August 2009


straw bag

My first crocheted straw bag

I’m a lazy person. I like to do things that I like but not those things that I dislike. I like crocheting but dislike teaching the fundamentals. I like to do challenging project but dislike the monotonous repetition of the same pattern again and again. Take it that I am a complicated person that is quite hard to please.

Because I know what I like and what I dislike, I will not update this blog on things that I find tedious to write but on things that I would love to venture into. But still I want to have this blog includes the complete resources on crocheting starting from beginning to advance.  In order to make things complete, I would like to refer to some good links that I came about on crocheting. For the beginners, you could refer to them to start this wonderful crafting that leads to the journey of life, at least that is so for me.  

To begin with you might want to see the below paragraphs for some reference. For those reader who already know crocheting, it is good to go through it once a while to find out if any new tips you could discover or refine your skill if needed to. 

Crochet How to

http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Crochet/Howtos/Crochet+Made+Easy+-+video+lessons.htm

The link above show some how to crochet lessons in total of 14 and each come in podcast format.  You can see the demonstration on how to crochet start from basic.

For those intermediate or already know how to do simple crocheting, you may like to review the video for revision once a while. I once posted a Relief Stitches article that make use of front and back posted double crochet which was shown in lesson 14 – Special Stitches.

 For those who like to read rather than watching video, I suggest you subscribe to this free Email letter by Guide to Crochet Tips . The guides provide new tips to those beginners like: Starting a new ball or skein, How to avoid showing knots, How to get the yarn to flow through your fingers, Increasing and decreasing stitches, changing colors, etc.

Purchase material

Depends on where you are located, you may find yarn and crochet material some where nearby your house. If not you can buy it from internet if you do not mind the shipment fees. I would suggest you find a nearby shop for economy purchase. And by looking and touching the yarn, you may have a better feel for the project you will be doing. Once you are familiar with the yarn, you could start to explore which material is good for what project.

I started off by buying all the cheap yarn I could find from cheap sales. The reason being as a beginner I wanted to try out my tension on a cheaper yarn before investing to the good ones. What is the use of investing on a very good yarn and the products turns out to be ugly due to own skill set? Being say that does not mean you should stop investing on good yarn out there. You could be a talented skillful one and who knows your first piece of product came out to be wonderful. So depends on circumstances and be adventurous to try out various kind of yarn on the same project. I often did that and discovered lots of surprises. The products turn out to be quite different using different kind of yarns.

As I started to know more about the quality of the yarn, I began to venture into new materials like string, straw, even thin wire gauze for other kind of products. My latest product was two handbags: one made from straw yarn and the other still left the top to finish was using soft nylon string.

If you are interested in starting crocheting but do not know what are the materials required, you can try some of the following sites:

http://www.lionbrand.com/

http://www.pandayarns.biz/yarn_collection.asp

http://www.spotlight.com.au/living_with_yarn

http://www.knittingplaza.com/cheap_knitting_yarn/1.htm

http://www.selectyarn.com/web%20pages/japanese_yarns.html 

Living in Singapore, I am fortunate to have Spotlight, the major chain of fabric in Australia that I bought most of my project materials there. Recently I have another resource to venture into Japanese yarn. Although it could be more costly as compared to Australian yarn, it has more varieties and better texture due to its super quality. The wide choices of color makes it more attractive too.

Finding Patterns

As a beginner, you need to do more practices to gain your skill. You choose something simple to start with in order not to dampen your enthusiasm for a start. But most important of all, you must like the product that you are making. This keeps you motivated to finish it till the end.

Mile A Minute From Big Book of Crochet

Mile A Minute From Big Book of Crochet

I once started an afghan pattern, the pattern book has already given warning of a difficult level due to its tedious in doing. It even named the product as a mile-a-minute as it take perseverance and patient to finish it, stripe by stripe. The pattern started by making small flower motifs and join each of them in stripes form. The stripes are then joined to form the final pieces. I finally finished it in two months time. What motivated me to finish 18 long stripes of 20 flower motif each was I wanted to see the final product. Instead of using it as an afghan, I converted it into window curtain for my room. I am still hanging it now as shown in the picture.

 my curtainThings that only involve single pattern like single crochet, double crochet and slip stitch are a better choice to start a simple project. Don’t follow my footstep of always want to challenge myself, at least not for your first project. You may want to start a scarf, a simple handbag, a motif table runner, a floor mat, a coaster, a cushion cover, etc that you like to own one. As you slowly gain more experience, you could venture into much more challenging project. Most of the project that you found in magazine or crochet books would list the skill level required to finish the project – beginner, immediate, advance. Some even put down the estimated amount of time to finish the product. If you think you could commit the given time needed then go ahead to do the project you want. If other can do it, so can you.

Doing crochet is so fun for me due to there are some many kind of stitches available and I could experiment by combining each of them to create different projects of different textures. There are times I like the pattern so much that I did using various yarn with different colors to see what would be the outcome. Every product is unique to me.

I have been doing a lot of crochet works lately. My latest unfinished projects include: a Japanese Cat doll, a dragon doll, a nylon string bag and a seat mat. My ‘going to start’ projects list includes: a Doremon doll, a Hello Kitty doll, a flowery floor mat.

I wanted to write up for each of the projects I did in this blog and some hints and tips for who are interested to do crochet or currently doing.  Lots of things on hand and I am speeding up right now.

The side of the bag
The picture show at the header banner of this blog was taken from the base of the nylon bag that I was currently doing. I like the pattern: a simple alternately between single crochet and double crochet forms a pretty unique pattern for the side of the handbag. I was delighted with the choice of the string I used that turns out with a bit of sparkling effect. Can’t wait to see the end product. I am still sourcing for the hairy yarn to finish up with the top and the handles.

You can refer to this for the rest of my recent works:

http://picasaweb.google.com/tinggreat/AugustProducts#

Why Crochet?

As mentioned previously, I have started crocheting since I was young.

This hobby has all along accompanied me and became one of my best hobbies that I spent the most time with. What is so interesting about crocheting?

1. A hobby that can do with other things

Those who are extrovert would think crafting kind of hobby is boring. You spent all your time sitting down there dealing with entangling yarn. I am an active person too and yet I don’t find crocheting boring. So why is it so?

I do crocheting while doing other things too,like:

• Watch TV show

• Chating with friends

• On the public transport during a long journey

• Listening to music

It enhances my enjoyment while doing other things. It helps me to train up my mind to do things in parallel, not to mention one a while I would miss out a stitch or so. 😛

2. To Make Unique Present

How many times when come to Christmas season or other occasion that you are stuck with what to buy for a present to your families or friends? Or you could have a great favor to return to a deal friend and you find that it is not fare to just buy some commercial ready made stuff that does not show your sincerity.

Make something unique! Learn what friends need and the next time when you come across some interesting crocheting project think of who is suitable to receive such unique gifts. Surprise your friends and family and at the same time show how thoughtful you are.

3. To Master Creativity

How many times you wanted to start a new crochet project and found that you could not find the material you needed? You did not buy enough yarn to finish your project on hand and the yarn was all out of stock? You panic and scratching your head wondering what to do next?

Orange BlouseMost people when dealing with such situation would just give up and wasted the effort they have done so far on the crocheted project. As for me after years of crocheting, I have master the principle of not giving up hope on any uncompleted projects. I once did a crocheted blouse with single crochet on back loops all the way, only to find out at the last stage that I did a wrong estimate and the blouse turn out to be too short. Instead of redoing the whole blouse, I did a separate crocheting piece and join to the bottom of the existing blouse. In order to cover the joints which turn out to be pretty obvious with holes in between, I bought a ribbon of similar color and run it round the holes to cover it. It turns out to be another new design for the blouse. So always exercise think out of the box to save projects from failing. you will never know how great your creativity could be unless you try out.

4. To Learn Nothing is Impossible

 There are times that when you read a very interesting crochet project that you wanted so much to make it, you could not understand how to make a certain part. You read the book, do some research on it and still could not figure out what is all about. You are frustrated as your project only left this last part of puzzle to resolve. I have encountered many times on this, what I did was leave the problem aside. A few days later I will come back to the problem again with a refresh mind and I could see the problem in a different angle. Try a few more times until if finally works. Never give up on anything that hinder your progress with a never say die attitude.

5. Learn to be Patient

How many times when you will doing crochet half way and the yarn got entangle?

I admitted that I am not the type who loves to disentangle yarn. Although some of my friends do love it. There are times that you have to repeat the same pattern and keep crocheting until it reaches its required length, especially when you are doing big projects like a sweater or an afghan. Just like growing a plant, you need a lot of patient and care to the project that you are doing in order to make a good product. There will be times that you need to restart all over again due to wrong doing (too short or too long or too ugly or whatever). Crochet makes me learn to be patient and consistent with my hard work. One day I would see my beautiful unique product born into this world!

6. Broaden Your Circle of Friends

You wanted to learn new things and understand what problems the others like you may encountered? Signup some of the crochet forum, meet up with a few friends who share the same interest and crochet together once a week. You will be surprised how much you could learn from each other.

7. Decorate you home & Feel Proud of It

When you invited your friends or relatives to your house, remember to show off a bit of your products displayed at home. It helps to create a unique environment to live in and at the same time be proud of it when being praised. I have all my products” crocheted window curtain, table runner, coaster, all decorated at different corners of my house. You would feel good and you could easily enter a conversation with whoever visited your house.

 

Having stated so much goodness for crocheting, aren’t you getting ready to learn this wonderful hobby? Or do you have some unfinished project hidden some place? Quickly take them out and continue doing. Action makes the world go round!

My Crocheted WorkI have learned how to crochet since I was very young. I remembered I learned it from my aunt. I used to stay at my grandmother’s house during preschool days. I have an elder brother and an elder sister with age gap of 4 to 5 years. My mother was too busy taking care of them during that time and I was then placed over at my grandmother’s care. From there onwards I always learn things from adults as there were no other kids around my age then.

I remembered I was always playing alone. When I was old enough to go to school, I seldom make friends and I spent my school holiday either stayed at home or again at my grandmother’s house. That was how I picked up a few things like typing, crocheting, singing Christmas Carol before any of the kids of my age.

I recalled I made a tumbler crochet cover during primary schools. I even made a very simple scarf for my classmate in primary six. My interest in crocheting went on and off as I grow older. I picked up a few more other hobbies like cross stitching, knitting, hardanger, and paper clay making. Still I find crochet is my beloved hobby.  Over the past 3 years I have constantly doing crochet work again. The crochet products that I have made so far ranging from motif  to scarf, blouse to handbags,  window curtains and afghan. I find a lot more interest to create my own piece of work rather than just following the patterns on books. I wanted to pursue this hobby further and hopefully one day I could come out with a book of my own design on crochet work. I am now working towards my dream now and hope that I could have constant inspiration to guide me towards achieving this goal.

Wish me luck and I hope if anyone out there who have the same hobby as me could drop me some comments on my work in this blog.