Monday, December 31, 2012

Crochet and Other Stuff in 2012

Goodbye 2012! I look back and am thankful for all the good things that happened, and though there were bad things too, it just leaves so much room for improvement :)

So now crochet lives on to 2013!...talking about my kind of crochet, alive in this blog ;)
Hopefully I will have many more to offer in terms of new designs, for sale and free patterns, and projects to share.
But first here's a rundown of what came in 2012.

- came from different sources and some were surprises :)

In January, I received Manos del Uruguay Serena yarns for my design submission to Interweave Crochet Summer 2012.

I ordered more Cannon threads this year to stock-up on threads, mostly blue shades for my consignment projects...though the project went well, I didn't have time to make items on a regular basis...I'd rather focus on my designs and creating personal accessories to use instead of buying at stores.

Some of the cotton and bamboo threads I bought from Crochetgal on Etsy. I want to have more of these threads since its the practical choice for wearables for our tropical climate.

Southmaid Cotton 8, a sportweight cotton yarn from HandmadebyBheng. I've bought some of these to try, then I also swapped some of my Anchor size 10 threads for some more ;)

These yarns and more, I got from crochet buddies when we met up last Nov. 23. More details here.

A surprise yarn package from my son when he came home from Baguio. These are simply called Baguio yarns by our crochet group, since these are unlabled, unbranded, and made of assorted materials.

These luxurious silk/cotton/bamboo yarns are my first order from Fe (The Pinklady's Closet) in Singapore. I'm surely tempted to buy more high quality yarns from her.

- I started the year with 458 projects in my Rav notebook and ended with 524. Here are some of my favorites:

Cotton thread scrunchies made from Moira's pattern...interesting stitch pattern.

 Puppy Cellphone cases...hope to be able to finish the pattern.

Coin Purse made from my cellphone purse pattern...planning to make more in assorted colors and sizes :p

 This custom-made tunic took a while to also my size so I got to try it on ;)
Experimented with a crochet insert...would like to practice more and improve on this technique.

 My best bag project so far! Just had to whip up this celebrity style bag...inspired also by our crochet group's crochet-along. (more details here)

This top, and more projects in my Nov. 2012 post.

This and more in my Dec. 2012 post.

- 10 patterns were added to my designer's page on Ravelry:
Teeny Tiny Heart - free pattern
Striped Shells Glass Cozy - free pattern
Jar topper/doily - free pattern
T-shirt shrug with crochet insert - free instruction
Lauren Sweater - published in Interweave Crochet Summer 2012
Oval Basket - published in Crochet Calendar 2013
Pineapple Motif Earring - free crochet chart
Going Around in Circles Bracelet - published in Crochet Calendar 2013
Flower doily/jar topper - free pattern
Jellyfish Earrings - free pattern

Crochet Buddies!
- a  much-anticipated meetup of crochet friends...
 This year we've experienced more interaction and support for each other, thanks to Ravelry and Facebook.

Year-end Stats
Lastly, some end of year comparisons...though no dramatic changes occurred, I'm so thankful for the positive feedback from sales, increased income from Ads, and increased followers in my blog and Facebook page.
Thank you family, friends and followers, for helping me continue to do what I love to do :)
Thank you Google, Inc.and Interweave Crochet!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Crochet Stuff Update

I have more than the usual crochet stuff to update ;)

First of all, thanks to all who joined the Zinio blog promo in my previous post! I guess you're now enjoying your free digital magazine subscription :) I chose Interweave Crochet and I was delighted as I flipped through the pages of the latest issue - IC Winter 2012. I already picked my favorite projects from the magazine, most of all Dora Ohrenstein's  Quartz Lace Top...will talk about this issue again on another post :)

Now I'd like to share my latest projects ;)

Crochet and Bead Earrings

Jellyfish Earrings - this pair of earrings is a quick and easy project...if you love working with beads :)
Free instructions are on my Facebook page here. (You don't have to log-in to view the page.)

crochet abaca shoes

Abaca Shoes - These shoes really look nice, abaca material is comfortable and durable. But this pair is a bit loose-fitting, since the soles I used are size 39 and I'm a size 38 or 37. I might try wearing foot socks, so these shoes won't slip off my feet. I have yet to write up the modifications I made on my Basic Slippers pattern...

crochet bodice

Christmas Dress - this is my project for our Christmas crochet-along in our Ravelry group. I found a Christmas-y skirt, and I thought to recycle the fabric into this dress. The crocheted bodice is made from Cannon size 8 thread.

For Christmas projects its not too late to make Santa Hats and Christmas ornaments...
Here are some recent projects I found on Ravelry, made from my designs:

Playful Santa Hats

Santa Hats - my friend Tina made several hats based on the pattern Playful Santa Hat :)
crochet star ornament

Christmas stars - lovely stars by Ravelers, made from my Christmas Star Ornament pattern.

Lastly, I got a surprise from my son this weekend. He came home from Baguio with yummy breads and food treats and these yarns - 2 kilos of assorted yarns, yay!!!

Baguio yarns

Friday, December 07, 2012

Crochet buddies meetup

Our meet-up here in Quezon City was a success, thanks to all who joined :)
It is rather difficult to schedule a meeting for several people with different job commitments. Also, not everyone lives near this is from Makati, and one even had to commute from her home in Olongapo. Some other group members also wanted to attend, but unfortunately couldn't make it on the scheduled date.
The good thing is that there were 9 of us present :)
I met Fatima for the first time. (She used to live in this city too...but she now lives in Bohol.). Some of the members I have already met before, like Catyanna and Bheng

Of course when crocheters meetup there's lots of talk about yarns, projects, crochet tips, selling tips and other crafty stuff. We also exchanged gifts (mostly books and yarns)....
Here are the yarns that I brought home that day:

Wool...which can be used for felting projects. That's my WIP garter-stitch scarf worked by "knooking" technique...which Catyanna introduced to us.

More wool and a mystery yarn in black ...

Cotton yarns which I got in exchange for my Anchor size 10 threads...

Sunset, 70% merino wool 30% soybean yarn, from Lotus yarns - a gift from Fatima :)

Abaca yarn from Bheng...I immediately made shoes from this yarn, since I had a pair of torn shoes where I got a usable inner sole and outer sole.

More projects coming soon!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Magazine & iPad Giveaway - plus Big Savings!

Hi everyone! I have news about an exciting giveaway happening at Zinio, and a blog giveaway happening here. (please read through the end of this post for the blog giveaway)

If  you aren't familiar with Zinio, they offer thousands of top magazine subscriptions from around the world. You can browse and purchase subscriptions or single issues instantly from  your computer or mobile device to read wherever and whenever you like. You can preview articles on their site even without a subscription.

The good news: they're giving away 3 iPad Minis in the next couple weeks and everyone who enters to win will get $5 towards a magazine subscription of their choice. They've also launched their Black Friday deals early. There are 230 magazine titles available at up to 50% off the already-discounted prices.
Sample titles include: Craft, Quilting Arts, HGTV, and Crochet Today!
You can view more details and join the sweepstakes on their Facebook page here.

How about a subscription to a crochet magazine? or other craft magazines?
There are hundreds of other magazines on all topics you may be interested in!

And here's how you can join my Blog Giveaway! (this offer valid till Nov.30), leave a comment here and let us know if you are interested to win a free subscription. I'll be giving away some free magazine subscriptions and announce here the winners on Dec. 1. Have fun browsing on Zinio! Disclosure: I'll be getting a free magazine subscription myself for hosting this blog giveaway.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Recent FOs - Crochet Wearables!

Hello, I'm back! Not that I left, just lost my mojo or something...
Now that I picked up my hooks again, I can't stop crocheting ;)
I'm eager to share some of my recently finished projects:

crochet mesh top
This is a child's mesh cover-up top. I omitted the hood in the pattern (Splash n Fun Cover-up by Jenny King) and also had to make it shorter since I ran out of thread ;)
This turned out smaller than the small size in the pattern, but hopefully would fit a two-year old girl.

crochet child's shrug
A child's shrug I made from my own design. Pattern will be published here soon :)

A mystery shawl/shrug that I made from a friend's pattern. This will be published soon in a magazine :)

Lastly, here's a famous design from a famous designer from several years ago.
Pattern was published in 2004 by Interweave. 

crochet lace top

crochet dress

A lace top that was supposed to be a dress. I used up 6 balls of Cannon thread...didn't have enough of that color so I had to finish at row 44 of the skirt. 

More details on these projects can be viewed at my projects pages on Ravelry. Thanks for looking :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Some catching up on crochet designs

Just a random post on some designs I have made a while back...

A dog amigurumi I made last year...posing with a photo of the English bulldog puppy that inspired its creation :)

crochet english bulldog

Max and max look-a-like amigurumi

Accord Publishing's Crochet Calendar 2013, is now available. Here are two of my small designs included in the calendar :

oval crochet basket

Oval basket
a one-skein basket made from Creme de la creme worsted weight cotton. This is crocheted in one piece using a textured stitch pattern

circles bracelet

Going around in circles bracelet
a one piece bracelet made with just a small amount of cotton thread

And here's something for you - another free pattern for a mini-doily or jar topper. I've made this a while back, but only recently finished writing up the pattern.

mini doily free pattern

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Paper vs plastic bags

In Quezon City they recently implemented a regulation on the use of plastic bags at the checkout counter. Plastic is being blamed for most of the trash piling up and clogging the waterways causing more flooding and other problems. I wonder why they didn't make a move earlier.
Most supermarkets now mainly use paper bags and they have their own reusable fabric or vinyl bags for sale. I've been using reusable bags since 2 yrs ago, and its only now that I see that many people bringing their own bags when shopping. Still, its not enough, since I also see a lot of shoppers going home with too many paper bags in their cart. I just hope they're recycling them, or properly disposing them in segregated trash bins.
I'm more inclined to reuse paper than plastic for crafts, and can also think of more ways to recycle it at home.
I like the big paper bags which can be used to line the floor of the car, to catch dirt and absorb moisture especially during rainy season. It can also be used to line a doormat, to make clean-up easier. In the same way, you may use the paper to line drawers and cupboards. Or, use it as a placemat when eating. For crafting it can be used for paper mache, origami, pattern-making, drawing and coloring pictures, box filler, gift-wrapper, and more.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Celebrity style crochet bag

Celebrity Bobbles Bag

I finished my celebrity style crochet bag more than a month ago, but had to wait several weeks more for the imitation leather handles I ordered on Etsy. On my previous post, I showed the various handles I bought and I chose the one from yeahshop.
I haven't had the chance to model the bag it is on Divvy:

Crochet Bag leather handles

It's quite neat inside too, with a ready-made lining I got from an old bag. I also attached magnetic snaps.

crochet bag

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Buying imitation leather handles for crochet bags

I've crocheted many bags for myself and for gifts for the past several years. I never thought of using leather or imitation leather handles for it...but when I found it available on Etsy shops at affordable prices, why not?
It can make a simple handmade purse quite stylish. Or it can make the 24-hr celebrity look-a-like bag look more like the original ;)

Here are my recent purchases:

Imitation leather handles, round toes from 3Dpatternpaper, China, $13.20 (including shipping)

Microfiber leather handles, soft, from pursehandles, Hongkong, $14.00 (including shipping)

PU leather and cotton tapes handles from pursehandles, HK, $8.50 (including shipping)

Imitation leather handles from yeahshop, HK, $13.50 (including shipping)

I bought from different shops so I can compare the quality, the price and the service. I chose Etsy sellers with good feedback and those that are nearer in location. Each shop was good on service, quality and price. For the brown handles (the first and last photo), which look almost the same - I can say that I liked more the one from yeahshop since its a bit softer. I'll be using it for my celebrity bobbles bag...showing in my next post :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bobbles bag, 24-hour bag, or Celebrity bag

24-hour bag

A french designer created this bag, made more popular by celebrities (like Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz) wearing them. Since the bag is crocheted, it surely got many crocheters interested in trying to make their own version, and some crochet designers even wrote up patterns (for sale) for their look-alike bag.
In our crochet group on Ravelry, we picked this bag for our anniversary Crochet-A-Long (CAL). Thanks to Umme Yusuf for the free pattern, Bobbles Bag, which we used for our CAL.

It was a challenging design, and I wanted to make my own version too... with 3 strands of cotton thread, and 4.5mm hook. The basic stitch was single crochet, and the bobbles were 2dc,3tr clusters. I wasn't satisfied with my bobbles, since it didn't turn out as big as the celebrity bag, but overall it was a very good project and I plan to make it again with improvements.
Can't wait to show my finished bag!...I'm still waiting for the bag handles I bought on Etsy.
Meanwhile, here's a peek ;)

bobbles bag