Tuesday 27 August 2013

Crocheted Baby Beanie Workshop with Red Heart Baby TLC Yarn

Do you need help in crocheting a beanie for a baby or a kid? In this workshop, you will get guidance from me on how to crochet the Baby Bobbles Hat designed by Linda Permann for Red Heart. The yarn provided in this workshop is more than enough for you to make a few more beanies (up to 5, to be conservative) which you can give away as handmade gifts for friends or relatives with babies or kids - and for your own as well, of course!

Participants of this workshop, at the very least, must know how to do a chain and single crochet. For beginners who want to join, come an hour earlier (1:00 PM) to learn some basics.

I have 2 available sessions this September (2:00 - 5:00 PM):
Sep. 25 (Wed), PIPINO Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
Sep. 28 (Sat), PIPINO Jupiter St., Makati City
We will be crocheting with your choice of 3 skeins of Red Heart Baby TLC yarn.
Participants of this workshop also get an Inox Pompom Set. We will use this to make the pompom on top of the hat. This is also a good addition to your craft kit - because you'll never know when you might need pompoms! :)
There will only be 5 slots per session. Fee is P1,650. As mentioned, each participant gets 3 skeins of Red Heart Baby TLC yarn, Inox Pompom Set, printed pattern, and snacks from Pino and Pipino Vegetarian. Participants are required to bring their own crochet hook with size US F5 or G6 (3.75 mm or 4.00 mm). If you do not have any of these hooks, you may purchase this with a set from me for P460.

The Baby Bobbles Hat pattern by Linda Permann is a free download from Red Heart.

To know more about Red Heart Baby TLC yarn, please go to this LINK.

To know more about Susan Bates crochet hooks, please go to this LINK.

To register, please fill up the form below:

Sale Alert at Gantsilyo Guru Selections!

Ice Ice Baby!

We're saying hello to the "Ber" months by offering select Ice Yarn at 25% off! Get your headstart in crocheting/knitting your holiday gifts (or maybe you just want to keep some yarn for yourself).
To avail of the discount, you must checkout these items within Aug. 28 - Sep. 2 and must also pay for these within Aug. 28 - Sep. 6.

Click on this LINK to see all the items we have on sale.

Destashing With Shawls

I've been planning to destash some of the yarn I own for quite some time now. Instead of selling them, I just decided to make shawls out of these unused balls of yarn. And with this weather, I think it's the perfect time to offer shawls.

One challenge for me though is crocheting these shawls. It takes me days to finish one, so I needed to look for a crocheter who I can train and eventually take under my wing to crochet projects for me that meet my personal standards. I met Cristina (more of her in a future post) through our former family driver. She is a stay-at-home mom with no current source of income. She knows how to crochet some basic stitches and that was enough for me. After a few days of training, Cristina was able to crochet these shawls and give them a finish similar to my own :)
"Romantic Lacy Shawl" Pattern by Kathleen Sams for Red Heart
Available colors are (clockwise from top left): old rose, scarlet, pink, and purple. I only have a piece each of these so far. Depending on how much yarn I have left in my stash, I can accept additional orders for colors you may prefer.

Here's the full-length view. Length of the shawl is approximately 60 inches and width is approximately 21 inches.
If you want to make someone happy and warm (not excluding yourself, of course), email me at gantsilyoguru@gmail.com or send me a private message on my page Crochet by the Gantsilyo Guru if you are interested to buy one of these pieces.

Monday 26 August 2013

A Mother's Crochet Story

I met Jodi in one of my workshops. She told me her mom crocheted...a lot! Her story about her mom got me interested. I've met people who told me that their grandma or mother crocheted. Even my mother bragged about her crocheting when she was younger, but she has not shown me any of the pieces she made. I've always wanted to share a story about the "personal" side of crochet in terms of being part of a family's story.

Meet Mommy Dina, Jodi's mom. It was Mommy Dina's birthday last August 6.
The Crocheter: Mrs. Dina Rivera-Lorenzo
Jodi said her mom crocheted every day when it was still her hobby. Even though she had a full day taking care of the household, she found time to curl up on the sofa and crochet.
One of Mommy Dina's crocheted table runners made of mercerised cotton. It has the classic pineapple design.
One of Jodi's childhood memories with her mom involved crochet. At 8, Jodi got curious of her mom's crocheting. Although her curiosity was not enough for her to take the initiative to learn crochet, she still got involved by holding the yarn for her mom instead. Jodi would unravel the yarn from the ball while her mom crocheted. Mommy Dina was a fast crocheter though, so it came to a point when Jodi's "unraveling" became too slow for her. Jodi considered that activity with her mom as a chance to spend some quality time with her.

Mommy Dina was also Jodi's first crochet teacher. She taught her the basic stitches.
Mommy Dina and Jodi
I asked Jodi if she had an idea how many projects her mom crocheted. She said they have a container-full at home that included centerpieces and table covers. Those are only on top of the other pieces her mom gave as Christmas presents to relatives and close friends.
Classic crocheted doilies by Mommy Dina using mercerised cotton yarn
Jodi shared a memorable crochet story about her mom:
"I liked the way I felt her grow when she started experimenting and combining yarn colors. She mostly worked with white and yellow first. One day, she brought home a packed, regular-sized red plastic bag containing balls of different-colored yarn. She showed me the yarn side-by-side each other and asked my opinion on her color choices. Then she came up with all these interesting patterns. My mom was an artist all on her own."
Crocheted doilies by Mommy Dina using mercerised cotton in various colors
Mommy Dina passed away on December 3, 2000. She is survived by her husband Jojo and children Nikko, Jodi, and Tommi.
When Jodi told me her family kept all the crocheted works of Mommy Dina, I did not hesitate to ask if I could show some of them in my blog. Jodi, in turn, did not hesitate for a second to lend them to me. These works are heirloom pieces. Every inch of the yarn used for these works went through the hands of Mommy Dina. It is nice to see that even in seemingly ordinary household pieces, Mommy Dina's presence is felt. This just goes to show that there is a story in every crocheted piece you see. That time was given and shared to finish it. And that they serve as tangible reminders of the life a loved one lived.

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Workshops: Basic Crochet and Motif Crochet-Along

We've got new additions to the rocking chair club :p Meet Elma and Erika! The joined the basic crochet workshop at Craft MNL last July 28.
Elma needed to refresh her crocheting and wanted to understand how to read certain patterns. Erika on the other hand is a beginner. 
Thanks for braving the rain on that day, ladies!

Last August 10, I had a motif crochet-along with two crocheters, Liza and Alexa. We had the workshop in GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes in Eastwood City. We used Red Heart Baby Sheen yarn to make the motifs.
Both of them have definitely been hooked by crochet. This isn't the first time they attended my workshop. 

I think they loved the colorful motifs they did :p

To know the schedule of my upcoming workshops, please go to this LINK.

Saturday 17 August 2013

Workshop Participant Survey: Cebu and Davao in November!

I have been getting requests to hold workshops in Cebu and Davao. I have no trips scheduled within the year so far but the requests for workshops are tempting me to go there :p
So I made this survey form for interested participants for a Crochet Workshop for Beginners. I scheduled tentative dates in November. Details will be revealed once the workshops are confirmed to push through. Those who fill up the form will be given priority for slots. I will only be taking 6 participants per 3-hour session.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Tunisian Crochet For Beginners!

Don't be intimidated by the term. This crochet technique is probably one of the easiest to learn. Known with using an Afghan Hook (resembling a knitting needle in length but with a hook), this style of crocheting produces a durable and slightly elastic fabric and is worked without turning.

I have 2 available Saturday sessions (2:00 - 5:00 PM):
Sep. 7, PIPINO Jupiter St., Makati City
Sep. 14, PIPINO Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
In this workshop, you will learn the basic stitches of Tunisian Crochet using Lily Sugar N' Cream yarn and Susan Bates Afghan Hook. In the poster though, I used Creme de la Creme yarn for the sample swatch. This yarn is very similar to Lily Sugar 'n Cream. Both are worsted weight cotton.
The Susan Bates Afghan Hook we will be using is 14 inches long and has a hook size of 5.5 mm (US I9). It's definitely not your ordinary crochet hook :)
Lily Sugar 'n Cream will be available soon, in very limited quantities and colors, in my online store Gantsilyo Guru Selections. Susan Bates Afghan Hook may already be purchased there as well. Creme de la Creme yarn will be available in the country by end October!

Workshop fee is P1,250. With this, a participant gets to take home 2 skeins of Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn (colors to be chosen by the participant from the stash available), a Susan Bates Afghan Hook, and illustrated instructions. Delicious vegetarian food from Pipino will also be served!

To register, please fill up the form below:

Check out Life After Breakfast's feature (which also has a map to these venues) on PIPINO's branches in Makati and Quezon City.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Ravelry Can Be Your Go-To Crochet/Knit Friend

Are you a Ravelry member?
Screen grab from Ravelry
Well, if you aren't, you should be!

Ravelry is a social networking and resource site for crocheters and knitters. Oh yes, there is such a site! This was introduced to me by crochet designer and blogger, Mimi Alelis

For me, Ravelry is a big-time database. This is where you can log in all your projects with all the details (yarn, hook/needle, pattern, etc.). You can also show off all the yarn that you have by logging in all your yarn in the "stash" feature of your page. So imagine thousands of crocheters and knitters doing the same and you are able to access all of that - wow :p

So why the wow?

You get to find projects and patterns for any yarn. 
Screen grab from the Baby TLC Ravelry page
If you have a yarn in your stash you don't know what to do with or want to find out what to do with the yarn you are planning to buy, just hit the "Search" button and put in the yarn's name and you get to see the various projects other crocheters or knitters are working on with the same yarn. If you click on the project, it will show where the crocheter/knitter got the pattern for the project.
Screen grab of projects that can be used with Baby TLC from Ravelry

You get to see different versions of a pattern using different kinds of yarn.

Every pattern source logged in to Ravelry is linked. So when you see a project you like and click on the pattern source for it, you will be directed to the pattern's page.
Scree grab of "Hermione Hearts Ron" pattern by Christy Aylesworth from Ravelry
The page will show the different versions/adaptations of the same pattern by different crocheters/knitters using different yarn. It's a great tool for yarn subsitution!  

You can get in touch with many crocheters and knitters!

Like Facebook, you get to add friends. You can also join various groups and fora on particular crochet/knitting interests.
Screen grab of Groups Page from Ravelry
I haven't been active in Ravelry but I always log in to get great ideas. I think it's the most extensive social networking site for crocheters and knitters. It knows how we work and what we need. It's definitely worth joining!

Sunday 11 August 2013

Gantsilyo.com Now Open To Serve You!

It's time to come home to some yarn :)
My online yarn store is finally open! I hope there's something in this store for each and every crocheter and knitter out there - in the Philippines, at least :)
You will also be redirected to my store if you click the tab, "Online Store" on my blog.
The products you will see in my online store right now are just my initial offerings. We will be adding more as we try to source the items you need for your crochet and knitting - locally and internationally!

As mentioned in my website's "About" page, it is my hope that what you have bought or will buy from this store will inspire you even more to create and be creative :)

Friday 9 August 2013

It Must Be The Time For Bedspreads

It's August and I just realized that around the same time last year, I started making the African Flower Bedspread. It's a combination of Cannon and Monaco mercerised cotton yarn. Just single strands.  If I chose to make it with double strands, it would have been heavy and chunky. 500+ pieces all handmade.
Now, I'm about to make another one, in a different design. Less colors, but the pattern has more dimension to it. I will be using total of 6 colors of Red Heart Baby Sheen yarn, but will play with those colors per round (I am trying to justify that this project will require the same amount of work I put into the African Flower bedspread - but really, it's not the same amount of work :p). The yarn is thicker than mercerised cotton, so I get a bigger size per motif (thus making it "faster" for me to get wider coverage per piece).

This is the first cluster. I usually make a first batch of motifs before making the rest of the required pieces. I like seeing how the pieces look like together, and it helps me figure out the color combinations for each row.
I went for the typical white border. It also feels fulfilling when you see the alignment of the spaces in the motifs. I'm talking about the "X" pattern of spaces crossing over from one motif to the other.

Each motif is around 4 in. x 4 in.
I'm planning to make a bedspread for a double size bed. It should be around 4.5 ft. x 6 ft. Based on my estimate, I would need 280 pieces (max.) to make the bedspread. Wusha. It took me 2-3 months to make last year's bedspread. I hope I can finish this one within the same time frame - or else it will fall into that void called WIP until next year. I have this thing with WIPs. If their shelf life goes beyond 3 months, they just stay there...forever! :p

This bedspread isn't meant for anyone actually (unlike last year's when a friend asked me to make it for her), so there's no pressure to finish right away. Let's see!

Wednesday 7 August 2013

New Workshop Lineup for September

Hello hello! Got some workshops scheduled for the month of September! Details will be given in future blog posts and through my Facebook Page. Details are already out and registration is ongoing for the August 10 and August 31 Motif Crochet-Alongs.

Checkout my lineup so far:

More workshop dates will be added. This same calendar is posted in the Workshops Page of this blog.

All workshops are inclusive of complete materials (except for hooks) and snacks. Slots are limited to 5 participants per session.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Sometimes, You Just Have To Dismantle

I wasn't quite satisfied with the color combination I used for one of the motifs I will be teaching for the August 10 and August 31 Motif Crochet-Along.
[I have to admit though that looking at this picture now, it wasn't so bad :p]

If a crocheter is not satisfied, the best thing to do is dismantle. After years of crocheting, I have developed this high tolerance for dismantling projects. It doesn't hurt anymore :p One of the worst things a crocheter could experience is the realization that he/she made a mistake several rounds back (or worse, when the project is almost done), and there's the urge to dismantle and repeat. There's a struggle between letting go of some minute lapse (which you can get away with since other people won't notice it anyway) or being completely obsessive compulsive about the entire thing. I usually resort to the latter :p
I used the same yarn from the dismantled piece to crochet another one. Same design, but I used a different color per round.
Here's another motif design which I will teach for the Motif Crochet-Along. I like it when something pops out of a motif. The added layer brings a lot of character to the piece.
You can still sign up for the Motif-Crochet Along! I have 2 workshop dates: August 10 and 31. To find out more about the workshop, please go to this LINK. You may also already register by filling up the form below.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Gantsilyo.Com Opening on August 11!

Last week was a hectic one for me. I've been busy preparing and planning for the store and registering the business. At the end of the day, I think, the juice is worth all the squeeze :)
Pattern for the crocheted numbers from Moogly's site. Yarn used is Monaco acrylic.

There will be yarn.
There will be hooks.
There will be books.
And a whole lot more, of course!

"See you" in my online store this August 11! :) The website, gantsilyo.com, is not up yet. So expect to see nothing until August 11 :p

By the way, if you feel the urge to crochet your own numbers (as if cutting paper or simply drawing them isn't fulfilling), go to this LINK to get the patterns for all digits. Super easy! Thank you, Moogly!