Sunday, 8 June 2014

Amazing April


So much for my promise (to self) to keep up regularly with the blog .. once a month ain’t that much work, just that procrastination is so much simpler :)

Creativity was at a good pace in April and I designed and tested six new items… two of which were sets and so involved more work.  Totally satisfied with what I did in April.

Sometime in the middle of March, I designed a small decorative basket – I think I designed this towards the end of the Ravellenics games, and entered it as an event as well.. but the actual testing of this was a bit later, and then by the time I managed to upload it, this pattern has ended up in April..
So the cute little decorative basket, inspired by Easter and the even cuter Easter eggs is my first pattern for April.
A good friend was holding an exhibition at her daughter’s school, and seeing these baskets requested for a few for sale in her stall.  Her son now studies with my daughter at college, and we decided that the proceed(s) of all our sale(s) of my articles would go towards funding their animal welfare program.  These two wonderful young people look after strays in and around their campus and have managed to vaccinate and sterlise several stray pups and kittens.  Looking after an animal is expensive business, and strays are even more so – as there’s transportation costs involved – and as these kids are in college, and do not own a vehicle, getting the stray into a vehicle is one part of the problem, the bigger problem is finding public transport that is willing to take in a stray! 
I should also add here that a really good friend visiting from Canada, hearing these stories, instantly contributed towards this animal fund too .. and we are so grateful to have such good, caring friends :)

But I meander.. so the little decorative Easter basket was a big hit – and I could’ve taken on a huge order for a lady who makes personalized chocolates (didn’t – too lazy, among other things.. hahaha ;) )

So here’s my pattern for the cute little chocolate or decorative  basket, which has been tested using different yarns – and has worked out really well too :)

My neighbor (Suman aunty, who has featured before on my blog with my easy slip on shoes) loved my basket, and also thought she’d love to make not just that but also a small bag for her grand kids – I thought I’d give her an easy-peasy pattern for that.. so whipped up some granny squares and voila! Was born my Easy Squared Pouch.
Nine quick granny squares, which are easily joined, two little buttons and you are done with a lovely pouch in a day.. takes a little longer if you decide to line it, of course.. but still done in a day.

An evening walk is a must for both my husband and I – and we usually set off just before sunset.  One day, while we were out walking, I saw this little girl trying (so cutely, with a little bit of pink tongue sticking out in concentration) to copy her mum’s handiwork in making a chalk pattern on the ground.  In India, as you may know, a festival or happy occasion at home is marked with a lovely chalk powder pattern on our doorsteps.  
Different cultures have differently made patterns, and this young Maharashtrian girl was making a seemingly elaborate flower pattern.  I saw a lotus in the pattern, and was sad that I did not have a camera on hand.  Though usually we do not repeat our walks, I decided to re-do the same walk of the previous evening, armed with camera, and took photos in the failing evening light (I guess the on-lookers must’ve thought I was slightly mad, as the handiwork was not that great to them.. but in my eye, the little girls’ efforts were photograph-worthy).  
Coincidentally the very next day, a friend’s mum called me to show the latest little lotus that had bloomed in their little garden pond – guess this just meant that I had to do something with this lotus flower – and that started the grey matter working on a pattern for my Kamal Wrap ; (Kamal being the Hindi word for Lotus).

Intricately weaving several stitches, I’ve tried to copy God’s great creation in this flower, and my wrap has the lovely flower in full bloom, several little buds as well as the seed head of this superb flower that hangs down from the wrap.  

This wrap is surely a totally different creation from the norm – and it’s a beauty!

This pattern has been tested and you can download the pattern for my Kamal Wrap at amal-wrap/92602  OR

My Lucknawi Wrap is another beautiful creation that is inspired by a simple Lucknawi kurta. 

My Lucknawi Wrap is another beautiful creation that is inspired by a simple Lucknawi kurta.  

A kurta is a short top that is worn either over jeans or the Indian pyjama (salvar). 

Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh and it has always been a multicultural city. Courtly manners, beautiful gardens, poetry, music, and fine cuisine patronized by the Persian-loving Shia Nawabs of the city are well known amongst Indians and students of South Asian culture and history. Lucknow is popularly known as the The City of Nawabs.
It is also known as the Golden City of the East, Shiraz-i-Hind and The Constantinople of India. 

The technique of creation of a chikan work is known as chikankari (चिकनकारी چکن کاری). Chikankari is a delicate and artfully done hand embroidery on a variety of textile fabric like muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net etc. White thread is embroidered on cool, pastel shades of light muslin and cotton garments. 

Nowadays chikan embroidery is also done with coloured and silk threads in different colours to meet the recent fashion trends and keep chikankari trendy with fashion. Lucknow is the heart of the Chikankari industry today and the variety is known as Lucknawi chikan.

The simple white kurta that caught my eye has a lovely diamond pattern running around a pineapple-like pattern in the centre (well, that’s what I can see in the pattern.. what do you see ? J)
My shawlette too starts with the lovely pineapple and has a lovely diamond pattern that runs around the edges, slowly increasing as the width increases with additions of pineapples. 
A regular pineapple pattern is a common pattern in crochet shawls, but the combination of diamonds and pineapples.. rare, and beautiful.

My Lucknawi Wrap pattern can be downloaded at

As before, some of my inspirations are from the sitcoms and movies I watch.. 

My Vaada Slouchy has been inspired by the rom-comThe Vow. Last evening, I watched a lovely rom-com “The Vow”, and in the last frame, Rachel McAdams wore this cute slouchy and she looked so beautiful, and lost and ooh, it was a tug on the heart strings (no wonder Channing Tatum was all lost too, or just a great actor? :)) 

So here’s my take on that slouch – my Vaada slouch – “Vaada” meaning ‘Vow’ in Hindi, and I vow to make this an easy pattern for you to follow -  वादा (vada, vaadaa, wada)
The pattern, is so adjustable and easy to make – beginners or advanced crocheters alike.  This pattern has been tested, as all my other patterns, and has worked with several different yarn types.  

Go ahead and download the pattern for my Vaada Slouchy at

Playing yet again with the chevron or arrow pattern, I came up with a design that incorporates the arrow in a lovely new diagonal way.  
You work in straight lines, but on folding, you get a lovely angular set of arrows.  
My tircha (tircha : diagonal in Hindi) set is made up of a cowl, a slouchy and a pair of fingerless gloves – each a treasure in it’s own, or you can get the whole Tircha set at one click at

 and c'est tout.. till we meet shortly in May.

You can also see all my other projects on my still under-construction facebook page at