Bottomless

Any traveller on Indian Railways will know there is crochet on the train. Bottle holders in the AC coaches are made by hooks. As I travelled to Hyderabad last night, I noticed this:

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I think that phone camera photo is too dark, but that holder can no longer hold a bottle. It is, in effect, bottomless. And thus, paradoxically, filled with nothing.

Before leaving, I managed to pick up that final (as in currently available to me) hank and managed a few more squares. When I stopped, I had this:

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Likely if I had started a little earlier, I’d have finished this too. This square and half of another, I reckon.

Question to my readers. I’m writing these posts on my iPad. And uploading smallish images. What is the quality of these pictures that you see on your screens?

It’s a girl!

I found out today one of my close friends has had a baby girl, just a little before she was due to. I’m hugely thrilled to hear of a girl, because it seems like everyone is popping out the other kind. I dearly want to make something for the baby, but the issue is that it is an Indian baby and will live mostly in hot climates (in addition to having been born in summer). What could I make for her? Suggestions please.

Bamboo

Bamboo purse handles

I went looking for an embroidery frame at a craft shop and I struck it lucky, finding these bamboo bag handles. The upper ones were Rs 50 a pair (about a $1.10) and the lower ones were Rs 40 a pair (about $.90). Now all I have to do is make some bags. But you know, I prefer my bags to be shoulder ones, so that my hands are free. Time was, all my trousers had pockets so my wallet could be in them and my keys, and I could swing my arms freely around. Alas, now all my trousers are pocketless and I am laden with a handbag with my cell phone, keys, wallet, pens and things. Sigh.

Now I want you to cast your mind back to when you were younger, the world was friendlier and everyone loved everyone else. Remember the last time I showed you some respectable crochet? It could be this or this, neither of which were truly respectable, actually. Anyhow, I am now showing you some work in progress:
Baby blanket

This is a baby blanket using the Offset Shells stitch pattern from one of my Harmony Guides. I seem to remember Cordelia told me the yarn is Lionbrand Woolease (she sent it to me via my uncle in Houston whom my sister visited on her way back from Hawaii). The skeins are label-less, so I haven’t a clue what colour it is supposed to be. It’s about 40 inches wide and I’m close to the end of the second skein, with one more left to go. I shall make this as big as it gets and then pop it off in the mail to one of two friends with small children. There’s another one being made, also from a Harmony Guides stitch pattern and it’s a bit er, unorthodox, shall we say? I haven’t got a picture of it yet, but I shall soon.

I am happy to report I successfully used the Russian join on this one which leaves me with two less ends to weave. I’m not quite sure how exactly to manipulate the yarns when you’re trying to join two different coloured ones, though, so as to get the join exactly at the stitch you want it.

In happy book news, a branch of Crossword has opened  in this town and it’s walking distance from my house. I visited it the first day and bought Pico Iyer‘s Falling off the Map. I’ve never read him before.

But currently I am reading Alan Clark‘s (colourful chap) Diaries and it’s an interesting experience. I bought it at a discarded books sale at the British Council Library in Hyderabad, along with a bunch of Reginald Hills that I haven’t blogged about. My sister has a deep fascination with Maggie Thatcher and this book has several insights. And I’m learning things I never thought could be true outside books about how British politics work. Also Clark met George Courtauld (Travels of a Fat Bulldog) at an airport in Latin America. Now I want to go back and see if Courtauld refers to the meeting. Except I don’t know where to look for the book. I think my sister had borrowed it from the BCL on one of my Hyd trips. Sometimes it all sounds like Alice in Wonderland. Things like the Queen’s Messengers, and tea parties are actually true!

One of my favourite pieces of dialogue in Alice:

“Whose job is it to answer the door?” (Alice)

“Why, what questions has it been asking?” (the footman, I think).

Oh, and I bought a so-called bamboo cotton sari the other day at a craft fair from a persuasive Jaipuri salesman. I wonder how authentic it is. It qualifies as a party sari (for naval parties where Kanchi and Venkatagiri would be too aunty-like). Don’t know how long it will last. All glamour and glitter.

Yarn/thread in Pune?

This is for any of my readers with experience of buying thread in Pune. One of my online crochet friends wants to know the prices of the following:

1)the cost of a 100gm ball of thread from RED HEART,  (size 20)

2) the cost of the Knitting cotton by ROSE (size 10 or 5-don’t know?)

3) the cost of ANCHOR 100gms (little thinner than the size 20)

She wants to know if she is paying a fair price where she buys them. “Jita” left a comment on my old Blogger blog telling me that Galaxy overcharges, but she didn’t leave me an email address or an alternative shop suggestion. So we’re looking for information. Anybody know where you get the best prices for thread in Pune? Please?

Calling all Indian knitters

I’ve been asked twice in the last two days about traditional knitting in India. As far as I know, we only have an oral tradition and no written-down patterns as such, but I’m hoping my friends here can tell me more. Did we have knitting before the British colonised us? Are there traditional patterns?
Someone says she saw knitted vests in Rajasthan. Does that sound familiar to anyone?
I am totally ashamed of not knowing more, but would love this opportunity to find out, if anyone knows.

Yay India!

The buzz in knitting circles in recent weeks has been about the new interchangeable needles introduced by Knitpicks. While I was trolling the Web for info on which brand to choose, all the fora (forums) were agog with these needles, metal rather than the resin of the Denise set that I finally decided to ask for (a friend has promised me she’s getting them for me). I found a review today and guess what! The metal parts are Made in India. That’s really good. Despite knowing they will never be sold here, I can still feel happy someone in India is making something for themselves. Really. More power to them.
Although these are cheaper than the Boye Needlemaster, I still find them expensive (you try multiplying something by 47 especially when it’s “just a hobby”). I didn’t want the Boye because I’m not particularly fond of their metal crochet hooks. I find them heavy, the colours garish and the finishing is a bit odd (they have ridges on the backs).

Pony hooks might be bland, but I like them. They have a smooth finish and they’re not nearly as heavy as the Boyes.

Now I just have to sit on my hands and wait till I get the Denises. I sincerely hope they’re worth the expense (they must be in $$, but Rs?)