Marilag Lubag's Blog

Back to the Basics

March 9, 2016
Leave a Comment

The basic stitches in crochet builds into one another, creating a more complex design. The combination of chains, slip stitches, single crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet creates different shape that would eventually become a bag, a sweater, a top, and other things. If you’re a beginner, it’s better to use less combinations and develop your skill of reading a pattern. Often, one false step would result in a product that’s way different than what was written.

If you’re serious about your craft, you should start with something simple. Even if you’re no longer a beginner, simple is the way to go. A true master is able to create something exceptional—even if it involves very simple elements. In terms of crochet, my stitches are going to look a lot different than the beginners. Mine are even and had the right tightness. A beginner would look crooked and have uneven tension.

People often want to try more complex patterns when their skills are not on par with the pattern they pick. That’s like me trying to play a Bach when I don’t have the ability to do it—something I had done before. Not only did it not sound like Bach, I spent the entire two hours staring at the page trying to play the note but totally lost with what I am doing. Technically, I had managed to finish the piece. However, it’s not Bach at all as the notes are too far apart.

There is nothing wrong with simple. Simple allows us to develop our skillset before we have the ability to develop a more complex skillset. In fact, I prefer simple especially when learning a new technique. Simple is a way to get results without being frustrated about it. If you want to learn something, simple is the best way to do it.

What’s the basic elements of your craft?


Keep It Simple

March 8, 2016
Leave a Comment

The beauty of using finger crochet was that it requires simple stitches but produce lacy effect. Whether it’s using a straight out single crochet design, or a double crochet, the stitches were so huge that it couldn’t help but create a lacy look when using a regular yarn.

My point is that we don’t need to use complex design in order to create something beautiful. Even when using only single crochet, we can create something that looks intricate. Simple doesn’t mean boring. It’s only boring if we don’t have the necessary skills to perform the task well. It allows us to practice and gives us ways to experiment without going overboard. The basic crochet stitches would look a lot different depending on what types of yarn we’re using as well as the hook size.

Another reason for me to use simple and basic crochet stitches was when using novelty yarns. You can’t use complicated stitches as the stitches is hard to see. It would be easy to miss stitches if you’re not careful. In addition, there’s no point of using complex stitches—the yarn would obscure the design. If someone had the gall to use a more complex stitches (as I had done when I first started using this yarn), the person would realize that it’s a useless exercise. The design won’t be easily seen.

Wedding Shawl in Fur

One of my obsessions–creating scarves and shawls using only novelty yarn

Basic design is not boring. What we need is to look at things a little bit differently. What if we construct a scarf using single crochet sideways instead of creating it from up to down? It would look unique instead of boring.

What do you think of simple designs?


Broomstick Lace

February 22, 2016
Leave a Comment

Broomstick lace is one of the easiest yet most versatile crochet technique you will ever learn. Using a gigantic knitting needle (a ruler would also be a good substitute) and a crochet hook, you could create endless things such as a top, a cell phone case, an eyeglass case, and jewelry. It requires a basic knowledge of crochet. After that, the possibilities are endless.

Right now, I’m trying to create a beanie using this technique. I started out at an increase but I figured that it’s better to create it through decrease—I only have one needle available as I’m using the other needle for a different broomstick lace project—my first attempt to ever make a top.

It’s a lot less intimidating than it looks once you got a good grasp of it. It’s pretty simple and yet the design itself is beautiful. If you find yourself scared to use this technique, try a simple project such as a necklace or a bracelet. You might find it as enjoyable as I do.

Beautiful doesn’t always mean it’s complicated. Broomstick lace is a simple technique but it creates a very beautiful design. It’s not as ornate as Bruges lace but it’s simple and strong enough that you can make bags using this technique. Try it and see if you like it.


Making a Blanket

February 10, 2016
Leave a Comment

It took me forever to make my first blanket. After all, I’m the type that would get fits of inspiration only to lose interest later on. It was always my dream to make an afghan but I’m always intimidated by it. Still, I’m determined to finish one even though I didn’t have a lot of time. With this desire, I decided that I would spend five minutes crocheting everyday. I had a pattern to follow, using a specific hook and a particular yarn.

I crocheted for five minutes everyday. Usually, I wanted to do it longer but I only give myself five minutes a day. It took me at least two years but I was finally able to finish it. After that, the second one came a lot easier. I’m trying to make another one although this one is more daunting than the first. I decided to make a blanket out of Tunisian crochet in order to learn it.

Creating a blanket is a lot like writing a novel. I had done both although my novel was never published. Each was a herculean task—one that requires a lot of commitment and a lot of perseverance. There are many times when I wanted to stop what I was doing but kept on moving forward that until I had finished my project. That being said, there were creative works that require a lot of stamina. Someone who plans to do either needs to have a plan on how to tackle the project. My plan was to spend a little amount of time everyday crocheting and about an hour a day trying to write a novel.

It takes perseverance and stamina to finish a long term project. However, if you are consistent at making progress, even if it is five minutes a day everyday, eventually you would finish it.


Bruges Lace

February 8, 2016
Leave a Comment
Bruges Lace Gym Bag

My first Bruges Lace design: a gym bag for my clothes.

Lately, I have been obsessed with making Bruges lace. For the uninitiated, crocheted Bruges Lace was an imitation of the real thing. It involves creating straight tape made of double crochet in a straight line. You can then form it into any shape you want.

The best explanation of Bruges lace was what I found in Crochet Master’s Workshop. That was where I learned more details about its origin and how crochet was able to recreate it but was a much faster and cheaper method.

The first time I crocheted a Bruges Lace, I followed a pattern and made a scarf. Afterwards, I tried to design my own Bruges Lace design. It’s not as good as I hoped it would be but it serves a purpose. I’ve created a Bruges Lace bag. This would serve as my gym bag as the one I currently was using is beginning to be too small.

I wish it would look prettier. However, none of my first attempts in anything ever looked pretty. My first attempts usually look flawed. However, it taught me a lot about Bruges lace and on how to make them look more beautiful the next time I attempt to create another Bruges lace project.

When learning something new, it wasn’t important to make things look pretty. What’s important is to finish the project to develop the skill involved in creating it. With practice, my Bruges Lace design would improve. For now I am satisfied that I managed to create something that would hold my workout clothes using Bruges Lace.

Similarly, you have to allow yourself to create lousy projects. I’m sure that there were other people who could do better Bruges Lace design than me. I had two goals when I made this bag: to build something functional and to use the Bruges Lace design. What’s necessary is for me to finish a Bruges Lace bag. The design is secondary. After this, I plan to craft a much smaller one so that I could have somewhere to place my makeup on. That one would look much better than my gym bag since I’ve had more practice.

 

Related Posts:


Finishing

February 2, 2016
Leave a Comment

What was on an artist’s mind never translates well on the said artist’s medium. Nevertheless, it was better if he or she keeps on working on his or her craft even if their creation falls short of his or her expectations.

Everything I learned about finishing and creating something unique, I learned from practicing crochet. From creating a project that stands out to actually finishing an object, I learned by using a hook and a ton of yarn.

I am good at crochet. If you ever see me crocheting, you would see that my stitches were even. My rounds were really round—they don’t curve unless I want them to. The flat fabrics were even as well. You won’t see my fabric produce a scraggly edge. It was flat and even if I raise it up.

And yet, I could never seem to finish a project. There were plenty of unfinished projects in my room—unfinished yarn projects where I keep on changing my mind and then redoing them the way I wanted them to be and then unravel the yarn to start at another project again.

I learned that my tendency to undo my creation was because of my desire with perfection. If I didn’t like the project, I would unravel it and start over again. This time, to create something entirely new. I try to grasp all the ideas in my head, often, things look way better in my head than when I execute them. I was so ashamed at what I did that I had no choice but to unravel my yarn and start over again.

When I realized this, I told myself that I would finish what I wanted to create—even if they don’t turn out well. Whether it’s having gaps on my scarf, or the fabric did not have the right color, I would keep on working on it even though it didn’t turn out to be as good as I hoped. Since I had implemented that idea, I had finished a lot more things. Most of them turned out okay even though they have flaws.

It turned out that actually finishing the project did teach me more than my usual unravel and redo. It taught me how the yarn actually behaves if I try to do things a certain way. Of course, I had learned that I could adjust things while working on my project along the way. It wasn’t as bad if I only unraveled three rows instead of 100. My work is still a disappointment but at least I managed to finish it.

Even when flawed, a work that one actually created is better than the one that never materialized. After all, the particular work that one has actually exists. If a person keeps working on their craft, he or she would improve that one day, what was on his or her mind would translate well on their medium even if it fell short of his or her expectations. He or she would create better stories, better artwork, better sculpture, etc. His or her visions would match what they bring forth to the world.

 

Related Posts:

Quality vs. Quantiity


    Archives

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 31 other followers

    Categories