March 11, 2006
Meet Tasty, the stuffed kiwa hirsuta


Inspired by the recently reported kiwa hirsuta lobster, I designed a plush toy. Although she’s not anatomically correct in every detail (PDF), I think she is an identifiable member of this new species.

For anyone interested in sewing one of their own, I’ve developed a pattern with instructions and released it under a Creative Commons license. I don’t recommend this project for people averse to hand-sewing or turning things inside out—there’s plenty of both involved. But it’s all simple sewing and assembly if you understand the basics of seaming and stuffing.

“Tasty” stuffed lobster pattern & instructions: 4 page A3 size 700 KB PDF
“Tasty” stuffed lobster pattern & instructions: 10 page Letter size, 1.1 MB PDF

Kiwa hirsuta rendered in muslin and fur (dorsal view)

Tasty the lobster (ventral view)

The original kiwa hirsuta lobster, discovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Creative Commons License
This pattern is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike2.5 License.

Posted by kuri at March 11, 2006 11:34 PM


Bravo! That’s just brilliant. I saw the original article and thought “abominable snow crab” and now there really is one.

Absolutely hilarious. I want one of these.

Posted by: jh on March 12, 2006 01:30 AM

Seriously weird images, but I like whatever they are.

Posted by: Dean S on March 12, 2006 03:03 AM

Tasty is great. How long did it take to make?

Posted by: Fran on March 12, 2006 06:58 AM

Tasty took most of Friday to make, but that’s because I was designing her as I went and pondering build methods.

I think an intermediate sewer could get her done in three or four hours. An advanced seamstress will undoubtedly find a cleverly improved and speedier construction method.

jh, download the pattern. I have some extra fur, spare cotton and a sewing machine - you can come over and make your own. :-)

Posted by: Kristen on March 12, 2006 09:18 AM

extremely impressed

Posted by: UltraBob on March 12, 2006 01:53 PM

Exxxxxxcellent! :D this made me happier than anything i’ve seen all day! i linked it from my craft blog (see URL). :)

Posted by: miranda on March 12, 2006 06:57 PM

She is cute indeed! So glad you posted pics so i could see her finished. Now, has she met the Zous yet? How did that go? Is Zoupi scared of her?

Posted by: j-ster on March 12, 2006 10:13 PM

That is excellent! (^_^)

Posted by: Cara on March 14, 2006 12:04 AM

Fantastic! Very creative indeed! I take my hat off to you.

Posted by: Carla, Uk on March 14, 2006 07:59 PM

It must be so hairy,living in water in deep cold.Similar to Northern trout covered with hair similar to rabit hair.Confirmation of Darwin Theory and Inteligent Design at one species.

Posted by: torricelli on March 14, 2006 08:09 PM

As a marine biologist who got far too excited about the original discovery (sadly I am a geek), can you imagine how excited I am that you have done this? Thank you so much.

Posted by: Sophie on March 16, 2006 08:19 AM

I’m in awe! I bow at the shrine of your geekiness.

Posted by: Liz on March 16, 2006 01:28 PM

It’s not just a terrific idea, it’s marvelously executed. I congratulate you on your union of art and verisimilitude.

Posted by: Julia on March 16, 2006 04:40 PM

Kiwa is both kowai and kawaii. I love Tasty and think I may make a copy of her for myself. I think she would make a pleasant desk companion at my cubicle.

Posted by: Michelle K on March 17, 2006 02:51 AM

Hey, I’m working on a knitted one myself! Very nice! I’ve been tracking this furry little freak since it was named and it’s just about my favorite thing ever. What a lovely pattern.

Posted by: Arlette on March 17, 2006 05:49 AM

Crustaceans are the new monkey. :-) good job!~

Posted by: Hapto on March 17, 2006 02:07 PM

AWESOME! If one wants more detailed anotomical sketches of the wee beastie, the original Zoosystema paper is online with some great line drawings- . Also, if you want to do something similar, but colorful, there is the closely related Hairy Squat Lobster aka Lauriea siagiani:

Less yeti-like, but, colorful!

Posted by: redbeard on March 18, 2006 01:22 AM

so are monkeys are the new crustaceans?

Posted by: monkey on March 18, 2006 01:35 AM

OMG that is awesome. Snagging the pattern, as my husband has become obsessed with these critters and now wants one of his very own.

Posted by: BlackRayne on March 18, 2006 02:38 AM

You beat me to it! i was thinking about making a stuffed version of that creepy critter. :) oh well, now I won’t have to worry about making a pattern. Thanks!

Posted by: Alexia on March 18, 2006 03:02 AM

This is the coolest toy ever — bravo!

Posted by: Shannon on March 18, 2006 04:48 AM

This is the coolest thing since sliced lobster. Found you via Gawker. You rock.

Posted by: FBR on March 18, 2006 06:04 AM

posted on digg :)

Posted by: aldimeneira on March 18, 2006 01:49 PM

feather quills for feelers? or whickers from Very Large Cats?

Posted by: P J Evans on March 19, 2006 04:50 AM

Meet Tasty, the Kiwa hirsuta,
a critter that couldn’t be cuta.
And you don’t have to go
‘leven cables* below
just to meet her. She’s truly a beauta.

*Actually, 10.4 marine cables. I had to do a fairish amount of playing around on to find a measurement that a) was nautical and b) scanned. Fathoms has the right rhythm, but the number worked out to 1257.6, which doesn’t, even if rounded out to 1200 or 1300. :)
Alas, I can’t sew for beans. :)

Posted by: Janet McConnaughey on March 19, 2006 09:06 AM

Redbeard -

Very cool links, indeed. “And here’s my neon cousin, Hairy Squat.”

Interesting that they all got called lobsters, even though they ain’t got no tails.

Posted by: Janet McConnaughey on March 19, 2006 09:53 AM

What I would do is to get a skein of that long-haired fun fur yarn and KNIT the tubes for the furry portions.

Posted by: speedwell on March 19, 2006 04:13 PM

Congratulations! I hope this is going to be the beginning of a series for all the species of the deep. Have you thought about promoting it on Etsy (

Posted by: gillo on March 19, 2006 07:44 PM

If you will sew me one, I will buy it

Posted by: Bettina on March 20, 2006 05:43 AM

I would LOVE to own one of these, but I can’t sew for beans either. I (Jessica Wallace) am one of the scientists who was ON the cruise that discovered this guy last year, so somebody please make/sell me one! That would rock!!!

Posted by: Jessica Wallace Ng on March 21, 2006 08:24 AM

Cutest furry invertebrate since Jim Henson died.

Posted by: John M. Burt on March 21, 2006 07:07 PM

Fantastic! you took a long time to make it ,right?
can you make it in differrent color??

Posted by: skirt on March 22, 2006 02:59 AM

I am working on making one! My first Lobster will be a light pink flowery calico pattern (a very feminine Lobster) and I am already planning my next, which I will make for my sister. It will be hot pink faux suede with Very deep pile “disco” fur. Thanks for the pattern, I am having so much fun making my lobster!
Will you come up with a mosquito toy pattern? I have a mosquito puppet that is probably 20 years old, and I want to make myself a new one. I can send pictures if you are up to the challenge! Thanks again - Melissa

Posted by: BouseCat on March 22, 2006 09:05 AM

this is brilliant, i thought to make one since my fiance fell in love with it immediately. i explained to him that they were not available as pets when i searched e-bay. thank you! he will have his furry lobster soon enough!

Posted by: eli on March 22, 2006 10:25 AM

Hi Kirsten, bravo pour votre travail, la reproduction est adorable !
I am very happy to sea that “my” yeti crab enjoy so people! Just a detail: Tasty is blind!…

But well, a pity if you cut the present eyes, now. Never mind!

Warm regards,

(We collected it the 22 March 2005; not 2004).

Posted by: Michel Segonzac on March 23, 2006 04:11 PM

it resembles the one in the pic very well. Nice jobb!!!:D

Posted by: :) on March 23, 2006 09:11 PM

How funny to run across a familiar image on BoingBoing today! Apparently, Tasty is now a blogospheric celebrity. I’ve been quite taken with her ever since she first showed up in my Bloglines feed, and here she is again, a star. Well done.

Posted by: ginny on March 24, 2006 02:00 AM

Magnifique peluche du fond de l’ocean qui nous permet encore de rever !!!!!

Posted by: TROEL on March 25, 2006 04:47 AM

I love lobsters and I love this so much! Thanks for brightening my day.

Posted by: Liza on March 25, 2006 07:53 AM

that was a freaky lobster thing

Posted by: Maly on March 29, 2006 01:44 AM

holy schizophrenic monkeys! how in the freakin heck did you make that thing? I can’t wait to make one for myself!

Posted by: Elliott Smeds on April 2, 2006 05:08 AM

This is the coolest thing ever!! I stumbled across a picture of the real one in Scientific American magazine, did a search online, and yours is one of the sites that came back. Now, I just wish I could sew! I’m going to have to try and find someone who sews I can talk into making one for me. You don’t make them to sell, do you? If so, hit me back at my email address - just put “furry lobster” in the subject line, and I’ll know who you are! :op

Posted by: Luttibelle on April 6, 2006 10:18 PM

Oh my. When are you going to sell them? :)

Posted by: zandperl on April 7, 2006 08:55 AM

Wonders if Tasty is Tasty?

Posted by: coqui on April 10, 2006 06:05 AM

Hello to everyone who’s been commenting. Thanks.

I’m not planning to make any copies of Tasty myself, but the pattern’s been downloaded 1797 times so perhaps you will find someone who can make one for you.

Ah, the eyes. They were a difficult decision. I know the real kiwa hirsuta has only vestigal eyestalks, but Tasty looked much friendlier with eyes. I used clear beads to indicate they didn’t work like regular eyes. :-)

Posted by: Kristen on April 12, 2006 08:07 AM
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