keskiviikko 28. lokakuuta 2015

The Power of Make-Up: Halloween is Upon Us!

Once upon a time just this morning, I realized Halloween has crept up on me yet again. This happens every year, so I'm used to it, and pretty good at coming up with a decent costume at a moment's notice. 
Today it occurred to me that I can't be alone. I can't possibly be the only one who wakes up on the 28th and goes "oh snap, how did this happen AGAIN!!" 
Pulling out a costume from your closet is easy. Burlesque dancer, wicked witch, even Wednesday are no-brainers when it comes to dressing up. 

Halloween is about more than just putting on a fancy dress and having fun. 
Make-up has always played an intricate part in dressing up. Personally, I have absolutely no talent for make-up -based illusions. Luckily, the internet is filled with tutorials that teach you to create anything with make-up. As techniques develop, the days of slapping on blood and gore and going as a zombie are over. Today, make-up is a tool used for turning fantastical ideas into reality. 

Stylist has made it easy for us, and listed 10 really cool Halloween make-up tutorials. Although most of these require mad skills, tutorials offer both ideas and aid. My favourite is the last one. Who wouldn't want to be Pinhead, even for just one night. 

I've been toying with costume ideas today. There's really not much time left, so making something is out of the question. Going as a broken doll is an appealing option, and this tutorial helps with creating the entire broken look. 

With two days left to ponder, I'm starting to get a little panicky. Good thing there's always the option of borrowing someone's clothes and going as ordinary... 
Last year I was a last-minute-witch, and with that memory I wish you all have the happiest Halloween!

Until next Wednesday. 

keskiviikko 21. lokakuuta 2015

DIY: Poncho Coat

Once upon a time, I looted soon-to-be-ex-Husband's closet. I came out with a black poncho cut from light wool blend. I liked the shape, and the way the garment hung around me, but wearing it proved challenging: a coat like this slides, falls, and is just generally annoying if not pinned to place in a dozen places. 
So I decided to force it to stay put. 

Poncho coats are everywhere right now. You can get one in any shop, but making one is pretty simple as well. Take two yards/ two meters of 60"/150cm wide fabric. Round the corners, and cut the fabric open in the middle halfway through. That's all it takes. This will give you a poncho with unfinished edges. Wool doesn't fray that much, but sewing a rolled hem around the edges is a good idea. 
Or you can do what I did. 

To me, the edges of the poncho looked pretty boring. I wanted something extra around them, something not that noticeable, but pretty. 
So I took some yarn and a hook, and single stitched all around the coat. It took a while, but the result was nice. Crocheting lace into the sc-row would have made the coat even more special, but your's truly ran out of yarn. 

To make the coat stay put, I made four buttonholes into it. And then I made a belt. 
It's nothing but a piece of thick elastic with lace sewn around it and a heart-shaped buckle attached to one end, but it does the trick. 
I've made elastic belts before, and you can find a free tutorial on them here

After putting the belt through the buttonholes I'd made, the coat looked like a coat, felt like a coat, and behaved beautifully. It drapes around me like a cape, but is far more practical. I'm completely in love with it! 

Have you gotten into the poncho-craze? 

Until next Wednesday (sorry I missed a post last week)


keskiviikko 7. lokakuuta 2015

Winter is Coming

Once upon a time, I was born with pretty bad circulation. The first thing people say to me is "Wow you hands are ice-cold" and the same goes for feet as well. As fall draws near, I look to wool socks for solace. 
Socks are one of my favourite knitting projects: they're quick to make and always needed. They don't take much yarn, and can be made with various techniques. 
My go-to is the basic cuff down sock, which I like to spice up with both colour and texture. 
Knitty offers a detailed tutorial on how to knit socks, so if you're new to this, check it out

Though I like to wear black, knitting black is a bit... well, challenging. With socks, I often pick lighter colours. Red lace brightens up any day, and purple cables are a delight to knit. 

Changing small elements in the basic pattern offers variation to socks. I made a purple pair with a twisted rib cuff and a lazy person's "just knit every row" -heelcap. 

A pair of short, stripy socks wanted crochet flowers to feel extra-pretty. Stripes are one of my favourite things to do with socks: it's so much easier to count stripes instead of rows!
A simple variation in colour does wonders to a basic sock. Though I like the quiet, symmetrical patterns, I've seen beautiful creations with wild, asymmetric stripes. 

I've probably knit a hundred pairs of socks, and only managed one pattern. It's most likely because knitting socks is a quick process, and I like to keep it simple. My pattern for lacy knee-highs is designed for strong legs, and can be purchased on Ravelry, Craftsy, and my store

Yesterday, I was super-exhausted from all the stress of moving and unpacking and just generally settling to a new place, so I took the day off to unwind. Binge-watching Unce Upon a Time gave me enough time to knit a full sock with self-patterning yarn. 
It seems I'll need another couch-potato -day to finish the pair... 

Until next Wednesday!