Evil Dead: the Cross Stitch

I finished my Dead By Dawn cross stitch. I still have to iron and frame it and hang it up, but it’s done. I love stitching–crochet, knitting, cross stitch–because it puts me into a focused, mindful state. Cross stitch is new to me, so this project was right at the limit of my skill and really made me focus. That was a lot of fun, but I also had some sweary moments of picking out (and once or twice cutting out) wrong stitches. I’m hoping practice makes me better at counting squares.

Still, I’m planning to dip back into crochet next. I found a nice shawl pattern I want to make and I ordered a hank of fancy wool to make it out of. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

onyx wool

I managed to finish the whole thing without actually rewatching the Evil Dead trilogy. I watched Little Evil and The Babadook and several documentaries instead. The Babadook was great, but the “babadook=unresolved grief” metaphor was a bit obvious. Little Evil is a horror comedy from Netflix and it’s a bit tame but fun and kind of heartwarming. A good cross stitching movie.

 

Cross Stitch Witches

I cross stitch! I’m a cross stitcher!

I grew up in a pretty crafty culture so I’m sure I cross stitched some small thing as a kid, but this is my first real project. My younger sister stitches geeky little sayings and she inspired me to try my hand. It’s not perfect–I’m a row off in a couple of places and had to improvise–but it turned out pretty well for a first try.¬†¬†Even the back looks, well, not great but not totally terrible either. I consider it a win. I’m thinking of giving it to my parents for Christmas. Just so they know some of that crafting rubbed off on me after all. My mom loves anything holiday themed–any holiday–so she’d totally keep this and have my dad show it off every Halloween.

My next project will be a bit harder but I can’t wait to get started. I got a pattern for an Evil Dead sampler that I can’t wait to get started on. I used to have the original Evil Dead trilogy way back when VHS tapes were still a thing and I haven’t watched them since the world went all digital, so I plan on watching them while I stitch.

 

 

I basically googled gothy and geeky cross stitch until I found something perfect, and it happened to be sold through Etsy, by Pyro Dog Pins. I know there are a lot of free patterns, but now that I’m older and slightly less poor I try to support people’s creativity by paying for what I can. If this pattern goes well I’m seriously considering trying either the Bates Motel or the Big Lebowski patterns some time.

Lucky for me, Mr. Robot doesn’t consider adorable shotguns and chainsaws too creepy, so when I’m finished we’ll probably hang Dead By Dawn in our newly repainted bathroom. Yay!

Craft Along with GIY: Utensil Holders

I’ve been following Bane’s Craft Alongs over at Goth It Yourself but this is the first one I’ve done myself. August’s theme is Food and Beverage, which lines up nicely with a project I’d been meaning to figure out anyway.

I hope I’m linking it up right:

 

giy.jpg
Visit GIY to join the fun

For long and boring reasons I keep my utensils in holders instead of a drawer, and I’ve been thinking about new ones for a while. All my available options seemed boring and sad, so I cooked up an idea of my own.

Supplies: three cheap bamboo utensil containers, fine grit sandpaper, burgundy craft paint, several pieces of pretty scrapbooking paper, Mod Podge, a paint brush and an X-acto knife. Plus a couple paper towels, a plastic garbage bag to protect my table and an old magazine (used as a pad for my X-acto knifework).

Process:

I sanded the containers lightly and wiped them clean with a damp paper towel, then used one side as a template to cut my paper to size. Then I painted the insides with two coats of the burgundy craft paint.

I let that dry thoroughly while I watched Crimson Peak–so good!*–and then I Mod Podged the insides of each container for a little extra durability. Then I used Mod Podge to carefully stick the paper on the outsides of the containers and coated the whole outside of each with a thin layer of Mod Podge. I should have maybe pressed the paper on longer first, because I got a bit of crinkling at this stage. I suck at decoupage.

After a long break for dinner and family time I coated the containers inside and out with one more layer of Mod Podge inside and out and let them dry thoroughly overnight. I definitely need more DIY practice but this was easy and fun and I’m pretty happy with my new silverware holders.

*Don’t worry, I wasn’t watching Crimson Peak with kids around. They were on an epic park/duck pond trip with Mr. Robot.

Here are some close-ups of the paper. As usual I was torn between goth for me and non-goth for Mr. Robot and somehow landed at vaguely vintage:

 

Rosebud Book Bag

bud bag 1I actually finished a project! I’m so proud of me! Just in time, too, because I have two other projects waiting to get started.

I’ve been obsessed with interlocking crochet for maybe a year and a half, when I took a chance and bought a book on it. Probably the book on it, considering the title. The book is worth it if you like this style at all. It has pretty clear instructions for getting started and some nice project patterns in the back, but what I like best is picking a stitch pattern I like and then inventing something to do with it. Which is how I semi-invented the Rosebud Book Bag.

If you’re not familiar with interlocking crochet, you’re basically making two blocks of filet crochet (little open boxes) at the same time, one behind the other, and weaving them into a pattern row by row as you go. It makes a thick, reversible double layer that looks fancy as hell even though it’s pretty simple.

ic book
this is the book

I don’t have a specific pattern, but I can run through the basic process. I used Sweet Georgia superwash worsted wool (in cherry and peashoot, I think?) and a D hook.

  1. Make a nice, big rectangle of your favorite interlocking pattern. I eyeballed mine against a large-ish paperback novel. With this yarn and hook, mine was 26 boxes across and about 46 rows high.
  2. For the handle I made one long row of red filet boxes and threaded a nice, tight chain of the green through it. I made it long enough to run down the body of the bag, creating skinny little sides for it.
  3. I used slip stitch crochet to join strap and bag. I just like the structured effect it produces. I counted about 18 squares up the strap and started attaching from there, stitching those 18 squares to the front side of the bag. when I reached the strap end, I made three stitches across that, being sure to stitch through that green chain as well, then stitched up the other side until I reached that 18th square. At that point my skinny bag side was done.

    bud bag side
    Sorry I didn’t take process photos. Next time.
  4. Instead of cutting and doing the other side separately, I continued my slip stitches around just the top of my interlocking rectangle (how the top flap of the bag. This created a nice, continuous slip stitch line while also joining the red and green interlocking layers neatly.
  5. Once I got across to the other side, I carefully counted the joining stitches from step 3 to make sure I started joining at the same place on the second side. Making sure not to twist the strap in the process, I counted 18 squares from the free end and started joining.
  6. Once that was all joined up I continued the slip stitches across the front edge of the bag (joining the red and green layers again), ending in the corner where I started.
bud bag reverse
reverse pattern
bud bag 2
rosebud vines

Day 17: Clothing I Have Made

I tweaked the challenge. I was supposed to show you clothing I’ve altered but I couldn’t think of a single thing. I’m just such a lazy and terrible tailor that the only thing I’ve altered in the last year is my kids’ taekwondo pants. (They’re all so very, very short.) So sure, here’s a picture of that, but I’m also showing the sweater and shawl I crocheted from scratch. My youngest is home with a cold today, so she kindly agreed to be my model between sneezes. I might have to steal her shawl-as-headscarf idea.

Skull Infinity Square Crochet

While browsing on Etsy for something completely different, I ran across some lovely skull-themed crochet patterns (shop name Spider Mambo). I’ve been slowly revamping my bathroom and that’s kind of sucked up all my creative energy lately, but I couldn’t resist the skull infinity square. I already had some red yarn stashed in a closet so I got started right away. Winter has me dreaming of warm and cozy things, so I’ll probably just keep adding skull rows until it’s one giant square of a lap blanket. I don’t have enough red to finish a square that size so I’ll have to get out for more yarn in a week or two. I’m thinking of switching to black or dark grey at that point to keep things interesting.

infinity-right-way
For the curious: American H-hook and medium weight Caron Soft acrylic yarn.

I’ll be sure to post pictures when it’s done. And once I get around to painting it, I’ll show you my bathroom redo. Anyone else crafting their way through winter?

skull-close-up
My center skull has a gap in his teeth.