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WDYM grandma hobby? These 4 IG artists will make crochetcore happen (again)

Since the pandemic forced everyone to stay home, a lot of people have had more time on their hands. Some (like us) chose to dedicate hours binge-watching or catching up on pending reads. Others chose to revisit their creative pursuits, and we know you’ve all seen it gain popularity all over social media.

Handcrafting in particular made a huge comeback on platforms like Instagram. Those oversized cardigans you may have seen on aesthetic feeds are crocheted, made from counting stitches and loops with yarn and a hook. Who says it’s just a lola pastime, huh? 

For these artists, what many would consider a boring, “grandma hobby” is a therapeutic outlet, a creative business idea and a sustainable form of art. 

 

Daphne (@ilyang.ilyang on IG)

Daphne, like a lot of us, needed a way to keep her sanity intact during the hellhole that is quarantine (yes, “is” because technically, we’re not out of it yet). After her roommate showed her the world of crocheting, Daphne created @ilyang.ilyang. It’s a creative outlet, a portal to an equally creative community and a tribute to her great grandmother Ilyang, who had a knack for crocheting herself. 

“It’s really my way of honoring a stereotypically lola hobby while putting my own twist to it,” she said. Now, she’s on IG making “hardcore handmade crochet”―colorful sun hats, cropped vests and even luchador masks.

 

What makes crocheting different from other crafting hobbies? What do you find most enjoyable about it?

It’s the freedom to create anything you want from a single strand of yarn and being able to “frog” your creations anytime you want to create something new. Talk about sustainability, no? These crafting hobbies provide an outlet for me to create and express myself. The process alone helps get my mind off the mundanity of everyday life.

 

What can you say about the so-called “comeback” of crafting hobbies last year?

Being stuck at home definitely pushed people to find their creative side, and I love being a witness to their crafts! It’s pretty amazing to see how people are starting to incorporate crocheted apparel and accessories into their everyday outfits. Thank you,  Blackpink. Thank you, Harry Styles. 

 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve crocheted? (Or something you didn’t know you could make from crocheting but managed to)

Not the weirdest (I have weirder projects in mind for the future of Ilyang Ilyang), but I recently made a luchador mask from the movie “Nacho Libre.” 

It was a fun personal project, but I’m hoping to make even crazier projects with crochet like a skin suit that you might accidentally find on the weird side of Pinterest. 

 

If you had all the time and creativity (and yarn, hahaha) in the world, what would be your dream crochet project?

Crochet bombing, which is like graffiti tagging, but with yarn.

 

Any recommended tools and advice for beginners?

There’s a whole range of hooks and yarns you can try! It can be overwhelming at first, so I suggest getting a set of cheap hooks and see which size works for you and your projects best before investing in pricier ones. 

First crochet projects usually don’t turn out great right away. It’s like that first wonky pancake on the pan, so don’t get discouraged. Crocheting will test your patience, so count those stitches, keep notes and frog that project if you have to! If you have questions or feel stuck, join communities and don’t be afraid to ask or put yourself out there. But most importantly, don’t overthink it and just have fun with it!

 

Alyssa (@maison_gantsilyo.ph on IG)

Sometimes you just look at something and you know it’s literally calling you. That’s exactly how Alyssa’s crochet account Maison Gantsilyo came to be; she found her first crochet hook sitting on top of bed sheets at her local department store and the rest was herstory.

She started crocheting at the beginning of quarantine then put her hook and yarn down for a while to focus on her studies. A couple of months later, she bought her first set of yarn skeins, went back to crocheting, and even started making money out of it. 

 

What makes crocheting different from other crafting hobbies? What do you find most enjoyable about it?

As much as I love other crafts like molding clay, painting and other DIYs, I feel like I can do so much with crocheting. It’s limitless. You can take anything around you (or like a memory for example; my alfresco collection reminds me of the fun outdoors!) and turn it into any crochet form or silhouette. 

 

Weirdest thing you’ve crocheted? (Or something you didn’t know you could make from crocheting but managed to)

I’m into footwear and I never thought I would crochet my own slides out of T-shirt yarn! (Posting them soon; they might not be for sale though.)

 

Favorite custom order so far? (If you made any!)

I want to say the Alfresco Scarf, but I think I love how the half and half bucket hat turned out! I unraveled that so many times, I was basically crying during the process, haha! But it was worth it. 

 

If you had all the time and creativity (and yarn) in the world, what would be your dream crochet project?

I used to dream about making the cardigan and the shoes, but since I already made those, maybe a bedroom set? (with bed sheets, curtains? Haha, might be too heavy) or some crocheted Air Jordan 1s! 

 

Any recommended tools and advice for beginners?

I recommend starting with a 4-5mm hook so you can see each stitch well and it wouldn’t be hard to transition to smaller or bigger hooks in the future. Also, when starting out, don’t be in a hurry to finish a project. Take it slow and enjoy it. Create things that make you feel happy! ?

 

Angeli (@sundrylocal on IG)

Whatever your feelings for TikTok are, it’s undeniable that a lot of people found the passion to create and share their works on the platform. 

Angeli hadn’t thought of herself as a crochet kind of person, but got inspired after seeing Liz Huffman remaking Harry Styles’ J.W. Anderson cardigan on TikTok (so whoever thinks being in a fandom is a waste of time better reconsider now). Soon, she’s crafting coasters, face masks, bucket hats, bags and bottle covers, and selling them on Sundry Local. 

 

What makes crocheting different from other crafting hobbies? What do you find most enjoyable about it?

Crocheting is simply a hobby that helps me relax from the harsh reality of things―all the limitless possibilities my yarn and hook can achieve is such a mesmerizing feat to comprehend. Crocheting gives me full control and freedom in what I can make. 

 

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What can you say about the so-called “comeback” of crafting hobbies last year?

It’s about time! Being stuck at home for almost a year, it can be quite repetitive and boring living life without any personal goals or hobbies. 

It’s always nice seeing people express their creativity in different forms. It’s also a way to escape, in a way. Being all locked up, it’s important to have a creative outlet for your thoughts. Living in the pandemic is hard for all of us and crocheting definitely helped me get through it. 

 

Weirdest thing you’ve crocheted? (Or something you didn’t know you could make from crocheting but managed to)

The weirdest thing I’ve crocheted was probably a jug cover for my mom. It looks like a mini bucket hat but for jugs/pitchers

 

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If you had all the time and creativity (and yarn, hahaha) in the world, what would be your dream crochet project?

It has always been my goal to be able to crochet clothes! It can be quite daunting at first. But the more I gain experience, the more I gain motivation and knowledge in crocheting different sweaters, cardigans, vests, pants, etc. But not just plain basic ones, I also want to experiment with different patterns and stitches. Hopefully I’ll be able to release crocheted clothes soon. So stay tuned!

 

Any recommended tools for beginners? And maybe some advice for them if they’re considering getting into crocheting.

My top three essential tools for beginners are a crochet hook, yarn and a darning needle! When I first started, I just bought those and was able to make a coaster right away.

My advice is: Go for it! Just remember that your first crochet project won’t be your best, but of course as you practice, you’ll get better each time! Just be patient with yourself and don’t forget to rest your hands in the process. Rest is important too. And lastly, enjoy!

 

Anna Liah (@gantsiliah on IG)

College student Anna Liah’s childhood dreams spelled two words: fashion designer. She started out rough with crochet though, struggling to nail her basic stitches (well, the best any of us can make back in fifth grade home economics class, at least). 

The skill doesn’t manifest overnight, Anna Liah knew that. So, like many artists, she taught herself and practiced for years. Now, she’s making little gifts like phone pouches and pen holders for loved ones, recreating luxury designer pieces (again, “Thank you, Harry Styles”) and even helping her family with household expenses by taking crocheting commissions. 

“Elated to see the ‘comeback’ of crochet,” she feels great that young people like her appreciate the art of crochet. She sees the craft as a sustainable venture that a lot of Filipinos would benefit from. Crocheting, for her, is just as intricate and valuable as any form of art.

 

What makes crocheting different from other crafting hobbies? What do you find most enjoyable about it?

The amount of patience is what makes crochet different from other crafting hobbies. It takes a lot of time, like any other art, which makes it more special and valuable. I find crocheting most enjoyable among other hobbies because it makes me create things with my own hands and it makes my imagination tangible. 

But because of our family’s financial situation, I chose to be practical and pursued a college degree in human resource management. Now, I’m not really fully closing my doors to my childhood dreams because God has His own ways of making wonders in my life. 

 

What can you say about the so-called “comeback” of crafting hobbies last year?

Honestly, I was surprised because all of a sudden, crochet is trending all over social media platforms, especially on TikTok and YouTube. Most of my friends tag me in crochet-related FB posts or send crochet TikTok videos because every time they see yarn and crocheted items, these remind them of me. 

It gives hope that this kind of craft continues and will continue to thrive for generations to come. But most of all, I believe the “comeback” also improved the connotation of crochet in modern times. Who says crochet is just a grandma hobby? Well, not anymore!

 

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Weirdest thing you have crocheted? (Or something you didn’t know you could make from crocheting, but managed to)

I still haven’t crocheted anything that fits into the weird category, haha. From June to September 2020, I can’t believe that I was able to successfully crochet and distribute 1,000 pieces of ear savers to local hospitals for the benefit of our medical frontliners who experience ear sores and such irritation caused by the prolonged wearing of face masks. 

 

If you had all the time and creativity (and yarn, hahaha) in the world, what would be your dream crochet project?

My dream crochet project is to make crochet accessible as a sustainable livelihood program here in the Philippines. Our locally produced yarn fibers, especially those from Baguio, deserve recognition! I believe that Filipinos are natural artisans. 

I think training programs and materials need to be provided because the talent is already there. I would really love to start a social enterprise that markets crocheted products and opens employment to rural and urban poor communities. Kind of ambitious, but I believe impossible things won’t become possible unless one dreams of it.

 

Any recommended tools for beginners? And maybe some advice for them if they are considering getting into crocheting.

For beginners, I think I will recommend any acrylic and milk cotton yarn because these types of fibers are thicker than mercerized cotton yarns (similar to embroidery threads), which can speed up your beginner projects. To complement the acrylic and milk cotton yarns, a four-millimeter crochet hook size usually works best! I also suggest using lighter colors of yarn so it will be easier on the eyes and to maintain the tightness or looseness of the stitches. 

Lastly, if ever you decide to make crochet a business, don’t be afraid to set your prices. Remember that you are the artist, and you should know the worth of your time spent in mastering the skill and crafting the actual piece. After all, crochet, like any other art, is meant to be valued and appreciated!

 

Read more:
5 lessons you’ll eventually learn when you start your new craft hobby
Ha.Mu might be out of the box, but they’re for everybody
It’s time to get (get, aw) these ‘Daisy Siete’ earrings, TBH

 

Photos by @maison_gantsilyo.ph and @gantsiliah on IG

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