Crochet granny square pouch

أسهل طريقة لبدء أي مشروع هي الوحدات و يتربع المربع على عرش الوحدات.. باترونات الوحدات كثيرة و أي بحث بسيط تحت اسم مربع كروشيه يزخر بالكثير من الباترونات بنوعيها السهل و المعقد .. مشروع الوحدات مشروع مثالي للمبتدئين و المتقدمين في الكروشيه، و التغيرات البسيطه في حياكة المربعات تؤدي الى نتائج مذهله .

تغيير ألوان الوحدات.. مزج عدة ألوان في الوحدة.. شبك الوحدات معا في لون مغاير للون الوحدات.. او التغير في طرق شبك الوحدات..  و أخيرا التنويع في أحجام الوحدات .

كل تغيير من هذه التغيرات يصنع حكاية جديدة .

ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response has been trending lately on youtube. Simply put it is a “deeply relaxing and comforting feeling, usually accompanied by tingling sensations in the head“. One way of experiencing this feeling is through sound.

A lot of research and work has been done to test whether such a feeling is obtained from these sounds. From a crafters perspective, this definitely is attested.

Ask any crafter to list what gives them joy and comfort. Out of the many things listed the sound of their craft is definitely one that a crafter enjoys. Whether it is the sound of two needles touching, the hum of a wheel spinning wheel, or fabric punctured from a needle, the sounds that are made are surely things that give pleasure to a crafter.

Fun fact: There are more than 10 million videos on Youtube of ASMR and IKEA released a  commercial with ASMR.

waffle stitch

هذي الغرزة مشهورة بشكلها المميز، نقدر نقول انها ثلاثية الأبعاد لأنه فيها عمق و فيها بروز و هذا البروز اللي فيها ساعد انها تكون سميكة نوعا ما.

مع انه شكل الغرزة احترافي إلا أنه تطبيقها بسيط جداً لأنها تعتمد عالغرز الأساسية بالكروشية، عشان جذي تعتبر من الغرز الممتازة للمبتدئين بالكروشية.

بالبحث عن اسم الغرزة راح نلقى تطبيقات كثيرة لها من قبعات و اسكارفات و لحف أطفال، الملمس المميز للغرزة يخليها تكون اختيار جيد لغطاء ايباد أو أي جهاز إلكتروني، طبعا ما راح يكون الغلاف ضد الصدمات تماما ولكن ممكن يمتص بعض الصدمات الخفيفة بسبب البروز اللي فيها.

Spider on its web

For toddlers a spider represents fun time in a nursery rhyme.
For children a spider represents friendship in Charlotte’s Web.
For teens a spider represents a red suit fighting for the good.
For adults a spider is the fear used as a tool to scare.

For Crafters the spider is a role model.

Spinning its own yarn.
Its home stitched in every barn.
Knitting its own bed.
Crocheting with no colours even red.

The Spider is the greatest crafter.

Funfact: Spider’s Silk has been used for a yarn project.

Cath Kidston

كاث كيدستون من أسرة بريطانية عريقة، درست في مدرسة داخلية و كانت تُعاني منذ صغرها من عُسْر القراءة المعروف بالدسليكسيا، تُوفي والديها بسبب إصابتهم بسرطان الثدي و قد أُصيبت كاث كيدستون بسرطان الثدي في سن ٣٧ و لكنها تعافت منه.

بعد أن تعافت كاث من مرضها بدأت مشروعها التجاري في لندن عام ١٩٩٣م في محل صغير كانت تبيع الأقمشة و ورق الجدران و المناديل المطرزة و بعض الأثاث القديم.

أول خطواتها في عالم التصميم كانت لغطاء مِنْضدة و ورق جدران و كانت النقوش ذات الأزهار المبعثرة هي أول نقوش اشتهرت بها، و من ثم واصلت نجاحاتها حتى قُيّم مشروعها بالملايين.

و لأن دوام الحال من المُحال و عالم الموضة مُتقلب و الأذواق تتغير من حين لآخر، واجهت كاث كيدستون في مطلع نجحاتها خسائر فادحة كادت أن تقضي على الشركة حتى أنها قررت بيع الشركة، إلا أنها اتخذت خطوة جريئة في هذا الوقت العصيب حيث أنها قررت االتوجه في مشروعها للقارة الآسيوية و بالتحديد اليابان و خلاف جميع التوقعات قفزت أرباح الشرة ٦٠٪ و استعادت الشركة عافيتها المالية.

لُقِّبَت كاث بِلورا آشلي القادمة، لما حققت من إنجازات مُتميزة في مجال التصميم شبيه بلورا آشلي.

اليوم تمتلك كاث كيدستون أكثر من ٢٠٠ محل منتشرة في ١٦ دولة حول العالم.

CitizenM Lobby

Travel websites rank hotels based on categorised features that would allow readers to pick a hotel based on various preferences. For example, one can search for the best family-friendly hotel or pet-friendly hotel. These features vary from a website to another; from a category that is important to travellers such as service to a category that is specific like serving halal food.

As a result, this diverges from the traditional way of ranking hotels which uses the classic 5 star rating that is given to a hotel from well known institutions. The divergence results in not having one best hotel or similar top hotels, but instead a best hotel that is based on a certain feature.

This modern way which websites use to rank hotels is by far a much better process since it is similar to how travellers actually rank hotels.

For example, one question that travellers’ currently ask; what is the best mid-budget hotel in London that is near Edgware Road and the Hyde Park. In other words, the traveler is searching for the best ranked hotel that is categorised under “Traditional Kuwaiti London Lifestyle”. The result of such a search would be Cumberland Hotel.

Another example of a such a categorisation that can be even more specific would be what is the best Dubai Sea-side hotel that has the best service but is not crowded like other sea-side Hotels during seasons; resulting in Ritz-Carlton.

The modern categorisation that is available in travel websites do have the ability to show   such ranking which is something that is very helpful for travellers. However, this specific categorisation would leave one of the best hotels in the world out of any top ranked hotel that falls within these categorisation.

CitizenM is one of the best hotels “period”. However, if categorised it will not be the best.

The hotel which uses the terms “non-conformist” and “transformational” to describe itself, started from a revolutionary concept that opposed the traditional standards set by hotel industry. From the start, the founder wanted the hotel to be called “One Star Hotel” to break the industry’s mould that have long been forcing conventions on the whats and hows of hotel operation.

In terms of location (European branches), two are located near airports and the rest are not central (except for Glasgow’s). Thus, it will not be a hotel at the top of any list where location is searched for. Even the airport ones are not well located for travellers. Thus, it will never be mentioned under a categorisation that considers location.

In terms of service, the hotel’s concept has a self-service check in and check-out. A self service diner/bar where its up for the person to charge what has been bought. It also doesn’t have neither a traditional concierge nor a laundry service. Thus, it is  a hotel that will not make a list of best service hotel.

In terms of the room, it is small with a tiny bathroom and a non-existing storage area. There is no iron board in the room. The ironing is part of a communal area. Again, this makes it not be part of any category that considers good rooms.

In terms of price, at the rates given, one can find hotels with bigger rooms, more services, and much better facilities.

Taking all of this into account one should conclude that it is a really bad hotel. Yet, it is not. It is one of the best hotels “period”.

The hotel has something about it that makes a person not stay anywhere else. This is a guarantee: a single stay at any of its branches will lead to staying multiple times at any of its different locations without considering any of the traveler’s preferences and necessities.

This blog post questions why that is the case. How can a hotel that is expensive, with a not great location, small room, and weak services be the best hotel?

There will be no answer, unless the whole view of category based hotels is abandoned.  CitizenM cannot be categorised and should not be categorised. It is an experience hotel. What travellers will get from the hotel is an experience similar to the experiences one gets when visiting traveling landmarks. In other words, people travel to shop, visit museums, experience different adventures such as sky-diving or bungee-jumping. To that list of experiences, citizenM should be added.

Bookbind

تجليد الكتب مهنة دقيقة و مهمة للحفاظ على الكتاب و حفظه من التّلف و الضياع، و مثل ما نقول بالمثل الكويتي القديم : ”الكتاب يبين من عنوانه“. فتغليف الكتاب و العناية به دليل على المحتوى و مدى قيمته و أهميته، لذا نجد أن معظم التّغاليف المُعْتَنى بها تكون للكتب الدينية و الكتب المُقَدّسة بشكل عام .

الحرفيين اللذين مارسوا مهنة تجليد الكتب منذ القدم كانت لهم أدواتهم الخاصة في التجليد. و تبدأ رحلة تجليد الكتاب من اختيار الجلد و نوعيته، فقد يُسْتخْدم جلد الخِراف و البَقر و المعز و حتى أنه في بعض الدول الغربية تستخدم جلود الخنازير في تجليد الكتب. و هناك تفاصيل أخرى تتعلق بنوعية الورق و الخيط و طريقة الخياطة و تجميع فصول الكتاب. و أخيراً النقوش المُلَوّنة التي تكون في الطّرف العلوي للكتاب و التي تُضْفي روْنَق للكتاب. و جديرٌ بالذكر أن لهذه النقوش البسيطة كُتب و طُرق عِدّه لتنفيذها و هي دليل على حرفية  الصانع على حسب درجة تعقيدها .

Yarn, coffee, and wool

What is Speciality Coffee?

Coffee can be divided into Speciality Coffee and Commercial Coffee. The division between the two is based on various factors that result in the difference of the quality between the two; where Speciality Coffee is superior to commercial.

Today with the third-wave scene in which the consumer is more informed, Speciality Coffee consumption has flourished. It is reported that “Daily consumption of speciality coffee in America has risen from 9% in 1999 to 34% in 2014”. This rise in speciality coffee consumption led to high market chains like Starbucks and Costa to jump on the bandwagon and raise the quality of their coffee beans.

The division of coffee into Speciality and Commercial coffee is based on a graded 100-point scale where Speciality Coffee represents the coffee graded from 80 to 100. Speciality Coffee can be further divided where beans above 90 have come to be known as “90 plus” (not to be confused with the name of a coffee producer). This category is usually ‘out of this world’ in terms of taste. They have seen exceptional care from producer to the roaster. They are more expensive but worth it.

What does this have to do with yarn?

The yarn world is exactly similar. There are three categories of yarn that are known to knitters and crocheters. The first category is the cheap yarn that is mass produced by one single manufacturer but under different brands or by markets with cheap labour such as China and Turkey. This category is on par with commercial coffee.

The second category includes well-known brands that sell yarn which is a bit more expensive and have much better quality than the commercial yarn. They cost more because of the economics of the yarn market. They do have quality control and are produced with better marketing effort. This category is probably the one mostly used in Kuwait. If a crafter is working on something special than it is this category that is used. Brands such as DMC, Debbie Bliss, and Rowan fall under this category. Yarn made by these company can be seen as start point of Speciality Coffee.

The final category or the “90 plus” category  contains the yarn that is exceptional. These are harder to find. They are not mass produced. They are usually hand-spun and hand dyed. They are distributed either in online shops or local independent shops. You will not find them in John Lewis or in Liberty (London shops).

What does all of this have to do with the blog?

This blog will introduce this exceptional yarn category. The blog will also help in explaining why they are appreciated. As they stand, a crafter might not appreciate them, but with a certain mentality these yarn will be better acknowledged.

Using coffee as an analogy; a regular Speciality Coffee customer won’t appreciate “90 plus” coffee since in few instances it will be very similar to regular speciality coffee. However, if the customer is educated on the economics and production of coffee then appreciating a “90 plus” coffee cup is definite.

Therefore, topics on wool manufacturing and its history will be discussed in this blog. The blog will also shed light at yarn projects and crafters. The appreciation of the category of yarn is a state of mind that is part of a lifestyle. This blog will be showcasing such a lifestyle, from talking about restaurants and hotels that elevate a person’s art knowledge to science topics that can be used to reach the “90 plus” state of mind.

And the story begins….

(Note that some posts will be in Arabic and some will be in English.)