Soft Sculptures For the Hard Hearted

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Welcome to the Martyr-Dome (free pattern)

If you follow my work, you’ll probably know I enjoy watching movies. And for me, nothing provides the perfect escape from reality like a hefty movie marathon – unless, of course, it’s a hefty movie marathon steeped in even heftier religious plot lines! Last month, that’s just what I did: over the course of a few weeks, I undertook the arduous task of watching an array of distinguished religious epics such as The Passion of Joan of Arc, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Devils, King of Kings and The Last Temptation of Christ, among others.

I was on or around the fourth movie in five days, sitting in my recliner crocheting and watching a crucified Willem Dafoe blink back Karo syrup blood tears, when a thought occurred to me. For as uncomfortable as they look, and as fake as they might seem, there is one essential religious costume prop that is actually pretty attractive, fashionable, and — dare I say it — sexy:

The crown of thorns.

Dafoe

Willem Dafoe lookin’ bloody good in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

passion de jeanne

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) — beautiful, yes, but you don’t have to cry about it

Kanye

Leave it to Rolling Stone magazine to make a messiah out of a molehill

King of Kings’ spring bling ring: Stephane Rolland runway show

King of Kings’ couture bling ring: Stephane Rolland runway show.

The fabulous Peaches Christ, rockin' it as usual.

Fab cinephile tranny Peaches Christ gets thorny with it.

See? Sexy.

So instead of wondering, “Oh death, where are thy thorns?” I threw up my hands and said, “Breezy lies the head that wears a crown,” and set about making a new pattern, which I share with you all here today.

Ladles and Gentlebugs, I present the fully crocheted, D.I.Y. Crown of Thorns!

Thorn glow

Let’s face it: some days are better than others. For those times when the sins of the world hang heavy on your shoulders, simply whip up this torturously simple project and feel a sting of pride from your handmade crowning achievement.

D.I.Y. CROWN OF THORNS

Pattern: ©2014 Shove Mink / Photos: ©2014 Chuck McNary

Please, for the love of all that’s good and slightly holy, don’t distribute or sell this pattern, or sell finished products made from this pattern — because after all, I don’t come into YOUR temple and knock over YOUR money changing tables, do I?

Thorn 1

Thorn 2 MATERIALS

  • “F” and “B” crochet hooks
  • Worsted weight yarn in light brown
  • DK weight yarn in dark brown and dark red
  • 6 – 10 red plastic beads or small crystals
  • Wire
  • Yarn needle
  • Fabric glue

PATTERN

Branches (make 2)

With light brown worsted and “F” hook:

Sc 6 in magic ring (or ch 2, sc 6 in 2nd ch from hook).

Rounds 1 – 135. sc 6 (or repeat to reach required length needed to wrap around head comfortably.)

Bind off and leave tail.

Insert length of wire to fit fully into both branches. Weave the two branches together around each other as shown below. Pattern Thorns alone Form into a circle, fitting around scalp and flattening front to sit on forehead “comfortably.” Wrap ends tightly around each other and sew the beginning closed end to branches along the open end. Pattern Back crown Thorns (make 24-30)

With dark brown DK and “B” hook:

Sc 4 in magic ring (or ch 2, sc 4 in 2nd ch from hook).

Rounds 1 – 2. sc 4

Round 3. [Inc, sc 1] twice – 6

Bind off and leave tail.

Sew each thorn to branches as shown in the photos, or however randomly you’d like.

Blood streams (make 3-5)

With dark red DK and “B” hook:

Leaving a long tail at the beginning, ch 9, 12, or 16.

Row 1. Hdc in 2nd chain from hook, sc 1, sl st, sc in next 5 (8, 12).

Bind off and weave in end tail.

Using fabric glue, attach red crystals or beads to either side of “drop” (on the hdc). Pattern blood gem Use beginning tail to attach to inside of bottom thorn and branch, as shown below. Pattern attaching blood to thorn Once completed, fix that cushy coronet atop your glowing pate and go about your day, fielding all those sharp-tongued compliments from enthused passersby that are sure to be flung your way like arrows! This would also make a great last-minute bonnet replacement for an Easter egg hunt, the perfect addition to your Sunday best, or a stunning accoutrement for the upcoming junior or senior prom.

Make one just for yourself, or a whole bunch for the family — the more, the martyr-ier! Thorn whoopsy

And remember, even when life hands you lemons…

Movie Still Monday: The Color of Pomegranates

Sergei Parajanov’s 1968 masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova) is not only one of the best films I’ve ever seen, it is also one of the most craft-laden films I have ever seen!

It’s got tatting!

Pomegranates - tatting

Loom weaving!

Pomegranates - weaving

Some holier than thou knitting angels (work those toe-up socks, kids!)…

Pomegranates - knitting angels

…complete with their “close-knit” family members.

Pomegranates - family knit time 2

It even features the yarn making process, beginning with the fleece…

Pomegranates - fleece

…up to the dyeing process.

Pomegranates - Dyeing

And, of course, more hanks of yarn that you can shake a kemenche at.Pomegranates - skeins with loom

Pomegranates - skein

Haven’t sufficiently whetted your appetite? Watch the блин trailer:

Croshame Mega-Sale!

That’s right, you heard it here first, folks (or, if you were directed here from another source, you may have heard it here second). For a limited time throughout the month, four of my Croshame Etsy pieces are on mega-sale!

(*puts on best used car salesman voice*)

The Exorcist Playset has been blasphemously lowered from $250 to $150!

That’s a nauseatingly huge savings of $100!! Get that yarn vomit while it’s steamin’ hot!

Exorcist Playset, 2010

Crochetin’ In Blood has been GOUGED from $90 to $70!

Yeee-OWCH! That’s gotta hurt!

Crochetin' in Blood, 2012

The  Who Killed Nancy-gurumi set has been SLASHED from $95 to $75!

Whaaat?!!! These prices are killing me!

 And Hogtied has been SLICED from $90 to $70!

That’s one chunky slab of savings!Hogtied, 2010

Sale prices and supplies are limited, so if you ever felt like owning these pieces but were an Andrew Jackson or two short, now is your opportunity to scoop them up!

Movie Still Monday: Burnt Offerings

This week’s still is from the 1976 horror movie Burnt Offerings, starring Oliver Reed, Karen Black, and that totally intimidating bitch Bette Davis, shown here doing a little poolside craftin’!Bette Offerings 2Smoking while knitting, huh? Well, that’s killing two birds with one stone, I guess.

Waiter, There’s a Fly in My Blog

Question: What you get the entomology student who has everything?

Answer: A Croshame figure of the creature from the 1958 version of The Fly!

The Fly full with table 2

Knowing that this commissioned piece was going to a movie-loving bug enthusiast (a friend of a friend), I wanted to make it somewhat accurate in the insect’s details while simultaneously capturing the weird cheesiness of the film’s main character.

The Fly closeup

The creature’s head only shows up for about 3 minutes during the entire film (if that), so getting a clear picture of what he really looked like was tough. I kind of made it a cross between the original Fly and the one from its 1959 sequel, Return of the Fly. (Move along, Cronenberg; you’re not needed here.)

The Fly - face closeup

His head (which was VERY difficult to photograph accurately, by the way) was made of a crazy, fuzzy-bumpy novelty yarn I bought ages ago on a trip to Portland, OR.

The Fly - close closeup

The facial features were made from a pipe cleaner wrapped with eyelash yarn and needle-felted “mouth” details. (Check out those maxillary palps!)

The Fly - Fly hand

The creature in the film has one normal human hand and one deformed, hairy fly claw — which, again, I needle-felted with love.

The Fly with head covering

Naturally I had to include the blanket that the good doctor drapes over his face whenever dear ol’ wifey comes traipsing through his household laboratory. And the handy pocket on his lab coat is perfect for concealing that hideous fly-claw!

The fly wide closeup

After all that hard scientific work, I’d say the experiment was a rousing success!*

*Unless you count that whole grisly “assisted suicide via crushing with a mechanical press”  part of the movie. Then probably not so much.

Movie Still Monday: Suburban Commando

Wherein Sir Terry Bollea (AKA Hulk Hogan) encounters a melon-thumping granny, ripe for the picking. Suburban CommandoBet you can tell she’s a granny from those squares she wears, huh? Huh? This seems like a typical case of Hollywood  ageism mixed with some severe craft stereotyping… real crochet-cism in action! I mean, when will these pesky movie PA’s realize that crochet is ageless — and more importantly — that an afghan does NOT a shawl make?

As Above, “Sew” Below

Baphomet was a symbolic representation of a deity supposedly worshipped by the secretive order of the Knights Templar during the 11th century, and more recently adopted by the Church of Satan in their religious iconography. When I received a commission for a “cutesy-fied” crocheted Baphomet figure, I knew I’d seen other “Baby-Baph” type plushies by various artists before and wanted mine to be different than the others with some added Croshame flair and detail.

So based off of this 1856 illustration from Eliphas Levi…

baphomet…I came up with a drawing of this little guy.

Baphometsy drawing

It was then I set about conjuring my tiny being into this world. After donning a fetching black robe, playing around with a bit of yarn,  and ending with a loud  “Shemhamforash!”, there came forth from my hands the new horned God I dubbed

Baphometsy-Wetsy.”

Baphomet with Candles full

His arms, pointing both towards the sky and the ground, read “Solve” and “Coagula” (needle-felted into the crochet).

Baphomet arm Solve

This literally translates into “dissolve” and “create,” but is also interpreted to signify the path of all knowledge:

“As above, so below.”

Baphomet arm Coagula

From his head, between the horns of virility, emerges a flaming torch (crafted from tufted yarn strands) — the magical light of universal equilibrium, natch.

Baphometsy flame closeup

Baphomet’s wings represent the flight of the liberated soul. (Of course you already gathered that from the hand-sewn felt, yes?)

Baphometsy back closeup

Baphomet, ever the amazing androgyne, bears both crocheted female breasts and a needle-felted phallus, shown as a wingless caduceus representing eternal life.

Baphometsy boob closeup

His hoofed goat legs have wire inside so he can sit, cross-legged, or stand — as ritual dictates.

Baphomet rod detail

Baphomet is the light bearer clothed in the disguise of evil.

Baphomet face closeup

Evil and unbelievable cuteness!