Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A little Quilting/Sewing Project

 I needed a pouch for my smartphone in the likely case it slipped out of my hands and fell to the ground. I found this nice pouch via Pinterest that really fit the bill. So I got out my cottons and got to working. My quilting and sewing skills are still not upto the mark and putting in the zipper led to a bit of the puckering. But on the whole, I am happy that this butterfingers' smartphone is finally well-cushioned.

Friday, December 21, 2012


My son needed a new school hat so I knit him Koolhaas. The visually stunning lattice pattern is quite simple and was a joy knit.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gradient Cardigan

This is the second small project in my recent small project series. I intended to use the yarns left over from the recent projects into something nice and useful, so went the top-down, raglan route and a knit a cardigan for my toddler in worsted weight yarn. I am working on the pattern right now, but hopefully will be able to make it available (free and in a number of sizes) in a week's time, inshaAllah.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jar Lid Cover Turned Doily

 Now that the life is busy and bigger projects take ages to get done, I find myself drawn to smaller projects. Also crochet had been calling me for sometime now so I decided to hook up a small doily last week. I took the pattern out of a crochet magazine and as I wanted to use it as a jar lid cover, I added a dangling edging to it. And a drawstring.
   Next up is a baby project and possibly a free pattern.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Hero Time!


Ben 10 is my son's favorite TV cartoon show and an ongoing obsession. So when he asked me to make him a jacket like the one hero wears in the cartoon, I hurriedly complied (he was moving on to the various alien costumes). Ben 10 seems to be quite a favorite with the boys this age, as I discovered many similar projects at ravelry. One reveler even shared her intrasia chart which saved me much time and grief.
   For the actual sweater, I did not follow any pattern. I did ran into trouble with the set in sleeves, it took a few attempts to get them right. The yarn is our local acrylic worsted weight.

  I don't have to tell that this sweater is a resounding success. My son would like to wear it all the time. He also went off to show it to his grandparents, who had no idea what or who Ben 10 is. Even his little sister has been trying it on. As for my hope that it will be the only piece of knitting based on Ben 10, that seems to be futile thinking as I am already receiving requests for one more. Maybe next year, just maybe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Divan Cover

While I struggle with the sleeves of my son's cartoon hero jacket, here is a quick picture of a divan cover I sewed for the in-laws a while back. It replaced a somewhat similar cover I made several years ago that had seen a lot of use and now needed replacing. This is made out a standard king-sized bed sheet with coordinating pillow covers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still Here

The reason I have ignored the blog for the last few weeks is twofold...firstly, we decided to take a little impromptu vacation and went to Lahore for a few days. We had a great time there but I could not get much knitting done. Secondly, I feel I have burned myself out with the vacation, housework, and taking care of the baby. So even when I find a quiet moment, which is ever so rare these days, I don't feel like doing anything. Knitting, blogging, net-browsing, all feel like a lot of work.
 Hopefully, this phase will pass soon and I will be back to blog about my hobbies regularly, inshaAllah. For now, I will leave you with a picture of my current WIP. It is going to be a zippered jacket for my son. This is on his special request and is something his favorite cartoon superhero wears.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Red Hat and Eid Mubarak

Here is a hat to go with the red coat I recently completed for my daughter. It was a breeze to knit though I procrastinated with the photo shoot. The design is my own quick version of a beret with an two-buttoned overlapping band to match the coat.
   We have Eid al-Adha today. It will start with Eid prayers, folliwed by sacrifice and distribution of meat and three days of celebration. Eid Mubarak!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Red Coat

 The contiguous experiment went very well and I now have a quite nice-looking finished garment. I made this for my six year old, with room to grow. The design is my own, though I used the contiguous method by SusieM for top down set-in sleeves. The yarn is our local acrylic worsted weight on 4 mm needles.
 My daughter is very happy with the coat and wants a hat to match, so I guess that is going to be my next project. I have to say I love all these buttons, make me think of a ladybird.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Contiguous Adventure

For my next project, I decided to try a new technique....contiguous method for doing top-down set-in sleeves and shoulder seams by SusieM (ravelry group here.). It did seem a bit daunting initially but is actually a quite simple concept. You start at the neckline, do the shoulder shaping and the add stitches for sleeves and do the set in sleeves at the same time as the front and back of the garment.There are a lot of things going on at once but the end result is  quite pretty and seamless.

My first attempt went very well, I think. I had a flash of inspiration and knit the sleeves first. Now that I am past all that shaping, all I have to knit is the rest of the body on this red coat for my older daughter. Nothing  challenging, just acres of plain stockinette stitch.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Caldwell Vest

 The vest turned out really well. And with contrasting color stripes at the back, I had just the right amount of yarn to complete it with ease. The pattern is very well written and easy to follow. The yarns I used were Knit Picks Wool of Andes Tweed (dove heather) and some leftover Araucania Nature Wool solids. Needle sizes were 4 and 4.5 mm.
  This is my fourth sweater for my husband and I think I finally have a winner. I got my husband to choose the everything _ the yarn, the pattern and the buttons and this time, I was a bit more experienced to knit to the right size.
It was done some days ago but it took me this long to post as we had a load shedding induced computer crash this week. And we have some google services blocked in our country so while I can upload pictures, I cannot view them.( Hopefully this post is published right). Same goes for other blogspot blogs, those take ages to load and viewing experience is quite useless without the pictures.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sweet Tooth

Just after discovering the fact that I actually enjoy cooking, I have had another revelation. I have a sweet tooth and I enjoy making desserts far more then the savory dishes. This can have many ramifications. Sweets are supposed to be comfort food, so maybe I'm stressed. (With a clingy and hyperactive baby and two older kids, stress is the second name for my day). And so many sweet calories can not be good for our health. So, while I am trying to space out theses dishes, I can't help being excited about trying out a few more new recipes. Sweet is awesome.

Friday, September 21, 2012


The vest is almost done. I did have to rip out the back and re knit it in stripes as I ran short of yarn. However that was all for the best because I like it better with stripes. Now all the pieces are blocked and sewn up and I am working on the armhole and front band ribbings.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Vest Progress

So I did cast on a vest in worsted weight. And it did seem to fly initially however now that I am left with one front side and the finishing, things are slowing down. I already have my interest wavering and am tempted to start another project. The pleasure has been taken out of  knitting this vest by the worry that I might run out of yarn. There is only one way to find out, so I will stick to knitting this vest until it is finished, inshaAllah, or I run out of yarn.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pink Baby Set

This was one deceptive little (!?!) project. Despite being for a toddler, it required almost as much work as an adult sweater.  But I think it is worth the effort as it turns out so cute.I made a similar one for my older daughter in my pre-blog era. It was a big hit. The pattern was easier to follow, second time around.Knitting more rows of ribbing at the leg cuffs as in the pattern, would have made them a bit narrower but I ran out of yarn. The yarn is our local acrylic, which works beautifully for kids in our climate.

Fingering weight and 2.5mm needles for the last 6 weeks, I think I need a change now. Most probably I will be casting on a vest in worsted weight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eid Mubarak

We celebrated Eid on Monday after a 30-day Ramadan. This year's Eid was very peaceful and relaxed, the weather being too humid to do much except lounge under the fan and eat and chat.
The kids did a bit of craft for Eid.
Then there was the customary mehndi (henna)....
...and bangles...
...and lots of simple fun.

Today is the third day of Eid and we had some rain and the weather has turned quite pleasant. We are making up the most of last day of the Eid holidays.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ramadan Knitting

Ramadan this year was very busy, more so than usual, so that I found little time for anything not related to the month. While the blog got totally ignored, I did manage to knit a few rows a day to make progress on a baby set for my toddler. It is a DROPS pattern which I have knit before for my older daughter. I have finished the trousers and am up to the yoke on the jacket and working on the sleeves right now. Hopefully it will get done more quickly after Eid.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadan Mubarak

Tomorrow is going to be the first of Ramadan here in Pakistan.May we make the best of this blessed month. Ameen. Ramadan Mubarak!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hanami Stole

 It is finally done, after 40 days of monogamous knitting. I am so happy that it is done. I did two extra repeats in each half of the shawl to lengthen it considerably. Pre-blocking, it measured 17 X 84 inches. After blocking, it is 20 X 92 inches.
 The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow. The blocking is a bit wonky, with somewhat scalloped edges, but I think I can live with it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Diamonds Bangle

 I tried something new this week. I recently got hold of a book on beadwork and wanted to give beaded crochet a try. So I got some beads and made this bangle. Stringing up the beads is the real hard work, the crochet part goes relatively quickly. 
Like most small projects, this one is quite addictive. I have already started a second one and maybe, I can get more beads in other colors.
In other news, our water crises is resolved and we even had some rain which has brought down the temperature a bit, alhamdolillah.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lace Grows

Slow and steady knitting on the stole has made it grow to about one-third the finished length ( I intend to make it quite long).

In other happenings, we are having a very hot and dry spell, with the worst-yet load shedding and an acute water shortage. The past few days have been quite miserable. We are all praying for rain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Lace

So I did start a  lace project, one that has been in my queue for a long time. So far, I've just managed ten inches but with steady, daily knitting this stole ought to grow soon, inshaAllah. And to keep boredom at bay, I am thinking of starting a cardigan to work on, side by side with this stole.

Monday, June 4, 2012

City Skyline Sweater

The colorwork sweater is finally done. I finished it with a ribbed yoke and contrasting color edge on collar and sleeves. The city skyline colorwork is modified from this mittens chart. The yarn is sports weight acrylic knit on 4 mm needles. The size is 8-10 years.
It has been hard enough to knit in the current heat wave, our temperatures are well up to 110F (43 C) this week, but it was harder to get a modeled picture. The late afternoon photo shoot was not bright enough.
I have no idea what to start next, but I am thinking of lace.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cookbook Cover

I really like to cook. One year ago, I would have vehemently denied this statement. Then, I was the person who went into the kitchen, threw together the ingredients in a pan and called it a meal. Basically, I could not wait to get out of the kitchen and get on with life. I scoffed at the food channels and felt uncomfortable/bored with any sort of food talk. I did have a small diary with a few recipes jotted down, because like it or not, I had to cook for my family and needed some help with that.
Then, last year, every thing changed. I am not sure how, but I started noticing the finer points about food, like taste, texture, color, presentation. Cooking became less of a chore. All of a sudden, I was planning menus, looking up new recipes, even tuning into the food channels. I started understanding and relating to the food talk. I am sure my family appreciates the change. Our food has become more balanced and there is a lot more variety to it, as I continue to try new dishes and master new techniques.
In line with my new interest, I needed to new binder to store my cook book and a cover for the new binder. I sewed this over the. The embroidered part is from an old shirt which I embroidered while in college. The rest of the fabrics came from my stash. It took two load shedding filled afternoons to get this done. Cannot wait to fill it up with recipes!
In other news, the colorwork sweater is progressing nicely. I am at the sleeves now, so hopefully it will be done soon, inshaAllah.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Start

After the sizing problems with the first design, I thought I was going to try something different in monochrome.But I could not get colorwork out of my head. So I looked around and found this chart for mittens. A little adaptation later, I was able to put it into my new pullover.
This chart was just the thing to get my interest back into knitting. I am enjoying this sweater and already planning ahead for my future projects. And I must replenish my stash too, so I'll be shopping for some yarn soon!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Spring Sewing Part 2

 It has been ten days since my last post. Looking back, I know I indulged in some sort of craft activity, most of those ten days, still there is not much to show for it. I did sew a couple of my shalwar kameez but that does not make for interesting blog content. I also sewed a dress and a top for my five-year old:
Both have almost identical draft, just variation in length and placement of elastic gives different results. 
  Sadly, on the knitting front, my color work project did not go very well. I had started Dance of Robots for my son. The pattern is for 3-7 year olds and my son is eight. I was hoping to get the right size with larger needle size but my optimism was unrealistic. It makes me sad, because I quite loved the pattern.
 So I have ripped back and will start with something quite different. No color work this time, unless someone has any suggestions?

Friday, May 4, 2012

High Street Vest

Things have been dull at knitting front, hence my lack of posting. But finally, I have managed to finish this vest. All stockinette stitch in fingering weight, so the going was slow and not very exciting, but I am happy to use up some of my stash and have a nice layering piece for the winter. The yarn is Brown Sheep Nature Spun (grey heather) knit on 3.75 mm needles.
  Next I am moving onto more interesting stuff involving a bit of color work.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer Crochet Bag

Not so long ago, I saw this lovely bag on Pinterest. It looked like a great accessory for the Summer. And I had just the right cotton thread at hand to crochet it. The pattern is in Russian but there are some charts too. So armed with a Google translation and the charts, I set about making one for myself. There were a few ambiguous areas where I had to improvise and try out various options, until I got the right results, but it was totally doable.
 I used white cotton thread size 8, held doubled, on an unknown hook size. Again, our thread balls do not have yardage printed, but I used about 12 balls of local Coats Anchor Cotton Thread balls.
I did not have large enough beads for the handles, so I only dangled some smaller ones at the sides.
The lining is double, solid white cotton, with interfacing with a magnetic closure.
Thus, my quest for the right bag is finally over. I love this bag and can't wait to use it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What's Up

I am done with the crochet part of the second bag in the last one month. I am pleased to report that this bag is turning out much closer to my expectations than the last one. I am working on the lining now and should have photos of the finished bag in a few days. Meanwhile, I am having a mild flare-up of an old eye inflammation. That means headaches if I do a lot of near work, causing me to slow down with my crafting activities. I also have a building pile of books I want to read. And rest of my summer sewing is also on the hold. Hopefully, I will be back in the thick of things in a few days, inshaAllah. For now, I have some free time to plan ahead for my future projects.