another one for the "never say never" list

I’m sure I’m not the only knitfiend/crafter who has insisted strenuously that although I love knitting, I will NEVER:

(a) knit socks (because why knit them when you can buy them at Zellers for $2/pair?!”):Kristina’s First and Last Socks
(March 2007 or thereabouts)
(Now, I will most likely inveitably knit them again despite the second NEVER… ach, here goes the good ol’ merry go round!)

(b) knit lace (because “it’s too picky and fine and I hate yarnovers”). Too many pics to show here – just check out practically every knitting related post here since June 2007, not to mention the burgeoning Handmaiden and other laceweight stash):

(c) knit a washcloth.

No offence to anyone who is deeply into the washcloth craze, but I haven’t broken this particular “never” yet. (this may well be personally because I don’t appear to believe in coordinating bath towels, but rather grab whatever is cheapest and plushest at Winners…)

My high falutin’ snob standards respecting washcloths, though, do not seem to extend to handkerchiefs, at least not any more.

Hence, today’s post is a show and tell about Never No 4 (note to self: must compose mambo today):

(d) embroider zombies on a cut up pair of briefs to make a snotrag.

Er… I’m sure you’re saying right now “here is one for the “never” annals, for sure! I blame Holly, the Voice of Evil for warping my brain with her brilliant zombie fighting adventures (when is the book coming out?). After an Email chat with her about warshcloths, I got this idea.

So, for those who are as warped as me, here was the design process, such as it is.

1. Sketch or graph your motifs.

One huge problem with this for me – I cannot sketch, and am not great at graphs either. Viz:

Please note the ruffles chip grease stain and the ripped graph paper (and I’d like to know why my legal research office does not accommodate me by stocking graph paper for me to liberate. For shame!).

However, I thought that since my cross-stitch skills are virtually non-existent (see point #2, infra), I’d best try for some sort of plan.

The girl picture comes (very, very roughly speaking, and with no offence intended to Average Jane Crafter) from Craftzine blog

2. Find a canvas

Since this was supposed to be a handkerchief, I initially figured there was no problem as JJ is the only person I know who still carries real-live handkerchieves (which I find rather cute and quaint, although I make him wash them.

Unfortunately, I was busted raiding his stash. The inevitable security guard vs. lawyer interrogation session ensued (in my experience, the lawyers always lose):

JJ: What exactly are ye doin’, hen?
KB: Um… er… I need to borrow one of your handkerchiefs.
JJ: What for?
KB: Um…er… (brilliant excuses cycling through my brain but not stopping long enough to actually form one, as usual)… because I want to make a zombie fighting snotrag.
JJ: What?
KB: (boring attempt at explaining my various psychoses follows)
JJ: But you don’t even like zombie movies! You keep making me change the channel when they come on. I had to learn to program that blasted digital TV thingy just to tape a zombie movie because you refused!!
KB: Well, er… Hallowe’en is coming.
JJ: But you’re dressing like a cheerleader! Or was it Carmen Miranda? I can’t remember, lassie – you’re all over the place like a fart in a trance. But I don’t think any of it had to do with zombies!
KB: But – zombies are a hallowe’en thing, aren’t they?
JJ: What about all that yarn you keep bringing in? You made me order all that stuff on the line (sic) to make me a vest. Where is the vest? And don’t think I haven’t noticed you sneaking straight to the second bedroom after work with more yarn – practically every day! Why don’t you use some of that? And how about mah vest?

(note: here is the swatch for the vest – from the Best of Interweave Knits, done in Knitpicks CotLin. See how short it is? And the poor colour quality? I think the zombies were getting to me…)

KB: It’s not “on the line”, JJ – it’s on line. ON LINE. OK?! And this is not the Spanish Inquisition.
JJ: Don’t you quote Monty Python at me. It’s crrrrap. I was turning the channel from BBC to avoid that crrrap back home while you were still in diapers. Anyway, all you did was “knit, knit, knit” for the last year. Now that’s not good enough? Make yourself another nice top – or my vest. You never make me anything.
KB: You’ve been wearing the gansey I made you for the past week!!!
JJ: Oh – so you don’t appreciate that I really like to wear the sweaters you make for me? You just want to glue that bloody fridge poetry onto stuff instead and now do god knows what with mah handkerchief?

(If anyone knows, by the way, which school in Glasgow exists to teach Irish Scottish men how to employ the Greek/Jewish/general European mother syndrome, please let me know. I wish to send them a strong letter.)

KB: So, can I just have one of your handkerchiefs?

End of discussion, more or less. (I did have a cheesy whiny little comeback that I thought better of sharing, for once:)

KBs Tortured Brain: Well, I don’t want any of your snotty rags anyway. Just as well. Who wants to see your dried up snot on my blog? SO THERE. Nyah nyah nyah.

All this to say, I was deprived of the supreme ironic potential of using an actual snotrag (because, of course, with my ADD I had to start on this right away. The bottles of limeless Corona probably had something to do with it as well.).

I tried first with JJs eyeglass cleaning cloth. He noticed and snatched it from me, muttering about wee greek horrors.

So – I cut up a pair of his briefs instead. Heh. Heh. Heh.

3. Start cross-stitching

I suspect I’ve mentioned that I hate sewing. My cross-stitch skills are also pretty lame (oh – and that would constitute “never no. 5″… I nearly slaughtered myself several times during the making of this one last year:Santa Hell and said “NO MORE NEEDLEPOINT!!!”.

So, what do I do – decide to do a cross-stitch on a medium that has no grid. Good thinking, Batgirl!

I also, by the way, forgot how to do the basic x-stitch. Luckily there are lots of on-line instructions.

4. Attach meaningful symbolism to your piece.

This is really difficult to do when your emblems are probably not recognizable to anyone but yourself. However…

I think that at least the “no” sign should be instantly recognizable for what it is (at least, if you’re a smoker!). Too bad mine came out lopsided, as 4 Coronas makes it quite difficult to follow a graph.

This is the most significant part of the pattern, and so, it stands to reason (in my universe, anyway) the least obvious. To the left is the house under possible siege by the zombie. To the right is the zombie. The house has a red roof which is the “voice of evil zombie banishing” colour, and a lame attempt at grass (which could also be viewed as a protective force-field of snot). The house is shooting out sunrays toward the zombie. Did Zombie Die!!!


The Jolly Roger. Again, a bit lopsided. I picked fuschia as being a fabulous evil banishing tough chick colour.

The border is green. The significance of that, given the inspiration by Holly, should be quite obvious.

You will also note a blank spot in the “canvas”. (JJ’s very helpful comment, by the way, was “You forgot something”). This has symbolic and practical meaning.

Symbolism = the great unknown as to the outcome of any purported zombie attack
Practicality = If it’s a snotrag, one needs someplace to blow one’s nose.

Most importantly perhaps, though:

Truth = I got bored and couldn’t face stitching “Home Sweet Zombie-Free Home”.

Please note also the other design feature – an elastic lanyard/zombie stunner.

Next up, perhaps: a set of briefs with “If’s it no’ scottish it’s crrrap” stitched onto the y-front, a saltire on one cheek and a canadian flag on the other. (JJs says “Don’t bother.” Might as well wave a red cape in front of the proverbial bull, really. You think he’d have figured this out by now!)

Actually, though, it seems as though it really is time to go back to the knitting…
although today I’m off to Canadian Tire to buy terracotta flowerpots for my mosaic tealight holders (they’re always a big hit as they throw off sparks when in use… I’ll take a pic of a finished one when at my friend’s place for Hallowe’en).

Happy weekend!


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