Quick-n-Easy Everyday Tunic

At home I am a carefree spirit and often walk around (the house, that is) sans brassiere ๐Ÿคญ The tropical weather is certainly good for it and there’s just me and my 1 year old anyways. So ….

Whenever I get an unexpected visit from the Postman or the DHL delivery guy (and it is always unexpected) I always grab my cooking apron to throw another layer of decency over myself. After a while I felt that this was an affront to my identity as a crafter. Am I not a crocheter who can definitely stitch up something with more class & pizzazz?

And so I finally did ๐Ÿ˜

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This was a very easy project to crochet. This is just rows upon rows of double crochet stitches done alternately in the front loop and back loop. I used a bigger sized hook to add even more drape. The 100% cotton yarn I used was heavy, which was a plus in this case because it gave the project volume. Normally using pure cotton would result in a heavy item, but in this case, it was off-set by the increased hook size and the front/back loop only stitching.

I also chose to do 2 separate panels for front and back instead of crocheting in the round because I wanted the shape that came from side seams. I find that crocheting in the round also tends to give the item sort of a rounded look which I didn’t want for this project.

And finally, finishing was just 3 rows of your ordinary double crochet.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy ๐Ÿ˜ Now where’s that postdude? ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

Mistress of Stitchjitsu

Over the weekend I finished my version of the Marsh Tee by Amy Palmer.ย  When I saw the pattern, it was love at first sight. I knew it was going to be a challenge, a real stretch of my current skill level, but when you’re in love ….

… all reason leaves you ๐Ÿ˜‚

So off I went in the direction of my dream. Quite boldly so, might I add ๐Ÿคฃ

It was a bit of a tense affair. Like I said, I’m still new to lace knitting, this is but my 3rd attempt at it (here’s the 1st, and the second).ย  I started over 3 times I believe, getting further up the top each time. I wish there was a way you can rip off just a few wrong stitches (or offending rows) and go back seamlessly to a preferred point in the pattern [as with crochet]. Whenever I make a mistake in lace knitting I just frog all the way to stitch zero because the lace pattern is too confusing for me to decipher in a way that I can go back in without botching up the pattern.

Also, what is up with only noticing that you’ve made an error in the pattern when you’ve seamed both sides together already?!! Was the universe conspiring against me?! ๐Ÿคจ (Could be that I’m just very excited to get this over with ๐Ÿค”).

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In any case, if you are interested in making this beauty I would suggest that you stitch the back panel first, then the front. I did the front panel first, according to instructions. But when both front & back panels were finished there was a discrepancy in length (which was a surprise) that I had to add some more rows to the back panel. But since all the detail is in the back, this was not a very bright idea. Maybe should’ve ripped a few rows off the front panel instead (now why do I think of this just now ๐Ÿ˜†).

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I’m definitely wiser now ๐Ÿ˜ and expect to do better next time. I learned how to make a V-neck this round too so, that’s a bonus. Having said this, methinks my next immediate projects will be crochet for the time being. I need to de-stress ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Yarn Shopping In Batam

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I’m almost reluctant to use the term “yarn shopping” to refer to buying benang rajut (crochet/knitting thread or yarn) here in Batam. All I can say is, it’s a far cry from what I’m used to.

The store Venus Button is, according to Ibu Ika (the cleaner) and her daughter Mufa, the biggest/most comprehensive needle craft store in Batam. So after establishing its location in Google Maps, I asked my husband to drive me there for a check.

Although I was expecting something bigger based on the description, I wasn’t really surprised to see it’s a small store. This is what you see when you take a step inside the door:

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And when you swivel your torso this is what’s to your left:

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It is stocked to the rafters up until the back end of the store so I guess this small space can contain all the needle-crafting needs of Batam Island. I’m only here for the crochet thread though and, lucky me it was right under my nose (just a single step inside the door ๐Ÿ˜).

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Wait! Is that an English newspaper page I see on the counter? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

They only had 2 types of thread available, I think the other one was polyester and felt & looked like string with a bit of mushiness in it. The saleslady said that was used for making bags & shoes. I went for the cottons and was delighted to find some in pretty colors ๐Ÿ˜ According to the sales attendant the cottons were used for making pieces of clothing. I had my doubts at first glance but I waited until I got home for closer scrutiny to make a decision.

I think that these threads would be great for motifs, appliques, doilies, bags & other items where strength & some stiffness are required. These threads are rough to the touch and I can’t imagine wearing something made out of it.

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These are the colors I settled on for now. I’ll be back for more as the need arises, I’m definitely game for some bag making in 2019. And I guess I still need my online stores for a wider variety of yarn.ย  Glad I made this local discovery though ๐Ÿ˜Š

Stitch awesome! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’›

Trying to Get Attention

A beach cover-up was not originally in my projects bucket list but I needed something to get their attention – “they” being the crafty inhabitants of Batam Island.

Being an expat SAHM with a 1 year old (in a place where English is not spoken) doesn’t give me a lot of options to socialize, so I opened an Instagram account instead, hoping to find fellow crafters.

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After putting up a few posts and diligently searching for crochet/knitting/handmade hashtags, I still have to find anything noteworthy. So I created new hashtags and included a few of the more popular community ones like #enjoyBatam and #travelBatam instead in a bid to cast a wider net. Hopefully this strategy will work eventually, but right now what I’m seeing is that I’m the only one so far who’s been posting crochet on there and I’m really sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb!

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Initially I felt excited at possibly being one of the first to part the crafty sea, but lately I’ve been feeling more awkward than anything.ย  Should I give up and try another medium?

Finally I noticed that travel and beach #s are popular so I decided to crochet something that was at least relevant so that I would not come across as too far out.ย  That’s where this beach cover-up comes in.ย  And as you can see I’ve made it in a bright, attention grabbing color too just for added shock value ๐Ÿคญ

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I think I’m going to give Insta a year. Maybe. Right now I’m the oddball but, hopefully I’ll gain some traction soon enough.

Meanwhile, if you want to crochet your own beach cover-ups (or sassy shawls), here’s a link with graphs to some really pretty ones.

 

P.S. Sorry for the prominent appearance of my blocking board in these photos. It’s been cloudy and rainy these past few days and I just had to make do so I could finally post this ๐Ÿ™‚

Turquoise Table Toppers for a Friend

I love crocheting doilies. They’re so easy to make once you get the hang of it and they’re a great place to start learning lace crochet. I find them sorta meditative too.

If I had my way, I’d make doilies for all my acquaintances, again and again. But the sad truth is that not everyone appreciates them (I can’t imagine why!). I have them around the house and in various colors.

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Not a big fan of blocking but I attempted to dry block anyways early yesterday morning

My new friend Faith was surprised and amazed to find out that I knew how to crochet. When she dropped by one day to see me in action (crocheting, that is), I showed her “Catherine“. She liked Cat a lot but wanted something smaller. Eager to please & share my craft, I immediately dropped all current WIPs and stitched up these two beauties.

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Looking a lot more decent after the blocking I must admit

She only asked for one, the Wish on a Star pattern on the left, but I stitched up another one still because I’m just a show-off like that ๐Ÿคญ

No Tears Left to Cry

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I finished knitting this beauty a while ago but had to take a long pause (prior to sewing in the elastic band for the waistline) because this baby sucked every last drop of creative stamina out of me.

Note: I didn’t block this skirt prior to taking these pictures because at this point I just really want this project to be finished. (I’m feeling lazy ๐Ÿคญ and I am kinda enjoying the quasi ruffled look of it at the moment).

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I seriously thought this skirt would never come to be. Lace knitting is still a challenge for me and this project definitely made me work. The design might look straightforward but I can assure you it is anything but. I must’ve frogged this baby 6, maybe even 7 times and it is only through sheer stubbornness (and hiding the project from a curious 10 month old) that I finally managed to finish. Ya ampun!

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I am proud as a peacock! After being nearly reduced to tears, thinking that this project was jinxed or something, and on the brink of giving up – I persevered because I wanted the lessons. No pain, no gain, honey. And definitely no sassy skirt ๐Ÿ˜‰

For novice knitters like me who want to take this project on, I recommend practicing with the lace pattern first (in the round, not flat because there’s a difference), before tackling the whole skirt. That and, definitely no distractions, but tonnes of patience & tenacity ๐Ÿ™‚

Get the free pattern here.

Out In The Open

I have a new “thing” that I’m trying to be consistent with – Sunday afternoon walks. As a crafter who often strains her eyes focusing on tiny stitches, and a blurry-eyed mom who still wakes up twice at nights to feed a 10 month old, being able to look much farther than the nearest wall is an invigorating experience.

Going for walks, enjoying the tranquil green surroundings, is like a healthy, visual salad bowl of nature’s colors for my eyes. Here are a few pictures from my walk yesterday, just to sorta bring you along with me:

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my eyes appreciate looking much farther than the nearest wall
hedge
these hedges look so lush
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this is the “inner ring” with its charming trees
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and all around is a beautiful blanket of green courtesy of a huge golf course surrounding the area