Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Strawberry Crochet Stitches - Correction

Hello all, I am very excited to let you know that the strawberry stitches has gone viral again in past few weeks in social media and as a result I was receiving request for a few dozens of DIY bag kits using this stitches from crochet friends back home.

While working at the translation of my pattern from Eglish to Bahasa Indonesia I noticed that the diagram I made is missing a chain on top of the group of single crochet stitches. The written pattern as you can download from my website is correct, only the diagram which I published in my blog is needed perfection.  So here it is the correct one.





Link to previous post on the same subject.



Working with multicolor yarns...


Saturday, January 3, 2015

A visit to Dowa Crochet Boutique, the maker of The Saks Crochet Bags

Following my previous post on my visit to Dowa crochet boutique in Jogja, Central Java, Indonesia, here are some photos from the trip. This article is not about the success story of the company but more about what I learned from my visit to the workshop. To read more about the company please visit its website at http://www.dowabag.com/new/content.php?page=aboutus

Dowa bags according to the person I met in the workshop are exported mostly to the US. In the US it is sold under the brand name The Saks. Interestingly, I actually own a purse which I purchased in Dallas not knowing it was from my own backyard hehe #feelingamuzed


Beautiful bloom at the entrance.


 Dowa boutique at Godean KM 7, Yogyakarta. 


Sweet mint candy and other local treats provided to the guest at the waiting room made you feel so welcome to the shop. The room has a nice sofa and chairs where husbands or kids can wait and chat while the wives enjoy the shopping.


Some crocheted bags on display.



A  varieties of the sling bags. Notice how the stitches different in the front and the back of the brown bag on the left.


Crochet cushion covers in neatly done single crochet stitches. The price of Dowa's is ranging from USD 4 to USD 160 a piece. I treat myself  with one of these.


Zigzagging double crochet tapestry bags reminding me of  similar bag in single crochet by Carol Ventura.


Everybody from of all ages seems to enjoy their time in the shop like these children admiring the keychains and brooches on display.


Flower power. Crocheted keychains and brooches and on display.

The Neat Lining
Now that we have seen all of those beautiful photos of crocheted bags and accessories, let see the most fun part of this tour. How do they do their super neat lining? I am grateful to all the employees and management of Dowa for allowing me to photograph and videotaping this process and for being so kind in sharing their knowledge and expertise with me. Two thumbs up for them.


All Dowa bags is crocheted by the women surrounding the village where the company is operating. Dowa use its own type of nylon yarns to produce their bags and accessories and the yarns is not available for sale publicly.

Some bags were created in one solid piece, some were created as separated pieces which will required further assembly. Every single bags arrived at the workshop were placed under scrutiny for its quality. Mistakes will be corrected at the repair center at the workshop. Some of the bags can undergo major repair from cutting and reattaching the handle and some will require reconstruction of some part of the bags. It seems intense labor and time consuming to me but the ladies at Dowa is crocheting at the speed I have only seen done by the winner of the fastest crocheter recorded by the Guinness of Record on Youtube! I asked one of the repair women how long she has been crocheting and how can she crochet so fast, she said she has been doing this job for 6 years. How many hours would that be if she crochet 6 hours a day. 


An employee at the workshop gluing the interfacing into the upperlining fabric.

At first the inside of the bag (the wrong side) was covered using the underlining fabric in the same color of the yarns used for the bag. If necessary Some area around to upper side of the bag is cut to match the contour of the fabric and glue is used in some places to make the underlining stay in place.  The purpose of this process is to cover the spaces in between crochet stitches to prevent the interfacing to be seen through the fabric. A certain area of the bag such as the handle, buttons and clasps is reinforced using a stronger underlining fabric.

The upper lining is sewn separately as a bag insert. Pockets and the zipper is stitched into the upper lining during this process. The  type of material used is unknown to me but the softness of the fabric is similar to those used in the tailored suits and jackets.  



Workers returning to work after a lunch break.




Short video  interview  about the production and QC at the Dowa workshop.


Several type of nylon yarns and work in progress at Dowa workshop, Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

Hope you enjoyed this short article. See you in my  next crochet adventures in the other part of the world InsyaAllah. Happy crocheting.

Visit Dowa website for detailed product info.

Source: Personal interview and UKM success story.

All of my photographs have hidden copyright info on its meta data. Please  do not reupload my files by any means to another blog or website. You can share the link.  

You can make items with my patterns for yourself or as gifts. 
Please contact me if you need the photos on my blog to be used in commercial publications.




Thursday, January 1, 2015

Souvenier from Jogja from Yarn shopping to Leather Crafts

  1. Visiting *Yogyakarta this year especially for me is quite meaningful and a bit different than my previous visits because I was more focus and prepared in how we would like to spend our time. 

  2. In short here is what our schedule looks like.
  3. Flight: We arrived Jogja by Lion Air from Jakarta at late evening around 10 pm, ate dinner at Lesehan Maliboro and returned to Jakarta 5 days later via Batik Air (still under same Lion group but better service).
  4. Hotel: and stayed at Hotel 1001 Malam (1001 Nights). Hotel rate was USD 40 per per night  breakfast included. B'fast is served at 07:30. You can choose from the menu ahead of time at night or let them know an hour in advance to prepare. There are banana pancake, nasi goreng and sandwich to choose from along with fruit juice, coffee and tea.
  5. Places we visited in pictures:


  1. Day 1: Gabby Yarnshop of course haha... Huge thanks to my family for allowing me to visit the shop on or first day. I met  Regent, the friendly owner and his wife and their new baby and purchased some yarns. Gabby sells yarns from cotton to nylon in lace to DK sizes and a limited amount of bulky and imported yarns.  Gabby address is Jalan Mangkubumi No.69, Tugu, Jogjakarta. Phone  0819-0428-3888 and (0274) 550696. After Gabby yarn shop we headed off to Kasongan pottery village.


Indecisive moment at Gabby Yarnshop.


They sells handmade and batik cap too. After Gabby yarn shop we headed off to Kasongan potteries.



 The motifs were made using eggshell glued to the surface. 


  1. Day 2: Taman Sari. Taman means garden.  


  1. The above picture show the view from above where the Yogyakarta Kings used to see the dance performances below.


My friends and I at the room which used to be the dressing room for the mistress.


Dressing room seen from the King's bedroom. Notice how the layers of doors forming  mirror like image like in a camera lens, focusing on the center focus point. It would be interesting to know the idea behind the creation of this rooms as well as the entire Taman Sari architectural building by a Portuguese architect Demang Tegis between 1755 - 1792 AD


Another entertainment and ceremonial area inside theTamas Sari complex.


Left: Bathing area for the mistresses  viewed from the top level of the building where the King would only select one to stay with him for the day. The King would throw a rose to the pond and whoever hit by the rose would stay and the rest would disappear. Right: Batik painter aroundTaman Sari. 


The bathing place viewed from different angle.


Sumur gumuling used to be the place for ablution for the Muslims before the prayer time.  Today it is no more than the photo taking  place for tourists. The underground masjid was built in the natural sound system so the voice of the Imam can be heard clearly by the people who pray behind him including the woman who pray in separate chambers.
  1. Lunch on day 2 was at a Haji Slamet Fried Duck, a four stars rated restaurant by Trip Advisor.  

Day 3: Kasongan Wood Craft in Bantul 2o minutes from Jogjakarta.
There are many woodcraft shops in Kasongan with type of works ranging from wood sculpture to furnitures. Below are some work  that caught my interest.


Teakwood stools priced from 40 - 50 USD each! I drool as I type this  because I live in Lagos, Nigeria at the moment following my husband's assignment and I just wish to stay in a house which I can decorate with these beauty...


Another beautiful teak wood table being displayed in a shop at Kasongan village.


Next to the craft shop was a coffee shop overlooking a small river below. I can't agree more on this poster says: Today (everyday) is the best day in my life, Alhamdulillah. 

  1. Lunch was at Sundanese restaurant Bale Ayu. 4.5 stars for this restaurant for their menu variety and friendly service. See them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BALEAYU followed by a trip to the Manding leather craft village.


Directions to shops at Manding leather craft village. See video about Manding village in this ink.


A crafter at Manding Village and some made to order bags ready to ship.


Friendly crafter and the cow leather  he had just finished cutting.


The traditional tool of the trade. On left is the stitch marker puncher. The crafter use this puncher to easily hand stitch the fabric later.


Detailed embossed work on leather.


Retail shops along the street selling local made leather crafts.


An old bike with leather saddle and leather bag on display in front of a retail shop.


Bags on display at Dowa boutique in Godean Km 7, Jogjakarta. Follow me for my other exciting post on Dowa Crochet and learn how this famous crochet boutique do the lining of their bags first hand. 

  1. Day 4: Gunung Kidul, Goa Pindul (Pindul Cave Tubing) followed by lunch at Yu Marto restaurant nearby. Aside from too much myths regarding the stalactite inside the cave, this 350 M long cave is beautiful. A lot more improvement  is needed to make it more enjoyable place to visit such as the quality of the changing rooms and the safety and smooth entrance into the cave. There is no stair to go down to the river and the naked wet clay is too slippery during wet season. There is no limit for the ages who can enter, so baby ages 15 months can join without safety vest while the tour guides remind us the depth of the cave in some part is 12 meters deep! Don't forget to bring a waterproof casing for your camera and wallets as leaving your valuable items in the locker room is not advisable.


Pcture inside the Goa Pindul from Kompasiana


We stop for coffee and eating durian fruit at Bukit Bintang, Patuk. 


Seen below is the city called  Piyungan. 

Day 5: We concluded our visit by meeting my cousin and his family and  had lunch at Jejamuran Restaurant recommended by my dear friend Ukhti Ima Fajarianto.  See ukhti Ima on her blog here http://imalifejourney.blogspot.com

She was right about the restaurant.  I have never thought of serving mushroom in such a variety of cooking from stir fry,  green chili pesto, rendang (spicy curry) and tongseng (grilled mushroom with curry sauce). 

Tips: come an hour early before lunch time to secure your place. When we ate there on the way out we saw the sign "Parking is full" which also means the space is full and you will have to come back some other time.  Jejamuran is rated 4 stars by Trip Advisor. 

We had one hour of adrenalin pumping drive to the airport. The traffic was tight and we were loosing time. At that moment we forgot how tasty the food was. Not a good idea to go to the fancy restaurant on last minute. Arrived at the airport, had 20 minutes to check in and board the plane immediately and took a deep breath and thanks God for not missing our flight and didn't have any trouble on the road... Alhamdulillah.


Selections of mushrooms on display at the Jejamuran restaurant, Jogjakarta.
See review in here http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g2304080-d1828715-Reviews-Jejamuran-Sleman_Yogyakarta_Java.html


Meeting my cousin and his family. Refinda back row 2nd from left and Dilla front row in pink scarf are two of crocheters in our family who have contributed to the making of the strawberry bags we have sold locally.


Isn't she cute with her strawberry dress mum made?


Dilla (11) and her own designed crocheted top. Amazing talent at such young age. Yarns from Joann, USA.  On the backdrop is the scene from busy lunch time at Jejamuran (Mushrooms Restaurant). 

Thanks to brother Arfiansyah Abu Khalid and his beautiful Wife Vika for their guidance and coaching during our 5 days stay. Our days were worth spending and no time wasted till the very last minute.  We especially enjoyed the companion of baby Khalid whose famous word is Caca...

  1. Note: *Yogyakarta is a city and the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region in Java, Indonesia. It is renowned as a center of education, classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows. WikipediaArea12.66 sq miles (32.8 km²)ProvinceSpecial Region of YogyakartaPopulation388,627 (2010) UNdataLocal timeSaturday 8:39 PM

NOTE: All of my photographs have hidden copyright info on its meta data. Please do not re upload my files by any means to another blog or website but share the link instead.
You can make items with my patterns for yourself or as gifts.