Monday, November 30, 2015

Let's call it a year...

It's already December , and in a few days, Christmas and well, I'd like to call it a year.... ( as you would call it a day.. )

I am able to elimite a huge chunk of debt from our system. I will not share the exact amount, so we all won't faint, but that is one epic battle I waged against debt. I put up a very very good fight. There are some amount left to settle, but that amount is already negligible ( at least for me ).

As for the 6 projects which,   I declared I will forever erase from my work-in-progress bin, I am able to finish  some of those, and as for the rest, well, maybe in this life time.

The most important of those are these two:


Now, as for the state of this blog, I obviously failed on finishing those blog drafts. I guess, somewhere along trying to move out of the comfort zone, I finally accepted that this blog has become "the" actual comfort zone, it is something that I go back to whenever I cannot make other things in my life work , and for some reason, I have tricked myself into believing that before I can pursue other things in life,  I have to finish all those things related to crochet and blogging first... that's a crazy idea..

Crochet makes me happy. But I have a life, a family to be there for,  children to raise and nurture with love, a husband to be present with in our marriage, and a career to be successful in.  I have all the time in the world to do the things that I love and I am sure there will be free time to crochet. 

There is so much more in this world to discover.. so much more to do,  and I don't have to wait until I finished my never-ending crochet project lists before I do that... I dont' have to wait until I have used up each and every skein of yarn in my stash.. or wait until I have sold every single kilo of yarn.

I just have to make things  happen, and I can crochet in my free time.

Sadly, I see myself blogging lesser and lesser.   I hope you find here some useful stuff and I hope that I am able to inspire people to crochet. I might decommision this blog after a while.. erase everything.. or maybe I'll just leave it here until Google stops offering blogpost for free. Maybe next year I can post some things about my yarns... 

I know that this does not look like a very successful year, because the goal I set for this year is too vague to even measure.

But I dare say, that I did just that.

I just don't have any proof to show, because I don't know what will prove that I now have enough courage to move on with life, and discover what else is out there, instead of just being stuck with a thousand kilos of yarn.


So, I will  " call it a year " for this blog.. and will just go back next year..  I wish for everyone a happy Yuletide season!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Dahlia Cardigan

I am really proud of myself at the moment.  wahahahahah  I finally finished the Dahlia Cardigan.

Why it means so much for me?

I bought the pattern in 2008. I downloaded it, printed it, read it once, and then I read the part that says : Skill  Level : Experienced, then I set this pattern aside, for like.. 5 years...

I was overwhelmed and discouraged right away. I made several attempts, but each time I will try, I won't be able to figure it out. I made a swatch several times too. Lily Go made several revisions to her patterns, correcting confusing parts each time, and yet, I just can't get past the swatch .

In 2012, things started to take better shape for me. At least that is how I view it now. One by one, I was able to make use of the patterns I bought before. Slowly, I am getting more confident with my wearable making skills. After I made my wedding gown, I realized that I want to make clothes.

So, I started this year with a goal: to finish Orchid and Dahlia ( which are also part of the goals the year before that 2013 , and the year before that last year  2012, I think ).  The Orchid I started that in 2014, then it proved to be way too many stitches , so I only finished it in early 2015. For fear that the same thing will happen to Dahlia, I really pushed myself to start with the Dahlia,  since these two basically uses the same concept: top down construction.

I need to overcome my habit of "overwhelming myself" and "procrastinating ". And Voila.. after 6 weeks, I have myself a Dahlia Cardigan, following the pattern to the last T, and on a smaller hook too 4/0.

Things I like about the pattern:
1. Detailed because it comes with written instructions and diagrams.
2. Intructions have techniques on switching yarns.
3.You will really learn a thing or two on how to make wearables after this.
4. It uses the concepts of knitting pattern, where you don't really count the number of stitches per size. There is only what stands out as the set up row.
5. You will learn how to shape the stitch pattern to suit your pattern.

Things I don't like about the resulting project ( not in any way due to the design ).

1. It does not look good on my body type.  I have a larger torso, and quite thinner legs. My hips are not wide. The sample photo of the project looks good , because Lily is slim. Which clearly I am not. ahahahah So that is maybe why the resulting project is slightly not as impressive as the one shown on the sample.

Admit it ladies, there are styles that look good only on slim women. But, I think this style suits Mom.

2. The choice of hook that I used multiplies the number of stitches to 1.5. Meaning, way too many stitches. That is my fault.. because I'm a firm believer of investing in stitches.

3. I am sure that it is only me, but I think the light blue violet shade of the yarn I used, gives the overall effect of the project, it's old fashioned look. Like it looks better on older women than on younger women.

But still, I am very proud of this project. It is by far the hardest pattern that I have to follow. But the lesson I learned about shaping and fit, and  adjusting your pattern  and your stitches, to your preferred hook and yarn, is so worth the USD 5 that I paid for it  6 ( or 7 ? )  years ago.

I almost run out of yarn,and for some reason, there is a Canon thread shortage when I checked for additional balls of thread in this color,  on the famous yarn shops that I know. So I had to make do with what I have. This is the reason why the cardigan is not as long as I originally wanted it to be.

After finishing the cardigan, I am thinking if I should create one for myself. I don't think I'll make one exactly like this. I want to tweak it a bit to fit my preferences.

1. Clearly I am not graceful, so I might remove the bell sleeves. I love the bell sleeves, but I am not built for it.  I might catch it on doors, dip it on food. I might have  shorter cap sleeves or 3/4 sleeves sans the flare.
2. I will reduce the size of the collar. I will also reduce the part where it overlaps in front.
3. I will make it shorter, maybe just above the hips.

I am not sure how it will look like bwhahahahahahahh

4. I want to have more structure and less drape, so I might go 2 sizes down on the crochet hook.
5. I will choose a lighter yarn, one with more loft, and with a darker shade. OR
6. I might try it in multicolor.

Another reason to celebrate, my stash is officially 11 balls of crochet thread free! The whole project used up 14 balls of crochet thread to be exact. I needed to buy 3 more balls.

I  finally finished Orchid and Dahlia, both are designs by Lily Go.

Crocheted Souvenirs

I accepted MTO last month. My friend ordered 30 pieces of  souvenirs for her daughter's baptism.

Originally she wanted baby booties. I declined because for some reason i find it hard to make small items.

I offered these pinafore bookmarks instead. Because I accepted the order I got sidetracked with my project line up, but that is additional income so I don't mind.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hello October...

I realized that time flies so fast when you are in your 30s.

Now, it's October and I'm closed to finishing only one goal...

I've been sidetracked by these bookmarks.. and my head aches terribly in the past weeks so....

And I ran out of yarn for Dahlia. Apparently there is a shortage of Canon crochet thread so.

I guess trying to finish backlogs are not really worth it? Anyway I know exactly what to do whenever I doubt my goals....

So how about you? How is your year so far?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Getting Re-Acquianted with Shawls

Making shawls, either knitted or crocheted , is a good way to explore on lace. This is perfect because you don't have to worry about gauge that much, shaping is important, but still  only minimal. 

Shawls are also the perfect projects to experiment on color combinations. You make your shawl in neon green, with loud orange colored yarn for edging,  and you can still wear it, because it is only an accessory, meant to pop out , and accentuate your outfits,  as compared to making a wedding gown in neon green, I don't think that it's even an option.  It is also a nice project to experiment on drape.

I am not really a fan of shawls,  (and of scarves and of cowls.) These are not part of my wardrobe, but I am stash busting now and shawls presented themselves as the perfect projects to use up your stash yarns with.

At the same time, making shawls and scarves and cowls, will be a way for me to get over my prejudice with these projects.  This time though, I meant to use and wear what I make.

Besides, we live in a tropical country , so we don't really have it as a typical part of the wardrobe. But having worked in air conditioned offices for some 9 years now, I think I can easily incorporate crocheted ( and knitted ) lace in my get up.

The only shawl that I made in my 8 years of crocheting is this shawl: Tropical Shawl.

The virus shawl has captured my attention, and I found at least 3 variations of the lovely pattern. I will share more about the Virus Shawl pattern or formerly known as The German Scalloped Shawl , in my next posts.

I started with these two shawls. One with 2.5mm hook and the other , 3.5mm hook. The yarn I used is part of my old crochet thread stash.  I want to know which one will drape better, at the same time, this will allow me to experiment on unusual color combinations.

It seems that I am only starting on projects but never really finish them.  (So prolific).. but actually, I am about to finish 2 wearables, and I wanted to have a breather, from the monotonous last rows of same stitches..

Saturday, September 12, 2015

In Silence

I haven't shared any finished project recently so it looked as if I don't have any outputs.  I am working on big projects, and there are 5 of them. I am a very prolific.. but adding 3.-5 rows everyday on 5 different projects has helped me keep my focus and it prevents me from being bored.

It's really boring when you work the same stitches over and over, specially on the knitting project which I started recently.. 120 rows of stockinette stitch will bore you to hell..

I also started to keep my mouth shut ( and that includes my "online" mouth.. meaning.. I stopped sharing things in social media. )  and just continue on my projects.

I am close to finishing 2 projects at this time... and very soon.. I am going to share them. For now.. this has captured my thoughts for the day:
There are a lot of things that I missed out on,  because I talk more than I listen.
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