Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ookpik DIY – Flamey Comes Out!

And the patriotic party hangover continues at Handmade By Mother!

After downing a 2-4 of beer and scarfing down a baker’s dozen of beaver tails on Canada Day, knitting up an Ookpik seemed like an awesome idea. It’s possible that the choice of Pumpkin Patch Kidlin for an Arctic Owl was not an entirely sober choice. Fortunately, the pattern barely required consciousness, as it’s just a lot of knitting in the round.

To see pictures:

However, there was some temporary confusion over which end was supposed to be up. As you can see from the photo, the head of the 1967 sealskin Ookpik is bigger than its body. Plus the instruction to seam the wider end created owl-like horns. However, I decided to go against the original instructions as the smaller end didn’t balance well on the felt base, and vintage Ookie was concerned he was being asked to worship a fluffy mohair/linen/nylon Satan.

Although the fluffy, shedding Satan thought having a partner in crime would be an awesome idea.

At last, we see the modern Pumpkin Patch Ookpik in his natural habitat. Okay, technically that’s a squash plant, but look how happy he is. In fact, you could say he’s downright gay! After all, he’s not so much a snowy owl as a flamey one, and Canada is internationally famous for legalizing gay marriage. So after much giggling, the new Ookpik was dubbed Flamey, the Gay Marriage Owl.

Vintage ookpik doesn’t know how to react to Flamey coming out. In 1967, forget about gay marriage, being gay was illegal in Canada. However, Flamey pointed out that these days being made of sealskin is controversial, so they’ve decided to be pals.


  1. The Ookpik looks like a kiwi!

  2. OMG, you're right, he does!

  3. This is the best blog I've ever read. Thanks so much!
    Anne in Ottawa

  4. Thank you, Anne, for this highest of compliments! And its good to know that someone is reading the blog in the nation's capital.

  5. The nation's capital is a hotbed of Ookpik fans. I took one of the two I made (long story) to show to friends at lunch. On leaving the restaurant, a woman at a neighbouring table called out, "It's an Ookpik!"

  6. That's terrific! What sort of Ookpiks did you make? Did you use this pattern, by any chance?

    Because if you did, I'd love to see pics! (And even if you didn't, I'm still interested in the story.)

  7. Of COURSE I used this pattern. It turned out well: the mohair's definitely cuter (I made a test Ookpik with worsted, which looks like a sock with eyes.)

    A friend and I have a standing lunch date at a pub. The woman who waits on us is a friend and the three of us have a Needle Exchange Programme where we get together and knit/crochet/talk/drink tea/eat cookies. The Ookpik came partly out of that, so I had to show them. It was other diners (pubbers?) who spotted Ooky. I didn't do the feet--they didn't look right, and they'd only get amputated in Philadelphia anyway :-) As soon as I figure out how to scan pictures, I'll send them along.

  8. Lol - ookpik sock puppet!

    Before I bought myself a scanner, I used to ask the guys at my local print shop to scan my illustrations for me. They would then either e-mail them to me or put them on my portable flash drive.

    E-mailing is more convenient, but you have to remind them to compress the scan or it might be too big of a file to open.

    Hurray for Ooky!