You inch your body alongside the wall, right hand forward, to avoid bumping in to anything that would give you away. It's almost completely dark inside save for a dim light emanating from the kitchen. A sudden CLANG startles you and you find your right hand clutching at your heart, trying to muffle the sound of it beating wildly inside of your chest. A metallic smell reaches your nostrils and coats your tongue as you inch toward the room. You pause as you sidle up to the doorway, having forgotten how to breath. Your right foot slides quietly forward as you peer in to catch a glimpse of the infamous Bloody Butcher.
Process: Intimidation kept me from attempting to crochet the bloody butcher costume with a decapitated pigs head purse in 2013. Again, I felt the same trepidation this year as Halloween approached. I had never before crocheted something so intricate, large, and realistic, but I was massively intrigued by the prospect of creating a gruesome scene out of soft, fluffy yarn. I decided to ditch the pig head idea and instead crochet a t-bone steak purse. As I sat on my couch looking at the red and white yarn, preparing to crochet the steak, I knew it wouldn't suffice. I needed a challenge. I needed to push myself beyond my comfort zone to see what my hands could create.
As I began to form the basic shape of the head, I was flooded with ideas to make it as realistic and creepy as possible. I needed a way to hold on to the purse without having to cradle it in my arm all night. A metal J-hook stabbed in through the top of the head and out the eye would do, with metal links to hook it up to the ceiling of a butcher shop. The hook is stabilized with a wooden rod and the head's roundness is kept in place from the inside by recycled paperboard and duct-tape. The pupil of the eye would be a silvery hue, to signify death and preservation in a cooler or freezer. The eye would be rolled up, as if that were his last move after he was decapitated by my cleaver. One ear would be folded over, so both sides of the face werent symmetrical. I sewed a zipper in to the bottom of the neck on the back of the head to hold small items. The blood dripping from the neck would show that I had just decapitated the head from the rest of the carcass. The butchers knife needed blood, and I played with crocheting drops and drips of red to see what it would look like against the gray. I ended up embroidering the yarn directly on to the cleaver to make it look more realistic. I wanted to wear the sausages around my neck, but I had crocheted them too large and it would sit awkwardly on my shoulders. They were to dangle off of my left shoulder throughout the whole weekend. My apron is fashioned from a pillowcase found at the thrift store that I quickly cut and sewed to suit my needs.
An industrial kitchen setting was the only thing left to complete the scene. I decided to ask Arlette and Kathy Lavelle of Lavelles Bistro if there was any possibility I could sneak in to their kitchen to take photos before they opened to the public. Surprisingly and gratefully, they said yes! My friend Sara borrowed a nice DSLR camera from her girlfriend Lou so that we didnt have to use our iPhones. The cooks were highly amused and enthusiastic, inviting us in to the cooler, pulling out slabs of meat and various knives. We were careful not to touch anything inside the kitchen to keep things sanitary. I am thankful for all involved and the encouragement that I received before, during, and after the creation of the costume, especially from Sara, Melodee, Lou, and Heather. Without their belief in my abilities and willingness to listen to my ideas, I may never have attempted to crochet a pigs head, let alone the whole costume. I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!
When someone asks me, "Please make something for a forthcoming baby," cutesy hats and frilly newborn shoes rarely come to mind. Enter the rain boots. Ready for splashing, mud, and generally being an outdoorsy, carefree child! With these boots, your babe is ensured its standing in the "hip" and "with it" crowd. Pair them with a slouchy hat and buffalo check flannel and s/he is ready to hit the vintage boutiques before heading to the indie-rock show in the basement of a warehouse.
My very good friend and I used to laugh for hours doing crab impressions, scuttling past windows and confusing family members and our other "normal" friends. I decided I would crochet a crab costume in honor of our memories and the many laugh-until-you-cry-and-then-choke moments.
I crocheted a scoodie, which is a scarf with a hood, and attached crab claw pockets at the end. Since I live in Alaska, it's nice to have something to keep me warm-ish while out and about for Halloween shenanigans. I made the left claw bigger than the right claw to be crab-atomically correct. *click clack*
I also crocheted a crab shell backpack which I finished in time for the second weekend out, mostly because I always seem to lose essential things such as credit cards, phone, house keys, etc. on Halloween night. I wanted a prop that would double as a purse/backpack! I sewed a zipper at the top opening to keep my treasures safe inside the shell!
I hope you like my crab costume! It was so much fun to wear!!
A special request, this football player will be in the tiny baby hands of a future football fan very soon! He's an Ohio Buckeye football player and is holding the team mascot, a buckeye nut, in his right hand. I embroidered the red, white, and black stripes on his helmet, his shirt sleeves, and pant legs. I also embroidered his hair on after searching for "how to crochet hair" on Google - I'm very happy with how the hair looks! I crocheted the entire doll in my make-up-as-you-go style! My first time crocheting a human and I'm super pleased how he turned out! This is also my first time crocheted numbers and I loved it! I hope you love him just as much as I do!
Meet Lockwood the Bad Puppy. He's always getting into trouble: rustling through the trash, hiding in the newly folded laundry, chewing up slippers, and peeing on the floor. But how can you stay upset with him for long with that little face?
Little Lockwood the Bad Puppy didn't quite make it outside!
Little Lockwood the Bad Puppy caught chewing on a slipper!
Meet Wesley the piglet in panda costume (with bamboo!). He's so shy the only time he feels confident is when he's wearing a big, scary costume. Try not to startle him; he might maul you with his paws!
Wesley is so happy to have met his new friend, Take-chan
Wesley + Take-chan = friends forever
He's a little self-conscious when you take his hood off
Panda for a day
A friend asked me to crochet her a panda and I immediately thought to myself, "A panda? How normal." Thus Wesley was born. Now I don't want to give him away. I plan to make more Wesley's in various costumes in the near future. Stay tuned!
Walton is a little odd, so the other beavers say. He mumbles to himself, doesn't like to share, and swims around in circles with his big, flat tail. But really, Walton is just a sweet little woodland creature that just wants to be left alone. Sometimes, he jumps up on the finest log around and does a little boogie for no one in particular. If you happen to see Walton the next time you're camping, leave him be and you just might get to see his dance.
*Beaver pattern by Amy Gaines. Log pattern by i ♥ amicute.
Walton. Just dancing for no one in particular. Having fun all the same.
Nom nom nom
Waving goodbye to the geese flying south for the winter. Time to stock up on more wood!
Totoro slept through his alarm this morning and nearly missed the cat bus! Good thing he has his spinning top!
This was a personal challenge as well as a commissioned piece. Little by little, I pieced the bus together over the course of several months. I didn't use a pattern and this design is all my own. I used stills from the movie as a reference and let my hands and mind do the work! I especially love the mice headlights. I couldn't leave those off, of course!
This Totoro and cat bus combo will soon be adopted by a blue-eyed soon-to-be three year-old! They're nervous to move into a new home, but so excited for a new play-mate!
This is Ollie the Owlet. Ollie is in 4th grade. Sometimes her other classmates bully her because she's "too quiet" or "weird," but Ollie is just daydreaming about when she grows up and becomes a prominent activist working to end discrimination and bullying in schools. ♥ Go Ollie!