Monday, September 25, 2006

Free Pattern - Severed Finger

For your enjoyment while I'm away journeying through Middle Earth...

This pattern is a ghoulish way to use up those scraps!

Finger color (MC) - Koigu KPPPM color P430 or any other sock weight yarn - approximately 10 - 15 yards
Nail and blood color (AC) - Koigu KPPPM color P608D or P621 or any other sock weight yarn - approximately 2 - 3 yards
US size C hook
Tapestry nee

AC - alternate color
ch - chain
MC - main color
rep - repeat
rnd - round
r - row
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch
st - stitch
sts - stitches
tog - together

Not incredibly important. Just make sure that whatever yarns you choose are similar in weight.

Finger Directions:
* Pattern is worked in the round. Each round begins with ch 1 and ends with sl st in first sc of round to join. First st in round is worked in same st as slp st to join previous round.
Rnd 1 (MC) - ch 2, 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to join rnd
Rnd 2 - ch 1, (1 sc, 2 sc in next st) 4 times, sl st to join rnd
Rnd 3 - ch 1, 12 sc, sl st to join rnd
Rnd 4 - rep rnd 3
Rnd 5 - ch 1, (2 sc, 2 sc in next st) 4 times, sl st to join rnd
Rnd 6 - ch 1, 16 sc, sl st to join rnd
Rnds 7 thru 22 - rep rnd 6
* Upon completion of rnd 22, break off MC and attach AC. Stuff with fiberfill before continuing pattern.
Rnd 23 (AC) - ch 1, (1 sc, 1 spike st) 8 times, sl st to join rnd
Rnd 24 - ch 1, in back loops only (sc 2 tog) 8 times, sl st to join rnd
Rnd 25 - ch 1, (sc 2 tog) 4 times, sl st to join rnd, fasten off

Nail Directions:
R 1 (AC) - ch 2, 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, turn
R 2 - ch 1, 1 sc, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc, turn
R 3 - ch 1, 4 sc, turn
R 4 - rep r 3
* To finish nail off, sc around entire nail and fasten off with enough yarn to sew onto finger.

Sew nail to tip of finger using whip stitch. If desired embroider creases onto knuckle as shown in picture above using AC.


Copyright 2006 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Inner Geek

Surprisingly, getting in touch with my inner geek has not been a difficult process for me. In fact the older I get, the easier it is to for me to fully inhabit my inner dork dimension. Why is this the case? Well, now that I'm older and have established myself in the world of the cube, I've got cash-flow. And what does a dork do with pockets full of duckets? Buy geek-friendly items such as this, this, this (yes, I own all of these...) and this, amuse oneself with geek-friendly activities such as this (no, I haven't partaken this activity...yet) and travel to various geek meccas about the globe such as this.

So yeah, time to get up close and personal with my inner hobbit as can only be achieved by physically transporting oneself to Middle, I mean New Zealand.

Yes, NEW ZEALAND! Wooo Hooo!

Although, my inner geek is going to have to fight hard for sight-seeing venues because geek girl is not alone on this trip. Nope. She'll be accompanied by Empress Epicurean who loves wine, food and well, life's lavish luxuries. In fact, Empress Epicurean ordered her knave, I mean kindly requested her husband, to seek accommodations upon this small landmass, otherwise known as Island of Wine...

Hmmm, 29 vineyards dotting the landscape makes for a very hosed hobbit-tess as well as a sated Empress. Nonetheless, in between imbibes I will be...

...wielding needles and hook...

...practicing my Elvish...

...seeking out fiber-filled venues...

...traveling through the deep places of the world...

...and of course, shipping home cases of vintage, to name but a few activities.

Don't worry though, I plan to post a free pattern this weekend to tied you all over in my absence. When I return, I will post Dem Bones for your October delight.

Move ova Frodo, here I come!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fit To Be Tied

This place...

...combined with these people...

...made for a fantastic weekend away from the hustle and bustle of LA!

The lovely couple above decided to tie the proverbial knot after 17 years of togetherness sans knot. So, when they asked me to officiate their nuptials I could hardly refuse for I love them both dearly and well, this gave me a reason to get ordained. Yep, I am now Reverend LadyLinoleum...

Stop laughing!

I assure you, I did a good job as officiant. Really! I was very appropriate. I didn't wear anything even remotely adorned with crocheted meat...


The offspring had a great time after the wedding, which was apparently too boring for any self-respecting tween.

By the way, this deer had faith in my officiant abilities...

Anyway, we all had a brilliant time. I was able to get some much needed rest AND a total of ten uninterrupted hours of knitting time in the car while traveling to and from our destination due to husband behind the wheel. In addition, I also had a chance to visit a crafty depot in Bishop, California, the likes of which we do not often see in sunny SoCal...Ben Franklin! They had on display my beloved DMC size 8 perle cotton in at least 30 colors. Can't find that anywhere 'round here! Yes, I made a can never have too much thread or yarn available to oneself. I know, I'm preaching to the choir.

So yeah, MuseLinoleum is back. Can we all give thanks the lord-y for her return??? Okay, so my neurotic outburst of a few posts ago may have not been as warranted as it seemed at the time...

Um yeah, look at this totally neato dead tree!

I know, I need to chill...


Where does one purchase yarn in the Auckland, New Zealand area? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone???

Friday, September 15, 2006


I'm leaving for Mammoth today to help my friends get hitched. Pattern orders will not be filled until I return on the 18th!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Power of Yarn

This weekend I will be officiating the wedding of two long-time friends who’ve been practically married for 17 years. Now, I have to say that weddings are not my favorite type of function to attend. Neither are baby showers for that matter. I know, my old bat is rearing her ugly head. Despite this fact, I am honored and brimming with joy that my dear friends, Bea and John, have asked me to play an integral role in their ceremony of union. I just couldn’t be more ecstatic for these two people whom I love dearly.

Naturally though, this impending event has provoked a certain amount of personal reflection upon my own history of unions (yes, that’s plural) otherwise known as the good, the bad and the ugly, and well, my history in general. In doing so, I’ve taken note of the aspects of my life that have sustained the tumults, joys, sorrows, exaltations and periods of chaos that have left their tattoos upon the epidermis of my soul and I’ve come to a striking realization. No matter what has been going in my checkered past, I’ve always made art and I’ve always had hook or needles in hand and a bundle of yarn at the ready. Always.

Yarn has been a tool of communication for me from the time I discovered I could twist it into a slip knot and pull the fuzzy sinewy lengths through loop after incessant loop. I learned how to speak yarn from my nana as a little LadyLinoleum. I would spend hours sitting with my nana in her sewing room, neither of us verbalizing anything, yet speaking volumes through our shared experience of making loops and knots, creating a secret language from string that only nana and I could interpret.

Improving my yarn language skills and techniques as a teen Linoleum, I would stave off adolescent angst by whittling away my post-homework afternoons crocheting and knitting garments of my own design inspired by Missoni, Krizia, Rei Kawakubo, Christian Lacroix and Vivienne Westwood to name a few. Donning a sharp black bob, ruby red lipstick and sleek wardrobe consisting of mostly black separates, I fancied myself as a needle working Paloma Picasso, elegant, refined and a powerhouse of yarn technique. Needless to say, I called much attention to myself modeling my one of a kind creations while hanging out with my fashion forward teen crew.

My undergraduate years in college were spent happily steeped in all things yarn and fiber as I worked toward a degree that encompassed my two greatest loves, fiber art and sculpture. At last, my addiction was transformed from mere after school activity to the focus of my education and I loved it! Practice altered somewhat as I transitioned from undergrad to graduate school, where my art making activities centered around materials other than yarn, I still found time to crochet and knit on a weekly basis as a respite from my large sculptural undertakings.

At the age of 21, I found myself in marital misery plagued by abuse and sorrow. Crocheting and knitting took on new significance. Making things with yarn became my buoy in a torrential sea of ubiquitous debasement. If there was any joy to be had during those long and arduous years of my first martial experience, I found it within the interstices of stitches, which I worked with fervor as if each and every loop and knot made had the ability to transport me one step closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Yarn too was my constant companion, affording me physical and emotional escape from the deep sorrow that enveloped my soul following the deaths of my father, my nana and papa (my maternal grandparents). Making stitches accompanied me through the life-altering transition as sole individual to mother with child. Creating fabric with yarn enabled me to feel less like a stranger in a strange land when I lifted my Angeleno roots from their familiar soil and replanted them in the desert sands of Arabia for a year. Drawing yarn through the loop I extended my hand to my beloved current husband as we pledged to love and care for one another until the end of our days.

The power of yarn has been a significant force in my life, a constant friend through the tumult and the triumphs. From life’s lowest gorge to the highest peak, my carpet bag of yarn, hooks and needles has been by my side. Now I attempt to teach my daughter the secret language of the string extending the patois across the generations in the hopes that she too will find both solace and celebration in the ways of the strand.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Grotesque Gifties

When MuseLinoleum is on holiday, I find that working small and making piles of little goodies (i) enables me to continue to make things without committing to a large project that has great potential of becoming a serious yarn tragedy and (ii) this practice is also my way of telling that muse-chick that I appreciate her immensely and I beg her return (akin to leaving cookies for Claus). So, I beckon thusly...

...with a pile of signature Monster Crochet Zombie Eyeballs (complete with nerve endings) crocheted from size 8 DMC perle cotton and a size 6 steel hook...

...and a few Decaying Severed Fingers crocheted from leftover Koigu KPPPM and a size C hook...

I mean, what do you make for the twisted Muse who has everything???

Copyright 2006 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

MIA Muse

I know you all think that my idea faucet is turned on full blast 24/7 and truthfully, I am blessed with free-flowing creativity a lot of the time. But peeps, I do have my moments where creative exhaustion reigns; conceptual droughts that provoke me to question the fibers of my artful prowess. This state, or lack thereof, should henceforth be known as the virtuosity void. And let me tell you, the virtuosity void ain’t fun. I mean, LadyLinoleum sans hook, needles, sketchbook, et al? Well, let’s just say this makes for a Less-Than-Lively-Lady of the Linoleum.

Now, the Linoleum-Less-Lively phase is cyclical. Sometimes is brought about by personal turmoil where my ability to focus on anything other than my current malaise is as improbable as it is impossible. Sometimes this phase occurs due to sheer happenstance. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling creatively bone dry for no apparent reason. Finally, Linoleum-Less-Lively can also set in after completing a particularly long project or series of projects, um, like now.

Yes my friends, I am spent. Preparing for Uncommon Threads while simultaneously churning out patterns for books and magazines has left me creativity calorie free. And you thought my ideas were scary before I stepped aboard flight platitude. I just wish you could see the tons of worthless junk floating about my cerebrum right now. Truly frightening. Just one peek at the idea detritus which currently plagues me would have you all bowing before alters of crocheted carnitas right snappy. I guarantee it!

This week (okay it’s only Thursday…Drama queen? Moi?) I began and frogged a gazillion projects. Sleep too has alluded me all week (yes, okay, Thursday, whatever) as I succumbed to memories of tragic daily attempts at rendering many an everyday object in yarn. If this weren’t enough, the ideas that have materialized in my addled brain are pretty darn dumb. Not clever/dumb either. Just damn dumb.

So, what’s a lowly, lacking, Lady of the Linoleum to do until the dam of ideas is released once again, bathing my cerebrum in a wash of images and icons, flights and fancies, particulars and peculiarities? Wait.

Wait while watching...

Wait while weathering…

Wait while contemplating…

For my muse is on holiday and mayhap will return soon. Until the time in which she appears I shall fill my moments with myriad activities leaving Linoleum-Less-Lacking. I'll drink wine, play chef, revisit my reading list, mingle with friends and bask in the brilliance that is my daughter’s mind, catch a flick with the hubby, take an evening walk, sit before the Pacific while jotting in my journal and be sure to laugh from the bottom of my soul...Oh, and hell, I may as well pattern test a few Monster Crochet Classics while I'm at it too! No reason why you all should suffer through my artistic enervation...

Sure, I'll miss MuseLinoleum while she's away, but I look forward to her return and the stories she's bound to have of her adventures. Yes, I'll definitely be taking notes...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Uncommon Threads: Episode Deux

The Vegetable Liberation Army anxiously awaiting their cable teevee closeup in the Monster Crochet dressing room at Valcom Studios in good ole Burbank, California...

Well, we're done with Uncommon Threads. No more repetitious production of the same item again and again, no more digits buckled in pain from what I'll affectionately refer to as crochet cramp and now I'm free to work on whatever I want whenever I want without a pile of unfinished step-outs hurling epithets my way regarding my practice of procrastination! Woo Hoo!

Don't get me wrong. Cable crochet was definitely an enriching experience. Hell, it was even fun! But peeps, this was hard work AND I pretty much paid the production company to be on the show taking into account the cost of my materials and work-time lost. Overall though, I'm glad Bri and I seized this opportunity. We met some wonderful people such as Allison Whitlock, who is just about the nicest person you'll ever meet as well as an expert needleworker in her own right. Our producers, Lorelei and Joy, were wonderfully supportive and encouraging from start to finish, lavishing much praise and hugs upon us in between takes to keep us going. Gordon, our director, who had the ability to coax laughter from our exhausted souls even when we believed laughter beyond our scope of reference at the time. Dave, the art director/prop guy, who gave me the best compliment ev-ver when he came to pick-up the VLA for their debut from our dressing room, "If I crocheted, this is the kind of stuff I'd make." I've only touched on a few individuals, but there were so many others (literally all of the crew) who made this experience memorable, manageable and well, a little magical too. I know I speak for Bri as well when saying to all of these incredible people (who will probably never read this) a warm thank you from both of us!