Friday, December 9, 2011

Summer memories

It's cold and dark, the wind is blowing wet snow in a horizontal direction and I'm out of words. I feel cold, dark, and tired all the time. The days are measured with cups of tea or coffee with naps in between.

So, I did something I've been meaning to do for a long while and uploaded a bit of summer 2007 into Youtube. When I find the missing power chord for my external drive, I will put the rest of my films online. In the meanwhile, here you go:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have just published my first knitting pattern.

To celebrate the release of Trine 2 in December, a sequel to the oh-so-pretty platform fantasy game Trine by Frozenbyte, I was commissioned to create a pattern for the fancy helmet of one of the game's heroes, Pontius the knight.

© Frozenbyte

Now the pattern has been released to the public, completely free of charge. You can download the pattern in English or Finnish from here or visit the pattern page to look at more pics first.

If it looks huge in my tiny head, it's because of my tiny head. And the fact that this hat is supposed to fit an adult male head. Which my head is not. Smaller size is achieved by tightening the gauge, which frankly only makes the hat look better. Better sizing options may be available in the future, but for now this is a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. And honestly, one size has so far fit all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Universal Craft Blog Directory

The title speaks for itself, does it not? CraftyRie is compiling a list of crafty blogs to find out just how many are there. All she is asking is for people to add their blogs to the list and then spread the word to their followers. So, dear reader, do you write a craft blog? Click on the directory button below and join in the fun! Shoo!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What about when you're done?

Apparently it's the international fail day today, and I feel like a failure for not having much to report in the way of fail. Well, I did fail to go to Grandma Club (aka knit night) tonight, but instead I finished two work assignments which makes me free to dedicate tomorrow to baking and partying. Well deserved baking and partying.

A couple of weeks ago I told you about one of two big projects, and here's the other:

"Anthropomorphism, sexuality and gendered bodies in American mainstream animation" to you furriners.

Yes sir, my days as a bachelor are coming to an end. From soon on, I will have to get used to all the responsibilities that come with being a master. Of arts, no less! Prepare to be spanked!

There are pages! With words on them!

I have a strange condition: if I achieve something, suddenly the achievement ceases to be a big deal. I mean, if I can do it, it must be something ridiculously simple, right? And let's face it, I got here essentially by watching shitloads of Spongebob. But still: it was a hard journey and I try to remember that I didn't really believe I had it in me up until a couple of months ago.

And whoa: I can do whatever I want with my life now. Of course that also means I have to do something with my life now, but right now even that seems achievable. Two huge projects down, several more lined up. There will be more sweat, tears and hyperventilation to come, but if I learn a couple of lessons from this experience, it will become easier:

- First of all, if you're not proud of what you do, what exactly is the reward?

- Second, the lesson of the fail day should be that it's okay to try and fail, because that way lies learning and innovation (damn I've learned to hate that word), but honestly? Today all I can think about is that I did not fail. I thought I would, and I didn't.

- And third, give yourself a fucking break every once in a while, sheesh!

For the record, that is what a break looked like last night. Pay no attention to the fact that I have yet another new teapot. *cough*it'sonlymyfourth*cough*

Oh, right, I did say something about a knitting pattern last week, didn't I? Well, to your utter shock I presume, I was too busy playing role playing games through Friday to Tuesday. Just put that on your list of betrayed promises, but with a ticky-box so that you can feel the faint trace of satisfaction when I actually get around to it. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Showing off

Regular updates you say? This is a step in the right direction, I suppose, even though a week seems to fly past so quickly!

Let me show you things I've neglected to report about. Roxanne mystery shawl (links to Rav), for instance? It's been finished and in use since May. First I thought I wasn't so keen on the design, but it looks very nice draped around one's neck, and that's what small shawls are really for, right? It's also a tiny bit smaller than I'd like, but on the other hand works perfectly on these autumn days when one wants just a little more warmth. I'm definitely using it on a daily basis at the moment.

What else? Ah yes! The owl pouch (links to Rav) has a face now, and lives on my bedside table. It was a very quick knit and a good way to use a skein of spontaneously acquired thick-and-thin yarn (Løve Garn's Cocoon which, by the way, drives me crazy because my English-thinking brain reads it as a whimsical way of writing 'love' even though I know full well that the word has nothing to do with English) I was going to make mittens with but changed my mind. Now there's still three more skeins left... Ideas? Besides more owls?

Geodesic cardigan, which you've already seen blocked, has not been used much. I'm not sure why, really. I think it's because it's such an in-between article of clothing: too warm for warm weather, but not warm enough if I actually need a cardigan. It's main purpose is to look good, and I'm not used to wearing clothes like that. I might have to, though, because today I fell in love with a waistcoat and what is a waistcoat for if not show?

I did wear the Geodesic at my mom's 50th birthday few weeks ago, the perfect occasion: warm autumn evening in the garden. I gave her this:

It's a small pleated evening bag made of raw silk. It has cotton lining, a magnet snap closure and ribbon embroidery. I've had the ribbons and a book on ribbon embroidery for years. I've been meaning to give it a shot, but somehow my rococo dress project has not been progressing lately. (It will, though, and sooner rather than later!) I'm glad I finally did it, it was lots of fun. I made the roses with the help of this tutorial.

For the bag I used a tutorial at for inspiration, but ended up going in a whole different direction in the end. The only thing that remained were the pleats. I like pleats. I've tried smocking briefly and want to do more. Perhaps some rococo undergarments.

I love the golden swirls of the lining.

If I made this bag again I would change some of the construction bits taken from the tutorial for a neater result, even if it would mean a lot of pinning and basting and tearing out hair. I already managed to sew some pins inside the lining with this one...

That's it for tonight. I wonder, if I make a half-promise now that there might be a knitting pattern next week, would I actually finish it? Hasn't worked before.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One year ago

One year ago I was so frantic and stressed out that I forgot my keys at home two nights in a row. My landlord was not impressed. The second night he was so pissed that he made me show him the keys to prove I hadn't lost them altogether. It was the only time I've ever forgotten my keys, and it had to be the weekend all my housemates were away. H and J were visiting H's parents, and little did any one of us know that trip would change my life.

The reason I was stressed out was because it was the day of Gloriana, a 1890's dance theater show I had rehearsed for the better part of the last six months. That night I would be on stage doing stuff like this:

(That's me, second from the right. Photo by Tuomas Puikkonen.)

(That's me in the middle. Photo by Tuomas Puikkonen.)

I was rushing to the theater at nine in the morning when H called me and - wait - let me backpedal a bit.

A year before that night, give or take a day or two, I had a dream that I had an orange cat named Pulla (it's Finnish and means a sweet roll). When I woke up I had a bad case of a kitten rabies and started looking for one. There was even a big huge disappointment in there, when the owners of one kitten decided to keep her a couple of days before I was supposed to go pick her up. Eventually I decided to just stop looking. That was one week before the day of Gloriana.

These are sweet rolls btw, with a heart of butter and sugar. Nom!
And then H called me.

H: "Hi! We found a kitten. Do you want it?"
Me: "Um, yeah, of course!"
H: "Okay! See you tonight!"

The rest of the day was spent in a stupor of hair, makeup, OMG I HAVE A KITTEN, stretching, rehearsing, curtain call, WTF KITTEN. I kept forgetting about it because everything was so frantic around me, and then it would suddenly hit me. KITTEN. And when I got home, this was waiting for me:


A little tiny orange cat. She was mewing outside H's parents' window in the countryside, near the middle of nowhere. She was perfectly litter-trained and way too young to have wandered very far on her own, meaning someone must have dropped her off there. The first frosty nights came only days after she was found. I can only hope it was just her left there and none of her siblings.

The first month or two she had to be quarantined to protect both her and Kölli. She was in a relatively good shape, although skinny. There was only a mild eye infection and some goo in her ears that both needed attention on a daily basis. She fought none of it, even though the cold eye drops were horribly uncomfortable. There were so many vet visits. But also food, all of which she gobbled down. It took her a week to realize that there would be meals in the future, too. That first week she mostly ate, slept and purred in a state of "I don't know you people but everything seems to be going fine so PLEASE LOVE ME". And we did.

One year later, Pulla is still tiny. She likes cheese and snatching food from people's plates. If I give her a twist tie she's not interested, but if I "forget" one on the table, she will play it to death. She loves to be petted, but if you approach her head-on she will retreat and hide. She's so timid and scared of so many specific things that I suspect the people who abandoned her did not treat her well to begin with. And despite everything she is such a good cat, easy to handle and even medicate. I hate the people who hurt and abandoned her, but I love the chain of events that brought her to me.

She used to live in a box outside.

Huffing glue and causing mischief.

And now she is part of my family.

Bathing in the sun.

Living the good life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

¡Lucha Libre!

Well then. The summer is over and a two huge projects have been wrapped up in the last two months, making me a very busy cephalopod indeed. The hiatus this blog has been on has not been accidental, but a direct result of me focusing my energy on those projects. One of them is still dwindling, not exactly craft-related, and I will have something to show for it in the next couple of weeks. The other, however, is something you have seen bits and pieces of since April. It all started with this dress:

Next followed this mask:

Other bits and pieces have been completed since, such as this mod of an existing bra:

The ruffle, fringe and rose have been sewed on. There were also sequins.

There were many nights of frantic sewing, and it was all rather lovely.

Sewing layers and layers of fringe, however, was not.

And then there were of course all the choreographing and rehearsing and all that jazz, every bit of which I sorely miss. All of it culminated into one amazing weekend at the end of August: ¡Lucha Libre! All the following pictures are by Nino Hynninen, unless otherwise stated. More can be found here and here.

Apparently I have confidence. Who would have guessed?

Picture by Suvi Korhonen

Thriller dance in the middle of a fight! I made those golden pants, too.

Dont' you just love my skeleton dancers? They rocked!

Fake tattoos, check. Bruises, check. Keeping it classy!

I have to say this was probably one of the best times of my entire life up to this point. Starting from practically no martial arts experience whatsoever I, and many others, practiced up to a point where being slammed down on a thin mattress was no big deal at all. Actually, I really miss being thrown around and then slapped a bit for a good measure. Good times. Amazing, every bit of it, and I'm quite sorry that it's over. As for burlesque, this was my first time on stage and now that the initial shock has worn I'm sure it won't be the last time. I am a strong believer in challenging yourself and testing your limits, and hoo boy did I do that this time!

Tutorial coming? Maaybe.

Now it's time to move on to new projects, and old too. I have so much to show and tell that regular updates are to be expected. Or irregular - tomorrow I'm going to post a special entry to mark the anniversary of something life-changingly grand and important.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Too hot to blog

Summer is a great time for taking pictures, but less so for sitting on a computer. They keep promising a thunderstorm, but where is it?! All I'm able to do nowadays is lie very still in as few clothes as possible.

Well. That's not exactly true. This week I took a trip to Tallinn for a day, to the city's infamous wholesale craft store Karnaluks, a mecca for all who like to stitch or glue shit together. I went in with a plan and came out with everything I need for the next month, shit-wise:

And for a fraction of the price I would have paid in Finland.

I will show you how everything turns out when the time comes.

Despite the heat I have managed to get some knitting done, too. The second I saw the first pictures of Cladonia (links to Rav), I knew I had to knit it like RIGHT NOW. So I did, with some subtly self-striping sock yarn from my stash.

My dress form is always so fancy.

To my surprise, even though I'm quite happy with it, I really love the versions other people have knitted with very pastel palettes. I'm usually all about the dark and muted colors, but this could be a good pattern for some experimenting, quite like Daybreak, which I've already knitted twice. I'd also love to knit this again in something extra luxurious, something silky maybe.

The echo shawl of insanity has made some progress, too. It looks like some sort of a skin condition right now, but you just wait until it's all finished and blocked!

Then it will look less like a disease.

I also had a bit of a scare recently when the little cat went missing for 29 hours. She is not very bright or capable of taking care of herself so I was beside myself with worry the whole time. When she was found 9 months ago I promised her she would never have to be lonely and hungry and scared again, and obviously I felt like I let her down massively. She had never been outside since so I had no idea how she would act and how to find her.

What eventually cracked the case was this, and I cannot recommend it enough. It's a web page with details about what a lost cat probably does based on her personality. That and many statements from friends encouraged me to keep looking near the house, because a shy and timid cat like her will most probably not stray far. She was finally found hiding on a neighbor's yard, scratched and miserable but all right. I've never been quite as relieved, for a moment I thought I would never see her again. As soon as we got home she was back to her own self.

Normal = unable to decide whether to play with a roll of tape or lick butt.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The last few weeks have positively flown by, I don't even know how. First two people moved out of the house, and I cleaned a lot. Then one person moved in and I cleaned some more. But cleaning is not all I've accomplished, a fact proven by how not clean my room already is. Oh well! On with the show.

Remember this?

Well, it soon turned into this:

It's a mask. A very specific mask, for my día de los muertos -inspired wrestling persona. I constructed it using my face and a well-fitting, cheap carnival mask to model it on. 

First I crocheted two identical circles for the eyes, leaving them thinner next to the nose and the holes slightly bigger than desired.

Second I made a heart motif and kept crocheting around it for a bit. When the heart motif met the eyes (I roughly fitted it both on my face and the other mask every now and then) I sewed all three together.

Third I filled in the nose area a bit, sewed the eyes together and then filled the gap above the nose.

Fourth I filled in both sides of the forehead to form a continuous shape with the eyes and the heart motif.

Fifth I crocheted one full round of sc around the entire mask and one round of shells, leaving a gap around the nose.

Finally I filled the eye holes with shells as well to give it that día de los muertos -look.

It has to stay on during some pretty spectacular moves, so I decided to try my hands on starching.

I first looked into starching with sugar, but decided that I didn't really want to risk it while sweating profusely. Instead I used your every-day craft glue mixed with water in equal parts, the carnival mask and some cling film.

First I lined the inside of the carnival mask with cling film.

Then I submerged the crocheted mask in the glue/water mix and squeezed all the extra starch out.

 Next I spread the wet mask onto the carnival mask, careful to align the eyes and straighten all the edge shells.

Then I let it dry, stretching and adjusting it later when it was less damp and easier to manipulate. You could probably use more glue to achieve a crispier result, but I chose to repeat the starching process to make the mask harder. The more repeats, the harder the results I would imagine.

When the mask had completely dried I zigzagged an elastic band on it, and another one on the first band itself to go over the top of my head. I used these instructions to make two black and two red ribbon roses, which I then sewed on the second elastic band. The length of the ribbon is not very important, it just affects the size of the flower.

Aaand then I took some promo pics. Complete with make-up. They actually came out surprisingly well despite my very limited experience with both make-up and posing for a camera.

Oooh yeah, myspace-a-licious! How I wish my camera had a self timer.

The dress I'm wearing in the picture above is that black lace number from Stockholm.

It has had something extra done recently, too. I took red sequins, an embroidery frame and some black tulle, sketched an anatomical heart on a piece of paper and proceeded to sew the sequins on the tulle in the shape of a heart.


Then I pinned and zigzagged it on the front of the dress, trimming the tulle around the stitches. It's very thin so it hardly shows.

And that's only the beginning. Stay tuned!

I also started (and frogged and started and frogged and started) and finished something summery just in time for all the cold and rain. For some reason I had so much trouble with this little waistcoat. Could have been my insistence to knit mostly in the middle of the night, who would have thought! Now it's done, however, and I'm very pleased with it. Worn in the picture over my flowery summer dress with a very generous amount of cleavage, which was actually the inspiration to make it in the first place.

I've also got something in the works out of that mystery!cotton yarn that's been flying around the world. It's already driving me nuts, but will be fucking gorgeous when I finish it. Behold the echo flower shawl:

Impressive, isn't it?

Last night I also whipped together a little owl pillow/pouch. It just needs its drawstring legs and face and it's done.

You see? I have not been slacking even though posting about it has been on hiatus. And this does not include all the work stuff, mainly hats. They will have to be in another post because wrestling practice and figuring out what to knit over the weekend at a friend's cabin awaits.