Friday, December 30, 2011

Well Begun is (almost) Half Done

After ditching the Vine yoke Cardigan, my friend Shells and I decided on Girl Friday (We are doing a knit along). She also had encountered some issues with the former pattern in an earlier attempt and was wise enough to wait the outcome of my project before recasting. Anyway, we both liked Girl Friday and started it. I am happy to report that it has been such a pleasant knit so far, no issues at all. The lace pattern is very easy to memorize. I am knitting both fronts and back together and am almost at the point of splitting for armholes. Shells is well pleased with her cardigan too, you can see it here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


It was the time of the year to knit cardigan for myself. I had picked out the pattern and yarn in advance. It was to be the Vine Yoke Cardigan in Knit Picks Wool of Andes. Going through the projects on ravelry, I discovered there were some finicky details which could be potentially troublesome. The cardigan was too short, it tended to grow quite large and had to be knitted a couple of size smaller, the button bands hung, the yoke lace was bulkier than the body. However, there seemed to be modifications around, for most of these problems, so I went ahead and cast on. A week on and well into the first sleeve, I feel unsure with the way this cardigan is progressing. There are many things that could go wrong and probably will. And that makes me uneasy while I knit on it. It is no longer fun. I will probably rip it and start anew with some other pattern. Now to go and look for that elusive pattern. In the meanwhile, I am going to start on a pair of socks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Hoodie

For a long time and especially since I knit Steggie, my older daughter has been asking me to make her a hooded sweater. So my sweater for her this winter had to have a hood. It was a quick knit in worsted weight yarn. The pattern is my own, though it is nothing very original, just some ribbing and cables around the chest and sleeves and two pockets to match. It is seamless, except for the pockets which are knitted separately and then sewed on. I briefly considered making it full-sleeved but that did not look so right. In all, it turned out quite nice and she is very happy to have her hoodie.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hundreds and Thousands Quilt

My first quilt is all done. Since last posting about it, I added borders to it, put the top together with the batting and the inner layer, quilted and put a binding to the whole thing. It might not be perfect but I am very proud of it. And the positive experience I have had with it probably means more quilting in my future.
Dying camera batteries did not let me get a better photo.

Monday, November 28, 2011


My hedera socks are done. It was such a simple, uneventful knit. Perfect to knit at the end of the day, when all your work is done, kids are in bed and you are too tired to tax your mind with more involved knitting. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (Canopy). I love everything about these socks, the yarn, the color,  the pattern.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stay-on Booties and More

 So I knit some stay-on booties, two pairs of these and it took me nearly 2 weeks. Actually it took more time to photograph them then to knit them. The final verdict...these are very cute and do stay-on a while longer then the regular socks, that is, about five minutes. Which is not long enough to keep the little feet warm, so the baby is currently using the booties with drawstrings. Maybe drawstrings would work for these too. I am going to try and add drawstring to these booties, inshaAllah.
 Actually I did a bit more than just the booties, the past two weeks. In addition to celebrating Eid and writing a pattern, I worked on a quilt. This is my first attempt at quilting and I am learning a lot. The squares are not not perfectly aligned and all, but I will go ahead and add borders anyway. Soon, I hope.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Butterfly Pullover

 As the nights get chilly and we can feel the winter finally approaching, I decided the baby needed a warm pullover to wear around the house. I did not have enough of a single yarn. Getting more yarn would mean having to wait and I am not good at that. So, I decided to mix and match using the red and brown leftovers in my stash. These are probably aran weight acrylics. To make it more interesting, I added the butterfly to the front of the pullover from the butterfly garden socks pattern.
Morning sunlight makes it look orange, however the actual color is a definite red. Next, inshaAllah, I will be knitting some booties/socks that actually stay on her feet for more than a few minutes. Thus the baby will be all set for the winter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One Green Sock

Here is the first finished sock of the pair I am currently knitting. The pattern is Hedera and the yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (Canopy). Love the pattern, love the yarn and love the green color. That makes for a fun ongoing project.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fabric Flowers

 I have been making these fabric flowers to embellish my daughters' clothes and to use as hair accessories. I happened on the idea at Pinterest and a bit of search brought up a wealth of tutorials on these singed fabric flowers. Here are some which I used:
1. Handmade Flowers. The purple and green ones use this technique.
2. Versatile Mini Clip Hair Flowers. It is only different than the above in that all petals are more or less equal in size. These are the fuchsia ones.
3. Ruffled Satin Fabric Flowers. The ones in yellow, orange and light pink. These use a strip of satin ribbon to make the flower.
All these look really pretty in action. Great accessories for little girls. I may make many more yet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cloud Chaser

This has been the reason for my  long absence from the blog. At first glance, Cloud Chaser is a vest, and a vest can take only so long to knit. But, in actual knitting experience, it eats up almost as much yarn and time , as a full, sleeved sweater. Both fronts almost equal the back in dimension and then there is this long span of collar.

However, it was well worth the knit. The pattern is well-written and interesting. It has turned out beautifully, especially if you take into account that the yarn is a local wool that I dyed with KoolAid and it felted during the process, so much so that I had lost hope of its being salvageable.

  We have some hint of cold in the weather, so hopefully, I will be able to wear it soon. Now I am at a loss as to my next project. In any case, I will try to be better at blogging and post progress.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bulky Baby Cardigan

I was recently gifted three balls of  Nashua Handknits' Painted Forest, which amounts to 165 yards of super bulky weight. I decided to find out if it were enough to knit a cardigan for the baby. I figured I could extend the body and arm lengths, if need be, with some other yarn. And that's what I did. Here it is, a quick cardigan, sized 9-12 months, in lovely, thick, variegated wool.
The pattern is my own, a generic bottom-up raglan, with seams (I had no circulars in 7.5mm size).  I picked up twice the number of stitches, using fingering weight yarn, at the body and sleeve bottoms and knit a small length of st st with a picot edge. It is going to make a great, warm, top layer for our baby this winter, inshaAllah.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Butterfly Garden

This is a pair of socks I started around Eid. The yarn is Knit Pics Stroll Tonal (springtime) and I, very non originally, decided to knit a pattern which was featured in same colorway. So, no surprises in the FO, it looks almost identical to the photo featured in the pattern. However, I did a few modifications and added the lace strip at the back of the leg and did a couple of extra repeats.This toe-up pattern is easy enough to fellow and memorize and I made sure I bound off very loosely, so as not to have a tight picot edging. And I am particularly partial to the butterflies on the top.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rose Trellis Shawl

It is knit, blocked and photographed. In the end, I did not have enough yarn in the end for an elaborate edging so I did a simple garter st border with a (k2tog, yo) row in the middle, for both ends. It turned out quite respectably proportioned at 27 X 81 inches, blocked. I am very happy with it, looks prettier than I had hoped. Now, on to look for a new project.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shawl In Progress

As I mentioned in a previous post, I opted to resume knitting the Rose Trellis Shawl during Ramadan, to keep me from starting any new projects (that has been mostly successful, except for a pair of baby sandals :)).
Knitting lace has been my way of winding down after a long day. I work on it after the kids are in bed and Isha and taraweeh prayers are said. I am happy to report that I am now at the last section of the shawl. If I have enough yarn, I might add an edging at each end to lengthen the shawl.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan moon has been sighted here in Pakistan. This year finds me a little ill prepared for this holy month-  what with a new baby (who is currently running a post vaccination fever), a bit messy house, inadequate pantry and all. But I still feel more motivated to make the best of this blessed month, than last year, inshaAllah. Meanwhile, I won't be posting much as the crafts take a backseat.
May Allah make this blessed month beneficial for us all!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Basic Ribbed Socks

For once, I feel a little sad on completing a project. These socks were so much fun to knit. So relaxing to sit down and knit a few rows in an otherwise hectic routine. The regular color change also add to the fun.
I had knit this pattern earlier _ Sassy Stripes Socks. This pair is for my husband. The yarn is Aktiv Effekt
Steinbach Wolle.

Now, I have resumed knitting the Rose Trellis Shawl I had started last year. It's about time too. No new project for now, Ramadan begins in a few days and I do not plan to knit much during the month.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Little Things

 Lately, I have been sticking to small and simple knitting projects, so that when I do get some knitting time at the end of a long day, I have something mindless and relaxing to work on. Besides, it is simply too hot to handle any bigger projects.

   I managed to complete this pair of pants for the baby. I used this pattern earlier to make a pair and loved it enough to knit another.
And also a pair of ribbed tube socks that use up leftovers.

Next on the needles is a pair of socks for my husband, using self-patterning yarn. It has been the most relaxing knit I have done in some time, very therapeutic.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Of Baby, Sleep Deprivation and Knitting Lessons

They say, "A woman's work is never done". That has to be especially true when that woman has a newborn baby, one who wants to be entertained all the time she is up and refuses to sleep anywhere except in her mother's arms. That baby is our Ms Cuddles and I being that proverbial woman, find it extremely difficult to start my daily work around the house, let alone complete it. Add to this baby busyness, two older kids currently having their summer vacation, who need to be fed, clothed and supervised with their homework, and the most mundane household tasks like cooking and cleaning feel like ill-afforded luxuries. And then the baby gets her vaccination and develops fever and colic as side-effects. That meant little sleep for us during the next few nights. The week passed in a drowsy blur. Alhamdolillah, Ms cuddles has got better now. She is almost two months old now and starting to coo and smile back, mashaAllah.

Needless to say, there has been little time for knitting. However, in my foolhardy way, I offered the older children some knitting lessons. They must have been bored out of their wits, because they jumped at the chance and we have had a couple of introductory lessons. They have learned knit st so far and even managed a few rows.
I am so proud. My son continues despite his father's teasing and my daughter has been impressive. She shows skill equal to her older brother and better attention span. They are eager for more lessons but I have been fending them off for now. And interestingly, the first project they both want to do when they are able to knit is socks!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I started this pair of baby overalls in order to use up some odd balls of fingering weight. I thought it would be a quick knit, but I must be overconfident of my knitting speed because it took me almost a month to get done. The facts that I got lesser time to knit this month due to the new baby and all, and that I found this pattern a bore, did not help with the progress.

I drew a heart motif over a grid and knit a row of these across the chest. The rest of the onesie was done in 2(red): 3(orange) stripes. It was a bit tricky, as the start of the round shifts at waist and then again on starting the legs. I opted out of knitting the feet as I could not be sure of having enough yarn. So, I am glad to finally have it off the needles.

I am not sure how it has turned out, though the crotch and butt shaping seem odd to me. Just happy it is finished.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Basket Bag

Now that I find hard to come by some free time, crochet has renewed charm for me. A crochet project gets done so much faster. Like this bag which took me only two days to crochet and another to line and sew on the handles. This bag uses crochet in worsted acrylic yarn worked around a jute rope. I love the texture of jute and am a huge admirer of basket bags. So I am quite happy with this one and it will probably be one of those of my handmade bags which actually get used. (Yes, I have a number of rarely used bags, either because they are impractical, don't match anything in my wardrobe or because I no longer fancy them).

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lace Cardigan

I started this cardigan about two months back. I wanted to take this DROPS pattern and make it my daughter's size (5-6 years). So I worked out the maths, knit the body and the sleeves up to the armholes, then chickened out at the idea of set-in sleeves and decided to do raglan sleeves instead. Also, I opted for a round neckline and in the end, I ran out of pink yarn, so had to improvise and do a lace portion in orange color.

All in all, if was an interesting project and turned out OK. The cardigan is a bit large for my not-yet-five year old, but she will grow into it, inshaAllah. My only concern is that the sleeves might be disproportionately longer. Or not. The yarns are Mondial Delicata Baby (pink), Knit Picks Palette (orange) and some KoolAid dyed wool, leftover from my tangled yoke cardigan.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Odds and Ends

Thank you all so much for the well wishes and warm welcome for our baby. I am happy to report that she is two weeks old now, MashsaAllah. Her jaundice is almost gone and her feeding and sleeping pattern much improved. Her most endearing action is the spontaneous smile she likes to bestow upon her admirers from time to time. I could not resist a picture of her tiny feet.
Somewhat related are the little projects I did right before she arrived. I knit a pair of tube socks.
And a pair of Stay-on Baby Booties. I love the pattern and how these turned out.
And a pair of Saartje Bootees.
Needless to say, all these pairs are too large just now. Which is just fine as it is too hot to wear these right now anyway.
Also I used some leftover cotton yarn to make this headband for my kindergartener.
Also, I just finished a cardigan for my elder daughter. It is soaking right now. Hopefully I will have pictures soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

She's here

Our baby girl was born on Friday at 7 a.m. by c-section. She is three weeks early as I developed hypertension out of blue, about two weeks back. She is tiny, at birth weight 2.8 kg, and for the last couple of days, has had us worried with deepening jaundice and a touch of fever. But hopefully, she is getting better now, inshaAllah. As for me, I must be recovering well as I have a sudden urge to cast on some new baby project.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taking a Break

As the third trimester advances, I find myself slowing down considerably. I can not find much stamina or interest for my craft projects. Just want to put up my hugely edematous feet and rest. Consequently, I probably would not have anything worthwhile to show here on the blog. So, if you find me absent from this blog during the coming few weeks, you can assume that a nap holds more charm than my yarns and needles for the time being. Best wishes to all!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Month Of Sewing: Winding Up

My Month of Sewing ended yesterday. Even though I did not sew up all the stuff on my list, I got most of it. So all in all, it was very productive. For this last post, I just have a few pictures to share of some odd projects I did.
First up is this baby seat cover.
 The second project is a mere prototype. I wanted to try out a fabric covered basket with recycled cardboard walls, that was both collapsible and washable. I used some leftover fabric scraps and it turned out amazingly OK in the first attempt. I am so tempted to make some more, but my husband, probably relieved that the cardboard boxes I was hoarding, had served their purpose, threw out the rest. So, I need to get some more before I can attempt another.
The third one is a simple drawstring bag sewn in a rush, to hold my socks and other small articles of clothing. I have already done a couple of these for the kids and find them a great help in keeping the closets tidy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This was my side knitting during the Month of Sewing. The pattern was simple with just the right amount of colorwork to keep it interesting and being sleeveless, it got done fast. I used some leftover yarn (Robin DK) from my Cece, though I might frog that cardigan and end up with more. I just hated how lace knit up on it but it works well for kids' stockinette st patterns.
Back to the vest, I went up a needle size to make it a bit larger and added several inches to the length. Hopefully it will fit my son for a couple of years. I just wish my stranding did not have to show through, sigh.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Month of Sewing: Kitchen Projects

I have not been feeling so great, lately and consequently have had to slow down on my sewing. However, over the last week or so, I did manage to sew up a few things for the kitchen.
First up is a pair of potholders I made. I was in dire need of some as my older pair was thrown out during a cleaning spree. I used this easy tutorial and love how they turned out. Next to them is a plastic bags holder/dispenser. We also needed one of these, because the plastic bags were beginning to choke up our kitchen drawer. There is a tutorial for one of these at the same site but I improvised and made mine to different size and method and added a top flap with velcro closure. May I mention once again, what a great space saver it is.
 The project after that gave me a hard time. I wanted to make a toaster cover. I initially went for an all-covered, four-walled look. Took the measurements and sew one up, but it was too tight. Further tweaking loosened it up a but but it was still hard to put on and take off. So I decided to take off the sides and put is straps (with velcro-fastening, of course) instead. Works like a charm.
 And the last project, a curtain for our shabby little kitchen window. I am well pleased with this one and it does make a lot of difference to outlook.
I still have plans for coordinating kitchen towels etc, but that will have to wait till my next shopping trip.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baby Overalls and Sweater

 I interrupt the MOS (Month of Sewing) postings to bring you a couple of knitting projects. I have discovered that my hands grow very restless if idle for long and what better to keep them busy then a couple of baby knits, while watching hours of ICC World Cup Cricket. (An awful waste of time, I know, but it was hard not to be drawn into the craze).
 So, first I knit up this pair of brown overalls. The pattern is simple and nice, though I added some rounds in the Hip and Rise portion to increase its depth. The yarn is the leftover from my Sylvie coat.
  Next, I got a pink yarn to go with the brown and knit up a stripped pullover. I improvised with this one. It is knit bottom up in rounds and is completely seamless, the underarms holes closed with Kitchener st.
I have enough of both yarns left over for a hat. Any suggestions for a cute one??

Friday, April 1, 2011

Month of Sewing: Sari Print Suit

I am slowly working through the MOS, but have not been inspired to blog about it much. For lack of anything cuter, here is the last shalwar(rather trousers)kameez I sewed for myself. The fabric was a cotton indian sari which I made into a flared kameez and dupatta with coordinating plain cotton for the trousers. The sari fabric is a bit too starched for my taste, but will hopefully soften up in a couple of washes.  
  I have some more of knitting and sewing to feature next. Soon, inshaAllah.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Month of Sewing: Blue Cotton Suit

This is the first suit for myself during this Month of Sewing. With the summer approaching and my growing size, I find myself out of clothes and must replenish my wardrobe. I tried out my newly drafted sloper for this kameez (shirt). It needed a few tweaks but turned out OK in the end. The kameez goes with a simple pair of elastic trousers and a gray Georgette dupatta (stole) trimmed with pale blue ribbon.
  I am already onto my second suit, but have to get some fabric for the trousers before it gets done.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Month of Sewing: A Simple Baby Romper And A Baby Peasant Shirt

Two more baby outfits, which hopefully complete the list of baby outfits for the Month of Sewing. The first one is a simple baby romper in nice, green cotton fabric. Again, it has buttons on the shoulders and underside of legs for easy handling.

The second one is a front open peasant shirt I made from the fabric leftover from the baby bonnets. I love how cute it turned out.
Moving on, I have been working on my drafting skills over the weekend. I have drafted myself a sloper and hope to try it out by making a kameez (shirt) today, inshaAllah.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Month of Sewing: A Smocked Baby Dress and A Frillied Romper

Today's Month of Sewing post features two projects. The first one is a newborn smocked dress. My smocking skills are rudimentary, but still I had to try them on a little project. I made a pair of matching pants with the remaining cotton fabric.
The second one is a frilled romper set. I used my kids' older baby clothes for sizing the roper. This one has a front opening at the neck and at the crotch too, for easy diaper change. The bonnet is the made after the tutorial found here.