Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where are they now? - 2KCBWDAY4

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

As any other crafter, I too have made a few things for my friends and family.. scarves,bags and such. But, I rarely get back pictures of them using it. But, I remember my friend and colleague Nutan sending pics of her son wearing the cardigan I knitted for him. So, I am going to talk about it today. This cardigan is special because it was the first 'garment' that I knitted. Till then, I've only been making scarves and shawls. If you've been around my blog for sometime, you will know that I have a terrible fear of making things that has to fit. But, When Nutan gave me the news of her newborn, I decided to test the waters knitting him a cardigan. Hey! even if I err on the larger side of the cardigan, the boy can 'grow' into it. Isn't that the best thing about knitting baby things?!

Knitting this cardigan was an easy job. The pattern is Easy baby cardigan from Knitting pure and Simple.The button band is knitted along with the body and needed some intarsia skills to make it to work. It was my first time doing color-work like this and I took help from kind Ravelers for the intarsia help. The yarn is a wool-acrylic blend and it was perfect for this project. I recommend this pattern to anyone who wants to make an easy cardigan for a baby. The collar gives the cardigan a sophisticated look,doesn't it? The cardigan comes in a hooded version too. Here is the cardigan after blocking and before embellishments.

I needed buttons for this cardigan and I didn't have any on me. Remember, I had never knitted a garment before and never needed buttons for my projects. So, off I went to my craft store looking for buttons and what do I see there?! A very cute teddy-bear iron-on appliqué patch in a perfect shade to complement the cardigan. I was thrilled to find it as I thought the cardigan was too plain for a lovely baby. Of course, I got some coconut shell buttons for the cardigan.

I was thrilled to see the cardigan come along so beautifully. Of course, handmade baby things are cute in itself. So, where is the cardigan now, you may ask?! Viru must have outgrown it long time back as this was made way back in October 2009. But, his mom did send a few pics of Viru wearing the cardigan. So, here is Viru looking dangerous ;-) in his purple cardigan. Of course, you can't see his hands because Josie Aunty made the cardigan big enough for him to grow into it.

Is he angry with me for making it so BIG?! Many thanks to Nutan for sharing these pics with me and letting me share it here on my blog. Here is another snap of him looking very serious..

I blogged about this cardigan here. I do not make baby things that often and so this cardigan is very special to me. In fact, I've only knitted a hat and a blanket for Alvin,my son. But, I don't regret it either. I am a process knitter and not a product knitter. So, I might make him something when the whim strikes me.. Till then, he will have to wait. :-)

Note: I am thoroughly enjoying this blog week event and thrilled with the visits and comments I am receiving on my blog. I would like to thank all those who have dropped by into my virtual world. I am a bit behind in catching up with all your comments and I will get to it as soon as I can.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tidy mind, tidy stitches. - 2KCBWDAY3

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels.

I am not known for my organization skills. In fact, I am bad at it. So, today's topic has stumped me..leaving me scrambling for words. Living in a 3-bedroom apartment has its advantages as I have turned the kid's room into my craft room. This has helped me contain my craft stash in one room although you can find a yarny project in all the rooms in my home. The project I am working on will be in the living room, living in a up-cycled shoe box. I love shoe-boxes. They are perfect for holding a WIP while you are at home. Here is my current project residing in its shoe box. Its the Summer Sling Tote that I am making as a part of the Bag-Join-Along in the South Asian Crafters group on Ravelry.

I line the exterior of the shoe boxes with fabric and tack it down with fabric glue to add some zing to the boxes. Here is another shoe box holding Odelia - my first ever adult sweater! Its been hibernating in this cozy shoe box for more than 4 months. :D

Since I also sew, I have made a few project bags to carry my projects around. I believe in the fact that a girl can never have too many bags and a knitter/crocheter can never have too many project bags. So, let me parade the project bags I have made for my knitting and crochet projects..  My most favorite is the one I made very recently..

I am yet to stuff this one with a project. I wrote about this bag here. however, I put my cute Ravelry buttons on it to prepare it for its purposeful life as my favorite project bag. This was a totally DIY project bag as I did not 'follow' any tutorial or have any pre-determined measurements set. Here is a pic of my RavButtons..

Next in line is this one I made following Kate from Needled's tutorial. This bag is my constant companion while I go on long trips and vacations. I blogged about this bag here.. It carries my Malabrigo Montego Bay scarf currently and its growing slowly as I work on the scarf only when I am travelling.

Here is the picture of the scarf spilling out of its cozy habitat..

I do have a knitted project bag. Its the famous Katia Jamaica Pouch.. perfect for a hat project. I blogged about the bag here..

Its currently carrying my Sockhead hat project. Here is the hat peeking out of the pouch..

This is not all of my projects, if you are thinking so. I do have projects living in ziploc bags.. Do you think I should make more project bags for all the WIPs or try to finish the WIPs to keep the WIP population  under control? It is an interesting conundrum, don't you think?!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill + 1 UP : Felting + Entrelac - 2KCBWDAY2

"Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year."

I did look back at my projects from year 2010 and wondered what I learnt new last year. I did try my 'hand' at  hand-felting. So, I am going to talk about that.. Living in the temperate South India means you do not have proper access to pure wool as there is no need for it here. I've been admiring the various felted bags and such on Ravelry wishing I can try felting someday. So, when I saw pure wool on a trip to my regular craft shop, I was thrilled that I could try felting at last. Then began the hunt for a nice pattern to try hand-felting.. and, I finally zeroed in on the felted entrelac clutch pattern. Oh! It was going to be my first time knitting entrelac too.  Here is the bag before I felted it..

I did not use my washing machine to felt as it doesn't have a hot water cycle and didn't want to take any risk in my first felting project.  Hand-felting took a long time mainly because I wasn't alternately dunking the FO in hot and cold water to speed up the process. I know this now as I tried it in my next felting project and it worked like a charm. I did put up a tutorial on hand felting on my blog here and on Ravelry here. Here is the entrelac clutch after felting..

So, I was in a great felting spree and wanted to make something else. Around the same time, I was visiting a dear friend of mine and thought it will be a great idea to make her and her mom felted clutches.. and, the button-hole bag from Mason-Dixon knitting caught my eye.  I had the same  yarn in mustard yellow and thought the yellow will look good with the sap green.. so, I made two bags in coordinating colors.. Here are the bags before felting..

I had great plans for this bag.. to line it and add a zipper too , as I was gifting them. I like my bags to have secure closures... Felting this was easy as I was already 'experienced' in felting. ;-) Here are the bags after felting..

Adding the lining was an easy job but, the zipper installation was a bit tough. I searched high and low for a tutorial online that will give a step-by-step instructions for zipper installation for this style of bags.. but,NO! there weren't any.. So, I decided to wing it myself and wrote a small tutorial for that here and on Ravelry. Here are the bags after lining and zipper installation.

I was happy with the work on the insides of the bag. But, the outside looked extremely plain to me.. So, I decided to embellish the bags with buttons.. and, boy! it was my lucky day. I had the buttons in the right colors and went to town embellishing the bag. I think the buttons give a nice touch.. a subtle and classy look without going over the top.. totally my style! ;-) Here are the bags after embellishing.

My friend and her mom loved the bags. This is the project with most hearts on my Ravelry notebook till date. :-) I did not try felting after this episode. I may try it again..or maybe not. But, I know that I have conquered felting. :-)


Monday, March 28, 2011

A tale of two yarns - 2KCBWDAY1

Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

So, let me tell you the story of 2 yarns of which one I lurve a lot and one I lurve not so much. Its not a secret that I love Noro yarns and I got the chance to try Noro Kureyon recently. I've been wanting to get my hands on a Noro yarn and I snapped up 8 skeins of Noro Kureyon in 2 different color-ways in a Ravelry destash. I'd heard so much about Noro Kureyon before meeting it in person..that it is rough..has vegetable matter in it.. has unreasonably high number of knots in it.. but, nothing held me back from wanting it.. I bought the yarn in July 2010 and got the yarn in my hands in Feb 2011. I waited 6 months for this yarn to reach me..and, boy! was it worth the wait?!

I made the most obvious object out of 4 skeins of it.. The evergreen Noro Striped Scarf! The scarf was all about the yarn and nothing about the pattern. It was a different experience for me, letting the yarn do the talking rather than the pattern. The results were stunning as expected out of Noro. Its was truly hypnotic to watch the yarn change colors. It was like magic! I call the scarf my Psychedelic scarf. I know its very difficult to get matching skeins in Noro yarns although the colorways match. But, I realized that I had almost similar skeins and decided to stripe it in the opposite direction after the half-way mark and I kinda achieved what I wanted to. Can you see the colors striping symmetrically opposite to each other? I am thrilled with the scarf although it will be another few months before I can use it in hot and dry Bangalore.

So, let me move on to the yarn that I lurve 'not so much'.. Yes. I am looking at you, Wollmeise Sockenwolle  80/20 twin. It was a very generous RAK(Random Act of Kindness) by a lovely Raveler and I was thrilled to get it in mail. Who would've dreamt of getting a skein of Wollmeise as a RAK?! Such is the kindness abound in Ravelry.. But, I digress..  I kinda had great expectations on this yarn after reading the many rave reviews on the web and maybe thats why I felt a bit let down by it..The yarn has a cotton-y feel and, it kind of twists onto itself. I started a Pogona with it..and, gave it up because of the zillion stitch markers needed for the pattern. Definitely a problem with my personal preference and not with the yarn.

Then I started the kernel scarf  with this yarn and gave it up after knitting about half a feet of the scarf as I didn't like the look of it.. Then, I started the Checkerboard lace scarf and no, that didn't work out well either. Back to the frog pond again.. So, I've put the yarn on timeout now as it doesn't want to be anything I want it to be. Do you have any suggestions for a skein of Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 twin yarn? It can be scarf , a shawl or something else.. Leave a comment and let me know.. My poor brain is clueless about what to make with this yarn.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sewing for knitting!

After a month long hiatus, I went back to sewing this week and made a drawstring project bag. Its always fun to make your hobbies work for each other. That's why I called this sewing for knitting. The bag was inspired by quite a few project bags I saw online.. I read a few tutorials and decided to make one on my own.. and, here it is..

The lower half of the exterior is a re-purposed corduroy pants of mine which used to fit me many moons ago. I've been hanging onto the pants hoping for a miracle to make me shrink back to size 32. ;-) A quick reality check made me decide to up-cycle the pants and use it to make something else. The top half of the exterior is printed linen which was a bit pricey. I've had this fabric for almost a year now , unable to bring myself to cut into it.. So, finally the twain met and became this bag.. Here is a close-up of the fabrics..

The bag is huge.. almost 15 inches tall and can easily cart a sweater knitting project. The best part of making this bag is that I did not 'follow' any tutorial. I did not measure and cut the fabric beforehand. I used a dinner plate as a reference for the base circle and designed the bag from there.. I put pockets all around the insides and reinforced the base circle of the lining with heavy-duty interfacing to give the bag a sturdy base. Here is a close-up of the insides..

I put in buttonholes to insert the string and used some leftover trim I had for the drawstring. I think all the fabrics have come together beautifully in the end... Now, all I need is a huge project to tote around in this bag. And, guess what is on the bag now?!

Yes!! Ravelry buttons! I finally gave in and ordered a pack for myself.. I was thrilled to get the package in a week's time.. I think the buttons look perfect on the bag.. I can't wait to show off this bag to my RavFriends at the next Ravelry meet. ;-) and now, for a close-up of the buttons..

I am enjoying these productive days in my crafty life, happy to find time in my busy schedule.. I am participating in the Bag-Join-Along that is happening in the SAARC group on Ravelry. I plan to make the Summer Sling Tote and finish the Drops Cabled bag that has been languishing in the WIP pool for quite sometime now as a part of the Join-Along.

I am also participating in the 2nd Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week that is happening in between 28th March to 3rd April,2011. The knit and crochet bloggers across the world blog on all 7 days of that week on the topic of the day that has been chosen. This is my first time participating in such an event and I hope to do the event justice.. So, these are my crafty plans for the near future.. What are yours? Leave a comment and let me know.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Technicolor Whirlpool!

Yes. That is the latest FO in my knitterly world. Its a well established fact that I love stockinette stitch and love to knit acres of them.. so, naturally..the pattern Whippoorwill has been blipping on my radar for quite sometime and I finally took the plunge.. Its a sheer pleasure to knit this shawl..and, fun to wear too..

Although it has vast expanses of stockinette stitch, it has interesting design elements to keep it interesting to knit. The pattern is well written and a good project to learn the differences between YO and YOB. Blocking brought about a huge change in the shawl.. Here is a limp look of the shawl before blocking..

The yarn is Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy socks. Did I tell you that I am getting addicted to self-striping yarn?! Its very difficult to capture the true colors of this yarn..And, see the difference blocking made to the shawl.. Here is the shawl blocking on my queen size guest bed! It is HUGE!!

I the shape of this shawl.. Blocking it was easy although I was worried about how I will achieve the symmetry that I envisioned in the shawl. The shawl's shape kind of blocked by itself and for a change, I used very minimal pins for blocking. The shape of this shawl gives you fun ways to wear it..and the most boring one is like this..

And, below is a shot that was a special request from the Hubster.. A shot of the shawl on our car.. Please notice the "Live to drive" sticker on the car.. Yes. That statement defines my guy. This is a special shot because it combines both our passions.. knitting and driving! cheesy,huh?!  

Pattern: Whippoorwill by Carina Spencer
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks
Needle : 4mm/US 6 and 5.5 mm/US 9 for bind off.
Started: Feb 25th,2011
Completed: March 20th,2011
Ravelry Project: Technicolor Whirlpool

I am already contemplating casting on for another Whippoorwill. I even have the yarn in mind. Crazy,huh?! So, tell me.. whats new in your crafty life?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Undomestic Goddess recipe!

Yes. I am the undomestic goddess in my neck of the woods. I like recipes that are quick and tasty.. So, when I chanced upon this combination, I just have to share it with you all. Notice that I called it a combination and not a recipe.. because, its NOT a recipe.. :-) Let me know if you too make this at your home.. Its just these 3 things rolled into a wrap...

A chapati with cheese spread on top...

and honey poured on top of the cheese..

and, rolled into an easy breakfast!

of course, I do not 'own' the copyright or a patent for this recipe.. This is a super hit at my home.. Both my Hubster and Alvin enjoy this for breakfast or dinner.. Let me know if you try this..

ETA: A friend on Facebook suggested Nutella instead of honey. Now, that's an awesome combination.. Do I have nutella in my pantry?! Off I go to rummage the kitchen shelves..
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