Monday, September 1, 2014

Back And Knitting

I am sorry to have neglected this blog for so long. Things have been very busy for the last couple of moths, with Ramadan and Eid on top of the kids' summer vacations. I did not have much time for crafts (my kind, that is. I did a few paper crafts with the kids though.) and blogging.

But things are looking up and I have resumed work on the black sweater for my son. I am nearly done with the first sleeve. I am hoping to get through the second sleeve soon, so that I can start the interesting bit that is the yoke. A note to myself, however: black is not a good color to knit with, especially at night, at my age.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Spring / Summer Sewing 2014 - Part 3

The clothes for my 6-month old are done. I managed to get them done, before the deadline I set myself. The first one is a dress full of ruffles. There are ruffles at the bottom as well as at the armholes. It is a heavily modified version of one of my tried and tested pattern, from an old Burda magazine. You can see the my earlier project with same pattern here (the baby dresses).
 The second one is a two-piece outfit, a top with coordinating bloomers. This one is self-drafted. The yoke could have been neater, but it is still cute, nevertheless.
This post rounds up my sewing projects for this summer. I also sew a couple of shorts for my son, which saw a lot of rough use before I could do a post about them. And a few outfits for myself but those do not make for an interesting post.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Spring/Summer Sewing 2014 - Part 2

Our DSL connection has been out of order for a week now and shows no signs of getting in order despite repeated complaints. So I have had to borrow my husband's laptop and WiFi to write this post.
Today, I will show you the two dresses I made for my three year old.
 
First up is a dress with tiered skirt and fabric flowers at the waist. The bodice is lined. the fabric is cotton. Again the pattern is self-drafted. I made it a bit larger so she can grow into it over the summer.

The second one is the one which has the chicken scratch embroidery I mentioned in a previous post.
 Again, it is self-drafted with a lined bodice and a contrasting ruffle at the hem. The fabric is cotton. 

 This one is my favorite of this year's sewing.
Part 3 of Spring/Summer Sewing  2014 is under progress. I have just started on a couple of outfits for the baby. InshaAllah, I plan to have them done and blogged about, before the start of Ramadan. (Ramadan starts at the end of June.)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring/Summer Sewing 2014 - Part 1

 This post has been a long time coming. For the last few weeks, I have been using all and any free time I could get, to sew up some dresses for my girls. But there has been so little free time and the going has been very slow. But finally I do have some stuff to blog about.
 In this post, I will show you a couple of dresses for my eldest daughter. She got to choose the fabrics and you can see she has a thing for tiny flowers and blue color. Somehow I had difficulty deciding the patterns for these dresses. Again I went with her preferences, a full gathered skirt for both, no full-circle or tiered one for her. That narrowed down the choices and made decisions easier. Both dresses are self-drafted.

 The first one has a small floral print on black background. I made a simple gathered dress with short straight sleeves. I put solid purple edging around the neck and a purple frill around the bottom and then added a few fabric flowers on the front. The fabric is a lightweight lawn, very cool for our hot summer.

The second one is again a floral print which I coordinated with a solid teal. This one has a fully lined bodice. The fabric is pure cotton.

 Blogging about them, these seem so simple and straight forward, but these took so many days to get done. I guess motherhood is finally getting in the way of my craft time :)

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Little Of Everything

First, an update on my neck strain: It got well in eight days with the help of medicines and rest. As promised, I ripped open the pillow and took out more that a third of its filling. I am happy to report that it is comfortable now and is in regular use without any problems.

Since the last post, I have been dabbling in a range of craft activities but have not progressed much with any. Hot weather with ten hours of loadshedding makes one so lethargic. Still a glimpse of what I have been up to... a bit of knitting, it is going to be a sweater for my son, who is now into teen sizes, mashaAllah.
Then there was a bit of spinning:
And a bit of chicken-scratch:
And some sewing. During my spring cleaning, I got hold of my husband's old shirt and had to upcyle it into a girl's top. (Tutorial here).
 

 A few new summer dresses for my daughters are also in progress. I hope to finish them soon and take some pictures. Sewingis getting so much more enjoying as I am getting better at it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Story Of A Pillow

It all started that fateful day two months ago, when we needed a new pillow and went to the best bed and bath store in town, to buy one. It was all nice and fluffy and I was happy with my new pillow. I just thought it was a bit uncomfortable because it was new and needed some breaking in.
Life was very busy then and I failed to notice that the crimped neck and shoulders in the morning that I started having, began at that point in time. I attributed my symptoms to sleep deprivation that is the sad lot of mothers of newborns or maybe some ill-adjustment to co-sleeping. I did notice my slightly stiff neck and its rather limited range of movements, from time to time, and wondered if I was developing arthritis. Or maybe it was one of those subtle signs of aging that creep up on you. I considered all this but still the new pillow did not make my list of differential diagnosis till the very end. 
Then suddenly, four days ago, something satanapped on the right side of my neck. Even a slight movement brought on a lot of pain. I finally had my diagnosis: neck strain due to a new, over-fluffy pillow.
Needless to say, that pillow has been ditched and I am getting by with the help of a boatload of painkillers and muscle relaxants. It is day four now and the pain has not let up yet. I am told it can take up to two weeks to heal. 
Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending for both me and the pillow. Once I get better, I intend to rip its guts out (that sounds so good) and remove some of the fluff. Meanwhile, I am left to ponder on the lesson we can take away from this story, one that my husband has been considerate enough to point out _ all that glitters is not gold. I am so not going to that store anytime soon.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Purple Toddler Coat


 We have had a lot of rain this month and so while I finished this coat a week ago, there has not been enough light to take proper photos till now. It may look benign or even nice, but it was one of the most tedious things I ever knit. Not fun at all. In addition, the honeycomb pattern can be physically challenging to the wrists.

The technical details..Initially, I picked this pattern to knit, but my yarn was a different weight, so I decided to do my own math. And go with a top-down, contiguous approach, which I later realized, was all wrong for this design because of the considerable gauge difference between stockinette st and honeycomb pattern. So when I tried to get proper sizing at the yoke, the sleeves caps grew quiet loose. At that point, I had already invested a great deal of time and energy (remember the honeycomb pattern being hard on the wrists) to rip back. So I decided to move on and get it done.
 Thankfully my toddler does not have an eye for such details yet. She is happy and content with the fact that her mom made her a new cardigan. And that is good enough for me. It is a bit large on her at the moment as it is intended to fit her next winter.