Month: February 2013

End of the Month Meta-February

-I do have the current giveaway project on needles! Check back later for more information, once I get the project further along.

-The blog was relatively quiet for the month of February.  While I hate not writing because I feel like I’m slacking, I think that it was actually a good thing. I have a theme in mind for March, and ideas for several fibery posts.

-Part of the reason that I haven’t been writing is that I’ve been knitting. There may be a flood of FO pictures during the month of March, including a chaos gallery.

-Have any suggestions for content? Want to submit a guest post? Email me at horrificknits at gmail dot com.

-I am going back to columns that were put on hold. I will be finishing out the Baba Yaga story and rounding out the color list. Hopefully tomorrow will have a new WNY post.


The crockpot bread entry is still the most popular post on pinterest. It’s tied this month with this week’s bean salad for most new pins!



I know. Found footage, again. In my own defense, I was not aware that this was a found footage film-and it’s a British film, so that automatically gains it more points on my personal rating scale. My love of British horror knows no bounds.

I don’t know if it’s that British horror has just enough of a different gaze from American films, if my theory that British film is by nature that much better than American, or if I’ve been reading too many feminist horror reviews of late, but I kept finding subtle symbolism throughout this piece. The lighting used with the electricity goes out is red, and makes it feel like you’re inside a thing-a living thing. The hollow of the title refers to a hollow tree; the hollow/hole/feminine connection seems to be showing up everywhere-especially when the first few minutes of the film suggest that people went into to the tree, only to be spit out dead.

The feminine/supernatural parallel is everywhere throughout this piece. Did you know that foxes sound like women screaming when they’re calling? The folklore surrounding the hollow tree is held by women, the story itself involves a woman. There’s very subtle echoes of the Yellow Wallpaper-she’s fine! No I’m not. It was a panic attack! No, I was having an asthma attack. The masculine gaze trying to fit behavior into known patterns.

I thought that part of what made the use of the feminine/supernatural comparisons interesting is that I’m not sure that it’s deliberate-and if I love anything it’s accidental, organic symbolism. I’m not sure if the Dunwich reference at the beginning of the film is so accidental (perhaps they have their own horror going, or perhaps it’s just coincidental that a movie about folkloric horror is set in Dunwich).

Before I make it sound like this is the best film that I’ve ever seen, I will say that it’s found footage. My love of found footage doesn’t run that deep, and this one has a lot of the faults that I find with most ff films. The characters run from either being under developed to much too much overdeveloped. At times the acting is fine, other times it’s incredibly forced and about as wooden as the tree. A lot of the scares seem to be of the ‘jump’ variety, especially at the beginning, and unlike a film like the Pact, most of them are right where you expect them to be.

I did like this one more than most found footage, and it is nice to see found footage be about something other than haunted asylums and zombies. If you enjoy folkloric horror-or wanted a film like Wake Wood without the religious overtones-then this one’s on Netflix Instant and was a better ride than I thought going into it. Just don’t expect an extremely good film, and you’ll do fine.

Quick Bean Dump Salad

Sometimes I feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Sometimes the thought of having to actually cook makes me want to cry.

This recipe, though I think that calling it a recipe pushes it, came about last summer when I had something similar at a pot luck. If you’re not aware last summer was brutally hot around here and I’m allergic to heat. Not only is this is a fairly inexpensive dish, it makes a lot of food and you don’t have to heat anything to make it.

This is wildly adjustable. Change what beans or vegetables you put in it. Change what vinegrette, add salsa, add hot peppers. Go where the mood takes you.

Quick Bean Dump Salad

2-3 Cans worth assorted beans, drained and rinsed-the salad in the photo uses kidney

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped-salad shown uses red

Can’s worth corn, drained if using canned

1/4 to 1/2 bottle vinegrette-I made a vinegrettte with ranch seasoning, apple cider vinegar, and oil.

Add beans and dressing to a large bowl. Chop and add vegetables and corn to bowl. Toss and let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Easily upsized, I’m guessing as written would serve 6-8 as a side. Maybe four as a main dish with other sides.

Linked to:

Cultured Palate     Flour Me with Love     ClaireJustine

Homemaker on a Dime     Create with Joy    Blackberry Vine

Frugal Days     Trendy Treehouse



Even though it’s been close to a year since Holly asked me why green was considered unlucky, I haven’t forgotten to finish out this series. It does stand to be pointed out again that color associations do vary from culture to culture and even within usage. These associations also shift over time-in large part, our association with pink belonging to girls and blues belonging to boys extends back only as far as the 1920s or so. Actually a great deal of our culture markers (including diamond engagement rings) also extend back only into the Interwar period but that’s a discussion for another time.

Like green, blue is a peace color. Used to pull in healing and calming energy, blue is used to encourage peace and comfort. In some cultures the color’s associations with a draw down of energies is so strong that it is actually used to mark mourning. The presence of too much blue can likewise push down energy so much that it inspires depression; to be depressed is sometimes referred to as being blue. Blue is often associated with water, and by extension the color is sometimes used in with similar meanings such as boosting emotion or intuition.

Pulling something out of the archives this week!

Horrific Knits

One of the reasons that I love horror so much is the way that the genre relies on traditional imagery. There are so many folkloric stories that influence popular culture, but they sometimes receive so little attention. Sundays will be the day where I pick one story or one image and examine the history and variations of the legend.

I like legends that have a physical component.

They amuse me.

It’s actually not too much of a stretch to say that the Cardiff Giant was part of my childhood. I grew up in a strange section of New York- that no man’s land between New York City and Buffalo, where not much of anything happens other than attracting dead dreams (the Baseball Hall of Fame), ghosts (the Otesaga) and old hoaxes-the Cardiff Giant.

The Cardiff Giant’s history starts out in a manner that I feel should spawn more hoaxes and…

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Inspired Weekends #7


I hadn’t planned on taking a blogging break-normally I like to give warning that it’s coming. But I’ve been knitting up a storm and thinking about things that I would like to do in the next few months in terms of projects.

Sometimes a short break is great to re-energize.

So what have you been up to?

Inspired Weekends #7

This is a free for all style link up-there are no rules! The only guideline is that each entry should be your own content-but feel free to link up round ups, link parties, giveaways, diy, recipes, tutorials, favorite entries from your archives, anything that you would like to share!

Click on the button that looks like a blue frog at the bottom of the page to view the collection.

Please link to entries, and not your blog main page.

Click around the list and leave a few comments!

I’d love if you would follow Horrific Knits on Facebook, Twitter or by email-it’s not necessary, but once my WordPress count (on the sidebar) hits 350 I’m going to host a giveaway!

(Signing up puts you on a list for an email notification of future rounds. Please respond if you would not like to receive notifications either now or in the future. Thanks so much!)

Sunday Legends-The (Not So) Secret Lore of Trees



I’ve been on a minor spontanous blogging vacation because I’ve had the overwhelming desire to both knit and clean, and I’m indulging myself on both points.

I was reading about the history of the word hoodoo recently, and one of the theories that came up is that it’s a derivitive from uath dubh (pronounced, roughly, hoo doo)-which is a term coming from the Gaelic meaning dark spirit; it’s also related to the adjective spikey because of its relation to the hawthorne tree.

Someone asked me what the hawthorne tree had to do with anything, and honestly I didn’t know. If I had to guess at that point, it would have had to be some relation to the afterlife if the ghost is spikey because of the tree [I was about a quarter right].

Trees do carry deep meaning in a great many traditions. Here’s a  very short list. A number of these originate out of Kentucky

Hawthorne-connected to the fae, also a sign of luck and fertility throughout several cultures. Hawthorne could be used to keep out ghosts and minor dark spirits like bogarts. It’s claimed that Thor created the hawthorne from lightening and the tree could protect against thunderstorms.

Weeping Willows-The weeping willow is sacred to Hecate. In western culture the weeping willow was used as a traditional symbol for grief, thus being used as decorative accents on headstones. Women shouldn’t plant a willow or she’ll never marry.

Locusts-Heavy blooms on a locust means a heavy grain year. Locusts are hit by lightening more often than other trees.

(General) Be careful planting a tree near a grave; if the tree dies, so does the person that plants it.

Cedar-plant a cedar tree in your yard for luck. But don’t let it sit near your house, or it will bring death. And don’t transplant it, because you’ll be dead by the time the lowest limbs are as long as a person’s coffin. Don’t burn it on your property if it dies as well, because it’ll bring death to your family. [Cedars seem to be bad news along the Eastern Seaboard of the US].

Dogwoods-don’t mess with dogwood branches or it’ll bring bad luck.

Peach-a peach tree blooming early is a sign of a forthcoming death.

Pine-The number of pine trees in your yard is the number of people who will die in your family. In some variations, it’s just the act of planting them that will cause trouble [but then, planting trees in general seems to be a bad idea, so.] However, in germanic superstitions helpful spirits live in pines and firs so it’s a good idea to have them around. It’s a bad idea to sell a pine tree but giving one away will bring good luck.

Apple-Don’t use applewood for firewood. Apple trees that have apples on until the spring heralds a death in the family.

Yew-both connected to witchcraft and believed to protect people from evil.

Elder- Carries connotations of life, death, and compassion. The connection between the elder and death may be so strong that some superstitions claim the tree will only grow where blood has been shed.

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

Joyce Carol Oates

One of our deepest social fears is getting what we want.

Opening the door and facing our strongest desires manifested is the surest way of freaking us out. There’s a reason that one of the most stereotypical curses you can throw into a piece is may you get what you wish for. Most of the time what we want isn’t what we think we want, but we’re too busy or too afraid to pick apart our desires to get at the basis of our longings. We stick with the surface because the surface is easier.

So then we do open the door one day and look at our desire smack in the face and it scares the everloving crap out of us. Joyce Carol Oates has long been one of my favorite horror authors, because she’s so capable of writing creepy, unsettling fiction without telling the reader, here, right here is that thing that’s supposed to scare you.

Connie is a young creature full of the desires that young creatures tend to be full of. However, she’s also at that age where she’s beginning to be aware that the world is not the shining thing she thinks it is and that’s part of where her tension comes from. Connie knows that she doesn’t want to be like her poor, sad, plain sister and she suspects that she’s pretty enough to be set apart from her. But then she’s slammed with the realization that the world is in fact not a toy-that she is probably the toy herself for all of the reasons that make her special. Who the stranger is doesn’t matter all, what matters is that this is the twisted end to the road she’s put herself on.

Color Theory

Sleeve one is finished. I’m going to cast on the second band tonight.

Mid made an announcenment a few weeks ago. If he has a say in it, I would only wear earth tones/neutrals, dark green, orange, white, and black.

Honestly he’s not far off of the colors that I  tend to gravitate to when I look for clothes for myself. At some point I realized that as much as I love cool jewel tones, they’re not the colors that look best with my coloring. And I do enjoy looking like a tree in October.

It’s hanging out on my favorite skirt. I adore that skirt. I got it at a secondhand clothing tent during festival one year. It’s huge, fluffy, and so intensely colored.

Linked to:

Blackberry Vine     Lady Behind the Curtain

Adorned From Above     Printabelle

Gingersnap Crafts


I dare you all to go into
The Haunted House on Howlin’ Hill,
Where squiggly things with yellow eyes
Peek past the wormy window sill.
We’ll creep into the moonlit yard,
Where weeds reach out like fingers,
And through the rotted old front door
A-squeakin’ on it hinges,
Down the dark and whisperin’ hall,
Past the musty study,
Up the windin’ staircase–
Don’t step on the step that’s bloody–
Through the secret panel
To the bedroom where we’ll slide in
To the ragged cobweb dusty bed
Ten people must have died in.
And the bats will screech,
And the spirits will scream,
And the thunder will crash
Like a horrible dream,
And we’ll sing with the zombies
And dance with the dead.
And howl at the ghost
With the axe in his head,
And–come to think of it what do you say
We go get some ice cream instead?

~Shel Silverstei