The whole of June was dry. In terms of rains in Mumbai as well as words from me on this blog. The rains have finally arrived here with a vengeance and I decided to come back and talk.
My stash is in a garage, corrugated cardboard wrapped and clingfilmed. I spent one month working on the little I’d packed for that chimeric granny square bedspread, then I was one month haunting the Weavers’ Centre in Hyderabad and learning about floor looms. After returning to Mumbai and limbo-land, my fingers got itchy. So off I went to the LYS (there is actually one, more a Local Craft Store, and very near by this city’s standards) and picked up some thread to knit a doily. I forgot my half-formed resolution to use thicker fibre for lace, and got the usual #20 equivalent.
Got a few rounds into it and then decided my daughter and I needed head gear for the sunny walk to and wait at the bus stop. So off I went and got some acrylic yarn and matching thread. That turned into this:
But I realised my gauge is much looser than the LYS owner thinks, and I ought really to have bought a hook a couple of sizes smaller. So I quickly went off the second hat, but miraculously, perhaps because I was making sun hats, the monsoon settled in. Now I don’t need a hat anyway.
Then I forget how, but I got itchy to crochet a doily. This time I made sure to get a thinner hook, and double the thread. I’m happy now and have got about 33 rounds done of a Japanese pattern, despite having to undo several rounds and redo them. I’m thinking this might turn into another parasol, which would be about as much use as a doily in my house. Not that I have a house at this point.
Some time ago I wove with some gifted yarn (yarn gifted to me, not that it was exceptionally talented :p) I was trying a new technique on my table loom (Ashford, 8H, 24″) and found that the yarn was turning my loom pink. But I got a feel of the technique (overshot), and I turned that into a cushion cover (it barely fit).
Then a friend saw it and asked me to make her a few covers. With complete freedom to choose colours. I decided to use black for background, with five different colours, and the undulating twill draft.
I haven’t been able to find a source of cotton yarn that will sell me quantities suited for my limited use. So I chose Anchor knitting cotton, which isn’t a very economical choice, but the only feasible one, since most of the colours don’t run.
I underestimated the shrinkage from weaving and from washing, so I had to add commercial fabric to make the sizes my friend wanted. It was nevertheless an interesting experience and I loved how the fabric looked on the loom.
My friend seems to be happy with them. What struck me as strange later was that I didn’t choose any colours in the blue spectrum. Perhaps because the inspiration was in the red-ochre range? There was the green, though.
The sewing machine and I aren’t really friends, although we are on speaking terms. I’m happy if I can sew a straight seam most of the time. But I do prefer machine sewing to a needle and thread any day.
I have sewn some things for my daughter, and a few cushion covers etc. but it was a huge leap from those to quilting. The occasion of a friend having twin daughters seemed a good time to start, especially when someone pointed me to a shop in Chennai that sold jelly rolls, which I’ve been drooling over for ages but found too expensive to buy from abroad… In fact, I was so impatient to begin that while waiting for my order to be delivered, I went ahead and chopped up and sewed some fabric I had on hand.
I decided to see if having an app would make me blog better.
In the past year or more I’ve become obsessed with weaving, helped along by some ennui in knitting and crochet, plus an odd sort of pain in my left forefinger, the one that tensions the yarn when I crochet. Which served as an excuse to do more weaving.
I now have three looms, and have been waffling about getting a fourth.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, admire these.
Regular readers might remember the shawl-turned-tablecloth-turned-parasol I wrote about a few years ago. I’ve gone and done it again, but much smaller this time. Continue reading
In my last post but one I was talking about slippery slopes, wasn’t I? And left you without explaining what I meant.
I was referring to this stole I made. I had some balls of rayon that Jaishree gifted me, which were sources of amazement to me primarily because of the fact that they stayed rolled. I find the yarn so slippery I cannot manage to roll it from a hank, yet she actually Continue reading
…and good intentions.
I did intend to be a more frequent blogger, honest. That is, when I was not thinking of shutting down the blog altogether. But well. There’s work (March was hectic), some weaving, lots of reading (Simon Brett, an abortive Cecilia Ahern [I think I'm too old for her, I was quite bored and couldn't finish the book], Dick Francis [I actually found one that apparently I hadn't read], lots of comfort reads) and reading always beats most other things. And I think it always will.
So. Only a couple of posts in March.
Among the things I wove in March was this scarf, with some textured yarn I bought from Pony, that I would normally never have bought for crochet or knitting.
On Ravelry there is a group which began in 2010 for people wanting to make 10 shawls in 2010. I’ve bee a member since then, but never have managed to make 10 in ’10, 11 in ’11 and so on. I did have a narrow miss last year, when I achieved 11 in ’12. That was disappointing. The rules are strict, you can’t pass off a scarf no matter how complicated or yarn-consuming as a shawl or stole.
The whole of last year went by with only one real post. I’m thinking perhaps I should try and do better this year?
So here are my two last projects from 2012. Both are for a friend who is currently at MIT and so will find use for woollen stuff.
Yes, I know. I last posted here on the last day of the last year. And to be perfectly frank, I was considering whether to mark this blog as dead. I have too little to say which I haven’t already said on Ravelry.
However, this is by way of being a test post. A friend was asking why her blog posts aren’t showing up on the South Asian Crafters group page on Ravelry and I had to confess I hadn’t blogged this year at all. As moderator of said group, I thought I would post here and see if my post shows up.
One of the small projects I finished this year was a set for a friend with a new baby. I tested the frock pattern for the designer and then made the booties to match. Wool sock yarn, since the things were for a London baby. And the yarn (squooshy!) was from a sock yarn club I (bought? took? participated in?) as one of those “Try everything once” things.
The dress happened to be the 300th project I’ve entered into Ravelry. The designer has cute girls of her own, so I get to try out lots of girly stuff when testing for her. They’re usually quick projects, plus she lets me use whatever yarn I have on hand.
The booties were in my queue for a long time. I’m always attracted to things with brioche stitch in them. I entirely forgot to send the leftover yarn to my friend, though. I’m told the baby liked them.