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!


New & cuddly Croshame Christmas characters

I’m proud to introduce two new members of my Croshame family, each accompanied by their own irritating Christmas poem!

Braindeer

Braindeer

One reindeer too many. Oh, what to do?

Bring him round back and grab the shotgun, too.

Braindeer brain detailHe’s too pretty to eat, so no venison this year.

Instead let’s stuff and mount him, our little Braindeer.

Braindeer closeup tongueA holiday decoration bringing smiles left and right,

But they’ll be no visions of sugarplums for this guy tonight.

Braindeer with mantle 2

Over the mantle with care, in silence he’ll hang

Keeping watch over Christmas and bringing in 2014 with a bang.

(AVAILABLE AT THE ETSY STORE HERE)

Santa Clawed

Santa Clawed fully fullThis year St. Nick got quite a nasty surprise

When a flock of wild fowl went after his eyes.

Santa Clawed closeup long faceBirds circled his head as fast as a rocket

and tore his orbs out, each one plucked from its socket.

Santa Clawed face close upwardBlood-curdling screams came from his belly,

and his eyeholes, they glistened like cranberry jelly.

Santa Clawed backSo watch in the skies and mark my words:

Goodwill towards man is NOT for the birds.

(AVAILABLE IN THE ETSY STORE HERE)


Week long holiday sale on select Croshame items!

All this week get 10-20% off select items at the Croshame Etsy store! Just look under the shop section “SEASONAL ANXIETY SALE” for marked down pieces. (Sale will end next Monday, December 9th.)

Addam full 480

 


Honed for the Horror-days

Looking for the perfect way to avoid that big-box shopper stampede while giving a unique gift and supporting handmade art? Well, just in time for this year’s Christmas consumerism feeding frenzy, the Croshame Etsy store is being stocked for the holidays!

Stock Shelf 2

Most of the Croshame “classics” are either presently in stock or can be custom ordered and made especially for you and yours this season! I’m currently working on a couple of new Christmas-themed pieces that I will unveil shortly, as well as preparing to set up a week-long holiday sale closer to December.

I’m also accepting commissions this year, but keep in mind that special order requests can take some time to complete, so please try to get your orders in early to ensure they arrive in time for your particular celebratory occasion. Thanks everyone!

Etsy Banner

(Click the sassy new banner above to visit the store!)


Movie Still Halloween-day

In case you weren’t frightened enough this Halloween, check out this absolutely terrifying granny square sweater/wardrobe travesty from an episode of Roseanne!Roseanne Jackie sweater

Even Laurie Metcalf herself looks totally petrified by this horrifying fashion disaster.Roseanne Jackie 2

If only everyone could just be as creative with their costumes.

Happy Samhain, everyone!


Movie Still Monday: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Some stills from the 1957 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “The Glass Eye” starring Miss Daisy herself, Jessica Tandy.

Alfred Hitchcock Pres 2Not only does this fantastic episode involve romance, ventriloquism, and a glass freakin’ eye, it also stars a very young Billy Barty and virtually unknown William Shatner!Alfred Hitchcock

Barty + Shatner + Tandy x Ventriloquism + Crochet ÷ Hitchcock = Happiness

Watch the episode here:

 

 

 


Movie Still Monday: Famous Afghans

Socialite Patricia Hearst is most famously known for being kidnapped by the radical guerilla group The Symbionese Liberation Army in the mid 1970s, held captive for several months against her will, and brainwashed into becoming a tool for their violently militant, left-wing cause.

Patty Hearst 1974

After myriad misadventures, crime sprees and rabble-rousing, Hearst was captured and imprisoned for over a year in a California correctional facility, during which time she was evaluated, analyzed and “deprogrammed.” During her time served, she suffered from malnutrition, a collapsed lung and much public ridicule and resentment.

Patty Hearst 1976

But through all her ordeals, Patti kept herself sane. How, you ask?

The power of crochet.

Patty Hearst


Just For the Record… Happy Anniversary

One of the greatest record stores in the country, Denver’s Twist and Shout Records, just celebrated their 25th anniversary! Being a former employee and huge fan of the store, I decided to make a token of my appreciation to the store owner, Paul Epstein, pictured below.

Paul-Epstein_Interior-Portrait1

Ladies and gents, it’s the Paul Doll!

Paul Doll full 2

He even comes with its own detachable (felt) vinyl record… in mint condition, of course!

Paul Doll closeup

Paul is not only a great guy and an awesome boss, but he also owns a really amazing store with many incredible and extremely knowledgeable employees ready to help you with even the most obscure questions. So if you’re in the Denver area, stop by and browse their magnificent collection of music, movies, books and toys. And hey… tell ‘em Croshame sent ya!

Paul and the Doll


Movie Still Monday: Ramona

I grew up reading Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books pretty religiously, so when PBS released a television show version of the stories in 1988 starring a young Sarah Polley, I was super excited and watched every episode.

But little did I know that over 20 years later, I would be re-examining the show and caring more about her stuffed animals than the actual story line.Ramona Q's crocheted toyIn this scene, little Ramona clutches her crocheted elephant tightly with her stained blue hands. Wouldn’t you?

Ramona Q's crocheted toy 2We all know what happened to Sarah Polley, but what about that elephant? Where is it now? The set designer’s basement? An Ontario film studio prop room? Sarah Polley’s memento shelf?

Inquiring minds need to know.

 


Movie Still Monday: Billboard Dad

This week’s entry in the Movie Still Monday category “Famous Afghans” is the 1998 Dualstar straight-to-video feature, Billboard Dad, starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

If you’re ever wondering, does Shove actually WATCH these movies? The answer is YES.

All by myself, too.

Billboard Dad-ghanMary-Kate and Ashley like to watch movies too! But this one looks confusing and they have pressing questions…

Billboard Dad-ghan closeupSuch as: “Dad, how was this afghan constructed? In strips? Back and forth? What the hell kind of  yarn is this? Why did the set dresser feel this monstrosity was necessary to complete the scene? WHY, DAD, WHY?!!”


Movie Still Monday: Hobo With a Shotgun

This week, a still from Hobo With a Shotgun (2011), starring Rutger Hauer:Hobo with a Shot-ghanBecause even violent, fed-up hoboes need to snuggle up with crochet sometimes.


Movie Still Monday: Holy Mountain

Re-introducing a new/old/renamed segment, formerly known (one time only) as Hookin’ at the Movies, now known as Movie Still Monday! This way, if I call it “Movie Still Monday” I figure I’ll be forced to keep up with it on a weekly basis, or at least until I run out of stills.

This week, a still from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain (1973):

Holy Mountain Knit-chetingLooks like she’s knitting, huh? Maybe a scarf?

Holy Mountain snake cozyWait… that scarf looks a lot like a snake cozy. And that knitting looks a lot like CROCHET!

Oh well, that’s magical realism for you.


Back from vacation!

The Etsy store has been reopened. Please feel free to purchase items to your heart’s content! (Click image below to get to shop listings)

BLOG ETSY LINK

I’m also considering customers’ commissions once again; for details please see the “Commissions and Sales” page here:  http://croshame.com/sales-and-commissions/ 

Thanks everyone!


To Boldly Go Where No Hook Has Gone Before

Exciting news, everyone! My Spock Ears pattern is featured in the newly released book The Star Trek Craft Book: Make it So! now available through Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Star Trek Craft Book

You can buy it on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or preferably, through your local brick and mortar book store. Trust me, they need your support!

Although I haven’t gotten a chance to flip through a physical copy yet, I can guarantee it will be a treat for both Trekkies and crafters alike — particularly crafting Trekkies! They really get to experience the Best of Both Worlds, if you know what I mean…

Thanks, everyone!


Yes, I’m still alive.

Hi everyone. I’m sorry for the dearth of posts lately; you can blame my hectic schedule, lack of motivation, and need for an actual social life. Because things have been pretty busy for me lately, I will be taking a short vacation from making Croshame figures for about a month or so and have put the Etsy store on Vacation mode temporarily.

I will try to post more next month; I do have some exciting news which I will be sharing tomorrow, so stay tuned!


DIY at DIA

Last week I traveled back to my hometown of San Francisco, flying out of and back into the Denver International Airport (DIA). Before my departing flight, as I was on my way to the TSA checkpoint alongside one of those people-mover treadmill thingys, I came across a large display of work from local Colorado craftspeople.

DIA Handmade ColoradoThe start of the exhibit had a piece done by Denver’s very own Ladies’ Fancywork Society, whose needlecraft work I have seen and admired all over the city since I first arrived back in August.

DIA handmade sign

Needless to say, I was both excited and intrigued as I made my way past the various cases filled with examples of knitting, crochet, sewing, felting and other crafts.

DIA Crochet DisplayThen, somewhere in the middle of the long line of cases, I discovered a little cubicle set up for passengers and visitors to make their own contribution to the display.

Oh happy day, what a little paradise!

DIA DIY stopover craftsThe space provided seating, knitting needles (huge ones!) and a crochet hook, with little cans of yarn and hooks on which to hang the finished work. Several people had already made and hung their donations.

DIA DIY displaySo you KNOW I had to make something and hang it! I didn’t know how much time I would have to wait in the TSA line, so I whipped out  quick little tiny something in a couple of minutes.

DIA DIY Croshame 1st contribut'nSo that was satisfying and all, but on my trip back I decided I really wanted to show my appreciation to the Denver Airport and the Ladies Fancywork Society for giving the public a crafty respite, so on my plane ride back from San Francisco I made a pretty straightforward crocheted “Thank You” card.

DIA Croshame closestAfter touching down, collecting my baggage and meeting the husband, we traveled back to the exhibit and I put the ol’ girl up.

DIA Croshame <3

Going to SF was like a big chocolate cake, being back in Denver was the yummy icing, but putting my piece up in DIA was the big red cherry on top!


New segment: Hookin’ at the Movies

Wherein I share stills from (oftentimes unwatchable) movies, miniseries and TV shows displaying hilarious, dubious or questionable crochet tendencies.

From A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song :

Another Cinderella Story

Ooooh… no thanks. Socks crocheted by Lucy Hale sound about as appetizing as a macrame bra made by Selena Gomez.


2013 means ch-ch-ch-changes

With a new year comes new changes, and this year that adage also applies to Croshame. There will be several differences in the way Croshame operates in 2013, specifically because I’m going to be working on several big projects this year, but also because I’d like to concentrate more on making more fine art and creating new Croshame pieces.

NEW PIECES: Although I will still be making new Antigurumi characters and posting them here on croshame.com, I will no longer be making those featured pieces available for sale through the Etsy store. Don’t fret; there are still a plethora of “classic” Croshame characters that will be available.

COMMISSIONS: I will no longer be accepting commissions, at least for a while.

PATTERNS: I probably won’t be releasing any new patterns this year. This is partly related to one of the aforementioned “big projects” I’m working on, but I won’t mention anything else about that until things are a bit more fully formed.

Thanks to everyone for making 2012 a great year for Croshame! Here ‘s to a 2013 filled with many crass crafts and lotsa laughs.