Loving Crochet - More to Come

First of all, I would like to thank you for supporting my efforts in keeping Crochetology. going and relevant. I started Crochetology around 2006 during one of the most difficult times in my life. I was still living in the city then and have just moved out of my mom's home to a temporary flat with my husband. This was when I started to experience health - physical and emotional - problems. In retrospect, this was the beginning of the severe depression that - after nearly 10 years - I have only started to manage with some success. While I am aware that the root of my problems need to be confronted and addressed, I have found crochet to be a much needed refuge during the darkest times. Now that I live in rural Bohol where we have a small backyard farm of ducks, pigs and chickens, farm life and the many duties and responsibilities it entails has given me the strength and resolve to keep getting better.
Secondly, I'd like to take this moment to give you a summary of what I have been doing over the past month and a half as far as crocheting and crafting are concerned. Yes, over a rather short period of time, I have completed a good number of projects, all of them are what I call Crochetology Exercises because they are the result of untangling problems that I consider important.

One of the first Crochetology Exercises I tackled is the seamless construction of a bolero from the top down. The problems starts with a photograph of a beautiful crocheted lace bolero which I decided to decipher. Whenever I try to do something like this, I always use yarn that I can work quickly and easily with, often it is sport or dk weight yarn that works up quickly. This way, I deal with the construction problems first and when that goes well, I can re-create the piece using the appropriate yarn and colour.

The second Crochetology Exercise deals with similar construction problems. This time, I used the pattern for a skirt to make a cardigan. The skirt pattern featured gradual increase all around and I considered this to be a perfect pattern that is also easy to modify to construct the yoke of the garment and continue working downwards.

For the cardigan, I used Baby Model from Ice Yarns and a 4mm crochet hook. This works up very quickly and could be finished in a weekend. The skirt pattern is a free pattern from Drops Yarns. I will provide the links to the pattern and yarns in the next newsletter.

The third Crochetology Exercise is a pair of crocheted socks. Majority of socks are knitted and I have to admit that knitted fabric stretches superbly compared to crocheted fabric. However, I wanted to figure out how a sock can be made by crocheting so I went ahead. I used Anti-Pilling Yarn from Ice Yarns and a 4mm crochet hook. To make the sock, I started working in rounds at the toes towards the heel. When I get to the heel I shape it by working in rows, leaving an opening for the leg of the sock which is then worked in rounds. It looks complicated but crocheting a sock is actually quite easy.

While making the socks I decided to start another project, something fairly easy. So I made this two-tone scarf using two types of fancy yarn: Mini Butterfly and Arado from Ice Yarns. This fourth Crochetology Exercise was the opportunity to learn how to crochet with fancy yarns. It can be quite tricky but I soon got the hang of it. I'll share with you my process in the next newsletter.

The fifth Crochetology Exercise is a modification of a triangular shawl pattern. The problem was how to modify a fairly complex pattern for a triangular shawl so as to make it a rectangular shawl and then a poncho.

I decided to make this project because my sister wants me to make her a poncho and I didn't like the ponchos available. So I made my own, using Metallic Viscose yarn from Ice Yarns and 4mm crochet hook. Later I'll share with you the process of modifying the pattern, including correcting mistakes along the way.
I love how this shawl/poncho turned out! It can be worn in three ways, and can also be worn as a head cover. Later, I decided to make another version, using the same modified shawl pattern, but this time, I made it into a turquoise top - starting sleeveless - then added sleeves in with a delicate lace edging. I am sending these to my mom and my sis so they could decide if they or others in the family would like to have these in other colours. The yarn is a bit heavy but I love it, I love the glitter and the colours.
The next 2 Crochetology Exercises have to do with the problem of shaping. I wanted to explore the possibility of making shaped garments without using any shaping techniques - such as increase and decrease - in the design.
I considered that the type of yarn used is important in this exercise, so I decided to use two types of yarn: one is a stiff non-elastic type of yarn called Mohair Shrimp from Ice Yarns and the other is the same type of yarn I used for the socks, Anti-Pilling Yarn.

I was able to make these garments (my husband calls them waistcoats) using only chain and treble stitches and simple shapes (rectangles). They are not "shaped" but they still look as if they were constructed with shaping and they certainly don't look "boxed up." I have written down notes in making these and will share them in succeeding Crochetology Newsletters. Both these garments were made using 4mm crochet hook, so these work up quite fast!

While working on these projects, I decided to make something fairly simple (it something I often do to distract from more complex work!) This is a skirt that is worked in the round with treble stitches, which is easy enough to increase evenly all around as work is started from the waist and downwards. Then for the bottom of the skirt, I used one of my favourite edgings, the same one I used for the sleeve of the turquoise blouse described earlier. The waistband of this skirt is elastic. This is made by crocheting (with single crochet) an elastic band all around the waist. The yarn I used for this project is Stella from Ice Yarns and the hook is 4mm.

After this skirt my next Crochetology Exercise were a mini dress and a fitted top. These begin my explorations in making those fashionable "strappy" garments.

The dress is worked in fancy yarn (yes, unbelievable making a dress with just fancy yarn!) called Mini Butterfly from Ice Yarns. I made it as as simple dress and then later decided to add the "cold shoulder" sleeves. I have to admit that this isn't the best-looking garment but when worn it actually looks quite flattering! Perhaps it is the delicate colour or those "cold shoulder" styles actually look good.

The second "strappy" garment I made is not exactly that strappy, I like to take these things slow! This is a fitted top with a strap going across the neckline. This is constructed in a manner similar to the Crochetology Exercises on Shaping (the two waistcoats). For this top I used an amazingly lovely yarn called Rigel from Ice Yarns. The colour is maroon, burgundy and gold metallic and I love it!

By now you'd have noticed all of the yarns used here are from the Turkish textile company Ice/GSC. They carry a wide range of inexpensive yarns and it is my favourite source of fancy, colourful and unusual yarns. When it comes to luxury yarns such as silk, yak and cashmere, I get them from Lotus Yarns in China. As for cotton, I get them here in the Philippines.
Next time I will deal with these projects (and about yarns) in greater detail. At the moment work is going slow with the computer since my laptop broke down and I have to borrow my husband's computer. Hopefully, next week, I will have addressed this situation and should be able to work faster and write the patterns and notes for these projects.
I hope you enjoy reading about and seeing these Crochetology Exercises and I hope that you'll join me in unravelling all these next time. :)

And last but not least, if you think someone else would enjoy reading this newsletter, please feel free to pass this onto them and tell them about the Crochetology website and the Subscription benefits. Admittedly I am not any good at promoting my work and so after nearly a month I have only so far gotten one - yes one - subscriber. I hope there will be another one or more in the next couple of weeks, with your help. :)

Happy crocheting!
Fatima Lasay of Crochetology.net :) 
January 20, 2017 
San Roque, Baclayon 
6301 Bohol, Philippines


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