17 October 2010

knit and purl

When I first began to knit, it was difficult. I have been crocheting for years and using two straight sticks was a pretty new concept for me. I can say that my knitting method is similar to continental style and I have read that most crocheters prefer this method. There are a gazillion sites and videos online that teach knitting but this particular website called KnittingHelp (http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knit-stitch) has helped me understand the two basic stitches: knit and purl.

My first project was a scarf and successfully I was able to create a ribbed stitch. However, I lost it somewhere in the airport on thanksgiving visit to some friends in NYC back in 2008. I haven't really finished a knit project since but have not stopped collecting books and studying.

I'm hoping to visit some some place in the northern hemisphere for the coming winter and another knitted scarf would be a good project. A garter stitch would be the easiest to do right now. This stitch is basically just either knitting on all rows or purling on all rows. This site pretty much explains it: http://www.learn2knit.co.uk/knitting/basic-stitches.php.

10 October 2010

minibags and Japanese inspiration

Finally finished making a modified pattern for my minibag collection. This pattern was created using a demo version of SymbolCro and some photo editing software.

There is no limit to the design. This pattern is just a guide and is composed of basic crochet stitches. Any thread color combination will do. In my case, mercerized cotton thread was used but any thin thread and small hook will do. Additional embellishments can be added to the bag's body to make it more interesting. The bag handle can be any kind of string - leather, crochet thread or wax cord.

My inpiration for making these patterns are from Japanese books. They are quite good in illustrating and making diagrams. I found another Japanese crochet/knit book just yesterday at only SGD 9. I think it was a great find. Now I just need to figure out which project to work on first. :)

02 September 2010

Missing my Craft Stuff

My ball of yarn looks so lonely now. I only got a handful of yarns left along with a few needles and hooks. Getting rid of all my craft stuff was not easy but I had too. But we're not totally parted. I shipped a 20-kilo box of yarns, beads and books to my mom before moving to this new place.

Ecru cotton yarn from Peaches & Creme.

Some of the good things about this new place is the lighting. I can sit by the window in the living room and get a nice photo without too much effort. It's a bit lonely though but that also means a lot of time for creative things. I'm still thinking about my next project. An e-book might be a good idea but it's probably too soon for that. :)

25 July 2010

yarn hunt and Japanese books in the lion city

A few dollars, several train rides and some research was all it took to find nice yarns in Singapore. I was there for about a week to visit my sister. While I was there I decided to check out the local yarn sources. To my delight, I found tons of yarns I have never touched and seen before in my life. 

There were a lot of Japanese yarns in this place called Golden Dragon Store. It has been recommended by several forums and blogs online so I made sure I visited the place. I bought the 3.90-dollar (SGD 3.90) Japanese cotton yarns and two sizes of circular knitting needles. The ladies in the store were all busy doing their craft but they were kind enough to help me out with my questions. They not only have crochet and knitting materials but they also have quilting and other craft materials you can think of. The store was located in People's Park Center in Chinatown. One of the exits from the Chinatown MRT station directly leads to it. Here's information printed on their plastic bag:

Golden Dragon Store
Retail Outlet: 101 Upper Cross Street #02-51 People's Park Centre S(058 357) 
Tel: 6535 8454, 6535 8234 Fax: 6534 2465
Head Office & Wholesale Division: Blk Henderson Rd #07-02 (Henderson Industrial Park) Singapore 159546
Tel: 6275 3517 Fax: 6276 7112

I also went to Bugis where there is this place called Golden Landmark which was right across Raffles Hospital. In the complex was a tiny yarn store called Knitting Shop. I think I found their exact location on the mall directory. The mall was a bit lonely but nonetheless it were the yarns that matter. Inside the store was a table where two women were seated, knitting. I asked for the cheapest yarn and they gave me 4-dollar cotton yarn (SGD4.00). I chose the purple shade though the lady was kind enough to dig through the pile to find me a lighter purple shade.

Actually, the first store I visited was this huge shop called Spotlight in Plaza Singapura in Dhoby Ghaut. From the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station was an exit directly leading to the mall. It wasn't hard to find because they have this huge sign which tells you which floor they are in . Too bad I couldn't decide which yarn to buy and I thought I had enough time to visit the place again. There was another store I searched for in the Handicraft Center in Chinatown but failed to find it. I should try my luck next time. This is my first yarn hunt post though I have desperately tried many times before in my own city, online and other places I have visited.

As for Japanese craft books, Golden Landmark sells a few but I found heaven in Kinokuya bookstore particularly in their outlet in Ngee Ann City Tower in Orchard. I was looking for an art shop, got lost and found this huge collection of Japanese books instead. I know no Japanese but I was persistent enough to browse through the sections until I found myself in the craft section. The books were covered with photos of knitting and crochet so it wasn't so hard to guess. I think I spent an hour just browsing through the books.

To guide you in your Singapore yarn hunt, use these useful sites and blog posts:

http://www.streetdirectory.com - Singapore's street guide
http://www.knitmap.com/ - yarn source database

Happy yarn hunting! ;)

27 March 2010

Simple Scarf

I tried to make a tutorial but ran out of words. Instead, I'm giving you a tutorial in photos, if there is such thing. I'm sharing an entire album of photos which shows the progress of my scarf. Click on the image below to go to my Picasa album or click here.

The pattern is very easy and knowledge of a basic chain and a double crochet stitch is the least requirement. The width of the scarf depends on the length of the first row of an even number of chains. Materials I used for the project are:

1) Two balls of mercerized cotton thread
2) No. 8 steel crochet hook

You can use any crochet thread of your choice and any small hook that suits you. The number of crochet thread balls will depend on your desired scarf length.

This is my finished scarf:

I think the pattern can make a good curtain too. :)

07 March 2010

got new beads

I have new beads. They look so much prettier with enough lighting so had to turn on the lamp.

Found so many neat stuff online like other craft blogs. I might talk about them next time or put links here on my blog. I'm also thinking about posting tutorials here. I have to figure that out.

That brown scarf I blogged about last time is still in progress. I really wish it were done sooner. I think too much browsing consumed most of my time. But today I spent the whole day sorting out my craft stuff. Made me realize I have been a hoarder. Got tons of papers, beads and thread. I don't have much space and some of them has got to go....

14 February 2010

crocheting again

Beads are all over my table but I'm also crocheting at the same time. Made this cute cap for my niece. I hope to send it to her before she gets big.

Also made a scarf using a brown mercerized cotton thread. I plan to give it to someone but it'll take me some time to finish this since the stitches are small. And I finally uploaded photos of my miniature crochet bags. Yay!