Friday, January 13, 2012

Guest Post: The quest for the crochet zombie

It's been a while, but today is a day for a guest post! Woo!

So Thea Gregory, one of my lovely Twitter peeps, is currently doing a blog tour for her Zombie Bedtime Stories. I've only had the opportunity to read the first installment, Locked In, but it was definitely a treat. Envision your standard zombie apocalypse . . . but written from the POV of a victim. Yeah. That's right. Our main character becomes a zombie. It's fabulous. Go check it out. Now.

Anyway, being that Thea and I bond about crocheting all the time, today she is going to regal you all with her adventures in crocheting a zombie. Enjoy!

When I was 9 years old, I started making teddy bears. Pictured is the only remaining relic (that I know of) from that time. As you can see, I had a very weak grasp of proper stitching and pattern-making, but a strong appreciation for the macabre. Perhaps Bear simply came before his time. 

During Bear’s almost 20 year stay in a basement, I received a book for my birthday, Creepy Crochet by Christen Haden. It contained all kinds of marvelous wonders, like how to make your own crochet Trojans, zombies, vampires, robots, and even Chuthlu. I was fascinated, and my quest to create a crochet zombie began.

I hit one immediate snag—I didn’t know any of the stitches! As the granny square queen, I can basically make a giant square blanket. While this is amazing, useful and a great way to spend the winter months, it doesn’t help me create my zombie empire, or re-enact the Zombie Bedtime Stories with little dolls. Because, who wouldn’t want to act out zombie fiction with crochet dolls?

So, my old friend Google and I teamed up for yet another adventure. I made many attempts to start at the logical source—the head. What’s a zombie without a brain? I tried, again and again, but eventually I was sent back to the drawing board. So, I started with an arm, a project that was a bit less ambitious. At first, I thought it would just be a finger hat, and posed accordingly.

But, miraculously, the arm came together properly. Afterwards, I fashioned another arm, in green. I made the arms different colors, because he’s my crochet zombie, thus he needs to be special.

Emboldened by the success at creating two almost symmetrical arms (zombies don’t need symmetry, they need brains) I decided to return to making a head. Despite forgetting to count my stitches, I pressed on, eventually coming to a roughly spherical shape.

But, disaster struck.

My arm had cramped up, and I could no longer continue. Not wanting accept defeat, or to deprive Bear of his new little brother, I cobbled the old, discarded attempts into a mouth and hair. Then, I added buttons for eyes, and stitched on his little arms. I used a sharpie to give his eyes the proper bloodshot effect. No cutesy giggly eyes for my zombie.  Bear would be jealous, after all.

Thus, I created a crochet zombie. Not in the fashion that the book recommended, but he’s made of crochet, cute, and obviously a zombie. For the moment, that’s good enough for me!

The quest for the perfect crochet zombie shall continue! 

Thea writes zombie stories and science fiction. She was raised in rural Quebec, where her imagination was often her only friend, and this upbringing also engendered a fanatical love of reading and books.You can stalk her at her blog, Thea's Writing Asylum, or on Twitter as @TheaIsis.