Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crochet Granny Swap

A big warm HELLO to my dear friends of the crochet granny swap group..

By the time you read this message, it means that the square you are holding has travelled at least 9,533 miles and has safely reached your hands :) 

Firstly, I would like to give a shout out to Pat! THANK YOU PAT for allowing my squares to hitch a ride in your envelopes! And also for sharing the pattern of the square that I have made for everyone! XOXO 

Next, maybe just to share about myself.. 
I'm currently a stay-at-home-mum (SAHM) to 2 beautiful little girls Melody, who is turning 2 in March and Melissa who will be 5 months soon. I used to be an outdoor person before I became a mum, following my huband on fishing trips, locally as well as overseas. 

Some of my favourite fishy pictures :D

Well..those were the days... 

I was into bowling, photography, running, cycling etc haha you get the picture. 

So why crochet? 

I only picked up crocheting somewhere in November 2013, about 2 months after the birth of Melissa. The reason why I became curious about crocheting was due to oversized owl beanies that I bought for her. We intended to do our own baby photoshoot of Melissa instead of getting it professionally done. Hence I ordered some baby beanies as props for the shoot. Unfortunately, even though it was stated "NEWBORN", the hats were ridiculously oversized..it didn't even fit my elder daughter well. Hah! 

So in the midst of cursing and swearing at the seller, I went online to check out how to crochet my own beanie! And as I was surfing, I saw so many beautiful baby booties, beanies, sweaters...and amigurumi! I became hooked..and I started looking up on YouTube how it's done. I actually had a make-shift crochet hook using a chopstick and a tiny peg scotch taped to form the hook, and raffia string as yarn. And I practised how to do chains on it..just to have a feel of how to crochet and also to see if I am cut out to even try and learn it myself. I took a picture of it..see? Hahaha

After a few days of browsing crochet stuff, I decided it is time! So I headed down to the nearest place that sells yarn and hooks (Daiso the $2 store. Not sure if you've heard about such stores. Every item in the store costs $2) 

At that time, I didn't quite know what size hook I should buy and the size conversion is pretty complicated, even up till now haha. So I bought a range 3.5, 4, 4.5mm and after going home, I realize most of the videos I had watched were using 5 or 5.5mm hooks. Haha imagine my face -_______-" 

I must say...it was a pretty rough start for me. I didn't have the right hooks, nor the right yarn! There wasn't any "worsted" weight yarn. And the yarn I bought was way thinner than what I saw from the videos. Do you see that white coloured thread-like yarn that I've used to tie the orange note to the square? That's one of the first few yarns that I had! Haha I'm sure you can imagine how my baby booties turned out.. Like how I always say it with a jingle... Bigger than Barbie, smaller than preemie. Hahaha and beanies were worst! It either came out flat, or it looked like a small cup without handle. Hahaha but I found that this thin yarn makes a good stitch marker! So, that's my 2nd tinny winnie gift to you, apart from the granny square :D

To be frank, till today, I didn't manage to make any beanie successfully. Hahaha but booties, I managed to complete 2 pairs..and they miraculously fit my Melissa. Hahaha that's because I managed to get some slightly more proper yarn.. Sirdar DK yarn. 

Not too bad eh for a beginner? (Glares for a "YES!" Just kidding :D)

So since then, I got hooked...for good! And I've been crocheting in between feeding the baby and expressing breast milk (thank God for handsfree attachments) and whatever ME time I've got. 

And I've inadvertently become a yarn hoarder. I just love yarn..lots and lots of yarn. Haha 

Because of this granny swap, I was "forced" to buy worsted yarn. Haha actually I had been looking around for worsted yarn for the longest time but they didn't have that in the local stores. I knew then I had to look for international shippers :) 

I must thank Pat for purchasing yarn and shipping it to me all the way from Pittsburg!! 
If only you had the chance to see how big my grin was when the parcels arrived. Haha 

Technically, if you take into consideration the origin of the yarn that goes into making the squares, it means the squares had effectively travelled 2 x 9500 miles. Hahaha amazing isn't it? 

Well, ok I think my story is really long winded and I should wrap it up soon. 

Back to the swap...our dear Pat has kindly shared with me one of the patterns from her superb book. (which I should be getting too!) it is a very easy pattern and after doing a few squares, you won't even need to refer to it anymore. Trust me! 

So here it is... 

I made the squares using a 5.5mm hook and it was 6 inches by the time I reached the 5th round so I didn't include the 6th round as per the picture.
Also, in order to finish the squares as soon as I could, I didn't alternate the colours as well. 

If I may just write it in my language, every first double crochet is a Ch3. 

You start with a sliding circle (I used the magic circle..I'm not sure if it's the same. Haha) Ch 3, and make 15 DC (total 16 including the Ch3) finish with a slip stitch. 

Then you ch3 and 2 more DC (3 DC in a group), ch5, skip a stitch and do 3DC, and ch5, skip a stitch and 3DC again. So all the 3DC are separated by a ch5 space. 

Then you ch3 and 2DC (you always start a new row like that), ch2, DC, ch5,DC,Ch2, 3DC and repeat. So in every ch5 space, there will be a DC,Ch5,DC and this is connected to the 3DC by a Ch2. 

After this, ch3 n 2DC again for the new row, and ch2, DC, ch2, DC,ch3,DC , ch2, DC, ch2, 3DC. 
Just follow the row before and you will roughly know how it is done. The corners are DC, ch3, DC. And all the other DC is separated by ch2. 

If my layman crochet language is too confusing, do refer back to the picture of the pattern :) it's really an easy square so do give it a shot with your beautiful yarn. I'm really envious that there's so many nice yarn in your part of the world and it isn't as expensive as over here. Boo hoo

Anyway, it has been a great experience participating in this swap and thank you for sending your squares to me!! I love all of them and hope I didn't do too bad a job with mine :P it will get better I promise :)

With this, I bid u goodbye and have a yarntastic time crocheting!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

:) love all of u!

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