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: