Cushions & Keeping the Fun

Hello my friends! πŸ˜€ It’s been a while. I’ve been enjoying IG a lot, 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 …. but only ometimes πŸ˜‚

I (think I’ve) 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 I feel it’s time to just start already!

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, 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 is willing to exchange some money for it. Truth be told, I don’t even mind if I only get back my materials’ worth for each item.

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 experiment off the ground. My objective for now is to have fun creating deliberately and learning all about selling.

Cushions, 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˜‚

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.Β  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.Β  That’s where this beach cover-up comes in.Β  And as you can see I’ve made it in a bright, attention grabbing color too just for added shock value 🀭

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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 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.