww. Shucks, thanks.

      Hey, you’re the caterpillar root graffiti knitter! I loved that. Also loved your Valentine’s one. Did you see ours?

      • Kate a.k.a. Knitapotamus
        February 16, 2011

        Just checked out your Valentine’s efforts – fabulous! Especially loved Eros’ string of hearts!
        Yup, it’s me with the caterpillar root graffiti! I’m just a baby beginner on the yarnstorm/knit graffiti front though – only started 2 weeks ago, and have only hit the local hospital so far!! Plan to spread my wings a little further though 😉

        • Deadly Knitshade
          February 16, 2011

          Go! Go!

          I just added your link to my Sneaky Stitchers links. Keep up the good yarnstorming! 🙂

  13. Spunkfreddiemercury
    February 19, 2011

    Wowsers, well done hun.

  14. Jen Voyce
    February 19, 2011

    Somewhere floating about in the Pacific is a giant mass of waste plastic. I believe Plarchie has gone to tackle this mess in super squid style. I love him, wish I could have met him! Maybe one day he will return….

    • Deadly Knitshade
      February 19, 2011

      He’ll be back and when he does he’ll glad extend a tentacle to you. Then he’ll eat you. Sorry about that.

  15. Knot By Gran'ma
    February 19, 2011

    This is pretty much one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Love it and wow…

  16. myalweed
    February 19, 2011

    Oooh – this is soo cool! I’m now feeling inspired to do something with the zillions of yards of plarn made from Target bags.

  17. Shan
    March 10, 2011

    Excellentness… *off to search for plarn tutorial*

  18. Jasmin
    March 17, 2011

    I <3 IT!
    As I saw your squid the first time wraping his arms around Charles Darwin, it took me 2 times to see that someone KNITTED it! Unbelieveable! But your book showed me a lot more fascinating things to see AND to imitate! Germany so far has absolutely been neglected with those knitted works of art! I try to change it NOW! :-)))

    • Deadly Knitshade
      March 17, 2011

      Best of luck to you!

      And thanks again for liking my book. Very kind of you. 🙂

  19. ana
    April 8, 2011

    oh my goodness, this gave me giggle fits! hilarious, fabulous! well done.

  20. twixraider
    June 30, 2011

    I LOVE SQUIDS! I’m rather curious if and what you’ll knit in my hometown Augsburg… maybe our mascot? Here it is:

    • Deadly Knitshade
      July 1, 2011

      This is your mascot? A beer-drinking bloke with one arm, a black nose and a hat?!?! Blimey.

  21. ammonite films
    October 3, 2011

    We love all forms of cephalopod but Plarchie is something special

    • Deadly Knitshade
      October 3, 2011

      Thanks! Plarchie is flattered. Apologies if he now appears outside your house in a tuxedo…

  22. Steampunk Jewelry Maker
    November 21, 2011

    Lets hope if the Squid Overlords ever break the surface, they have the same human-friendly sensibilities as Plarchie….

    • Deadly Knitshade
      November 21, 2011

      Plarchie calls people “Puny human sushi” so I’m not sure your hope is a good idea…

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