WIP Wednesday!

It’s been two weeks since my last post, and I have to admit… I’ve only finished one WIP!

It’s been slow-going around here for the past few days. I’m coming up with a fun new venture with a friend, and if it all works out… well,  I’ll have a nice surprise for everyone. I’m also preparing for a new blog feature that, I’m hoping, will give our local crochet community a big boost. Super excited about this one!

While we wait for the big reveal, feast your eyes on my new works-in-progress:

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I’ve finally started my baby girl’s birthday dress! It took me two weeks to get up the courage to actually put hook to yarn, and I’m so glad I did. This has got to be one of my favorite baby dress patterns: it’s well written and easy to understand.

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Up close, you can just see it’s simple treble clusters, but the drape is really nice. I’m using Baguio Cotton Sheen in Blonde. It’s darker than I would have liked, but it’s a lovely beach-brown that Houdini can wear around until she grows out of it. My mom heavily hinted that I should make a matching set for her too. Don’t think I have enough yarn for that, haha.

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I’m finally using Crafty Kitten PawsTablea and Egg Yolk! I’ll honestly forever love her 12plys. They are soooo soft and workable! Every time I see a 12ply ball go up for sale at The Yarn Traveler, I have to sit on my hands to keep from buying it.

As I said before, I’m working on making a baby sling. Houdini loves being chauffeured around in someone’s arms, doesn’t matter who, and our backs are paying the price. The essentials of a good baby sling is that it should support the baby’s back and legs properly, while at the same time dispersing the weight so that you can move about freely. The trick here is getting the tension right, so in the above picture, I”m testing different stitches to see which one has a good stretch without becoming too warped.

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I’ve decided on two stitches. For the Tablea, I’m going with the Honeycomb stitch. Not too much stretch, so it’ll give good support. Also, the holes make it nice and airy, perfect for our humid weather of late.

DSC_0311For the Egg Yolk, I’m going with the Grit stitch. This one is a little stretchier than the Honeycomb, so it’ll give way when Houdini gets heavier.

Now I just have to decide the length and actually begin these projects so that when the rest of the yarn comes in, all I have to do is join them along.

That’s my update in the midst of this busy week. Stay tuned for next week, when I uncover my newest feature!

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WIP Wednesday + Unexpected Additions!

In keeping with my desire to be as productive as possible when it comes to crochet, I’ve got a few Works-in-Progress going on.

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My first time making a doily, as well as working with such fine thread. I’m using 2-Ply Baguio Cotton Sheen in Blue, with an aluminum 2.00mm hook. The first time I held this hook, I was so scared I’d break it, but it’s a hardy ‘un. The pattern itself is simple once you get the hang of the thin hook, and I’m hopeful that I can finish this in time for FO Friday.

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Now this monster of a project is going to be my mom’s Christmas gift: a waist-length bolero of my own design. I’m going to have to block this one to get the shaping right, and I’m wondering whether I should add cuffs when I’ve sewn the edges together.At any rate, I hope it’ll be comfy yet airy so my mom can wear it all year round.

Baguio Cotton Sheen‘s Earth has hypnotic jewel tones, which was the reason I bought it in the first place. The length and breadth that you see is made out of a 205g ball, with the 250g ball sitting on top of it. Since I just love the colors, I hope there’ll be enough left to make me a hat.

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Alright, so maybe this one doesn’t count in the sense that I haven’t actually put hook to yarn yet but I’ve been planning this one ever since the start of the year, so it’s definitely going to happen. This one, Baguio Cotton Sheen in Blonde is going to be shaped up into my little girl’s birthday dress, and I’m cautiously hopeful that I’ve found the perfect design.

That’s it for WIP Wednesday 🙂

But wait! What about that unexpected addition? Can you guess what it is?

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Did you see that coming?

I finally got my hands on some Japan Surplus yarn! And after I’d given up hope on ever finding one in my vicinity, whaaaaaaaaaat! I got my hands on some pretty plates as well, which will get much more screen time on the blog as props, but that’s not the best part.

All this, the plates, the six giant balls of yarn, only cost me 100 pesos!

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Yes, they’re all acrylic, and there’s some slight smudging on the white ball, but come on! An absolute steal, and it was right at my doorstep all along. Such a beautiful surprise to lift my day up. If anyone wants to know where this particular store is, it’s next to the BPI Bank on the corner of Gemini St. and Alabang – Zapote Road. Fair warning though, they only have a small supply, and the storekeeper told me they wouldn’t be restocking any time soon.

What about you, have any good surprises lately? Crafting anything new?

FO Friday: Scarf, Booties and Hat!

For those not into knitting or crocheting (or crafting in general, I think), FO stands for Finished Object, that creation that you’ve spent hours on, frogging and remaking and getting cramps over. So worth it though, because it’s a great feeling when you’re finally looking at an FO and you know it’s a job well done.

Two weeks ago, I published my first FO post about what I had finished during the first two weeks of March. With two scarves under my belt, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Imagine what I feel now that I’ve got THREE finished projects to show off! I’ll be able to justify another Yarn Traveler haul if I keep this up ^.^Pink Frosting BeanieI don’t usually like bright colors, but this one was too cheerful to pass up. Plus it was perfect for one of my Pay It Forward pledges because she loves pink. I used the Slouchy Crochet Hat pattern from Little Monkeys Crochet, but with a few tweaks to accommodate our (already!) humid weather. The pattern calls for 10ply, but I used 8ply to create a less bulky hat with a hole-y effect. Pink Frosting is a regular two-color variegated cotton yarn from Crafty Kitten Paws, a bit rough on the hands until maybe two-thirds into the ball, but perhaps that was just because of the dyeing process. Once my fingers got used to it, it was easy going and I finished this up in two and a half days.Ocean ShawlThis is my first lace project! Kyaaa, so proud of it. My mom saw it in its beginning stages and immediately asked me to make one for her as well, hahaha. This particular project was modeled after Undeniable Glitter‘s Sparkly Ocean Infinity Scarf. I actually loved the original because it had subtle color changes while still being mostly one color, so it wasn’t monotonous. Ocean  from CKP might look a little bit tamer, but the pattern is the real star.  This particular scarf is going to a friend that I made during my call center days, and because it’s only 6ply, I think it’s perfect for sunny weather outside and the full-blast air conditioning that we sometimes get at work. This yarn was also easier to work with than Pink Frosting; I didn’t notice any roughness, it was just soft and workable all the way through.

And now for the big finish, take a gander at these booties!

Ocean Booties Collage 1There was half of Ocean left after I’d finished the scarf, so I thought I’d make my daughter something.I had an existential crisis before making these, I swear. I was questioning my ability as a mother, a crocheter and a human being. Never before have I been so afraid of failing my daughter. My headspace was a continuous loop of “What if they’re ugly? What if they’re too small? What if she doesn’t like them?”

Turns out there was no need for such drama, because Houdini doesn’t like wearing anything on her feet anyway. She’s been kicking off socks and pulling off gloves ever since she was born, that’s why she’s nicknamed Houdini in the first place ^.^ Regardless, Tamara Kelly of Moogly fame should definitely be proud of her easy-to-follow pattern, Loopy Love Baby Booties. She’s got them in varying sizes as well, from newborn to toddler, so if you’re interested in making your little one a pair, drop by her blog!

So there’s my three finished projects for the second half of March. It may not be much, but it lights a creative fire under me! April’s just started, I wonder what I’ll be able to finished this month?

How about you, have you done anything creative this month? Does your kid like toddling around on her bare feet too?

Yarn Hoard Friday!

I said I would post when it came and here it is!

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Look at them! I just wanna roll in their colors and love them forever!

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Local Hand-dyed Cotton in Yellow Yolk
  • Local Hand-dyed Cotton in Ocean
  • Local Hand-dyed Cotton in Pink Frosting
  • Local Hand-dyed Cotton in Tablea
  • Baguio Cotton Sheen in Earth
  • Baguio Cotton Sheen in Blonde
  • Baguio Cotton Sheen in Seafoam
  • Abaca Fiber in Tan

For those not in the know regarding the local yarn scene here in the Philippines, let me just give a little breakdown.

Crocheting used to be a big deal in my grandmother’s time, but like other handicrafts, it has fallen by the wayside in these modern times. Happily it’s been making a comeback, with online yarn stores and crochet groups available for all to see (and join) on Facebook. The bulk of craft yarn comes from Baguio, where the colder temperatures make shawls and beanies items of necessity, instead of mere fashion statements. There are many types, Cotton Sheen being one of the more uncommon ones, but supply is always one message away so they are the cheapest brand available. The ones I’ve handled before were of a different line (acrylic or rough cotton, I’m not sure) and weren’t really baby clothing appropriate, but Cotton Sheen is much smoother with a lustre that appeals to the magpie in me. As of right now, I don’t have a solid plan for either of the colors that I bought, but I’m on the lookout for something fun and wearable. I’m hoping Blonde works out as my baby girl’s birthday dress, but I’m still searching for a pattern.

Abaca Fiber, also known as Manila hemp, is also sourced from Baguio. It’s very sturdy and surprisingly shiny, but it tangles up oh so easily. I know because there’s a huge mess of it on my lap now. It’s a lesson in patience, it really is. My plans for this will be coasters, many, many coasters for my many, many in-laws. Gotta get a head start on those Christmas gifts if I’m making them by hand!

The mass shipping Baguio yarn aside, the making of local hand-dyed cotton is also taking off, though there are only a few who make them so far. The ones that I have were from the magical hands of Crafty Kitten Paws (awesome name, right?) and they smell delightful. Since they’re handmade, this kind of yarn is more expensive than the first, but not by much if you really want quality stuff. For these sweet-smelling fancies, I’ve got some solid plans : Ocean and Pink Frosting will find new lives as friends’ birthday scarves; Yellow Yolk and Tablea will somehow be crafted into a chevron baby carrier. I lie tell not, Houdini is the reincarnation of a baby koala bear and my arms can’t handle it anymore. I may have to make my own design up though, since there aren’t any baby carriers available on Ravelry.

Fortunately for me (but unfortunately for my bank account), a friend of mine owns the online yarn store that all these babies come from. There are quite a few local shops like these here in the Philippines, but they basically all sell the same thing. My friend is doing her best to stand out from the pack, and so far she’s doing very well. The store’s name is The Yarn Traveler and, joy of joys, she’s unveiling a new line of CKP’s ombres and pastels this weekend. And guess who’s naming them!

Anyway, If I’ve tempted anyone to visit either website to oogle at beautiful pictures of fiber fantasy, drop me a line so we can oogle together!