Crochet

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! 🙂

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!

Crochet – Watch Me Go!

We’re only on the third month of the year and already I’ve got 4 completed crochet projects under my belt. Wowza! Watch me go!

Baby blanket for Bianca

I made two baby blankets. A blue, green, and gray chevron made with Dapper Dreamer Stardust. It was the first time I used that yarn and I loved how soft it was. I can imagine how it will keep Baby Ricky cool and comfy in our tropical weather. My second blanket is the one pictured above – pink, purple, and white for Baby Bianca. I made it using Ganstilyo Guru Milk Cotton Medium, another first time for me. This yarn was chunkier but I can imagine how soft it would feel around the baby.

It surprised me how quickly I finished those blankets. Both are gifts and I’m  just happy I finished the first one before the baby came out, and the second one within two weeks of starting it. I’d have finished sooner if I didn’t run out of yarn. More expert crocheters would probably finish the project in three or four days, but compared to my first three afghan projects, two weeks is super record time for me. I can foresee a few more baby blankets in the making this year.

While waiting on my yarn restock I started a slouchy beanie as requested by my husband. It was the first time that he had asked me to make anything for him so I quickly went to it.

Slouchy Beanie for the Husband

It’s custom sized for him, but I followed this tutorial from YouTube. I love how there are so many free patterns and even video tutorials available online! Here’s a photo of the husband proudly wearing my creation:

Badong's Beanie

Today I also finished my very first scarf! I started working on it while at a Management kick-off about three weeks ago to keep myself from nodding off while listening to presentations. I made good progress but frogged it a day later because it just didn’t feel right. I adapted this pattern but made my own additions, including the arch and picot edging which I had just learned to do for this project. This will be a gift for the boss’ wife. I hope she likes it.
Vera's first scarf

I love this hobby! Off to get started on my next project 🙂

Mine! – My Sugar Free Yarn Experience

Since my first big project (the ripple blanket), I’ve been buying my yarn online. First, from Trey the Gantsilyo Guru, and more recently, on Facebook from Sugar Free Yarn.

I first heard of Sugar Free Yarn and their Yarn sales from the FB group Crochet Addict Philippines. I had to add Sheila, the Yarn Lord, before I got an exclusive invite to the Facebook group. They now have their own website, so you can check them out at Yarns by Sugar Free.

They usually announce their bi-weekly sessions and yarn addicts like me would have to be ready to reserve the items which are all on limited amounts. How do we do that? First to comment “Mine” on the photo would be first on queue, and so on. A reliable internet connection is definitely important here. Hehe.

We were out having dinner when the first session I joined started. I asked the husband not to be in too much of a hurry to pay and leave so I won’t miss anything. The first item went slow so I thought, “the was easy.” Apparently, everyone else was just logging on and warming up. The next few cakes I liked went fast!

While walking up to the parking lot, I had one arm wrapped around the husband, but my eyes and one hand was glued to my phone. I had to be quick! When we got to the car, I had to endorse the phone to the husband with very detailed instructions of what he had to do to watch out for the next lot. It was so funny! We kept shouting Mine even though there was no new post, it became a reminder to refresh the page and check again.

He was so into it, commenting Mine even before showing me a photo of what we were buying, hahaha. It was so much fun. I was glad to share the experience with him. Lol.

I had to wait awhile before receiving my orders, but it was because I couldn’t pay right away. I think it took me a week and a half before we had time to go to a BPI to deposit payment, but they sent my my yarn just a day or two after confirming my payment.

Here’s my stash from that very first session:

Vera's Sugar Free Yarn Stash

Vera’s Sugar Free Yarn Stash

I joined one more session since. I told myself I would just be a spectator but I couldn’t help it. It was like my fingers had a life of its own typing Mine for every gorgeous mix I saw. Hehe.

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