Sometime during 6th or 7th grade, the girls in our class had to learn how to crochet (the boys learned how to hook rugs). My mom taught me the basics of how to do it, and she also gave me the tools I needed. While it was fascinating, I never really used this skill after that.
Fast forward to now. I am getting back to crochet for one thing: the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. My first attempt at making a Doctor Who related costume re-sparked the desire to create. As much as I’d like to have the official merchandise, it’s far too expensive for my current budget. Plus, it would be subjected to the wear and tear of actual use, so a handmade one would be a little less taxing on the pocket. The biggest investment would be the time and effort to make it.
I had gone through many sites and blogs to look for tips and patterns on making the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. Most of the information was about knitting, but there were also those who adapted the patterns to crochet. Thank you very much to you guys.
Next thing I did was search for places to get the materials I needed. I know yarn can be bought in many places around the metro, but the problem was that if the stores would have the color I needed. Divisoria was the best place to go to (Tabora St., specifically), but it was too far and I was on limited time.
Blogs like gantsilyoguru (post is gone now, unfortunately), Digital Brew and Crafty Neko recommended VC Trading and Maning’s in Farmer’s Plaza Cubao, which was a much better option for me. But first, I thought, why not look around in my own backyard first?
Right in my backyard
I pass by the Markina Public Market everyday on the way home from work. The second floor of the dry goods section was full of shops that sold cloth and other craft materials. I went around Monday afternoon but wasn’t completely successful in finding what I need. My mistake was not asking for a yarn shop, but instead went around just browsing. The first shop that had yarn didn’t have it in the colors that I needed (their selection was composed mostly of really bright colors). The second shop had a slightly bigger selection, but the only colors close to what I wanted were brown and blue grey. The attendant there wasn’t even aware of the difference between ribbons and yarn.
I ended up buying three small balls of yarn for practice, and a small Japanese hook #3 (it was too small). In both stores, the Red Heart yarn costs P20.
Purchases from Monday: practice yarn, too small hook and some munchies from the friendly Japanese lady at the sports complex
The next day, I went to Farmer’s Plaza. VC Trading fulfilled on its promise to have a lot of yarns. They had the small skeins from Familia that cost P10 each, with bigger skeins from Red Heart that ranged from P190 to P400, depending on the kind and the size. Digital Brew’s post had a photo that showed the available colors of Familia, but the stocks have lessened since. Still, it was an impressive selection and I was able to get five out of the seven colors I needed.
I also got two crochet hooks (4.0 mm and 5.0 mm) for P50 each and a cowboy-ish hat for P90. It was in a deep burgundy color with a ribbon band that on its own looked fine for Four. Unfortunately, it had two holes in the rim for a string to go through (then again, for P90 I shouldn’t complain eh?).
Headed on to Maning’s to see if they had other colors that I needed and, success! They carried small skeins of Red Heart and the colors are pretty impressive. Each skein costs P20, so it was slightly more expensive. I got the remaining colors and headed home.
Total amount spent for everything was P370. Not a bad deal at all.
Getting serious. Starter yarn, new hooks and the hat.
I started doing practice stitches last Monday. Since my hook was small, it was hard to make the stitches uniform so my work ended up looking bowed. Plus my hand got cramped easily because I had to compensate for the hook.
With the bigger hooks, it was easier to make the stitches the same size. I decided to try double stitch this time, and I think it looked better and felt lighter. I also had less instances of the hook catching on individual strands of the yarn. It still wasn’t perfect, and it was uneven in some parts but it looked better. I do need to learn how to count stitches though, so it won’t look uneven.
Practice. Still have much to improve on. The top and smaller work is the single stitch with a small hook, while the bottom one is double stitch using the 4.0 mm hook. It’s also how wide the scarf will actually be.