Monday, December 19, 2016


This pattern must be easy to adapt, because I successfully managed it with different yarn weight, needle size and guage, considering too, that I knit this adult-sized sweater for my 10 year old. The ease was for most part due to the top-down construction and loose fit.
 I simply cast on with the sts for smallest size and winged it from there. I did do little math and worked out the number of sts I needed to have at the underarm, considering my gauge. (I do not remember the exact number, as it was mostly in my head). I also drove my daughter crazy, having her try it on several times along the way. Beyond the armholes it was all plain sailing.
The yarn is our good old acrylic. I am planning on adding a third button to the sides, to decrease gaping. Other than that, it is all done and looks good. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

New Addition And Blue Flowers Cardigan

I know this blog has been neglected for too long, but life has been crazy busy lately. It has been hard to find a moment to catch my breath and slow down, let alone find any time for knitting or other craft. Besides all the usual stuff taking up my time, there was one unusual (for us, at least) thing as well.

 Let me introduce the cutest and bounciest cause of my full days, the newest addition to our family, Ginger. We rescued it form the streets, couple of months ago. He was in a very bad shape, being very sick, weak and abandoned by his mother. After many weeks of love and care, we finally have him thriving. It is a full time job, keeping him out of mischief.

For the last two months, the only knitting I managed to get done, was a few rows here and there. The knitting was put on hold for several days at such points that required some mental calculation, because I was not free enough to sit down and do that. Extreme but very true. And thing look even bleaker for the coming months with ever-increasing loads of homework,  exams, projects that need a hand, on top of all the housework and errands.
     For now, I have managed to finish a cardigan for my five year old. I had a hard time picking a pattern for this yarn. I finally took inspiration from a picture and equipped with that picture and a Google Translate page for the pattern, I set about knitting this cardigan. Other than the flower chart, I did not use the translated pattern but did my own construction,knitting a round yoke and other omitting the collar.

It was an interesting knit and went smoothly for most part, except at the end when I forgot how to crochet. I kept holding my crochet hook and yarn like I hold a knitting needle and wondering why it felt weird. I had to do a net search before I figured out the problem. The little grey cells are really feeling the age.

My daughter is happy with the sweater and keeps asking when she can wear it. It will not be long now as the weather is turning cold now.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Boxy Lace Sweater

 Finally a post about the Boxy Lace sweater for my eldest daughter. This was the July sweater for my year long a-sweater-a-month plan. I got a little late in getting it done and later in posting about it.
Here it is, all done and worn (getting my daughter to wear in the heat and humidity of our monsoon season, was no easy task). It is a heavily modified version of the original pattern, downsized to tweeny size, with a lot of help and inspiration from the ravelry project pages. All the technical details can be found on my ravelry project page. The yarn is our local worsted weight acrylic.
 For my next project, I am having a difficult time selecting a pattern. I have been searching the ravelry library and pinterest to find one. I did not get a pattern per se, but lots of inspiration. So the next sweater will most likely be a hybrid of different design elements and involve a lot of improvisation.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eid Dresses

Here is the promised post about the Eid dresses I made for the girls. It took a few days to get cool and dry enough weather to get a photo shoot. The fabric for all three dresses was the same, though I used only two color schemes. (Could not find a nice enough color for the youngest, so used the same color scheme for her as the oldest). Fabrics are diamante chiffon for the tops and dupattas and jamavar for the bottoms. And gota trim on the shirts (kameez).
For the younger two, I sewed Kameez with shalwar/straight pants.

Now for the interesting part, and the star of my sewing _ the gharara. My nine year-old has recently developed in traditional flouncy pieces, so I offered to sew her a gharara. Gharara is a traditional dress of the Muslim women of the indian subcontinent. Although no longer part of our day-to-day wear, it is one of the staples at weddings and makes a fashion come-back every now and then, with a modern twist. This year happens to be one of those years.

It is essentially a pair of extremely flared pants, the lower part of which is cut on bias and gathered at the knees. The seam at the knee is adroned with some trim or embellishment. It is worn with a short (and sometimes long shirt and a dupatta/stole). Its construction is quite complex and tricky. At least it was for me, as it was my debut attempt. The slippery fabric made it all the more challenging. And I had no idea how much yardage I would need. All things considering, it turned out quite satisfactory. 
My daughter had a great time wearing it, so it was all worth it. She still wants a ready-to-wear lehnga (traditional flared maxi skirt) for the next Eid. (Losing interest in your mom's handmade stuff has to be the first sign of growing up, I had to bribe her with a matching hand-sewn clutch).
In knitting news, I am just starting on the sleeves of the July sweater and hope to get it finished soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July Sweater Update

Eid came and went so fast, just as all the good times seem to. It is already two weeks past and we have settled back into the dull routine of the ordinary day-to-day life. But the people around us do not seem to have fathomed the fact. Our air-conditioner repair man took ten days to return from his eid break and fix our unit. Thankfully, a few rains in the meantime helped us manage without the AC.  Our broadband Internet slowed down before Eid and again it took nearly two weeks to get a response from the company. The solution they came up with, was to give us a new phone line and number. Now we have a changed phone number and no broadband  (not even the slower version). They promise to get to it "as soon as possible ". Meanwhile I am raking up charges on my mobile Internet.

Other than that, life is quite usual. Kids have three more weeks of summer vacation and are finishing up their vacation homework.  I still have to do the post about the Eid clothes but I am waiting for cooler weather to get some outdoor pictures. It has been quite hot to knit without the AC but I hope to resume work on the July sweater tomorrow,  in shaa Allah. Here is how far along I am. Just an inch short of starting the neckline shaping.
I did manage some more sewing but it was mostly sleepwear for the kids, nothing bloggable. Hopefully, less internet will mean quite a bit more knitting/sewing/reading time.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Sewing

Ramadan, our favorite month of the year, is down to its last 11 or 12 days. We had a wonderful start to the month, when we were able to sight the Ramadan crescent ourselves.

Since then, it has been all business, fasting, the suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and iftaar (the break-fast meal) and adjusting to a different sleep routine. On top of the hot June weather, we had to deal with a viral fever, which took all four kids in turn. That made the start of the month especially full.

I have had little time or inclination to do any craft work. Here I am sharing the sewing I did a couple of months ago, for my eldest daughter. These are a couple of lawn fabric tops and a dress.
The first one is a chevron print sewed into a Japanese-style top, inspiration for which abounds on pinterest.

The second top is a floral peasant blouse with raglan sleeves.

 And lastly, there is the multicolored polka-dot dress with a circle skirt. All these were my own drafts.

This summer has been very productive sewing-wise. I have sewn a lot of things, most of which do not make it to the blog. The most ambitious of  all was the sewing of Eid clothes for the girls _ glittery, shear, hard to manage fabrics, turned into cute, fun traditional dresses. I do hope to share them here after Eid.

In knitting, I have an almost done sweater front, with lace details, to share. In the next post, insha Allah.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Little Pullover For June

I reclaimed this yarn from a baby sweater, that I had knit for my littlest two years ago and had since then been outgrown. After searching through all possible patterns and failing to find a suitable one, I improvised one of my own. It has turned out on the smaller end of my target size range, but I am just glad to have a finished sweater.
This sweater marks the sixth sweater of the year, namely the sweater for June. I have already cast on for the next one, which promises to be a lot more exciting.  Still, Ramadan is round the corner,  and I plan to take a break from my crafty pursuits during the holy month. To this end, I am rushing through my Eid sewing,  these days. My girls are getting some sparkling, traditional dresses this year.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Toddler Dress

The finished sweater (in this case, I use the term loosely to include all types of clothing) for the month of May, is the dress for my youngest daughter that I started last October. It was a good thing that I cast on for a size bigger than her size at the time, seeing how long it took me to finish it.
 It is another DROPS pattern, one which I have knit once before,  back in 2010, for my niece. I knit the 3/4 year size, and the skirt portion had knitting in it equivalent to an adult sweater.  It got boring and went into time-out, at the end of last year. But I got it out a couple of weeks ago and knit the remaining few inches on the skirt. From then on, it went relatively fast, and I am happy to have it finished.

Now that I have no project on the needles, I have been dealing with the pre cast- on inertia, where I take my time getting things like pattern , yarn and supplies ready for the next project ready.  And some quiet time to actually cast on. This may happen tonight or tomorrow.

 Meanwhile, we have a birthday to celebrate. Our middle daughter  as turned five today.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April Vest And Spring Break

So while I waited for the right time to wind yarn for the next sweater for my daughter, I cast on a vest for myself. This change of plans means that the sweater of the month, for April, is this vest. It got knit up pretty quick and had minimal finishing. Just the shoulder seams and a row of crochet around the neckline. I ran out of yarn, right at the end and used some variegated leftover sock yarn, to finish it up.
The pattern is another DROPS free pattern. It was an easy knit and the result is very flattering and practical. The side ribbing plus the waist shaping makes sure of that. The yarn is of unknown composition, upcycled from an old sweater.

In other news, we took a much-deserved vacation before the grind of new school year kicked in. It was our first vacation in a very long time.

We went to Murree, which is a very popular hill station near Islamabad. People go there all the time, for many it is a routine thing. But our kids got to see it for the first time.
 The timing of our trip could not have been better, it being the lull period before the start of summer season, Murree was not jam-packed with tourists.
The weather was amazing.We spent wonderful three days filled with sightseeing, shopping and dining out. It was a nice time to relax and unwind and enjoy our family. It made us determined to make vacation more of regular feature rather than once in a decade thing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Selina Tunic

The March sweater got finished on Friday.  What can I say about it, it was just my kind of project _ a yoke full of colorwork, and stretches of plain stockinette stitch for mindless knitting. And it turned out pretty cute as well.

The pattern is another DROPS free one, the yarn, our local acrylic. My daughter did not want crosses in the center of colorwork,  so I replaced them with some flowers.
I have selected the pattern for the next kids' sweater, but the yarn for it still needs to be wound. While I wait for that to happen, I have started a vest for myself.
And as it is spring already, I have many sewing projects lined up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Sweater Progress

My knitting resolutions for 2016 include knitting at least two full-fledged sweaters for each of the four kids, plus a couple of vests and a sweater and vest for myself, insha Allah. It roughly amounts to a sweater a month. I finished one sweater for my son at the start of the year, and completed the second one for him, last month. Now I am working on the third sweater.
  It is to be a tunic/dress for my second daughter. Now that the fun part of knitting that is colorwork, is done, I feel my progress slowing down. But with half a month left, I am optimistically hopeful that it will be done within my set deadline.
Meanwhile, I am shortlisting patterns for another five sweaters for my girls. Do you have any favorites to recommend?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Endpaper Mitts

Life has been very busy lately. March is the month of kids' final examinations. So on top of all the drudgery of routine housework, I also have to help them with their exams preparation. At the same time, I am also fighting a case of common cold. Not an ideal time for crafty pursuit, but colorwork made this project to interesting enough for me to make steady progress.
Modelled by my oldest daughter 
I had wanted to knit this pattern for a very long time.  The yarns are leftover Knit Picks Stroll Solids (barn red) and Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (Springtime).
I enjoyed colorwork so much, that I have cast on another project involving it. That is to be a tunic for my middle daughter. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Laddu Pullover v 2.0

The sweater for my son was done during the week, and a brief spell of rain, brought down the temperature low enough for him to wear it during this winter. I used my laddu pattern for the design with a few bits of modifications. Firstly, I upsized it. Secondly, I knit the sleeves in same color as the body. Thirdly, I joined the sleeves and body and knit the yoke in round. Fourthly, I incorporated some cable into the raglan decreases.
Despite all the modifications , the sweater knit up quite fast. My son approves of it and gives it a high score of nine out of ten.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sewing: Multi-zippered Bag

Recently, at our home, there arose a need for a particular type of bag, with a good number of pockets. This was the perfect chance for me to pursue my ever-expanding pinterest board for sewn bags. After successfully  gleaning inspiration from there, I set forth to sew this bag.
 Sewing was simple enough,  except for the fact that I broke three needles in the process. That was mostly due to my trying to rush the sewing machine through thick wads of fabric and zipper. I learnt after many tries, to tread more gently. The fabric was some leftover bed linen.
Anyhow, the bag beautifully fits the role intended for it, and has gone into regular use. It is so useful, I think I just might make some more of these at some point in the future.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Knitting Update

I am working on a sweater right now, another one for my son. It is more than half done, only half a sleeve and the yoke being left.
For the last few days, I have taken time away from i
t to sew a dress for my daughter. That dress is now done, so I hope to dedicate my craft time over the weekend, to this sweater, inshaAllah.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sewing: Clothespin Bag

After completing my last project, which was that pair of upcycled gloves, I promptly started another knitting project _ another sweater for my son. This one is far simpler than the cabled one I finished at the start of this year, and I have made considerable progress. However, all this time, I had been having a craving for a quick sewing project, some sort of bag. Finally, I got out my supplies and sewed up this clothespin bag.
It was done in two sittings. First I selected the design (from this tutorial ) and drafted the pattern. The next morning, I did the actual sewing.
 All the fabrics came from my scrap bin. It was my first time doing an appliqué and I quite enjoyed it.  And it makes a nifty home for my clothespin, which were earlier housed in a makeshift pillow-case.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Upcycled Stashbuster Spirals Gloves

Five years ago, I made these socks for my son. Over time, these developed holes in the soles and went to languish in my mending basket.
I came upon them some days ago, while cleaning my craft space.They were beyond repair in the foot part, but the leg portions could be salvaged. So I unraveled both socks down to the first few inches and re-knit them up as finger-less gloves.
 My oldest daughter laid a claim to these gloves, right at the start. This project was a win thrice over; saving the yarn, freeing up some space and my daughter getting her promised pair of finger-less gloves.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dreams Of Aran Pullover

Three weeks ago, I made a tall claim of getting this sweater done in a week. But seasonal illnesses took most of December away from me and I was only able to really knit during the last week.
 Still, I cannot help but be thrilled about being able to post a FO (finished object) on the first day of the new year. Especially, since it means that I have finally finished a project that I started in October 2014, and that I was mostly successful in getting it done by the end of December (It was all done except the neckband).
You can tell by the length of time it was on the needles, that it was not an easy project. Like all knitting project for men, it took too long to grow. The cables slowed the knitting even further. Then I ran out of yarn, with both sleeves to go, and could not find the color in the same yarn wight. So after much misgiving, I knit the sleeves with two strands of much thinner yarn, held together, and am happy to report that the difference between two yarns is barely noticeable.
The pattern, like most DROPS patterns, was a bit difficult to decipher at places, but was well-worth the effort. In the end, I am totally pleased with the sweater and the fact that it got done in time for my son to wear during the winter season. My son rates it an eight out of ten, which is not bad at all, considering he compares it to his Neville sweater, which is totally awesome.