Back when the world was still open and indoor movie theaters were a thing, I had the pleasure of hosting a variety of films at the San Francisco Alamo Drafthouse theater for their Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday horror and cult cinema specialty nights. Over the years the Alamo has welcomed a very special visiting guest: producer, director and distributor William Lustig, maker of such titles as Vigilante, Uncle Sam, Relentless, and the Maniac Cop series.
The first time I “met” Mr. Lustig was during the rerelease of his seminal 1980 classic Maniac, starring the late Joe Spinell — one of my all time favorite horror films!
Even though he was appearing via Skype, we hit it off and became fast chums.
We continued gabbing about cinema when Lustig made his way back to the Bay Area several more times to promote other films released through his distribution company , Blue Underground (http://www.blue-underground.com).
On his last visit promoting the Lucio Fulci film rerelease House By the Cemetery, I made him a present of appreciation: a little Joe Spinell figure from Maniac, Croshamed in all of his yarny, gory glory.
One day soon I hope to reunite with this splatter movie maestro, but in the meantime I’m so proud that my little maniac has a good home with his friend Bill Lustig!
Late last year I was delighted to be contacted by David Tibet (http://davidtibet.com) of the band Current 93, who wrote to tell me he was an admirer of my work and asked me to make an Exorcist Playset and a couple of Anton Crochet devil hats for him and his partner — another gifted artist named Ania Goszczyńska (http://goszczynska.com). Not only is David a fan of the Exorcist, but he also studies the ancient Akkadian languages of Babylonian and Assyrian and their ancient dieties, including Pazūzu (the demon who possessed Regan in the book and movie) — a character David had portrayed in several artworks for his most recent show at Cal State Fullerton’s Bergovich Gallery, Invocation Of Almost.
We worked out an art exchange, but before he had even sent me my part of the trade, David graciously mailed me a beautiful package of appreciation featuring albums, prints, postcards, and some beautiful work from his series The Light is Leaving Us All.
David’s generosity was so astounding I wanted to include a little something extra in my package to him, so I crocheted him a miniature Noddy figure to keep his Regan doll company.
My package made it over the pond safely, and now my Exorcist Playset has the distinction of being amongst David and Ania’s amazing collection of vintage artifacts, collectibles and tchotchkes — and their custom Anton Crochet hats fit perfectly!
I also received a gorgeous painting by David, which I framed and put up in my bedroom for inspiration.
Sometimes the world and fate works in mysterious ways. I feel so blessed to have had our “Currents” collide and to have befriended these very talented artists, whom I look forward to working with again in the future.
Due to the intensifying circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 situation in San Francisco and the state of California, I’m following the “shelter in place” order effective for at least three weeks, if not longer. Like much of California and the rest of the world, that means I have no regular outside employment until early April — but it also means I have plenty of time to crochet! Although I definitely understand that my crocheted objects are not an “essential need,” I still want to let people know I’m keeping my Croshame Etsy shop open, handling and making everything with masks and gloves, and mailing orders out as normal — although now with a delayed delivery date of April 7th.
I’m also offering affordable, non-crocheted digital drawing caricature portrait commissions (see sample gallery below), available in my Etsy store for $15 for black and white, available here, and $20 for color, available here.
I understand not everyone has the financial means to spend on art right now, and many others are also sheltered in place — so to pass the time, hopefully you’ll have some fun with the free Croshame patterns featured below!
Thanks for all your support through the years. Hopefully we’ll all get through this strange and trying time by sticking together… and staying six feet apart. Be safe, everyone!
Every year I have the privilege of attending cult director John Waters’ annual Christmas show, and afterwards I usually get to chat with and give him a Croshame ornament.
In years past I’ve made him a little Divine as Francine Fishpaw from Female Trouble…
The next year I made him some Mink Stole and David Lochary as Connie and Raymond Marble ornaments from Pink Flamingos…
The Christmas after I made him a little replication of one of his favorite movie scenes: the little baby Rogey after setting himself on fire from Susan Slade…
And last year I made him the Tingler, which I just recently posted about here.
So this year I decided to make him a little electric chair ornament, complete with attached throw switch!
Not only did John love his present enough to take it home with him, but he also told me he puts all my past pieces up every year!
I only found out after I had made this year’s ornament that John decorates his prop electric chair from Female Trouble for Christmas – so now he’ll have a tiny handmade chair to hang on his life-size handmade chair.
Well, hi there.
I’m back on this dang blog after taking almost a year off from my crocheting work due to some physical ailments (thank you very much, burgeoning tendonitis), so I thought I’d catch you up to speed on a few things that I’ve neglected to post on the blog in the last year — all wrapped up in one nice little package!
2019 Holiday orders!
I am ready to start taking limited orders again for the holidays. Please feel free to peruse my Etsy site and see what’s available. Please note that I will only be making TWO Exorcist Playsets and TWO Krampus sets, so please get them while you can. (If you don’t see them in the listings it means they’re sold!) Orders for Christmas delivery with the United States will end on December 5th. I will not be doing personal commissions, just whatever is listed. Another important note: this is the last time I will be offering my work at these listed prices! 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of Croshame, and in that time I have not once raised the price of my work. Due to the complexity, demand and time involved, pieces will see a price increase — so be sure to scoop up things where they are still available at these stupidly low 2010 prices! ETSY SHOP LINK CLICK HERE
(And no, I am still NOT currently selling patterns — maybe in the future.)
Halloween 2019: Bridle Sweet
Scold’s Bridles, AKA schandmaskes, were a medieval torture device used to silence women and their various “hysterias,” particularly during witchcraft trials.
They were also popularized by 20th century artists Irving Klaw and John Willie in their work and became a popular modern fetish item.
After learning about these amazing artifacts about two days prior Halloween this year, I hurriedly crocheted myself a Scold’s Bridle in about 9 hours.
I ended up wearing it to the Halloween celebrations at the San Francisco Eagle, a historic gay leather bar, so it was a perfect match!
Hope everyone had a happy Halloween and made some cool costumes for themselves!
Croshame on Instagram!
I meant to post about this a long time ago, but Croshame is now on Instagram! Feel free to give a follow over at @croshameofficial where you’ll get to see all kinds of silly stuff that I won’t post on the blog — particularly great if you care about pretend holidays that the internet invented and celebrities’ birthdays!
Croshame in VANITY FAIR
This May my crochet work was included in a Vanity Fair magazine page dedicated to a few of cult director John Waters’ favorite things. Right in the middle of the array of wondrous objects — ranging from an actual prop skull from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to designer pills that turn your feces into gold — was my crocheted Tingler (#3 on the list) that I made him for Christmas last year.
Here’s John and the Tingler piece when he received it last November. Usually he has me send his Christmas gifts to Atomic Books in Baltimore but that year he took it home with him after the show.
I saw John again in May for his latest book reading/Q&A/meet and greet, I brought my copy of the article with me.
When I asked him to sign it, his face brightened. “Oh, yes! I was hoping you’d see that! You know that’s not the way my house really looks,” John told me, “That desk setup is fake; I just put a bunch of my favorite things out and they came over and took pictures.” He repeated how very glad he was that I came across the magazine, and told me he keeps his Croshame Tingler “proudly displayed” in his home with his other life-size plastic Tingler movie replica from his collection.
Well folks, that’s it for this post. I hope to be doing some interesting stuff with Croshame in 2020, but hopefully it won’t take me quite as long to post about it here in the future!
Ta-ta for now,
Shove AKA Croshame
For about two decades now, I have been a fervent follower of performance artist, underground actress and musician Kembra Pfahler, best known as the lead singer in the band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. After seeing her performance at San Francisco Oasis a couple of years ago I got the opportunity to meet her and show her my artwork, specifically a Kembra doll based off of her performance piece “Sewing Circle,” which I had made in 2016 for the annual Stitch Fetish show at The Hive Gallery in Los Angeles.
Kembra was really excited about her crocheted likeness and very kindly invited me to be in her upcoming show in London at the Emalin Gallery, where she was displaying collaborations and portraits by artists such as Richard Kern, Mike Diana, Scott Ewalt, Katrina Del Mar and many others, as well as her own sculptures, drawings and performance pieces. I made an additional figure just for the show at Kembra’s request, a red version of the Voluptuous Horror Kembra that was a little more interactive and could be made to do several of her known performance pieces.
Although I didn’t get to attend in person, what I saw online of the London show was fabulous. Both my pieces made it across the pond safely and ended up being displayed among other great artists’ work in homage to Kembra — however, they’ve continued to sustain a life after the exhibit too: over the past year, the dolls have made their way around the world and into her various performances and appearances; most recently one made its way into the latest issue of Dizzy magazine!
“I love and support the works of Croshame and her visual generousity and extreme attention to detail. I encourage the collection of these dolls and I hope to include Croshame in shows I’m having in London next year.”
I made a blue Kembra with bowling balls “taped” to her feet:
There’s a yellow Kembra with Peeps® in her hair and a pentagram, which can be used as a shield or held in her fingers:
And a red Kembra doing her “Abracadaver” performance piece:All figures come with their own black doll stands and black painted crucifixes.
The Stitch Fetish 6 show runs from February 3rd through the end of the month at Hive Gallery in downtown Los Angeles (www.hivegallery.com).!
Hi guys! I know I have been woefully neglectful of updating this blog and I apologize about that. I’ve got a lot of new content and fun stuff to show so it’s definitely something I hope to remedy in the new year! 🙂
Just a reminder that if you would like your Croshame Etsy orders to be delivered by Christmas, please get them in by DECEMBER 10th! Orders placed after December 10 are NOT guaranteed to arrive before 12/25. (I will also be closing the shop down temporarily from December 20, 2017- January 20, 2018 to get other projects completed.)
Also, the full Krampus set has been pretty popular this year. I will list it in the Etsy shop as it becomes available; I will probably be able to fit in another one or two before the holiday ordering period ends. (The set takes at least a week to complete so please bear that in mind!)
Being a huge fan of cartoons my entire existence, I have always wanted to bring one to life. This Valentines Day I was inspired by The Simpsons episode “Trash of the Titans,” wherein Homer receives a present from Marge for the newly-concocted corporate holiday “Love Day.”
Enamored with this little guy, I decided to make one myself. (more…)
I’m proud to announce I will have a piece in the upcoming Stitch Fetish 5 group show at Hive Gallery in Los Angeles, opening February 4th.
I was honored to be asked to participate again this year by the show’s curator, Ellen Schinderman. My piece is based off of a combination of two historical art themes: The Venus of Willendorf and the Virgo Lactans (or the nursing madonna).
The work I made from these two inspirations is called, naturally, Venus Lactans.She stands a little over 2′ tall, has felt features and wire and beaded “lactating” details. This lovely milking maiden will be available for sale at the gallery until February 25th.
I hope some of you will get the opportunity to see her and the other wonderful pieces featured in the show!
Recently, in a galaxy relatively close in proximity, I was asked to participate in Bear and Bird Gallery‘s upcoming Stitch Wars exhibition (opening May 14th in Lauderhill, FL), an art show where fiber artists give their yarny interpretations of various Star Wars characters.
Here are the results of my crocheted Oola figure…
Oola has poseable arms and legs, comes with her own chain and stands about 17.5″ tall (although figure does not stand on its own). She will be on sale during the run of the show, May 14-July 9, alongside other wonderful fibrous creations from many talented and nerdy artists!
Just a quick post to advise folks to get their orders into the Croshame Etsy store for the holidays! (It should be taken into consideration that some custom pieces can take up to two weeks, sometimes three, depending on the order.)
I also have new pieces available for sale this year!
Feeling like you need some Krampus in your life… but just a little bit? Like, maybe a decapitated head’s-worth, just to cheer up the atmosphere?
Well, there’s the Krampus Door Hanger!
He comes with wire strung into the back of his head, making him perfect for hanging on the door, on the wall, or if you prefer, directly over the baby’s crib.
And who wouldn’t want celebrate the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun by presenting their loved ones with the gift of androgynous eternal life? Well now you can, with that totes adorbs lil’ rapscallion…
And let us not forget our olden holiday friends from times past. Like silver and gold, they are!
There’s good old Santa Clawed:
And that poor unfortunate Braindeer:
Hey everyone! The Croshame Etsy store is now back up and running for all your misanthropic crochet and antigurumi needs.
Throughout the month of September and October use the coupon code “GGWHIZZ” at checkout for 10% off your purchase!
This week’s stills are from yet ANOTHER Ingmar Bergman-directed movie, Jungfrukällan, AKA The Virgin Spring (1960). This gem inspired two other great (but less subtle) films, Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave. It also inspired this week’s Movie Still Monday post with its sweet drop spindle action!
Being a hand-spinning spring virgin myself, I couldn’t really tell you exactly what she’s doing here.
Multitalented or merely a consummate thespian?
This week’s set of stills comes from Ingmar Bergman’s 1951 film Sommarlek, AKA Summer Interlude.
Somewhere off in the wings, during a Swan Lake dress rehearsal…
You said it, dude. Just look off to your right a little and you’ll find out why!
Ah yes, there she is, a knitting ballerina — something strange indeed. Well, she’ll have put down her WIP to go out on stage in a minute. Bummer!
Better stop and count those stitches before she has to frog the whole damn thing; now THAT would be a tragedy!
After going through one of the most grueling winters of my existence, I’m anxious to celebrate summer — even if it’s not technically starting until the 21st.
You know what that means…
That’s right, Mr. Sun! A sale!
During the month of June, anyone who uses the coupon code “SUMMERSALE” at checkout in the Croshame Etsy Store will receive 20% off ANYTHING in the whole dang shop (commission work excluded)! The sale ends on June 30th and the store will be temporarily closing for at least a few weeks shortly thereafter , so make sure to take advantage of these sweaty, hot deals during this month only!
Ever since I first started crocheting, I’ve wanted to do a recreation of actress Jayne Mansfield’s death (because after all, horrific crime scenes are only a natural progression from granny squares). So when I recently received a commission request with that very scenario as a possibility, I jumped at the chance to complete my morbid goal.
If you aren’t aware of the gory details and would like to apprise yourself of the situation, watch this informative but graphic video:
The details of the death as most people know it were sensationally chronicled in director/writer Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon, accompanied by some rather gruesome — some would say staged — photos.
Having only these and other grainily suspect photos to go on (a seemingly frequent occurrence for Croshame pieces), I decided I would probably have to make the majority of the exquisite corpus delicti up, based on the available research and information.
Below is the tragedy that followed.
According to popular myth, Jayne was fully decapitated — but not true, sayeth the coroner’s report. Cranial avulsion does not a decapitation make!
Jayne was not only traveling with a driver, her lawyer-boyfriend, and her three children, but also with four (that’s right, four — two of them allegedly unpaid for) chihuahuas in the car, two of which perished in the accident. I made the one featured in this photo from Hollywood Babylon.
According to the existing photos, there were two very large (unopened?) bottles of alcohol in the car, as well various other detritus spilled around the scene of the crime. The devil, as they say, is in the details.
This week’s stills come from the 1934 Jean Vigo film L’Atalante, starring the loverly Dita Parlo.
New bride Juliette is knitting onboard her hubby’s canal barge. A sweater, peut-être?
And of course, don’t forget to take proper measurements.
Later, Juliette sports a très belle crocheted shawl as she sits morosely meditating in the fog.
But why so glum, Tristesse?
It could be that whole “newly married and living on a canal barge filled with cats” thing.
Or maybe the sweater didn’t fit.
This week, some frames from Luis Buñuel‘s 1961 film Viridiana, starring the beautiful Silvia Pinal.
In this scene, novitiate Viridiana has a somnambular journey, walking into her uncle’s room with a basket of tasty looking yarn. (Don’t let the gams distract you.)
But instead of doing some sweet sleep-knitting with her nocturnal stash, she immolates it in the fireplace!
Those poor, sacrificial skeins! Oh, the human-knitty!
I can’t look. Oh, wait… yes I can!
Just to poke you with the sharp stick of a gentle reminder, the Croshame Etsy April Mega-Sale is almost over — but there’s still a week left to get the Crochetin’ In Blood, Hogtied, Sid and Nancy, and Exorcist Playset at lowered prices.
Yeah, not a movie, but a TV series this week: the 1960’s Patty Duke Show.
Patty’s mom Natalie curls up on the couch with some needles for some “woman’s work.”
At least I think that’s what they called it back then.
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.
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!
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?
- “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
- Yarn needle
- Fabric glue
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. 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. 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). Use beginning tail to attach to inside of bottom thorn and branch, as shown below. 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.
And remember, even when life hands you lemons…
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!
Some holier than thou knitting angels (work those toe-up socks, kids!)…
…complete with their “close-knit” family members.
It even features the yarn making process, beginning with the fleece…
…up to the dyeing process.
Haven’t sufficiently whetted your appetite? Watch the блин trailer:
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!
Crochetin’ In Blood has been GOUGED from $90 to $70!
Yeee-OWCH! That’s gotta hurt!
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!
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!
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’!Smoking while knitting, huh? Well, that’s killing two birds with one stone, I guess.