Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Hope the year gone by was a good one..
I wish all my blog readers a wonderful and a successful year.
Hope you all have a fun-filled artsy-crafty year with miles of yarn and oodles of time!
Hope you stick to your crafty resolutions at least for the first month in the New Year! ;-)

Happy 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Star of the East - Aestlight!

If you know me through Ravelry or Facebook, there is a heavy chance that you might have seen my Aestlight already.. but, here it is for my blog readers! This is one clever pattern to knit.. a rare method to create a triangular shawl. The centre garter triangle is mindless and just when it starts to get tedious, the lacy border starts and keeps you interested! I had an enjoyable photo shoot with Aestlight and I kinda went camera-crazy! Aestlight means 'east light" in Shetland dialect, perfect for the Chritsmas season! So, here is the eye-candy:



The yarn is Sandnes Garn Lanett in a mauve colorway and was done on 4mm circular. This project is because of the kindness from a fellow Raveler half-way across the globe! Thank you, Helena for the yarn and the needles! She sent this yarn to me back in Feb,2009 and I've been waiting for the right pattern to knit it with. I am glad I waited till Aestlight came into being.



This shawl is perfect for a photo shoot on a warm and sunny morning! I spent almost an hour on a Monday morning clicking away photos to my heart's content! whatta way to start a work-week! The yarn is 100% merino wool and the garter softness makes for a lovely shawl!



I am realizing slowly that yarn and photography is a deadly combination. Its like yarn p0rn! I am no photography buff but I like to take good pictures of my finished yarny objects! I like to photograph 'em in natural light and we had a bright and sunny morning last week! So, I made the most of it! I took the shawl to the terrace in my apartment and propped it between to wrought iron doors for pictures of it fluttering in the cool breeze!






It was a nice shoot but not a satisfactory one. I felt that something was missing in the photos and the beauty of the shawl was not captured fully. So, after clicking a few more pictures,I headed back downstairs to think of a different prop and a location. I finally decided to pull the dining table near the window and use a casserole dish as a prop and it worked! I finally got some pictures that I really love! I just couldn't get enough of photographing the shawl. I didn't care that I was running late to work! :D My Hubster had to literally pry the camera off my hands. gorgeous.shawl.for.a.photo.shoot!!


I am on a 2-week vacation for Christmas and New Year and its a craft-free vacation on my choice! What was I thinking!?! Here I am twiddling my thumbs, getting restless. No.more.craft-free.vacations.for.me! Instead of loading this page with the images, here is a link to the Picasa album of the photos of the entire photo-shoot: Aestlight It has photos that range from gorgeous to not-so-gorgeous to down-right ugly! I am not a professional photographer but, I try! Here is a wonderful tutorial on photographing yarny objects by Eskimimi.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all my readers! May you all have miles of yarn and oodles of time to knit and crochet! May all your crafty pursuits be a success!

-Josie

Friday, December 11, 2009

Easy-peasy Baby Cardigan!

Babies are fun. There is no contesting this fact! Knitting for babies is even more fun! So, when my colleague and friend Nutan had a baby boy recently, I jumped at the chance to knit him a cardigan. Since Viru was born in July and it wasn't cold enough then to wear warm clothes, I made the cardigan in 6 months old size. Nutan says it fits Viru perfectly well! So, let me introduce the Cardigan for Viru to y'all!



It took me a week to knit this after work as I was real slow with it. This was my first time working with 2 colors and I took help from friendly Ravelers. Though it is a top-down seamless raglan cardigan, I had umpteen ends to weave in and I was procrastinating it till last week when I realized, winter is already here and I still haven't given the sweater to the wee one! here it is after blocking and before weaving in the ends.



I found very cute iron-on patches in General Bazaar here and binged on them when I went there a few weeks back! I was lucky to find a teddy-bear patch of the right color for this cardigan! I put the patch on the left front, put a cloth on top of it and pressed a hot iron on it. I was lucky that I didn't singe the yarn beneath but it worked like a charm. Here is a close-up of the patch!



I love the moss stitch collar and the edges. I think the collar gives a grown-up look to the baby cardigan! I am itching to see Viru modeling this sweater but his dear Mommy is playing lazy! Did you hear me, Nutan?? ;-)



Here are the stats of this cardigan:

Pattern: Easy baby cardigan from Knitting pure and Simple
Yarn: J.Sagar wash n wear Blended wool in Purple and Mauve
Needle: 4.5 mm circular knitting needle and DPNs.

-Josie

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Clapotis Saga!

I had a 3-day weekend a few weeks back on account of local elections! So, I decided to finish something on the knitting front for a change. If you've been following my blog, you would've noticed that it's been a few months since I posted about a finished yarny object! ;-) So, without much ado, I will present my bright and vibrant clapotis here! My ravelry notes for this project says that I started it on Feb 26,2009 and I completed it on Nov 24th,2009. I knit one half of it in the 3-day weekend. So technically, I should've knit this in 6 days whereas I took 9 months to complete it! Gaahh!!



It is a mindless pattern..very logical.. appeals to the geek in me! ;-) It was my go-to project between complex lace projects! Its perfect for watching a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or a Grey's Anatomy marathon! I will not say I enjoyed knitting it as much as I enjoy the finished wrap! I've been knitting it on and off for the past 9 months! I sincerely admire people who have knit their 'umpteenth' clapotis! They can give Socrates a lesson in patience!




I thought the yarn was DK-weight when I started the wrap.Along the way, I realized that its worsted weight.I am still a yarn-illiterate! The yarn is soft for a acrylic/wool blend and provides instant warmth when wrapped in it. The color is bright and delicious! It reminds me of ripe papaya!



I used 4 skeins of the yarn: 1 skein for the set-up rows, 2 for the 'straight' rows and 1 for the decrease rows. The wrap is knit on a bias, by increasing from point to the desired width, then keeping the stitch count constant by increasing on one end and decreasing on the other end in alternate rows, and finally, decreasing after the desired length is reached. A very logical pattern but, mega tedious!



This wrap makes for an interesting subject for a photo-op! I kinda went camera-crazy and clicked quite a few snaps! I love the play of light through the dropped stitches! Unfortunately, I am hard-pressed for space in my balcony and I don't have any natural props to take better pictures! SO, I had to made do with my clothesline in the balcony! See.. this is what I mean..



I used the only 4mm circular knitting needle I had for this wrap and it was completely monopolized for 9 whole months. Everytime I needed the 4mm needle, I will knit a few rows on this urging the wrap to near completion soon. I know that if I put the unfinished wrap on a stitch-holder, it will never see completion in this life.. ;-) The only thing that kept me going on with this project was the look of the finished object!



The yarn has a light fuzz about it which makes dropping the stitches a pain! some day, when I forget just how tedious it is to make a clapotis, I will make this again with a silky yarn! The wrap curls a lot and the edge is not properly defined giving it a rustic look. I wanted to do a crochet edging with beads to add drape to the wrap but unfortunately, I didn't have enough yarn. I had exactly 2 inches of yarn left after I knit the last stitch. Nothing like yarn-shortage to make this otherwise-boring wrap an exciting and exhilarating project!! ;-) Oh yeah! I like living dangerously!! ;-)



Here are the stats of this project:

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: J.Sagar Wash n Wear blended wool
Needle: 4mm circ RAKed by Helena aka ignorantbliss
Started: Feb 26, 2009
Completed: Nov 24, 2009



Here it is all folded up, waiting to go into my denim tote to travel with me on cold days!



I must say that the weather in Hyderabad is pretty cold these days warranting the use of a wrap or a cardigan and this wrap came about just in time for this winter! Its finding good use in my office where the AC is always on high! Someday, I will tell the SOB story of my attempts at knitting/crocheting an adult-sized cardigan. But, that's for another day.

Hope you all are having a lovely holiday season!
Seasons' greetings to all my blog readers!

-Josie
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