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.

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

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.

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.

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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 ”

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

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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 .

Antler Hat

Every single winter since I came to New Zealand, I’ve wanted to get a cabled hat. A cream one. Now I’m not big on wearing hats but that’s another story. Anyways, every time I see a cream cabled hat in Kmart, I’d come with some excuse not to get it .The underlining  fact behind all those excuses is one and only reason .And that is ,like every maker, I always think I can totally make that  .

Only, I never get around to making it because I’m distracted by something or the other . Another reason I’ve realised over time is that when something intimidates me, I keep putting it off until I work up enough courage to tackle it. Thats what happened to the cabled hat as well.

Then in one of the video podcasts I watch, I saw a baby cabled hat and heard of the Antler hat pattern from Tin can Knits.Since this site is widely spoken of as a beginner friendly pattern site, I decided to give the baby Antler hat a go, the smaller size seemed less intimidating. The sizes run from baby to adult size.

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A few false starts later, it was smooth sailing. I still made a few mistakes because I was too tired   and sleepy to count properly or distracted.

I used one whole skein of Heritage Polwarth   and 5 mm Chiagoo needles.

Project Details :

Yarn : Heritage Polwarth 8 ply  shade : 404 Karr Pink  Batch 103932-33

Needles : 4mm and 5mm Chiagoo needles

Pattern : Antler Hat by Alexa Ludeman

Tid Bit : “Now I’d actually pay you to make me something like that ”  Those words coming from an usually disinterested teen is high praise  I think and says a lot about the pattern 🙂

DSC_0349This hyacinth plant is special because  it reminds me of a friend who came by to spend half a day with me. When she came to visit me, she brought this lovely hyacinth plant for me. I never knew hyacinths had such  sweet scent before then.We shared a meal, learned a little bit about each other, exchanged recipes and bid good bye.

When the flowers withered, I planted  the bulbs and did not remember  about them until I saw the flowers.

They remind me of  a lovely time and also that spring is slowly making her entrance .Can’t wait to see the earth bloom and come alive with flowers of different colours.

Baby gifts

Baby showers are a great excuse to make baby gifts. I love making gifts for babies not only because of how adorable they look but it also makes me marvel at the miracle of life itself, in the words of the Psalmist, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.Those verses in Psalm 139 : 14-16, they get me every single time.

I have been plotting and planning to make gifts for a special friend in church, who is having a baby very soonbaby quilt

This was not the original quilt I had planned for her. Like I have done several times before,I changed my mind after I finished making  quilt top with the fabrics I had got before and decided to make her another one

For this simple baby quilt,I used  the dreamy , whimsical woodland themed Hushabye hollow (by Lydia Nelson for Moda) charm pack that I had in my stash plus some extra yardage to make this quilt so that the baby can use it upto toddler stage. I backed it with the softest minky in a soothing  fawn colour. I also added my Hold&Cherish label to it.

Then I also made her a stroller knit blanket with 100% New Zealand Organic Merino.This yarn is no longer available so I’m really happy I had enough to make this blanket. I misplaced the care labels I had printed earlier somewhere and so couldn’t attach it to the blanket. knit baby blankie

The pattern for this blanket was part of a test pattern I did back in June here. You can read how I got to be test knitter in the first place here. Makes me smile every time!

I used my 4.5 mm ChiaoGoo fixed knitting needles for it and they are a dream to knit with.I’ve used a few circular knitting needles now to know that ChiaoGoo fixed circulars are my favourite . I plan to get them in a few sizes and lengths.

My friend is on FB and Instagram .I didn’t want to ruin the surprise  for her so I did not post it anywhere else online, except here because the maker in me couldn’t contain the excitement of having the gifts ready to give  to the precious baby. Fingers crossed these gifts will be received well  by my friend and be used till they fall apart.

WIP: End of the year catch up

Schools have closed for the the year .The summer sun , the wildflowers , the roses ,hydrangeas and the lavender blooming  in my garden are keeping  me  very happy.

I’m sewing a lot more than I used to do.Finally I feel like I have a desire to sew and that came about with learning to sew this drawstring bag.

The unlimited possibilities that this pattern offers is its allure I believe.I made one more for Lil B’s Teacher to put her year end gift in.

I have now claimed my dinning table as my sewing set up with my machine, cutting mat and ironing all in one place.I can just sit and sew whenever I feel like it .

I’m also doing a modern mash up quilt- along.

I like Quilt -alongs/sew alongs because they often break down the big tasks into little do-able bits . Not just that, it is a great opportunity to learn from other people, being able to see the different versions of a block, in the comfort of my home.

These are the blocks I’ve made so far.

I’ve learnt to draw colours from an inspiration picture and work on it. Its hard but I’m trying .Choosing fabric has been the hardest part for me so far.

Knitting and crochet  have definitely taken a back seat. That does not mean I’m not doing them at all.

I’m testing the waters at the moment and trying to find out what sock knitting is all about. I want to know if it is for me, if yes, I want to see if I like cuff -down or toe up better. I want to give it a go once and see what the hype is about,  That ,and sock yarn is so pretty .

I asked for help on a FB group  and they directed me to this sock along.

Using DPNs seemed like a good idea at the time I started ,but now I wondering if I should have started with  circulars and magic loop.

I’m hopeful using DPNs will get easier once I get the hang of it. Not only that, it feels so cool knitting with five 2.5 mm toothpicks needles 🙂

There may have been a bout of startitis and I didn’t know ?.Podcasts and pretty sock yarn are to blame. I  started  the weekender blanket using some minis I had got at Unwind last year ,

 then I discovered  hedgehog fibres sock minis and I can feel a ‘mini’ obsession coming up to take hold of me.