Knitting

And Her Name Shall Be “Eve” ๐ŸŽ† ๐ŸŽ† ๐ŸŽ†

And she shall be a teacher โค โค โค

I did it everyone! I finally, finally finished my very first sweater – as a matter of fact (wags pointer finger obnoxiously in your face ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰) my very first knitted project!

Ta-daaaaah! (Sorry for the picture quality, it’s been one rainy day after the other over here):

And I shall name her “Eve”!

(Loud thunder clap proclaims the Universe’s approval!๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€)

Eve is a very effective teacher because she has quite a few imperfections – shall I say instead – wonderful lessons that I couldn’t have learned otherwise.ย  See here:

Loose ending (last) stitches at both sides of the neck opening:

Misaligned rows (ehehehehe! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€)

misalignments

Shoulder seaming that needs to be done cleaner moving forward:

shoulder seam

There’s also the underside of one sleeve that I seamed differently — not with the mattress stitch but rather with some kind of alien stitch form from outer space — and the result is … ehehehehe! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€ (I’m not showing a picture here because my pride cannot take anymore embarrassment! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€)

But I love her! ๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’˜

Eve’s style is loose and is supposed to be worn over body-fit tops. He sleeves are 3/4ths in length which is perfect for when you just find rolling up sleeves to be such a hassle.

When I decided to go for a sweater as my introduction to knitting I knew I couldn’t set my standards too high. Other than choosing a very simple beginner’s pattern, I had to accept beforehand that the finished product would be far less than perfect and that I would probably only wear it at home or to the corner boulangerie at most.

(This picture in my head is not in Indonesia of course but somewhere the climate is conducive to wearing sweaters. Although Indonesians do wear sweaters and jackets despite the very hot climate … I’ll never understand why or how they manage but, I digress ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€).

So, that’s Eve for you and I’m very pleased (and relieved) about how she turned out anyways. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„

I also managed to crochet another shell bag as a de-stresser in between all that seaming ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

quick shell tote bag

Not bad eh? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Lastly, check out my amazing dance moves in my celebratory dance:

I slay it each time! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜‰

Crochet

Mindless Crochet And The Art Of Seduction

My version of the solid granny square bag is finally done-done-dooooone! ๐Ÿ™‚

crochet granny square bag

I’ve never had a bag like this before. Well for starters, it’s crochet, and I made it myself โค

It’s also roomy, in a stretchable and unencumbered-by-partitions sort of way. Perfect for those times when you have lots to carry and you don’t want to be saddled with multiple bags – or better yet, when you want to save the environment and just say “no” to those plastic/tote bags that come with your purchased item ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

crochet bag for beginners

I made it in black and gray so it would go well with most any style/color of clothing. I made the handles wider, out of rows of 4 dc instead because I didn’t want them to cut into my shoulders as the bag would get heavier. I also made the handles a bit longer so I can also carry the bag across the body, and I can tie them up top if I want them shorter.

granny square bag easy

I’m lovin’ it! โค โค And it was pure, mindless crochet. You know, you don’t have to look at a pattern or count or anything, you just make your hands do the work!

One of the advantages of “mindless crochet” is the opportunity to learn something new while working at it. For instance, I learned a bit more about the art of seduction while crocheting this bag ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜

And so on … just let your YouTube TEDx Talks run its course XD XD

Have you ever done a crochet project that was ‘mindless’? What did you occupy your mind with while working at it?

Create happy! โค

Crochet

Wrist Love For Crocheters

 

cat-691175_960_720I’ve been crocheting a cardigan which has significantly increased the number of ‘swirling’ motions I do with my right wrist through the copious use of treble stitches.

Add this bag to that.

Plus my quest to improve my wheel pose (which challenges my wrists, among other body parts).

And I’m feeling something just a tad bit off in my right wrist o_O

I am reminded of an amazing crochet artist whose blog I regularly visit for inspiration. She’s been out of commission for quite some time now due to wrist issues.

So my dearest fellow hookers I thought I’d make this post all about wrist/hand care exercises because most of the time, we just take for granted how important our amazing and very hardworking hands/wrists are. And they hardly ever complain! Unless perhaps when it’s too late ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I know it’s very hard to put down those hooks and needles but we can do this! XD Here are some helpful videos, most of which can be done where we are in whatever physical state we are, fancy leggings and sexy tank tops optional:

These are under 4 mins – so no excuses! Once you know the movements you don’t even have to watch the video while doing the exercises.

This is my favorite, it’s about 15 minutes and is more extensive.

And here’s an entire series specifically for crocheters and knitters – you gotta love that! ๐Ÿ˜€ If you want to give every body part involved in crocheting/knitting a good dose of TLC then I recommend doing the entire series ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

There! How do you like your hands/wrists now? ๐Ÿ˜€

smile-1188654_960_720

Create happy! โค โค

Crochet

It’s a mushroom! It’s a bucket! It’s a skirt?! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ ๐Ÿ˜ฒ ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

“I don’t want a mushroom on my head!”, so cries my alarmed daughter when I asked her to try on the hat I was crocheting.

Months ago I bought a crochet book that also has projects you can test your newfound skills on. One of the projects is a slouchy hat which promised the following skill builders – an interesting cluster stitch to create both drape and style, make and shape simple crochet ribbing, shape for slouch, work hat from the bottom up and, finish the top of the hat by gathering the fabric.

I also have this strawberry colored acrylic yarn that I didn’t know what to do with because, although the color is lovely, I suspect it is low quality acrylic. It’s rough to the touch. I bought it some time ago in Singapore for several bats of my eyelashes and never worked with it because I was ambivalent about its scratchy feel.

So anyways, I combined the two (project and lo-qual yarn) and gave the slouchy hat a go.

Now go get a cuppa and enjoy a good chuckle over some photos ๐Ÿ˜€

crochet skirt
My husband actually thought I was making a skirt XD On hindsight, I wish I continued AND made it into a skirt instead XD
top view
The view from the top – the fabric is gathered at the top using a long foundation chain woven through the spaces.
crochet bucket
No, I WAS NOT going for the Strawberry Shortcake look!
crochet mushroom
She’s really not happy with it, the poor angel XD

For the life of me I just could not figure out how to balance drape and shape – I tried 4 times, adding/subtracting rows/shells. I just couldn’t get it right!

So now the yarn is even more ragged than ever. I might just have to throw the silly thing away for my peace of mind! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

Well at least my daughter liked the fingerless gloves I made for her โค These go with the hat I made for her a while back.

crochet fingerless mitts

Silver lining: I learned a new stitch, learned about ribbing, learned a little about decreasing and increasing, and am a bit smarter about yarn quality ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Crochet

Demystifying (Polyester) Yarn

So last week I was agog over polyester yarn I found locally and asked fellow yarn addicts what I could make with it. (I’m not familiar with yarn yet and have only ever worked with types of cotton and acrylic yarns).

Here’s what I found out about polyester yarn:

From mad-made or natural polymers (like Petroleum and some Plant Cuticles). Polyester is largely stretch and shrink resistant, and provides excellent protection against wind and rain. It will however melt or even ignite when exposed to a heat source! Polyester yarns are good for outer wear, outdoor projects, and slippers.

The fact that it comes from Petroleum did turn me off a bit but I’m past that now and have decided to make this bag with it:

9679677

tutorial here

I think the bag’s a good choice considering the polyester yarn feels sturdy, yet smooth and pliable at the same time.

I’m still deciding whether to go for a single color or to do a combo.ย  A single color bag would go with virtually any color outfit you have, while one done in a combo of colors might need more planning ๐Ÿ™‚ And I always have this bias for anything grab-n-go that won’t make me look like a fashion disaster by the time I step out the door! XD XD

Meantime, I’ll leave you with this interesting vid about yarn materials and fibers – I hope you find it useful:

Create happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Books

March Reads

reading-925589_960_720

Hello there beautiful people! ๐Ÿ˜€

Belated Happy Easter! I hope you had a meaningful observation of the holiday.

Here in Indonesia I didn’t notice Easter that much (were it not for a message from a friend) and it’s a first for me. Muslim and Christian holidays sorta just follow one after the other here and since Christians/Catholics are the minority, Christian holidays seem toย  become more ordinary than festive. I don’t celebrate every holiday but it does seem a bit weird that the world around you is almost oblivious to it. I’ve become so used to having neighbors celebrate on behalf of an entire block where I came from and I sorta miss them!

Oh well, let’s talk books now, shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

So last week I decided to reignite my love for reading because ever since I stopped working the 9 to 5, my voraciousness for books has nosedived. My Kindle has become more of a gaming tool than anything else ๐Ÿ™„ I was therefore quite pleased that last week I really felt like reading. And so I did! I finished not one, but 2 splendid li’l books:

Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by blogger turned writer Glennon Doyle Melton.

From Amazon.com:

Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award

The inspiring and hilarious instant New York Times bestseller from the beloved writer, speaker, activist, and founder of Momastery.com whose writing is “like a warm embrace” (FamilyCircle.com).

ย Glennon Doyle Meltonโ€™s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that theyโ€™re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud-funny new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery.com. Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending theyโ€™re not hard. In this one womanโ€™s trying to love herself and others, readers will find a wise and witty friend who shows that we can build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities.

What can I say? I really, really like this book ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so down to earth and hilariously so that I felt as though Glennon was a personal friend who’s got this crazy-silly side that speaks so much to me XD It’s definitely a feel-good book that I can see myself reviewing every now and then to remind me that life is “brutiful” – brutal and beautiful.

ย “The Rules of Life: A Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful Life”by Richard Templar

This is a motivational book of 105 bite-sized ‘rules’ that are practical and simple.ย  I really also enjoy books like these where a chapter is but two pages long and the take-away is immediately applicable. It’s not very deep or profound, which I like because I wasn’t in the mood for anything serious and analytical. It’s a book you can keep on your nightstand and open randomly to any ‘rule’ and then make that your intention for the day.

The book is divided into 4 sections – there are the rules for you, partnership rules, family and friends rules and social rules. I read everything in one go but I think it’s also a good idea to focus on one section (one area) of life per week and finish the book in 4 weeks (a month). Come to think of it,ย  I’ll definitely do it this way the next time around as the book’s definitely worth reading again and again just forย  some quick reminders or to give yourself a mood boost ๐Ÿ™‚

So that was me last week, lost in the pages of these 2 books. My rediscovered yen for reading seems not to be slowing down yet so I have already downloaded several other book samples to my Kindle.ย  Oh dear, less time for crocheting I’m afraid XD

And, did you notice that it’s the last week of the month already? Have a strong, positive ending to March,sunbeams! โค ๐Ÿ™‚