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.

Books · Botanical Gardens, Christchurch · Christchurch · Handknit · Handmade · Home Decor · Home Making · Knit2together Group · Life style · Lifestyle · New Zealand · South Island

Autumn memories

Its been a while since I wrote on my blog. My last post was in March 2019! I did not mean to be away for so long. But I have been busy doing things and not so regular in updating the blog

It was the school holidays. I happened to stumble on a book called How to Hygge by Signe Johansen in the library online and promptly downloaded my first ever e -book loan from the library.

I have read a couple books on the Danish concept of Hygge but nothing spoke to me the way this book did . So I decided to put some of the things into practice .It really helped, I must admit.

I added cushions and a faux fur throw to cozy up our couch ,

Used dried lavender from our lavender plant for our kitchen counter

dried hydrangeas from our garden in the hall

greenery from pothos plants that I have been propagating, pine cones that I found in our walk in the Christchurch Botanic Garden

some fairy lights and some candles I made at a Workshop

Beginning of Autumn, we spent a day walking around the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Every season there is something to enjoy at the gardens, but my favourite times to visit there are Autumn and Spring.

The colours are just spectacular during this time. I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures my son shot.

Walking around the Rose garden ,the roses and the scent of roses pervading all over the garden was glorious.

We spent a good amount of time watching the ducks chase each other on the water

While the geese glided around seemingly oblivious to the commotion happening around

This swan was so graceful in the water

Creating a cozy space, having greenery inside the home, taking note of the things in nature really helped me, to focus on the beauty of simple things and take pleasure in them.

Also, during this time, a friend and I together , started a knit / craft and chat that like to call the Knit2together group in my home . This turned out to be a simple yet cozy way to connect with the ladies in my church doing something we all loved.

Practising gratitude, enjoying the seasons , connecting with nature and other people made Autumn a very lovely season for me.

Being intentional this way also helped me to forget dreading the approach of Winter .(which I would always do and work myself into a knot)

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

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.

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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 .

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

Scrappy Happy Tote

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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 .

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Baby Gifts · Handknit · Handmade · Hat · Knit · Knitting · Lifestyle

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.

Crafts · Finished Objects · Handmade · Life style · patchwork · Quilt · Quilt Making · Sew

Mod -Cot Quilt

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canva-photo-editor-11.pngIt’s been ages since I made a proper quilt. .

I set out to draft my own pattern  with my own measurements from a picture I had saved on my iPad .Not sure from where .It was more of a  ‘making as  I go  along ‘ kind of  project and  I struggled with it. I did not know  what size would make a big enough quilt for a baby.

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Then I saw the mod cot quilt pattern for sale on the instagram account of one of my favourite online fabric store stitchbird.co.nz. .Since it looked very similar to the quilt I was trying to make, I decided to purchase the pattern.

Having the instructions on hand, really did help.

I used the fabric I had recently purchased with the fabric that Shanna gave me.These are all free Spirit fabrics, one is Tula Pink and the other I forget. I was surprised that the colours all from the old and new fabric went together so well.

Along with the pattern,Lori also sent me the cutting layout on a fat quarter which was so helpful.

The blocks were fairly quick to put together. It was after I put the blocks together I realised that I did not have enough fabric for backing. or for binding. canva-photo-editor (4)

I resisted the temptation to use a Minky  fabric as  backing, like I did for previous baby quilts I ‘d made.

Ordered a metre of fabric for the backing, as I have only fat quarters in my stash . In my hurry to finish the quilt quickly, I did not read the pattern that  said I needed 1.5 metres for the backing . So I had to improvise and make a pieced backing. A first for me.

dsc_0072.jpgI put it  aside a bit,  looked at ideas on Pinterest , most of the ideas I saw were too advanced for me and then finally, it clicked, I just cut the one metre cloth into two equal parts and cut two other co-ordinating fat quarters to add in-between.

I wanted to do the self binding for this quilt but when I did the straight row quilting, I somehow messed up. I did not think of looking up for tutorials on You tube.So went for the bias  binding. IMG_0652

I did remember some of the lessons I learnt earlier in my quilt workshop in Kuwait about how to do the mitred corners.  I machined sewed the binding too. Another first.I would have liked a better finishcanva-photo-editor-8.png

I tied and hid the knots, washed in the washer and its ready to go now.
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Bags · Crafts · Handmade · Home Sewn · Life style · Sewing · Uncategorized

Sew Happy

I just love sewing bags .This bag has been in the making for a while. I go about gathering stuff to make a bag n then let them sit.Then after a long long time, I suddenly get the urge to get it done and get it done in a day.

 I’ve added some of my favourite features in a bag_ quilted exterior, polka dot lining and pockets . I wanted to add a magnetic snap as well but misplaced the one I had . So I went ahead and finished the bag. And wouldn’t you know?! Found the said snap as soon as I finished the bag. Oh well, there will be more bags and I will add them then.