Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CSI: Phentex

“Hailstone” Afgan from Phentex Decoration 2000, 1972.

In the 1970s, young women were warned not to wander through autumnal woodlands by themselves. Of course, they were never told the real reason why. For decades, Phentex Inc. hid the true nature of their non-fading and stain resistant yarns. But after months of stouthearted sleuthing, I’ve finally uncovered this photographic proof of Phentex’s dark side.

You see, Phentex only manages to keep its colours from fading by hibernating during the winter months. Accordingly, every autumn, Phentex is driven by an overwhelming compulsion to stock up on as many calories as it can. Unlike other woodland predators, however, Phentex is a sophisticated tool user, and often uses furniture to lure unsuspecting prey into its fatal embrace.

In the photo above, a young woman is desperately trying to resist the hypnotic gaze of Phentex’s beady red and white eyes. “You’re tired after your long walk,” Phentex insidiously whispers in her mind. “Why not rest awhile on this convenient and in no way suspicious brass bed in the middle of the forest.” If she’s foolish enough to lie down, Phentex’s stain resistant yarn will rapidly shed any incriminating evidence of her gory end.

What? No, this scenario wasn’t dreamt up by someone who has an unhealthy obsession with Phentex and who was also traumatized by Hinterland’s Who’s Who as a child! I didn’t want to include the next piece of evidence, out of concern for this blog’s more sensitive readers, but your baseless accusations have forced my hand! Now, if you dare, look upon the terrible sight of Phentex after it’s made a brutal kill.

For more information on Phentex, contact the Canadian Wildlife Service, in Ottawa.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

“Hailstone” Afgan
Hailstone? I guess the two white circles could be gigantic hailstones. The red squares could be blood stains from all of the skulls these apocalyptic hailstones cracked open. And I suppose you’d then want to lay out these bloody hailstones on a geometric grid as you’d need DNA testing to identify the badly pummeled corpses. There, the name “Hailstone” Afgan now makes perfect sense!

And yes, that’s Afgan. When making an afghan out of Phentex the h is both silent and invisible.
Size: 81” X 72”.

Material: Phentex 3 ply – red 15 balls white 14 balls navy 6 balls

Crochet: No. 3. American no 10.
Just because Phentex is less popular now than in the 1970s, don’t mistakenly believe you’re safe. Phentex is still a vicious killer.
Stitches: s.c.—d.c.—h.d.c.

Row 1—Ch. 4, close by a sl. st.
Row 2—(white)—16 d.c. in the same space.
Row 3—(red)—*3 d.c. in same st., 3 d.c. in next 3 sts. * (4 times)
Row 4—*3 d.c. in same st. (in the center d.c. of prec. row) 5 d.c. in next 5 d.c.* (4ts)
Note how desperately these instructions huddle together in fear, not allowing any spaces between the dashes or rows. The second instruction to repeat 4 times was so terrified of ending up on a separate line that it collapsed hysterically into ‘4ts’. It was never the same again.
Row 5—*3 d.c. in same st., 7 d.c. in next 7 d.c. * (4 times)
Row 6—(white) *3 d.c. in same st., 2 d.c. in next 2 d.c., 1 h.d.c. in next st., 3 s.c. in next 3 sts., 1 h.d.c., 3 d.c. *
Now, it’s true that one brave Canadian soul has harnessed Phentex’s killer instincts for beneficial purposes. Well, beneficial unless you’re a fish.
Row 7—*3 d.c. in same st., 3 d.c. in next 3 d.c., 1 d.c., 3 s.c., 1 h.d.c., 3 d.c. *
Row 8—(red) *3 d.c. in same st., 3 d.c., 1 h.d.c., 5 s.c., 1 h.d.c., 3 d.c. *
Row 9—(red)/ 3 d.c. in the same stitch 2 d.c.—2 tr.c. 7 s.c.—2 tr.c.—2 d.c. *
Still, Handmade by Mother recommends leaving such risky endeavors to professional Phentex wranglers. After all, even professional pattern editors can get so rattled by Phentex’s deadliness that typos, such as the above “/”, are given free range and commas are dropped willy-nilly.
Row 10—(white)* 3 d.c. in the same stitch 3 d.c.2 tr.c., 7 s.c., 2 tr.c., 3 d.c. *
Row 11—(navy) Make one row of s.c. all around making 3 s.c. at the angles.
Assemble squares by one row of s.c. navy placing 9 scares long and 8 squares large.
If you are foolhardy enough to crochet this “Blood-Soaked Hailstones of the Apocalypse Ready for DNA Testing” Afgan, at least take the precaution of wearing appropriate protective gear.

Click here for the printable pattern.