Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New goals, new designs in crochet

Somehow, designing and writing up the patterns for the purpose of selling them doesn't appeal so much to me now. I still want to crochet more as a hobby, and to see good projects come to life - whether it is from another's pattern or from my own, that is what keeps me excited about this hobby. There are tons of lovely designs throughout the internet - and though I haven't seen it all, I'm seeing way too many than I can handle. Russian, Brazilian and Japanese crochet designs are my favorite. But because of the language barrier, trying to recreate their designs is a big challenge. They have such an amazing skill, however, to make detailed diagrams and charts...which make the pattern quite understandable.
So I have set some new goals of creating projects from these designs. When I first started designing garments, it was because I hardly could find any accessible project that fits today's fashion, and at the same time can be made with the cotton threads that are available here. After two years, a lot has changed thanks to internet technology, and I've discovered a lot of patterns (most of them are free, yay!), and best of all can be made from cotton thread :)
I may still come up with some ideas of my own, and write up patterns (a few are brewing, btw) but I definitely won't stress myself out doing it.

Now on to a new WIP. I recently saw an FO, a bolero/shrug made by Judy (see it on Ravelry). When I saw a reference to the pattern, I became interested. I imagined the project using my Cannon threads and 2mm or 3/0 (2.25mm) hook, which are what I usually use with the threads. I couldn't resist starting off this project, because Judy offered help. With some english translation, the pattern becomes much easier to follow. Then again, with this pattern, I found some ways to modify the crochet process in my own style. So far, so good...

More details on Ravelry

Btw, the gray cropped cardigan is coming along as planned ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Photo Souvenirs and Crochet WIP

...the other crafty thing I did last week, other than crochet was create some photo souvenirs.
First of all, there are a lot of cute stuff that can be made if you print your photos on Sticker photo paper. I bought a pack of 10 sheets of matte Sticker Photo paper at National bookstore for P109.75 (US$2.60).

Here are just some of the photo souvenirs I made for my sister, who's here on vacation:

The button pins were made from recycled ad buttons, and the magnetic photos made from recycled ad magnetic photos - like the one from Celestial Seasonings tea ;) The other extra photos can be used as a sticker on notebook or book covers or added to scrapbooks.

I've also been working on this cropped cardigan - which I need to finish by Friday so my sister can model it for me before she leaves. She can of course have it, if she wants it ;)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Garnstudio free patterns update

evening bag in Cotton Viscose and Bomull-Lin
Bag in Cotton Viscose and Bomull-Lin
Slippers in double thread Alpaca

Oven glove in DROPS Ice
Potholders in Muskat Soft

Hat in Muskat and bag with pointed top in double thread Muskat Soft
Triangle bag in double thread Muskat Soft
Crochet and knitted bag in Muskat
Bag in Muskat Soft
Bag with stripes in DROPS Ice and Bag in stripes and mixed qualities in DROPS Ice and Muskat Soft

Shawl with stripes in Vienna
Shawl in Silke-Alpaca
Blanket with zigzag pattern in Eskimo

Hat in Cotton Viscose and Bomull-Lin
Hat in Muskat Soft and Muskat
Cap in Muskat Soft with border and decorative button in Muskat

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ivory shawl swatch

This is for those who want to make the Ivory shawl by Mani di Fata, and for Swapna, who asked how to make the horizontal clusters.
Hopefully, this swatch I made will be helpful. This is a lovely shawl and is easy to make once you know the flower motif pattern.

Ivory Shawl swatch
Note: beginning ch 4 counts as 1st tr.
Row 1: Ch 61, tr in 9th ch from hook, (ch 3, skip 3 ch, tr on next ch) repeat across.
Row 2: Ch 7, turn. Tr on next tr. *Ch 4, 3 tr-cluster on top of last tr made, skip 3 ch, 4 tr-cluster on next tr, ch 4, 3 tr-cluster on top of previous horizontal tr-cluster, skip 3 ch, tr on next tr, (ch 3, skip 3 ch, tr on next tr**) twice, repeat from * two more times, ending at ** on last rep, dtr on last tr.
Row 3: Ch 5, turn. Tr on next tr, *ch 3, 4 tr- cluster on top of next vertical tr-cluster, (ch 3, tr on next tr**) 3 times, repeat from * two more times, ending at ** on the last rep. Ch 3, tr on last tr.
Follow the diagram on the pattern to make the succeeding rows.

This is my swatch after finishing row 2.

And this is how it looks like after working 4 rows.

See my Ivory Shawl project

Crochet a flower keychain

Again I needed a small project to work on to get me back into the groove of crocheting ;)
I rediscovered this site - a company based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I first heard about Pingouin from Beth (yarndiva) over at Crochetville. Lots of wonderful free crochet and knit patterns, though instructions are in Portuguese. Good thing they have useful charts, which makes the pattern quite understandable.
I found this flower keychain, and wanted to make it to embellish a plain sc purse I made. Here's what I came up with. I used either Anchor or DMC embroidery floss, from my stash, and a 2mm hook. I also used some beads from my stash.

Here's the bag that I made a few years ago, my sister used this for a while. Its quite small but can hold basic necessities.
I have not yet attached the metal keychain thingie when I took this photo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mailing update!

Just a quick update on some postal matters.

A couple of orders for threads got delayed due to delay of delivery of my order from Coats Manila Bay. They do try to keep up with production orders, but demand from store outlets keep increasing ;)

To Jeanette, I have mailed your pattern order last April 14.

To Yasmin, I finally mailed my Pay-it-forward gift to you last April 14.

To an unknown sender, or maybe a Fairy Godmother?...I don't have any idea who sent me something at this time, I'll find out when I claim at the post office soon ;)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oatmeal Cranberry and Raisin Bar

...real food, not crocheted ;)

While at the grocery last week, I chanced upon a pack of Champion Cranberry and Raisins (this is not an advertisement). Its the first time I saw this product. I usually buy a pack of raisins for snacking or to add to some dishes like menudo or arroz valenciana.
Anyway, I bought the pack of six (35gm/box) of dried cranberries and raisins. It tasted so sweet and fresh, and I thought it would make a good ingredient for baking or cooking. I went on to bake oatmeal bars.
It was almost gone when I thought of taking a photo and sharing the recipe ;)

Oatmeal Cranberry& Raisin Bar
• 1 ½ cup quick cooking oats
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 box (35gm) Champion cranberries and raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in the flour and oat mixture until just combined. Mix in the cranberries and raisins. Spread dough evenly in baking pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges turn golden. Cool before cutting into squares.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Felted it! crochet hook case

Lately it seems I have started on a number of projects, with patterns needed to be written up...and I don't know what to work on anymore (sigh...) Blame it on the hot weather, I suppose.
So I thought I should make something that is a little more interesting and easier to finish, and no need to write a pattern.
I know I had to try felting, and needed a simple hook case...and with the Caron felt-it that Deneen sent me, the only thing to add was a bit of time and a little imagination. I followed the instructions on the label, and used a 6mm hook. I roughly calculated the no. of stitches with the gauge given...crocheted it vertically in alternating sc and hdc rows.
How I felted it, was just a trial and error process. I didn't want to use a washing machine for something so small. I used a basin, hot water and detergent. I set the basin under the heat of the sun to keep the water hot. I think it felted in about 20 mins. I swirled the item in the basin and pounded on it too. I really didn't know how it should be done(I might have looked mad doing it, LOL!), but after a while it seemed to get thicker and I could hardly see the stitches. So I thought it was good enough. After drying it looked like this:

I'm wondering why it looks more felted in person than in the above photo. Anyway, I thought with a little trimming and a button, it would be a good-looking hook case. With my local acrylic yarn in dark pink color, and using a small hook (size 2mm), I poked the hook through and sc'd along the edge. At the flap, I made a loop for the button.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy Graduation Day!

Last Sunday, March 30, around 550 students graduated from Ateneo High School. Among them my son,who also turned 18 on the day of his graduation.
How time flies...and his 4 years in high school was full of memories, happiness and frustrations for both of us. I'm just grateful that he finished, and that he passed the college entrance test :)

Earlier that day, the whole high school community attended mass, after which each class had brunch together, then some picture-taking.

His turn to take a bow.