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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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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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Left Bank Cardigan – Completed! :)

One more project finally has come to the completed status. I am so relieved! Now I can happily start one more! πŸ™‚

I’d blogged about this one some time back. Finally I did manage to get another needle. But boredom had set it, and I was dragging my feet over the last few bits. Hence, the complete relief that it’s done. πŸ˜‰

Here are the pics:

take a bow!
take a bow!
the mosaic button
the mosaic button

 

ribbing at the hands and the whole body
ribbing at the hands and the whole body

 

Related Aricles:

 

 

 

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Knit Scarf – Reversible

Am actually posting this again. This is the new update since I put the design up on Ravelry as a fresh design. πŸ™‚

 

This is probably the only knitting item that I have completed within 1 week. πŸ™‚

Size
About 7 inches x 66 inches

Gauge
About 4 sts=1″ in pattern stitch

Materials Size 6 Imperial (5 mm) needles
3 skeins of sport weight yarn
60% wool / 40% acrylic

Instructions: CO 36 sts.
Row 1: *K1, YO, k2tog; rep from *
Rep Row 1 until you are almost out of yarn.
BO and weave in the ends with tapestry needle.
Cut tassels measuring 3″ and tie at the ends of the scarf using crochet needle.

You can also Find it on Ravelry:

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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
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“Slouchy” Hat

I started this project as part of Project-a-Month KAL’s monthly donation project. That basically means that a designer would share one of their paid patterns with the group members. Once signed-up, one has to complete the given project, or risk being de-barred.

This model actually works 2 ways: a particular project by the designer gets noticed, and secondly, for the group, you score a free design! And the incentive to complete it right away too. πŸ™‚ Further, one can get exposed to various knitting techniques. This time around, I learnt Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off, that was part of Knitty‘s 2009 Fall issue.Β I had made the Aviatrix Clutch in a similar KAL with the same group. Good fun for sure!

So this months project was Hundres of Hats. The hat designs are simple, with a whole lot of options to chose from. The permutaitons and combinations of each of the choices, i guess, prompted the name! This was definitely a very quick knit. So here’s my project:

my mixed color hat!
my mixed color hat!

 

A "top" view!
A “top” view!

However, this wasn’t without mistakes. πŸ™ I was engrossed in a movie and lost track of the increases. Or rather, I was supposed to make it 18sts between markers, and I made it 22! Since i HATE ripping, I simply reduced the stitches while on the β€œstraight” section. That has
given it a slightly slouchy look, but actually works to keeping my ear warn even when my hair’s done in a bun! πŸ˜€

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Completed: Twist-er!

This shawl was a pretty interesting design. I’ve been wanted to do a cables shawl for some time. Yes, I do have one in my Ravelry library, but i wanted something else. Am I hard to please or what?!

Anyway, I came across this test knit for a cables shawl and decided to take it up. Like I had any less work with the In-laws and nephew around for a holiday. But yes, I did take it up.Β  The shawl is called Twist and has been designed by Siew Clark. It is a top-down cabled shawl. The edges are what actually caught my attention. It has a lovely twist made with cables!

… And spent the last one week furiously knitting to make it to deadline! And its done, with 4 days to spare. Here are the pics!

The overall look
The overall look
the tip of the shawl with cables inter-twined
the tip of the shawl with cables inter-twined
The top of the shawl spine
The top of the shawl spine
The top edge, with the twisted sides
The top edge, with the twisted sides
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Longyan

I finished this particular shawl on 10th May, but just couldn’t get around to blocking it. And it’s finally done!!!

The design is a test knit for Joyce Lu (YuLian on Ravelry), and was knit top down. I had opted for a custom size, and its worked quite well for me. It did take longer than expected for me to actuallyΒ  complete it, but then it’s finally done!

The shawl was made with 8 repeats of the lace pattern and its final dimensions are: 1.88mts in length and 86cms in width. It has been made with Vardhman acrylic light fingering yarn in hot pink. and definitely makes for a good-looking, distinctive and warm cover on a cool day! πŸ™‚

 

tip of the shawl
tip of the shawl
DSCN5808
Lace edge of the shawl and side tip
DSCN5802
curve of the shawl at the top
DSCN5800
full shawl spread out

 

 

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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˜€