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Designing a Banana Slug: a peek into the process

Right now, I’m in Santa Cruz, CA… tagging along with the hubby who has a conference to attend at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

In case you didn’t know, the UCSC mascot is a banana slug:

It’s not a fierce mascot, but a darn cute one. I, personally, am a lover of snails and slugs, so I just couldn’t help but to design a crocheted banana slug for the occasion:

How did I design a banana slug… you may wonder? Here’s how it went:

The sketch

When I’m designing a plushie, I want to make sure that I’m not copying anyone else’s design… and that my design is different enough from existing designs so that it’s clearly my own.

In the case of slugs, there is one undisputed queen of crocheted slugs, and that’s Cheezombie.

image from Cheezombie’s Etsy Shop
Cheezombie’s slug is characterized by a big mouth, eyes on stalks and a distinctive tail shape.

Fortunately, the sketch I had in my head of a slug was quite different:

My idea for a slug had no mouth, buggy eyes and separate antennae. Different and adorable- it was time to get crocheting!

As an aside: I don’t always sketch before I start crocheting. In this case, I had an idea in my head and got straight to work. I just drew this sketch for you to see… I’m so terrible at drawing that making a sketch rarely contributes much!

Starting to crochet

I started crocheting the pieces according to the idea I had in my head… and came up with a guy who was pretty cute:

He was cute… but had two problems:

  1. He was a bit front-heavy, meaning that he’d topple forward unless positioned very carefully.
  2. He just didn’t look… well, slug-y enough!

What to do?

Then it hit me… he needed a foot-ruffle!

The finished slug

I added a foot ruffle, and was very pleased with the result!

The ruffle allows him to sit nicely without toppling, and added that extra slug-i-ness I was looking for!

I loved him so much, that I made a ‘normal’ slug color as well:

Look out for the pattern!

That was a little peek into my process: a little sketching (sometimes), then crocheting and adjusting until it comes out right!

Get the pattern here.




  1. That was great! Thanks for the insight! Your slug is absolutely adorable! Love the idea of a crawling amigurumi pattern e-book!

  2. fatimasaysell SAYS...

    I might be making thi next to go with my snail.

  3. Lauren SAYS...

    I just had to say that this is so soooooo adorable, I am attending UCSC this fall and my grandma wants to make me one of these 🙂