Biscornu? I hardly know you!
November 30, 2017 9:36 AM   Subscribe

How to Make Biscornu Make a complicated looking octagonal pincushion out of two simple squares. They can be made with embroidered or plain fabric and you can add a button in the middle to make it look more like a doughnut biscuit spaceship. Biscornu is a French term that means 'bizarre' or crooked.
posted by soelo (16 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
How timely. I started making a biscornu just last night in between bigger projects. Nice way to use up some scrap fabric.
posted by blakewest at 9:50 AM on November 30, 2017

Oh nice, this is a D-form made of two squares with a 45° rotation!
posted by a car full of lions at 9:52 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by cortex at 10:02 AM on November 30, 2017

Oh hey, what's the D-form of two Sierpinski Carpets with a 45 degree rotation? Asking... for a friend.
posted by Secretariat at 10:03 AM on November 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

Followed the link expecting something far less elegant! I love needlework!
posted by stowaway at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2017

Also this looks fun, and I definitely want to mess around with making one out of scraps or little designs.
posted by Secretariat at 10:08 AM on November 30, 2017

One of my most treasured possessions is a biscoenu my mother embroidered for me.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 10:13 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I love biscornus and I love Nordic Needle so this post is like right up my alley!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:49 AM on November 30, 2017

Handwork. I am always so amazed by handwork.
posted by crush at 11:43 AM on November 30, 2017

Biscornu are fun to make!

The description of its meaning is making my translator eyebrows twig though :D
bis means more than "twice" – it's more along the lines of "two times; a second time; repetition". Used in this sense (because it can also mean "grey-brown"), it's quite common in music and in addresses. Bis in a musical score means to repeat, and when used in an address, you know it's the second in a series. I lived at a 14B for instance, read 14 bis.

And cornu doesn't quite mean "with horns", but more "horned" or "horn-shaped".

Biscornu is one of those fun words that is rarely used but puts across a sense of "out of whack" in a cute way. It manages to be chic and silly at the same time. "Peculiar" is a good synonym.
posted by fraula at 11:47 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Beautiful and interesting site. One suggestion: use something other than fiberfill if you will be using it as a pincushion. I learned to my regret that it seems to attract moisture, the pins rust and stain the cushion. I now use wool fleece if I have it but you could also chop up wool yarn or woven or knit wool with scissors.
posted by Botanizer at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you, this is very cool.

I get little craft obsessions and then work very hard to make one of something. Like a crafting friend of my mom's says, "I'm the queen of the prototype." One of my obsessions was making a pincushion from a bottle top. I made a really nice one, and that was that.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:47 PM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Welp, I hope my family likes biscornu-shaped knit throw pillows, ‘cause they’re getting a whole bunch of ‘em this year.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:01 PM on November 30, 2017

I am thinking this would make a great Scrabble word. Seven letters plus an eighth to hang it on.
posted by elizilla at 1:15 PM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Nordic Needle is my favorite Watchmen character.
posted by freebird at 8:25 PM on November 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Shameless self link of a couple of biscornus I made. The first one is a Barbara Ana design, and the second buttercup one is by Faby Reilly, who has a number of flower-themed biscornu designs.

For filling, I've been told that grounded walnut shells add weight and keep the needles rust free. If you only use walnut shells though it get too heavy, so I compromise by using a mixture of walnut shells and fiberfill.
posted by of strange foe at 11:20 AM on December 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

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