The humble Slake Moth is possibly one of the most unsettlingly horrifying characters that ever crawled menacingly from the pages of a book. In this case the book is China Mieville‘s Perdido Street Station.
They feed on people’s dreams, they excrete nightmare-making invisible poo, and they leave their victims behind as drooling hunks of human vegetable.
“The thing made its body thin and spread those colossal wings, massive flat folds of stiff skin that seemed to fill the hall. They were irregular, chaotic in shape, random fluid whorls; but mirror-perfect left and right, like spilt ink or paint patterns on folded paper.” Perdido Street Station
So what would make a more perfect tribute to Mr Mieville’s monsters than to immortalise them in lovely squishy yarn, I ask you?
I was invited to take part in The Kitschies Steampunk Party by the squid-worshipping Pornokitsch team Jared and Anne (Pornokitsch are well worth stalking if you’re a fan of cult classic movies, books, comics and things that go ‘Arrrrrggggghhhhhh! Raaaaaaarrrrrghhh!” in the night. They’re on Facebook and Twitter too). Well, actually Plarchie was invited and I kind of just tagged along, as I do in the role of his Puny Human Attaché.
Stitched Slake Moths are Hatched
For the event I conjured up a Stitched a Mini Slake Moth pattern for a mini workshop where people could make something handmade and horrifying all at once.
I also created the five Slake Moths from the book as exclusive Whodunnknit limited editions, in five dreamy flavours:
Want to make one of your own? You can!
It’s also got its very own page over at Ravelry. For the love of all that is holy go forth and queue or favourite it. Before it favourites you…
Slake Moth Adoption and When Plarchie Met China
And did the Kraken-creator finally meet the world’s most infamous crafty Kraken?
Mr Miéville, after signing many many books for lines of squealing fans, was inexplicably drawn to the area where Plarchie held court.
China adopted the original “Dreams Taste Like Chicken” Stitched Slake Moth and took him home with him. There, I hope, it will wreak havoc in its woolly way for the foreseeable future. Apologies in advance to China Miéville fans for lack of books when it eats his dreams while he sleeps.
He also signed my copy of Kraken. Squeeee! “To Deadly Knitshade, with the awe, respect and solidarity of one Architeuthis geek to another. China Mieville. Thank you for my moth!”
Two of the Stitched Slake Moths were also adopted by brave Kitschies Chief Wranglers Jared and Anne, who also took one along with them for a competition prize. Yup, you can win one of the handmade horrors over at the Pornokitsch website! Eeeeeek!
And that wasn’t the end of it. I’m sorry to have to admit that I also let several other Steampunk Party revellers in on the secret of making their own. And make them they did, with no regard for the safety of humankind.
Plarchie, who had been necking bottle after bottle of Kraken Rum since we arrived, was a little worse for wear by then. Luckily Mr Mieville was polite enough not to remark on his dribbling, fake moustache and threatening to fight the whole room with eight of his tentacles tied behind his back. Phew.
A Splendid Steampunk Time was had by All
All in all the evening was a splendiferous steampunk affair. I can’t wait to find out who wins the 2012 Kitschies tentacle prizes. Maybe there’ll be more rum and Plarchie worship.
Here’s a final pic of some of the steampunk stars who helped make the evening so fantabulous.
Several of them, sadly, were eaten by Plarchie, like the puny human sushi that we know deep down we all are. My most humble apologies. Plarchie is one hungry crafty cephalopod.
Just so you know who Plarchie may or may not have eaten (clockwise from top left): Frances Hardinge, Jonathan Green, China Mieville, Plarchie, Gary Northfield, Ms Deadly Knitshade, Philip Reeve, Catherine Hemelryk and Hayley Lock
HUGE thanks to Jared and Anne, and the folks at Blackwell’s Charing Cross for an amazing evening. Really sorry about the people eating… And releasing those moths… You really can’t invite me anywhere.