the unnatural mother

embracing mother-ing and all its glory – from wet diapers, spit-ups, tantrums to first smiles, hug-a-bugs and sweet cuddles

A Blanket of Dreams April 25, 2013

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 3:39 pm
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Dreaming under the warmth of a big cozy blanket while it rains outside is bliss. And that is what I hope to achieve in the coming rainy season… so help me, God.

In the works is my biggest project yet… a Queen sized blanket made of 8-ply hand dyed cotton. I started it during Holy Week – last week of March – when I only had 3 measly balls of 100 grams or so of hand dyed cotton. I tried a row of double crochet and I immediately fell in love with this yarn – with its soft thread and subdued color that can never do you wrong. I knew I had to make the blanket of my dreams in this yarn.

the first few rows

the first few rows

laid out on a king size bed

laid out on a king size bed

even perfect bobbles

even perfect bobbles

different colors combine well

different colors combine well

The hardest part of this project is procuring the yarn – its not so much finding the colors because I would combine any color to get that random effect – but actually reserving the yarn when it comes available. The suppliers only make 1-2 spools of each color per batch and most often than not, I’m a tad bit too late. It sells out in hours! Though suppliers have been accommodating enough to help me – giving me a private pick of unallocated yarn – I still have to keep watch day and night for announcements.

Buying hand-dyed yarn is a challenge

Buying hand-dyed yarn is a challenge

It’s Week 4 of my project.  Here are some numbers:

5 inches = 7 rows. If I plan to make a length of 60 inches, I need 12 * 7 rows. That is 84 rows (If I can make it 90 rows, I would feel better). At the time of this blog, I already have  19 rows, 65 rows to go! 1 row a day = 65 days, roughly 2 months. Plus I intend to put a simple border on it 🙂

Pattern here.

 

Little Girl’s Summer Top April 5, 2013

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 4:19 pm
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This is super easy to make! It was something I invented after making 2 crochet dresses using the fan stitch.

crochet summer top

I used a japanese hook 5/0 which should translate to 3.0 mm.
I used two Monaco or Cannon threads at a time in the following colors:
White
Pink (Cannon) – MB089
Violet (Monaco) – B24

To do a fan stitch:
2DC, ch1, 2 DC in same stitch

Steps:
-Measure your child’s bust line and add 2 -3 inches so that it is loose. Also, this pattern does not have an opening at the back or front so making it a loose top will make is easier for you or child to wriggle into it.
-Chain as long as your measurement above + ch 3
R1: DC onto 4th ch in hook, DC all around

R2: ch 3 (counts as 1st DC) DC, ch1, 2DC in same stitch. sk 1 DC. 1 sc in next, sk 1 DC *Fan stitch in next chain, sk 1 DC, 1 sc in next, sk 1 DC, Fan stitch in next. Repeat * until end. Join in 3rd ch of beginning ch3
R3: sl st to the ch1 space. Ch 3, DC, ch1, 2 DC in same space. *Fan stitch in next ch 1 space. Repeat * until end

Repeat R2 to desired length.

To make ruffles, Fan stitch in every ch1 space and in between fan stitches. In the next row, fan stitch in every ch1 space. Fasten off or make a 3rd row.

Make straps by doing single crochet 3-5 times for each row until desired length.

Get a big button and sew on the straps. Make sure that the button is small enough to fit in between the ch1 space of the fan stitch but big enough so that it doesn’t get unfastened.

 

A Little Girl’s Dress February 8, 2013

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 7:42 am
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This is my first attempt at a toddler’s dress and I must say, it turned out pretty well! After weeks of looking for the right pattern – something that was easy enough to follow – and the right design – something cute but versatile, I found one and started it. After 1 failed attempt – something too small – i restarted almost immediately and found myself doing it on my own without the pattern. I just needed to know the start and the shell and the rest was history.

My little girl's dress

My little girl’s dress

There is just one problem to it – the shoulders straps were too long, this time. The first failed attempt was having the shoulder straps to short and narrow, it would not fit comfortably in my baby’s arm. But longer can be remedied manually with a button and removed when she’s bigger and the length added to later on as well.

For this one, I used this pattern as guide and adjusted it to my yarn. I started the pattern with these… adjustments in parenthesis. 

I used Yarn Source Manila’s light worsted yarn in Orchid and Fuschia.

ch 150 + 3 (143 +3)

1st row: DC on 4th ch from hook, 14 DC (15), 3 DC in ch (first corner made), 46 DC (38) , 3DC in ch (second corner made), 28 DC (30), 3DC in ch(third corner made), 46 DC (38), 3 DC in ch (fourth corner made), 14 DC (15)

Continue until you reach the desired width of the shoulder strap.

Make the shoulders/sleaves by skipping stitches between the 1st corner and 2nd corner. From the last DC before the 1st corner, DC onto the 1st DC after the 2nd corner.

Continue the rounds until you reach the desired length of the body.

For the skirt, Shell (2 DC -ch1 – 2DC) and join to close the rounds

Crochet a trim onto the shoulders with shell. Add embelishment.

Add a little embelishment.

Add a little embelishment.

 

Crochet finds at Baguio City February 5, 2013

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 8:57 am
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When I picked up crochet as a serious hobby less than a year ago, I developed a heightened interest in handmade and local things. I realized the effort of the creative process and the labor of love that went into each item. And although handmade stuff cost relatively more than commercially-made items, I am willing to spend a little more just to patronize creativity.

In our recent trip to Baguio, my eye instantly caught these cute crochet items.

Strawberry keychains

Strawberry keychains

Crocheted coin purse

Crocheted coin purse

Toddler's Crocheted Dress. They use a wide headband for the torso and crochet a skirt on it.

Toddler’s Crocheted Dress. They use a wide headband for the torso and crochet a skirt on it.

Corcheted Strawberry potholder.

Corcheted Strawberry potholder.

These pictures were taken at Strawberry Fields, La Trinidad Valley but most items are available anywhere else in Baguio. The interesting thing about this is that the pople who make them follow no pattern at all. While free patterns are abundant in Raverly and Pinterest, these natives of Baguio just rely on hand-me-down knowledge or pure creativity to come up with such designs – AWESOME!

   

 

 

 

My trip to Hangar Market {Baguio} February 4, 2013

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 7:32 am
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I heard that Baguio has yarns to sell. Well, why not, since a lot of knitted, hand-woven and crocheted items are made there because of the cold weather. So when I heard of Baguio trip in the plans, I took the chance and hauled over the whole family there. Besides, we haven’t been there since my eldest was born 6 years ago and none of the kids have been there so it would be a good chance for the kids to experience something new.

On the last day of our stay, I really had to see for myself what Baguio yarns are all about so off we went to Baguio Central Market. From my research, which consists of asking a store seller caught-in-the-act of making a crocheted dress and our hotel concierge, we found ourselves to the right of the Central Market. From Session road, turn Right and take the pedestrian overpass. I suggest you park at Session Road and walk the rest of the way because there is no legal parking from what we saw. Enter the market and turn right and go straight until you see enter the “gulayan” – that is known as the Hangar Market. When the main path splits into a fork, take the left side going up. Walk a little more. When you see an alley to your left and a staircase, turn right and go up the staircase – the 1st yarn shop should be behind you.

Hangar Market yarn

The first yarn shop at the staircase

Don’t expect all the yarns lined up neatly on the shelves because they are not. The store sellers will help you with the color that you’d like but you are free to dig in as well.

Yarn

They spin the yarn here as well.

spinning yarn

There are 2 more yarn shops on the 2nd floor. The one is in the middle of the floor, somewhere between the alleys and the other is directly the opposite side, at the top of another staircase.

I bought these lovely pastel colors which I could never get at the online shop I buy from. I am excited to make something out of it! – a summer dress maybe? In hindsight, I should have bought multiple skeins — aaargh!

pastel baguio yarn

 

My first ring toy January 9, 2013

I stumbled upon this cute ring toy and as I saw it was easy to make, I tried it out.

I used Monaco cotton and made it in ch15, sc 15 all throughout. I love playing around with colors!

crochet ring toy

 

Delicate Doilys September 2, 2012

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 9:34 am
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Now, I’ve just completed my doily wave. I was curious and always have been challenged by doilys. Though they are common in our grandparents’ homes, I’ve always seen them as works of art and so I just had to challenge myself.

My 3 doilys – multicolor star doily, white mini star doily and green mini pineapple doily. All made using Monaco mercerized cotton thread.

The star doilies. Top one is multicolored – using 3 threads: apple green, magenta and powder blue. White doily used 1 thread only.

I love my green mini pineapple doily. Needs stiffening with starch spray.

Star doily pattern

Mini pineapple doily pattern