Wednesday, December 9, 2015

November and Creature Comforts Cardi

November was a month of hope improvements. We had to get the plumbing replaced in the bathroom, to make sure we had hot water this winter. Besides that and some electrical work, we decided it was time to throw out are old, nearly crumbling, carpets and have new flooring installed. That, of course, involved a lot of moving around of furniture, and a lot more of cleaning. But in the end, it was so worth the effort. We are now able to breathe and live in much cleaner and dust-free space, alhamdollillah. And in my effort to keep it that way, I have turned into something of an obsessive-compulsive, cleaning up the littlest of particles and mopping, all day long. And my husband has a thing going for doormats and shaggy rugs!
 In the middle of all the mayhem, I found time to finish my cardigan. To be fair, it is a shrug, knitted as a rectangular piece, so it did not take much time. The aran sweater sleeve that I am knitting for my son's sweater, has probably taken more time. Anyway, I had wanted to knit this pattern for a long time, even though I was uncertain about the shrug style. And I am happy that I did. The leaf pattern was fun to knit. And even if it is not the most comfortable and coziest thing, the cardi does look nice and is a break from the usual, run-of-the mill styles. I have been wearing it for two weeks now. The only issue is the ribbing everting, but that just may be because of the yarn being acrylic and not blocked.

Now, I am trying to complete my son's sweater. As I mentioned, the cables take a lot of time, but hopefully I will have a finished sleeve soon and can finish the other one over the coming week. That is, if I get some time off from the cleaning. I have some windows and sofa cleaning planned for this week.

Friday, November 6, 2015


It must be the longest a finished project of mine has taken, to get posted on the blog, but life has been very busy lately, and I survive by triaging my to-to list. So this is the sweater for my eldest daughter which got done last week.

 The pattern was a pleasure to knit, easy and super fast.  I even took it on a car ride, which shows just how desperate I was for some knitting time, because I almost never do that. Only modification was that I lengthened the sleeves to full-length. I used red yarn for the pockets. It turned out very cute.
 It was very well-received too, she loves to wear it and pockets always clinch a deal with the kids. My husband suggested I also knit one for our middle one.
I am already well into my next project, which is to be a cardigan for me. And yes, I am still avoiding that baby dress on tiny needles.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

October Update

I have no pictures of any wonderful FO (finished object) yet, but my knitting has picked up speed lately. I started this month with a dress for my daughter. Fingering weight yarn on 3.25 mm needles, made ten days of knitting equivalent to this:
At that point, I decided to take a break and start something else. Almost-worsted weight yarn on 5 mm needles made a for much faster knitting and this sweater has come this far over a few days:
I have finished the sleeves since I took that photo and hopefully there will be a FO within a day or two, insha Allah. Which means, it is time to pick my next thicker yarn project, to knit alongside the toddler dress.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Green Baby Dress

This year, I find myself drawn to little baby dresses to knit. I am currently knitting one of my youngest and I got one off the needles recently. This post is about the latter.

 Like several knitters on Ravelry, I took the hybrid approach for this dress, taking the yoke pattern from one pattern and the body pattern from another. As I was using finer yarn, I had to do many modifications to the yoke, adding rows to the leaf pattern and simultaneously increasing the stitch count. For the body, I did eleven repeats of the flora dress pattern. I ended up doing rib border instead of moss stitch one, as it looked neater in this acrylic yarn. It all sounds quite complicated but it turned out quite easy to execute. I think it is a fine dress, though I am not sure about the color and acrylic is not the best choice of yarn for this dress.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Eid Sewing

 The only sewing project I did this Eid was a dress for my eldest daughter. She wanted something fancy, with glitters, sheer material and whatnot.
  She chose the style herself while I got to pick the materials. The sewing itself was pretty straight forward. A simple bodice out of sequined fabric and a full skirt made of tulle panels with a lining. The bodice is lined too. The brown ribbon at the waist brought everything together.
 Needless to say, she loves wearing it.  And I love that twirl.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Prairie Fire

The second attempt at a toddler sweater with the yellow yarn, was a success.  This time, I went for a pullover rather than a cardigan. Interestingly, this pattern has the same lace pattern as Lucille cardigan, which I had tried earlier. 
 Again, I had to recalculate for finer yarn and needles. I went up to a size 8T to get a size 2T but it was easily managed and I had enough yarn to finish it comfortably.
photo taken in front of a mirror

The pattern was a pleasure to knit and went fast. It fits our toddler wonderfully well and after nearly a month knitting with this yarn, I am more than eager to take on a different one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Even though I have little progress to report, I have been busy this month, knitting-wise. I got some new yarns, picked out the patterns for them and got down to knitting the first of them. I intended it to be a cardigan for my toddler. I wanted a size larger than the one the pattern was originally in, so I went up a few needle sizes, and that seemed to work well with my yarn. I knit, and knit and knit. I had some doubts that it was turning out a tad bit larger than the target size, but I persevered. I had doubts about the color and the pattern together, but I continued. I divided for the armholes, and continued with body.
 I went much farther down the body than seen in the picture. With each passing day, and every growing inch, my dislike for the project grew. Even then, I gave it another chance, and started a sleeve to see if I would like it better once the sleeves were done. In the end, I had to be honest with myself, I hated it, no matter what. Hated it enough to rip out a couple of weeks of work and start afresh. So, I have finally done that. My confidence is still a bit shaken and I am not ready to share a picture of the new WIP just yet. But I know already that I do not hate it. So, there is a good chance, it will have a happier ending. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Little Craft Projects

While the inspiration for my next major knitting project still eludes me, I tried my hand at a couple of smaller projects. The first one is a bit different from my usual ones and I made it earlier this summer. It is a macrame belt for my daughter.
I used some colored beads from her stash to embellish it.

Macrame is fun but I ran into difficulty when the cord lengths I cut initially, turned out to be quite short and I had to add length. That is why the end section is a bit lumpy.

As for the second project, I wanted to do this for a long time and had saved a stone just for it. It is a crocheted stone.
 You probably have seen many gorgeous versions of this around the net. (Here is a google search). They look quite striking in a group. I found some patterns on ravelry too, but in the end, I just picked out the central part of a doily pattern from one of my crochet magazines and improvised the rest of it. Can you guess what it is for?...
I mean to use it as a doorstop. In fact, it is already in use and is performing its function beautifully!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Linen Stitch Top

When I started this top, it was with the intention of using up leftover yarns and getting a small sweater (toddler size...maybe) as a result. As I mentioned earlier, I was too lazy to measure and estimate gauge and just cast on with a random number of stitches. It turns out that my approximation was way off, and I a bit off and the top ends up being a 6-year-old size. Other than that, it met the target of using up a lot of leftover yarns and has turned out to be as a nice, wearable top. The yarns are all DK-to-worsted weight, acrylics; pattern, none.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life After Eid

Ramadan passed too quickly and we deeply miss all its wonderful routines and busyness. Eid is over too, and life is slowly returning to its mundane routine. It is hard not to experience a dip in our energy and mood, as the holiday comes to an end. However, life suddenly seems a lot less hectic. That is good news, as I can now make time for some back-to-school preparations. (Schools open here in second week of August.)
  On the knitting front, I did finish the linen st top and will blog about it in the next post. A couple of smaller craft projects are also coming up, soon.

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Knitting Project

Before my knitting hiatus, I had started this project. This is to be a top, with linen stitch detail, which is actually an attempt at using up scrap yarns. I cast on with a certain number of stitching, keeping in mind, the amount of yarn I had. And I had no idea what size it would be. Having three daughters, mashaAllah, means I can be lazy this way. It is bound to fit one of them, sooner or later!  Now, I am estimating it to fit a 5-6 year-old. In other words, my middle one, next winter.
I am happy to report that I am finally back from my knitting break, and have had some time to knit on this top, this week. At the moment, I have just started the yoke and hope to get it finished soon.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan (1436 A.H) starts here on Friday. Today will be a busy day, with me doing the last-minute, pre-Ramadan cleaning of the house, etc. My already dwindling craft activities will essentially come to a halt during this month, though I might do posts about a few ongoing projects.
May this blessed month be beneficial and wonderful for us.  Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Belated Spring Sewing 2015

My excuse, for neglecting this blog for a month or so, is my being out of sorts. The burn-out left me with little inclination for craft of any kind. However, I had managed to do a few sewing projects prior to that and also cast-on a small knitting project. I will share to sewing projects here. I sewed a couple of tops for my eldest daughter. No pattern, nothing fancy, just a couple of simple cotton tops, embellished with some trims.
 The second one has a gather below the front placket and a box-pleat at the back.

 And, because I had some fabric leftover, I stitched a top for the youngest. (A similar pattern/tutorial pinned here.)
 I am working on another dress at the moment. Hopefully, I have enough fabric to complete it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Princesses

This project further proves the point that one does not think straight when in the throes of maternal love. At one such moment, I promised my daughters dresses inspired by Elsa's, of the animated movie Frozen. Soon afterwards, I realized the rather tall order I had set up for myself and tried to wiggle out of it, by using the well-known tact called procrastination. I hoped the girls would forget about the promise or move on to something simpler. But the "Frozen" bug is particularly tenacious at our house and it outlived my excuses for procrastination.

 Still, I took my time with these dresses, gathering supplies in February, sewing these up in March and getting to blog about them in April. The girls were very patient (which again shows the hold, the bug has on them) with me and even enjoyed the process, as the dresses evolved.
There were a few tears at the end though, when Amma (that is I) played Scrooge over the sequins. In my defense, I was finally trying to hurry things along, and hand-stitching that many sequins is both time- and labor-intensive work. More sequins got stitched on and we had a happy ending.
As for the dresses, my older daughter helped me pick out the materials.I looked around Pinterest for ideas and inspiration.The dress draft was my own. I decided on a detachable train, as I suspected it would be too cumbersome to have a train at all times.
 There are already requests for some more dresses, but I have successfully dodged them for now.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Updated: Family Hands Portrait

With addition of the littlest to our family, the Family Hands Portrait was due for an update. While I procrastinated, everyone who saw the portrait hanging on the our bedroom wall, commented how it was missing a hand. So, I finally went to work and got the latest hand prints from the family members, last August. Since then, I have been slowly embroidering and have finally managed to finish it last month.The smaller hands have already grown a bit since then, mashaAllah.
The new version (right) with the old one.
 Now that the new one is mounted in place of the old one, I do not know what to do with the old one. I do not have the heart to throw it away. Maybe I could incorporate it into some other project, any suggestions?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Knitted Yoke Dress

 Appropriate to the changing seasons, this project is a knitting/sewing hybrid. I used about 100 yards of this cotton/nylon yarn to knit a yoke and then sewed it into a dress.

The multicolored yarn does not give much stitch definition and may not be the best choice for a yoke, but this was the most practical project, I could think of, for this yarn.
 The dress fabric is cotton with a cotton trim and a satin ribbon for embellishment. It is sized to fit an almost four-year-old.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Catching Up

The past month or so have been intensely busy, leaving me little spare time to craft or blog. On top of recovering from my concussion (which I did, soon enough), and helping kids with their exams preparation, we were visited upon by a couple of contagious illnesses, most probably of viral origin. We are still reeling from the effects of the latest one. It has infected all the four kids, one by one, with high-grade fever and sore throat and has given us parents, symptoms of fatigue. Thankfully, this illness did not hamper the exams.
   One the knitting front, I managed some progress on my son's sweater, going beyond the armholes and finishing the back.

But the things are heating up quite fast in Islamabad, making me have little desire to knit a thick Aran sweater. Instead I am drawn to sewing. I have a couple of projects to share in the coming posts, inshaAllah.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Upcycled: Cardigan to Strawberries and more

The little hand-me-down cardigan was worn by at least five little girls, including three of mine, mashaAllah, over the past decade. The tag on it, indicates it was originally a 18 month size, but with innumerable
 washes over the years, it shrank and felted to be a six month size. It also got misshapen.
So, when I needed some red felt for a project, it was time for this cardigan to be sacrificed. And some time later, I had a little strawberry pincushion. (Picture tutorial pinned on my pinterest board here.)
And because the little strawberry was ridiculously easy to make and cute, I made another.
 My kids wanted in on the action, so we made a couple more.
Now we had a complete harvest.
And I did not have the heart to throw away the embroidered part of the cardigan, so that got made into a case for my scissors.
I still have quite a bit of red felt remaining. Who knows what it will turn into some day.

On a serious note, I bumped my head into a preschool swing set, a few days back and suffered a mild concussion. The dizziness and headache still persist. I do not feel like taking on any new projects, (to be honest, daily housework is hard enough) until I feel better. Soon, inshaAllah.