Cushions & Keeping the Fun

Hello my friends! πŸ˜€ It’s been a while. I’ve been having great fun on IG, there’s so much eye candy, so much inspiration & motivation to be had on there, it’s really addictive.

What I’ve learned is that you really have to mind your time or else you won’t get anything else done for the day! I always say to myself “create first, then consume” in an effort to pull me back from the slippery rabbit hole that is Instagram. It works …. Sometimes πŸ˜‚

I finally, finally, finally found my product!

So I’m checking in with you to let you know that I’ve (finally!) found my “product”. In the previous post I told you about my self-imposed challenge to turn my beloved hobbiesΒ  into money making activities, and the 1st order of the day was to identify what product to focus on.

At this point I think I’m going with throw-pillow/cushion covers because they’re not that hard to make and they’re relatively easy to style. I do still have a few other items at the back of my mind but I think I’ve wrestled long & hard enough with this question by now that it’s time to just start already!

(Phew!)

Meanwhile …

Taking on commission?

Just to have some quick features on my feed, I made a pair of dreamcatchers. A friend really liked them and placed an order for one with a few specifications she had in mind.

I was pretty stoked by her show of interest of course, and I so love her for it. But it also started me thinking … and eventually clarified something in my head: I don’t want to work on commission, or to go the bespoke route. At least not right away.

These 2 hobbies are my happiness boosters, and the true reason I wanted to earn money from them is only because I was starting to wonder what to do with the finished items. I was giving them away, and that felt good too, but not everyone appreciates crochet/knitted items so I wasn’t 100% happy with that “solution”.Β  What I really want is put them somewhere on display until someone whoΒ  really likes crochet/knitted items comes along and wants to have it enough to give me money for it.

I felt that if I were to take on requests, the fun would be off, and eventually it would start to feel like work.Β  I don’t want this to happen way before I’ve had enough time to get this party started. My objective for now is to have fun creating deliberately and learning all about selling.

Land, ho!

That said, I’ve set my course for my first 10 cushion covers. 10 seems like a nice, round number to make as a first milestone. I’ll figure out the next step as I go along πŸ™‚

Quick-n-Easy Everyday Tunic

At home I am a carefree spirit and often walk around (the house, that is) sans brassiere 🀭 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 😁

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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 😁 Now where’s that postdude? πŸ˜‚

 

Mistress of Stitchjitsu

Over the weekend I finished my version of the Marsh Tee by Amy Palmer.Β  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 πŸ˜‚

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

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).Β  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?! 🀨 (Could be that I’m just very excited to get this over with πŸ€”).

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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 πŸ˜†).

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I’m definitely wiser now 😁 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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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 🀭

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 🀭 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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

Get the free pattern here.

Knit Racerback Tee

I so love this project! As a neophyte knitter I often find myself wanting to take on more ambitious projects for the sake of furthering my skills. But I also have to be careful that they not be way beyond my current abilities that I give up in frustration.

Despite my expectations however, this pattern was quite easy to follow and execute. I give props to the writer who wrote clear & straightforward instructions – believe me, this matters a lot! And to have been able to make something like this, something I’m actually going to wear, feels uh-mazing!

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This tee was a great beginner exercise in shaping (I am still raving about how well the arm & neck shaping came out), as well as picking up stitches for finishing.

Shaping and finishing are skills that daunt me, and I want to understand them so they no longer scare me away from creating my masterpieces.

“Catherine” Pineapple Lace Table Cover

My initial exposure to crochet was at the age of 13. Back then I had to make the difficult choice between dying of boredom (summer break in da probinsya & no internet yet, go figure) and making sense of my mother’s fragile-looking crochet book.

I chose the latter and, quite frankly, surprised even li’l impatient me by being able to produce basic lace doilies and table toppers by the time the summer break ended. I had discovered a new love!

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But it would be many, many years later when I would seriously revisit crochet again. This time my interest for the craft has scaled new heights and I continue to enthusiastically hone my skills via online tutorials.

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“Catherine” is crocheted with size 10 mercerized crochet cotton in white, and measures approximately 105 cms across. This is the largest, most intricate doily/table topper I’ve made so far and, I think it’s gorgeous!

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Here’s a nice place to start if you’re interested in giving pineapple lace a try.