#projectuglysocks: The Journey to My FIRST Knitted Socks

(NOTE: When I say “ugly,” it’s my term of endearment for my projects. It means they’re loved.)

Back in the start of July, I proclaimed that I’m going to learn to knit socks, and even joined the Sari Sari Yarnery Sock KAL (You can read my previous post Project Ugly Socks here >>). But halfway through of July, I think I had done more ripping than knitting. I thought that it’s something that I could just learn on the side, but I had not moved any where forward beyond the heel flap. The whole heel part of the socks is definitely an “achilles heel.”

So last week, I decided to abandon all my other WIPs, and just concentrate on the sock business. What I thought was just going to be a 2-day endeavor turned out to be almost 2 weeks; it deserves a lengthy blogpost.

Do you resort to not-favorite yarns to do test projects? Well, I do. With this, I used the Robin acrylic yarns, which I think can only be found in Novo stores (Novo is like Unitop). I got mine in Ormoc Novo. But surprisingly, the Robin yarn is lovely to work with. I highly recommend it, especially to new knitters. It is pretty stretchy that will be a big help when your tension gets too tight, which is natural when we’re a beginner.

And, I absolutely love the Addi knitting circular needles. I wish I got more different sizes. And, I realized that fixed circular knitting needles are “smoother” to work with compared to interchangeable (or maybe I just did not do it right with interchangeables). I guess I’ll make a different blog post for knitting needles.

If you’re totally newbie to knitting and socks (and specifically using circular knitting needles), following is what I did to get a grasp of it.

TUTORIALS

1. Kelley’s Sock Class >>. It’s a series of video tutorials. I started with the Anatomy of a Sock video to get an overview idea of how socks are formed.

2. The Spruce: Practice Lesson: Learn to Knit a Small Sock. My mistake when I started to make a sock was that I went straight to adult sizes. The ripping usually happens when you reached the “Turning the Heel,” so there’s already quite a work done so it’s making me cray-cray after doing it countless times.

By the way, this uses DPNs (Double-pointed needles) and not circulars so there’s a bit of figuring it out. But this is one of the detailed photo tutorials, which is a big plus for me since I’m not really a big video tutorial fan. Sorry, it’s not the video; it’s I.

3. Kelley’s Sock Class – Heel Turn. In connection with number 2, I love Kelley’s explanation on how Heel Turn is constructed; it gives you idea on how to modify it.

For a more straightforward video tutorial, I also like Knit Purl Hunter’s Turn Heel (Magic Loop) >>.

4. Knit Purl Hunter: Sock Gusset (Magic Loop) >>. After the Heel Turn part, the sock gusset may look intimidating but it’s not really.

Though, there’s a part in here that I’m still trying to find a better way of doing it. I can’t explain it but for the mean time, this works for me.

Once you slay this part, everything will be a breeze after.

5. KNITFreedom – Russian Grafting: How To Join Live Stitches With A Crochet Hook >>. To close the socks at the toe, I used this method. Though the most common is Kitchener stitch, but it’s tad overkill for a beginner.

But the best Kitchener stitch explanation is from Kelley’s too, Kelley’s Sock Class – Kitchener Stitch >>. She made it pretty easy to follow.

PATTERN

Rose City Rollers. A lot would recommend Easy Peasy Socks for First-Timers >>, but I prefer how City Rose Rollers does its Heel Flap, which makes picking up the stitches for the “gusset” easier. Also, City Rose Rollers does the “gusset” part the same with how Kelley’s Sock Class does it. It also provides 2 options for the Toe decrease. I would suggest to go with the “Rounded Toe;” it looks prettier.

Also I modified the “cuff” part of Rose City Rollers, I ribbed whilst the Rose City Roller is stockinette. So I used the “cuff” part of Easy Peasy Socks pattern then switch to Rose City Rollers until the end.

This is the finished product. They don’t really look pretty, right? But I don’t care, I’m so damn proud of it! #projectuglysocks

Left is the Square Toe; Right is the Rounded Toe

#BLOGGERPOSE.

And, the best part is the bloggerpose…

It does not actually look bad when worn. It’s all about how you swagger it. =)

Yes, the Robin acrylic yarn feels good actually. I wish I would chance on a lot of stocks when I go to Novo.

And most of all, ENJOY the journey! Socks are quite handy to tag along any where.

This was last weekend. We went “trekking” with friends. =)

Made some coffee in the “wild.”

More bloggerposes in the wild… I guess this is the reason why it took me almost 2 weeks! @.@

Yarn Shops Hopping in Singapore

The other week, we were in Singapore. And the only thing that was in my mind on days leading to our trip was to go to as many yarn shops the google maps would allow me. @.@

Here are the yarn shops I was able to visit. It was really just more of “hopping” than shopping because, I believe, yarns do not really come cheap wherever we are in the world. (I reposted a list of yarn shops, which I got from a member of SG-based crochet group, way down below.)

Golden Dragon Store, Chinatown Area (See bottom for complete address.)

NOTE: There’s a People’s Park Centre and People’s Park Complex which are just nearby each other. Golden Dragon Store is in “Centre.”

My first yarn store trip was to something familiar. I’d been to this place a few times in our last trip. This was where I learned to knit, and got my first sets of needles which were both 4mm (You can read more about this place in my previous post, Project Ugly Socks.). When we got home after that first visit of Golden Dragon, that’s when I got really hooked to crochet that you will never see me without a yarn or hook in hand after that. I guess the crafting vibes of the Titas of SG (huddled in a corner knitting or crocheting) was so strong, it followed me until Cebu. =)

I don’t think their yarns here are really that extensive but coming from an island without any legit yarn shop, it’s already heaven to me!!! I could just stare at their walls full of yarn display.

On their entrance is shelves of their discounted yarns.This is the cheapest yarn in the store. It seems to be the equivalent of our Monaco.

They have a lot of crochet hook brands, the popular ones, from Susan Bates to Hamanaka. Though, price-wise, you may score a better price from local fb sellers.

They also carry a lot of knitting needles from Clover, and Aero.

Either way, I think this is a good place to start your yarn shop hopping because it’s in Chinatown. They have a nice hawker station in this area though can be crowded because it’s a popular area.

Well, I think what I really love about this place is seeing the Titas of SG with their crafts, and eavesdropping to their chatters. It’s my kind of “tourist spot.” They also display some knitted / crocheted items.

The only thing I hoard from this place was this stitch markers, Clover and Hamanaka, because I have enough of the generic cheap stitch markers which break easily.

SPOTLIGHT, Plaza Singapura

After doing some crocheting some rows done in Golden Dragon Store, I moved on to something “new” place. This was fairly near to Golden Dragon Store. According to Google maps, it was just less than 2KM away from Golden Dragon so I just walked it than trying to find a bus stop (I really have a bad sense of direction.). Though a friend said that it’s far but there were interesting places on my way; I passed by Clark Quay, Caning Fort. And, when you’re in 1st world, pedestrian life is really not that haggard. =)

Spotlight is like a home furnishing / decors, party supplies, and craft store. There was probably more to it. I just got stuck in the yarns area. There were probably 4 rows of yarns.

If you love acrylics and wool, you can find a lot in relatively low prices here. At that time, I think the cheapest I saw was 4 skeins for SGD15.

I got out of this place empty handed! YAY! =) (I actually planned to check all the yarn stores, and go back to each of them to buy yarns but plans changed, more of it on the later part.)

DAISO

Protip: There’s a Daiso store right beside Spotlight.

Because Daiso in Cebu does not have yarns, so it’s kind of fun to get inside a Daiso store and find yarns, and a bit of crochet and knitting notions. I think I got inside 2 Daiso stores in Singapore but I did not buy any thing. It was just for the fun of it.

All their stuff are priced at SGD2. It was so tempting to buy the crochet hooks but I stopped myself to save my chicken-rice-kopi-tiam money for the best. =)

ONDORI, Kewalram House, Bukit Merah

NOTE: They only accept cash. And, use Kewalram House to search it up in Google Maps as it’s easier that way.

Per Knitwerks’ recommendation, I ventured to this place. I made sure that husband was free to accompany me because it looks tricky on Google maps. But really, it’s not.

If you get intimidated with its location, don’t be. It’s located in a warehouse complex. If you’re in Cebu, it’s like you’re in MEPZA but only of warehouses. It’s an area full of buildings that are warehouses. You can find Ondori in one of the buildings.

Ondori is located inside Kewalram House. So I guess when you look it up on Google Maps, you search for Kewalram House. Once you reach Kewalram, you have to get inside the building.

They sale yarns by bulk, or as they say “peket” (packet). I think at least a packet may contain 6 pieces. They sell branded yarns: Katia, Schachenmayer, etc.

This shelf just looks so fluffy.

They have a specific shelves of yarns which are on SALE, where I got all my yarns. The lowest price I found was 20SGD for a packet but it was for some fancy yarns, which might just end up in your destash box. The nice ones were somewhere in 50SGD per packet (which consists of a minimum of 6 pieces).

They also have Tulip crochet hooks. I think they sell it at a relatively lower price. They also carry Addi knitting needles. I so wanted to get a set of the interchangeable knitting needles and Tulip crochet hooks; but it was a choice of needles, hooks, or yarns. So I picked yarns, then bought 2 circular needles. (The Addi needles really feel good.=))

I don’t know what’s in that place but it gobbled up all my chicken-rice and kopi tiam money. So if you plan to go yarn store hopping in Singapore, you can probably have this as the last destination because it’s just so hard to resist the yarns here. =)

After Ondori, I dared not go to any yarn store any more. This is where my yarn shop / store hopping in Singapore ended.

My loot.

LAST PROTIP! If you ran out of money from yarns and such, visit one of their National Public Libraries. It’s so LIT!

Here’s a list of yarn shops that I got from a member of a Singapore-based crochet fb group. I’m just going to quote the member’s full reply:

“Found this list on a ravely forum but it is posted 9 yrs ago. Some of the shops may or may not still be ard.

1) Spotlight – Plaza Singapura

Description: Best for novelty yarns and Australian imports (also sells cheap plastic needles!) HUGE selection of other craft and home-making materials

Prices: Variable, mostly affordable (starting from ~$5 per ball)

2) Golden Dragon – People’s Park Centre http://goldendragon.com.sg/index.htm

Address: 101 Upper Cross Street, #02-51, Singapore 058357

Tel: 6535 8454

Description: Huge handicraft store with one wall dedicated to yarn, with a few novelties

Prices: Variable

3) Yong Herng Co. – 211 Holland Avenue Holland Road Shopping Centre #02-12
(6468-3659)

Description: Tiny shop run by an approachable, friendly Chinese couple who don’t mind if you come in just to look. Small selection of plainer yarns, including Rowan, Butterfly…the shop also carries loads of ribbons and other fabric-craft-related items like buttons, zips, bells, cross-stitch etc.

Prices: about $10+ / ball

4) Ondori – 8 Jln Kilang Timor #01-06 Kewalram Hse (Alexandra Road area)

Description: Wholesaler (sale by packs) selling needles dizzying array of imported yarn

Prices: Expect to pay at least $10 per ball x (number of balls in 1 pack) (CASH ONLY)

5) Ishida Craft – Great World City (across from Cold Storage)

Description: Small supply but very friendly and helpful staff. Also stocks Addi needles and Clover. Lots of baby cotton. Also sells cross-stitch supplies.

Prices: ?

6) Siew Lip

Address: Jurong Point Shopping Centre at boon lay mrt #03-01
Telephone: 68610020
Opening hours:??

7) Creative ______ (CLOSED. I checked this, and it no longer exists.)

Address: 1st Floor Coronation Plaza, Bukit Timah

Description: Excellent prices and selection. Has addi and clover needles tons of patterns english and japanese friendly staff and good prices. Highly recommend!!”

 

BAD JOB

Have you give up on a project when you feel like it’s not going right? Is it easy for you throw in the towel?!?

So I’m blogging to let my steam out. I’m so frustrated, disappointed of a very bad job I made of my current project (but I can label it now as ex-project because I’m totally giving up.) . 

Expectation:


Reality:


This is actually a relatively easy pattern; and I guess that’s what making me more frustrated because it’s supposed to be easy. But maybe it was not. (I have a twisted perception of easy and not.)

What made me more frustrated because I need to wear it today, later at 3pm for a wedding where I’m going to walk down rhe aisle as secondary sponsor! 😭😭😭

I caught this mistake a day ago, but I thought I could just wing it out by trying to make up with stitches here and there. I was trying to correct a mistake by another mistake. Unfortunately, it ends up a total disaster.

Back


Here are details of this if you want to make it:

Pattern: Seaside Dress by Moon Eldridge
Yarn: Dazzle from Sugarfree
Crochet hook size: 3.5

This is relatively easy pattern. My mistake was (and is always my weakness) that I did not thoroughly read the pattern instructions. This is a seamless pattern BUT There was supposed to be a “TURN” in every row, but what I did was continouosly work in circle / around. Before this, there were already other mistakes. But this mistake could not be easily detected unless you made quite a length of job already. And if you have limited time, frogging could not be an option; all I can do is cry-cry and whine!!!😭😭😭

(It’s not obvious in the earlier part.)

On the bright side, the journey of this bad job was not really bad. It gave me company in SG last week… ( Please watch out for my SG yarn shop hopping in my upcoming blogpost.😊)

…and it ticked off my 1st-world bucketlist: to have a crochet photo in a train. 😂

But I just have to cut the journey short as it no longer makes me happy. 

On the other thought, maybe I could pull it off and pretend I’m boho chic. 😂 TOO MUCH EXPECTATION again! 😂

Get Cozy with Handmade Crocheted Cup Cozy

I never imagined that there are really people who used cup sleeves or cup cozies at home except when they’re given those cup sleeves at coffee shops. Anyhow, a friend messaged me that she wanted a few cup sleeves.

And now I have a new sense of appreciation for what seemed to me boring thing to crochet. It’s actually quick fun. Following are some notes I made when adapting the crochet patterns that call for worsted yarn to mercerized cotton thread 10 for those who want some quickie crochet project.

So worsted yarn (using size 4-5mm hook size) is what is usually specified in the the cup sleeves patterns I was looking at. The worsted yarns I usually have are the Monaco acrylic. But I wanted to use cotton because I thought it would feel more cosy if it’s cotton to protect you from heat than acrylic. So I opted to go for the mercerized cotton thread. I “double pull” it because “impatient.” 🙂

Yarn: Mercerized Thread 10 (Double Pull)
Hook: 4mm
Patterns: See list below.

Steps:
1. Get cup sleeves from coffee shops. They come with the take-out paper cups. I believe it’s the standard size. There are lots of information regarding cup sleeve dimensions on the internet but to save us from information overload, just go to your nearest coffee shop.  You can then use this as your gauge for sizing especially if we are not using the specified yarn weight in the pattern.
2. With monaco mercerized thread 10, chain 39 (to 41) as your base foundation. After making a few cup cozies, chain 39 is the closest that could give me the right size for standard cup sleeve. If you started with shorter length, you may increase in the later rows.
3. The alternate SC and DC stitches give me the most stretchy effect, and fits perfectly with the chain 39.

The basket weave is also cozy except that it would shrink as you go on for more rows so you might start with a longer chain, or increase along the way.

For my 1st attempt, it took some time because I had to frog a lot of times to get me into the right gauge. When I was able to get the hang of it, cup cozies are pretty fast to make. I would have made more except that my right arm was in pain after at that time after making 3 mermaid blankets successively for my nieces. =)

Pattern Sources:
* Toothless the Dragon and Yoda cup sleeves / cozy crochet patterns are from The Enchanted Ladybug >>. This site has a lot of “kawaii” cup sleeves / cozy crochet patterns.
* The Basketweave Stitch >> * 15 Minute Cup Sleeve >> 
* The Crown and Wonderwoman inspired cup cozies / sleeves were inspired by bigger versions of it. So you can actually use the patterns for beanies / hats, headbands but then just make smaller version of them.
* Crown pattern Garn Studio >>

 




Project Ugly Socks

I was once gifted (pasalubong) of knitted Tigger (my favorite at that time) socks from Baguio long time ago. And, I really love it! I still have them with me with all the holes on it already.

Fastforward 2 years ago, I started to learn to crochet. At that time, I just thought crochet and knitting are just one or similar. So that when after making a few dish cloths, I felt that I was already ready to dive into making socks.

To cut the story short, here’s the first pair of socks I crocheted. I tried making one or 2 more in the thought that I would improve, but they’re so ugly that I finally gave up. That’s why I called it Project Ugly Socks.
original.jpg

Fast-forward, I learned that crochet is different from knitting. And that the Baguio socks I got were knitted. That’s when I thought of learning how to knit. But I know now one in this city who knows how to knit. Yes, there is a lot of youtube tutorials but I just could not get video tutorials unless I see someone in person made a demo of it first.

I got lucky when I stumbled upon a craft store in SG last year, Golden Dragon Store. They have a knitting corner where “Titas of SG” tambay to knit or crochet. The craft store staff would teach you if you buy some stuff from them.

So there, I’m “internationally” educated in knitting from women with thick Singlish accent I hardly understand.

This was last year. And nothing happen to my knitting after that.

Attempt at #knitting. The struggle is real.

A post shared by Cebu, Philippines (@craftynanay) on


 

So last month (after a year), I decided to pick up the knitting needles. Thankfully, despite that Singlish instructions, I still have a vague memory of the steps. After watching a youtube tutorial, I realized that the SG Titas were actually teaching me knit and purl stitches. The way they pronounced “purl” was just so strange.

On to my knitting socks progress, the most I have now is that I stumbled upon an FB page hosting a socks KAL (Knit-along) which will start July, tomorrow. I got my yarns and colorful knitting needles. The only questions is if I can hold my attention long enough to get me through this? Hopefully, by december, I will have a decent enough looking knitted socks. For those interested, you can join the knitted socks KAL in Sari Sariy Yarnery’s page >>. They also sell knitting needles, yarns and other related stuff.

SOLD OUT: My 1st in Shopee

Probably for lack of any thing to comment on my crochet, friends would say that I should sell my crochet items. I did sell some items way before. I’m not so proud to say that I was making money from little kids’ recess money @.@; I was selling pokemon amigurumi items to my kids’ classmates. My kids with their friends got a list of orders from their classmates, and I made them. Later on, I learned that the term for that is MTO (made-to-order). It was cheap but it was not short of happiness.

Anyhow, I stopped doing it because I got a job (but I’m currently unemployed again). Then, honestly, I got to the point that 1 more pikachu MTO, and I would puke. So when I’m out of job again, and have more time on my hands, thinking of selling again crossed my mind. BUT I kind of resolve to myself that crochet will be something that will satisfy my selfish nonsense desires; no pressure or any thing. #chos

Now to the main reason for this blog is that I just really want to share the basic of selling in SHOPEE app, and also to celebrate my 1st SOLD OUT (of course, I only have 1 stock.).

I’m familiar with online selling; I had been doing it for other stuff way back, and it was not easy in local market (Philippines) because credit card penetration is not yet that high and Filipinos just simply don’t trust online money transaction that much. Meet-ups and coordinating payments from different facility are quite a lot of effort and eat a lot of time that when your margin is low, it’s just as good as break-even.

So came SHOPEE… I was buying from sellers, and it’s a good experience especially with the COD and free shipping. So now on the seller part, I posted the item, a table runner, way back in February, which I kind of forgot about it. I actually made the table runner for myself, and thought of just posting it on Shopee for experiment.

After 48 years, someone messaged me and bought it. Really?!? People who want table runner exist?!? So this is how a COD order (cash-on-delivery) and integrated (free) shipping works in Shopee.

1. A notification status would state that an order was placed for your item.
2. Scheduling pick-up for shipping from the Shopee app. After an order is posted, you have to wait for an hour or 2 or few minutes before a prompt / notification will appear that you can schedule a pick-up (This part got me really confused because I could not find the prompt to schedule shipping right away; I actually have to wait for an hour or 2.). This is to give a leeway time in case the buyer decided to cancel the order. The shipping of Shopee is serviced by BAE (Black Arrow Express).
3. You choose a date / time within the Shopee app for the pick-up. I so love this! =) It’s free but I would not mind paying a bit extra for this service.
4.The waiting for Mr. RIDER (the nick for the delivery staff of BAE who will pick-up / deliver your goods) can be a bit of “anxiety-inducing” especially for first timers like me. But they would arrive (in my case, it was already around 3pm. Maybe it’s because I’m in Consolacion, and that Mr. Rider also had to do deliveries and pick-up along the way). But I could imagine when it’s going to be peak season, it’s going to be crazy. That’s why I would not mind paying a reasonable fee for this to keep the efficient service, and of course the riders happy. =) (Shipping ETA of a shipment from Cebu to Luzon was 4-5 days on my order.)
5. If it’s a COD, of course, we need to pray that delivery and receiving of the order will go smoothly. The reason why we need to make Mr. Rider be well-paid. =)

6. Getting the payment from Shopee. I still have to figure this out. =) I think I just need to add my bank account.

So there, THANK YOU to this person who likes table runner in orange shades! =) And, please watch out for new stock of Flower Bouquet Table Runner (hopefully, it will not take me 48 years to finish.)! Keep posted thru my SHOP page, or add me in Shopee, shopee.com/craftynanay.

On to the mission of glamming up your #foodie IG post, one table runner at a time!

 

#ShawlVirgin No More: Lost in Time

Crochet Shawl Pattern: Lost in Time by Johanna Lindahl of Mijo Crochet
Links to Pattern: Ravelry, Mijo Crochet Website
Yarn: Ashley’s Crochet “Northern Lights” / 196 grams
Hook: 3.5mm Clover
Not blocked.


Before, I really find making a shawl “too granny,” and kind of inappropriate for our warm weather. But when I got this Ashley’s Crochet “vintage-vibed” yarn, I felt that it had to be made into a shawl. And, that maybe one day, Cebu, Philippines will be blessed with an 18-degree Celsius weather. Though, on the other thought, I’m happy with all the sunshine we have! =)

So this is my version of Lost in Time crochet shawl. Thankfully, I was able to finish it, and did not get lost in time.

I had to frog it a few times, then had to re-do it from scratch just so this “ridge” detail will really come out. When I started this, I was doing 2 different shawls at the same time; I was being glutton that I missed little details, which plays a major role in the shawl’s design. So what happened was that I was reading the FPDC and BPDC as “front DC” and “back DC” instead of “front post DC” and “back post DC.”

I was already 3/4 of the yarn cake when I decided that I had to rip the whole thing off, and start again. 😭 

That “ridge” detail is what I’m referring to…

Lesson learned: Do not be major glutton.

STITCH COUNTS on Additional Rows

One of the reasons why I posted a blog of the Lost in Time shawl because I came across a post from a crocheter, in one of the FB crochet groups, asking for the “Total number of stitches for each row” on every additional rows after Row 26 so I’m writing this down to serve as a note.

So the downloadable pattern is only up to Row 26. Once you’re done with Row 26, you can continue by repeating row 15-26 as long as you like. So when I had to re-do the shawl from scratch, I paid attention to the stitch counts. It was really an effort because I’m not that OC when it comes to stitch counts and a few kinks here and there as long as it does not affect the final overall look of the item.

I only manage to make 3 repeats of Row 15-18, then only twice repeat on Row 19-26 as I ran out of yarn. If I could, I want to repeat it 5 times so I might pick a longer yarn next time, maybe 300g or 400g to be sure. =)

So here it is…

+20

For repeat of Row 15-22, there was a pattern of increase by 20 stitches for every next “round” of repeat.
For repeat of Row 23, there was an increase of 10 stitches.
For repeat of Row 24, there’s an increate of 5 clusters of 8DCs.
For repeat of Row 25, there’s an increase of 40 stitches
For repeat of Row 26, there’s an increase of 5 for the popcorn stitches and 40 for the DC stitches.

Here’s my draft note of the stitch numbers. The numbers refer to the final stitch counts when you repeat Row 15-26 (Just read it as Row 15 from top and so on). The numbers after “;” refers to the next round of repeat. =)

The edging of my Lost in Time was modified because I ran out of yarns already.
And to the most important part, #bloggerpose. I asked the daughter to model it for me because I really wanted to do it in some fancy place but I can no longer wait. =)

 

#gantsilyoserye

#gantsilyoserye youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfOaJtqouHXmm-RC50Ia6EA/videos

Please subscribe please! Baka magka budget, at magpa giveaway ako!

So I finally created a youtube channel. It took me some time because I realised that I’m not that millennial enough. I do have old youtube account, but I wanted to make a “branded channel” but there are just so many buttons and settings. Anyhow, here’s the first upload…

To check my old 1-minute #gantsilyoserye videos, you can check hashtag #gantsilyoserye in instagram, or click here >>.

Hopefully, I could at least make 1 short video a month on top of my #WIPS!

Hooker’s Hook-ups

So I’ve been really wanting a Tulip Etimo crochet hook set. I have only one, a 2.5mm. And, it’s one of my petty biggest regrets of my crocheting career (more details about it later in this post)…

I’m kinda desperate of getting a set of Tulip Etimo but I just cannot justify spending that much for yet another set of crochet hooks when I already have more than enough (from my mother’s). But there are ways of getting them for “free” (sort of). So I’m always on the lookout for Tulip crochet hook giveaways. There’s this one instagram account, @byhaafner, who has promo from time to time, which I always joined but never have the luck yet. Her last giveaway promo was a fun one because she it required submitting a “tulip inspired crochet item.”

This way my entry, a crochet Tulip Mandala (pattern design by @trollgarnet). This is my first mandala, and it’s actually fun to make.

So now on my to crochet hooks, I’m going to share here my crochet journey, my favorites, and what works for me.

The first batch of hooks I bought; I got over excited! @.@ When I bought them, I did not know a thing about crochet. I was buying it for my mother. So I was really not particular with it except that we opted to for big hooks because my mother’s right arm was a bit wonky when she had a stroke years ago. Big hooks were easier for her to handle.


I got this from amazon online when a friend had a shipment. I just picked those hook sets with low prices.


SUSAN BATES Fan.

Anyhow, When I started learning to crochet, the biggest problem is the “tension.” I ended up with tight stitches that it’s just hard to crochet on top of it because I could no longer find the “stitch holes” and it’s just generally difficult to “poke” the holes.

But Susan Bates kind of solve the super tightness of my stitches. That’s when I learned that the tip of the hooks have different designs: inline vs the taper hooks. Susan Bates and Lion brand hooks are inline.

It was Susan Bates for me for quite some time until I tried amigurumi. Susan Bates hooks usually give a looser even stitches because if you look at the tip of the hook, it’s even from the throat to the tip. Amigurumi is better with very tight stitches, the smaller the “holes.”

I picked up one of those other generic hooks I got for the mother (the one on the left side of the photo below). Maybe I was not using it the right way, there was just no connection between me and that hook unlike Susan Bates. But I got not choice, so I just made use of it.

I highly recommend Susan Bates for the beginners, and for those wanting to relieve their very tight tensions. It’s also one of the hook brands which are available locally.

Generic Double-Ended Hook

I forgot to bring a hook one time but I got yarns so I bought from a craft store this double-ended hook. It’s kind of a “copycut” of a the classic Tulip double-ended hook (I noticed later).

And, I was pretty surprise, crocheting amigurumi using this feels way better.

This hook feels comparable to the branded ones I got except that it does not have the ergonomic grip. Just make sure when you buy one to double check the head and shaft of the hook (tip) is smooth. Sometimes with generic hooks, the tip is not smoothly even out. It’s still usable but it would split the yarn from time to time. (Anyhow, you can find some online sellers selling the original Tulip double-ended hook, and it’s very affordable like almost the same price as the generic ones.)

Lazada-bought Plastic Crochet Hooks

NOOOO!!! Just don’t bother with it even if the colors are just so fancy. These were pretty useless.

Boye Crochet Hook

I just do not have connection with it. I got 2 sets of this. The first one was I bought it for the mother, and gave it away. Then, the second one was a gift so I could not give it away. I really tried liking it but we’re just not meant to be. I guess it has to do that its hook’s tip are extra larger; I need some extra effort of pulling it out from a stitch.

Clover Amure vs Tulip Etimo Crochet Hooks

So when I was in the amigurumi phase, I kept looking around what were other amigurumi crocheters were using. And, it’s always Clover hooks they would recommend. I don’t know if they were sponsored or not.

Clover

Anyhow, I went for Clover Amure hook set, then I bought one Tulip Etimo to try it (I think the color made me do it.). Honestly, the Clover Amure feels like the generic double-ended hook except that it has this fancy “rubber” grip. But no regrets.

Tulip Etimo

When I bought them, I was clueless with hook sizes. When I picked up the number 4 of Tulip Etimo, I thought it meant 4MM. But the #4 was more of a label, and I should pay attention to the other number which was 2.5MM (the actual size of the hook).

So when I got the Tulip, I was not able to use it right away because I’m worsted yarn user. I only got to use it later when I finally tried the mercerised thread. And, I fell inlove with Tulip! There’s that certain glide that I’m only able to experience in Tulip. It just feels like extra smoother!

That’s when I realized my biggest petty regret. I should have not let the blogger reviews swayed me too much. Anyhow, no regrets with the Clover Amure.

PRYM Crochet Hook

I bought it because I want to have the 4.5 and 5.5mm sizes (because I had no idea about the hook sizes when I got my previous ones so I missed out to buy the set with the 4.5 & 5.5. Boo me!). Just like Boye hooks, there’s just connection between I and the hooks. The packaging says it’s for “wool” yarn though that can be the reason why.

On a more specific note, it’s tip / head is slightly bigger than the clover or the generic hooks so there’s that need of extra wiggle to pull it out from a stitch. So I just can’t slide my way in and out of a stitch. But if you come from the Boye camp, using Prym crochet hooks might not be a big problem.

CLOVER SOFT TOUCH Crochet Hooks

As I said, I lack the 4.5 and 5.5 mm sizes. I was not so happy with the Prym. I found a Clover hooks in 4.5 and 5.5mm at a lower price from The Attic Yarn & Craftery. I think from the local online sellers, they have the slightly lower prices of branded hooks (Correct me if I’m wrong).

When it comes to the “feels,” I think there’s no difference between Clover Amure vs Soft Touch. But I love the gold color of Clover Soft Touch compared to the boring silver color of Clover Amure. It looks so classic and romantic when the gold color of Soft Touch is with a classic yarn color too. It just feels cooler to the eyes.

On the grip handle, I could feel there’s an extra “turn” with the Clover Soft touch because it has a rectangle-ish shape, unlike with the round handle of Amure which you can just roll it in your hands. But it’s unnoticeable though for me.

Yabali Crochet Hooks

I bought this together with the Clover Soft Touch to maximize using the shipping fee. I just use the 2.5mm because I’m scared using any thing smaller size than that.

I think this is the first steel hook that I get to really use. And, surprisingly I love it! =) I realized that there’s a certain “classic” feel when I use the steel hook.

Generic Double-ended Steel Hook

To make up for not winning the Tulip giveaway, I bought these when I stumbled on it when I was buying fabrics my kids’ uniforms.

These are steel hooks I think, and they’re actually good except that the tip / shaft of these hooks have some tiny extra bits, not evenly smooth out. I really forgot to check on that.

To summarize my thoughts all over this post:

1. Susan Bates hooks if you’re a beginner who is struggling with very tight tension. But I believe that tension gets better with more hooking whatever crochet hook we’re using.
2. If you’re confused between Tulip and Clover, get both! @.@ Kidding! I think you should pick Tulip Etimo. If you don’t like the Tulip, you can give it to me. @.@
3. Branded or generic crochet hooks? I love having them all. @.@ On a serious note, when you get the generic hooks, make sure to check shaft / head of the hook to be smooth, no rough edges. The pricier Japanese brands really have that slight good feeling in using them that it might improve your experience crocheting so it’s not that all a waste to get them. But as they said, “It’s not with the arrow; it’s the Indian.”
4. With crochet hooks and yarns and crochet patterns, I could say that I’m CONTENTED not being contented. @.@ I want to have them all and more, but I will never have them all; and that’s fine that I will always be pining over having them. @.@



LoveCrochet

Hooker’s Life in Baguio, Philippines

The weather in my beautiful island in the Pacific, Cebu, is so crazy hot. For a tropical island dweller to complain about the hot weather, it is really burning hot… that I can’t help but keep thinking about Baguio.

Let me make a throwback to my first ever trip to the summer capital of the Philippains to hopefully bring in some coldness to this island.

We’d been wanting to go way further up to the Northern Luzon but long bus rides and the bus accident of Tado made me always put Baguio trip down at the bottom of “bucket list” (which I don’t really have one.). Then came crochet, and the idea of seeing Baguio yarns in its original place bumped it up to top of the list. =)

The first thing that I saw when we landed in Baguio was the “Baguio broom.” I got so excited to see my favorite broom, Baguio broom, in its original place! It’s like visiting a friend in his place; I feel so giddy!

I really prepared for this trip. I made a twinning beanie cat for me and the husband, and a sort-of poncho for me in orange shades, my favorite color. And, it was a big mistake so…

PROTIP #1

Please do not ever wear a beanie and a top / poncho / jacket in orange colors; and wear them all at the same time, unless you want to look like a traffic cone.

PROTIP #2

Traffic-cone fashion or whatever, me no care!

We arrived in Baguio so early in the morning so we just roam around the Burnham Park.

Traffic cone in Bloggerpose
Traffic Cone crocheting in Burnham Park
The famous strawberry taho. I was not really crazy over it though.

HANGAR MARKET

The most important thing on that trip was the trip to HANGAR MARKET because YARNS and COFFEE.

YARNS

Honestly, I was kind of disappointed in the yarn department. I think I just did not know my way around that I did not find much that interest me but nevertheless I still ended up with a lot.

The most yarns I found there at that time were the acrylic: the indophil and lanalon. I think the guy in the photo was spinning indophil. I was not able to buy much acrylic because I still had quite a stash at that time. The kilo there (at that time) was P350/kg.

I have not seen much classic straight cotton. They’re probably always sold out, or I did not know my way around.

The other abundant yarns I saw were the Baguio Cotton Kulot / Curly, which was sold at P150/kg. I was not really interested in getting them but these lady has a lot of interesting colors that I ended up with 6 kilos, which was a very wrong decision because I had to ship it in advance via 2GO because we still need to go to Sagada after Baguio. I cannot be lugging around 6kilos of baggage with me. (The prices from online resellers of these yarns can be high but it’s really more practical getting it from them.)

COFFEE

I love coffee. It makes crocheting less lonely; it makes every thing less lonely. =) This was located down below the yarns floor.

Hangar Market is an interesting place. I really wanted to roam around the market but husband was already grumpy carrying the yarns.

HOOKING

We stayed in a Japanese-owned backpacker kind of place, Tala. It was located beside Cafe Yagam, a homey kind of restaurant somewhere in the Mines View area. And, there’s really a big difference when you crochet in a cold weather, compared when you’re in a beach under a blaring hot sun.

It just feels cosy.

Cafe Yagam

 

 

BLOGGERPOSE / TREK

And, the rest of what I did in Baguio was #bloggerpose. =)

Morning walk to Mines View Park. Cold-weather really makes trekking and walking and roaming romantic.

Coffee Harvest Tour. It was timely that the place we’re staying, where an NGO about coffee farmers was based, was organizing a coffee farm tour. We were the few Filipinos in a group of Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese.

Baguio has a lot of foreigners, mostly Asian, studying ESL so it’s common to see them around.

The coffee farm was located in Tublay, Benguet.

This woman had a unique baby carrier.

Posing with the women coffee farmers! #girlboss

#Selfie with the coffee cherries.

USA VISA-free trip. I’m in USA… property! =)

We went to Camp John Hay, and trek the Yellow Trail from a friend’s recommendation. Going around the trail, you would find a signage “PROPERTY of USA.” So yeah, that was my first trip to USA… property! =)

And, to culminate our trip to USA property, we had breakfast at a diner. It’s really my wish to eat in a diner, like those in American movies kind of diner.

Mile Hi Diner, Baguio
Then, we moved on to Sagada, which was an endless zigzag to Heaven kind of ride.

PS. I think I lost / left my hook (the one in photo) in The Coffee Library. If you found, kindly love it! =)

This Vietnamese coffee with coconut milk is YUMMM!

If you’re one of those complaining of the summer heat, I hope this brings you a little relief of coldness. 🙂


Please visit / share my crocheted items shop here >>.



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