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…
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.
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.
The famous strawberry taho. I was not really crazy over it though.
The most important thing on that trip was the trip to HANGAR MARKET because YARNS and COFFEE.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
I was planning to post my first “crochet pattern” this week but as I worked on it, it’s not EASY. The pattern I’m even creating is a very simple basic kind of crochet pattern but I’m way too far from getting half of it. So shoutout to all pattern designers, much respect!
Instead of getting frustrated at my first attempt of writing down a pattern, I’m just gonna CHILL with a throwback.
Last month, I got to be in Panglao Island, Bohol. I tagged along with husband and friends who attended RubyConf. Since I was not part of the conference, I had 2 days in Panglao Island alone, on my own.
And, I was not more excited to be alone… with my yarns and crochet hooks. =)
It was spent “eating my own dog food.”
One of the most requested item, few friends ask me to crochet, is swimwear / bikini. I’m hesitant to create it because I could not see how functional it would really be especially when you’re going to really swim in it. So I want to test it first before creating them.
I had tested raylon, mercerized cotton thread previously; and then Bohol came which was a perfect opportunity to test the worsted cotton thread, or it’s really more of combed cotton (not really ideal for wearables?) which I experimented hand-dying it. (I’ll post about the feel of these different threads / yarns on a bikini top.)
So Day 1 was spent at Alona beach, which was a first time — it was my first time to swim in it.
It was swim, and sunbathing beside the caucasian. Emphasis on caucasians because I noticed that Asians are mostly wrapped in beach cover-ups under the shade, far from the sun. So I think obsession on having a “fair skin” is an Asian thing, not just a Pinoy thing.
There was also hooking in between.
With this 8-ply hand-dyed cotton thread, it’s perfect for sunbathing. It’s owkei for a bit of dipping here and there, but definitely not for swimming competition or aqua/triathlon.
It’s really tad heavy. Since it was tied around my neck, it chafed that area a little because of the weight so maybe use another material for the “tie.”
OOTD. Stabilo highlighter inspired crochet pinafore, pattern inspired by Little White Dress by Sarah Cooper.
No more swimwear testing on this day because I was too proud to wear sunscreen on Day 1 that I got very bad sunburn. It was was so bad that even a slight touch on my back (which was the most exposed part since I was lying on my tummy when sunbathing) was so painful.
So all I could do was hop from one souvenir store to another in Alona Beach; and I noticed that no one was selling any crocheted swimwear.
It made me think, I could probably make a living here by just sitting at the beach, crochet swimwear, cover-ups, hats, and whatnots. That would be so romantic! =)
And, if all things fail, let me just soak in the view and people-watch…
…if only those are enough to make ones’ stomach not grumble. =)
Before I will go on my crochet yarn drama, I want to make a “crochet blogger” drama first. I thought a million times before putting up this blogsite because my gut feeling said that I just could not keep it up. And, somehow, my gut instinct is right. Crocheting takes soooo much time on top of the real-life tasks. So I just have to say “kudos” to crochet bloggers who can actively maintain their website, crochet, and put up tutorials.
So now on to the yarn drama… You can check my previous post, “Buying Yarns in Cebu…” if you want to get started yarn hunting in Cebu, Philippines.
Cebu (Philippines) has pretty much limited availability of yarns for crochet or knitting. So one option is to order online, and have it ship to Philippines or group buying with friends to save on shipping, or you can go around asking relatives to bring it with them when coming home. But this does not really interest me much because as “passively chill” I could be, I’m very impatient. I don’t like waiting for 3 months for unnecessary stuff. @.@
Until I randomly stumbled upon Baguio yarns via google. Searching for “yarns in Philippines,” it’s the Baguio yarns that would keep popping up. But it can be tricky to find them, unless you’re in Baguio, because you can mostly get them from “online / facebook mom and pop yarn sellers.”
And, once you’d find them, there’s the doubt of “are they legit?” So first thing first, I never encounter any problem buying from the facebook yarn sellers in Philippines I have transacted with. They’re the most hardworking, honest, creative, and reliable group of individuals I met. And, they’re all women. Thus, it’s hard to resist to become a yarn addict especially when you’re transacting with sweet moms. So I listed the name of the sellers along with the yarns below.
I don’t know how to “systematically categorize” the yarns I bought locally but here’s my attempt.
Imported Brand of Yarns
Gantsilyoguru.com. I think by default, Gantsilyoguru is the first online store a newbie crocheter would go to. And, I think it’s because they are the only one who has a very updated website. So this was where I got the first set of hooks and Lily Sugar n Cream cotton yarns, which I bought for my Nanay.
Pomelo LLC. This is owned by a friend. But I think she no longer carries yarns because I bought all of them. @.@ It was a mix of Premier yarns, Lily Sugar N Cream, Bernat, and others. I got them when I started so I was not really picky with yarns.
I love Lily Sugar n Creams because they’re worsted (5mm up hooks) so it’s easy to finish projects with them. (They probably have thinner cotton yarns.) But they tend to be so bulky / heavy, which is probably would feel so cozy if you’re living in colder climate but it can be blahhh in our tropical weather. But this kind of bulky yarns are something I highly recommend to beginners.
I did not get addicted with imported brand of yarns because expen$ive! And, so that’s why I get to do more digging about yarns I could source locally.
For some reason, almost all yarns I got locally are called Baguio yarns. I’m not sure if they’re really produced in Baguio, or Baguio businesses got them from China or somewhere and sell them in Baguio. Either way, let’s just stick to calling them Baguio yarns.
Baguio yarns have 2 basic types: Acrylic and Cotton. As I mentioned in my previous post, “Buying Yarns in Cebu…,” acrylic is synthetic fibers meaning they’re chemically fabricated, while the cotton is plant-based so they label it as natural.
And Baguio acrylic and cotton yarns has also different kinds under each, see below. Correct me if the following is wrong.
Classic – Or they call it straight
Kulot / Curly
Handspun / Plied
Boucle was my very first Baguio yarn I got. Some would say you can consider it as fancy yarns.
I was totally a newbie when I got them so I really have no clue as to the different textures of yarn. My daughter was asking for blue sweater because she loves blue color. Then I found these, and they look pretty.
But since I was a beginner when I got them, I had a hard time handling it. First is its “messy” texture that would make finding the stitches and holes very hard to do. To make it worse, I got dark colors making it more harder to find the stitches. Also, it appears “worsted” because of its messy look but it’s actually thin, so that would be another challenge especially if you started with the worsted Monaco acrylic.
If you’re a very newbie, you might get this in the later stage of the career to avoid frustration. =)
Classic / Straight Cotton. Since, I was having a hard time with boucle, I looked for another yarn. So obviously, I went for the “straight” type of yarn.
Since it was again my first time, it did not occur to me that the Baguio Classic Straight cotton are actually like that of “sewing threads” grouped together. So when buying and you want to have all the yarns have uniform thickness, you need to ask details about how many plies / thread in 1 pull.
For very beginners like me a year ago who was used to the Monaco acrylic, dealing with loose threads can be really tricky especially when you do not know how to control much your grip. I actually gave up on this and hid them.
But now, I got a better grip and I’m quite comfortable handling them now. I think it was making amigurumis that train me better with my grip. I’m bad at amigurumi but the little kids you’d be making them for don’t really bother, and it helps a lot exercising your grip and control of the hook.
These women mixes threads (can be in different types: polyester, acrylic, cotton, and others) to produce these yummy yarns. The photos below do not give justice to their work of art so kindly visit their facebook pages to appreciate their work better.
I think I will create a separate post with more details about these yarn mixes.
They would usually call it “Baguio Merce” for mercerized cotton.
Chunky cotton. Gantsilyo Baguio call this “Baguio Merce” but I also saw other sellers call it “chunky cotton.” This one is thicker than the usual Monaco mercerized cotton thread. It’s closed to 4-ply of Monaco undye cotton threads, the ones usually used in hand-dyed yarns. I have not used it so I could not say much about its characteristics.
Baguio Merce #20. I’m not really sure if this #20, but this is thinner than the monaco mercerized cotton thread, which is #10. The white one in the photo is even thinner than the others.
My first encounter with this yarn is from Miss Crochet a Lot, and I love it. It’s so soft that I think it would be fine to use it on baby stuff. But I have yet to make a blanket of them yet. It’s what I used in beanies / hats.
The Indophil yarns are way softer than the Red Heart regular acrylic yarns. Like the classic cotton, the indophil yarn cakes are composed of many threads / ply of indophil.
I first encounter these yarns in our first trip to Baguio. The first on my itinerary was Hangar Market, nevertheless. (I will also create another post for that.)
I’m not sure which is softer, Lanalon or Indophil (I have yet to make another post also for this to detail their differences.) But what I like with Lanalon is they’re single ply (just make sure to request it from the seller) so I have a control if I want to make it thicker or just use 1 ply of it.
When we went to Hangar Market, Baguio, this was the most available aside from the Indophil and Lanalon. I just probably did not know my way around that I could not find much supply of the Classic cotton. I was hesitant of getting them because they remind me of boucle, they’re challenging to use. But the colors on display were so yummy, I ended up with 6 kilos. Plus, they were so cheap there but the shipping was not. So yes, it’s still practical to get them from facebook sellers. =)
I came across a post before that it’s curly or kulot because they’re from the trimming of cotton fabrics which are winded to become yarns. It’s kind of “upcycle” actually.
I cannot much recommend these type of yarns to beginners because it’s hard to find the stitches and holes because of its “messy” character.
Kulot Gradient Yarns.
Though I tried to avoid the Curly cotton yarns but it was just hard to resist when I saw this rainbox mix from YarnLine. Yarnline did a good work on curly cotton yarns, which you might want to check.
I have a Velvet yarn, which I got recently from Miss Crochet a Lot from the latest package I got from her. But I haven’t tried it yet. I saw whisper yarns when I went to Hangar Market. I think they’re kind of the same, or I think the Velvet tends to be thicker. I avoided getting these yarns because they reminded me of boucle.
But now that I have a better grip, I will get back to them one of these days, and make a new review from there.
I guess I covered the different Baguio Yarns that I acquired along my crochet journey. And, this is getting long. So I will make a part 2 for the following yarns I got locally:
* Japan Surplus (JS) Yarns. Most of them can be the wool type.
* Hand-dyed Yarns
* Vigan Yarns
* Local Brand Yarns
* Imported Repacked Yarns.
* Destashed Yarns. Yes, it deserves its own category. =)
Before I end this, I would like to share that I put up an online SHOP >>. I’m inviting you to please visit it. There’s nothing much there yet. But feel free to share it around. Because I certainly need some dough for this addiction. =)
EXPECTATION: Fashion Institute, making bff with Dominic Cojuangco.
REALITY:TESDA Cebu Dressmaking Training Center, proving not a criminal.
(This is just for fun. I’m not underestimating TESDA or any thing negative like that. I’m so proud of it because see story below.)
I’m having a hard time when it comes to sizing of wearables in crochet so I thought of learning more about pattern making. The closest I could get to is Dressmaking in TESDA. I know there are online course for that, but watching videos is really a torture for me; I crave human connection (Chos!). =)
For those interested, the dressmaking class in TESDA Cebu (the one near IT Park) will start on March 13, 2017, and it’s still open. The next batch will be in June (Please see schedule at the bottom.) And, it’s FREE as long as you can prove that you are not a criminal. (Well, it’s not really totally free because there a few requirements that need to be submitted which have costs.)
It’s very easy to apply / enrol for the dressmaking class (or for any course in TESDA like welding, housekeeping, plumbing, culinary, and others). Following are the steps I went through:
1. Go to the TESDA Center. This step does NOT require any fee or documents (Of course, an ID will always be handy.).
a. Register your self, which simply means filling out a form.
b. Take an assessment test, which they call “POWER TEST.” It was 3 sets of tests: Math, Comprehension, and yet another comprehension test but more of technical side like “which tool will you use for nails.”
You will right away get the results with the list of requirements. I don’t think any one failed that test. The exams were mostly “common sense” questions.
2. TESDA list of requirements for enrolment. This is where the cost can be tricky. =)
a. Police Clearance. Before you can get a police clearance, you need to have the following documents:
* CEDULA – Being an unemployed, I paid P35.
* Barangay Clearance – P35. Please note that it’s best you go to the barangay where you are registered to vote or else they might require you to go the COMELECT and have yourself registered.
* Police Clearance Fee – PP115 + P100 = P215.
So Police Clearance was P285 in all. b. Drug Test Result. It was P350 in LH Prime. It was a quick process, and I was able to get the results right away. Protip: Drink lots of water before going to the laboratory clinic. =) c. High School Report Card / TOR / Diploma. I think I paid P100 for my True Copy of Grades. It was not really a TOR I submitted because it entails clearance signing in my University. Anyhow, the TESDA registrar accepted it. d. Pictures. It’s P65 in our neighborhood printing shop. e. Birth Certificate. I have an old copy with me. f. Residence’s sketch. g. 1 Long Folder Green. Across TESDA, along IT Park road, there’s an internet / xerox shop that sells green folder in case you forgot to bring one with you.
Once you gathered all of these requirements, you submit it to the TESDA registrar (no fee). There are some forms you need to fill out. Then, you will be given an admission slip. =)
The dressmaking class is the least option for TESDA applicants so it does not get filled out fast compared to other courses. There are 2 classes: morning and night schedule. So you can take time submitting your requirements.
PROTIP: You might be able to save much time if you bring with you the requirements already on the day you will take the assessment test. In that way, you can submit it after you receive your test results.
Yesterday, I was able to submit all the requirements for the Dressmaking Training Course in TESDA Cebu (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. So I’m officially a fashion student.
Amazingly, it was a an easy breezy process in a government office. Kudos! Seriously, there’s just no excuse of not learning, or being unskilled citizen of this country.
Here are the training / courses schedules in TESDA Cebu for 2017.
(For the details / steps on how this top, Crochet Wavey Long Sleeve Convertible Crop Top, is created, go straight at the bottom of this post.)
I don’t know if I’m crocheting because I love doing it, or it’s just an excuse for me to play modelling / fashion blogger hashtag #fashionblogger. =)
A little background about this crocheted top: I made this crocheted top for the husband’s cousin in SF. We got more or less the same “body type,” extra curvy sexy. =) So I made up the crocheted top design to be friendly to plus sizes female, and with a tinge of playfulness in it (Gasss, sounding like a fashionista there!).
And, in all angles.
But if that’s all too complicated, you can just hang it around in your neck and make it a scarf, just how the recipient did it. =)
4. Materials. For the yarns, gradient yarn from Ashley’s Crochet which I won during their yearend raffle last December. For the hook, I use 4.00MM. You can play around with the yarns, and hook. Though, I think the thicker or the worsted would make the project faster to finish. =)
A bit of how I created the crocheted top:
1. Chain in multiple of 16 (16 stands for the number of stitches it takes to create 1 wave).It was a trial and error, for me, in getting the right number of chains because the length might increase or decrease as you add on rows. I totally forgot how many chains I made.
Anyway, for my design, the number of chains is based on the length from one cuff of my hand to the other. Though, I tend to make the beginning foundationchain shorter because the length tend to increase when I added rows.
2. The original crochet stitches are sc, hdc, dc, trc for the waves. I increased it to up 1 notch so it’s like the sc became hdc, hdc became dc, dc became trc, then trc became double trc or something like that. I increased the length of the wave because the yarn I was using was thinner, and also to make the waves “clearer.”
The SC rows in between the waves were maintained at SC.
3. I created two panels, front and back. Then I worked on the rows “horizontally.” Then I SC the two panels together leaving “holes” for the head and body.
4. Pour some coffee, and enjoy! =)
This was a fun crochet project to make. I like big projects with a lot of changes in crochet stitches. This will be fine for the beginners because getting some stitches wrong would not really matter to the overall project.
“Sis, where do you buy your yarns?” is a question I would get from time to time in instagram.
This was also the very first question I had when my nanay tried crocheting again. I think I had tried all sorts of places where I think it’s possible to buy yarns: from the “merkado,” neighborhood school / office supply stores, book stores, malls, and downtown / Colon of Cebu. Cebu does not have a dedicated store for crochet / knitting supplies. We could mostly find yarns in fabric / sewing notions suppliers.
Just a quick note, the most available yarns in Cebu are acrylic and the mercerized cotton threads. Acrylic is a synthetic type of yarns, and tend to be warm. The cotton are of course come from the cotton, so they’re closer to being natural and cooler.
I kind of lost count of how many beanies I made. Crocheting a beanie / hat or toque for Canadians is a love-hate relationship. But the best part of making a beanie for me is figuring out what design or style to make.
I usually try to make a beanie based on the “personality” I perceived from a person. So when I made one for this geeky-nerdy person, I realized that I really have no inkling idea of this guy except that he probably loves travel so much that he created a nerdy app called “3 Streets 1 City” — go download it on iOS.
But I can’t make a globe beanie for him, right? So what does geeky/nerdy people like? I thought that I’d never go wrong with making some thing from Starwars. And, I have green yarns, so I ended up with Yoda, which Cho thought that it was Viking.