I've been gone a long time. I was too caught up with work and got lazy in updating my website, I'm sorry. However, while in hiatus, I was also able to do some crochet here and there. Nothing major, though. I didn't have the time and energy to do a big project.
But now, I do.
Too much stress got into me, I guess, so I decided to take a break from the daily grind and quit my job, pronto. (Irresponsible, I know..)
It's been a week, so far and I am loving it. I get to catch up on my readings, and yes, I started a huge crochet project: a crocheted blanket.
A blanket is one of my favorite crochet projects. There is something satisfying in watching it grow and grow into the desired size, keeping you warm while doing so.
I am calling this blanket, my Rainbow Lullaby. The pattern I used is the Solid Willow Block from Annie's Place. I found the pattern two years ago and it was love at first sight. I wanted to start working on a project right away (of course, a blanket) but I didn't know what yarn to use. Being in the Philippines, the options are quite limited. Yes, you can always buy imported yarns from online yarn shops and independent sellers but they can get a bit expensive. So in the end, I opted to use the Monaco Raylon crochet thread.
The Monaco Raylon crochet thread is a size 8, 3 ply 100% spun rayon thread. Its thickness is between the size 3 and 10 thread. They come in cones and each cone is 200g. It's available in 44 colors. I have 11 colors in my stash, so I used them all for this project. I used my favorite 2/0 (2.0mm) Hamanaka crochet hook for this project. I made a few samples to see how I like them. I originally wanted to just use two contrasting colors. But then, why not use all I have? :)
Aren't they lovely?
That's it for now. I will keep you, guys, updated on the progress of the blanket.
I haven't had any decent sleep yet. 30 hours and counting... Brain refuses to shut down, my body is running on coffee and more coffee. Oh well, might as well use the time to update my blog.
Life has taken over my schedule and crochet has taken the back seat. But since Christmas is just around the corner, I had to insert some crochet minutes into my day. I aim to give handmade Christmas gifts this year, fingers crossed. Let me share what I am working on.
I've been looking for a simple crochet bag pattern that would fit one very important criteria: it should be big enough to fit my umbrella in. Of course, it has to be easy enough to crochet. I scoured Pinterest and Ravelry. Finally, I found it.
The pattern is called Virkattu Kassi. It is a free pattern on Ravelry. When you click on the link to the pattern, it will lead you to a page written in Finnish. Fire up Google Translate and you may be able to understand it a bit. There is a picture with a crochet diagram but it doesn't zoom out.
I love crochet diagrams as I find them easier to read.
I wanted a bigger and readable diagram of this pattern. Pinterest didn't disappoint. I found it. :)
The pattern is adaptable enough that I would probably make some changes in the future to make it bigger or make the straps long enough to be a cross-body bag.
Until next project! Happy crocheting. :)
If you're from the Philippines, a crochet enthusiast and active on social media, chances are you've heard of the Facebook group Gantsilyo Adik. This group was a brainchild of Anabelle Andes Tracy of I'm Hooked, a Filipina crochet aficionado based in Mexico.
I can't stress enough how much I love being a member of this group. The members are so warm, relaxed and everything we share in this group is crochet related. No hang ups allowed. We are all sisters here.. and brothers. Yes, we have guy members. :)
On April 11, our group had a meet and greet in Taguig City. It was organized by Lerma Sijera of Krinochet ni Emang. It was supposed to be at Starbucks, Market Market but so many member showed up that we had to move to the food court of the mall.
Here are some random shots.
We had so much fun sharing patterns, tips and tricks and whatnot about crochet. Ate Lerma and some other members raffled off some prizes like yarns, hooks and knitting needles.
And we got to meet the Gantsilyo Guru herself, Trey Ajusto. We were starstruck. She's more awesome in person. :)
And here is the Gantsilyo Adik members' group hug.
Purple is one of my favorite colors. Guess what! I won purple yarns and knitting needles, Hurray! Thank you to Ate Lerma and Persia of Craft Kitten Paws.
I am finally finished with my Aquamarine Mesh Shawl. I started this late last year, but was put on hold for a while as the yarn I used for this was quite thin and the ball needed rewinding as I have shown you in this post.
I am currently "obsessed" with making shawls as we have air conditioning in the office that would rival Antartica in coldness (okay.. I'm exaggerating..). It can be quite hard to concentrate with work when you are chilled to the bones. :P
Here it is.
The shawl measures 17" wide and 67" long and I used a 4.0mm hook.
The pattern for this is quite simple. It is just a mesh. You just have to make a long chain, multiple of 3.
1. Dc in the 7th chain from the hook, * ch 2, skip next 2 ch, dc in the next ch, then repeat from * across, turn.
2. Ch 5 (this counts as dc, ch 2), skip next ch-2 space, dc in the next dc, * ch 2, skip next ch-2 space, dc in the next dc, then repeat from * across, ending with dc on the 3rd ch of turning ch, turn.
Then you just have to repeat row 2 until your desired length is reached.
As a border, I crochet two rows of dc on both edges.
'Til next project, crochet friends! :)
They should have come yesterday, but they never did. My heart was full of anticipation, full of excitement, and yet I was let down. Oh the misery!
Okay, enough of the drama haha! The internet guys promised that my internet would be installed yesterday. I waited all day, cancelling all my plans for the day and yet nobody came.I've been yearning for faster internet for months now. The intermittent signal of Globe's pocket wi-fi just won't do it for me. I miss downloading the latest episodes of my favorite TV shows, watching YouTube videos without buffering, fast uploads on my blog... the list is endless. Oh well, such is life...
Today, instead of stressing over it and wasting my time again waiting, I decided to finally work on one of my WIPs posted here. The sea-green mesh shawl/scarf.
The yarn I used for this shawl was a gift from Kimmy Maclang of Yarn Source Manila. She gave me a humongous cake of yarn, approximately 600grams. The two strands are unplied and very thin. So I decided to 'double" the thickness by combining both ends. However, the ball was so tightly wound I was having a hard time finding the center end.
In the end, I decided to rewind the whole thing into smaller workable cakes. I didn't mind because working with my yarn winder is always a joy for me. It is my second favorite crochet toy, after my hooks.
Now, I have smaller cakes of this pretty yarn and am ready to continue working on my shawl. Since it is very thin, I decided to use a 3.0mm (5/0 Japanese) hook. The resulting fabric is soft and airy.
It's gloomy outside, with occasional drizzle, so I decided to stay home and curl up in bed and crochet the day away.
Me, in bed. ( indulging in crochet selfie, hehe.)
Til next time, crochet friends!
I've been on a crochet hiatus. Before 2013 ended, I went through a personal crisis and crochet was put aside. A month after, I'm much better. I decided to go back to my beloved craft, crocheting. I rearranged my yarn stash. The feel of them gave me an unexpected excitement. I didn't realize I miss crochet that much. Although looking at them and my hooks brings back memories, I choose to embrace them and store them in my good memories bank.
As I was re-arranging my yarn stash ( Somebody said I am anal retentive.. my yarn stash has to be arranged according to fiber content, then brand, then color..) , I saw this big box of UFOs (UnFinished Objects). Yes, I know, I know.. guilty as charged. So addicted to crochet that I felt I had to start every nice project I like. Here are some of what I found...
1. The Granny Square Bag
I started this project early December 2013. This is supposed to be a cute little lunch box bag. I found the pattern in a Japanese crochet book. There will be two square motifs and the yarn I used is 8ply hand dyed cotton. This is definitely going to be finished this year, probably as a Christmas gift to a friend.
2. The Aquamarine Shawl
This shawl I started for myself. I decided to make this when I saw the big ball of cotton/polyester yarn of very nice teal color. The ball was so big (more than 500g), unplied, that it was so hard to work with it. I had to rewound some into smaller workable balls to be able to crochet with it. I just made up the pattern for this. It's just a mesh, double crochet with a chain in between.
3. The Black Starling Bag
This was supposed to be a gift, but I ran out of yarn, so I decided to just make another one. I will finish this to add to my Christmas gifts bin for friends. The pattern for this is called The Starling Bag from the futuregirl blog.
4. The Granny Stripe Blanket
This one was started right after I finished my Sunny Ripple Blanket. I love working on blankets. It's so nice to be covered while working as it grows bigger. This blanket is inspired by the Granny Stripe Blanket of Lucy of Attic24. When finished, the size should be 2m x 2m. I know, right? Yes, that big. For sure, it will be extra heavy too. Which I like so much in a blanket.
5. The I-Don't-Know-What-To-Do-With-It Squares
I made these squares for a messenger bag, but then it became so heavy that the bag couldn't hold its shape. So I decided to just stop working on it. I will just unravel the done part and recycle the squares into an afghan. I love how the brown, teal and violet look good together. The pattern for the square is called the Retro Circles from Three Beans in a Pod blog.
There are more in the box, but those I didn't mention here will just be unraveled and use the yarn into some other project. All of them because I ran out of the yarn I used to make them.
So there.. one of my crochet goals for 2014. To finish all of these WIPs . :)
This is an exciting day for me. I have finished a personal project that has been in my list for months. Finally, I was able to crochet it. I call this the Cranberry Field Shawlette, because the color reminds you of a cranberry harvest.
A shawl, according to Wikipedia, is a simple item of clothing, loosely worn over the shoulders, upper body and arms, and sometimes also over the head. It is usually a rectangular or square piece of cloth, that is often folded to make a triangle but can also be triangular or oblong in shape. So what is a shawlette? It is simply a small shawl (as nouns with -ette suffix is a smaller version of something).
My finished project may be called a shawlette, because it is smaller than the usual shawl size, but for my petite frame it is already a shawl.
The yarn I used for this shawlette is Schoppel Wolle Zauberball in Cranberries from Germany. It is a sock/fingering weight yarn made of 75% virgin wool and 25% nylon. What I like about this wonderfully colored yarn is the long color repeat, and that the color changes are so subtle they seem to fade into each other.
I was hesitant at first to use the yarn when I read the wool content. Being in the tropics, wool is not a practical fiber to use. It would be too hot. But I found that you can. Just use bigger hook sizes than the ones recommended. This would result to lightweight, airy, lacy garments that are more suitable for tropical weather.
I hunted for the perfect pattern for this scrumptious yarn, found it on the Moogly blog. The pattern is called Sunset Shawlette. It used exactly one ball of Zauberball.
While crocheting lacy projects, do not be bothered that it doesn't look as nice as you imagined it to be. What you do is when you're done, you block it. Blocking crochet pieces would open up the stitches and make it stand out. Here is good guide on how to do it.
I made this shawlette for myself, but for the right price I am willing to part with it. :D
Here is a closer look of the stitches used.
Happy crocheting!! :)
I promised a reveal when I finish the shawl that I started here. It is a gift for a loved one. Here it is..
The shawl measures 33" from middle to the bottom tip and 61" across. The yarn I used is the Ice Angora Gold Batik in Grey White purchased from Gantsilyo Guru Selections. It made the shawl very warm when worn, perfect for cold weather.
The pattern for this says shawlette, but I added several rows, enough to use up the two skeins I have of the yarn. The South Bay Shawlette pattern is available for free at the Lion Brand website. You have to sign up first though, to be able to see the pattern but it's worth it because Lion Brand has thousands of free patterns on their website.
Detailed photo of the shawl..
I hope she likes it.
Whenever I am in the middle of a big project and I get tired and bored, I look for something else to do, something fast to do and colorful to get back my crochet mojo. And my favorite project during this time is coasters. They are easy to make, small enough for that instant gratification and the color variations are limited only by your imagination. They are functional too, and a great gift for Christmas.
The latest ones I made are the Spiral Coasters from Made in K-town blog. Personally, I call them my Lollipop Coasters because they are yummy enough to eat, hehe.
An in-between project is also a good opportunity for me to use and lessen the content of my scrap crochet thread box. At the time I was doing this, the box is full. Now it is only half full. Hurray!
I personally like using Monaco crochet threads for coasters. I just triple the strands to make them thicker. Branded cotton yarn in the Philippines is hard to come by and if there are any available, they tend to be expensive. There are local cotton yarns available but most of them are hand dyed and there's not much colors to choose from. I tend to go for bright colors. So for now, I am okay with just manipulating the thickness of the Monaco crochet thread to achieve my desired yarn weight.
Monaco crochet threads are available in 85 scrumptious colors.
December is coming. Gift-giving season. For this year I want to give away crochet items. I thought that that would make the gift more meaningful. Also, I like giving handmade items.
So for more than a month now, I've been planning and making lists of projects that I will crochet for gifts. The most special of them all is the South Bay Shawlette... because this is for someone special. I won't reveal the name just yet, of course. :)
Instead of the recommended yarn for the pattern, I used Ice Angora Gold Batik Yarn in Grey White and a 7/0 (4.0mm) hook. . The pattern has an easy-to-memorize two row repeat, making it perfect for adding more rows to make bigger versions of the shawlette. I intend to make mine a full shawl.
I am more comfortable reading charts than written patterns, so the free pattern on Lion Brand website is just perfect. Just click on the chart image below and you will be redirected to the free pattern.
I will post another blog when the shawl is finished. Happy crocheting!
Because of orders coming in recently for customized crochet bags, I got lots of scrap yarns. I hate throwing them away even the shortest ones because I bought them, hence money spent. So I just put them in a box to be used for little projects in the future.
Last night, I was making plans for the items I'm going to crochet until the end of the year and was rummaging through my books when I saw the box. I decided to open it and do something small out of the crochet threads there. I decided, why not coasters?
I held together three strands of Monaco mercerized cotton thread and used 7/0 (4.0mm) hook. Aren't they lovely? :)
UPDATE: When I posted the picture of the coasters in a Facebook crochet group, somebody asked for a pattern. Since I made these cuties as I go, I decided to write the pattern down.
scrap/odd pieces of yarn of any weight ( I used Monaco mercerized cotton thread size 8)
ch= chain stitch
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch
Ch 2 will count as first dc of each round
Using magic circle
Round 1: Ch 2, 11 dc into the magic circle. Join with sl st on top of the ch 2. (12dc)
Round 2: Ch2, dc in the same stitch, 2 dc in each stitch around. Join with sl st on top of the ch 2. (24dc)
Round 3: Ch 2, dc in the same stitch, * 2 dc in the next stitch, dc in the next stitch. Repeat * around. Join with
sl st on top of ch 2. (36dc)
Round 4: Ch 2, dc in the same stitch, * dc in the next two stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch. Repeat * around. Join with sl st on top of ch 2. (48dc)
Round 5: Ch 2, dc in the same stitch, * dc in the next three stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch. Repeat * around. Join with sl st on top of ch 2. (60 dc)
Edging: sl st in each stitch around the edge of coaster and between round 4 and 5.
That's it! Use any yarn available, experiment with colors and make them as colorful as you like. :)
** This is my first time to write down a pattern. Please let me know if there are errors and if you need some clarifications. Feedbacks are appreciated. A link back to my page would be nice should you decide to make some of your own.
And my birthday week is over.
My boyfriend and I were supposed to celebrate my 30th birthday in Sagada, Mountain Province, then have ourselves tattooed by Whang-Od (or Fang-Od to locals) in Buscalan, Kalinga. Sadly, there were news of renewed rebel activities in Sagada (NPAs) and because I will not compromise my boyfriend's safety, I decided to cancel the trip. Sagada is my most favorite place in the country. We will just go some other time.
And being a spoiled girlfriend that I am, he told me to just go yarn shopping instead. So I did!
I went to Manila with two agendas: get my color cards from Monaco Manufacturing Corporation office in Quezon City and go yarn shopping in Divisoria.
Off to Monaco I went. I didn't know the place, so I just looked at Google Maps and decided to just walk from Banawe, Quezon Ave. to Del Monte Ave. then to the side streets where the office is located . OMG! What a huge mistake!!! Such a long walk! I sweat a river.. But it's worth it, because I got these...
I asked if I could buy threads and yarns there in bulk. I was told that they would require me to have a DTI registration and BIR form 2300. In short, I need to have a registered business to be able to do so.
After QC, I went to Divisoria to scour Tabora Street. It is the street to go to if you're looking for craft supplies. The prices here are so much cheaper than in other places, i.e. online stores, because they get their supplies directly from manufacturers. Anyways, so I went there to hunt for my favorite crochet thread, Monaco Mercerized Cotton Thread and see what is the cheapest price I could find.
My first stop was Michelle's Ribbon and Lace Center. This store is not in Tabora Street, but at Tutuban Mall, Ground Floor, Prime Block. It is right beside the escalators going up to the mall.
At Michelle's, one ball of Monaco is P28 for both the plain colored and variegated varieties. One box (12 balls) is P300, so that would make it P25 each if you buy a dozen. You can have different colors in one box. and you get more discount if you buy in bulk.
What I like about this store are:
So after Michelle's, I proceeded to Tabora Street. I asked several stores for their prices, and the lowest I saw was P290/box. Hmm.. not much difference. I wandered about some more, found several more stores selling Monaco. I noticed that there were just a few stores selling Red Heart yarns.
The store I didn't like the most is the Guan Bee Commercial Inc. 841 Tabora St. They sell mostly Monaco. As in they have boxes and boxes of them. When I got there, a young Chinese lady (probably the owner's daughter) is giving directions to several helpers on how to load several boxes of Monaco balls into the truck.
I asked her for Monaco Raylon and she pointed to the next window of their shop. I waited there expecting her to follow shortly to assist me. But no... helpers gone and all, and I was still standing there waiting and the lady was just there sitting pretty. When I called her attention and asked again for Monaco Raylon, she said, "Oh we only have white..". She told me that even though I could see the shelf full of different colors of Raylon. I left. Oh well, too bad for her.. because I am a good customer. Hehe..
I bought several other items before heading home. Here they are..
Yummy looking, right? :D
BF spoils me like that. :D
Hurray! I finished another bag. I'm glad that she liked it a lot.
It took me a week to finish this bag, as I wasn't crocheting full time and I am such a slow crocheter. I made the stitches tight so the bag will be firm and would be able to stand on its own even when empty.
I got the pattern from a Japanese crochet book. It's just a simple pattern, a flat circle bottom and single crochet for the body. I played with the colors of the body so it won't be too boring.
Click on the picture for bigger version.
The client liked it so much, I am one happy hooker. :D Happy hooking everyone!
Finally, it's done! I've been working on this for two weeks now, and I absolutely love how it pretty it came out.
This shawl is a gift for my sister. It's so warm and the colors are so pretty I am having second thoughts on giving it away.. hehe...
The yarn I used for this project is the Ice Yarn Angora Gold Batik Maroon Pink. It is made in Turkey and is a 45% Angora 55% Acrylic combination. Very soft and perfect for shawls and other wearables. I bought them from Gantsilyo Guru Selections, a newly-opened online store of the Gantsilyo Guru, Trey Ajusto. The store opened on the 11th of August and I just had to buy some of those luscious yarn she has.
I opted to use a simple V-stitch so that the self-striping colors of the yarn will be emphasized. It is the same stitch I used for the blue placemat in the above photo. For the edging, I wanted to put tassels but fearing that the future owner will not be extra careful with it, I made shell and picot edgings.
So here are the stats:
Hook: 7/0 or 4.0mm
Yarn: Ice Yarn Angora Gold Batik in Maroon Pink (3skeins); 1 skein=550m
Measurements: 69" x 21" with edging
All I need to do now is wash it, put on a nice wrapping, and off it will go to its new home... :) Happy!
It's been a while since I last posted an entry here. This hooker has been very busy... with life and with crochet. A lot of unexpected things happened that had me crocheting and planning like crazy. Friends ordered crocheted items when I started posting pictures of my finished projects on Facebook. I will write a separate blog about this.
Aside from crocheting, photography is also my passion. This week has been a busy one because we had to go to Manila for a prenup photography workshop facilitated by boyfie's friend, Commercial Photographer Winston Baltasar. And then, we had an unexpected photo shoot. White Knight Hotel, our favorite hotel, hired us to do the photos they will use for their brochures. When we got home to Batangas, we're scheduled to move in to the new house. So we had to pack and unpack the household. Boyfie had a little accident with a protruding nail so I bade him not to move a muscle and that I would do all the unpacking. So after three tiring days, the house is in order.
We got a bigger house this time. There are three rooms upstairs and I was so excited the first time I saw it because I knew that finally one of my dreams will soon come true.. having my own craft room.
And yes, it came true.
It is only a small room but I am very happy about it because I have a place where I can crochet, store my yarns at and a quiet nook to hang out at. My very own private place.
I love books, so much that at one point I had too many and I had to sort through them and pick out the ones I liked the best because there was just no space for them anymore. So I also put my remaining books in my craft room. I separated the craft books from the rest. They look so few.. hihi that it made me want to buy more crochet books in the future.. Uh oh......
See the closed closet doors? Those are empty. When boyfie looked at my room and saw the empty space... he said... "Uh oh... more yarn space.." Hahaha.