Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Happy New Year and More Baby Stuff !!!

A Very Happy New Year to all who read this post. Wish you and family a prosperous year ahead.

Also, many thanks to you guys to leave your thoughts on my last post. The moving company has not found my stuff yet so we are gonna have to claim insurance and settle for peanuts in reimbursement for all my stuff, since we decided not to take special insurance before moving. Lesson learnt there !

My Baby almost came last to last week when I started having premature pain. We went to the hospital and I was there 4 hrs after which I was told to go back home and take bed rest for the rest of the term.
I have been doing just that. Well, alongwith working from home on my laptop. And ofcourse I have been doing some more knitting for my dear baby.

I finally made a BSJ for my own baby and I am quite proud of how neat this one has turned out. Not to mention the color combination with my favorite shade of red. The pictures above and below show the front and back when I had finished knitting it. I have since added an I-cord border all around the neck, front and bottom of the jacket. I still have to sew on buttons, I chose some transparent ones in medium size. Will try and post some more pictures with my baby coming soon now. In fact, any day !

It's the same combination as the vest I showed in the last post.
That got me thinking that since I have more of this yarn, why not make a whole set for the baby. Maybe a home-coming set.
So I made this

Elfin Booties

and this
Little Baby Socks
and this
Baby Cap (my own pattern)
and this

Baby Leggings by Elizabeth Zimmerman

So that's the whole baby set.
I still didn't have enough, so I made this.

Sunshine Round Ripple Baby Afghan

Then I wanted to crochet something out of thread, so I made this...

Spiderweb Doily in Colorful Doilies to Crochet from Annie's Attic

It's still unblocked, I will get around to it I guess soon.
More to come... stay tuned.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Old and New... Lost and Bought !!!

A lot has happened this past month.
I lost my precious treasures... all my knitting notions and accessories and everything else. That's right... :"(
The movers lost a carton which had all my knitting goodies. Everything that I had got from my grandmother, everything that my mother gave me, everything that I bought myself in India and everything else that I had bought after coming to USA. All of it !!!
Although its been like 4 weeks that I have been following up with the movers, they have no news on where the carton vanished. Some of the stuff in it was brand new. I had never even used it once :( Moreover, I discovered yesterday that one of Elizabeth's DVDs was also in it...
I just cannot get over it.

How can I ever get even near to owning everything I had :(
I guess that teaches me a lesson. Never put everything you love together... Scatter it !!!

Anyways, since I had so much to knit for my baby to be and so much more I had to buy at least enough to get me started.
So I ordered some a straight and a circular knitting needles set from knit picks together with a set of double pointed needles.

I was so disappointed that I had to work on something simple, something that did not require me using my brain... so what better than working on a "Baby Kick Sack". I found this pattern on Ravelry, looked fairly simple, so I thought, why not !
I was not thinking while making it initially... I was so preoccupied with the thoughts of my loss, I was not seeing what an awful job I was doing while changing the stripes. The lower end of the following picture shows how I was not thinking, even though I knew better. I know how to make lovely jogless joins and also doing beautiful stripes in the round, but I was not thinking.
But I did regain my consciousness towards the end of it. Here is the finished object.

While I still cannot get over the loss, I knew better. I had to move on and concentrate on the projects I have in mind for my baby and me. So I made this.

I still have to embroider the facial details, but apart from that it is done. This pattern is from LionBrand Yarn and is also on available on Ravelry.

Next I made this little cutie.

I found this pattern on Ravelry as well ! (Yes, I needed a pattern since I had no clue about size and other dimensional details for baby knits.) However as you can see where the original pattern ended below, it was definitely too small.

So I improvised. I frogged back to just where the crown decreases had to be started and knit in stockinette till I thought the size was fine. Turned out so great after adding that cutie pom-pom on the top, which is btw my first attempt at making one (yeah first pom pom I made).

Next I made this. This is a vest pattern from Drops with button closures on one shoulder. Here it is on Ravelry.

Next in line was this baby. I tried to make this on my own since now I had an idea of the size. Absolutely love it !

All this while, I have also been working on this for me... but I am prioritizing my baby stuff over it. Currently it is only 60 % complete. The entire top is done. More details on this in my ravelry project page.

I found pictures of lovely tops made by some Russian girls on Ravelry and wanted to make one of my own. So I asked around and I started. The initial motif I worked on (see below) for the yoke, had too many big gaps which I didnt like. So I changed.

Will keep posting on the progress in future posts.
Meanwhile, I am also working on making Yeti from Berroco. Here it is on Ravelry. Its an adorable hoodie pattern and I have some homespun in my stash which I am using for it. Currently I am done with the back and front. I hope to finish the sleeves and hood today.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Some more Finished Objects

Life has been going on as usual, with lesser time for blogging and more time for more priorities right after moving - unpacking slowly, settling in the new home while running daily chores as usual between home and office. Well, yeah it does take time especially when I am only 8 weeks far from my due date. That is how there have not been any pics of me wearing my FOs for quite some time. I wanted to change that with this post however, haven't been able to unpack my stuff yet. So I guess have to do with these for the time being.

This is a basic Granny Square Blanket that I made for my baby to come with some yarn I had in my stash. (Some might remember the Star Afghan that I made for Liliana with the same yarn.)

Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby Solids and Marls
5 skiens Baby Denim Marl 30300
4 skiens White Blanc 0200
Start Date: 23 September 2008 late evening.
Finish Date: 28 October 2008 late evening.
Finished Size: 48" x 48" (inches)
Notes: The project took this long since it was being worked on whilst our move to California. The movers took over 3 weeks to deliver our stuff so I could only dream of working on this meanwhile.
The entire blanket is made with yarn held doubled.

The second project I finished, and my first one after moving to California is this.

Front View
Back View
Pattern Source: Sweaterbabe's Fabulous Flirty Crochet
Yarn: 2 skeins Caron Simply Soft Heather - Autumn Heather 9501
A little Bit of Caron Simply Soft Brites - Blue Mint 9608
Start Date: 30 October 2008 late evening.
Finish Date: 6 November 2008 late evening.
Finished Size: Medium
Notes: This was a very fast project, However I took some time since I was trying out different ways of attaching the strap to the body. For instance the cross back style below. However, I finally decided to go the normal way after a bit of modification. The original strap length was too long and made the tank go very deep, so I just shortened 10 chains on the base chain of each strap and then continued on with the finishing. Also I did not make the upper body in the second color as in the pattern. I just introduced a row of Blue to enhance the waist point. I think overall, the changes were pretty successful and I am very happy with the same.

Hopefully by next time I would have some great pictures of my third FO.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Back in Action... well, hopefully !

And... I am hopefully back in action with this post. I can't believe its been two months since I last posted. As you can guess, a lot has been going on this end with the baby to be and then MOVE... yeah, you read that right, Move ! We decided to move base in my 7th month. What can I say, we love life :)

So I am blogging from my new base in California now.

Things have been busy. Our cousin got married in India and DH travelled there to attend it. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't of course because of various reasons. Well, that aside, I decided I wanted to send some stuff for our families with him. And how could I not send some hand made gifts... so I did.

Here is the Brea Bag I made for my sister in law followed by Baby Surprise Jacket for our almost a year old Nephew.

Here is the Baby Surprise Jacket for my niece.

What can I say, I had all intentions of adding the buttons and embroidering a yellow car on my Newphew's BSJ and a flower on my niece's, but there just wasn't time. Well I will remember to do that in some of my next projects.
Although, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed adding the I-Cord edging on both BSJ's. Loved the look when I was done. I am thinking of making more projects just to add the I-Cord edging :)

Maya (Previous post | Ravelry) was passed on to my sister. I am awaiting her modeled pics so as to post them on the blog.

Ribwarmer was for my Mother In Law. DH says she liked it a lot. As always, awaiting her modeled pics. DH was too busy to get me some.

Stacked Diamonds Convertible (Previous Blogpost | Ravelry) was given to my Mother. Although, I didn't quite add the buttons on it to make it convertible. :p Ma likes it anyways... you know mothers :)

I was working on another project, raglan sweater for my niece of my own design but unfortunately did not finish it on time. So I will wait to send it through someone travelling to India.

The raglan is all Knit, except for the placket, which is Single Crocheted. And yes, I still haven't added the buttons to this. :P

Apart from all of the above, I made something for myself too, but I will wait to post about that till the mover's bring in my stuff from New Jersey and I get to model it :)

More to come ! Till then, Take Care !

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Introducing Maya and Free Cable Pattern.

So life has been going on. I have been thinking about blogging all this while but just couldn't get around to posting since a lot has been going on off late.
In this post I Introduce my love - Maya

In some of my earlier posts I spoke about KnitPink and creating some patterns for this Website and for a good cause. Well I did write one... ColorPlay Cap. The other one is still kinda in the works. The tunic.... I call it Maya. 

The idea for Maya is that it can be worn 4 ways. There is no front and back really. Nor is there any right side or wrong side to the garment. More to come on this when I publish the pattern. Meanwhile Ravelers can take a look at the project details here. Special mention to Barbara Walker's "Knitting from the top down". It is such an amazing reference.

I love Maya a lot, but am trying to work on making a better collar. I am not sure if you can see from the pictures, but I am not fully satisfied with the little line right below it.

If I had completed this project soon after I started work on it I would have worn it at least a few times. But now it doesn't fit me. I am sure you can guess why ;)

So this is going to be a gift for my sister back in India. I hope she likes it.

So while I work on writing up the pattern for Maya, I wanted to share the pattern for the cable I designed for it.

The same is available for download as a PDF document
The pattern has both written instructions and a chart. Looking forward to seeing the projects using this one.

Monday, 4 August 2008

First Crocheted Cardigan - Finally !

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my last post.

Here are the details of another Finished Object I had completed a couple of months back. It is a crocheted cardigan - my first ever, and I have finally managed to add buttons to it so I can share it with everyone.
Me and Rima started this project together. Our first Crochet along. (CAL - as per Marly from Yarnthing podcast.) Although the crochet part was long over, both of us took a while to add the snaps and buttons and therefore be able to call it a true Finished Object.
Here is Rima's deed (Ravelry Link) which has gotten quite popular on Ravelry (161 favorites). Way to Go Buddy ! I love her version too. The yarn is nice and drapey and the overall garment is quite light as compared to mine.
Well, I'll have to admit I never intended mine to be a cardi afterall. It was supposed to be a replacement for a Denim jacket and it is ! The finished garment is as heavy as a good Denim jacket would be and keeps me quite warm at office, where the central air conditioning is especially kind to me - the duct is right above my head and keeps me chilled all the time.
I am pretty happy with how this has turned out.

Though I would have probably changed a few things if I did this another time. The magnetic snaps would definitely be replaced by sew-on snaps. And I probably would choose a different set of buttons as well (The buttons are crocheted by me. More details and pattern in my previous post).

Source: Monica Brown

Materials: Peaches & Creme Article 930 HC - Ecru (Bit less than 1 cone)
Peaches & Cream Article 930 HC - 133 Shaded Denim (Bit less than 1 cone)
Metal Hook: US 5/ F (3.75mm)
Magnetic Snaps: 4 sets (although for the next one I would prefer sew-on snaps.)

Started: April 22, 2008
Finished: May 5, 2008

Notes: My first Cardigan ever.
My first Crocheted Cardigan (wearable for self) ever.
Top Down Construction.
Learnt to attach Magnetic Snaps (first time doing that too).
Made my own crocheted buttons for the garment.
Those who know me, would also know that I am not the kind who follows a pattern blindly. I usually try and come up with my own designs, however, whenever I like a pattern that I go ahead and give it a try. Although, I never try to use the same yarn as what is called for in the pattern and therefore don't get the exact gauge. What I really do is choose the yarn for the project on my own (which may or may not be the same weight category as called for in the pattern), knit the gauge swatch and figure out my gauge, then finally depending on this gauge adapt the pattern as per my own measurements. While doing so I also figure out if I would like to make any modifications or alterations to the pattern. I am sure there are many out there who do the same as me and come up with gorgeous inspirations or altogether new designs.
In this project I did not use the two sizes of the hooks. I simply used the bigger hook because of the yarn. I also did not make the sleeves. Just did not work on them after the top down part was done. I had a hard time figuring out the placement of the crocheted buttons (well, actually the color coordination since I had to cover the back of the magnetic snaps showing in front.) Let me know if you have any ideas on that. I can always take off these and attach two more blue buttons, the thing I was stuck on... will the inverted L kinda shape look good? Length of the cardi is definitely more than what is called for in the pattern.
Honestly, I like it a lot.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Sock Wars and Free Pattern.

First thing, thanks everyone for your encouraging words on my first published pattern. I urge you to go ahead and give it a shot as well if the thought of writing your own patterns has ever occurred to you as well.

Today, I try and re-live my first experience of Sock Wars Unfortunately the Website is no longer active so I can't provide a link to it. But here is a link with more information on the Wars.

Over these years, I have come across numerous people, either directly, through meet-ups, by reading blogs etc who are just so crazy about and addicted to knitting socks. Honestly, I am not one of those. Although, I always would try everything once just to be able to say that I have done it. I am not sure why I do this though, but I really rarely say no to trying something especially if it is even remotely related to something I like. But another truth is that I never stopped admiring these people (sock addicts) and their gorgeous projects.

When I first came to USA, and saw my very first knitting magazine (It was Interweave Knits Winter 2006), I was so excited with the scope and popularity of knitting here that without any knowledge of gauge or what kind of yarn to use for what project I made these amongst other projects.

I guess you might understand where I am coming from when I say I am a self taught knitter and crocheter and back home there were not too many resources to for me to learn these arts apart from observing old ladies (some of who might be your own aunts and grandmas etc) whipping out the projects for their family members.

Anyways, so that was that for a little while, and I was kinda proud of them, until I realized how I could have done much better. (I am constantly trying to improve, another one of my good/ bad personality traits.) Somehow though, I never really got to making a pair of socks again, until I heard of the Sock Wars. (I still think it is a grammatically wrong name, but who cares, it works and sounds just right !)

So there I was all signed up for the Wars and eagerly waiting to get started once they were on. I even went Yarn hunting and bought, not one but two options to knit with, keeping the following in mind.
1. It should be blue (I kinda have started avoiding buying anything blue since for a while all I saw DH buying or getting in gifts was blue. I need a break, you know what I mean?). Hence, blue would be the ideal color for me to buy and then part with, since you need to send the socks to your target in order to kill them in the war.
2. I was not too excited about using tofutsies and winning the grand prize of that yarn, since I did not see myself knitting/ crocheting a lot of socks in the near future, and it would have been kinda boring to have to think of other projects to make with the yarn.
3. The yarn should be decent, not great cause it would have made it difficult for me to part with it.

The first two skeins I bought were Blue Koigu, which I still have in my stash. I thought the yarn was twisted a little too much for my interest.

The second ball of yarn I bought is something which I have still not been able to pronounce. Steinbach Wolle Aktiv Color 100 in Blue again (Ravelry Link). (Writing blogs is fun, you don't need to say everything you write ;) ha ha.)

Finally, I worked with the second one (the one that shall not be named) cause it was easier to part with.

The pattern (The Detonator by Julie Gardner) took a while to come out on the designated day, but what was I worried about? I was at work and could not have started even if I wanted to. So I did what I could do at that time, kept checking my mail for the information about my target and kept checking how far everyone else had gotten with their pairs until I was at home. (I am still amazed at how fast some people can knit.)

I got home, cast on and started working through the pattern. It was not long before I realized it was not the stuff for me. Maybe knitting socks is just not my thing, maybe the pattern did not interest me, maybe the yarn was the culprit. Whatever it was, I knew my end was near. I knew I was not going to make it. I knew I am going to die soon. And I did what I normally would never do. I gave up. I just couldn't go further with it. And I was soon killed. I should have been upset, but I was very relieved. I was infact happy, that I could now cast on for something that I would love to make and not just have to make.

My killer Jen made me a nice pair of socks with tofutsies and even sent me goodies alongwith.

I sent her the WIP alongwith some Indian goodies, and it all finally was at rest.

All in all, it was a good experience, but no more for me. All is well that ends well !!!

On another note, here is a quick recipe for tiny crochet flowers, that I used as buttons for my crochet cardigan. (More on the cardigan coming soon.)

Quick Crocheted Flowers/ Buttons
* Make an adjustable ring. (Link to tutorial/ Link to Video)
* 9 Single Chains in the ring.
* Join with slip stitch to the first single chain.
* Chain 2 (counts as first double crochet) in the first single chain.
* double crochet in the same single chain.
* 2 double crochets each in each of the next 8 single chains. (Total 18 double crochets)
* Join with slip stitch with the first 2 chains that were counted as 1 double crochet.
* Cut yarn leaving enough to weave in.