Friday, 23 May 2014

Madness in March

March madness

After the frenzy of February and the Ravellenic Games, I thought I’d have a nice and calm March.. haha J
Well, I could’ve kept it calm, but then what’s the fun in that? Right! J

So we continued into March.. or marched into madness ??  And I will confess that when the design bug bites me, I do get a bit mad.. and while that was not confined to this month of March, it does sound .. Interesting.. and alliterations, I do love them (and talking like Yoda?)!

The Ravellenics Games went on into the first week of March – so some of my projects from the games are featured here.

One of the interesting games (challenges) during our RavGames was to complete something that you’d started and forgotten.  Usually, I pride myself in not putting anything off and ensuring that I finish it, else unravel it and use that yarn for something else.  While clearing my stash, I found a cowl I’d started on, pattern halfway written, and then forgotten.  I can’t quite remember why this happened.... guess it did so I had something to qualify in this challenge as well J
So I completed the Textured Cowl I’d started and got this tested just after the Games.
The Textured Cowl is a really easy-peasy cowl that uses a new stitch (well, new for beginners), and then there’s a surface texturing that’s done to give it the bulky look.  It’s a really easy project that can be made in any size, with any yarn and completed really quickly.
You can see my Easy Textured Cowl on Craftsy at http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/easy-textured-cowl/97759, or on Ravelry at

<a href="http://www.ravelry.com/purchase/shyama-nivas-designs/204479">buy now</a>a




Once the Rav Games were done, (and we were .. or I was.. waiting to see the results of the Games, and how they awarded medals .. hoping that the nights I’d stayed up to ensure I was “on the boards first” would pay.. well, I did say I was highly competitive, didn’t I?). It wasn’t long before the moderators managed to compile the long long long list of entries and award the medals. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of work that must have gone in to get this done! Kudos to the moderators and especially to the Computer geniuses who thought this through!

I then thought of doing something simple.  Many scarves, wraps are designed with a border, and many times, the body of the wrap is done in one piece, and the border is then attached on separately or done as a finishing procedure.  I decided to work on something simple that would make the wrap and the border all in one go.. and ta-da, here is my Aasaan Wrap.
The word Aasaan in Hindi means ‘Simple’, and I’ve tried to keep this wrap as simple as possible.  There are some complicated procedures involved (or shall I say, ‘new ways to do something simple’?) but it’s an easy repeat, and the wrap can be made quickly.
As with many of my other patterns, this one too can be done with any yarn, and gauge is not critical, which means that it can be of any size as desired by you.  This pattern too has been tested.
The pattern instructions have been written using U.S terminology, and comes with a chart as well as some photos to show the detail of the stitch and border(s).
The pattern for my Aasaan Wrap is available on Craftsy at http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/aasaan-wrap/90551, and on Ravelry at

<a href="http://www.ravelry.com/purchase/shyama-nivas-designs/204474">buy now</a>




In January this year, we’d visited Raichak (West Bengal) for a  batch-mate get together of my husband’s college group, and it was the perfect time of the year for the gardens and flowers to be in full bloom.  I saw one really beautifully manicured garden and a superb array of flowers that I’d not seen in a long time.  I was so in awe that the gardener(s) immediately took me on a good long tour of the lovely gardens, and showed me their vegetable produce as well.  The owners were not in, and only visit during weekends.  The dahlias that I saw there had me stumped, and on my return, I worked hard to try and recreate God’s beautiful creation.
My humble re-creation is the Dahlia Wrap.  This pattern too has been written using U.S terminology,  and comes with a chart as well as photos .  You can download this pattern on Craftsy at 






My final pattern and design for March was my Helical Scarf.
This creation has been inspired partly by the placket on a kurti (short top) I’d seen, and partly by The Big Bang Theory and the helical DNA that is in the background of the apartment used by the great Sheldon and Leonard!  This pattern too has been tested and the creations my testers created are superb.

The pattern for my Helical Scarf is available on Craftsy as http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/helical-scarf/90817

and on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/helical-scarf











Thursday, 15 May 2014

FUN ' N FRENZY IN FEBRUARY

Fun n frenzy in February

February saw the Winter Olympics come to Sochi and on Ravelry too we had our own version of the Olympic Games.  We had the Ravellenic Games 2014!

This is (I’m told) a usual event – and every time there’s an International Game or event, we, on the Ravelry are treated to ‘our own creative and crafty’ version of it – thanks to the creative and geeky blokes who have set this super group up.

So for a quick look at what categories the Ravellenics Games 2014 had, do visit http://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravellenic-winter-games-2014.

This was my first event.. and my first ‘games’ on Ravelry, and as usual, I entered with full gusto.  I joined the Happy Hookers Hangout team, and decided to not just enter as many ‘events’ as I could, but also design new patterns for as many events as I could J
Night and day became one, as the mind worked faster than the fingers could.. and my (now tatty) handy little note pad was my constant companion!

I designed a cute little headband – that looks superb in two colours, but works in single colour too.  It’s a quick project that uses a lovely stitch that looks like little ‘berries’ – so was born my “Very Berry Headband”.  This was also one of the first projects that I actually put up for sale at a friend’s daughter’s school gala – and she was sad that I could only give her a few pieces (frankly, I did not think she’d manage to sell any! Not doubting her ‘sale’ skills or my super (ahem) craft skills.. jus saying) J






February and Valentines day.. super time for crochet and craft.. make something really ‘nice’ and ‘special’ just for that special someone, right?
Now everyone loves a hot mug of beverage.. and a ‘mug hug’ is the ideal gift that can be whipped up really quickly, and is oh, so cute.
To add the ‘Valentine’s day cheer’ to it, I designed a mug hug that had tiny little hearts in it, and I made mine red n white J
Oh yes, the mug hug also qualified for an event in the Ravellenic Games and won me a ‘medal’ too J




Yet another quick gift for Valentine’s Day (or a ‘no reason, no occasion day’?) is a mobile pouch.   I’ve designed several already, and then thought of one using the star stitch.. so here is my Star Spangled Mobile Pouch for you http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/star-spangled-mobile-pouch/88019  or






During my last trip abroad, I found it extremely tedious to take out all my neatly packed toiletries and then ‘re-assemble’ them into the ‘given zip-lock pouches’ for security screening at the airport.  Now I am totally FOR the hard work that goes into the screening procedures and the care taken to protect the general public in every way, so rather than complain about it, I thought I’d ‘use’ this as a chance to design something new.. and LO!  My “Havai Jahaj Secure Bag”.
“Havai Jahaj” is the word for ‘aeroplane’ in Hindi.  This is a simple pouch that I just jazzed up using two colours, but it is easily made in one colour as well.  The top is pulled shut with a ‘rope’ made from the same yarn as the bag, so there are no ‘metal parts’ to go a-beeping and troubling the screening process.  You can make separate bags to fit individual little zip-lock bags, or you can have one large bag into which you put in all your little zip lock bags.  This pattern is easily adaptable and information for sizing is given in the pattern.  See my pattern at http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/havai-jahaj-secure-bag/88018 or http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/havai-jahaj-secure-bag



During a recent trip to Australia, a dear friend Pat was wearing these really comfy looking shoes at home.. and as they were obviously hand-made, it peeked my curiosity.  Mary told me that her aunt had made these for Pat, but sadly she was no more and she wondered where she’d manage to get these for Pat now.  Needless to say, I offered to try and make them in crochet.  She mentioned her aunt did these in ‘tri-cot’.. and I had no clue what that was!  So Mary gave me an old, well-worn pair and on my return home, I unraveled the shoe to figure out the stitch pattern.. sadly, it was difficult as the yarn had worn thin.. and felted.. and well, I couldn’t. But I figured out what ‘tri-cot’ was ! J
So I thought I’d make some shoes for dear Pat and thanks to him, I designed three pairs of shoes – all of which fit him and he’s thrilled J
The ones that were tested in February during the Ravellenic Games though were the “Easy & Comfy shoes”.  These shoes are easily made by even a beginner level crocheter as there are very simple stitches involved and there’s a photo tutorial along with the written pattern.
As with all my patterns, this one too uses U.S terminology.  View this pattern at http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/clothing/easy--comfy-shoes/88015   or  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy--comfy-shoes




The Ravellenic Games had a category for Jewellery.  I thought of making a pair of ear-rings.. fast and quick.. and then thought that especially during the ‘games’, the availability of items needed to make an ear ring would deter a tester to try and work on this test.. and the idea of designing an item specially for the Games would then be lost.  As I mulled over what I could make, I chanced upon a cute little conch shell (or the tiny ‘shankh’ as we call shell in Hindi.).  I thought it’d be lovely if I could figure a way to ‘string along a few shells’.. and so I ‘made’ a tiny shell with crochet, and with simple chains to hold these little shells together, I designed my Shankh Necklace. J
As with most of my designs, though I made a certain size, I have given information on the pattern sheet for increase and decreases, so that this pattern too is pretty versatile.. or should I say  pretty and versatile? J
The Shankh necklace was tested during the Ravellenic Games as well.




The fingerless mitts are my favourite gloves.  In January, I’d designed a scarf and hat for a friend using the ‘checkered’ pattern or the ‘houndstooth’ pattern.  As I’d said there too, I don’t like the idea of a ‘hounds tooth’ around my neck or  head, and had called that pattern ‘Holding hands scarf n hat’ (http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/accessory/holding-hands-scarf--hat/82883 or http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/holding-hands-scarf-3)
So I thought I’d design a set of gloves to match and complete that set. My checkered fingerless gloves or mitts is an easy pattern, even for beginners.






Of course our Ravellenic Games also included scarves and shawls.. and as I love designing those, I had four of them up. 
Once again, using the extremely beautiful Star stitch, I designed the diagonal star studded scarf that I aptly called “Sitaren” which means *stars* in Hindi. 
As with my other patterns, this pattern has been tested, and is written in U.S terminology. It comes with a photo tutorial as well.

The Möbius is a fascinating thing.. just a simple ‘different’ attachment and you end up with an ‘unending circle’.  How beautiful is that?  It has fascinated me.. and it took me a long time to figure out a pattern to make this just right. My Double Crossed Möbius and the Crossed Over Möbius make me smile J
I’m really proud of this achievement too – as with the medal this one got me during the Ravellenic Games.
My testers who helped test this also said that they have received a lot of praise when they wore their creations.. so big smiley faces all around J







My final pattern for February, which was also tested during the Games, was inspired by my old love rom com “You’ve got mail” J
The movie has two of my favourite actors – Tom Hanks looks gorgeous and young.. and  they make such a wonderfully romantic couple.  Towards the end, when Meg Ryan falls ill, Tom Hanks visits her with a bouquet of daisies – her favourite flower.  There’s just something so calming and pretty about the daisies.. so unassuming and yet so beautiful.  I used the picture of these flowers as well as the ‘lazy daisy stitch’ in embroidery to design my “Daisy kerchief”.






Have a good day too.  I have J