Friday, September 22, 2017

It started with a Poncho in Goa

 I like to do various crafts. You can call me craft crazy if you meet me in person.  I mostly do crochet and knit.  I used to do cross-stitching during my in elementary and high school years.
one of my unfinish cross stitch projects 

I was able to make money already out of those back then. I sell my cross-stitch pieces  from 3k+ (PHP). I somewhat lost touch of crochet and knit when I was working in Philippines.  Then when i worked abroad in Singapore, I somehow remembered to just pick it up again when I learned that there are a lot of craft shops around singapore. Well, I didn't really know that one til after 2 years of working there.  So was it a good or bad thing for me? Both.  Bad, I wasn't able to learn that earlier but good because I would have hoarded already so much craft materials in those 2 years.

Sew Lip shop in jurong point shopping center
Coming from work on weekends sometimes we go to this shopping center, and this shop is there just beside Precious Moments.  I am crazy for both yarns and those Precious moments items, especially the figurines. This shop sells cross-stitch threads and accessories too, aside from European brand yarns that they carry.  They also have cheap yarns like from this project that I have which has been sitting unworked and being a work in progress for years! The thread brand is venus and it is in acrylic.

 I really didn't have a lot of time to relearn crochet and knit during my working years there since I am obviously in the office.  It was even a struggle for me to wake up in the morning to go to work when I started to sleep late just to crochet or knit for 2 hours in the night time, just before sleeping.  Those days are over for me.

Office work was like prison to me.  The pressure of deadlines. Even when it was time for me to sleep I dream of work.  That I thought i was really feeling a lot of stress from work.

Now I am over 2 years of living in Goa, India.  To described it, I maybe still financially stress at times but comparing to having a professional life before that I also get a lot of mental stress,  I am better off here at this moment.  I actually have a choice to go to the office, the same office where my husband works.  But then I told him, I would prefer to stay at home and do something else than go to work and travel for a total of 3 hours.

Crafting as a profession started then when I came to Goa.  I really didn't expect such support from local people around the neighboring villages.  I remembered my sister in law just introduce me to her gym trainor just by telling her I make crochet garments.  Then this girl just told me to make a poncho for her.
orange poncho - my first custom order 
 In a local community like here, word of mouth as a form of marketing is still very effective.  Local people around here aren't really that active on social media compared maybe to places where more people have access to  the internet. Most of my customers for handmade items are friends of my family/friends.  A few contact me on social media in facebook or instagram (@knitwerksandcrafts), where I'm most active.  And most of my customers weren't really my friends til they want me to make something for them.  All of them are Indians too, I never had a single filipino friend had me do something handmade for them.  Indians like lace and almost anything that is handmade from home decorations, doilies, baby clothing, garments, etc.

Selling handmade in Goa isn't difficult.  Sometimes some friends of my mother in law come to the house and they see me crocheting or knitting something.  Most, will immediately say can you make for me or for somebody else in the family like a daughter or daughter in law.  But garments are just not that fast to get done.  Since I came to Goa, I have been crocheting garments and the local people loved it.  It is difficult to tell them no that I can't take more orders if I got several on que. Then I have to tell them that I will let them know once I'm free.  But the most difficult thing that gives me pressure when doing handmade garments is that goans always like something new to wear for special occasions birthdays, anniversaries, fiest, christmas, new year, easter, etc.  Maybe I'm a slow crocheter or knitter?  I always tell that at least 1 month's time would be enough for me to make a top.

I will be trying to make small crochet and knit items that could be purchase right away like baby booties, baby clothing and accessories.  But for now, Goa is my happy place.  It gave me this opportunity to make handmade garments for people who not just appreciate by saying it is nice, but would actually wear them.

 kid's dress - 3 year old

lacy wave top

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2016 Projects

So, it has almost been 2 years now of staying in Goa, India.  This is how much I have done for 2016 and custom made orders keep on coming for me.  It is really a different world here when it comes to handmade items and tailored clothings.

December is a wedding season in Goa.  Most of, are outdoor weddings.  Maybe because it is winter and the cool and chilly nights are just a good time to celebrate. It is during this time of the year too that the fabric shops around Margao are so full of people, buying materials for new dresses they want to wear for weddings, christmas or any other occasion they are attending.  Around the mid or last week of November, we are already getting wedding invitations.  Every week a wedding is there until the 2nd week of January!

 A lot of dancing during a Goan wedding.  This wedding was of a goan bride and american groom.

 Looking in my ravelry account, i have done quite a lot of custom orders.  Most of it are garments.  3 tablecloths for a bride who is coming to live with her in laws.  I thought at first that this tablecloths are for decorating while the wedding is coming only recently i learned that these are just among the things that the bride takes with her in her "new home".  Two of my projects were personal ones, the stripes pink/maroon cardigan and the yellow doily, which I put on the center table of our living room.

Pattern: Holiday pineapples by Agnes Russell
Decorated this in our living room

I still have a long list of custom orders for 2017, where most are pending from previous year.  I hope to clear them by first quarter of this year. So that I can get started with a personal project, which is a crochet dress for myself, for my sis in laws upcoming weddings by the end of the year.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August custom made orders

Goans and Indians alike love handmade items.  No wonder, I got a list of custom made orders of garments.  I get quite a few for home decorations.  Like the sunflower tablecloth for an upcoming wedding this december that I've posted in my previous post.  That is already 80% done.  As any other crocheter/knitter would do, I have several projects going on so I won't get bored doing just one.

Special Occasion Pink Crochet top

Goans like to wear something new for an occasion, like if it's their birthday,  Easter, Christmas, etc. This pink mesh top is for my husband's cousin, who's been eyeing on all the handmade tops I have made as orders.  She's wearing this for her birthday this coming Sept.  The back part is 85% done, so I really hope to finish it this week.  I have to take a few measurements of her, like bust, length and arms circumference.  It should give me more accurate details of how much i should be doing.  I went to see her once to make those measurements.

Black Through the Woods hood

Another one on my needles now is this black through the woods hood. 

It's 90% done! Button plackets left to work with, sew, weave in ends, and block.  Black or any other dark color is so hard to work with.  I usually work on this during daylight so I wouldn't strain my eyes.  This hood is just one of two hoods that a high school friend of mine ordered.  I hope I still have time to finish the pink one before winter starts in the US, and shipping these!  

Slowly ticking off those that are done one by one, but after finishing one and somebody sees it I get several more orders!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Monsoon Season in India

Now it's August, come September and i can't wait for the rainy season to leave. It's a different kind of rainy season here, raining non-stop for 3 weeks! No, there is no storm here in Goa. I haven't experience one even after one year of staying here. This is just a normal rainy season here!

We are already on the 3rd quarter of this year and I just want to see how much I have done of my crochet and knit projects, all of which are custom orders. If I can just crochet or knit all day and my hand won't ache, then I would want to finished more, faster.

This tablecloth is for decorating an altar, so I think it must have been special for the owner.

I love how this worked up, it was very fast and the owner also like it. I added some more stitches around the neck area (not shown), so the front part wont look droopy, as in the photo. I think this would be nice to wear during winter time here in Goa, maybe when going out and have a lovely dinner by the beach.

These 2 baby shoes, were for a new born baby, our neighbor's niece/nephew.

This is a tablecloth, which is still a work in progress. The colors white and yellow were chosen by the owner/bride. The white thread, has a silver strand together with it and the center of the flower i chose to put maroon so it will contrast with yellow and white. This is for a wedding this coming december. I hope I can keep up with her orders, as there is still a lot coming, I guess, after I finish this first piece!

These two, a golden shrug and a white cardigan is for a child age 9. It is made to fit for around 10-13 years old, since the recipient is of bigger in built. I plan to sold these two, since the owner decided she didn't want this white mesh cardigan anymore. If you want these, i am also on instagram and DM can be sent there. My instagram account is @knitwerksandcrafts.

This was the latest one that I have done, a halter top worn on a birthday for this lady. This was really a very comfy blouse to wear. The owner loved it and the fit was perfect on her. I have adapted the halter back part from pattern name is Aphrodite. The lower body part, I only took 2 charts out of the original pattern. I was too lazy to follow all of it. After I made this, I got 3 more custom orders for this! But, for now I am blocking my calendar to finished the tablecloths that are coming up before the wedding in December.

Meanwhile on sundays, I like to go to a local market here in Cuncolim.

It is where I can find all fresh produce, like this fresh dates.

And of course there is always good things to find for crafting like these floral cotton fabrics,
I was able to buy 2 kinds for Rp40 and Rp50 a meter. It is already very cheap, soft and the quality is also acceptable. I was telling myself today, that I would like to buy again in around 2 weeks time. Well then, I should be starting to use the fabrics by now.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Looking back at 2015 Projects

Most of the projects I have done are made to orders, except for 2, the yellow bonnet was a gift, and purple hat was for me. Most of it are big projects. Maybe, this year I will try to make and sell small projects. There is a baby clothes shop owner here who wants to sell something unique in her shop. I'm still waiting for a call for confirmation from her. Looking at this photo, I'm glad at least I made one project for myself. Most also of the projects in this photo are crocheted, so I would finished it fast.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Winter is a month

Some days are warm, when there is no rain. During my last post, it was raining like the whole week. Now, it's been sunny the whole week! A bit of rain came this afternoon, not heavy enough to cool down.

It's October and in a month's time it will be winter! I should be making something for me for the coming chilly season.

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This made to order poncho is finally done. Next week I will deliver this one to the owner. I hope it will fit her nicely and she will be satisfied with this handmade product. I will finished weaving the ends of this by today. I will take a photo of the owner too wearing her poncho.

So I cannot wait, and immediately started another project for a baby boy (my husband's cousin's son) who's turning 1 in november.

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Using this yarn, which was my first purchase when I came here to India. Yarn brand is NAKO SAten, which is 100% microfibre acrylic.

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Another one of my purchases with the NAKO Saten yarn, which I plan to make into a blouse/cover up for myself.

As the seasons change, so does the supply of fruits and vegetables here. Cooking and baking is a bit more of a challenge here, because of vegetables that I have to wait to be in season, hard to find cake ingredients, like the evaporated milk.  photo 20150924_150521-01.jpeg

Like this fresh green peas, it got more expensive during this rainy season. They are abundant during the summer time here. But I really like these fresh ones better, which are soft compared to the canned ones, I used to buy when I was in Philippines or Singapore. I just took a photo of the peas, since it was the first time i saw them fresh in the pods.  photo 20150924_150507-01.jpeg

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Rainy Days in Goa + Celebrating Ganesh

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It has been raining for a week. Usually the rain comes in the night time or early morning until mid morning. For how many days me and my mother in law are just stuck in the house. Tutorial lessons for kids living nearby is my mother in law's only time that is seriously taken even during this rainy days.

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I have been working on this crochet poncho for a made to order, while seating by the window in the leaving room. Six more motifs to go plus the border. The owner of this poncho specifically told me to not make this poncho motif again for anybody else. That's just my kind of project to do anyway! I don't want to repeat the same thing twice...unless maybe the owner of the first project I made is fine with it if someone wants exactly the same one.

This project is the first time that I have to figure out by just looking the photos on how it is being connected. I just used double crochet through out, since I can't figure out the stitch used on the pattern, which is written in a foreign language to me. Well, it looks like double crochet to me only. Good enough I have previously done a crochet motif project before.

I really just went to start with this poncho since the person who ordered this is familiar with pinterest, and she was particularly looking there and found this sunny-tangerines poncho

I also have been making filipino sweet desserts, unfortunately I haven't taken pics of it. Maybe this coming weeks ahead, when I will be getting orders by one of my sis in laws friends around the gym. My sister in law let me made black sambo and buko pandan to bring to the gym she goes to, and it was for the gym owner's birthday. Later on, several gym goers want to make an order now. I would probably be baking as well in the next months to come.

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Chicken macaroni salad, is what I have made only which I took a photo off. It is meant to be eaten cold, but somehow didn't sold out to my sis and mother in law. It look peculiar to them to eat pasta which is cold. Instead, I told my sister in law just heat for them if they want to eat. I made this on thursday, when Ganesh Holiday started. Thursday and friday was a holiday then.

We visited Hindu friends to wish them Happy Ganesh. This is from a friend of my husband's. We drove for an hour to reach the friend's place.

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I don't really know the exact names of these dishes. From top (clockwise) rice flakes and potatoes mixed with some spices. I did like the potato, but not the rice flakes. A deep fried dish with coconut inside, which is somewhat like the bukayo a filipino recipe.

Vegetable gravy for the puri( the small white bread) below. I found it too oily to eat, so one was enough for me.

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I liked this one better, from the next door neighbor. It is also deep fried, but the coconut inside taste better, so I had two.:-)

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And I took photo with Ganesha , one of the most worshipped hindu deity. I don't really know much of Hindu deities, but you can check on the link of who is Ganesha.