Thursday, January 29, 2015

Skeleton Key

Sometime in December I noticed that the lanyard my boss was using for his keys was worn so bad that the band was in two pieces. And I thought to myself, "Wouldn't a new band be a nice Christmas present?" Yes, it would.

Or "would have" since I didn't get it done for Christmas. (Or even started, if you have to know the whole truth.)

But his birthday is in January and I thought that was a nice second chance. (It was a "big" birthday after all. One of the ones that end in zero.) I still wasn't very motivated, however. Until his other secretary arranged a surprise party the Friday after his birthday to which she invited all his previous secretaries. It was to be a roast. (It didn't really turn out that way, but it was fun to look forward to.)

When I had just one weekend before the event, my motivation reached the tipping point that I could actually start the project. It's not that I wasn't looking forward to it, but my brain has to work harder at these things and I'm not always up for it.

I had, however, planned ahead enough that I purchased some black and pale silver cotton that I thought would make a nice effect. I also had previously printed a skull design from the internet. So I wasn't completely unprepared.

I knew a skull that looked right on a square grid would be stretched out when I wove it, so I shortened the design before I even started. Then I wove it for the first time. Two things to fix: 1. I got the black and white reversed. 2. The skull was still far too stretched out. So I spent a little time weaving in the afternoon and all evening "unweaving" it. (One of those things that is much slower going backwards. Especially if maybe you got some of the turns mixed up while you were doing it.)

But I persevered and then altered the pattern again until it looked super squat
and tried again. Not too bad this time:
and the reverse:
I did one skull and then put in the words.
I didn't know how long the letters were going to take, so I wanted to make sure that I would fit them in. Happily for me, we are starting to transition from calling ourselves the Niles Haunted House Scream Park to just Niles Scream Park. A lot fewer letters!

Once the letters were done, I filled in the rest of the space with more skulls:
Of course, I turned the pattern upside down so that they would all be right-side up when hanging around the neck.

That is how I gave it to my boss at his very surprising party. (I had to pull him out of a meeting to show him "something he had to look at before I went home." By then it was 5:30 on a Friday--very believable that I wanted to be leaving. When I got him to walk into his office and he saw half a dozen of his former employees plus a few other friends/family members, it is the only time I've ever seen him really at a loss for words. Very satisfying.)

Today I managed to get him to give me his keys. They're his haunted house keys, not his every day keys so I could take them home and sew the band onto the metal hook thing-y.

It went from this:

to this:

Much better, no?

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