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Old Denim

Old Denim
Old Denim

The sweater is a part of Artemis Adornments group’s Design Along hosted on Ravelry. Its been a fun experience! The idea was that the designer, Anna, had designed a sweater, and written down the recipe for making it. Now there were no exact sizes to go by, but an idea of how to make it for yourself – hence: a recipe! πŸ™‚

She even threw in the actual patterns that she used within the sweater, but basically encouraged everyone to select a “zig-zag” pattern. I chose something that made me think of seashells. It was a fun design, and actually pretty easy after the first 2 repeats!

The recipe provided a very different way of making a seamless sweater, which I was very thrilled to learn. Though Anna did give detailed instructions on making sleeves, I chose a shortcut and went in for a vest. Will probably make one with sleeves sometime though.

The neck-band was a design that I thought up though. Anna suggested garter stitch or moss stitch to complement the zig-zags, but I wanted an entirely different look, so I went with something entirely different.

I called the sweater Old Denim because of the colors. This is a new variety of variegated yarns introduced by Oswal Woolens. I did start another sweater called Regal with another colorway. This particular colorway reminded me of denim that had been washed enough to lose its color, as just that stage when it sports more than one shade of blue at different parts depending on how much wear it has seen. Hence the name Old Denim. πŸ™‚

the design - pre-blocking
the design – pre-blocking
With the button - post-blocking
With the button – post-blocking

I dont really have any modeled pictures, but I do hope to put up some soon! πŸ™‚

 

 

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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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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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New Bag : Contrast

This particular project is the only one to take on so many forms before finalizing. This was one of the crochet projects I’d started a couple of months back.

It started as a table runner for my dining table. The orange-gray combination was striking against the brown of my table. The I found it was too much of work, so it became placemats, starting with 2 mats, the remaining to be made slowly.Β This has now taken the form of a bag, simply because I just couldn’t get myself to complete even the 2 placemats!

Anyway, I’m still liking the way it looks. Its been a different experience for me: to sew up so many pieces together. It is only the position of the pieces against each other changes it from a table piece to a bag.

The handle is an i-cord made with 3 strands held together and knit with 5mm DPNs. Hmm. Just can’t leave knitting behind, can I?! πŸ™‚

Here is the result:

The completed bag
The completed bag
another shot :)
another shot πŸ™‚
Before the handle was added
Before the handle was added
The opening at the top
The opening at the top
How it all began
How it all began

 

 

 

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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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New Achievement: Doily in Thread!

Well, lots of people knit with thread. But this is the first time I actually managed to make something big… in thread. Now, we’re not talking knitting cotton, but proper thread. The type used for doilies, crochet and heavy embroidery! πŸ™‚ So, YAY me!!

I did manage to knit a doily with the Crossed test knit. But have been thinking about the thread one long and hard. I started a couple of times with lace weight wool. But I figured I liked that even less than thread. πŸ™

Faced a couple of problems at the beginning. I managed the center crochet cast-on but wasn’t very happy with it. But I still plowed on to find a massive mistake that I made on Line 7. That meant ripping up completely. So I decided that the 2nd attempt would have a knit cast-on. Well, I should have figured there was a reason for the center to be crocheted! Mine turned out messy. But I wasn’t in the mood for ripping again. So I plowed on, and made the smallest size possible!

But it’s done, and that’s all that matters! πŸ™‚

vintage doily
vintage doily
Another angle
Another angle

 

without the flaws visible! ;)
without the flaws visible! 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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Crossroads Hat

This was a lovely quick project! I started a couple of days back, and here I’m DONE! πŸ˜€

This pattern has been designed by Elena Nodel, and was contributed to the Project-a-Month group on Ravelry.The hat is made with 2 colors, and is a great beginner project for using different colors as well as cables. Made with DK weight yarn, it definitely knits up fast! Of course, I didn’t really buy DK weight yarn, I just went ahead and used 2 colors of fingering weight held double. What a wonderful way of emptying my stash! πŸ˜‰

It actually is paired with a cowl, which would help my chances of winning an exclusive dyed merino Skien from Elena, but I’ll have to forego that. I really don’t have the need for a cowl in sunny Bangalore! πŸ™‚

Here are the pics of this lovely knit!

close up of the cabled strands
close up of the cabled strands
the overall look!
the overall look!

 

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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?!