Monday, April 21, 2014

Crochet on Earth Day and a new free pattern

Its Earth Day today April 22...details of this commemoration can of course be searched on the internet ;)
I thought of posting today to remind ourselves to be more conscious of our choices for our crochet hobby. We can crochet with more earth-friendly materials (have to do a search on that as well...). Better yet, we can crochet with recyclable materials such as plastic bags, old t-shirts and other fabrics on hand. Try to make your own paper yarn, t-shirt yarn, plastic yarn. Some even used old VHS tapes as yarn. (see google images)


Another option is to buy recyclable materials at the thrift shop. I previously bought used sweaters and cardigans made of yarn that can be recycled. (posted here) The prospect is good, however, I have yet to find the time to actually make projects from those recyclable materials :p
There are plenty of free patterns on the internet using plarn (plastic yarn) or tarn (t-shirt yarn), or just substitute whatever you have on patterns requiring worsted weight or bulky yarn.
Crocheted flowers and purses are practical projects for recycled materials

crochet flowers


Another crochet earth-friendly way is to use remaining threads to make home decors that at the same time will save your wooden tables from scratches and stains. I've got that covered with this new free pattern, Pinya Glass Cozy.
Each cozy used only 11 gms of thread (size 8 cotton thread).

Crochet glass cozy
Blue Glass Cozy

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Crochet - finished or not

I still have some patterns and projects to finish...which already has taken too long. Sorry to keep some of you waiting. I really plan on sharing more free patterns this year - so far its still in-the-making. I promise to do this, soon...
I only managed to do little projects, little home improvements and the usual chores. And here's some of the little projects I made:
First, here's an illustration I recently made for my pattern Teeny, Tiny Heart. Since I don't have a program (or rather don't know how to use one), I drew the chart by hand and improved it with some photo editing on picmonkey ;)

crochet tiny heart
Teeny, Tiny Heart

Last January when the weather was a bit cold, I got inspired to make baby booties from the Red Heart Super Saver yarns that I bought last December. Here's my baby nephew wearing his sneaker booties.
He wanted to play with it ;)

crochet booties
crochet sneaker booties
(I've yet to finish writing and testing the pattern for this pair of booties.)

Then I have another nephew, about 18 months old. He, his Mom (my sister) and his Dad (my Dutch BIL) live in the U.K..They came to visit last month, He's so adorable! I love how he mimics the dogs' barking and he's fond of all kinds of animals, including bear stuff toys :) Here's a recent photo of him enjoying a lovely spring day, back in their place.



And this is the project that I made for him - a recycled denim baby book. Its made up of 4 flaps or 8 pages in all. I crocheted the letters, numbers and bear appliques. The heart applique was made from the above Teeny, tiny heart pattern :)




Lastly, here's another cell phone purse I made following my pattern Chic Cell Phone Purses. I modified the bottom and used a slightly bigger hook, and made a shoulder strap. I'm not sure I'll use this though, the strap is not long enough  for crossbody.



More of my crochet projects next post ;)





Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Editing your crochet project pics




Most of us are eager to show-off our handmade projects, and we like to take photos and post them on social media. Sometimes, we aren't happy with our photos. It may be because either we don't have the right gadget, or we don't have the skill or patience to take wonderful photos.
I know little about fixing photos in my computer...so I do most of the editing online. For free and high-quality features I go to PicMonkey. They also have Royale features at an affordable price, though if you wish to try these features for free (totally free), you can do so for one day. Otherwise, you can use the regular features anytime :) Go give your photos a makeover and have fun with it too ;)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Just got lucky with some crafty finds and online book shopping!

I don't really spend much time and money 'shopping' (or do I ?)...but last week I chanced upon a rare find at the Japan surplus shop in my area. Its a vintage Clover knitting set. At first I thought it was just an envelope purse, then to my surprise it was a very neat set of knitting needles! The colored ones are plastic, and the gray ones are aluminum. There's one tunisian hook also, a size 5mm, which I'm sure I could use. As for the knitting needles, I actually have similar ones already, mostly Tulip brand...but for such an affordable price, I wouldn't pass up on this Clover set!
vintage knitting set

knitting needles


I also bought a pack of used sewing notions and supplies, which included an almost finished crocheted table runner made up of squares with a spider stitch pattern design. Its a lot similar to this free pattern from Red Heart, but more detailed and delicate. I have to finish the other triangle motif at the end, so I could display it. I want to hang it at the side of the shelf, which is adjacent to my working table. Its quite an nspiration :)

spider-stitch motif crochet

As for online shopping, I seldom buy stuff online, but this time I went on a shopping spree....heheh. Actually, I bought 4 books from The Book Depository, when they had a 24-hour sale last March 5. Books on sale are listed every hour until it sold out...I was hardly able to follow the books as they sold out fast (and I had to sleep!), but I managed to buy some. Except for the Wheat-Free Cooking book...I bought them for future gifts. All 4 books amounted to only $27.31 and that includes free shipping! I think I got the best value with the Oxford Illustrated Children's Dictionary, which was only $8.28 then. Even without a special sale, all books are reasonably priced. If you want to get email notification on their offers and special sales, just register on the webiste at: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/



Friday, March 07, 2014

Crochet and Blog updates

Old Blog

This blog has indeed grown old and needed a makeover :p I was just afraid to let go of the links and other edits I made before...but maybe those are already outdated anyway...I still need more time to organize the links and arrange them in pages. For now, I just have to try a new template and see. It probably won't hurt, and I guess no one would mind. I think this blog has survived almost 9 years now because of the free crochet patterns. Only a few friends and some followers read my ramblings...and I would like to thank them ever so much!
I hope this blog will continue to evolve as well as the crochet projects that I will be sharing :)

Incidentally, I've just received via Fedex the sample project I made for the upcoming book It Girl Crochet :) Its a bonus for a designer to get back the sample which was modeled in the book. They don't give the same benefit for designs that made it to the IC magazines.
Here's a preview of the design...you can also take a look inside the book at Amazon. You can pre-order here with free shipping worldwide :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Update at home and a simple crochet top :)

Two months since I told myself to use my imagination more, not much has happened yet on the crafting side :p But regarding practical home improvements, I got to use a little imagination and I'm pleased with the result...most of all, this:


I bought the sofa set last July..finally, after so many years of wishing... though its only now that I was able to arrange it nicely (given the limited space ;)

Anyhow, I've yet to  work on the crafting area in my room. I already bought a big enough shelf and two rattan boxes- more storage space...for yarns!




Now for the crochet design update -
After a long while...I can now share with you the top that I contributed in the book It Girl Crochet, edited by Sharon Zientara (for release in June). Here's the prototype of my design, which I wore several times already :)

lacey top
You can take a peek inside the book on Amazon...
I have a suggestion on book orders though... I recently found out about The Book Depository wherein the price already includes free shipping worldwide! Of course, I had to try it first before I recommend it... Here's my first book order, which I promptly received after 15 days (not bad, for International mail to the Philippines!)