Enter ‘Tiger’ Year

Chinese New Year has just started 4 days ago and now I am back to work. four  I really do not have the mood to start work today since the last four days I’ve been indulged on good food and relaxation.

Looking at my last post, I was kind of shame of myself on how lazy I became since I started the day job. No blog entry for the past 1 month! But luckily I was not stopping for my crochet work. The past four days I was trying hard to work on my new project ‘ Calvin and Hobbes’ in between the celebration of CNY. I would say I am proud of myself to come out with the Calvin doll design and almost completed another Hobbes doll of 16 inches tall to match with ‘Calvin’.

For the past month, I have also sold a Hobbes doll and made another of  my ‘tiger’ doll. It seems that Hobbes is well received in the western world whereas my tiger doll is well received in the eastern world.  Anyway, so long that people appreciate my effort I’ll be fine.  I am also thinking of doing something else other than doll for my next project. May be a sweater , mitten or a scarf design my me. Maybe another handbag.  It all depends when my inspiration will come.

Lately I have more enthusiasm in doing my crochet work than doing my day job. Really hope one day I could work full-time on crocheting to earn my living. That will be my greatest wish!

I did the Monkey’s dress on last Friday night.

It looks like my monkey and the tiger make great companion for each other!

See my latest design, Calvin. He and Hobbes are going to be the greatest companion too! I am in the process of finishing a larger Hobbes.. Only left the ears, mouth, and nose….

Happy Things And Status Update

Today is a happy day as it is the last day to say farewell to my jobless status to become ‘with job’. I found a day job and going to start work tomorrow. But that does not mean its the end to my ‘crochet career’. Instead I will go full force towards achieving my goal to be a crochet designer. With the stable income from my day job I would be able to invest on more yarn and material to explore further.

As now I could only do crochet part time, more commitment and effort would require from me to carryon.  I believe when there is a will there is a way.

Some updates to my recent crochet activities:

1. Start doing a Hello Kitty angel, finishing crocheting all the parts and awaiting to assemble.

2. Working on a 16 stitch sampler afghan, I selected some of the beautiful stitches out of the 36 that I found on the book: Crochet Techniques by Renate Kirkpatrick. This serve as a practise for me to explore other crochet stitches and at the same time use it as a sampler for my future projects.

3. I pick up one of the half done motif project and convert it a tissue cover.

4. Made a small purse of kitty’s face. Still awaiting to assemble the eyes, nose and a zipper.

And last but not least, my hobbes crochet doll has finally found an owner! This make my happy day.

Here’s to everyone a great year ahead! Busy busy busy… 😛

Serious Crochet

Don’t think crochet and knitting are only meant for grandmothers or housewives who have nothing to do but to make some socks, scarf or sweater presents for their kids, grandkids, friends and families. If you have such thinking, check this sites on how crochet apply to create artistic pieces that were no lesser than other form of arts:

1) You have seen the real form of coral reef under the sea. Some mathematicians have used mathematical formulas to create hyperbolic planes and used paper to create the spiral form of coral. But Lativan-born mathematician Diana Taiminia, has combined her mathematical skill and crochet skill to form hyperbolic planes where two parallel lines curve away from each other. Read more at :

http://www.math.cornell.edu/~dtaimina/hypplanes.htm

http://theiff.org/reef/index.html

2) Crocheting technique is no longer just learn from some crochet basic books or some one who is more experience than you in crocheting and reading charts. Now you can take an International Diploma Crochet course, a three-part distance learning ‘diploma’. For more information refer to: http://www.crochet.co.uk/

3) Here is another talented artist, Inga Hamilton, who use crochet to do sculpting for her art gallery exhibition.  Due to copyright issue, please refer to this site for more info: http://www.rockpoolcandy.com/

Fellow crocheters, if you need some inspirations for you next projects, refer to the above links. I really hope that crochet technique could continue be adopted by many other areas and more people pick up the interest.

Long live the crochet!

New Year Resolution

It’s a brand new year 2010 now. Where are my new year resolutions?

Getting very lazy lately on not updating this blog as often as I wanted to be. I was busily doing crocheting.. Yeah all the excuses…

Last few weeks of  year 2009 I was doing some last minutes projects: a modified ‘Hobbes’ from my tiger pattern, some mini christmas wreath to give to my family and friends, roses for a friend. Currently I am working on a Strawberry shortcake blouse.  I have placed my ‘Hobbes’ at etsy on sales now. Many viewers but no takers. Hmm..

Today I have finally take up the initiative to make out some resolutions for my future crochet projects:

1) Make a lightweight jacket from a design stated in Inside Crochet magazine (looking for soysilk yarn online, they are so expensive…)

2) Design something for the valentine  gift season, hello kitty? Heart shape cushion? Roses? Any ideas?

3) Seriously updating this blog for more crochet techniques: from basic to advance. At least two times per week  ( readers, please kick me if you don’t see any new blogs updates for a while :P)

4) venture to other kind of small accessories design like: hair bend, pin cushion, potpourri, etc.

5) Learn fulling (felting) – the process of shrinking knitted or crocheted pieces. You many wonder why would I want to shrink my precious handmade pieces so as to get a different kind of texture from its original pattern. I’ve been doing some researching on this and find it quite interesting. I think I would start something small first  like, a small pouch or something.

6) Last but not least, finish all my half done projects which include: handbag, cushion cover or pot holder, tissue box cover or cushion cover? That is for myself to interpret and determin. haha!

So hope that I could fullfil what I have written above. Time will only tell..

A year later I will make a point to come back to this blog to update what I have actually done.

So have you done your new year resolution yet?

Crochet Basics

I have consolidated some of the videos on web to show the simple crochet basics stitches. They are good for beginners who wanted to learn crochet and for those who seldom crochet for a refresh course.

How to Start and Chain

How to Crochet a Circle

How to Start Circle Crochet Loop

I use this starting for all my amigurumi dolls that needs a circle start. This will ensure the starting hole is closed up nicely with a tight pull at the starting yarn end.

Single Crochet (double crochet for UK)

This is one of the basic stitch used in crocheting. I used this for my amigurumi dolls pattern all the time.

Double Crochet ( Treble for UK)

This has a longer height as compared to single crochet.

Half Double Crochet (Half Treble Crochet for UK)

This pattern has a height that is in between double crochet and single crochet. Often seen this used in stitching a flower petal  along with slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet etc so as to give a gradual increase or decrease of height.

Triple (Treble) Crochet

The treble crochet start at the fifth chain as the first 4 chain act as the first treble crochet for the row/round.

Quadruple Crochet (Double Treble Crochet for UK)

The quadruple crochet start at the sixth chain. The first 5 chains act as the first quadruple crochet in the row.

Slip Stitch

This is often used to close up a row or a round. Sometimes it is also used to skip some stitches so as to pull the yarn to start at another place instead of cutting it and start again. I did came across a design pattern that used slip stitch throughout to make a handbag. It took me a lot of time and instead of completing it, I change the design to a smaller pouch instead. 😛

Reverse Single Crochet

This stitch is usually used for the edging of a project like pot holder, coaster, etc.

Loop Stitch

How to Crochet Tunisian Stitch

This video show how to start to crochet a Tunisian stitch, which I used for crocheting the belt of the skirt that I did a week ago. The texture of tunisan stitch looks very much like knitting knit stitch in front and pearl stitch at the back. I love to use it as the belt of the skirt as it gave weight and tighten the lose waist used by other stitches.

The video has separated into two parts. Enjoy crocheting!

My New Shop and Latest Products

Yesterday I was busy setting up my new shop at Etsy (see links at the right of the blog). It took me a whole day to upload my 8 items and write-up on each of them. But it seems the effort taken has somehow rewarded. Some one has placed order for my cute snowman and I receive another email showing interest with my tiger doll and requested for custom-made to Hobbes instead. I  am very happy viewing at the responses after one day of show case. It really gives me a boast on what I am doing. Thank you for all the support.

I have completed my skirt crochet. It turns out to be pretty wearable and cozy. I really like it very much. Just need a bit more touch up to reduce the button holes size as I used  much smaller size buttons.

My next project would be a cushion cover using a motif design provided by Inside Crochet Issue 3. As I was half way doing, I figure that it could be changed to a tissue cover box instead. Will post the outcome of the project in the future.

While you are in the process of crocheting a product, you never know what could happen down the road. The same things happen about life. That is why I enjoy crocheting so much. So enjoy the process of making and let us hope for the best outcome!

Bye bye Mr Snowman
Edge pattern at bottom of skirt

Colorful Motif