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Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing a Coral Reef Headpiece

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Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing a Coral Reef Headpiece

In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she rounds out the summer with a splash of a costume! Read on to learn more on how she created a beautiful mermaid-themed costume.

With summer coming to an end, I’m looking back fondly to long sunny days, visits to the beach, and lots of mermaid themed costuming events! With the Mermaid Parade and another sea-inspired party taking place back-to-back in NYC, a coral headpiece seemed like the perfect costume project to tackle.

Coral is so gorgeous! I spent many delightful moments captivated by its beauty and variety as I searched through coral reef images online. Certain kinds of coral looked like trees to me, with their little branches reaching out like tendrils into the water… I wanted my headpiece to feature this “tree coral”.

Vanna’s Glamour continues to be my favorite yarn for sparkly costume pieces! This time around the Jewel colorway felt like the perfect fit. Pipe cleaners inserted into the coral helped the “branches” keep their shape and stick upright, adding the height I wanted for the ensemble.

For added texture, I wanted to knit pieces that look like the traditional “brain coral”. I vaguely remembered hearing about crocheted coral being used to teach some mathematic concept…hyperbolic space, that’s it! A little searching produced a recipe for knitted hyperbolic surfaces. Two large pieces knitted with Hometown USA in Neon Orange served as the base for my headpiece. A few small pieces in Vanna’s Glamour and LB Collection Superwash Merino in Peony rounded out the “brain coral” collection.

When I first envisioned this project, I had dreams of knitting tiny fish and shells as part of the ensemble. As always, the reality of time set in and I knew I wouldn’t have enough hours to knit it all. So instead I turned to a party superstore and found a collection of plastic sea creature toys. I’m fond of turtles, and decided to add one to the coral. I pierced holes through the turtle’s limbs using a safety pin heated by candle flame – you need something hot enough to melt the plastic. Then I stitched the turtle to the coral with sewing needle and thread. The rest of my sea creature toys became gifts for friends at the Mermaid Parade and subsequent costume parties!

After spending so much time assembling the headpiece, I found myself speeding through putting the rest of my costume together the night before the Mermaid Parade. I made a tutu using strips of sparkly lace knotted around a piece of elastic, and attached sparkly fish cutouts to the lace. A blue top, whale necklace, and glitter on my eyes completed the look.

Check out photos of fabulous costumes from the Mermaid Parade, and scroll down to see a photo of me and my friends on in the news! (We’re 5th from the bottom.)

What costumes are you planning to craft this season? Let us know in the comments below!

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