Tag Archive | dead

This is Halloween…

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Happy Halloween Everyone!

Hopefully you enjoy this years Halloween/Day of the Dead Diorama that my husband creates for me every year from all of my crocheted Halloween Amigurumi creations! I sure do, and I think this years is the best yet!

October 31st, straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

IMG_8549 - Version 5The Day of the Dead celebration (Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include making catrinas, building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

The Grim Reaper

P1030657Halloween is my favorite holiday. I make more plans for Halloween than any other holiday. I decorate more for Halloween than any other holiday, and I usually have more fun on Halloween than on any other holiday. So as Halloween time approaches every year, it is only fitting for my crocheting and sewing projects to mainly involve Halloween. This year while checking out Halloween patterns on Ravelry, I came across this great pattern for the Grim Reaper and I knew that he would be my first Halloween Amigurumi for this year.

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I started out this project by selecting the yarn. Of course, the grim reapers cloak is usually black, but I wanted some thing a little different. Then I found this steel gray yarn at Hobby Lobby and it looked like what I wanted. It is a great color for the grim reaper’s cloak and I had no problem stitching it up. I chose Red Heart Yarn’s Aran color for the body instead of white. I thought it would give the reaper a little more of a “dead” aged bone look. The other colors were simple to pick, gray for the scythe blade and brown for the staff. The pattern called for a red belt but I picked the same P1030491gray as the blade for the belt instead.

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The crocheting of the pieces of the grim reaper went smoothly. The body of the cloak is his body so you had to lift his skirt up to attach his legs. I thought the hood might give me a hassle but the pattern was very clear on how to crochet the hood and it was quite easy. The hardest part of this pattern was attaching the arms. The arms and the sleeves are crocheted separately. Then the arms are placed inside the sleeve as far as you can push them and then the arm and sleeve attached to the body. It worked out ok, but I am concerned about how loosely the arms are attached to the body. Luckily, this reaper is a decoration and will not be played with as a doll, so I think the arms will hold up ok.

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P1030660The blade and staff of the scythe were interesting to crochet and sew together. Before I stitched the blade to the staff, I decided that I wanted the staff to be stiff so I inserted a dowel in it. Then I decided that I wanted the blade to be stiff as well but I still wanted it to curve as the blade should. To get this affect, I insert a pipe cleaner into the blade and shaped it to the look I wanted. Then I stitched the staff and blade together to complete the scythe. Because this is just a decoration, I stitched the scythe to the reaper to keep it in place. I also inserted a dowel in the back of the reaper to help him stand, so between the stiff staff and the back dowel, the reaper stands on his own.

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Unlike so many of the amigurumi’s that I make, the reaper’s smile was very easy to stitch and soon enough he was complete. I think he turned out to be just adorable which is not the word that usually described the “grim reaper”, but in this case it is right on. I am very pleased with my end results of this project and am happy to have the grim reaper as part of my Halloween diorama this year.