Wednesday 26 September 2012

Taking Care of Your Crochet Hands

I've been crocheting a lot (and I mean A LOT) lately and I thought about how to make sure my hands are still okay for the next years of my life for crocheting. I fear the day when I would stop crocheting just because I developed some complication from crocheting too much :p I need to start taking preventive action before I experience any pain or numbness in my hands or arms.

I'm pretty sure some crocheters out there have blogged about this topic, so I found these:

1. Renee Blixt: She has her recommendations on how to prevent aches and pains.

2. Racheal & LeahThey have listed six hand exercises/stretches that help loosen finger joint muscles. And yes, they have pictures of stretching hands that go with it :) They're not doctors, so there's also a disclaimer.

3. Cheryl Dennett (Yahoo! Voices): She provided tips on how you can be comfortable while crocheting. She even mentioned that there are craft stores that sell therapeutic gloves or braces that can be worn while crocheting (not sexy).

I got curious how a therapeutic glove looks like. I found this one from the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Website:
This is hardcore. I don't know how hardcore I need to be for me to start wearing this.

4. Kat NelsonShe's a massage therapist AND a crocheter - 'nuff said :) After consulting her doctor for pain in her elbow and wrist, she was told that she needed surgery and was advised to give up crocheting (nnnooohhhh). Refusing to give up on crochet, she used a massage technique called trigger point therapy and claimed success in eliminating the pain. There's a disclaimer, of course.

5. Janie: She's a needlework hobbyist and was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel. Like Kat Nelson, she refused to get surgery. So she resorted to wearing a specialized hand brace called, "Carpal Solution."

Monday 24 September 2012

Workshop 1: Basic Crochet on Oct. 27 at Craft MNL

This is it! This will be fun! I will be facilitating a crochet workshop in Craft MNL :) Excited!

You can choose between the AM and PM sessions. Only 8 participants can be accommodated per session. Participants get a crochet kit inclusive of yarns, hooks, and patterns.

Click this link to register.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Marc Jacobs Shawl: $1,800. Crocheted Shawl for Mom: Priceless!

Not even Marc Jacobs' crocheted shawl can compete with a personally-crocheted shawl for one's own momma :)
I crocheted a shawl last year for my mom, after ages of being asked to make one for her. I was only able to make one last year because I didn't have good yarns - until Rob got great yarns for me from Australia. They were bought from Morris & Sons, and called "Quartet" yarns made from 70% wool and 30% soybean fiber (8-ply).
Colors are called "Burnish" (left) and "Quill" (right)
I only had 2 sets of each color, and I had to work my way around the limited amount of yarn to be able to make a shawl. Luckily, their colors seemed to jive.
Because I was ignorant before of the importance of taking note of pattern sources for projects, I cannot provide (as of now) my source for this one. The pattern is very simple though. It's just made up of double crochet and chain stitches. I guess what makes this shawl unique is the combination of yarns I used. I got disappointed with my mom though when she had the shawl washed without reading the proper washing instructions for the yarn. The frills turned out to be a bit stiff because of improper washing.

By the way, it's not my mom modelling the shawl. :)
So if you can crochet, make something nice for your mom or a loved one. It's more rewarding that way...and it adds to the warmth :p

Thursday 20 September 2012

Hermes Greenbelt 3 Display

I drooled when I saw the display of Hermes in Greenbelt 3. It wasn't because of the bags or the scarves. But the yarns. They hoarded yarns to wrap them around branches.
I don't really get it :) I'm not deep enough to understand the art behind it :p Basically, scarves and ties were placed on these "yarned" branches (or conspicuous trunks).
I wonder how much yarns they used for these displays.
Please contact me Hermes Greenbelt 3 when you decide to dismantle your displays :p It'll be such a waste if you just throw these yarns away. I can definitely make (more) beautiful things out of these yarns. Heck, you could have just asked me to crochet a tree for you than wrap yarns around branches (yes, the bitterness is showing because they can afford to use so much yarns) :p

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Spotted: Marc Jacobs Crocheted Shawl

I saw this Marc Jacobs ad in Greenbelt 4 and noticed the crocheted shawl on the model.
So my first impression was, "Tsk, I can do that." Well yeah, I can. It's mostly just double crochet stitches - nothing complicated. I checked out the Marc Jacobs site (Fall 2012 Collection) to see how much it costs.

Did you see the price?!?! $1,800!!!! With the current exchange rate, that's around PhP75,000!!!
Picture cropped from Marc Jacobs Website
Maybe the yarn used is expensive, but dang, that is one expensive shawl. It's a given that you have the Marc Jacobs label on it and I guess that adds value to it. If it didn't have the label, it would probably be just some shawl.

But kudos to this. It highlights the value of handmade material. Premium must be paid for something handmade...even if it's just a shawl :)

Monday 17 September 2012

No winter in the Philippines: Not an excuse for not crocheting a scarf

For a crocheter to get "devirginized" in the realm of crocheting wearable stuff, I highly suggest making a scarf. Even though it's practically unwearable in the Philippines (except maybe in the Benguet province or when it gets windy and cold during the "ber" months), a scarf can be your legit claim to crocheting prowess. It shows that you are patient enough to finish a big project and indie enough to make something you can wear yourself.

I did this one, back in 2006 or 2007 I think, for my friend Aica who lives in Baguio City (in the Benguet province).
Because I want to shy away from the typical "scarfy" shape, I decided to use a "wavy" pattern. I forgot my pattern source for this (not documenting projects before is a regret). I'm not really a fan of using multicolored yarns because I think the colors are too distracting and they tend to hide the beauty of the pattern. But I had to try it anyway :p
Aica said it keeps her warm when she wears it, so I guess it's officially a useful scarf :p
Thanks for the pics, Aics! I have officially made you my scarf model :p

Saturday 15 September 2012

I made a poem about crochet. I reached a new state of crochet being.

Forget about my portfolio of crocheted stuff or my affinity for yarns or even my desire to build a crochet empire. If you want proof that I (may) have a (sick) emotional attachment to crochet, this is it.

I made a poem about crochet. Yes, a f*#%^&*g poem. The kind that makes me want to crawl under the covers for when read again. But because I am shameless about it now and I think I have the street cred for it, here it is. Oh, by the way, this was made back in 2006 (I think). I was 23 or 24. Take note that I was stuck in my room and wasn't exposed to much sun when I was writing it. It's in Tagalog (don't expect me to translate if you can't understand it).

Here it is.


Bawat pasok sa butas
Dumadaloy sa mga daliring
Nananakit ngunit nangangailangan
Ng dahilan upang magpatuloy
Sapagkat walang saysay 
Ang pagtatangkang nag-uumpisa
Sa iisang hatak ng sinulid 
Kailangan panindigan
Ang nasimulan
Kahit kumikirot na ang kalamnan
Sa bawat pagdulas
Hanggang sa mabuo
Ang balabal 
Mula sa kawalan

And....there goes my pride :p

And....yes, I only realized that there was some "undertone" to it until my former English teacher pointed it out after reading it. So it isn't just a crochet poem after all. It's crochet porn :p Freudian slip manifested in the craft of maneuvering a hook and yarn with fingers.

I may have just reached a higher state of crochet being. Boo yeah.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Can't Wait for Summer Earrings

Here they are. I am finally unloading these earrings for sale :) I only made 1 pair for each design and color.

Check out my Facebook Page for details.

Wheel Earrings
Floral Pansy Earrings
Swirl Earrings
Floral Chain Earrings
Floral Picot Earrings

Sunday 9 September 2012

Motifs Overload

Been working hard in taking on my African Flower Challenge.
So far, I have made 248 motifs (out of the 540 required - made adjustments out of the initial 480 motifs estimated). Here are some of the motifs stacked up before they are sewn together.
I figured the efficient (and fastest) way for me to crochet these motifs is to make the required number of motifs for one set of color combinations in one go. But earlier, I already stitched up motifs just so I have an idea how they look like together.
The picture above is a "cluster" of motifs. Each cluster is made up of 22-23 motifs. I calculated that I need 24 clusters to complete the 4x6 ft. size requirement. I have completed (meaning sewn together) 6 clusters and currently have 131 waiting to be sewn together. I'm planning to crochet the remaining balance of 292 motifs before sewing them up in clusters. I am planning to sew the entire blanket by connecting all the clusters I made. Gets? :p

I'm almost there! My fingers might get 6-pack abs once I finish the entire blanket. I hope I get to unveil it soon.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Watch out for the Earrings!

I am finally unleashing my latest earrings creations. Light as a feather when worn. Will provide details once I start selling them :p

"Hooked for Life:" A Book on One's Passion for Crochet

Every time I visit a bookstore, my first stop is always the Crafts Section to look for crochet books. When I say "crochet books," I mean books that have crochet patterns in it. I mean, what else do you expect but crochet patterns, right? Someone writing an autobiographical account of her passion for crochet? 

Then I found this book. It was the only copy in the shelf of Fully Booked in High Street:
OMFG. Someone actually wrote an autobiographical account of her passion for crochet. Who does that? Well apparently, Mary Beth Temple did. And I love her for that. Here's what Mary Beth Temple had to say about the book:

"Hooked for Life is a celebration of what crocheting is to those of us who love it. Not an apologia to those who do not understand, for they probably never will. Not a defense of crochet, for it needs no defending. This book is a celebration of what is wonderful about the craft, nay, the art, of crochet. If you love crochet as I do, or at least have a yarny open mind, please read on. There is more to honor than to scorn, and I welcome you on my journey." 
- Mary Beth Temple (from the back cover of "Hooked for Life")
Mary Beth Temple
Darn. I love her. From a brief history of crochet to her personal take on crochet myths and her sentiments on various "crocheter issues," she allowed us to take a peek on the things that confront crocheters worldwide. I found myself relating with her. Here's an excerpt that I can so totally relate with:

"The lure of thread is powerful. For those who feel its call, there is nothing like it. You are the master of the tiny hook and the delicate thread; you can carry around a month's worth of crochet in the palm of your hand (unlike, say, an afghan junkie); you can use your crochet to beautify yourself and your home. And you will never be bored with your work because thread projects have endless stitch and pattern variations." 
-Mary Beth Temple (from "Hooked for Life," p.15)