Fiber Arts: What I Made in the Last Two Years

I’ve only mentioned briefly the hobbies I took up in this blog. This time, I will list some of the projects I finished in the past two years! Every project is a different experience. I haven’t made the same thing twice which is why I can’t make these hobbies for profit. But I like it better that way—no pressure to disappoint a customer, no deadlines—just pure fun.

Crochet

I’ve always wanted to start knitting since I’ve seen it a few times in American shows. However, knitting sounded more foreign to me since I know no knitters, only crocheters. Crochet was also introduced in elementary school, I think, and I’ve seen a few crochet hooks in my childhood. It was easy to find a starter crochet kit online so I decided I’m going with crochet first.

For most of the projects I’m going to mention in this blog, Youtube was my teacher. My first ones were a simple flower, a granny square, and a coaster. I got hooked quickly and decided to get a crochet hook set and more yarns. This time, I went with milk cotton. It sounded soft and it got good reviews from the crochet community.

I went right in with a bucket hat. It was a good decision to use milk cotton. It might not be the best choice for our climate but it was so easy to work with. It just glides smoothly with my crochet hook, unlike acrylic.

I wasn’t happy with the results though, I ended up not wearing it. After doing other projects in between, I decided to frog it and remake it. It was a hard decision, but I’m glad I did it.

@hobbyhobbyist

It’s okay to frog your project if you’re not happy with it #crochet #crochettok

♬ Sunflower – Rex Orange County

After a few projects, I eventually invested in a Tulip crochet hook which I used in this tapestry bag.

I also freehanded a UP Sablay-inspired headband. I made a baby beanie and mittens for a godchild. And, I followed a written pattern for the first time to make a bobble kerchief.

Knitting

After my success with the remade crochet bucket hat, I felt it was time for me to dabble in knitting. Since I already have yarns, I only needed to buy knitting needles and I went with the metal circular ones. I watched RJ Knits on Youtube to learn the basics. It was intimidating at first, especially because I can’t imagine how these loops could form a sweater. It was amazing to see those rows pile up and make something.

@hobbyhobbyist

For my first knitting project, a beanie for @budolkingph #knit #knittok

♬ Take a picture – NiziU

I also made a knitted top (that didn’t fit me well) with a matching crochet tie headband.

My most ambitious knitting project though was this sweater vest. It took me a while to finish it—I would put hours of work in a day and then forget about it for weeks. I think that also caused me to make more mistakes, and then those mistakes would demotivate me, and then the cycle continued. What pushed me to finish it eventually was knowing that it was nearing its anniversary. I also created a Twitter thread of my progress from the start so I also craved tweeting the final product on there.

I also rarely make something as a gift but I had this impulsive decision to knit a headband for Tin before she left for New Zealand. I feel accomplished every time I see someone start a hobby (she learned to crochet) after encouraging them, so I felt like giving her a knitted something to encourage her to try knitting as well.

I have had sets of double-pointed knitting needles for a while now. I wanted to knit socks but just thinking about making the same thing twice demotivates me already. Finally, I thought I wanted to knit a stuffed animal, and the easiest tutorial I could find gave the option to use double-pointed needles.

It only looked intimidating but it felt like a breeze once you get a hold of it. It was definitely easier and more appropriate to use them for small projects instead of circular needles.

I still have a lot of knitting techniques I want to learn especially colorwork and cables. Maybe next year?

Sewing

When I was a kid, I used to make paper dresses for my Barbie dolls. Back then, my dream was to be a fashion designer. I remember hand-sewing a black apron with broken heart appliques and tulle at the bottom back in elementary. It was so much fun creating it and I was so proud of my work. Being in fashion might not be what I wanted eventually but I still liked dressing up.

Ultimately, my goal is to sew something from scratch which I haven’t fulfilled yet. However, I was able to tailor some pants and sew a scrunchie from the scraps. I count this as a win.

Embroidery

One of my goals for the year is to learn a new craft and I was just able to fulfill it in the last month. I got embroidery kits for my birthday last year, so it was really just me waiting for that motivation to kick in. My motivation was to embroider a name on a blanket—my daughter’s.

2021 Recap

Thanks Monn for reminding me I have a blog too. 😂

Counted pa naman ‘to since hindi pa tayo ready lahat mag-2022 ‘di ba? Haha

I went into 2021 not knowing there would be significant changes in my life. I set my expectations low, given that we are still in a pandemic.

But one night in our apartment in Quezon City, we tried this scent in our humidifier called White Tea and Ginger from Mia Maison. Kix smelled nostalgia from his many trips to Adelaide. After toying with the idea for years, we decided that night we wanted to migrate to Australia.

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How I started learning Japanese

こんにちは!ライです。ブログへようこそ!

Back in 2017, I visited Japan for the first time. Japan was definitely at the top of the list of countries I want to go to for so long. So when I learned that there would be a month-long training by JICA in Japan, I tried my luck and got in! That trip made me appreciate Nihongo on another level. I loved hearing the train announcements, the greetings from convenience store workers, even the elevator announcing what floor are we in. But most importantly, I admired Nihongo more because we were guided every day by our Nihongo-English interpreters—Junko-san and Kaori-san. I was always in awe listening to them translate. During our breaks, I would even ask them to translate phrases for me, and they would also teach us Japanese slangs. My favorite was めっちゃ (metcha) which means “very / a lot”.

I tried self-studying Japanese after that trip. I downloaded the free version of the Duolingo app and would do some exercises. I felt that my learning at this time was very shallow. I didn’t feel like I’m absorbing these words I’m hearing. However, during a trip back to Japan in 2018 with my parents, I was able to somehow spew some Nihongo when we stumbled upon a restaurant with no English menu. I wish I could say it made me motivated to study harder, but it didn’t. I still wasn’t committing to learning Nihongo at that time.

Sometime in 2019, I realized that I should enroll in a class. I felt like I’m just not cut out for self-studying Nihongo at this point. So I went to UP Diliman and registered in the Linguistics department. Come enrollment, I didn’t push through. I realized I might not be able to commit to attending classes regularly since I had to commute to UP. But then the pandemic happened, and the department started offering their classes online. There’s no excuse for me anymore.

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2020 Year-End Review

I’m glad I got to get out of the house for the first quarter of the year more than I used to do. But this blog is about what I did for the rest of the year during the lockdown.

TV Shows

Everyone’s first instinct when thinking of what to do in a lockdown was probably to binge some shows. I started with K-Dramas—Crashing Landing on You, Itaewon Class, and What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim. My favorite though is Reply 1988. Its ending is as justified as How I Met Your Mother’s.

And, I can now finally understand The Office References after finishing the whole series in a month. I also started Parks and Rec but haven’t continued it yet after getting distracted by Reply 1988.

Gaming

Kix has been recommending Stardew Valley to me for some time, and I found the great opportunity to start in March. I got reminded about it because it got mentioned by my colleagues at work. Unsurprisingly, I easily got obsessed with the game. I played it a lot until I got tired of it.

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My Swab Test Experience

If you have COVID-19 symptoms within the past two weeks and want to get tested, I might have some information you are looking for.

This is my experience with the Chinese General Hospital’s walk-in RT-PCR test or what everyone knows as the swab test.

The testing area is open 24/7 and located on the second floor of the building to the right of the main one if you’re facing the hospital from Blumentritt Road.

The location of the testing area in the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center compound.
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Apple Arcade: 2019 Picks

Yep, the year in the title is right. Before I got employed last year, I’ve been playing Apple Arcade games. I’d like to talk about three specific games that stuck with me until this day. I thought of finally writing about it because I discovered that there are new exciting releases that I’d like to start playing soon!

The common denominators about these games are interesting narrative, great graphics & sound design, and can be finished in one sitting.

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City Pop & Learning Nihongo

みなさん、こんにちは!お元気でしたか?9月から先週まで日本語オンランクラスにさんかしました。(純子さん、いつもしつもんにこたえてくれてありがとうございます!)

For the past two months, I’ve been taking online Nihongo classes by the UP Department of Linguistics. Thanks to Alvarez-sensei and my classmates, I passed Japanese 1. I had a lot of fun and I’m excited about Japanese 2 next year. 🎉

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Traveling to Egypt

It still feels surreal that I was able to travel to Egypt early this year, considering what’s happening now. One time, it dawned on me that we could have been stuck there for months, but luckily we were able to go home before travel bans happened. I was supposed to blog this experience right after the trip, but it just didn’t feel right, might be insensitive and all. But considering we won’t know when we will be traveling again, I might as well write my experiences here, at least those I can still remember.

We scored piso seats to Dubai back on March 3, 2019. Travel bloggers attested that it’s the cheapest way to go to Europe/Africa. I agree, but I wouldn’t mind paying extra for comfort next time. It was my first time riding a long-haul flight with a low-cost airline, and hopefully, I’ll have enough money next time for it to be the last. We also didn’t buy in-flight meals and instead bought from Kenny Rogers right before boarding.

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