Back in the groove

I was away for a while, got busy with some stuffs that needed my attention that my crocheting projects had to be put on hold. Then there was the holiday, the Cambodian King’s birthday, and we went away for the weekend. Oh, that was a lovely two days of pure chillaxing.

Back in the grooveAnyways, my younger brother also went for a holiday, but went a little farther, to the Philippines (and came back already) and I sent nine 100gm-balls of yarn in different colors for my mother who was suddenly bitten by the crocheting bug. Actually, my mother saw this blog and the things I had done, and being a hooker herself, it didn’t take that long for her to pick up her hook and join the crocheting bandwagon again. She told me she liked the yarns I bought and would love to have several balls of them as she plans to crochet stuff for my nephew and nieces – so there.

My husband accompanied me to buy the yarns and we didn’t have difficulty in finding the stall amidst the maze that is the O’Russei market. I like shopping for yarns and choosing colors was fun.  I was delighted when he paid for all of it. We even bought my mother a pair of new crochet hooks as the ones my mom have are already old and rusty.  I can only imagine my mother’s reaction when she saw the stuffs – it was more than what she’d asked me for! *lol*

Back in the groove

Okay, so it won’t be long till I post here some of the stuffs I am working on. I need to finish some stuffs before I could be able to sit down and work on them, but I will sure give updates on the Afghan square and runner which I’ve began not long ago.

Litratong Pinoy #39: Ginanchillong Bulaklak

Ako’y muling nagbabalik dito sa Litratong Pinoy. Nawala na naman ako ng matagal pero sa aking pagbabalik, kasama ko ang pagnanais na sana ay tuloy-tuloy na itong pagsali ko tuwing Linggo. Harinawa.

Heto naman ang aking entry: ginanchillong bulaklak, o crochet flowers. Pustahan tayo, ang lahok ko ang tanging bulaklak na nakabuka na kaagad. Di kasi totoong bulaklak, di katulad ng karamihan sa lahok ngayong linggo. Bakit kamo ako nagga-ganchillo? Dahil ako’y huminto na sa pagta-trabaho, marami na akong oras para sa sarili ko. Isa sa mga naisipan kong pampalipas oras ay ang pagga-ganchillo. Matagal na akong natutong mag-ganchillo kaya lang ay itinigil ko na ito mula nang nag-kolehiyo na ako hanggang sa nagkatrabaho. Mabuti na lang at marunong pa rin akong gumawa ng mga stitches hanggang ngayon kaya’t di ako nahirapan.

Unang-una kong ginawa ay ang mga rosas...
Unang-una kong ginawa ay ang mga rosas...
Gumawa na rin ako ng dahon at ikinabit ko na rin ito sa bulaklak at doily. Hindi ko pa ito nati-trim pero more or less ay ganito ang kinalabasan.
Hindi lang sa doily nagamit ang mga ginanchillo kong bulaklak. Ginamit din ito bilang accessory.

Marami din akong na-download na patterns sa Internet at nakisali na rin ako sa iba’t-ibang crocheting groups para makakita ng mga inspirasyon.  Hindi lang yan, namili na rin ako ng iba’t-ibang kulay ng sinulid para sa aking mga susunod na crochet projects. Dahil sa pagga-ganchillo, di na ako naiinip kapag mag-isa lang sa bahay.

If you’d like to know more about my crocheting adventures, kindly visit Sreisaat Crafts.

lp2

Certified hooker!

I have a confession to make.

I am addicted to crocheting. I am a hook-er!

This addiction though is husband-approved as it keeps me from driving him up the wall. Well, except, of course, if I spend too much time crocheting and forgetting about him. *lol*.  Crocheting is keeping me company when the husband is away at work, and most of all, it is keeping me away from moping on days when I feel down and blue. It’s an effective diversion when I’m feeling anxious; it relaxes me and the anxiety slowly goes away.

This kind of addiction is also low maintenance. I don’t need hundreds of dollars to get a kick. The yarns are cheap selling only less than a dollar a skein, although, it is not the kind of yarn that I would have used if there are other options. The hooks were given by my Mother and Mum-in-law and there are plenty. Recently, a new-found friend and certified hook-er like me mailed me two pieces of crochet hooks, 5mm and 5.5mm in size, which I don’t have.

Not many people could ever understand this addiction though. For some, they complain about eye-strain, backaches and wrist/hand pains, or even carpal tunnel syndrome. I certainly experience these too but fellow hook-ers would agree with me that it is somehow difficult to stop crocheting once you’ve already begun a project. I have done several items lately which we displayed at last Saturday’s Fun Fair. Here are some of them:

Certified hooker!

By the way, these items are also for sale. On the left are flower doilies in different colors, various scrunchies (background) and glass coasters (foreground). Let me know if any of these interest you. Friends suggest that I should open a store at Etsy.com but I don’t think I am ready for that one yet. I need more confidence votes, in other words!

Also, we have several pieces of really, really charming beaded jewelries that were unsold during the fair.

Certified hooker!

These items were all made by hand. If you see something in particular that you fancy, leave me a message so I can provide details about that item.

Fun, fun, fun at Mith Samlanh’s Fun Fair!

Last Saturday was a blast! My friends and I joined Mith Samlanh‘s Fun Fair for the first time, not as visitors but as sellers. We sold hand-made crafts made by us from beaded jewelries to crochet doilies and coasters. Although we did not do well sales-wise, we were able to observe the “trends” in fairs such as this one. We mentally noted what’s hot and what’s not so that the next time we join a fair, we would hit right the consumers’ needs.

In case you haven’t heard, the Fun Fair is a regular event organised/hosted by Mith Samlanh, a non-government organisation working to support Phnom Penh’s streetchildren through several education and skills training programs. Last Saturday’s fair was intended for the whole family, expats and locals alike, including the families of the street-children who are beneficiaries of Mith Samlanh‘s projects.  The whole morning was packed with fun activities and the games the children loved came with lots of prizes. There were face painting, clowns on stilts, Khmer pop and Western music dancing and singing showcasing the talents of  Mith Samlanh‘s wards, handicrafts, books and food stalls, and the garage sale which was mobbed by the crowd. Kudos to Mith Samlanh for the wonderful event. It certainly didn’t disappoint despite the scorching heat.

Here are some photos; take a look at what came out of the Kid’s Fun Fair at Mith Samlanh Centre:

Fun Fair collage

Fun Fair collage 2
The fun and excitement! People come in droves, with their families and friends eager to take part in the activities.

Fun Fair collage 3

Fun Fair collage 4
There were 15 stalls at the fair and were scattered all over Mith Samlanh Centre’s yard.  Ours is the only one that had a big banner on it *lol*
These are some of the items we have at the fair. These are mostly beaded jewelries and crochet items which are lovingly made by hand.

If you see something that you like, kindly leave a comment here for details about that particular item. I am currently taking photos of each items for sorting and uploading into our online shop. Please watch out for it.

Photo Hunt #43: Addiction

Friends, I have a confession to make. I am addicted to crocheting, therefore, I am a hook-er.

Red roses doily.
Red roses doily.
Assorted items: scarf (upper left), and scrunchies in different colors. Don't you just love these crocheted delights? Photos above were some of the items I recently finished just in time for today's NGO Fun Fair.
Assorted items: scarf (upper left), and scrunchies in different colors. Don’t you just love these crocheted delights? Photos above were some of the items I recently finished just in time for today’s NGO Fun Fair.

I recently picked up crocheting again but crocheting is something that I had learned to do a long, long time ago (you may want to read this for details). As I no longer work and ( if I do snag a job, I only accept short-term consultancy jobs) crocheting keeps me from moping, getting bored (and turn attention to poor husband and drive him up the wall!) on slow days or when I am in-between jobs.

This kind of addiction I consider as low-maintenance (and something that my husband approves of, except when I spend way too much time on it). The yarn is cheap and is available, but in limited variety, in the markets here. Crochet hooks as well, but my mother and MIL had sent me several of them, so I don’t need to buy again and again, in case I break them. Recently, a new found friend sent me two crochet hooks in 5mm and 5.50mm sizes for my birthday. Isn’t she sweet? Thanks, Kristy!

I don’t know how many of you can relate to this kind of addiction, but to those who do, you will nod your head with me in agreement when I say how difficult it is to stop crocheting once you’ve already started. At the end of the day, when my husband comes home from work, his eyes widen in astonishment at how much I’ve crocheted. I’ve done a lot of items recently, and yes, you may say that I am a certified hook-er!  *lol*

I’ll probably open an account at Etsy.com and see if anyone’s interested enough to buy my outputs. Wouldn’t you be?

photohunter7iq[11]

Red, green, and white!

The Khmer New Year came and went by so quickly with us hardly ever noticing it. My  husband and I opted not to go anywhere during the 5day-holiday. I’m glad we made that decision because it was really scorching hot in Phnom Penh, with temperature reaching 36C. Friends say it was even hotter in the provinces. On the third day though we were already feeling suffocated, after being cooped too long inside the house. We decided to get some fresh air and drove around the city, which was devoid of people and vehicles at that time. Just a few blocks from our house,  my husband sensed something was wrong. He pulled the car over and checked – the car’s hydraulic brakes were leaking. And so, for the rest of the holiday, he had to fix the broken parts leaving me to crochet in peace stopping only when he needed a hand.

I didn’t let this hitch ruin my mood. When not helping my husband, I was sat on my comfy round rattan chair and made myself busy crocheting flowers and leaves. I was surprised at my speed when I counted the number of pieces I finished – 36 flowers in red, yellow, and blue, leaves and 3 round doilies. The roses and leaves are almost similar in size, about 2inches in height, while the doilies measure around 7inches in diameter.

Red, green, and white!

Red, green, and white!

With these separate pieces at hand, I would later on, when I have time, attach the flowers on the leaves one by one, and finally stitch the flowers-and-leaves on the doilies. In normal circumstances, I should have used mercerized cotton yarns instead of acrylic yarns that are the only available yarn in Cambodia. But to my surprise, the finished items looked similar to those made from merc-cotton yarns but a teeny-bit harder. This is how the finished round doily will, more or less, look like:

unfinishedrounddoily

Get the picture? I can’t wait to finish this one soon and I’ll definitely show it off here! So watch out for it :D<

Assorted granny squares

I was browsing a crochet book called Crochet by Eunice Close (published in 1951) that my Mum-in-law sent me last year when I chanced upon the page with instructions for Afghans. Afghans are colourful cosy rugs which women used to drape over their knees when they retired for their daily siesta. It is known for its bright colours and can be used as a rug or an extra blanket for chilly nights.

My first attempt at making an Afghan square.
My first attempt at making an Afghan square.

An Afghan is consists of many, many medallions (or squares) measuring about two or three inches square, each row being worked in different colours – usually bright red, green, yellow or blue, and many others, and are sewn together neatly. The best thing about making an Afghan is that you make the squares first and then sew them together afterwards.

Anyways, so I spent one Saturday figuring out the instructions in the crochet book. Embarrassingly, I could not quite finish a square simply because I could not understand the instructions. What seemed to be instructions for a basic pattern  for beginners level seemed to be so complicated to follow. I guess it’s the way it was written, in British-English, that is. And you know how different it is from the written American-English style of writing.

Anyways, in my excitement though, I made several squares in different colors.
Anyways, in my excitement though, I made several squares in different colors.

So to make it easier and to avoid spending more time on a very basic pattern, I abandoned the instructions and studied the illustration instead. I scrutinized the stitches, estimated the number of stitches, etc… and in no time, I successfully finished one medallion. Am so proud of myself! But my triumph was sort of short-lived. While the result was quite satisfactory, I wondered about the shape. It looks square alright but the corners are rounded. It is posing a problem for me now. Any ideas  how can I make the corners sharper?

afgansquarecoasterI love how my color combinations turned out! Don’t you think so too? In a few more weeks, hopefully, I’d be able to make enough squares to finish a cover for our couch. If not, then I think I may have found another use for the squares 😀