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Hooking Away

As a couple of friends pointed out here, I’m just too used to “needles”. And I finally found the need to change my terminology to “hooks”! πŸ™‚ Crocheting has recently become my go-to option when I’m tired of knitting. While knitting usually involves wearables of some sort, they take a lot of time to complete. On the other hand, I crochet only to take a break from garments. So these are small projects, doilies to be precise.

Here are a couple that I’ve completed recently:

  • Floor Show: Every bit of this rug/mat is a gift. The yarn was a gift from Rinku, and the pattern came from a crochet magazine gifted by Swapna… And I just couldn’t resist putting it all together!

 

Floor Show!
Floor Show!
  • Mallika: My very first test pattern. Designed by Srividhya, and tested on the Crafty Dozen forum on Ravelry.. and helped through the process by Jaishree and Swapna on WatsApp! πŸ˜‰

 

Mallika
Mallika
  • Dove Doily: I wanted to challenge myself… and challenge I did! It definiltly challenged my patience to stick to it till it got done. As it is i skipped the last few rows. πŸ˜›

 

Dove Doily
Dove Doily
  • Clematis: this was pretty motif that I found in a book… and decided to make a couple. Not sureΒ what I’ll do with them though….

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Pine for Me! :)

This one is freshly completed, though it actually slid off my needles a couple of weeks back. Unfortunately, I’ve just not had the time to wash and block the garment, not to mentioned finish off the weaving in of threads n sewing on of buttons. But here is the finally product, and am really really thrilled with my lovely Pine Cardigan!

The design itself is a test knit run on Ravelry from the very talented designer/s Tincanknits. Its been fun, though the sleeves were boring… I mean how fun can 20 inches of stockinette be?! But the end result more than made up for it! πŸ˜€ <3

Here’s my lovely Pine!

The un-blocked version
The un-blocked version

 

the buttons :)
the buttons πŸ™‚

 

And the lovely finished cardigan!! <3
And the lovely finished cardigan!! <3
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Hat and Mittens – Crafting for Gifting!

Once I completed the Gilbert sweater, I realized I hadn’t made anything for my niece! So I immediately went looking for a new pattern. However, Lara Simonson (who designed Winter Chill reversible hat) connected with me for this new design, Little Elsa’s Hat. It was just perfect for my niece. The cables were not over-whelming, and the button was a fun touch.

Little Elsa's hat
Little Elsa’s hat

So that was the story behind the hat! At the end of the project, however, DH remarked that its “only” a hat, can’t I make mittens to go with them?! But then I didn’t know how to make them. But I figured: how difficult could they be afterall?! Well, the answer is: difficult till you actually get the experience to knitting them. πŸ™ After 2 froggings, I finally managed to make these mittens in record speed: 3 days… Of course they were toddler size! πŸ˜‰

Toddler Mittens
Toddler Mittens

 

 

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New Design – Raised Diamonds

At the starting of this year I decided that I would dedicate this year to making stuff for family. Made a sweater for Mom, and a shawl for Sis-in-law. And proceeded to start a scarf/muffler for Dad and Father-in-law. While the earlier projects got done soon enough, the Dad part of the scarf just got done.

Raised Diamonds
Raised Diamonds

This has been an interesting experience though. When I first designed the scarf, it was also a reversible design. The problem was that the final product was looking as good as the swatch. So it was back to the drawing board for me. And Oh! It was miserable ripping up 2 scarves (I was making them simultaneously).

This design was the one I finally went with. This time I cast on with only 1 yarn, in the thought that I would at least feel half the pain if I needed to rip again! πŸ™‚

But this looked good, and here is the final product! However, the design writing is an exercise I shall contemplate in about a month or so! πŸ˜‰

Close-up of modeled pic
Close-up of modeled pic
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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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Been a long time…

I’ve been away for a long time, and really missed blogging here! πŸ™ But of course, being away from blogging doesn’t really convert to being away from knitting! So here are a few of the things I’ve been doing till now:

First I was working very hard on the Left Bank Cardigan. Unfortunately, I managed to lose (my one and only loss ever) my 3.75mm circular… and I don’t own a spare. sigh. Also the parents were at my place for health reasons, and I just couldn’t make time for shopping for more. Of course I could have shopped online, but it just didn’t make sense to pay Rs.50 delivery charge for a Rs. 45 item! So I decided to wait, esp since I’ve also got news that Pony is setting up shop over the last weekend of June. Well, the sweater will have to wait. But here are the pics of progress till now:

The button-band n sleeves to be done
The button-band n sleeves to be done

Also during this time, I changed the design on the scarves I was making for my father and father-in-law. I started with just one of them, and here’s my progress so far.

reversible scarf
reversible scarf

And as if I was without work, I also signed on for a test-knit for a Singapore based designer. Most of the design seems of stockinette and the remaining of cables. Another advantage is that its written. Dont have confidence in my chart-reading skills yet, so am just glad to have written ones instead.

Finally, 2 projects that have been long drawn out are a summer pullover in silk-cotton and a runner for my dining table.

So, cheers to a busy time ahead! πŸ˜€

 

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Pink Dreams Cardigan

This is my first crafty blog for the year! and definitely the first one under the new URL!

Another first: this is my first commissioned project. Hope to get more soon! πŸ™‚

This design is by Drops Design studio. Their designs are not exactly the easiest to work with, but I managed to get by with just rip-up! πŸ˜‰ In all its been a great experience right from choosing the yarn color, to sewing up the buttons. Here’s to hope for more such commissions!

the nexk design
the nexk design
The Sleeve detail
The Sleeve detail
Before the wash n weave-in
Before the wash n weave-in
The final product :)
The final product πŸ™‚

 

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Blue Crush – I

This is the only Mystery KAL that I’m working on right now. Actually, I’d signed up for 2. But then realized that the first KAL gave the clues entirely in charts. Being a novice (yet), I didn’t think to confirm the charts or written question. So kinda dropped out of that one.

So the one that I’m working on is Rachel Henry’s Crushed. The clues were started on 8th Nov, 2nd clue given on 15th Nov and the 3rd one given on 22nd Nov. Now, logically, I should’ve started on the 8th, so that I’m not rushed into completing the shawl. But since when did I start following logic??? Anyway, I’d already swatched for this project n blogged in a previous post. So all that was left was actually starting the shawl.

So I cast on today.. and finished the first clue. It’s a pretty fast knit! So here’s the pic of the first clue, done.

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Personalized Coffee Mugs

I bought these mugs sometime back from a nearby department store. What I’d most about them was that the color was limited to the inside of the mug, and the outside was black, not white. Major plus point for them! I was kinda fed up of the plain white mugs.

I took a couple of photos of them, and then though I’d personalize them… kind of before-after snaps. But I hadn’t got around to actually painting on them. Firstly I’m not the most artistic person on the block. Secondly, the black required metallic colors, which I didn’t have in stock at home. So the project, and mugs, went onto the back-burner.

Recently, on a shopping trip, I finally got myself some metallic colors. Now the design was pending. This time, I wasn’t spending time on trying to paint. Also metallic colors come in bottles, not tubes. So i decided to go with ear-buds. Easy to use, and great to dispose without the mess of cleaning and storing! πŸ˜€

The items needed

For the first mug,I stenciled part of a design from a kiddie’s stencil sheet. Using a ear bud, I filled in the color. The remaining decorations were done in dots and curls, so it wasn’t much of a hassle. YAY!

The second mug got its design from a terracotta pickles jar in my house. The wide curve with dots was simple, and eye-catching. The remaining design was again dots.

The “Before” Pic
The Finished Pieces

The net result has been worth the effort, with minimum time spent on the actual painting.

The mugs need to be dried out in the sun for a couple of days to let the color settle down. Else its likely to get washed off the first time you use the mug.

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Butterfly Pen Stand

This was originally a spoon-stand, meant for my kitchen. But the sides were open grilles, through which the spoons kept sliding out. So I covered it up with paper and thread, and decorated it into a pen stand.

The shells are from the beaches of Pondicherry, and the flower center is an Kundan-work patch meant for a sari from a craft shop.