Tuesday 25 November 2014

Gantsilyo Guru Baby Cashmere Acrylic is Here!

Hello, new yarn!

Right off the bat, this is not real cashmere :) But let's just say it comes close enough to the real thing. This yarn is made of 100% acrylic that simulates the softness of cashmere.

I recommend it for just about anything baby - beanies, blankies, clothes, among other things - well, maybe except shoes because this yarn might be too thin.

And no, it's not just for babies! In fact, I crocheted a cowl with it using a 4.0mm hook. This is actually a pattern from Hamanaka (see a previous post about this pattern here). I knew this yarn would be a great choice for this pattern because its lightness complements the design.
The result is a lightweight cowl, which doesn't fall short of making you warm enough if you wear it in the mall or in a very cold air-conditioned office. And guess what, I only used 1 skein of this yarn to make this entire cowl! When draped over the neck (once), the cowl reaches up to 25 inches. You can wrap it twice and wear it closer to your neck without choking you.

One skein is 640 meters long (125 grams). Thickness is Fine (2) with a recommended crochet hook size range of 3.5 - 4.5mm and knitting needles  size range of 3.25 - 3.75mm. Don't be intimidated by the fine thickness of it though. I know it takes more stitches to cover more area, but this yarn is a good choice if you want design and detail to be the highlight of your project.

We have an initial batch of 13 colors you can choose from.

You can choose from dark ones.
[L-R] Black, Magenta, Teal, Plum, White

From bright ones.
[L-R]: Salmon, Turquoise, Apricot, Lime, Soft Grey

And from multicolored ones too.
[L-R]: Bluebells, Rock-A-Bye, Playground
You can buy your skein of Gantsilyo Guru Baby Cashmere Acrylic here at PHP 225.00 per skein. We offer a PHP 20.00 discount per skein if you buy 3 or more of this yarn. Please be informed though that for now, our online store does not automatically compute (yet) this discount, so you would have to wait for another email from us with your final (adjusted) deposit amount with shipping fee. 

I hope you enjoy working on this yarn as much as I did! 

Monday 3 November 2014

Paper Stories Bazaar This November 8!

November will be a full month for me for weekend yarn pop-ups and I am excited to announce the first one this month! I will be part of the Paper Stories Bazaar by Paper Club at Heima Home and Lifestyle (Pasig) on November 8 (Saturday).
Paper Stories is a small independent market for crafts, art, and design. Check out last month's Paper Stories event HERE.

For this pop-up, I will be offering 8 varieties of my very own line of yarn which is still not available online at Gantsilyo Guru Selections. Here's a preview!
Not all colors are shown in this picture. Believe me, I have so much more! I am very excited for this initial offer during my pop-ups. Expect online availability of some of them within the month and more stocks and colors to arrive January next year.

Heima Home and Lifestyle is located at Unit 103, Three Brixton Bldg., #3 Brixton St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Bazaar will be open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

If you can't make it this Saturday, I have more pop-ups this November!

Tuesday 19 August 2014

My New Crochet "Gadget"

Having a new crochet tool is like getting the latest version of some gadget for me. I just discovered one, thanks to a friend who introduced it to me (out of the need to have one as well). Can you see it here?
For those of you who have seen some of my travel blog posts, you might know by now that I like to bring my crochet along with me (as much as possible) anywhere I go. This tool has proven to be an essential (and badass) accessory for me. It's so badass, it deserves an entire blog post!
This is the Clover Yarn Cutter Pendant. Yes, it is a cutter. Yes, you can wear it! And did I mention, it looks badass too? I love it so much that ever since getting one for myself, I've been wearing it with my necklace. I retained the other pendant to make it look more "stylish." 

The yarn can be cut by using any of the grooves in the pendant. There's a very sharp circular blade inside. Don't worry, it won't cut any of your fingers! The blade is secured and masked by the thick grooves. It really cuts the yarn clean. 
I wonder if this will get through the last check in the airport. I still have to test it. I remember risking bringing my treasured Hamanaka aluminum crochet hook in my hand carry together with the skein of yarn I am working with. It went through, thank goodness! I don't know for this one. Cutters or scissors are not allowed in the plane, so this is a mystery I have to solve!

And yes, you can buy this cutter HERE :)

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Gantsilyo Guru Selections is a Year Old!

Gantsilyo Guru Selections is a year old! We wouldn't be able to reach a year without the support of family, friends, partners, and of course, our clients - you who actually dared to buy our offerings even without seeing them in person and of course dared to create with them. THANK YOU!
We are excited for the coming days, weeks, months, and even years for the store. As a small gesture of our appreciation, we will be giving away this yarn stash (bowl not included) to one lucky person who will be drawn from a list of those who purchased any item from our store this month of August! The recipient of the stash will be named on September 1. The announcement will be made at my store's Facebook page, Gantsilyo Guru Selections.

If you're wondering about what these unlabeled skeins of yarn are, they are pretty much "clues" to what's coming ahead. Yes, that means more yarns :) Lots of them!

By the way, I created another Instagram account dedicated solely to the products we offer in our store. Follow us @yarnsph :)
Of course, I still have my other Instagram account, @gantsilyoguru. This is where I post my projects and crocheting adventures. 

Tuesday 29 July 2014

You Know You're Addicted To Crochet When You...

How do you know if you're addicted to crochet? Well, here's my list!

Or I may just be describing myself here.
  • Have tons of yarn in your Wish List. Just because.
  • Bring it anywhere! In the airport, in the car, at work, in the salon, during your vacation, and possibly even during a date (?)
  • Have skipped a meal because...you were crocheting
  • Tell yourself you'll stop after this row or round but end up making 10 more rows or rounds before you actually stop
  • Have a bag that has at least a hook and/or a skein/ball of yarn
  • Think yarn hoarding actually means only "collecting" or "preparing" for a future project
  • Know the etymology of the word "crochet"
  • Have at least two of these sites bookmarked in your browser: Moogly, Ravelry, Petals to Picots, Red Heart, Yarnspirations, Crochet Crowd, Etsy, Interweave, Crochet Geek, Crochet Pattern Central, etc. 
  • Are already used to doing it in public (alone) and don't care what other people think when they see you
  • Take your coffee with your crochet (or the other way around). [This is another topic that can take up a whole blog entry for me]
  • Have that "ability" to see the "potential" in every yarn
  • Count how many skeins or balls of yarn your meal could buy
  • Have more yarn in your stash than clothes in your closet
  • Consider a bad day to be the absence of crochet
  • Can easily spot in less than a second the "prodigal" stitch in a project
  • Can crochet with your eyes closed (yes, it can be done)
  • Already know your crocheting angle in pictures [insert vain crocheting picture here]
  • Always have to post your latest work online and say, "Fresh off the hook!"
  • Know the difference between a Hamanaka and a Clover or a Susan Bates and a Boye
  • Already have your own yarn swatches
  • Begin to worry about carpal tunnel
  • Are actually considering getting a rocking chair
  • Have 2-3 different kinds of hooks...of the same size!
  • Look forward to the weekend because you can stay at home and crochet (and probably not socialize)
  • Have more WIPs than finished projects
  • Have worn a head lamp to try to crochet in the dark (or use a lighted crochet hook)
  • Have crocheted at least 1 of each type of project: coaster, doily, shawl/scarf, blouse, afghan, bedspread, amigurumi
  • Are already thinking of your next project while crocheting another one 
  • Automatically daydream of crocheting when you see the sight of rain (or better yet, jump into it right away)
  • Make a list like this :p

Thursday 26 June 2014

A Summer of Crochet Love

Where did summer go?!

Summer is officially over and what a season it was for crochet! I held 7 crochet workshops in various locations in Metro Manila.
Pretty granny squares from one of my basic crochet workshops!
And here are the new "hookers" of Summer 2014! I held a workshop at Designer Blooms Cafe in Alabang last March 22.
There were 3 basic crochet workshops in Pipino Vegetarian in Quezon City. This one was last March 29.
The May 11 group!
It was also on this day where we had a Craft Pop-Up! Of course, I had my trunk full of yarn!
And just recently, last June 21.
There was also a basic crochet workshop at Pino/Pipino in Makati last April 27.
I also taught the basics of Tunisian Crochet in 2 workshops last April 26 and May 24.
This was a session held in GIGI Coffee & Cupcakes in Eastwood.
We did a couple of swatches of basic Tunisian Crochet stitches in these workshops.
If you are interested to join any of my crochet workshops, you can check out my calendar HERE. You can click the links below to be directed to the registration forms:

Wednesday 11 June 2014

266 Pieces. Done.

I am finally done crocheting all 266 motif pieces of the queen-sized bedspread I started last year. And this is how I monitored my count.

One word. Excel.

I am a sucker for Excel. You can organize anything on Excel, so I decided to plan my motif layout for this bedspread on it. Thing is, all the motifs on this project have the same design and only use the same 6 colors on each piece - so why have a layout? I had to make sure the order of the colors on each piece doesn't have the same order as the one beside it. The seemingly random look this bedspread has was planned. I am very detail-oriented, and it pretty much reflects on my choices for my crochet projects.

Excel also helped me monitor how many motifs I have made so far and whether or not I was doing the right number of this certain motif with a specific color order. 
Oh yes, I am O.C. that way. All I need to do now is to sew all of them together. The sewing part is not exactly what I am looking forward to, but it must be done. I hope to post the finished bedspread soon!

Monday 2 June 2014

My "Crochet Rules To Live By"

I have these self-imposed rules when I undertake a crochet project. They help me a lot in achieving the results I want. I'm pretty sure other crocheters have their own versions too.

 My 3-Hook Test
When I undertake a project that has a recommended hook size, I test that hook plus 2 more hooks: one with a size lower and the other with a size higher. You see, I'm not a gauge person. I don't make the gauge to make sure I have the correct hook size or yarn thickness for the project. I rely purely on what I think looks okay. Very subjective, I know.
I test the first row or round with the recommended hook. If it looks (or feels) tight, I use a higher-sized hook than the original. If it looks (or feels) loose, I use the lower-sized option. 

Color Combinations Matter
I am very sensitive to color combinations. They can make or break a project. A simple project which can only be made of single or double crochets can look marvelous with the right color combinations. There are many sites out there that specifically cater to color combinations. I get my color inspirations from various interior design and fashion resources. Pantone is a great resource too.
Red Heart Creme de la Creme Yarn [L-R]: Aqua Jade, Brite Orange, Brite Green, Sunshine
The Back Should Look As Good As The Front
Or at least as clean. This is my rule especially when working with flat projects like motifs, spreads, and doilies. If your back is as clean as the front, then you did a great job. Hide your yarn tails properly. It would be better if you can hide them as you crochet.
Crocheted with Red Heart Baby Sheen Yarn
Never Rule Out Unraveling
I have learned how to deal with unraveling. It takes some zen-like attitude to be okay with this process. There are different reasons why I unravel: if I made a very obvious mistake that is hard to hide, if I lost count somewhere, or if I don't really like how my project is looking.
Do you have your own crochet rules too?

Monday 19 May 2014

Gantsilyo Guru on ANC Shoptalk

Last May 1, I had the opportunity to talk about my little online yarn store, Gantsilyo Guru Selections, on ANC Shoptalk.
This is me bring proper and all :p

I'm a fan of the show because I always get inspired by the stories of their guest entrepreneurs. I would learn a thing or two about starting a business from every episode. It was my turn not only to talk about my business but also to bring crochet "out there." I am happy I get to share this craft to a bigger audience.
Photo taken by rytphotog
I brought some of the yarn and supplies from my store, as well as some sample projects.
Photo taken by rytphotog
I've been watching this show for quite some time, but I only found out days before the shoot that it's a live telecast! I always thought every episode was taped.

I also had a mini crochet demo with the host, Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo. We only had a few seconds but we pulled one off by having her do some chains!
If you want to check out my interview, click the image below to be directed to the video from ANC. Super thankful to ANC Shoptalk for guesting small entrepreneurs like me!
Shoptalk is shown on ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) live every Thursday, 7:00 PM, on Channel 27 at Sky Cable.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

On Baby Booties

There is one thing I am sure of when it comes to crocheted baby booties (or shoes): they should be comfortable!

I don't know much about babies but I know they have sensitive skin (especially newborns), so I guess it is ok to assume that choosing the yarn with the right fiber is key. The yarn has to be soft and lightweight. Do take note though that the kind of booties/shoes I am talking about here is not for walking. I am talking about booties/shoes for newborns and infants.
People have been asking me what types of yarn I recommend from my store for baby projects such as these. I am only confident about recommending if I have tried the yarn, have gotten feedback from those who used them before, or have read reviews on them. 

I have crocheted with two types of yarn for baby booties/shoes that fit the description above: Red Heart Baby Sheen and Hamanaka Paume.

This one was crocheted with Red Heart Baby Sheen in Pink and Hamanaka Aluminum Crochet Hook 5/0 (3.0mm). This is a free pattern designed by Ashlee. This is 100% acrylic, but it doesn't feel like your typical acrylic yarn. First off, it's thin (with a Fine 2 yarn thickness) and you don't get the usual visible loose fiber with it. I shaped the sample below with some paper filling to highlight the shape of the booties. You can learn more about this yarn in this blog post I made last year. This pair consumed only a small amount from the compact skein of Red Heart Baby Sheen.
Crochet Wrap Around Booties with Buttons for Infants Desgined by Ashlee
It was a treat working with Hamanaka Paume. This yarn is made of 100% organic cotton from Japan. These shoes were made with Hamanaka Paume 93 (Yellow). This is an original design by Hamanaka. The pattern is available upon request when you purchase a ball from my store.
This yarn is really soft! It has a very smooth texture and I kid you not when I say the yarn just went gliding through my fingers and hook when I was working with it. It consumed only a ball for this pair for a newborn. I used Hamanaka Aluminum Crochet Hook 5/0 (3.0mm). There are 5 pretty pastel colors to choose from. Good news is, they are on clearance sale!
There are many free patterns for baby booties/shoes available on the internet. Here are 2 more free patterns I like:

I also found this simple measurement chart for babies' feet for different ages. This should help you figure out the length of the sole if you want to make something in advance.

Other yarn alternatives available in my online store for baby projects are:

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday 7 May 2014

A Weekend of Crafty Goodness at the Craft Pop-Up!

My very crafty friends and I will be having a Craft Pop-Up this weekend, May 10-11, at Pipino!
It will be a full weekend of craft workshops by Life After Breakfast, Hey Kessy, and Gantsilyo Guru Selections and weekend-long offerings of craft tools and supplies (washi tapes, watercolor sets, calligraphy paper, and many more!), craft kits from iTryDIY, and of course yarn and crochet/knitting supplies! This is your (rare) chance to see and feel some of the yarn and materials I sell online!
We will also be joined by Craft Carrot this weekend! Craft Carrot is a new craft supplies shop and they will be selling calligraphy tools, brush pens, rubber blocks, and paintbrushes!
I still have 2 slots left for the Basic Crochet Workshop on May 11 (9:00 AM - 12:00 NN). This workshop is great for those who have never held a crochet hook before or for those who might need a crochet refresher. Please click HERE to register.
Please go to Life After Breakfast's blog to register for the Brush Calligraphy & Lettering Workshop and Hey Kessy's site to register for the Washi and Papercutting Workshop.

See you there!

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Doily, What?

Here's an idea. Get any doily pattern (any doily!) and instead of using the usual mercerized cotton yarn or thread, use a thicker (and shimmery) yarn, like this one!
I used Red Heart Holiday yarn with a 5.0mm hook (US H8 or Japanese 8/0) to crochet a big "doily" of sorts. I got the pattern from this vintage book, published in 1975, called "Decorating with Crochet" by Anne Halliday.
The place mat in this picture had a diameter of 16.5 inches. Mine ended up with 24 inches, because I used thicker yarn. Instead of using it as a table place mat, I plan on making it a decorative floor mat! Because floors need to be pretty too!
Red Heart Holiday and Red Heart Celebration yarn may already be branded as the kind of yarn you use for holiday projects, but try to see past that and you can create playful things with them. The shimmer on them ain't so bad too!
I'm not so sure if I can give the pattern away, but click HERE for free vintage crochet patterns for doilies (ssoooooo many pretty doilies)! Choose your doily and make a bigger version of it using Red Heart Holiday or Red Heart Celebration yarn!
Because you reached this part of my blog entry (thank you!), I have a treat for you! Please click the link below to see!