Life · New Zealand · Outlaw Yarn · small things · Summer · Yarn Festival

Chat over Chai # 2

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year 2020

I hope you all are back to work after enjoying lovely Christmas and New Year holidays.

I have been long gone from the blog ,but I have been busy posting on other social media, which is You Tube and Instagram in bits and pieces. If you would like , you can catch up on my 12 days of Vlogmas on my You Tube channel Planetpearl.

The year 2019 seemed to whiz past , mostly because it was a year of huge personal growth for me.

I started working at Outlaw Yarn HQ . People who know me really well, know its a dream come true for me.

Once I read about a research that found ,that people who worked in Flower shops were one of the happiest . I can understand that , because how is it possible not to smile when you are surrounded by flowers, right?

As a fiber craft enthusiast, I feel the same way working in a yarn store( or Wool Shop as some people like to call it here ). It is hard not be happy surrounded by all the colourful yarn and meeting some really cool people , seeing the amazing projects they make. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.

It also opened up the opportunity for me to meet Steven Be . THE Steven Be . Which was one the year’s highlights for me.

He helped me cast on my Pearl Sweater. Which I thought was so cool. Really who would have thought I would meet him right ? And that he would be so down to earth and humble ,to patiently take the time to teach an absolutely beginner sweater knitter , how to do a cast on, explain the garment structure and make sure I got it right. Surely if that is not being generous with one’s time, I do not know what is !

Ever since I met him, I have been fan girling gushing talking about what a wonderful person he is to know! So much inspiration, wealth of knowledge , so positive and funny.

One of the things I checked off my Bucket list in 2019, was attending Christchurch Woolfeast as a stall Vendor ,selling my Hold and Cherish project bags . Two of my close friends and my son gave me so much support and made it a wonderful success.

Another wonderful experience was flying over to Wellington to attend Craft Camp. It was such a well organised camp which helped me meet some amazingly talented women.

I learnt to dye yarn along with Steve, my younger son, which was a great exposure to art of yarn dyeing for both of us.

I also tried weaving which I really loved too.

I’m really proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and I’m really pleased with how the year 2019 went for me craft wise.

For the year 2020

Regardless of how my personal life is going, I always get excited about a New Year. It’s always a time to reflect on the past lessons and look forward with hope, to another year of inspiration and learning .

The plans for this year include ,moving towards a more intentional ,slow living and uncluttered lifestyle.

I have already cleared out my closet of clothes that I do not wear, to be donated to Salvation Army. Which does make me feel better about putting my thoughts into action.

I also hope I will be able to keep up with my blog more regularly, sharing more of my creating journey ,towards a joyful life.

With that said,Thank you so much for being part of my creative journey , for your encouragement and support by way of likes and comments. Appreciate you all so much.

Have a very blessed 2020 dear friends.

Crafts · Face Cloth · face cloth · Finished Objects · Handknit · Handmade · Knitting · Life style · Skin Care · socks

Cosy Autumn and Winter Makes

I’ve always enjoyed learning to make new things and the two seasons have been really good on that front.

First thing that I wanted to learn to make this year was to learn to make socks. I did not get a good result when I attempted to teach myself. When a class was announced at a local yarn store, I did not think twice before signing up. The yarn and the needles were part of the class.

Good thing I did because, not only did I learn to make the socks, i really enjoyed it as well as one colour transitioned to another .Whats so exciting is that they fit my foot perfectly!.Im still learning to do the Kitchener stitch perfectly though.

A local yarn store advertised for sample knitters and I applied and got to make a sample blanket.The yarn and pattern were given to me by the yarn store plus paid to make the blanket.

Honestly it was so fun to work on once I got hang of all the repeats right. The yarn was really lovely to work with as well.

What I really liked about this blanket was that the edging on the blanket was also a chevron.

By the time I finished this blanket, this yarn store decided to move to a near by town . So I took a bus to go there to return the blanket which turned out to be another adventure!

I also made a pony tail headband to wear when walking Amber . The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the colourway Lotus. Its really cozy and warm to wear.

I also tried my hand at candle pouring. Which was really fun too.Ive been using these candles I made constantly

I also took a Botanical Skin care Workshop with Tuwahiwi Botanicals , which was a wonderful workshop and I learnt a lot of face oils .

Of course I had to knit face clothes for these natural powders. They are 100% cotton yarn and such a fun easy pattern to knit from. You can find the pattern on the Knit Picks Website called Slant Dishcloth

This work shop took me straight back to the days when my mom and I used to make all sorts of natural skincare powders.

My dad would tirelessly went to the local native medicine shop to get all the things from our long list of ingredients. Some of the ingredients we often collected from the plants growing wildly near our home.Beautiful carefree days to reminiscence and cherish the love that went into my upbringing.

Looking back at all these things it feels like a very productive season.

Accessories · cowl · Crafts · Finished Objects · Handknit · Handmade · Indie Dyed yarn · Knit · Knitting · Nunnaba Artisan Yarn · Yarny Love

Bobble Cowl

The thought of knitting with two colours of yarn was somehow intimidating to me , that I never attempted to even try it. Then I saw one of the ladies in church wearing a similar looking cowl in lovely earthen colours that I was tempted to give it a try.

It always takes some time for me to work up the courage to try new things. Once I start,I always realise that it was not as hard as I thought of it in my head! (Over thinker alert right here ). Sometimes , simply just doing it is best.

When I went searching for an easy -ish free pattern on Ravelry , this pattern came up in the search. I decided to make this pattern only because it came with the tip to look up ‘Blister Stitch ‘on You tube ,which proved to be super helpful.

I decided to use the scrumptious Nunnaba gradient and Naturally Tweed I had in my stash . Once I got an understanding the stitch pattern down, it was a pleasure to work on and proved to be a quick finish.

I made a few additional rows than the pattern called for as I wanted the gradient yarn to come through.

I couldn’t however, figure out how to do the jobless join in this cowl . Its ok I think ,as when I’m wearing it, it may not be that visible .

This cowl is so so soft. I love it.

Surprisingly for this project ,I did not use up all the yarn in the gradient yarn like I wanted to.I also have a little more of the brown tweed left over as well.

Pattern Details :

Pattern : Bobble Cowl by Ina Aleksandrova

Needles : US 7 – 4.5 mm Chiagoo Needles

Yarn :Nunnaba Artisan Yarn White Gum Wool 8ply in the Shabby Rose Colourway

coaster · Crafts · Crochet · Home Decor · Home Making

Pointy Coasters

In an attempt to organise and decorate everything, I have been quietly working away on adding in little cozy corners around my home ,for me to feel inspired and be creative.

So with the help of J, I put together a little blogging nook for myself. I’ve always liked to have a little desk in the corner of our bedroom to read ,write , plan and contemplate.

It is not at all fancy, the table is a hand me down from Steve and the chair is a thrifted gem from the Eco store in Christchurch. But I was extremely happy with how it all came together to serve my purpose.

When we finished working on the space,I was doing my morning devotion with my tea in hand and realised I did not have coasters that went with the space.

So I went stash diving and found this lovely Egyptian cotton my friend Jessyz had gifted me , at one of our meet ups, a very long time ago.

I had tried making many things with this yarn, but nothing made me happy . Each time I would make something, not feel the project, and then frog it and wind it back into the ball.

The best thing about this yarn is that, in spite of the several making and frogging I did, the yarn held its shape without pilling or losing its sheen.

This time, when I tried making these coasters , it made me very happy with how it turned out, that I decided to make a set of four.

I used Laura cotton for the edging which made it go perfectly with my space.

Project Details :

Pattern :   Pointy Coasters by Carmen Heffernan Boho Crochet: 30 Gloriously Colourful Projects

( I do not have the pattern. I saw the picture of the coaster online and kind of made up on my own from the picture and assumed the pattern was by Marinke Slump! Funny thing is, I just now discovered that I made a mistake of who the designer was,as I was writing this post! )

Hook : 3.5 Addi hook

Yarn : Egyptian Cotton ( Gift from Jessyz)

Laura Knitting Cotton in the colour 894

Accessories · Christchurch · Crafts · Handknit · Handmade · Indie Dyed yarn · Knit · Knitting · New Zealand · Rosewood Wool · Shawl · Yarny Love

Boneyard Shawl

This shawl started as a knit along with my friend. We both decided to use Rosewood Wool , mine is 12 ply while hers is 8 ply I think.

Soon after , she started working at a school and I left for India, our knit along kind of took the back seat.

Coming back from India dealing with all the change in weather and home sickness, I started knitting on it  with  Amber sitting on my feet for company acting as a little smooshy cushion  , listening to podcasts , munching on Nagercoil banana chips….

(  I mention Nagercoil chips in particular because ,there is a huge difference between Lakshmi Vilas Nagercoil Banana chips and Banana chips available in other parts of the country. Nothing comes close to it and it is one of the those comforting taste of home food)

Also because knitting on this shawl was more like eating chips, cannot stop with one.`And before I knew it I had finished  two  of the three skeins I had, along with my stash of chips I brought back with me from India..

Then I had a chance to go to an afternoon to Handy Dandy craft group at the library and in the almost two and a half hours I was there, I had reached the end of the third ball and only the border was left to be done.

Back home, little more knitting and   just like that this shawl was done. Much like the  packet of banana chips that finished before realisation came about! (So regretted not getting more of this taste of home , and now that I write about it, I’m craving for some ) 

Project Details:

Pattern : Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West

Needles : 4.5 mm Chiagoo Fixed Circulars

Yarn : Rosewood wool Romney Aran in Shepherd’s Delight Colourway.

Baby Blanket · Baby Gifts · Drawstring Bags · Handmade · Home Sewn · Quilt · Quilt Making · Sew · Sewing

Spring Sewing

Come spring in Christchurch, specially in Hagley Park , Daffodils ,Hyacinths , Cherry Blossoms, Kowhai,  Magnolias, against the bright clear blue sky , together with   brand new green leaves on  the trees,  put on a spectacular show for all to enjoy.DSC_0393DSC_0425.JPGDSC_0428The flowers, sunshine and the bird songs does something to the mind and automatically uplifts the spirits.

I was in the mood for tidying up my messy craft corner.As I was cleaning, I realised that I had  posted about this very special  bag only on Instagram.This space being place to record all the things I make, I decided this bag had to be on the blog. DSC_0123First of all,it was the fabric name ‘Makers’ by Cori Danitini  that caught my attention and then of course, the print  was too hard to pass by.DSC_0128I decided to make a reversible bag using a picture I saw on Pinterest, as reference. Since I used the entire panel for the pattern, I only used the panel size as the size of the bag and kind of made up as I went along. I also used the panel for lining so that it would be truly reversible.DSC_0131I also referred to Ayumi’s Reversible patchwork bag pattern for attaching the drawstring casing.

The beads I got in India, came in handy for adding finishing touches to the cord.

The sweet print and pattern came together so well and quickly became a personal favourite finish.

The flowers , birds and the general magic of witnessing the earth come alive in a myriad of colours, cast a spell on me and I had to do something to celebrate the promise of warmer days in the air.

I tried the same pattern I made for the previous bag but this time with fusible interfacing. It did not turn out exactly as I envisioned it. Will keep trying though.

The bag and the tulips that grew in spite  my negligence  of my garden ,had to be documented and hence they are here.DSC_0346

The Putitputi pouch collection  was inspired by the desire to bring all the delightful elements of spring into the craft space.

Putiputi by the way, means flowers in the Maori language  These pouches were well received and I was thrilled with the positive feedback I got on them too.

Of the two people who bought from this collection, one of them has received her package and was extremely happy while the other unexpectedly  has not yet received hers thanks to NZ post. Fingers crossed it will reach her soon. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say  about her bag.

Untitled design-5

The other couple of projects I made were commissioned by a lovely lady from church. She wanted two baby blankets  in blue for friends who were both expecting baby boys. Her other brief was  something that will not be available in the regular baby sections of stores.

I decided to go with my ever favourite woodland theme for both.

For the first quilt I went with a simple squares and it measures 30″ x 35 ”

Untitled design-6.jpg

For this quilt, I used the Fast Four -Patch Pattern from Diary of a Quilter

Untitled design-3

In my hurry  to pack and give it to her, I forgot to take pictures of the backing. Both the quilts are backed with dimpled minky fabric.

It completely made my day to  see the happy smiles on her face and hear her say that it was hard for her to choose which one to give her favourite friend .

Accessories · Bags · Crafts · Finished Objects · Sew · Tote bags

Scrappy Happy Tote

DSC_0331dsc_0293.jpg

This everyday catch all tote has been in the making for a long time.

The exterior and interior  fabrics I got  a long time back from my favourite local fabric store Forget me knots , with the intention of making a tote.

I love combining a patterned fabric with the News print fabric, so thats what I decided to do for this tote.I had cut out the fabric . I added the slip pockets (using the same method I learnt long back at the bag workshops in Kuwait. It is my trusted go to method.)DSC_0307

For the pockets ,I just pulled out a few big enough favourite fabric scraps from my stash .

Then  I wanted to add an inside zipper pocket along with the slip pockets. Since I did not know how to do that, ‘procraftination’ happened.

A few tutorials combined helped me figure that out, however, this tutorial in particular.helped me a lot.

I wanted a pop of colour against the black and white lining fabric and  decided to add a bright red zipper that I had bought in Kuwait, back when .

DSC_0332

That the silver metal teeth of the zipper kind of matched the bag interior was an added bonus.I prefer silver, and copper coloured metal teeth zipper to the nylon and gold ones.

DSC_0334.JPG

The colourful lining to the zipper pocket was to keep up with the pop of colour theme and to add a little surprise element to the tote.

DSC_0306

And while I was at it , I thought I’d add a key fob too.

DSC_0304

The lovely owner of Forget me knots once told me that it is always a good idea to use darker colours for bag handles as that is one of the places to get dirty first . So thats what I kept in mind choosing fabric  for the handles.The fabric was part of a precut Fat quarter bundle,  I purchased in a sale.

The bag is interfaced with fusible batting and the handles with a thinner interfacing for flexibility and sturdiness.What's in my bag?

I learnt a lot making this bag  as I went along, adding elements that I would like in my dream tote. It’s still a work in progress even though I’m happy with how this bag turned out.