Crochet

Hooked, and loving it

I am thankful for crochet.

I have been working on project after project this year and I love it. Some projects took longer because I had to learn a technique or a stitch, some went surprisingly quick.

This craft excites me – finding a pattern, sorting through my yarn stash for the right colors, learning something new.

It calms me and helps clear my mind – helps me focus. Even when I crochet in public, it helps me zone in on the conversation or the discussion at hand.

Looking at the finished project gives me pride. And seeing others admire them just about makes my heart overflow with joy. ๐Ÿ™‚

So I am grateful for having crochet in my life.

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

Sirius calling dibs on my rainbow leaf wrap while it was still a WIP

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

I made a laptop sleeve for myself. I use it everyday.

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

Round bag I made for a friend. I had to redo the base after this photo though.

Stitches & Words | Crochet Makes My Day

This wrap ended up in my Momโ€™s possession. I hope sheโ€™s using it!

*Click for my other 30 days of Thankful posts.

Secret Paths Shawl

The truth is, I was not feeling too well on Sunday. I didn’t exactly have a headache, but it kind of feel’s like I was walking around with one. My hips too felt sore while the rest of my body was screaming for a massage.

Hello, monthly period.

But I still decided to show up. I wouldn’t waste the day lying in bed.

With my husband, we made it to a friend’s mom’s 70th birthday celebration. While my friend was faciliating a trivia game, and as we listened to messages of love for the birthday girl, I kept working on my second Secret Paths shawl (designed by Johanna Lindahl).

Yep, I was crocheting at a party. I just needed to finish one row, plus the edging. And I was determined to do it so I can give it to Tita.

It turned out beautifully, if I may say so myself.

Stitches & Words | Secret Paths Shawl http://verabear.net/2018/10/secret-paths-shawl/Stitches & Words | Secret Paths Shawl http://verabear.net/2018/10/secret-paths-shawl/Stitches & Words | Secret Paths Shawl http://verabear.net/2018/10/secret-paths-shawl/

I’ve had my husband’s full support on this project. Aside from modeling the finished work, he also helped me pick the colors. I used three different kinds of yarns including a Bernat Satin but I didn’t take note exactly which kinds. The darker shades are worsted weight, and the light ones are fingering. I used a size 4 hook all the way.

Since this is my second go at this pattern, it went on without a hitch. I didn’t have to concentrate on the pattern so it meant being able to watch Grey’s Anatomy while hooking.

I love trying out different patterns because that’s how I learn new stitches and techniques, but I feel like Secret Paths will be my go-to pattern for a quick and easy shawl. It’s uncomplicated, and Johanna Lindahl’s pattern is so easy to follow.

Here’s the link to MijoCrochet for the Secret Paths shawl pattern, if you want to give it a try. Be sure to let me know if you do and share your WIPs and finished projects! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Life in Stitches

I loved reading this collection of essays from author and knitter Rachael Herron.

Seriously. My blog is Stitches and Words right, but her book should be called that. She writes so beautifully about her knitting.

Despite a very productive year so far in terms of yarn projects and blogging (productive na to, considering previous years), I really don’t have a lot of completed projects under my belt. Still, I find that using either of the two blankets I made and kept always gives me a sense of pride for my handiwork, and comfort.

In contrast, writing sometimes makes me anxious. For a long time writing was also my solace, but not having written for so long I feel like I have lost my voice and am now self-conscious about publishing what I write. But I intend to break through this. They say writing is like a muscle – the more you write, the more you get better.

Crocheting and Knitting centers me. When the stitch is uncomplicated, and the pattern repetitive, I am able to keep my hands busy and my mind free to wander. While I stitch, I let thoughts form and percolate. In a way, it’s as if I meditate while I hook.

In the last three years specifically, I have gained more confidence as a crocheter and knitter. Confident enough to feel proud to give my handiwork as gifts. With the same consistent practice, I hope that confidence also shine through in whatever form I choose to share my stories.

Recently, crocheters from a group I belong to in Facebook have been yarn bombing and doing meetups. I have yet to participate, but that is on my list. I’d love to meet fellow yarn lovers and share stories while crocheting.

Every now and then I think about opening a craft store where people can come get their crafty fix, and also learn to make stuff. But I’m not quite sure I am creative enough to hack that. Hmm.

Stitch Count – April 2018

Time flies when there is so much happening around you, doesn’t it? Isn’t it also true though, that at the end of a certain period of busy-ness, one realizes how much time has truly passed?

For example, I can hardly believe we are well into the second quarter of the year already. March went by like a blur, and so have the months of January and February.

One of my goals this year is to keep on crocheting and knitting. 2016 was a very productive year for me as a crafter, but 2017 was a different story. In fact, the projects I finished so far this year were those that I did not finish last year. Let’s have a look at those projects:

Baby Blanket for Kayzel

My best friend lives overseas with her family. Her daughter Kayzel, was turning a year old, and I decided to make her a blankie. I followed the Fluffy Meringue Blanket tutorial by The Crochet Crowd. I did not get to personally hand over this beauty when they were here early this year, but it’s finally going home to Kayzel by the end of this month. Finally!

Here’s a sneak preview of the pink and blue blanket:

Learning the Brioche Stitch

Knowing that it was going to be cold in Taiwan for our trip, I decided to make myself a scarf. It took such a long time though, because I also made the decision that I was going to knit it (thinking it would be faster), and that I was going to learn to do the Brioche stitch.

Well, I did learn a new stitch. I also picked a lovely ball of Sugar Free Yarn for the project. But what I didn’t pay attention to was the need for a lifeline. A lifeline is literally a life saver for those times when you realize that you missed or dropped a stitch. The lifeline is a string that you pull through a good row (and re-attach every few rows) so that when you make a mistake you won’t have to frog the entire fabric. Let’s just say that I frogged so many times.

I ended up not finishing the scarf in time for the trip.

But it’s done now, and even if it’s a little short (I only had one ball, and did a double pull), and has a lot of imperfections, I love how it turned out.

Secret Paths Shawl for Vanette

For a dear friend who is moving to a colder geo, I decided to whip up the Secret Paths Shawl by Johanna Lindahl.

I loved working with this particular yarn (also Sugar Free), and this was my first time to make a triangular shawl. It really came out lovely.

Currently, I am working on a laptop case using hexies. I don’t LOVE the colors I’m using because I just went with left over yarn from previous projects, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still love the end product. Hope to share that soon!

What projects have you completed this year? Doesn’t have to be yarn projects, do share! ๐Ÿ™‚

5 of 100, stitched!

The 100 Day Project

The 100 Day Project for 2017 officially kicked off on April 4th. Everyone is encouraged to participate by choosing an action to undertake and share in the next 100 days. It’s a global art project that anyone can participate in. 

My action? I chose two. 

#100daysofhandlettering

As a little girl, I admired the way my Auntie Leesah would letter words in big chunky characters. In high school, I would envy classmates who did creative lettering on their notebooks and letters. I’d try my hand at it sometimes, but I never really felt like I did them quite as well. I even bought nibs and ink for calligraphy work but gave up on it after just a weekend running around in my Grandmother’s house trying it out. I wonder where those have ended up?

Now, I still do some lettering but mostly I doodle. Still not as quite as beautiful as others I like looking at. But a hundred days of practice should help me get better, right?

So far, I haven’t been able to post daily but I certainly try my best. Here are my posts so far:

    

#100daysofyarnprojects

Oooh. I cannot even tell you how many times I have given up on being ‘artistic.’ I’ve given up on drawing or painting. I’ve always thought I just wasn’t good enough at any of those things. But with yarns… there’s something I could really be good at. I’m not an expert, not at all, but I love making stuff with my hands. And it is working on my yarn projects that make me happy, joyful, alive. 


My crochet and knit work are nowhere near perfect. I frog many times. But I keep going. I seldom give up on any project although I have abandoned one or two only to return to it with fresh eyes a few months later. I wish I could actually do 100 yarn projects in 100 days but I can only commit to hooking for the same period. I don’t have a target for how many completed works I’ll have after a hundred days, but I sure hope to learn new stitches and challenge myself as a yarn artist. 

To no surprise, I am also behind on this project but that’s not a problem. There is freedom in knowing that I can simply take action again the next day, pick up the hook again and carry on. I guess the point of the project isn’t really in posting every day for a hundred days, but to commit to creating something and following through. 

If you would like to join in, just choose an action you would like to undertake, create your unique hashtag and announce it on Instagram. Jump in anytime!

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