Sunday, July 23, 2017

Don't Eat Me!!

Shark Week has got to be one of my favorite summertime treats!  Ever since I was little, well - after seeing JAWS in the 70's - the shark has been my all-time favorite beach boogeyman!  Living on the east coast for almost my entire life, one would think that as a teen I practically lived at the beach - NOPE - give me a pool any day over ponds, rivers, lakes and especially oceans, where sharks rule and teeth are everywhere.

But as I grew older, I began to learn about the animals we share this planet with; rather than fear them, I grew to respect them.  The ocean predator of my nightmares, became a creature of enormous beauty and awe.  In fact, if I could go back to grade school; I would most likely have entered into the field of marine biology and become a Shark Biologist or an Underwater Photographer (a little closer the the graphic designer career I chose.)   But - hindsight is 20/20.
Well.. what I can do, now that a 2nd formal education is not a realistic idea; is to help spread the efforts to educate others of one of my favorite "predators of the sea".
Shark Finning is a BARBARIC practice that is still as lucrative today as it was in 968AD when it was introduced into the Sung Dynasty.   In many Asian traditional cultures, shark fin is served as a symbol of class and wealth - of prestige.  In Chinese, shark fin is called Yu Chi which literally translates into English as “fish wing"; and a single bowl of Shark Fin soup can sell for as much as $400USD!

Now I love the Asian Culture.  I have a deep respect for it's traditions, it's beauty and it's history.  However, this particular tradition is one I cannot pretend to understand or value. The reason behind my distaste for this tradition is not that a shark is killed and eaten - it is because the trade of shark finning is not only barbaric and inhumane - it is incredibly wasteful!!
You see, the shark’s fins are cut off with knives while the sharks are still fully conscious, then the shark's body is tossed back into the sea. Unable to swim without their fins, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and die of suffocation or are eaten by other predators.

It is estimated, that there are over 8,000 pounds of shark fins processed every year, with 96-98% of the shark wasted, because it serves no purpose to humans. That translates to approximately 200,000 tons of shark being thrown back into the ocean each year to decompose.   DISGUSTING way to treat such a majestic animal!!

Now, after years of this practice and due to the shark's slow maturity and reproductive cycle, many shark species are being pushed to the brink of extinction.  According to the World Conservation Union, there are twenty species of sharks that are listed as endangered. The populations of most shark species have declined by to 90%, with one of my favorite sharks - the Hammerhead being the most harmed, a 99% decline.  
Soon.. many of these sharks may become extinct soon.
   
THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN!  Sharks swam in our oceans since before the time of the dinosaurs.  Evidence for the existence of sharks dates from the Ordovician period, (450–420 million years ago), before land vertebrates existed and before many plants had been established on the continents  
To discover that a "luxury" - not environmental pollution leading to disease, not an encroachment into their territory as the human population expands or some natural event; but a wasteful, self-indulgent tradition, meant to show one's status, could bring about their extinction? 

NO!  this is not acceptable!

So.. I did what I do?  I gurumi'd it!
I hope that this little fin helps to remind those who see him, that a shark is more than his fins..  he's the king of the water world and an ancient of our world!
There was a time when "old" was treasured.. protected.. kept sacred.
Perhaps with learning, we can instill those values again and preserve their legacy.



Finneus the Shark Fin Paperweight or Plush

~ Crocheted with materials listed, models which have been produced are approximately 6 inches in tall. However, depending on your crochet style, this measurement may/will vary. ~

Pattern
Easy

Materials Used in Model: 
Red Heart ® WW 4-Ply Yarn in Color(s) 0341 Light Grey, 0311 White and 0312 Black (optional Black Fin Shark - 3950 Charcoal)
Size US G5/4.25mm  Crochet Hook (US) 
Filling for Plushies (fiberfil or similar)
*Optional: Weighted Stuffing Beads (Poly-Fil® Poly Pellets® or similar)

Yarn Needle for Sewing 
Long Straight Pins for Positioning


Fin: 
with Light Grey,
___ Rnd 1: Using either the [ch 2, begin work in 2nd st from hook] or [magic circle] method to begin project, 6 sc in st  (6 sts)
___ Rnd 2: [sc in nxt st, Inc in nxt st] 3 times  (9 sts)
___ Rnd 3: sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in ea of nxt 3 sts, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 4: sc in ea st around  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 5: sc in ea of nxt 4 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in nxt st) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts  (15 sts)
___ Rnd 6: sc in ea st around  (15 sts)
___ Rnd 7: sc in ea of nxt 5 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts  (18 sts)
___ Rnd 8: sc in ea st around  (18 sts)
___ Rnd 9: sc in ea of nxt 7 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts  (21 sts)
___ Rnd 10: sc in ea st around  (21 sts)
___ Rnd 11: sc in ea of nxt 8 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 4 sts  (24 sts)
___ Rnd 12: sc in ea st around  (24 sts)
___ Rnd 13: sc in ea of nxt 8 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts) twice, 3 sc in nxt st, (sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Inc in nxt st) twice, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts  (30 sts)
___ Rnds 14-15: sc in ea st around  (30 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 16: sc in ea of nxt 10 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts) twice, 3 sc in nxt st, (sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in nxt st) twice, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts  (36 sts)
___ Rnds 17-18: sc in ea st around  (36 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 19: sc in ea of nxt 12 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 4 sts) twice, 3 sc in nxt st, (sc in ea of nxt 4 sts, Inc in nxt st) twice, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts  (42 sts)
___ Rnds 20-21: sc in ea st around  (42 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 22: sc in ea of nxt 18 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts) twice, 3 sc in nxt st, (sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in nxt st) twice, sc in ea of nxt 7 sts  (48 sts)
___ Rnds 23-24: sc in ea st around  (48 sts/ea rnd)
___ Rnd 25: sc in ea of nxt 30 sts, 3 sc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 17 sts  (50 sts)
___ Rnd 26: sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog, sc in ea of nxt 6 sts, Dec nxt 2 sts tog, sc in ea of nxt 38 sts  (48 sts)
___ Rnd 27: sc in ea st around  (48 sts)
Finish off, leaving sufficient tail remaining to secure Fin to Base.

Base: with Light Grey,
Chain 21,
___ Rnd 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in ea of nxt 18 sts, 3 sc in end ch st - turn piece to allow you to work up the other side of original beg chain (as if a flat round), sc in ea of nxt 18 sts, Inc in last st  (42 sts)
___ Rnd 2: Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 18 sts, Inc in ea of nxt 3 sts, sc in ea of nxt 18 sts, Inc in ea of nxt 2 sts  (48 sts)
___ Rnd 3: sc in ea st around  (48 sts)
Finish off.  Secure and weave in tail to hide.

Eyeball: with White,
Chain 6,
___ Rnd 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, 3 sc in end ch st - turn piece to allow you to work up the other side of original beg chain (as if a flat round), sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in last st  (12 sts)
___ Rnd 2: Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in ea of nxt 3 sts, sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in ea of nxt 2 sts  (18 sts)
___ Rnd 3: (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in nxt st, INCOMPLETE RND  (11 sts made/21 sts total)
Finish off, leaving sufficient tail remaining to secure Eyeball to Fin.  With Black (I split my 4 ply into 2ply for better control) outline Eyeball.  Divide Eyeball in half creating the appearance of 2 separate eyes.  Create a pupil within each eye.  Model's Eyeball is placed approximately between Rnds 15 thru 20 with the sts made in Rnd 3 of Eyeball towards the top of the Fin.

With Black, you can also create a mouth and some eyebrows or add any other details to make him your very own amigurumi shark fin.

** For Blacktip Shark Fin, work Rnds 1 through 9 with Charcoal and remaining Rnds with Light Grey. The remaining sections of pattern are as written for both varieties.




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1 comment:

gramcar2 said...

Thank you for the cutie Finneus the Shark Fin. He is so adorable!! And another Thank You for all the wonderful information you supplied as well! Job well done on both! Thanks again for everything!

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