ben’s krampus mask

oh yeah. it’s good.

phase one of ben’s mask is complete. and i love the way it looks. i’m rolling the dice on how to make it comfortably wearable — my plan is to sew it directly onto a lycra/spandex cowl, so it can be a kind of krampus-wimple — but for now i’m just gonna put it away for a few months.

previous posts on this mask had me attempting to use oversized SCOBYS (or kombucha “mothers”) as part of the mask-making process. i had seen the briliant TED talk about the fashion designer making the amazing garments out of kombucha mother, and my big problem was the same one she ran up against — they are like sponges. i put one outside to dry overnight and it was wetter in the morning than it had been when i’d gone to bed. i had a plan for strengthening and making water-resistant, too — having experimented with kakishibu some in 2010 — but when it came right down to it, the mother, while fun to play with and interesting to smell, was sticky, ripped easily, did not dry uniformly (if at all) and attracted flies like you would not believe.

i went from thinking i could make entire masks with the stuff, to “ok, maybe just the horns,” to a very celebratory “never mind,” and a good literal handwashing.

ben’s mask is all knitted. i began just knitting loose swatches large and small, then drenching them in elmer’s glue and water and stitching them to one another while shaping them over the wire mesh form of ben’s face (the one that made him look like the cover of that quiet riot album). i added some extra texture at the end — some odd novelty yarns from habu (authentic fisherman’s twine or something like that, and silk-wrapped stainless steel, and some funny cellulose fiber) to give krampus his unkempt look.

i feel really great about him. a great start to a long season of making!