Wednesday 30 December 2015

Happy New Year, Gantsilyo Gang!

2015 was a remarkable one for me. I just opened my very first Yarn Studio (which I still have to blog about), launched quite a number of yarn varieties, and pretty much took on challenges I didn't think I could conquer. 

It was also an unremarkable one for this blog, sadly! Four blog entries in 2015! Now that is sad! I couldn't say I was distracted, because I diverted my attention to other things. I have to admit that I crocheted less in 2015. I am hoping that will change in 2016 :)

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Coloring with Yarn

It's not exactly like adult coloring, but it's super fun too! Crocheting a mandala is a great example of coloring with yarn. And believe me, it's not that hard! It's mostly made up of basic stitches. I had been putting off making a mandala because I was afraid it might take up a lot of my time and I might get overwhelmed by the color choices. Guess what, I finished mine in 5 days!

My first challenge was to find a pattern. I wasn't looking for the most complicated one out there. I was just after something that had many color layers which used simple stitches like single or double crochets. I scoured the internet for a free pattern and found, "Lucienne's Summer Mandala." I think it was the perfect pattern! 
 The pattern/tutorial is shown at Lucienne's blog in several parts. Click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Do take note that she is using UK abbreviations, so you might want to consider the following:

Tr (UK) = Dc (Double crochet)
Htd (UK) = Hdc (Half double crochet)

I used Gantsilyo Guru Milk Cotton Light yarn with a 4.0 mm crochet hook for my version of this mandala. It was an easy choice for me because the yarn is lightweight and I have many colors to choose from this line. The lightweight factor is a major consideration because the mandala will be hanged. The yarn also holds a good shape with some stretch because of its cotton and acrylic blend. I ended up with this palette of 8 colors: Fuchsia, Burnt Sienna, Spring Green, Terracotta, Tangerine, Sky Blue, Sunshine, and Plum.
I had doubts about some of the colors in this set because they didn't seem to jive with the others, but they turned out pretty well in the mandala. I think mandala patterns make any color palette look good. They seem to make sense after the entire project is made.

The size of the mandala in the pattern was not enough for the wooden hoop on which I planned to mount it. I needed a mandala around 23.5 inches in diameter for the hoop, so I decided to add more rounds from Round 28.

It actually took me around 2 days to crochet the mandala and 3 days to attach it to the wooden hoop using single crochet. Attaching was so hard because I had to maneuver my hook around the hoop so it could get completely covered by the yarn. I'm pretty sure there's an easier way, but at least I was able to make the "harder" version. I'm happy with how it came out. I had some initial reservations though about the "imperfect" circle shape of the hoop, knowing that it would affect the shape of the mandala, but I guess "ignoring" in this case helps :p

Not bad for my first mandala, eh? You can also check out other mandala patterns available online:

Click the link below to see the pattern for the additional rounds.

Friday 10 July 2015

Motifs Make Me Happy

Hello, hello! It's already July and it's been months since I made a blog entry! I will talk about this hiatus on a different post because projects need to be shared. Right away!

I have been busy decorating a "special place." As some of you might know, I am quite fond of crocheting motifs. I use them mostly to make accessories and home accents. The motif pattern I recently undertook wasn't new to me. I actually made earrings with it, using DMC Pearl Cotton Thread. This time though, I wanted to try it out with bulky yarn, and this is what I got.
I didn't exactly plan to make 7 pieces. My original plan was to use the original pattern as a jump-off point to make a larger piece by making my own pattern. I had several attempts but all of them didn't come out right, so I went back to the same smaller pattern and decided to attach each one as I went along.
Each motif is around 14 inches in diameter. I crocheted them using 2 strands of Gantsilyo Guru Bulky Cashmere Blend in Royal Purple and Grey and with an 11.5mm Susan Bates Crystalites Hook. I tried making a motif with just a strand, but it didn't come out as bulky as I wanted. I used 2 whole cakes and around 20% of another cake for each of the 2 colors (total of 3 cakes per color).

By the way, if you're wondering how I used 2 strands using the last cake (because for the first 2, I just put together the strands from both of them), I just pulled out the inner tip of the cake and combined it with the outer one. It's a good way to conserve yarn (instead of getting 2 cakes), especially when you're just going to use a short length.
Using this yarn for a "rug" is quite a splurge just because the feel is really nice. Projects crocheted or knitted with this yarn are usually scarves/shawls or afghans. I would rather look at it than step on it! This is a good project though if you want a decorative piece on your floor that you want to sit on or you want your kids to play (or lie down) on. It's not the kind of rug you wipe your shoes on (excuse the feet).
Aren't motifs awesome?!?! Try looking at them under a different light and experiment with them using bulky yarn. You can create an entirely new project just by changing the size of your yarn.

The motif pattern is Pattern No. 186 from the "300 Crochet Motifs Pattern Book." All materials are available at our online store, Gantsilyo Guru Selections.

Monday 26 January 2015

Dare Your Mind To Create (To Crochet!)

I started this blog in 2012 because I love crocheting. My main "objective" was to convince anyone who stumbled upon my blog that crochet is not just one thing. It's not just about making doilies or coasters (although I love doilies and coasters). It's not just a craft you are limited to doing inside your room, hidden from the rest of the world (for fear of being called a grandma or potential spinster). And it's not just about "making a project," it is also a personal experience.

I got invited by DMC Philippines to share (part of ) my crochet story. Coincidentally, my first crochet project was a 3D Christmas Tree made of DMC yarn.

There will also be a big event coming up where DMC will gather fellow handmade enthusiasts who will showcase and also sell their crafts. I will be there, of course! Drop by my booth for crochet hooks, knitting needles, and other crochet/knitting notions. Of course, I will also be there to answer any of your crochet questions! Hope to see you there!
For my bit, I will be holding a free crochet workshop on these roses on Feb. 1 (Sun), 10:30 AM-1:30 PM. Please go HERE to find out how you can secure a slot! This workshop is open for beginners too!
Century City Mall is located along Kalayaan Ave. cor. Salamanca St. in Makati City.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Crocheted Rose Tutorial

Do you have a "go-to" crochet project if you want to make a quick gift? Well, mine is a flower brooch. I've been crocheting this same design for years! And it always works! I've given out so many of these as gifts that I have already lost count on how many I've done in many years of crocheting. The flower can also be used as an accent to a beanie or as a standalone clip.

Of course, I will show you how this could be done. Prior knowledge of some basic stitches is required.
For this project, I used 1 ball of DMC Natura Yarn and a 3.5mm crochet hook. A ball of DMC Natura can make several roses. This 100% cotton yarn is really soft and is also (more than being used for accessories actually) a great choice for clothing. 
This project involves the following stitches: chain (ch), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), and treble (tr). Please note that there is also a V-stitch, made of this sequence: dc-2ch-dc.

Begin with 48ch.
Now click the link below to see the rest of the tutorial!