Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year 2011 - In retrospect!

Year 2011! Where did it go?! I feel as if I blinked and missed it. 2011 has been a good year for me on the blog-front. I wrote about 80 posts this year which is almost half the number of the total posts on this blog. Damn good,right?! This is the year I really enjoyed blogging, loving the virtual world I've created here. I've met wonderful bloggers here and know a few regulars by their name too. So, a very big thank you to all my readers, silent and otherwise.



To recap year 2011, it was a happening year for me hobby-wise.too I picked up a new hobby in spinning and I took to it a bit fiercely. I went on a spindle and fiber buying spree. But, I think I've got it under control now. ;-)


 I published my 3rd scarf knitting pattern this year - the High tides scarf. :-) I knitted my first Noro striped scarf.. my long-time wish was completed with this scarf. I knitted a Whippoorwill and an Aase's shawl.


There wasn't much crochet this year. The only thing I crocheted was my most fave bag yet.. my Lobster hobo bag.. I knitted my first hat this year and my first adult garment - a Minimalist cardigan.


I enjoyed a bit of sewing too, this year. I made a project bag big enough to carry sweater projects and a chic hand bag to use a pair of wooden handles I had. I made a table runner for my dining table and some fabric flower fridgies to dress up my fridge. ;-)



I participated in the Knitting and Crochet blog week for the first time and I had a fun week of blogging then. I wrote a bunch of tutorials hoping that it will help someone. I crossed my 100th post on this blog this year and I had a giveaway for that. All being said, I'm happy with how year 2011 went by and I'm hoping that year 2012 holds equally promising things. :-) How was your year 2011?

Here is to a promising year 2012!

-Josie

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just checking...

..on you guys.. sneaking a few mins out of my hectic year-end vacation to say hi to you guys... Hope you all are doing good and enjoying a lovely holiday season. Are you busy making resolutions for the New Year? ;-) Here are a few pics from our vacation..

The Christmas tree at my parents' place..


Alvin roughhousing with his Uncle..


...playing with his cousin..


and, yours truly trying out my dad's shiny new bike! ;-)


We are enjoying this much-needed break.. Hope you are having fun holidays too.

-Josie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Shapely stripes progress!

This might be the last WIP update in this year as I'll be busy between Christmas and New Year. Lotsa yummy food to eat, meeting friends and family, our wedding anniversary falls between Christmas and New Year and its our 6th one this year. So, Christmas season is a special time for our family and I always look forward to the busy holiday season every year. Anyways, I digress.. I'm making good progress on my Shapely Stripes sweater.. I'm done knitting the body of the sweater and have started the sleeves. Here is a shot of the sweater before I started the sleeves.


I have a feeling that the sweater is a tad too long for my taste as I'm sure it will grow a few inches during blocking. I'm planning to block the sweater before starting the ribbing neck and button band to see if I like the length. If I don't, I'll take out two stripes to reduce the length.

I also have an ambitious plan to add a hood to this sweater. The only problem is I'm not sure I have enough yarn for that. I'll let you in on another secret too. ;-) The orange yarn came from this project. I frogged(unraveled) the Clapotis stole I knit in the orange yarn as the stole wasn't getting used and was sitting idle in my closet. So, I salvaged the yarn from the stole and am using it for this sweater. Makes me doubly glad while knitting this sweater. :-) Here is the Clapotis stole that is no more existent. ;-)




The sleeves are going a bit slow as I'm using magic-loop technique (video link) and the yarn-wrangling and needle maneuvers make it go very slow. Its my first time with magic-loop and I realized that I like this technique better than using DPNs (video link). I'm kicking myself for not trying this technique before. I used to love working on DPNs but now, I'm a convert to magic-looping.

Isn't it a nice feeling to learn a new technique that makes your life a bit easier? What technique did you learn that liberated you from a difficult one? magic-looping? reverse knitting for entrelac? Learning Continental or English style to make color-knitting easier? Let me in on your secret technique. I promise I'll keep it a secret! ;-)

-Josie

This post is linked to WIP Wednesday hosted by Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like...

...Christmas!! Yes. Christmas season is in full swing and this year we have a tree at our home. This is our 6th year as a family and we have never had a tree. But, this year.. my Dad who was visiting us last week insisted that we put one up.. so, we got a tree.. of course, its a fake tree. :D



Since there was no plan for a tree, I didn't make any ornaments for the tree either. So, all the ornaments on it are store-bought ones. There is a cute snowman ornament on the tree which is my favorite. The snowman looks so cozy in his knitted hat and scarf. :-)


I love the lights on the tree.. I had these lights with me for a long time and they finally found their use.


On other news, I have another sweater in progress. Looks like I'm on a sweater kick. Here is the progress so far..



I lurve stockinette stitch. I love the smooth simplicity of it. So, this pattern appealed to me the moment I saw it. Decided to work in stripes to keep it interesting. I love the colors.. its bright and cheerful. I'm working on this in every spare moment I get..so, its going real fast. :-) and, given my love for stockinette stitch, this is unputdownable. ;-)

What is your unputdownable project? Is it a shawl? a sweater? a scarf? What pattern is it? Give me all the gossip you got.. ;-) I'm all ears.

-Josie

This post is linked to WIP Wednesday hosted by Tami's amis. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Soul Sante!

Its a flea market filled with handicraft items made by independent designers and hobbyists , yummy food and good music! Its my first time visiting the Sante and I loved it.. more so because a few of my RavFriends had their stalls this time. :-) Its always fun to meet your friends and the setting was just right to meet them. Here are a few pics from the Fete. This is going to be an image-heavy post! You've been warned. 

Some quirky planters for the garden..


Scented candles..

Some lovely painting for sale..



Quirky bottles flattened as vases.. I wonder how they flattened those glass bottles.


A pencil sketch..


Some tie-dyed tees!


Funky vases..


Here are my friends at their booth.. Saritha, Tanu and Sanhita. :-) Hope you had a fun day too, ladies!


And, here is Alvin munching on popcorn..


There were puppies for adoption too..




Here is my loot from the day.. A lovely pair of Christmas ornaments from Rainbow Bunting by Saritha. The other pair is hanging elsewhere in my home.



A canvas grocery tote from KaraaShilp by Tanu. I love the print on it and the flower on the tote is crocheted from plarn. :-)


Lovely work, ladies! Keep it going!

-Josie

Friday, December 9, 2011

My first ever adult sweater!

Yes. I did it! I knit my first ever adult sweater for myself and it fits me nicely too. Someone please pinch me for a reality check. Those who have been around my blog for a while will know my fear of knitting anything that has to fit.. Shawls,scarves and bags are piece o'cake for me..but, a sweater that has to fit gives me the shivers. So, it really is unbelievable to me that I knit a sweater for myself.


The sleeves gave me some trouble while seaming but, I showed them who the boss is. ;-) Blocking lengthened the cardigan by a few inches but, that's fine with me. There is absolutely no shaping in the body of the sweater. I love the 3/4th length of the sleeves..avoids getting the sleeves wet while washing hands.



Here is a close-up of the sleeve setting. I'm not very happy with it but, I can live with it. ;-) I love the texture of the fabric and after knitting acres of double moss stitch,  I think I can knit it in my sleep. ;-)


With this cardigan, I feel that I've come of age as a knitter. When I started knitting about 5 years ago, I didn't dream in my wildest of dreams that I'll knit a sweater for myself. So, I'm glad I persevered and saw this cardigan to completion. Here are the project stats:

Pattern: Minimalist-Cardigan
Yarn: J.Sagar Wash n Wear in Denim color
Started: July 26,2011
Finished: Dec 8th,2011
Ravelry Project page: Minimalist Cardigan

I wore it to work and my work-friends gave it a thumbs-up! This cardigan is going to be lovingly used a lot as this is my one and only cardigan now. I think I can remedy that by starting another sweater.. I'm thinking this one: Shapely boyfriend although I don't like its name. ;-) Do you have any suggestions for a simple stockinette based top-down Raglan-style cardigan? I don't want to attempt cap sleeves or set-in sleeves in the near future. Let me know if you have any..

-Josie

This post is linked to Creative Friday by Natural Suburbia and FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Minimalist - Almost done!

I'm finally seeing light at the end of the LONG tunnel! I've finished the knitting part of my Minimalist cardigan and the only thing remaining is the seaming of sleeves. The cardigan is blocking as we speak, drying on my guest bed. I like the fit before blocking. I hope it doesn't grow a lot during blocking. Here it is on me now. As I said, I'm yet to seam the sleeves.


I did try seaming the sleeves before blocking but, I didn't like the fit. I'm hoping that blocking will ease the kinks and make seaming and the fit easier. Here is the cardigan body blocking wrong side out..


and, here are the sleeves blocking too..


The sleeve on the right does look a bit wonky. I'm really excited about this cardigan as its my first ever adult sweater. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a disaster.

-Josie

This post is linked to WIP Wednesday hosted by Tami's Amis.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas came early this year!

Yes. It did! In the form of a swap package all the way from Nupur @ One Hot Stove. I participated in  a Holiday supplies swap which was a Secret Santa swap for hobby supplies. Awesome, isn't it?! Nupur was my secret Santa and she totally spoilt me with her generosity and thoughtfulness. Here are the goodies she sent me..


2 skeins of Knitpicks Palette in one of my fave colors and a GORGEOUS 4oz braid of Merino/Bamboo/Tussah fiber from Corgi Hill Farm. From Corgi Hill Farm! I've heard so many good things about CHF and I finally have a chance to try one of their fibers. Here is a close-up of the fiber and yarn..


A Christmas-themed plate for Alvin to snack on!


Cotton fabrics with cute cupcake and sheep prints to sew.


and, a cute pin-cushion ring and some freezer paper to try something new.


Isn't she so generous?! I can't wait to dig into these supplies to create fun things out of them. I am thinking project bags out of the fabrics and a scarf out of the yarn. The fiber obviously will become yarn. ;-) So, tell me what was the last gift you got from a friend or family? Who played the Secret Santa with you the last time?

-Josie

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Babies are fun! – part 2

Thank you all so much for the baby ensemble love. But, which baby ensemble is complete without the booties?! So, I made cloth baby booties to match the ensemble and they are so stinking cute. I’m realizing that it is so much fun making tiny items for tiny babies. Pls excuse the dim lighting in the photos. Its very cloudy and gloomy here in Bangalore.


I used this pattern to make the shoes. Just to put things into perspective, here is one shoe next to my Sony Ericsson 550i phone. ;-)


 and in my hand..


Ridiculously cute, isn't it?! Is it sad that I want to keep the booties for myself?! Now, I'm itching to meet the baby so that I can see her modeling the ensemble. :-)  Here is the entire set I've made.


I've to wait for another 3 weeks before I can meet the baby.Considering the year 2011 which flew in a blink of an eye, 3 weeks won't be that long. Don't you agree? Now that we are in the last month of year 2011, are you looking back at the year in retrospect and ruing things you did and didn't do?! At least, I am. How do you feel about year 2011? was it a good one for you, crafty and otherwise? Maybe I should write a post about year 2011 in retrospect. :-) Enjoy the last month of this year, my peeps!

-Josie

This post is linked to FO Fridays and Creative Fridays.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Babies are fun!

Aren't they?! When my son was a wee one, I made very few things for him.. A baby-blanket I started when I was 5 months pregnant was completed when Alvin was 6 months old. ;-) I made a hat for him which he used very rarely. and, after that I never made anything for him. Now that my cousin had a baby girl recently, I decided to sew something for the little one. So, I started with the classic reversible A-line dress. I drafted the pattern myself eyeballing the size for a 3-month old baby. It took me  about an hour to make this dress from drafting to finishing. I referred to this tutorial to sew the dress.


I used press buttons for the snaps. The fabric you see above is a simple cotton print and I used printed flannel for the other side. I am meeting the wee one during Christmas. so, I made the dress in a 3-month baby's size and I am hoping that she has lots of room to grow in this dress. Here is the other side of the dress.


Since I had lots of these fabrics left over, I made matching bib too. So, reversible bibs to go with the reversible dress. :D


and, the other side..


The next plan is to make matching booties. Auntie Josie is having so much fun making cute baby stuff that this girl is going to be one well-dressed babe in the block! ;-) So, what are you having fun creating at the moment?

-Josie

This post is linked to Creative Friday hosted by Natural Suburbia and FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis..

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Gino!

Our recent trip to Mysore/Ranganathittu resulted in a shopping trip in Channapatna known for colorful wooden toys. So, when I saw this cute lil guy on the store shelf, I couldn't resist bringing him home with me. So, all of you meet Gino, the Giraffe. He is very colorful and looks very goofy.


You'll see more of Gino on my blog in the days to come. He is just the adorable guy to give company to my Mafia dog on my craft table. Ain't he the cutest Giraffe in the block?!


Tell me what is the childish thing you coveted recently? What was the last thing you bought to satisfy the inner child in you? Do you have a Gino or a Mafia dog like me in your home

-Josie
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