Category Archives: Crochet adventures

Hashtag Yarn Happy!

Or more appropriately — #yarnhappy. Lol.

Hi. It’s been awhile since my last post.
Sorry for my long absence. No posts for Stash-buster Challenge and Show Off Your Shell. I am reeling from the severe Phnom Penh heat. This year is hotter than last year and we’re not even in the month of April yet (which is the hottest month in the country!) Add to that, the long power cuts that last 10hours on some days. It’s really awful staying in the house, sweating. We’re almost melting! But we can’t do anything about it. The supply is not enough to cover the capital’s demand. Oh, well. Living here for more than a decade now we learned to just bear it and grin. Oh, and we just bought a small generator last weekend.

yarns from turkeyA reason to be happy despite the heat – this! The package I was waiting for arrived from Turkey. It was a good reason to go out of the house and meet up with my Lui (she blogs at My Crafting Den) who shares half of the contents with me. The package contains the imported yarns we purchased online. We’re pleasantly surprised that the package arrived early. In fact earlier than we anticipated it to be considering it was sent via registered mail only. Happy heads!

Lui and I agreed to meet at Paul’s Brewehouse along St. 51 in Boengkengkong district. It was my first time to go there and we agreed to meet at 10amish. I must admit, except for a footwear malfunction which will now go down in my memory warehouse as my Mentos moment, it was a great morning of peace and quiet while enjoying our coffee, donuts, and crochet. At that time of the day, Paul’s Brewehouse was the perfect meeting place.

So here’s my part of the loot:

imported yarns from turkey

Pretty, aren’t they?

I know what you’re thinking.
Yes, I promised myself and my husband that I would refrain from buying any more yarns until my stash is all used up. But who could resist these absolutely gorgeous yarns of different fibres? In Cambodia where it’s difficult to get anything that is not acrylic, these are fabfabfab and Lui and I are both in yarn heaven right now. I’m pretty these are not found in yarn stores here (in Cambodia) or Thailand and Vietnam.

So, anyway, Lui and I split everything 50-50, down to the shipping cost. And we also could not believe how fast these yarns arrived here. I’m impressed!

By the way, these are Lui’s coming-home present for me — mercerised cotton from Monaco!

monaco yarns from the philippines

Monaco, the brand that my mother used in her crochet projects years ago.

These are the kind of yarns that I’m used to. And the brand is quite popular in the Philippines. Salamat! Now I should stop worrying about yarns because I think I already have enough till next year.

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Stash-Buster Challenge 2013, Project #4: Tablet/e-reader sleeve

Hi. How are you all?

The 7in tablet fits in snugly.

The 7in tablet fits in snugly.

Things are hectic at home at the moment. Nothing major, just spring cleaning of sorts. It’s the height of summer in the kingdom and it could get really, really dusty. Add to that, my two dogs are shedding at the same time so just imagine the amount of fluff, in addition to the dust, that accumulates inside the house 😦

Okay, enough of the excuses. I finished one project yesterday. Actually this wasn’t part of my list but – because this month is my birth month – I received an early birthday present from my thoughtful in-laws all the way from merry England. I was so delighted when I opened the parcel. Mum and Dad, you are the best!

So I had to make this right away. For “protection”, you know. Tee-hee-hee.

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I used a pattern I found in this blog, Handmade by Haniyya. But unlike her design, I opted for more colours in one project. I’m in love with stripes of various colours, thus the choice. I attached the bottom ends by using single crochet stitches. I think that looks better than sewing the ends of the sleeves. But that’s just me. To each her own 🙂 In addition, I also added a lemon yellow crochet flower and olive-green button that not only as serve embellishments but also to catch the latch to fasten the top ends.

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Stash-buster Challenge, Project #3: Colourful granny squares

Hi there.

I’ve been meaning to post the finished baby beanie that is my second project for the Stash-buster challenge. So here it is:

finished baby beanie

The pattern indicates that the finished beanie should measure 6.5inches. As you can see, mine is just 6inches. I don’t know if it’s going to be problem later on, but, aren’t newborns tiny, right? This should fit.

For my third project, I haven’t really thought much about it. I was still recovering from our weekend kite-flying activity outside of Phnom Penh. We flew kites for three hours under the baking sun! And not just ordinary kites – they were handmade by my husband and fitted with a camera to take pictures while up in the air. It was worth it, sunburns, dusty feet, sweaty clothes and all!

Anyways, back to the project. For my baby project, I wanted to make a pair or two baby booties but could not find patterns that I like. I think I need to search more so I just tossed this idea aside and looked for something else to do so I can share it here. And guess what I’ve finally decided to make… granny squares. A lot of them, actually.

I love mixing and matching the different yarn colours. They look really great, aren’t they?
I was also crocheting from memory. The pattern was taught to me by my mum and the very first one that I “mastered” when I was beginning to crochet 🙂 I think it’s a pretty simple pattern and very easy to follow. I’ve made a lot of these way back so I know the pattern by heart. Funny thought that while crocheting the squares, I was feeling a bit nostalgic. Thoughts about the many summers spent with my mum and sisters, sat together and learning how to crochet, flashed in my head. Please excuse the sappiness, it must be the hormones, hahaha.

Now, what to make of these again?
I think the squares will make a nice cover – of what, you ask, of just about anything. Hahaha. It can be a table runner, sofa cover, or even a laptop sleeve or something. But I just don’t know how to attach the squares altogether 😦

Any suggestions? Please do. I would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, I’m going to visit other Stash-buster challenge participants’ sites and hopefully I can find inspiration from their works.

stash buster1


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Stash-Buster Challenge 2013, Project #2: Baby beanie

I’ve been quiet these past few days but my silence doesn’t mean that I’m in the throes of idleness. It’s actually the opposite of that as I was busy revamping my other blog. It has a mini shop of postcards and I wanted to do a total makeover. Since I am no-web designer, it didn’t happen but. at the very least, I managed to organise the categories and tags.

Anyhoo, today was a good day. I’ve accomplished a lot of tasks and it was only tonight that I was able to sit down and touch my crochet paraphernalia. Since the news of a new family member’s arrival, my goal is to finish one project for the baby once a week. Sounds a lofty goal but we’ll see…

This week, I’m meaning to do a baby beanie. We do not know of the gender yet so I’m going to use gender-friendly colours until I am told so 😀 I already started on this very easy pattern for a baby beanie. All double-crochet stitches (US) and if I can finish one a little later tonight I’ll post the picture.

Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak of my beanie. I love the colours. I think most of you will be reminded of autumn 😀 (which we don’t have here but I have the good fortune to witness when I went to Japan some years ago)

I’m using a 5mm hook and medium acrylic yarn. After three rounds, I measured to see if it is the right size. Smaller by half an inch 😦

stash buster1

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Jar of hearts and other heart stuff

So this is an update of yesterday’s post.

Yesterday, I ended my post with a picture of crochet mini hearts and left a question about how am I going or what am I going to make of them.

I draw my inspiration from Pinterest and a host of other fantastic craft blogs out there. But the thing about these sites is that there are too many beautiful stuff and I end up ooh-ing and ahh-ing at other people’s boards for hours and hours… which doesn’t really help me at all because the more time I spent pinning what interests me on my boards, the more I can’t follow or do what I’ve pinned because I’m buried deep in the images! Lol.

Anyways, going back to what I made out of the mini-hearts… I managed to rein myself and actually finished some things to show you, guys. I kinda like the slide-show feature here at WP, so enjoy the slideshow 😛

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The buntings actually look nice but I have to find a better spot for it. I think the hearts are too small so I’m going to make another batch of bigger hearts to add to that.

Well, I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day. My husband and I are not really big on V-day but we appreciate the holiday. Loving gestures, in my opinion, should be every single day. And I believe you don’t save them up for just one day.

See you all again next… post. Lol.

stash buster1


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Stash-Buster Challenge 2013: Project #1, Crochet hearts

Last week I signed up for the Stash-Buster Challenge 2013 over at Lana de Ana’s site. Well, I was already preparing to crochet something when the news of my sister’s pregnancy came out, I got so excited that I forgot all about it.

So I have this box full of yarns, yes? There are a lot of things I want to do for the challenge and it’s difficult to select an idea or a project to do first. But since it is February and Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I decided to make mini-hearts. I found a very simple love-heart pattern via Google search and after two practices, I was crocheting non-stop!  Look how many mini-hearts I made?

stashbuster challenge 2013 crochet mini hearts applique

Who doesn’t love hearts? They’re tiny but cute and they can be used in various ways, like an applique to use on your sewing projects or embellishments to your craft projects, glued or sewn onto a card for a sweet Valentine’s card, or even as cute decorations in your room or even a Valentine’s party?

Now that I have enough hearts, I wonder what am I going to do with it? Luckily for me, there is Pinterest that offers a lot of inspiration. I‘ll post what I decided to do with the mini-hearts a little later. If these were yours, what would you do with them?

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Stash-buster Challenge 2013

I was browsing some craft sites today, hopping from one blog to another. I could not believe the many creative and talented people are out there, whether it be in needleworks, paper crafts, recycling/upcycling, and many others. I envy these crafty people and at the same time they inspire me to be diligent with my own crafting.

I’m relatively new into this crafting bandwagon (although I did a bit of crafting when I was younger) and I have lots of interests – crocheting, rubber stamping, card and tag-making, just to name a few – which is really a problem. Why? Because I do not have a focus, that’s why. I tend to start a project and later on drop it halfway to begin a new one. Tsk. Need.To.Change.

I have a boxful of crochet yarns gathering dust in my craft nook. I had them since 2011 but never had the chance to really sit down and make something out of them.  I was waiting — no, no – I was looking for project ideas but everytime I scour the Internet, I got overwhelmed at the number of wonderful patterns. So, I ended up with nothing at all, hahaha.  So what do I do with this yarns?

my stash of crochet yarns

So many yarns, what would I do with them? Here’s hoping the Stash-Buster will help me use them all up this year 🙂

stash buster1After several hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing at the fantastic works displayed on the many sites, I found this very interesting meme, a challenge  of sorts and it gave me a fantastic idea. Over at Lanas de Ana site, she is hosting a Stash-Buster Challenge and I was excited! See that logo on the right? That’s it! 🙂 It’s a challenge for crocheters like me to tackle the problem of having too much stash of yarns stored in the house. It’s sort of crocheting together and showing and telling the challenge participants about their individual projects by posting it to their own blogs.

So I think this year, it is going to be different. With the Stash-Buster challenge, I will be forced to take on one crochet project at a time and will have other participating bloggers to encourage me to finish one! I hope they’ll accept me 😀

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A handmade Christmas card

With all the free time I have ever since quitting my job, I am in a kind of mission to do anything and everything handmade.

You can call me a DIY-warrior (more like a trying-hard DIYer, snark.) So I told myself that, this year, I am going to make my own Christmas cards to be sent out to our family and close friends. Never mind that I announced this some months ago, I am always sure I’d end up to be down the wire anyway.

In as much as I wanted to make the cards look like Christmas in Cambodia, I failed to really come up with something bearing Khmer influences. Maybe because Christmas is not officially celebrated here. Or perhaps I am beginning to get lazy again. Lame excuses, I know 😦

So here’s what I can only come up with:

This is the first "output". I have yet to put the finishing touches.

This is the first “output”. I have yet to put the finishing touches.

With a made up pattern, I crocheted what looked like a holly wreath with faux pearls accent and red crocheted ribbon. I used a light green cardstock and added a darker shade of green washi tape. I glued the crocheted holly wreath on to the cardstock using an ordinary glue (I could not find any fabric glue here) and utter a little prayer that they remain stuck to the card, lol.

I also made use of my metallic pens to write on the card. However, as you can see in the picture, my handwriting is awful so I’m using alphabet stamps instead. I will post the final version here next time.

I am only making a few for our family and closest friends – I finished 8 holly wreaths. I have yet to do the cards and the messages on them. My poor eyes could no longer endure the long hours of crocheting they easily tire and tear up from eye strain. And don’t get me started with the backaches! Lol. I am sounding like a very old woman, eh?

As painful as it sounds, I am determined to make handmade Christmas cards a yearly tradition for me and my husband. You see, I’m like that. I like torturing myself over and over again.

P.S. This is my first entry to Creative Crafts Thursday. Come join us by clicking the badge.

Creative Craft Thursday

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Project Mary Jane slippers, shelved

Three days ago I started my first project for this year, a crocheted Mary Jane (MJ) slippers. I found a pattern online and immediately rolled up my sleeves and gathered the materials:

Yarns (acrylic wool) of contrasting colours, a 5mm crochet hook, and a scissor. Not shown in the pic are the buttons and the blunt needle (to attach the button to the slippers). The pattern is free from The Little House by the Sea.

I do not have the pure cotton yarn (or the recommended alternative Aran weight yarn) as required so I substituted with acrylic wool. I used the pink yarn for the sole and toe cap (and dark green for the edging) but stopped half-way through as I thought pink gets dirty so easily. So I changed to the red-black colour combination that you see from the finished product below:

Left slipper. I still need to attach a button. I wonder when can I find cotton yarns to complete this project 😦

I love the red-black combination. The pattern (from the Little House by the Sea) was very easy to follow as it only involves chains, double-crochets (single-crochets if you’re American), and dc2tog (that’s double-crochet two stitches together). According to the specifications of the pattern-maker, the finished product will fit UK size 4-6.5 (EU size 37-39.5, US size 6.5-9).

Unfortunately, the left slipper I finished turned out waaay smaller than expected. BUT it did fit my left foot, but only just, and, my toes are crunched up. Could this mistake be because of my “tension” (too tight grip on the hook and yarn)? Or could it be because I used a different yarn material? Could be both, for all I know. Oh dear, lesson learned for me here. Next time, I’ll use only the materials, especially the yarns, required.

So now, I didn’t go on to make the right slipper, which is really a bummer, considering I finished one half of the pair in just one afternoon. I was excited to embark on this crochet project as I love the idea of wearing this at home! I’ll try to scout around for cotton yarns here in Phnom Penh, which I think is close to impossible because all the yarns I see here are  acrylic wool 😦

Anyone out there willing to help me? Send me cotton yarns? hehehe. I’d appreciate any leads as to where I can find cotton crochet yarns here in Phnom Penh.

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Project 01: Crocheted Mary Janes

I’m making a pair of this for my summer project:

Here's a pair of slip-ons that I fancy. Photo by The Little House by the Sea

Aren’t they lovely? I fell in love with these the moment I saw them. I think they’re certainly a great alternative to slippers – that’s flip-flops to others.

I found a pattern from The Little House By the Sea and, by the looks of it, it is very easy to follow! Now I’m excited. I’m going to do a quick check of what’s left of my yarn and see what I can find to make this cute Mary Janes. If I can make this successfully, then I’m going to make another pair as a gift.

I’ll update as soon as I can.

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