Wednesday 29 January 2014

The Hookie

Otherwise known as the selfie you would take of your hand/s with your crochet hook :p

This is the hookie of my hand holding my Hamanaka crochet hook. This is how I actually hold my crochet hook - like holding a pen. There are some who hold the hook with the hand completely on top of the hook.
There's another hookie option, of course. Behold the hand beside the hook...and the ring. I bought it on sale for P80+ in The Ramp in Glorietta and it's awesome. Maybe I can put a magnet under the ring so I can have an automatic tapestry needle holder (yes, I'm serious about this).
The veins! 

My hand, obviously, is not a pretty hand. I'm proud and thankful for it though because I get to crochet with it :)

Monday 20 January 2014

New Offerings at Our Store!

2014 is looking brighter and bigger for our online store, Gantsilyo Guru Selections!

We just added new accessories to help you with your crochet and/or knitting experience. Although these are being initially offered at limited quantities, we intend to replenish our stocks every month.
We also have fresh stocks of yarn from Ice and Kuka! We have the colorful Ice Gold Batik yarn made of blends of Angora or Merino wool. I highly recommend them for scarves and shawls! A plain design can look interesting with the yarn's color gradations.
These skeins of Kuka Merino Bulky yarn are soft! You can make beanies, scarves, and shawls with these. Achieve more with fewer stitches because of this yarn's bulkiness.
We also replenished stocks of our Kuka Summer Mercerised cotton yarn. These are the colors we have in stock. One of our clients made colorful tops with this yarn and said that it has a delicious texture!
And now, the motherload! These are not yet available as of today BUT they will be by next week!

Maybe I was thinking of summer when I got these colors :) Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn is great for decor, accents, and even accessories like bags. They are made of 100% U.S.A grown cotton. This initial batch has 6 skeins per color. All skeins are in Super Sizes!
We will also launch Caron Simply Soft yarn together with the "Lilies." We got inspired by Pantone's colors for Spring 2014 for our color choices! It's a pairing of soft pastels with vivid brights. We only have 3 skeins of each color. We will be replenishing our stocks and will be adding more colors monthly.
We will make an announcement in our store's Facebook Page if the Lily Sugar 'n Creams and Caron Simply Softs have already been uploaded to our online store.

We will also be accepting pre-orders of the Caron and Lily yarn. Details will be provided very soon!

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Yarn Tip 2: Hook Size Matters

It does! Also for knitting needles, of course! Since I'm a crocheter, I'll be focusing on hooks.

When working with any yarn, you have to have the right hook size. The simplest reason for this is, if you have a bigger or smaller hook than what is required for a particular yarn and project, you will end up with looser or tighter stitches. I remember when we were taught crochet in high school and we were only given those very small steel hooks. We had no knowledge of hook sizes and only used those steel hooks to work with mercerized cotton yarn. Most of us (if not all) ended up with curled up doilies. Because of that, most of my classmates lost faith in crochet - simply because they thought they could never make it right. Little did we know that we only had the wrong hook size.
So how do you know if you have the right hook size? Well, you can start by looking at what the pattern requires. That sounded like a brainless advice, but some people get confused what hook to use just because the sizing label on their hook is different from what the pattern is requiring.

You see, there are different sizing labels for crochet hooks and knitting needles: US, UK/Canadian, Japanese, and Metric. You might think your hook with the size 10/0 is different from another hook with size 6.00 mm. They're just the same. One uses the Japanese sizing label and the other is being labeled in its equivalent metric size.
You just need to have a conversion table! I plotted this one out. You can also download the PDF file HERE.
I also plotted a conversion table for knitting needles. You can download the PDF version HERE.
Sometimes though, even if you have the hook the pattern suggests, the outcome might not be what you expected (or at least look like the picture of the finished project). I think this can be attributed to the tension of the person. First off, you might want to check the gauge of the pattern or the yarn. If your gauge doesn't match that of the pattern (or yarn), then you might want to adjust. If you have really tight stitches, use a hook one size bigger. If they're too loose, use a smaller one.

It can be subjective too, you know. There are times when I don't follow the suggested hook size. I always experiment with different kinds of yarn and I always make chains with different hooks to check what looks best.

So that's my small tip for the week. Hope I made some sense!

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Getting There!!!

Remember the bedspread I started with Red Heart Baby Sheen?

I went on full blast crochet mode to make motif pieces for the bedspread just this December. I'm supposed to make 266 pieces in total and have so far done almost half! 
I think I will be able to finish the entire queen size bedspread by February. When people ask me where I get the patience to make big projects like this one, I just say I simply like doing it. Thing is, even if I am doing the same pattern over and over again, every piece I make seems to be different from the one I made before. It's not just because of the different color combinations. I think it's also because I go through something different every time I make a piece. Curious, eh? I don't know, really. Crochet is very psychological :p

Here's the back side of my sample cluster. Do not underestimate the power of the back! One must try to have the back side of a crocheted piece to be as clean as the front, especially for bedspreads. It wouldn't be nice to have an ugly back when you turn it over. 
Now I shall go back to my hermit cave and crochet some more. 

Sunday 5 January 2014

Yarn Tip 1: Make Yarn Swatches

If you're a hardcore crocheter or knitter, having yarn swatches is a must. Yarn swatches can help you remember gauges, textures, and even color combinations. Maybe this is something you can do this 2014!
In my case, obviously, it's all about color combinations. These swatches easily give me inspiration for color schemes for my crochet projects. I just whipped up a few rows of single crochets to create small rectangles of colorful goodness :)

My yarn swatch collection is still a work in progress. They still lack labels. In my labels, I intend to include the yarn brand, type, color, and hook size used to make those swatches. It may sound like a lot of work but it will be worth it, for sure.

I placed these swatches in a photo album with inserts I bought from a bookstore.
I will be placing the labels just above the swatches. The swatches will be secured by double-sided tape so they won't slip out of the album.
I also have my African Flower swatches! Having swatches done in rounds, instead of rows, show a different take on color combinations.
Now, go forth and make your own swatches!

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Crocheting With Eyes Closed

I don't know really know why I'm putting this video up. Well, I have an excuse because it is crochet-related and this is a blog about crochet :)

Behold, my attempt to crochet with my eyes closed. I am not saying I did the stitches correctly. [Warning: No daring all]
Kids, don't try this at home or anywhere else. Because if someone sees you, they might avoid you :p

Happy New Year! May we all explore our weirdness and not be afraid to show it!