Monday, October 31, 2011

A Ghost of A Chance.


 Ghosts. They're kind of a Halloween staple, like pumpkins and costumes and vicious, candy-induced  hangovers. And what better ghost to get us started than Jack Skellington's faithful companion Zero.  He's like a warm, spectral dog blanket just waiting to wrap you in cold, ectoplasmic love.  And thanks to Liz, he can be yours. Click the linky for the pattern.

I think I might have made one of these when I was little. I definitely remember dunking some yarn in glue and wrapping it around a balloon. Who knows what I was actually doing though. I will say that this is one of those "do outside or cover everything in plastic or newspaper" crafts. Kids+starch/glue = sticky disaster. Again, as always, follow zee linkage for instructions.

If you've ever picked up a Nintendo controller, you should recognize this guy. No, not the besuited dude, the boo on top of his head! Getting past those spooks could be a challenge on occasion, but really, it was their bro, big boo that you had to worry about. Hopefully, if you've got this hat, you run really fast at your friends when they've got their backs turned. Just be sure to stop immediately if they turn back around. Accuracy when wearing a LARPable hat is a must!

Well, here's this. The caption said it was: (“Ghost from ‘s-Hertogenbosch 1”) which as it turns out, is a train station in The Netherlands. Now, Wikipedia told me that much, but it didn't tell me why this ghost  was named after it. I figure if there was an Einstein headed chicken ghost haunting platform 1, it might have had a special mention. Alas, no. So, I put on my sleuthing hat and tried to find out what the deal was. After further research (five minutes worth of google before getting distracted by Pinterest) the trail went cold. We'll probably never know.

This is a Ghost Pirate by Shelly Tribbey. I always expect a story to go along with a project like this. I suppose Etsy, Regretsy, and Pinterest have spoiled me, but telling me it's "Size: 3.5" x 5" with a Mesh Count: 18" doesn't really do much to inspire me. Want it? It'll set you back $41.00, and that's pretty scary.

I hope everyone has a Spooktacular Halloween, and welcome to all the new followers! I'm glad you've joined us! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good Old Fashioned Ugly Sweaters. The Halloween Edition.

Let's get back to the basics. Sweaters. Ugly ones. Like this one. This is from a dating site, from a section called "what not to wear on the first date." Yeah, that's good advice, better advice: Never wear this on any date. Ever. Never ever, ever, ever. And while we're at it, stop making that face... and don't pose like that. And... I'm just gonna move along...

Hmmm... gotta love that slightly dingy look of the white background, it really gives an authentic feeling to the abandoned, old ghost house on the front.  Before it was "rescued" and set up to be sold on the interwebz, it was probably languishing away on a thrift store hanger, just waiting for that one precious Lee-Press-On-Nail bedazzled hand that would pluck it from obscurity and give it a new life of attending PTA meetings, Bunko nights, and rummage sales to its heart's content. 

This sweater. I just know it's got some name like "A Beary Happy Halloween!" or something else equally cringe inducing. I can tell by looking at it that this is one of those "tapestry" style sweaters that aren't soft, weigh roughly 10-15lbs, and are as thick as a down comforter... and yet, the wind cuts through them like a bullet through a Kleenex. 

Yowza! That is one busy knit. It's got all the elements of Halloween in one convenient cardigan. Bats, candy corn, spiderwebs, (nice prison placement) ghosts, Jack-o-Lanterns, Green... monster... teeth?, and of course, black cats. It's festive, it's frightful, it goes great with mom jeans!

You can purchase this top quality "pre-owned" sweater for only $50.00 Unlike the previous offering of over the top holiday havoc, this piece settles for a single subject, the oft maligned black cat. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to their cajoling, and there's nothing else that even hints at Halloween, but what else do you need really? Pumpkins? Passe. Witches? Too cliche. Spiderwebs? How gauche can you be? Instead, off that nonsense, we have simplicity and grace. All placed on a stark white background, alien eyed felines with gold braiding running along their undersides and "heavy beading" make for the perfect Halloween ensemble.  Who needs themes and reference? Not you.

Even high fashion wears ugly sweaters. Actually, most high fashion just involves ugly. I want to talk about the sweater, but I keep being distracted by the Cruella de Vils strutting it behind Captain Jawline. He is wearing a skirt, right? I'm just making sure. With the stark, puritanical coloring of his outfit, his austere expression, and obvious love of the dark arts, he's kind of like a blond, transgendered Wednesday Addams. Oh, and that sweater is terrible.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And Now Things Get Weird...

OK, so this post isn't really Halloween related, but when I ran across this vintage pattern for this lady and her dog in matching, crochet outfits, I couldn't say no. I. Just. Couldn't. Say. No. So, you'll have to forgive the lack of pumpkins or spiderwebs or other haunted material, but really, admit it, this is pretty scary. Just look at her eyes. That smile, it just doesn't reach them. She knows we're laughing, laughing at her, at her dog, at Ripples patterns... and she doesn't like it, not one bit...

"I dare you to judge me you uncultured plebeian! You might be happy with life of Nascar t-shirts and acid-washed denims, but not me! No, not me. I'm classy! Just look at me, at my pearls and my flippy hair, and my sweet widdle Filbert. My Filbert loves his mother and his matching sweater. And his mummy wuvs him! So you just go, you take your Frito eating arrogance, and GO!"

This is not normal. If dogs were meant to be slung over a shoulder, God would have made them with handles and a zipper compartment. Instead, he made them with legs, four of them, two more than you have, dog holder. It's pretty obvious they were made for walking. Also, isn't that kind of a large dog to be haulin' around? I mean, I know Paris Hilton carries her pooch in a purse, but it's roughly the size of an underfed sewer rat. This guy, he's got to be a good 15lbs. Do yourself and the dignity of your pet a favor and put the dog on the ground.

Unfortunately, this picture does not contain a dog in crochet. What it does contain is a big bag of WTF. I have no idea what's happening here. I probably don't want to. I'm hoping this is for some kind of stage production. I say that because of the white tape arrow on the ground and the fact that they're in some kind of hall with those auditorium style double doors. Still, what in name of sweet baby Jane are they performing that requires that outfit? Also, why is Sacha Baron Cohen making faces through that guy's legs in the first picture? 

 This guy is like the ying to the other guy's yang. "I see your barely there body suit and raise you an entire Alpaca's worth of crochet!" Or whatever. What exactly is this? It's like every left sock in the world that's ever been lost in the dryer suddenly reappeared and came together to form this... thing... and now, it's slowly absorbing this poor human man, and somewhere along the lines, it looks like maybe an octopus got involved. Oh well, at least guy sure seems happy about it.

 Again, no dog, but it is an animal of sorts. It's a knitted rabbit. It's kind of odd, sure, but it's probably been tossed around by a dog a few times, right? What's so weird about that? Well...

The thing is, it's kind of a gigantic knit rabbit, and I doubt Clifford's been by to play. Those things on its belly, those are people. People. Created in 2005 by a Viennese art group called Gelatin, it is 200 feet long and it can be found on Colletto Fava mountain in northern Italy. It took five years to knit. Yeah, five years, and it's supposed to stay where it is for the next 20. It's big, it's pink, it doesn't seem to be powered by Energizer, and it's weird.

And finally, because I feel like I owed ya. Here's something Halloween related that falls into the category of both weird and crochet/knit. I give you  Ellen, a crochet and knit UFO (Unfinished Object and also, UFO...) along with Natalie, a Crochetlien, attendees of the annual Stitch 'n Bitch Halloween party way back in 2007.  Keep on workin' it ladies Halloween 2011 is coming on quick.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Walking Into Spiderwebs.

Webs. They're creepy. They're cool and beautiful. They're made by nature's most talented textile workers, spiders. People generally like webs, the way they shimmer in the sun, how lovely they seem when covered with dew, the spooky atmosphere they give any Halloween party. On the whole, they're pretty cool, except when you run into one that you didn't know was there and you looking like you're having a seizure, swinging your arms around, screaming, trying to make sure the spider you know is now in your hair gets off of you. They're not generally appreciated at that point.  

Sometimes, people try their hands at making webs too, and while it's not comparable to Charlotte's work, the lace web, Auntie Peggy Has Departed, by Shane Waltener is a pretty nice offering.  Plus there's the added bonus that if you walk into it, you don't have eight legs of terror running down your back.

Chihuly Doily
Two large webs, knitted in elastic thread, were installed in front of the Dale Chihuly chandelier in the grand dome of the museum, for the late night event ‘Craft Rocks’, held at the museum on March 26th. 4000 visitors thus came across the glass structure through this added layer of ‘baroque fanciness’, prompting them to rethink the old minimalist dictum ‘less is more’, while hopefully also appreciating the irony of seeing giant cobwebs installed amongst antique displays at the museum.

A musty old collection covered in cobwebs? Ironic for sure! Except that Dale Chihuly's amazing glass work really isn't musty, it's just weird, organic gorgeousness spiraling from the ceiling. I think the addition of the web is wickedly lovely, and adds a fantastically Gothic feel to the place. I'd love to see it with all the lights turned off but for the one shining through the sculpture. What a spookily beautiful atmosphere that would create!

More wonderful, winding webs, making their way open spaces and vaulted ceilings. I love the sharp, jagged angles, the wide holes, and the eerie architecture created by the lines. Old Shelob would be proud!

And here's one sized for Aragog, which apparently takes a lift to create. I wonder what the gauge of the hook is for that? I do believe this would fall right in line with Ron Weasley's worst nightmare.

Want some cool webby gauntlets? Me too. Make them for me? :) Rhonda the stitching nut crafted up this pair thanks to a pattern based off of one by Irina Novikova, a free download on Ravelry. She used Fiber Fantasy Knitting Products Nightlights which means this suckers glow in the dark!

At first, this seems like it might be a set up for a birthday... festive flowers, flaming cake, decorative table cloth...all signs point to yes, but take another look. First of all, the flowers... lilies. Lilies symbolize many things... purity, marriage, innocence, femininity, DEATH. Yes, death. Secondly, everything's in black and white, and we all know that elevates the creep factor significantly. Thirdly, that table cloth. No, they're not snowflakes or flowers, those are spiderwebs. No doubt. I don't think this would be out of place at an Addam's Family function or Nearly Headless Nick's death day party! That being said, I kind of want that table cloth... and some cake.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skull and Bones

ben cuevas
Transcending the Material”, a mixed media piece that I [Ben Cuevas] created and installed while in residence at the Wassaic Project (an arts collective and residency program located in New York state). The piece was exhibited at the Wassaic Project Summer Music and Arts Festival.

"Ben conceives of the piece as a reference to material culture and Wassaic’s local history (The Borden Company had a condensed milk factory in Wassaic) and a meditation on transcendence.” -Bora Mici

 That's cool.

Skeletons. We've all got one. They're made out of bones... usually. Sometimes though, they're made out of yarn, and sometimes, just sometimes, they sit in the Lotus position atop cans of evaporated milk, but not usually.  Usually, they just keep us from being gelatinous meat piles. As a work of art, this is oddly serene, beautiful, and yet, still disquieting. As a framework for muscles and protector of organs... not so much. Yarn based skeletal systems, while warm and cozy in the winter, won't do much as far as keeping you upright or saving your heart and lungs from a fatal Nerf® dart to the chest.

crafting chaos
Pearl, the skeleton, is knitting a DNA scarf. The scarf is unfinished and the yarn is coming from her tailbone. This represents a paradox-does our DNA create our destiny or does our destiny create our DNA and who we are? At the same time the piece is whimsical; it is a full size knitted skeleton after all. The piece captures both the seriousness and silliness of life. The title of Just One More Row captures this whimsy; it is a phrase often said by knitters to stall for a few more minutes of craft time. -Twilight Kallisti

 Pearl here, (why not Purl?) is a little bit more of a Stable Mable than Milk Bones up there. She's actually knit over an existing medical training skeleton. She's a colorful one too, and seems extremely cheerful about deconstructing herself to make that scarf. It is whimsical. And what better image than a knitting skeleton to realize that yeah, life is serious, but you shouldn't take it too seriously. No one gets out alive anyway.

"These are completely unique designs, with no pattern to follow and nothing else like it. The crossbones are stuffed with poly-fill. The skull is not stuffed, but hollow, with a sturdy yet malleable feel.
This item would make the perfect Halloween decoration, be it as a table setting, a door hanging or all year round decor."

It would be totally cute as a table decoration. If you want him... too bad. He's already sold.

Why am I posting about skeletons and knitting? Because it's Halloween time and well, the theme of the blog, you know... yarn related stuff. Also though, I'm probably going to be having some extremely major bone surgery fairly soon, so I thought it'd be appropriate. I'll post more about that later. For now, expect more Halloween related items.

Skeletons, Vampires, Ghost, Goblins... real life can be so much scarier.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zombies... They're Crap at Knitting.

This is true. They just don't have the fine motor skills required for such delicate movements. They're still awesome at eating your face off though, so you might want to watch out for that.

The sad thing is, they actually love to knit. Well, they like trying. It's a little known zombie fact, but a fresh skein of yarn and a new pair of knitting needles are almost as effective at rendering a zombie a non-threat as a point-blank shotgun blast to the head. Almost. It's one of the reasons they always seem so angry and frustrated. It's not really the maddening lust for human brains or their cravings for the sweet, sweet flesh of the innocent, no it's the fact that casting on is really, really difficult when your fingers keep rotting off. 

Every once in a while, one of the fresher zombs will manage to make something that doesn't totally suck. The undead do like a well crafted pair of colorful socks.

There was one recorded case of highly skilled knitter that fell victim to one of the shambling zombie hordes that plague America's small, unsuspecting townships. She was a member of a traveling, west coast artist collective who made their livings selling patchouli and handicrafts. In an unfortunate (and highly ironic) run-in with a pack of literal corporate zombies, all members of the collective were eaten or turned. "Cakeyvoice" the aforementioned skilled crafter, was bitten during the corporate take down but not consumed. Eyewitness accounts say that her last human act was to grab her needles and yarn basket, crying out in terror as the zombie virus overtook her. When she awoke however, it was apparent that her love of knitting was still stronger than her new found desire for brains, and being that her fingers were still dexterous and rigor free, she knitted this amazing tableau, apparently, her memory of the attack. Many people, though ill advised, gathered to watch the crafting zombie work, in awe of her tireless will to create. As she finished the scene, the crowd erupted in applause, and then panic as she quickly attacked and ate three eye witnesses.

Again, this beautiful example of zombie craft is extremely rare. Usually, the results are as follows:

As we've seen, at first, the zombie's attempt at knitting something might almost be classified as successful, such as is the case with this cardigan. Unfortunately, she kept biting holes in the yarn.

Laura Mappin
Of course, zombies often knit the things they most crave, fresh, tasty organs. These simple, gory tubes, these intestines and colons were collected at the Etsy headquarters, after the neutralization of the undead staff, following a massive outbreak of the zombie virus. At this point, the zombie still recognizes color, texture, makes an effort at what he's doing. These would have been proudly sold on the well know craft site. Sadly, it won't happen, as we regretsy to inform you that there were no survivors.

Quickly though, their brain function decreases, color, pattern, and fashion no longer make sense, and terrible things like this begin to happen.

...And this. This is the point when you realize the zombie brain is truly putrefied. At this point, the clacking of the needles is a mindless reflex as he searches for the living,

Friday, October 21, 2011

Costume Time!

This is Chris Wass. Chris Wass is a cool chica. Why you ask? Patience, patience... I'm getting there. Check out this costume, this homemade, hand-knit Wonder Woman costume. Knit! It's absolutely fantastic! With so many cookie cutter, cheaply made, kind of tramptastic costumes out there, I love the fact that she took the time to use her skills to make her own kickin' outfit. Check out the detail she's got in there, the bracelets, headband, crest, and those stars! Awesome. Also, yeah, she's a bigger girl daring to wear something tight-fitting and sexy. Bigger girls are beautiful, fun, inspiring, and creative too, deal with it.

Plus, she's cool enough to offer the customizable pattern on Ravelry. Not only that, but she made it to wear to Comic-Con, a giant comic book convention that's basically Nerdvana. I hope to make my own geek pilgrimage someday.

Monster Pants! If you've ever changed a dirty diaper, you already knew there was evil back there. This just shows it off in a more adorable way.  What a cute concept for kids pants... and it makes a handy little costume for your "little monster." Throw a silly, colorful hoodie with some googly eyes or horns on it, and you've got a costume! Wanna make them? Here's a comparable pattern.

Familiar with David Bowie? Familiar with his Ziggy Stardust character? If so, you totally get this costume and are pretty amazed at the knitted accuracy of it. If you're not, well, then this is probably pretty confusing and possibly frightening to you. It's definitely unique, and would be center stage at the right party!

Dr. Seuss had some characters, oh yes he did! They're perfect for costumes for you or your kid! A skein of red yarn, it's so easy to do. Just a few simple rows brings Thing 1 and Thing 2! On Halloween night when they go "Trick or Treat!" others will marvel at your neat knitting feat. "Will you provide some instructions?" you hurriedly ask. Of course, right away! That's my next blogging task! So here's a nice pattern for Seussical knits. Your Thing 1 and Thing 2 will be holiday hits!

That's right. I just did that.

My gosh, I'm tempted to write the rest of this post in rhyme. Be looking for that in a later post. Anyway, I'll restrain myself for now. 

I'm pretty sure this actually falls under the category "textile arts" and not "hilarious costume," but I'm filing it under "hilarious costume," mainly because of the laughter inducing inclusion of the huge boobs! Ha! Since most of the models in the costume ads had to purchase theirs separately, this'll really save time (and about $5000!) If you could manage to snatch it out of the gallery, I'm sure it'd make a splash (hehe) at any party.

She is selling the heck out of that sweater! Seriously.  "Buy this sweater or you're dead to me! DEAD!" At least, I think that's what her face is saying. I thought I'd end this post with a good old fashioned ugly/awesome sweater. Everything about this delights and amuses me, from the brick wall, to the shoulder-wrapping crescent moon, to the angry intensity of the model. It's all gold! I feel like Linus and Charlie brown should be wandering up to the brick wall any second to lament another year of The Great Pumpkin's absence. Also, I'm pretty sure those cats are suicidal.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ski Masks... Never A Good Thing.

Ski Masks. What can you say about them? They're the accessory of choice for the well seasoned bank robber, terrorist, and creepy perv. Whenever somebody shows up in a ski mask, the immediate thought isn't "what a clever and effective way to stay warm." It's always "I hope this guy doesn't kill us."

If you're familiar with the Batman franchise, then you're already acquainted with the greasepaint face up there. That's right, it's the joker... the Heath Ledger joker... the "some men just want to see the world burn" joker. And this joker, well, he's no laughing matter. He'll blow up hospitals, kill innocent girlfriends, and steal your car... just because he can. If you see someone roll up in one of these, get ready for a good time... and by "good time," I mean pray SEAL TEAM 6 gets there before the slaughter starts.

I no longer want to catch them all. Let's compare...

One of these brings happiness and laughter to children through adorable, animated violence, and collectible merchandise. The other one, well... it brings to mind offers of candy and an unmarked van.

"Short row a chin, unravel a mouth, and double-decrease a nose." I'm sure these are knitting terms... or terms related to yarn in some way. They also sound like serial killer shorthand. But, maybe that's just because the picture itself is so freakin' weird! What kind of whackadoo family does this? AND THE PIE? WHY IS IT THERE? What really gets me is that this is from a legit magazine. Someone in publishing actually thought this was a good idea. Snow fooling! What makes it better though is that instead of ending up in lost in the obscurity of its own era, doomed to never freak anyone out again, it ended up in the hands of April, at Regretsy.

Get ready.

Not familiar with Regretsy? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Er... I mean... you should probably head on over there, peruse it for a while. Basically, it's a collection of  the most awful/hilarious/disturbing items ever offered on Etsy. Not familiar with Etsy? I don't think we can hang out anymore. 

Aaaaanyway, what ended up happening was a recreation of the weirdness from the original picture, but even more so. As it turns out, tons of people started making these ski masks for photo hilarity, but then, what do you do with a bunch of terrifying face sweaters? Well, in the case of Regretsy, you use them to be awesome by helping out a little boy with Leukemia.

Mom's secret life as a Luchador is discovered.

I have a feeling this guy hangs out with Pikachu mask on a regular basis. There's something about that cigarette hole in the mouth that just makes him extra trustworthy, isn't there? Kind of like how the slutty looking CD cover back there adds to the "parental guidance suggested" feeling of this whole set up. Again, kids, stay away from the van. You don't want the candy he's offering.

So yeah, ski masks. With the rare exception of their creepiness being put to good use through Regretsy, they're harbingers of doom. Well, occasionally they're harbingers of Mexican wrestling, but usually, just doom.