When I first started to cross-stitch, I had this grand idea of cross-stitching a picture of my favorite band. My best friend, Nancy, made her own patterns and I wondered if it was possible to make a chart from a picture. Nancy had just finished teaching me the basics of cross-stitch and was driving me back to my dorm on our college campus. I asked her if it would be possible to cross-stitch a picture. She goes “I’m sure you can” and I proceded to ask “So, I could cross-stitch a picture of Slipknot, right?” and she paused before answering, “Yeah…. but why would you…. want… to?”
A better question we should be asking ourselves is, why wouldn’t I want to? Slipknot has been my favorite band since they released their first album in 1999. I was 12, and they’ve been my favorite band ever since. Their music has gotten me through some tough times and they have been an integral part of my life. I don’t care about how cliché it sounds, it’s the truth. There is no better way for me to express how much they mean to me than through a hobby that I enjoy.
Later that day, I discovered a trial version of a cross-stitch charting software called unsurprisingly “Patternmaker for cross-stitch”. I found a hi-res picture of the special edition of Slipknot’s Vol. 3 (the subliminal verses) as well as a swatch of all the DMC floss colors. After importing the picture, I spent the rest of that day as well as the next day tweaking the colors to best match the pixels in the image. Once I was satisfied, I printed my pattern and gathered my materials.
The pattern was a daunting one. 11×16 with 50 colors and 30 of those colors were various shades of red. It was a long slog and as my second cross-stitch project, I became overwhelmed.
Due to my artistic temperment, I became so frustrated with the constant frogging because I had missed a stitch somewhere and endless tangled threads, that I had thrown my project in the waste basket multiple times. I would cry because it was something I wanted to make, but it was a huge, frustrating project. I had huge ambitions to give the piece to Slipknot one day.
In May of 2010, Paul Gray passed away and I lost all motivation to work on the piece. It was too difficult and it felt almost like I lost a member of my own family. Three years later, Joey Jordison was forced out of the band. Any motivation I had left, was gone now. The band that I loved was falling apart. My dream of giving the piece to the band was dead.
Once Slipknot decided to continue without Joey and Paul, I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t imagine my favorite band continuing without two key members. But, they could get over these hurdles, I should too, right? When Slipknot announced tour dates in Baltimore for their new album, I got tickets and my motivation went into overdrive. I stitched like I had never stitched before. My hands were raw and blistered, but I had to finish it before the new album came out.
On October 21, 2014, I finished the piece, which is also the day “.5: The Gray Chapter” was released. I washed and ironed the piece and took it to my local Michael’s craft store. I wanted to have it custom framed since it is quite simply the best thing I ever created. I didn’t want to shove it in a frame and look like I simply shoved it in a frame. I worked with the framing department and they did an excellent job putting everything together. That being said, I was featured on Mr. X Stitch’s blog here and also as a feature article in Makezine here.
Through everything, it was worth it. I’ve never been prouder of anything I’ve done and I feel it’s a perfect expression of what Slipknot and their music mean to me.