Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jumpin into January

Jumping into January

Not so long ago, as we crossed into the new millennium, we were worried about the ‘crash’, Y2K and its ensuing ‘computer’problems, the end of life as we know it.. and here we are in 2014 and the human race is still going strong.

I've been very lax in my blog.  The Jan blog coming out in March .. not good, but Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans (to quote John Lennon or Allen Saunders?!)
And of course let’s throw one out at Procrastination as well while we’re busy ducking arrows here !!

So Jan was a great month for work .. and here’s my stuff for Jumpin Jan.

Made what I thought was a lovely ‘water bottle cozy’.  The idea for this one came way back as I was doing a test project for Anastacia Zittel – a lovely bag (  As I entered that test, I thought I could gift the bag to a niece who was in the family way – and thought it would go well with a bottle cozy.  Anastacia was very encouraging when I sounded her out on the idea and I decided to make one in the same colours as the bag so it could go as a set – and then Ana told me to write the pattern down.  I thought who’d want a bottle cover.. so anyway, got it tested and one of my testers thought it made a lovely wine bottle cover too.. and ta da! Just like that.. this became ‘something worth it’!

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Sometime in January we had a lovely Mumbai Rav-meet – one of the few I could attend.  We went to Bhuleshwar market – a haven for yarn and craft related stuff.. the small lanes and by-lanes where we’d have been lost had it not been for Nazneen (  I had to keep my hands tightly in my pocket and hold myself back as Jaishree and Ritha bought yarn – I still had a stash from our earlier Mumbai Rav meet at Pradhan and I was on a self-imposed yarn diet! I still did buy a small spool of cotton,though! J
As we were leaving this super market, noticed Nidhi looking over at some small sling / shoulder bags.  She said she wanted something small for her ma-in-law that she could carry just her house keys and mobile as she went on her walks.  Nothing seemed right, or the choice was too much.. either way, ma-in-law did not get her gift.  The following day at my local yarn store, I happened to see a lovely self striping polyester (cone/purse) yarn – that blinked at me in all its colourful shininess! I’d gone to get something for someone else, and the shop keeper was actually surprised at my ‘poor purchase’ – and noticing me look at the yarn told me it was ‘new’ and .. good salesman that he is, ‘caught me’.. yes yes, he’s laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to me, I know! J
Back home I wondered what I’d make and remembered Nidhi ( and her ‘sling bag’.. and voila.. her ma-in-law got one.. and I got a new project

Now come on, it is an irresistible yarn!! right??

The slim sling bag that holds a wallet, spectacle case and keys

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or for this pattern

The Kaju Katli scarf has been inspired by the lovely, delectable, absolutely yummy, irresistible sweet meat that was a traditional sweet for Diwali (our Indian festival of lights).  Nowadays, it’s available all around the year – as yummy and as dangerously fattening.  It’s made wholly with cashew nuts, whole milk, loads of sugar and clarified butter – and then decorated with slivers of silver paper.  Now, how can you resist something that just sounds so yummy, pray?
Now though I should say that this was inspired during Diwali, it was end December that we’d had house guests and a huge box of kaju katli was bought.. and while gobbling it down, something there made me think ‘design this’.. and so was born my lovely Kaju Katli scarf.  I also had the most beautiful light peach and I thought it would go so well with so many (clothes) combinations.

My niece, who was visiting happened to see my yarn stash and she commented on a lovely (salmon) pink I had there – coincidentally about the time that I was double checking the Kaju katli scarf as it was being tested – so not just my 2nd project made with that pattern, but she got a gift too.

my lovely niece who wore this as she flew out of India and swore that she had many 'admirers' admiring her scarf.. daresay they were admiring her beauty though! J

The mouth-watering Kaju Katli .. hmm, know which way my 'walk' is headed today J

My lovely friend, Margaret, who is modeling the scarf I've made for her son's friend, Ani

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A close friend in Bangalore requested that I make him a scarf and ‘hat’ as he usually went out walking early mornings, and it was getting quite cool.  Colours he said ‘pl keep it either white or black’.. I thought that was ‘dull’ – so decided to trouble him and give him a B&W scarf.  I’ve always loved the ‘houndstooth pattern’ though I don’t like that name.. I can’t think of wrapping anything around my neck that involved either a hound or a (it’s?) tooth.  This test was a lot of fun and I made so many new friends on Ravelry – and their projects all turned out so good.  I was so happy that all of them had extremely happy ‘recipients’ for their projects – as did I J
I titled mine the ‘Holding Hands Scarf’ as I thought the stitches looked like little ‘people’, holding hands and dancing.  Yes, yes, let’s put it down to artistic idiosyncrasies  J
My lovely holding hands scarf comes with a pattern for the hat – and the hat pattern has 2 variations – one with border and one without.

 Sukanya, 'modeling' her dad's hat 

This was the pic I'd put up first, and one of my testers commented that her mum was as fascinated by the "striking blue t-shirt" as she was by the 'dog's tooth scarf' J
Sukanya sporting the 'hat with border'

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In June last year, my daughter and I visited Brisbane, Australia.  One of our friends was wearing a very comfy looking pair of shoe/socks.. in something ‘like crochet’.  Obviously, I commented on it.  Mary said these were made by her late aunt and as she’d passed on, she wondered who’d make these now for Pat, who so loved them.  She said it wasn’t crochet as her aunt said it was ‘cro-tat’, and she added that the hook “looked different”.  She brought me one so I could see the pattern.. and I couldn’t understand what stitch this was.. Well used, it had partly felted – and anyway, we were at dinner! Mary kindly offered me a pair so I could look at it at leisure, adding that that one had seen better days anyway.  Back home, I took the project apart and found it was made with the famous Tunisian stitch!  I am not too familiar with Tunisian (as yet), so thought I’d figure something else out for Pat – and made him a pair of “Easy fit slip-ons”.  (I’ve made him a pair of “comfy shoes” and figured out a pattern for the ‘Tunisian’ one as well.. but more on that in a later blog)

I used the always willing Rav members (during the Jan meet) to ‘take foot measurements’ for my shoe project – and then my Dad and niece were happy recipients of this (before Pat got his).  My niece (who travels a lot) has said that these will be in her ‘hand baggage’ so she has a comfy pair for her air travel, within the aircraft.  Dad, who has minor neuropathy (unable to feel the floor sometimes) said that this was really warm and helpful during the ‘winter’.

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For Dad

My niece with her slim ankles, lovely 'ballerina' feet and her 'in-flight' shoes

Our lovely neighbour Mrs. Suman Pujare who was recovering from her partial hip replacement surgery (she now is practially 'running' around !) J
My lovely willing rav-pals who allowed me to 'smear' some of my permanent red marker around their feet while taking my measurements

The Cippikal scarf was inspired by the lovely shells we saw in the superb, pristine beaches in Brisbane.  As a child, I recall loving and laboriously collecting all the shells we could find at every beach we visited.. filling our pockets more with sand than shells – trying to beg our parents to allow us ‘just this once’ a stash to take home.. bring it home and then totally forget about it all!  Thought we’d outgrown that..naah!  But after a really good dekho at how the lovely shell sparkled and how the colours showed through and how it was so beautifully shaped, I did put them back in the beach before we left – albeit sadly J
So I give you my Cippikal scarf.  Cippikal is the word for sea shell in Tamil (my mother tongue).

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Raghu & Ajanta's lovely new 'daughter', Adishree, ("lawfully" theirs when she married their son)  J
More 'drape' options.  Margaret showed Adi several 'new' drape options too 
The original inspiration

and before the writing bug goes off into hibernation, you're probably going to be slammed by Feb as well.

Till then.. have a great day today  J