Archive for July, 2009

Psychedelic Shell – How I made it (Part III)

Instuctions available here @


July 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Psychedelic Shell – How I made it (Part II)

Apparently, its called popcorn yarn

Apparently, it's called popcorn yarn

The materials:

The white yarn looks like this one. It has extra frills that when you crochet with it, some stitches pop out. Maybe it’s the reason they called it ‘popcorn yarn’. It’s hard to crochet it with the size of the hook I had then, but I managed. (like i always do).

The yellow and black yarns are like the threads used in sewing but in multiple strands. The yellow yarn has 6 strands of these threads and the black has 12 strands. Though the black yarn i used has thinner strands (i think half the thickness of those in yellow). So in effect these two yarns, i think, are of the same weight.

Actual Picture of the yarns I  bought in baguio

Yellow yarn 4 d psychedelic shell Remnants of the black yarn

The principles of design:

Parts of the top

Parts of the top

Increasing the stitches in the shell stitch

Increasing the stitches in the shell stitch

I made the foundation chain a bit loose because the design requires the fabric to be stretchy. Another thing is that the fabric should drape from the shoulders down. Basically, i had to work this in circle and that the foundation circle should be wider.And i have to add stitches as i go.

After picking up the principles comprising the top, I felt confident I could imitate it. And off I went. When and where you should add stitches depends on you discretion (how you would want the fabric to fall), your patience and yarn shortage.  I am picturing it should go like the picture on the left.  I thought that increasing stitches depends on the length. So the longer ive done, the more stitches i made. One thing to keep in mind is to keep the ‘basic shell’ intact, so when you look at it, your eyes will see the widening of the stitch from two dc’s up to the increasing end.

July 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

Pyschedelic Shell – How I made it (Part I)

Mines View Park Entrance

Mines View Entrance

Psychedelic Shell

The inspiration:

It wasn’t an original design. In fact if you visit the stalls in mines view and wright park, you would see a lot of these in their shelves. What inspired me to make one too was it was when I obtained my first batch of baguio yarns and the lady who pointed me the place to buy them was making on these particular top.

Gold Tulip Crochet Hooks - Mine was the one with 3 and 4 on the Grip

Gold Tulip Crochet Hooks - Mine was the one with 3 and 4 on the Grip

I bought one of her finished product after asking her the exact whereabouts of the yarn market. The top was pretty cheap like around a few hundred bucks. Pretty cheap for the effort. But the yarns used were a bit rough, and oh well dirty. Nothing that can’t be fixed after a few washings.

Lucky for me, I had my hook then. See I (almost) always have crochet hooks with me. And so i was excited to start crocheting and I wanted to recreate the one I bought. I had 2 kgs yarns of varying texture and weight. That’s 8 balls of 7 colors (2 white, red, black, green, blue, pink and yellow). The colors I decided to use were yellow, black and white. These colors complement each other but i have one problem. The white yarn is of heavier weight.

In a place where you have limited resources, your only option is to improvise.

I opted to use multiple strands of the other two, to compensate for the weight of the white thread. One problem solved. ‘too excited to start.

July 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

Learning and progressing in crochet

For some months I’ve been trying to learn the crochet lingo, like ‘gauge’, hook sizes, stitches and yarn types. One book I read even differentiated the part of the hook, another disected a chain stitch. I haven’t mastered them all, though. I learned just enough to be able to understand the patterns which way before I was not able to follow.

I am a visual crocheter. I look at finished products and decipher how it was started and how it was ended. Or I look for patterns with diagrams, because that I can understand. I hate reading crochet instructions because there are some abbreviations that i dont understand and some steps i don’t know how to do. I used to not know what an * symbolizes until I had enough patience to google ‘how to understand crochet instructions’.

And with all the things I learned, I look back at all crocheted stuffs I made. I can’t even remember the hook size I used for each of them. Coz I only knew two kinds of hooks since grade school: The ‘silver’ one I use with crochet threads by anchor, monaco and cannon and the ‘gold’ one I use for thicker yarns. Another funny thing, I only knew two kinds of yarn too.. The ‘crochet thread’ which in our town are commonly known as ‘yarn’ and the acrylic fibrous thread which we call ‘snowball’. So if you go to a thread retail store in our place, and if you asked for yarn, they’ll sell you a monaco cotton crochet thread. And if you are looking for those fibrous acrylic yarn used to bind notebooks, you’d say ‘Pagbilan po ng snowball’ .

Before college, I only crochet using these snowball yarns. Because they make big stitches. So I only have the gold hook with two tips and with numbers 4 and 3 on the grip. Unfortunately I lost that hook. So when i resumed crocheting after graduating from college, I can only purchase the silver ones with numbers varying from 7 to 12. Even when i tried looking for a gold hook, no stores i know sells one. The silver hooks I can easily purchase at the cooperative store in our university. They also started selling variegated monaco threads. Which was I think the main reason why I started crocheting again. I was attracted to the colors.

One time, I went to ayala for some job interviews, I had to pass sm ayala to go to the mrt station. And there was a craft store just before the entrance to the station. I went inside and to my delight, they are selling gold hooks! but they cost P50. The last time I bought one was it was less than P20. Though I had meager budget, I decided to purchase it. It was not so often that i could go to ayala. And i couldn’t miss the opportunity to have the hook I long wanted.

It was 1997 2007, when we went to baguio that i discovered other types of yarn. And i was so delighted with the softness and durability of these yarns that i stopped making wearables from crochet threads. Because those I’ve made before became stiff after multiple washings. The following year, I started relying in the internet for crochet patterns.

Now what i want to do is create the how to do’s for all the tops i ever crocheted. Not just for anyone who may consider doing them . I want to make them so I would know how to do them again. And to correct myself. This way i could gauge how much i learned and what more i could do.

July 29, 2009 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

I lost my 1.40mm crochet hook on the way home.

I never did really care about crochet hook  sizes. But when i lost my crochet hook of that particular size. I almost cried and asked myself, where could I buy another one?

But the thing is, it was one of the hooks that a dear friend gave me. And i was currently making a project that needs a not so small and not so big hook and around that size is just the right tool for the job…

Well I am using the 1.50mm hook now.. But still…

July 26, 2009 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Shell(f) life

One of the most useful stitches of all times – the shell stitch, and yes, it is one of the stitches i usually use. Only because, it’s one of the few combination stitches i know. And I make full use of this stitch whenever I create my tops.

Shell Stitch

Shell Stitch

The picture above depicts the shell stitch being used in a variety of ways:

  • Entire length of a blouse can be made of entirely shell stitches of varying width.
  • As the upper portion of a blouse (width the lower part made of crochet blocks)
  • As a sleeve
  • As fill in for the lower portion of a bolero (with the upper part made of crochet blocks)

July 14, 2009 at 2:38 am Leave a comment

Crochet Blocks

This is one of the first techniques i adopted in creating crocheted tops. Starting from a ring, form a floral pattern with even-numbered petals. The principle lies in that you have to create the corners of the ‘block’ from the  four petals of your floral pattern. Next is that you have to put the crochet blocks together as you go.

I always do floral patterns for crochet blocks coz their easier to do. Plus you wouldn’t notice where you put one together. 🙂

From square to fab top

From square to fab top

Once you finished the main blocks you could just do simple chains or shell stiches to add length to  your fabric. Also you could use different colors for the main flower and  the outer layer of the block. Your friend might not even noticed that a number of ur crochet blouses are actually made from the same pattern. 🙂

July 14, 2009 at 2:23 am Leave a comment

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