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Sunrays Creations Logo

A lot of people have asked me about the logo and the name of the company.

The name is basically a translation of my DH’s name : RaviKanth. Ravi means Sun and Kanth is light or rays.
Why Sunrays though? It was basically a joke. We were talking about investment (if i remember right), and DH commented that I will invest in your company if you make the name as Sunrays. I remember changing the name right away πŸ˜‚. Also I kept the name changed since its actually quite lucky for me (financially speaking, in terms of revenue generated). But that’s a personal opinion. 😁

The logo for Sunrays Creations was designed by DH.
The Sun is mostly obvious 😝. The flower though is a Lotus, and represents Nalini which is DD’s name. Nalini means Lotus in Sanskrit and is also a name of Gayathri Devi, the Goddess of Knowledge.
They are the 2 most obviously important people in my life, and are represented in this logo. So while i originally thought of yarn and yarn balls for the logo, this is finally IT!

Do you have a similar experience? Please share in the comments ❀

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Welcome to the new Sunrays Creations!

Hi everyone, and welcome! (Long post alert! )

A NEW BEGINNING
How often we wish for another chance
to have a fresh beginning.
A chance to blot out our mistakes
and change failure into winning.
It does not take a new year
to make a brand new start.
It only takes the deep desire
to try with all your heart.
To live a little better
and  always be forgiving, to add a little sunshine
to the world in which we are living.
So, never give up in despair
and think that you are through,
For there’s always a tomorrow
and a chance to start anew.
 - Helen Steiner Rice

When I read the above poem by chance a long time ago, I honestly didn’t believe.
I’d quit a reasonably well-paying job to become a housewife (a role i was singularly unsuited for). Books, and finally crafting pulled me out of a deep depression that threatened to engulf me entirely. The fact that I was unable to conceive was just icing on the cake.

Finally i tried to find ways in which i could “find myself” again. I did not go for retreats or anything. I stayed where i was and introspected. It also helped that i had (have) and amazing group of friends aka cheerleaders, who’ve supported me all along!

And then my DD was born, and its like a switch got turned on! I was able to focus my mind towards creativity, rather, just making things. Since then I’ve just been moving forward at a break-neck speed, and juggling more balls that I’m not sure i can manage :).

Design Store:
This came up with an opportunity to design for ilikeknitting.com. I had submitted a proposal for a gradient scarf, not understanding that i was supposed to get the yarn, not they send to me. So i was left struggling since we did not get gradients in India at the time.
Getting a set of single skeins dyed was too expensive. So i finally hit on a solution: dye it myself!
i was reasonably confident, since i had dyed cotton in the past, and was sure I could pull it off. Well, I did pull it off.
The pattern, Daybreak Scarf is available in my ravelry store and in the patterns section of the website.

DayBreak Scarf

What i hadn’t expected was my DH to be impressed enough with it to comment that maybe i should look at getting my own name for dyeing there (the pattern linked the yarn seller’s name, not mine).
Little did I know how prophetic his comment would be.

Yarn Store
The store was an odd story. Remember the friends i mentioned in the beginning? well, we used to chat/whastapp/video call on a regular basis. One slow crafting day, we decided to look for new yarn options through various online resources including wholesale.

So while hunting for yarn, I decided to look for silk yarn options inside India. We did have a silk yarn retailer within Bangalore, but i was curious. Imagine my surprise, when i found quite a few! i never even thought of exploring this option. On a whim, i asked a few of the wholesalers to send me samples and their T&C.
i decided to dye the samples to check if this was something I could manage. Imagine my thrilled face when i saw my results!

Then came selling to possibility to my family. The main concern was that it should not affect the baby, which i promised that I would ensure safety measures. It was an easy thing to promise, since the baby’s safety was everything!
They have been at the forefront of every step and decision I take, and am always thankful for their support, including taking this next step.

I finally started off in 2018 and have mainly run the store on WhatsApp, with a brief sojourn on Etsy.

VilasaDK spun silk

The other important part of the store: my customers. I was blessed to have an amazing group of customers to came back for me, and encouraged me at each step.

In the present:
I have kept the yarn store and design store in 2 different online spaces: both on Ravelry and Instagram. While i will continue to maintain them separately even in the future, I decided to bring them together on my personal website.
The reason for this is that I want to integrate them under the name Sunrays Creations (as opposed to the design store which is on my own name).

I’ll talk about the name, the logo and a lot more stuff in the next blog post.

Stay tuned!

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The Story so far

A lot has happened in the last 2 years since I shifted home: the biggest being that I was blessed with a baby girl. Life has been a rollercoaster ride since then!πŸ˜…

After Baby Girl completed her first birthday, I finally found my true creative zone….but more about that later

In this post, I’m going to just post about what I’ve been doing craft wise.

2016:

Knitting:

Crochet:

2017:

Knitting:

Crochet:

Thanks for being with me even though I haven’t been posting much.

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The Birthday Swap

Every year, there are groups on Ravelry that organize swaps. You can participate in swaps for dishcloths, mittens, shawls, and even for your birthday! Well, I went ahead and participated in one for my birthday this year. I wanted something special, and definitely different from what I did in years’ past. So I signed up for the Birthday Swap early this year.

When the time came around, i couldn’t be more thrilled. Now came the best part after all: shopping! πŸ˜€

I needed to shop for yarn, which was the easy part actually. The rest of the package had to be a minimum cost of $30. The aim was to make the swapee (is there such a word??) feel pampered and loved, even if from far. So I totally went to town with my shopping list. Chocolate, craft kits, and personal care item. It also included a hand-made item from me: my silk-wool shawl Intriguing.

However, I couldn’t manage to make get the package together before Lynne’s (my swap partner) Birthday. I had to send it out before the month was over, and that’s what I eventually did! However, Lynne was a darling and sent mine so that it got to meΒ before my birthday.

Then came D-day: my birthday, and more importantly: package opening day! And boy, was I pampered! Here are the pics of what I received:

The entire package
The entire package. The bag was the handmade that Lynne sent

Lovely lovely yarn! <3
Lovely lovely yarn! <3

Postcards from Yorkshire
Postcards from Yorkshire

Fat Quarter pieces to push me along in my sewing journey
Fat Quarter pieces to push me along in my sewing journey

Books! Lovely collection
Books! Lovely collection

 

What I sent included:

Manasa Gift 2014 001.JPG

 

Manasa Gift 2014 003.JPG

Manasa Gift 2014 004.JPG

Shawl modelled by Lynne
Shawl modelled by Lynne

I guess the pics taken by Lynne are definitely more detailed than mine! But then I wanted to showcase the sheer amount of stuff she sent across! This was a fun experience, and I will certainly look forward to nest year. πŸ˜€

 

 

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WIP – A New Crochet Motif

Now that I’m done with granny squares in crochet, I thought it was time to learn something new. Of course, I cannot do this the easy way and look for a nice stitch and learn properly. I HAVE to go for something more difficult. So I decided to make a collage of motifs. I’m not sure how the whole thing will look, but I’ll try anyway.

In spite of the difficult task I set myself, I did manage to land on my feet anyway. The motif I found on YouTube was posted by Crochet Geek, and featured how to make a circle into a square. The problem was that I’d never crocheted a circle, forget making it into a square. But I managed. And I’m pretty happy with the result!

Couple of things that I learnt along the way are:

  • sc and hdc – Β I already knew dc but the others had to be viewed a couple of times before I got the hang of it.
  • Crocheting through a stitch – I had to rip up a couple of times before I got the hang of this one
  • 4-ply could mean anything – When the presenter spoke about 4-ply I assumed she meant fingering weight. But when I got done, it seemed much lighter than the motif shown on-screen. Then I figured that though she said 4-ply she meant anything up to DK :(! While what I used was almost light-fingering. So lesson learnt was to watch the videos VERY carefully, esp when they show the yarns! πŸ™‚

Crochet Motif
Crochet Motif

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Finally – Progress!

After struggling to keep knitting through the last couple of weeks, I finally managed to get the biggest piece of Linda Marveng’s Regal Purple done. I’m calling it Regal, and it’s in a lovely set of reds. The yarn is from Oswal Fibers, though this is the first time I don’t see a tag on their yarns. But my LYS insists that these are Oswal’s yarns…

The reason I say biggest piece is because this is a seamed cardigan. I just finished the back. The remaining pieces are the fronts’, the sleeves and the button band. So there’s a long way to go yet.

The problem with reds is that they don’t seem to photograph well. πŸ™ I havent given the shoulders in the pics, because, well, I’m not keen on a set of stitch-holders in my pics! πŸ™‚

The back
The back

The design
The design

 

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Mid-week WIPs

My brain’s working over-time! I have so many ideas and too few hands to make them work!

Having said that, I’m right now working on 2 sweaters. Yes, 2, like one wasn’t enough. One is a test knit from Linda Marveng called Regal Purple, and the other is a Design-Along by Anna (Kuduja on Ravelry).
Both are amazing – in construction as well as design.

The sweater for Anna has just got modified from Sweater to Sleeveless Jacket, as in the last 20 minutes. The yarn I’m using is from Oswal and has short color variegation in blue. This yarn called out to me sometime back when chopping with the In-laws, and always remind me of Old Denim… and that’s what it’s called! The premise is to make a completely customised sweater for oneself. So there are no fixed measurements, and one would have to check the size while knitting. This is definitely a very good learning experience for me. The only requirement of the Design-along is that the stitch pattern is supposed be a zig-zag pattern. There is a choice of making the exact one Anna made, or making out own. SO i opted for my own choice of pattern.

The front right panel with zig-zag pattern
The front right panel with zig-zag pattern

The back panel with the neck stitches on holder
The back panel with the neck stitches on holder

The 2nd sweater I’m working on by Linda is really slow-moving. It is a traditional sweater with sleeve length options, and seamed. I don’t think I’ve made a seamed sweater before. Once I discovered the joys of seamless knitting, that has always been my choice. However, I’ve read that when it comes to sweaters, seamed is probably what lasts longer! Hmm. I just hope that with the effort going into this one, it does last!

I’m calling my sweater Regal (as it’s not purple πŸ˜‰ ) and its being done is another Oswal variegated yarn, this time in reds.

It was a choice between color and clarity: I chose color! :(
It was a choice between color and clarity: I chose color! πŸ™

Bothe of these sweaters need to be done by the end of September. While, I’m sure the old Denim will get done, I’m not so confident about the Regal. Here’s to fingers crossed! πŸ™‚

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Back to School… Knitting School :)

Recently I’ve found myself studying again. Only thins time it’s not one of my MBA subjects, but Knitting.

Actually this blog post has been triggered by a guest who came home today. She asked me what I did all day, and I told her I knit, I design knitwear (actually, that was stretching the truth) and I teach knitting. Her immediate response was “so, you’re basically free the whole day! You don’t really have any work.” I was honestly taken aback. My family and friends are testimony to the fact that when I start knitting, I don’t have time for anything else, including housework! πŸ˜‰ And suddenly I was hearing a comment that kind of shook me with this perception. After a lot of discussion (read: monologue) she finally arrived at a happy conclusion: “You cook!” That apparently was acceptable “work”.

So I’ve been taking stock the whole day as to where I am with knitting. And I found that if it was possible, fiber arts could be a full-time formal education course! There is just so much to learn in fiber arts. Not just knitting, but crochet, weaving, even cross-stitch and embroidery! Anyway I don’t really have much talent (or time) for the others, so I’ll stick to knitting.

So i started jotting down what I would teach, if I was offering a formal course in Knitting 101:

  • Understanding Yarn: thickness, types. There’s so much to learn today in terms of blends, what can be blended, what cannot
  • This would also include what can be dyed, what cannot
  • Knitting needles – the sizes of needles, types
  • Knitting accessories
  • Starting to knit -This alone has so many sections!
    • different types of cast-ons
    • Knit, purl basics
    • increases and decreases
    • types of Bind-offs
  • Understanding gauge/tension
  • Knitting textures: knit-purl designs
  • Knitting textures: lace and cables basics
  • Knitting textures: twisted stitches, bobble
  • Knitting Textures: Edgings and beading
  • Garment structure
  • Garment basic design

This is something that has been on my mind for some time. I’m just hoping I manage to make it come true! Of course, with all the “practicals” interspersed with each of the sections, it probably would take close to 3-4 months for 1 course! πŸ™‚

Next I’ll come to what I want to learn: Garment Design. This also includes writing my own designs. And there’s so much to learn!!!

Starting from being able to design the garment of choice, to the patterns that I would use. And then comes writing it all down. This alone is a huge section. Earlier today I came across this website called Stitch Maps that looks at design is a very visual way. That’s such a different way of looking at design! I’ve always thought Knitting charts to be very linear, while crochet charts to be free-form. Now this site has managed to make knitting charts in free-form style!

After all this comes editing the said designing. I hadn’t heard about knitting requiring technical editing before. Tech Edit was something that techies did for their design documents. But, Knitting?! The answer is yes! Apparently there is a lot going into tech editing a knit design. Most design publications have their own teams of tech editors! Wow! That seems to be a whole new world!

The of course comes the selling, promotions and publication of designs. Whew!

What I haven’t covered are advance knitting skills such as Intarsia, Entrelac, knitting small circular items such as socks and mittens, Double Knitting, knitting with color, Fair Isle knitting, pockets… the list goes on.

I’m not really sure if I could possibly try everything on this list. But I’ll try at least one item in each.Β  here’s to wishing me luck! πŸ™‚

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Looking forward to the Weekend…

Whew! This has been one hectic week! While I did have my regular life to see to, I also seemed to have progressed very well on my craft-y side too.

The week started with me going back to the tried-and-tested granny square pattern for a set of placemats. Each mat takes up about 6 motifs. And I’m @ No 4 of the first mat! πŸ˜‰ The colors I thought of first was a variegated brown with orange. The pattern wasn’t correct for the combination though. So replaced the brown with gray. Now I have a really bright set of eye-popping colors! πŸ™‚ This also meant I had to go shopping for some more yarn, as the current stock wouldn’t last!

Contrast placemats
Contrast placemats

Another reason to shop turned out to be a bag I’m designing. I just managed to finish the bag, with a last minute purchase of a single skien. Thankfully I already had the handles for the bag, else God knows, what else I would’ve shopped for! πŸ˜‰ Finall;y, I also wanted a ball winder, but couldn’t find it! Unfortunately that shop that usual seels it was out of stock.

Now this bag that I mentioned in done is a lovely shade of red bulky yarn. While it looks great to the naked eye, I’m having a problem photographing it. Also I’m currently in the tedious process of transferring all my data for the design onto my system. Why? because I’m a little old-fashioned about using pen-and-paper. Designing at a computer just doesn’t have the same appeal! So the design writing thingie is taking its time to shape up! Hopefully by the time I’m done, I’ll have those photos as well! πŸ™‚

My struggle to get the yarn color right :(
My struggle to get the yarn color right πŸ™

trying to get the camera to see the design along with the color!
trying to get the camera to see the design along with the color!

Design writing has been something I’ve been putting off for a long time. but with this bag, I really want to make a start. The first step was getting all my information and notes together. The next step was making the charts on the computer. I struggled for a couple of days before figuring out that I could get free knitting fonts on the net! Then came the horror show for the non-techie in me! That was actually understanding the instructions and uploading a new set of fonts to my system. That done, life seems lot easier! Now I need to find the time to put my knitting aside and actually enter the data! πŸ˜‰

Another quick project I’ve started (WHY?? As though I really don’t have much work!?) is a doily called the Cross of Cerdanya. It seems nice to have as a table cover on my side table. Also it seems to use up one whole skien from my stash! πŸ˜‰ This is the Nako Şenet yarn in gray. The good part is that this was already wound, and I didn’t have to go through that process. The bad part was that the yarn tends to catch a little too easily on the cuts on my fingers. Still, it seems to sit quite well even without having to stretch it out!

Crossed!
Crossed!

Also as part of this month Project-a-month group, I’ve signed up for making double-knit hats. These, of course, are meant for my maid’s kids. Its pretty cold and the winds seem pretty harsh. The poor kids have been falling ill very often. I just thought I’d do something for them with something I do best: knit. Lakshmi has never asked me to make anything for them, which makes me want to give them even more.

On this happy note, I’m signing off for the weekend! See ya all next week!

 

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Who Knew…

Who knew how difficult it is to write out a pattern??? Well, I did, which is why I haven’t had the guts to try it.

So I’m faced with a dilema: either write the pattern and publicize the really pretty bag I’ve knit. Or, just keep quiet and knit, and say “sure, I’m just writing it down!” whenever someone asks you for the pattern.

To be honest, I’ve been following option 2 for a bit too long. But now I really want this pattern out. It’s going to be my very first downloadable pattern after all!

There are so many thought processes involved. First and foremost is the patience to figure out the fonts (in case of written to chart) or try to explain the rows (in case of chart to written). Then this has to be put together cohesively so that the end-user manages to get a proper knit item at the end of the process.

And then, finally, glamorize the whole document! I need to give an introduction about why this design, why this name blah blah. The design itself should look good, and neat and crisp. Not to mention better photographs with my non-existant photography skills.

But how to write? My biggest issue is whether I should go in for written instructions or charted ones.Β  I’ve tried making the chart, but I’m just so confused! I did manage to (finally) install a set of knitting fonts on my system. But the main design looks.. well, not good. It looks great when knit. But I just have to figure a way of making the chart look good too!

Now finally I came to the conclusion that I’ll have to give both knitting and chart instructions. That’s going to be some work!

I hope to complete it by next week. At the same time, I’ll probably try to get all the other pending designs written out. So when they come for submission, they aren’t waiting for me to start writing again! πŸ™‚

Oh, did I mention that I’m already buried under loads of other knitting deadline to be completed in August?!

 

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Quadrant : New Craft, New Project

One of my crafty resolutions this year has been to learn crochet. But somehow, I have been delaying this, on grounds that I’m just too busy with knitting.

In one of my Ravelry groups, a new C/KAL has been started: Motifated. This one looks are any item (garments, accessory,home needs) that can be made with motifs. Of course, there are a lot of motifs and large stuff made with knitting. But then again, crochet is on my to-do list.

Then came in the question of what to make. The motifs were very pretty, and plain gibberish to my knitting mind. For the life of me I couldn’t keep them straight in my mind. Then came in the Quadrant Blanket pattern. It was being made by another crafter. Having seen it, I figured there was only 1 stitch being repeated over and over and over again. the remaining are basic and design elements. But the stitch stayed the same. I’ve found my dream starter crochet project! πŸ˜€

Done with the first block πŸ™‚

my basic motif
my basic motif