Welcome to my blog! This site is specifically dedicated to the pursuits and engagement of crafty young men who make fantastic things and things fantastic. As a life-long crafter and after 10 years in the craft business, I find that there just isn't enough being offered in the way of crafts for men. Every now and then there are some cool patterns that some of us would actually wear, but on a whole most patterns are written for women, by women and allow women to make and learn while most men are still waiting for a chance to learn through the making of things that are actually useful and handsome! So, let’s get crafty guys!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unicorn Hat- Completed!!!

The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn, fresco, probably by Domenico Zampieri, c. 1602 (Palazzo Farnese, Rome)

Sorry that I haven’t put anything up on this blog in a few weeks. It has been a hard few weeks in my world; poverty-stricken-shit-show-with-a-lonley-heart-kinda-time. But I am pulling myself up by the boot straps and getting back in the game, starting by hopping in the saddle of a mystical creature that I find fascinating; The Unicorn.
A few weeks ago I started a yarn-dying extravaganza that began with a ball of yarn that I called the Unicorn. It was just a random silly idea to take colors found in a painting of a unicorn that I ran across on wiki and use it as a starting point for a color way. It was really fun and I did a little tutorial on the process here. After that the simple design for a hat began. At first I thought about trying to make it silly and whacky with a corny-horn for the front, or a color-knitted thing that would be fun, but this hat is something that I really want to wear, so I forewent that idea and just put a bill on it.

I modeled the pattern after a hat that I bought on the black market in China a 10 years ago, but added a front-stockinette stitch pattern above the bill and ribbed the sides and back. I temporarily am wearing a pin on it by the fashion/textile designer Jay McCarroll that a friend brought back for me from a quilting fair last year. It is a really simple top-down pattern to provide a little clarity in what sometimes feels like such a noisy, colorful world. Shoot me an email if you would like to buy a copy of my pattern for 10$ USD, zibstudio@gmail.com.

Many people don’t realize that the unicorn comes from the Hebrew bible and is mentioned 9 times as a mystical creature of strength, power and beauty which is named “Re’em.” It later found homes in mythic and epic tales stretching across all of Europe and much of Eurasia, in face some of the earliest imagery comes from ancient Mesopotamian. It is traditionally described as a monster with a horse’s face, a billy goat’s beard, cloven hooves and a single horn upon its head. It is sympathetic, strong, powerful and a creature that blesses. The unicorn varies in size, from a small dog like creature to a giant stallion in popular culture that is reared up on its back legs in a passionate pose.

When I was a kid my father was a cocaine dealer and my brother and I would spend the weekends with him at his house in north Denver. In his bedroom he had a really cheesy waterbed headboard that was a fish tank full of live piranha and on the apposing wall was a scale with a huge tapestry of a unicorn hanging above it. I loved that tapestry. It was one of those cheap black and blue velvet hangings that you buy along side the road in mid-summer. It was the only thing that I liked about my weekends with my father and I would lay and stare at it, passing the hours, imagining a life that I will one day lead. Although I don’t really have any strong spiritual beliefs and I typically scoff at the idea of a great mystical power, I do believe that a totem to keep as a metaphor is a great tool to keep you on the path you want to follow. I hope that you make a mystical-creature hat to aid in the creation of a fantastic life lead.


1 comment:

  1. hi zach-
    that is such a good idea to use a favorite painting, etc. to guide color choices. my mom does needlepoint and loves claude monet. she has designed and stitched several pieces that studied his techniques/impressionism/style as it applied to needlepoint. but one of my favorites was her study of his palette. apparently he used very few colors to create his paintings. i found this quote about it:

    Monet used quite a limited palette, banishing browns and earth colors and, by 1886, black had also disappeared. Asked in 1905 what colors he used, Monet said: "The point is to know how to use the colors, the choice of which is, when all's said and done, a matter of habit. Anyway, I use flake white, cadmium yellow, vermilion, deep madder, cobalt blue, emerald green, and that's all."
    from http://painting.about.com/od/oldmastertechniques/a/Techs_Monet.htm

    so my mom stitched a piece that looked like a palette, chose threads that matched his color choices, and in each color 'blob' she sampled a different stitch.

    when you created your hat out of a few colors from such a complex picture, it totally reminded me of that. i think that is a great idea, and i am once again inspired! :)