Sunday, October 28, 2007

Save the environment some more...

By reading this blog: Fake Plastic Fish (this is not an advertisement) I've subscribed to it and learned a lot just by reading a few posts. A recent post is how some garbage is collected and ends up buried somewhere. Her photos and explanations provide much information.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Going Green - Mesh Bag

This beige mesh bag was made with Catania cotton and Cannon thread held together.
This green bag, was made following the same pattern, but crocheted with 3 strands of Cannon thread. I used up 4 1/2 balls of the Cannon.

It did not turn out as well as I expected. The beige one can carry the 36 balls of thread nicely and it doesnt pull down too much, but the green one stretched a lot with the weight. It contained only 28 balls, but the bag seemed to have reached its maximum weight capacity :p

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Make your own personalized labels

I got the idea to make this when I came across this site.

ETA: (April 26, 2008) I just found a very helpful tutorial on printing your logo/design on the iron-on transfer paper.

Here are my own tutorial pics to help you out if you're trying it the first time. Even following these steps will not guarantee that you won't be spoiling some of the materials, but a little practice will result in pleasing results ;) Now you don't need to order personalized labels, which doesn't come cheap anyway. And most of all you can experiment with your own designs. Have fun!
Aside from your reliable computer and inkjet printer and Iron, you'll need these:
Iron-on transfer paper;
Satin ribbons - these are the only ones I tried so would be good to experiment on whatever you have at hand.
Also shown on photo is half of the transfer paper already printed with my own personalized label design. You can also print photos or graphics with your design. Remember you need to print a mirror image of your design.

Cut the printed iron-on transfer paper to correspond to the size of your ribbons.

Put the right side of the transfer paper on the right side of the ribbon.
You need a hard heat-resistant surface to iron on...(I used the part of my ironing board that is not padded.)
With the back of the paper facing you, press with iron that has been heated almost to the max. (It also depends on your iron, and you will know what works best after the first few tries) Press for about 20-30 secs. When its not so hot to touch, check that the paper has already adhered to the ribbon. If the edges are loose, press with iron again, until it has completely adhered. Then you can peel off the paper backing like you would a sticker.

Voila! You have your own personalized label

Sew on to your latest FO :)

My favorite designers

Are here on Ravelry. In case you haven't noticed, you can also pick your favorite designers, patterns and yarns. I included myself (why not?) and also picked some of my own favorite patterns ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Belly Dancing...

Not me, but I might consider it sometime. I only got interested when my sister told me she's taking belly dancing classes. She sent me a photo of a crocheted hip scarf (from a Turkish site with a branch in U.K., where she bought some chiffon scarves)...hoping I'll be inspired to make one (for her). I would love to, but I must have a clearer idea how I will do it. And I also have to find supplies for the coins and beads that are a necessary part of the costume.
Anyway, while i was searching the web for some more crocheted belly dancing costumes, I saw this:

It looks like a shrug worn on the opposite side, it got me interested. I was also amused at how elaborate some of the costumes are.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Garnstudio has more...

Free crochet patterns - latest addition:

Drops purse with gold glitter
Mittens in Alaska
Granny-square pillow in Muskat
Shawl in Cotton Viscose
Sleeveless Cardigan in Eskimo
Cardigan in Inka
Cardigan in Karisma

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Got distracted again - crochet mesh bags

I have a tendency to start on new projects, when I need to finish something that is more important. It actually helps me, since I'm able to accomplish both...after sometime :p
My current distraction: mesh bags. I love crocheted bags and in particular, sack style bags. So I thought of making a mesh sack. It looks cool, and you can save from using a lot of disposable shopping bags. This bag would help save the environment, no?
Furthermore, they are easy to make.
I tried some free patterns online, but I ended up starting over and making my own pattern instead. A flat bottom just wouldn't look good when it is filled with stuff. So as much as possible, I try to make the bottom hold up the stuff and maintain that cool look. Also, I prefer a shoulder strap instead of handles, as I find it more practical.
I used 2 skeins of Catania, and 1 1/2 balls of Cannon thread and 4mm. hook for this bag.
Are you beginning to see a trend here? Catania cotton and Cannon cotton thread, works so nice together! I'm able to maximize the Catania by adding the Cannon, which is more affordable and readily available to me. The result is comparable but better than when I used 3 strands of the Cannon, since the Catania has more bulk and yet feels soft. I find this combination great for bags and maybe other accessories as well. I thought this bag could carry two dozen of my Cannon threads, but when I rearranged it at the bottom, it could hold 3 dozens! Its heavy, but its comfortable to carry around.
Then I decided I wanted a smaller mesh bag, so I made one. This time I used 3 strands of Cannon threads. I used up exactly 3 balls to make this bright pink bag:

Pattern for sale here ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Saving the environment

The other day, Gene posted some tips on keeping the environment clean and minimizing waste. She mentioned about making your own mesh bags to use instead of plastic bags, when shopping. It was a coincidence I was currently working on some mesh bags, I haven't finished it though...So I thought about expounding on the topic of saving the environment.
I did some research and found that Time has published 51 tips for those of us who want to do our share.
No. 24 is Just say no to plastic bags
Maybe crocheting can help save the environment...we create useful stuff, and we even use up scraps of yarn, some of us even make yarn out of plastic bags! On the other hand, I don't even know the whole process of manufacturing threads or yarns, if it produces a lot of waste or if it pollutes the environment...I will have to find out.
No. 30 is Shut off your computer...oops, I'm guilty on that one, crocheting in front of the computer and keeping it on, while checking in from time to time...

Here's another tip I got interested in: Ditch the Mansion. According to the article, families are getting smaller, while houses are getting bigger. One guy, Jay Shafer a former art professor, took this too seriously. He dwells alone in a home fit for a hobbit, 100 sq. ft. in northern California that he designed and built himself in 1999. Shafer now runs Tumbleweed Tiny House and sells custom designs for miniature dwellings that range from 70 sq. ft. to 350 sq. ft. He made his move because he felt guilty about the size of his residential carbon footprint, and now prefers life tiny and tidy.

Then also, I chanced upon an informative and interesting blog, detailing adventures in getting rid of plastic waste in normal everyday life - Fake Plastic Fish.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More free patterns!

While I was looking over at what's new at Crochet Pattern Central, I found more free knit and crochet patterns offered by Lincraft of Australia. I like this Starry Night Shrug...

I went to see if I could order some yarn or other materials there, but they don't ship overseas :(

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dahlia crochet top and some update on my design

Isn't this so lovely?
This is Lily Go's latest crochet design called Dahlia. She used Cannon threads which she got from me ;)
Her pattern has complete instructions from swatching, yarn substitution, customizing size, etc., and with all the necessary diagrams. I'm so eager to try out her pattern, since I have never made any raglan-type of garment. I've already made a swatch, but I still have to order the thread I want for this.

Meanwhile, I have to draw up the diagrams and crochet the shorter top version for my latest design tunic, which was already approved by Coats. This is the third design, which I will be finishing for this year. They expected more from me, but I wasn't able to focus enough. Besides, those were the only ones that came out original and creative, after many attempts :p
Please watch out for my latest designs for Coats Manila Bay, coming soon (hopefully, this year)...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Crochet vs. Knit

Why do they call it crochet when its knitted?

Magnetic snap on a crocheted bag

Here's the latest FO, the magnetic snap attachment (Again, thanks to Su for the magnetic snaps.)
I crocheted two small oval-shaped pieces. Then inserted the snap parts, fixing it on with long-nose pliers. Stitched the two ovals on the appropriate spot inside at the top of the bag...voila! a no-fuss closure for the bag :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Japanese pattern Tote Bag - FO

Finished the tote bag! This was a WIP few days ago.
I failed to take photos while in progress...But it was a very easy and quick project.
Here are the materials I used: one ball of Cannon thread and 1 1/2 skein of Catania cotton yarn. I used size 6/0 (3.5mm) hook with one strand of Cannon and Catania held together throughout. But i used 7/0 (4mm) hook for the edging of the straps

It turned out smaller than the original, but its big enough to carry essentials plus a one-skein project, when you don't want to bring a big bag ;)

I still plan to line it, and also sew a cellphone pocket. I already attached a magnetic snap (thanks to Su), but I'm thinking of sewing a zipper instead, so I can toss the bag in the car, when I'm in a hurry.
(You may email me for the link to the pattern, though I've already linked to it on Ravelry)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Don't DHL it!

If you are sending packages overseas, try the postal service or other reliable service. I don't think DHL is one of them. Here's my story:
Yesterday, I got a knock on the door saying it was a delivery. I wasn't too thrilled since I was limping on the way, I needed to go downstairs since my house is on the 2nd floor. Then my left leg ached and cramped, due to prolonged abnormal walking. Anyways, I wasn't totally attentive to the DHL delivery guy, but I realized he was handing me a bill. I glanced upon the box that he held and read Andrews McMeel...before I could get excited about it, I examined the bill and it had some computations with the total amount being P1,585. That's about $35! I said, "I have to pay this to get the box???" He said, yes. (I don't remember him being courteous). I asked him for an explanation on the details of the amount stated there, and he said I better call the office and he pointed the phone no. on the bill. I didn't want to call the office since I know that they have a ready explanation for it. Besides, I think I'm not supposed to pay anything, being just a recipient.
I told him I wasn't going to pay. He asked me to sign and receive the paper. I said, "I'm not going to sign that. I'm not going to get the box." And I sent him off.
Darn. I would have been leafing through the pages of the crochet calendar by now :(... and I should have copied the details of the bill so I can file a formal complaint. There was even a customs tax there for about 265pesos...I wonder what law they based that tax on? I never experienced any problem or paid a tax on the items with the numerous packages I sent and claimed at the post office.
At first, I thought that the distributor of the calendar wanted me to pay for the delivery. But after I have received a reply from the publisher regarding the incident I narrated, I believe that the problem was the DHL service. They probably get away with charging the recipient even though the delivery has already been paid by the sender. I could guess how some people get fooled, and most don't file complaints, especially the Filipinos here who are eager to receive a package from abroad.
I will get my free copy of the calendar, I'm sure. I have to wait several weeks, but that's ok.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

WIP, Small Tote Bag

I'm trying to make this bag using Catania cotton and Cannon thread held together, crocheted with a size 6/0 (3.5mm) Tulip hook. I am loving the resulting fabric, it is similar in thickness compared to the 3-strands cotton thread sack bags that I made. A bigger hook would make the crocheting easier, but it looks so much better when the stitches are tight.

Do you think you have bed bugs?

Not exactly an interesting topic, but if you have bed bugs already, you simply can't ignore it. You have to get rid of it, or else it will continue to multiply and continue to feed on you and the rest of your family. Gather the facts and learn how to eliminate or prevent infestation.

disclosure policy

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Japanese Crochet Patterns

Do you know there are plenty of japanese crochet patterns online? And they're free too...only if we could find it :p
Thanks to Ravelry, I found some free japanese patterns on a site someone posted about. I found her project on ravelry here. She has already made several projects from the japanese site. I like to try most of the crochet patterns there...some of it are just small projects, but there are a few crochet summer tops too.
Here's one project I just made, its the same mini basket, but this one turned out smaller (probably big enough for coins, buttons or beads). I used some of the Catania cotton I got from a swap with Pearlin, and a 5/0 (3mm) size Tulip hook.
If made with yarn and bigger hook, the basket would be good for holding jewelry or hair accessories.