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Archive for the tag “knitting”

A handmade gift brightens up my day

Check out this cool bag my Sister in Law crocheted for me. As a knitter my self I know how much effort must have gone into this beauty and I cannot wait to start using it. See the accent flowers on the flap?

We had fun trying to figure out the perfect placement for them. We tried a cluster at the bottom, top of the bag. Tried a diagonal line of the flowers, but in the end settled for the suggested placement in the pattern.

Now even though she used a cotton yarn, I am afraid the strap will stretch out so I am planning on stabilizing it with a coordinating 2″ ribbon which will not only look pretty but also provide some strength to this bag. I am also planning on lining it with a green linen and adding plastic canvas to give it some structure.

Wanna know something crazy? I have this awesome linen from fabric.com which will make a great skirt to go with this bag. Crazy right? But so fun. I can’t stop looking at this bag 🙂

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A kniting gift to someone who gets it

So this is why I’ve been MIA for the last week or so. Gagan’s cousin, who has become a very good friend of mine is leaving this week. She crochets and I knit. Together we have a lot in common. And…she is one of the few cousins (perhaps the only one) who values hand made things. If you recall, Gagan’s aunt helped me with my sock last month? She is her daughter…

So last few nights I kept all my sewing projects aside and got to work on these socks. She came over this weekend, I was knitting till the last minute. Believe it or not, we still have some snow in our front yard, and while stepping in, her socks got wet. When she asked to borrow some socks, I surprised her with my hand knit socks and said “Maybe these will help” 🙂 She was so touched! And later when I was taking photos of the sock to share with you all, she said “Wow, I’ve never been a foot model before”.

And now that the socks are with their new owner, I can go back to sewing 🙂 After all, I have to make not one but two garments this month. (Since I am away most of April).

Here are the socks.

Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Interweave Knits.

Fun AND Productive Weekend

So remember my post The Love Affair is over back in December about the hole in my favorite socks? Ok so in my anger I gave up knitting (like that’s going to do anything). But the truth is I don’t like fixing things. I like creating from scratch but not fixing. It applies to everything… Sewing, cooking, knitting, pretty much everything I do. To give you an example, Gagan asked me to fix the loose button in one of his shirts one time. I asked him to put the shirt in my sewing room. It was lying there for more than a year! Next year my mom visited and long story short… she was the one who ended up fixing it. Yes, I detest fixing. But part of the reason is because I don’t know how… Well the button was just laziness but things like fixing that hole in the sock.

OK so here’s what happened this weekend. Gagan’s aunt was with us this weekend. She and I were chatting one evening when the subject of sock came up. I was ready to throw out the sock when she said, give it to me, I’ll fix it. I warned Bua(Hindi for Aunt) that it’s a big hole to which she said “If I can become a doctor, I can do anything!”. She is too cute. I love her enthusiasm. And sure enough, half an hour later, the sock was patched up. And just like that, I learned a new skill and she revived my faith in knitting. She also showed me a few tricks on how to reinforce the heel of socks.

Here’s how she did it.

She picked up the stitches and tied the thread to close the hole first.

Stitches picked up and closed. We now have a circle which will not fray.

She then picked up stitches from a couple of rows before the hole started. The goal is to knit a rectangle and then stitch it down on top of the hole like a patch.

Testing the rectangle to see if it’s big enough to cover up.

Finally stitching it down.

Later than night. I started a new sock 🙂 Having this new skill gives me the freedom I always wanted. Now I can FIX things.. well not everything. We’ll start with a sock 🙂

The Love Affair is Over – Relax its just knitting!

Last year I took up knitting. Wanted to see what the big deal is? Yes, I loved the portability of it but have you priced the yarns? They are so expensive and rightly so. There are many independent dyers who put in a lot of time and passion into this. The question is – Can I afford it? Well, I thought socks aren’t bad because even though the yarn is expensive you only need a skein.

So far so good. I got hooked to it. Since last fall, I’ve made more than 5 pairs of socks and collected a few more skeins. Everything was going so well, carrying my little sock project with me everywhere, showing off my hand knit socks to everyone. Everything was good… until last night, when I discovered a BIG HOLE in my sock. What a SHOCK!!!

I have never, I repeat NEVER had a hole in my socks. In the 34 years of my life, like NEVER!!! My lifestyle doesn’t involve a lot of walking, I did everything right, washed them in warm water, air dried them and still? I take really good care of my feet too. Apply a nice foot cream every night! Have been doing that forever. So I don’t understand how this happened?

Now lets talk about the yarn. I bought it in Germany… paid a hefty sum for it too. I am told this is the finest merino wool sock yarn you can find. Now when I got into sock knitting I ASSUMED that you can actually wear ’em after you are done. Apparently not! It’s not even been a year since I started wearing them. I am sorry for going on and on about this but I need to vent!

I am DONE! Soooo DONE with knitting. At least socks. I will of course finish the pair on my needles right now and eventually finish the stash of sock yarn but basically the honeymoon is over.


You see, unlike most sewing projects, knitting is a big time investment! Even if you took the most challenging of sewing projects, you could still whip it up much quicker than a pair of socks.

As for these socks, I do have some yarn left over so hopefully I can find a solution to mend them but right now its too painful to look at. So I hopped into my car and gladly paid FIVE dollars for a wool sock so my feet won’t be cold 🙂

There is one good thing these socks did though, got me out of my blog slump 🙂 I just needed to vent! Thanks for reading and if you have any suggestions for me, PLEASE do post.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must retire to my sewing room to whip up a Jalie sweetheart top. I do have 45 minutes on me right now 😉

December 15th OK Its a new day and I’ve calmed down a bit. So I admit I won’t give up knitting altogether but I’ll make a wiser choice with yarns now. Tini recommended a sock yarn with nylon in it, so that’s what I am going to knit with now. And ajkmama recommended this method to fix these socks which I have to say is PRETTY COOL! I might actually do that. Thanks!!! Good thing I have sock yarn left over.

My Yellow Socks

Check out my yellow socks. Continuing with my newfound love for yellow… They are still in progress and thanks to the wait at the doctor’s office yesterday I made some progress. I am really torn between my love for sewing and knitting. The cool thing about knitting is that it’s portable and I can manage a few rows a at time. With sewing, not so much. Although my goal for next month is to try to do this with sewing too. Just half an hour every day. One seam at a time. Let’s see if it works.

Back to the socks. Believe it or not, its the same pattern I used in thes e socks but because the yarn was so heavily patterned, it’s hard to see the details. So I decided to give it another shot in this solid yellow yarn which I picked up in Belfast, ME. I am loving the results in this! And you won’t believe how easy this pattern is.

It’s Spring Forward from Knitty.com. Just two rows to remember and otherwise it’s just plain stockinette.

Tini, if you are reading this, you’ll love this pattern!

A weekend away from… well everything!!!

I have to say that taking my laptop with me and not opening it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a while. Gagan and I were in desperate need of R&R so we decided to go up to Camden, ME this labor day. We left on Friday and came back on Monday. Fortunately for us, it was also the Windjammer Weekend so the tiny town of Camden was pretty lively! We met some really great people there and had a great time.

We walked, hiked, sailed and just relaxed. Sometimes you don’t really need to do anything. This was an intentionally “unplanned” vacation which we simply loved.

We stayed in a cute little B&B just minutes away from downtown and a stone’s throw from the harbor.

When I am on the road, I love to knit. I started my sock on Friday and this is where I am today. Pretty cool right?

The pattern is Spring Forward from Knitty.com

Socks are so addictive arent they? I also stopped by this yarn store in Belfast, ME and bought a couple of balls of this bright yellow sock yarn. What is going on with me? I never liked yellow and now I can’t get enough of it. Well, atleast they will brighten up the cold wintery mornings.

Ok, what is up with yarn stores everywhere? I saw so many of these but not a fabric store in sight 😦 It’s so depressing. I did find this cute oilcloth in an eco-friendly store. See the yellow again 😉

It’s hopefully going to become a bright yellow grocery bag 🙂

BTW I loved Belfast, ME! It’s such a cute town with tons of eco-friendly stores. I bought a bottle of orange essential oil to make my own cleaner, recommended by Everyday Sewist on PR.

There is a vegetarian restaurant, Chase Daily in Belfast which was hands down the best vegetarian meal I’ve had outside in ages. I highly recommend it.

I am back now and finally caught up on my e-mails and other stuff. I can’t wait to drive up there again in a few weeks when the leaves change. They don’t call it ‘The Vacationland’ for nothing 😉

Some photos:

A Friend in need…

is a friend indeed!

So true…

OK, so as you know knitting is another one of my hobbies. Am I good at it? HARDLY! and this post will prove it 🙂 Lets just say I can knit and purl and that’s about it.

So after my first successful attempt at My first knitted t-shirt, I picked a slightly more advanced project:

Sahara by Stitch Diva Studios

Photo credit http://www.stitchdiva.com

Which is all good but never did I realize that in a span of just 5 minutes it’s possible to:
a) start knitting from flat into round
b) start doing short rows
AND
c) drop a stitch and then created a knotty stitch while trying to fix it.
Of course I didn’t realize I did all those things until I took it to the doctors… aka Emily.

Oh what a life saver. Not only did she fix all the things I managed to do wrong, she also showed me what it looks like and basically saved the project.

Moral of the story… Make mistakes and then LEARN from them. Of course verdict is still out whether or not I LEARNT from mine 😉 I still managed to mess things up at her house yesterday but so far so good…

More blues and greens – split neck tee finished!

Remember, back in April I was working on finishing my knitting UFOS? Well I am psyched to show you my FIRST Hand-Knit T-shirt. Sounds silly doesn’t it? I mean, I could finish a t-shirt (and I have) in 45 minutes then why would I want to knit one which takes a month!

Well, for starters because I want to and I can 🙂 And secondly, you’ve gotta see it to really appreciate the hand knit garments. You can experiment with such luxurious yarns and feel so special when you wear them. And third… knitting is portable. I can take my project with me wherever I go.

Summer is hardly the time to knit, right? Wrong… I love cotton and cotton blend yarns you can find these days and there is a sort of “ZEN” like feeling when I knit. I can forget about pretty much everything else and just remember the rows and stitches. Ok, so here’s a photo I snapped this morning with my handy dandy tripod. I tell you, you’ve got to get yourself one of these. It’s total freedom. Especially if you blog or write reviews, you need to take lots of photos. OK back to the finished item…

When I picked the contrasting yarn for the trim I wasnt so sure about the color but I really think that it makes the whole garment “pop” and adds a punch to it. Don’t you think?

Ok, a little bit about the pattern:

Pattern: Split Neck Tee From Fitted Knits Book by Stephanie Japel
Yarn: Main – Classic Elite Flash
Contrast – Tahki Cotton Classic

A Trip to WEBS

This is for you Tini! Back in Germany I promised her that whenever I go to WEBS, I’ll blog about it and take some pics. So here you go…

So a few weeks ago I was meeting someone (can’t say who just yet) and we both decided to meet in the charming town of Northampton. Northampton is located in Western Mass and is just a few minutes away from UMASS. It’s a historic little town with great energy and the best part?

WEBS is there! If you knit, you already know about yarn.com.

21,000 sq. feet of yarn, everywhere!!! What more could one ask for?

Of course being the enabler that I am, I emailed Tini if she wanted me to pick up anything for her and her list came right when I checked my Blackberry (love that thing!) outside of WEBS.

I picked up a few basics for myself and a lot of yarn for Tini 🙂

Finding the yarn was so easy. Every bin has a tag hanging which lists the yarn type, gauge, yardage, fiber content and pretty much all the info you’ll ever need to know about the yarn.

WEBS also gives a hefty 20% discount if you buy over $60 and even though my total was $59.90 they gave it to me anyway. The customer service is superb. I had a few questions and all the salespeople were more than willing to help me. They even took a photo when I requested 🙂

Oh ad if you are accompanied by a spouse or a non-knitter, they even have a nice lounging area 🙂 How thoughtful.

Sorry for the bad pictures by the way. I forgot to take my camera and this is the best I could do with my blackberry.

Needless to say, I came back very happy and fulfilled 🙂 I was a good girl though, didnt buy any more than I needed but… I’ve already placed another order with them 😉 The best thing is that they are local, ok not really because it’s an hour and a half away but still, it’s nice to know that I can go there, pick up some yarn, have lunch at one of the many great restaurants in the area, do some shopping at Valley Fabrics (review to follow on PR) and make a day trip out of it!

UFO Busting Week

So, the UFO contest on PR really inspired me back in January and believe it or not, it’s taken that long for the inspiration to finally kick in!

Ok, so I don’t really have any sewing UFOs but I have (or should I say HAD!) tons of knitting UFOs.

Why is that? I began to analyze it the other day and I’ve come up with the following reasons:

1. Knitting takes so much longer than sewing and I easily get bored with longer projects so I tend to put them aside in the hopes of coming back to it later.

2. If a project is too complicated and I don’t know how to proceed, in the fear of ruining it, I keep it aside.

3. Season change.

Now, yes the season is changing which means that I need to keep my wool stash away for a while (and by while I mean 3 months :), here in New England we don’t have the luxury of wearing summer clothes year round. But we have tons of snow! ). So, I decided to just bite the bullet and work my way through my knitting UFOs.

Project 1
———
Pattern: Mini Cardi from Fitted Knits book by Stephani Japel
Yarn: Lion Brand Super Bulky
Credit for this cardigan goes to Somwan who helped me where I was stuck. Her directions for knitting in the round for the sleeves were perfect.

And now, for the photo.

Cardi unbuttoned

Project 2
———
Pattern: Scrunchie Wrist warmers from the One Skein Wonders book
Yarn: Wollmeise from Germany at PR Weekend

Project 3
———
Pattern: Multidirectional Scarf By Karen Baumer (Free pattern!)
Yarn: Patons SWS in Earth colorway

This was a very enjoyable knit. The color changes kept my interest all the way! But it still took me over a year to finish it. Started it last year.

Project 4 – still working on it…
———————————-
Pattern: Split Neck Tee from the Fitted Knits Book (Stephanie Japel)
Yarn: Cascade Flash – Cotton/Rayon yarn, feels like silk. A pleasure to knit with.

I’ve made really good progress on this tee. The upside is that unlike all the other projects above, I will be able to wear this tee right after I finish it. It’s starting to warm up here a bit. So I am knitting like mad. The 16″ of plain stockinette isnt very inspiring but I’ve done 5″ out of 16″, so it’s finally getting there. This will be my second wearable knitted item, so pretty excited!

I can’t tell you how great it feels to be able to clear the knitting stash and move on to other projects.

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