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These Are Not Your Lola’s Crochet Projects

Discover the new needlework artists who can knit, purl, sew, and knot these super-cool pieces

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Photography: Michael Angelo Chua & Dairy Darilag (Main Photos)

Mention the words “knitting” and “crochet,” and images of elderly women on rocking chairs clicking their needles come to mind. But recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of #crochetph hashtags on Instagram, and it seems that crocheting, knitting, macramé-making, and other types of needlework have become the craft du jour after terrariums and calligraphy.

The current interest in unique, handmade items comes as a sort of backlash against our digitized and automated lifestyles, and the rhythmic repetition of stitches and knots can be therapeutic as well. Needlework has become so popular, that there is even a yarn-bombing event at the Ayala Museum. In the meantime—if you are all thumbs—here are the handcrafters to follow:

Anna J Creative

It’s one thing to come up with macramé dream-catchers or planters; it’s another thing to labor over a huge wall hanging or a tepee that features complex patterns. Iloilo-based macramé artist Anna Jimenez can deftly weave all of those—and more. While she works mainly with a clean canvas of white and off-white cords, Anna isn’t afraid to inject color and whimsy into her work, as evidenced by the playful earrings and necklaces she has made. “I try to leave a piece of myself in everything I do,” she reveals.

Mobile: 0906-574-8057; or follow her on Instagram 

Ganstilyo Guru

The brains behind Ganstilyo Guru is crochet crafter and enthusiast Trey Ajusto, who learned crocheting in her home economics class. "I found the process of crocheting very soothing and relaxing," she says. Trey used to juggle her craft with corporate work until she opened her yarn studio in 2015. She has since taken on several commissioned pieces, creating a bouquet for a wedding or a massive, multicolored bedspread. Aside from conducting workshops, Trey also plans to get her certification abroad and be involved in livelihood projects promoting crocheting.

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Follow Trey on Instagram

Thursday Craftlove


You need only browse Thursday Craftlove’s Instagram grid to be convinced of the hard work and dedication that Ruby Thursday More puts into her embroidery needlework. Her creations, which include necklaces and note cards, boast impressive intricate designs (for the note cards, Ruby does actual embroidery then photographs the designs and prints them). While the challenge lies in shuffling between threadwork and being a hands-on mom, Ruby takes things one at a time. “Hand embroidery is also a very slow process. Try rushing it and it will show up in your work,” she says.

Thursday Craftlove items are available at Hey Kessy in UP Town Center, Quezon City, and at Craft Central in Greenbelt 5, Makati City; or follow her on Instagram

Milvidas

You’ve probably spotted these finely crocheted coasters, water bottle holders, placemats, pillows, and macramé planters at prestigious fairs such as Likhang Habi and MaArte Fair. “Milvidas” means “a thousand lives” and the name is apt, as these crocheted pieces are part of livelihood project that employs the ladies of Aya’s Gawad Kalinga Community in Parañaque. So if you purchase their beautiful accessories, you’re helping out a family, as well.

Follow them on Facebook

Gladys Jose

In our last RL workshop in Powerplant Mall, macramé queen Gladys Jose patiently taught and encouraged 40 guests (daddies included!) to knot their way into creating simple macramé crafts. The process was tough (the thick rope was quite difficult to knot and manipulate), but everyone got to go home with their own mini-macramé hangers. Gladys holds workshops through Craft MNL (she has one coming up in November 11).

Click here to watch out for future workshop schedules, or follow her on Instagram 

This snippet appreared in the original article ("The Handmade Movement") in the March 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details. 

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