Monday, April 7, 2014

Crochet Titanic

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Designing a vehicle is nothing like designing a hat or a scarf. It needs research and lot of planning. My son often points out that I don't make anything for him other than the occasional hats during winter. Please note that he still hasn't reached the stage where he thinks his mommy is crazy and makes some weird stuff using colourful yarns and hooks. I agree I don't make anything that he asks me to make for him which includes the likes of Panzer, battleships, trucks, etc. He would offer to draw out the designs and parts for me and would explain how to assemble them but I was not willing to take the risk. It seemed too much of a task for me. 

Anyhow, one day I said okay, I would make a ship for him but not a warship, maybe something easier. He asked me to make Titanic. He had always been fascinated by the ship's story, so I reluctantly agreed. I did some research and finally arrived at a plan and set about executing it. After lot of frogging and cursing, the ship's body took shape. The deck, chimneys and masts were made. When stuffing the ship I realized that the ship's sides, base and deck needed to be stiff to hold their shape. So I cut out the shapes using cardboards. I lined the ship with the cardboard pieces and then did the stuffing. Then I cross-stitched the windows. My son drew the flag. 


I can't say that I enjoyed making the ship. It was a huge headache for me. I even gave up midway and hid the pieces out of my son't eyes but he nagged me to start working on it again. Finally the ship is now ready for its maiden voyage. Phew! I can now breathe a sigh of relief. 

Saturday was his 10th birthday. I made this chocolate and vanilla layer cake for him. Though I can confidently bake cakes I am not that good at frosting. I can never manage to get a neat finish with my frostings. Anyway this one was better than my previous attempts and the cake tasted divine. I made 3 layers. The top and bottom layers were vanilla and the middle one was chocolate. I used whipped cream icing in between the layers and buttercream outside the cake. I wish I had clicked the layers before everyone started attacking the cake.

We went to the park yersterday and I regret not taking the camera along. There were plenty of beautiful flowers. Just look at these bunches of pretty pink roses that I clicked using my iphone. Don't they look gorgeous! Next time I should remember to take my camera along.

Wishing you all a wonderful, full filled week!

Monday, March 31, 2014

A trip to Manali

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The first time that we visited Manali, Himachal Pradesh, was 11 years ago as newlyweds. I LOVED the place - the weather was pleasant, the crowd was less and apple trees were in full bloom. It was a dreamland. The same year my husband's colleagues planned a trip to Kullu and Manali and though we had visited it only a few months ago we didn't want to miss a second opportunity. Unfortunately the second trip was a great disappointment, it was exactly the opposite of what it was the first time. 

We made our third trip on the 26th of this month, this time with our son and my dad. If I rate this trip I would say it was somewhere between our 1st and 2nd. We were there for only 2 days and it was constantly drizzling both the days. On the first day we set about visiting a few temples and a Tibetan monastry. Because of the rain we just rushed about and could spend only a few minutes in each of these places.

 On the way we saw a local woman working on her loom.


The apple trees hadn't started blooming but we found one with beautiful blossoms outside a temple.  



There were plenty of shops selling knitted goods, but only very few with crocheted items.


There was yarn shopping too. I picked some random colors.

On the second day we went to Solang Valley. It was raining and all I wanted to do was stay buried under the quilt. Initially I refused to go and asked the rest of the 3 to make the trip without me but eventually relented and agreed to go.

Anyway I am happy that I went because otherwise I would have missed the actual snow fall. It started out light and became pretty heavy by the time we were prepared to leave.



After two days of enjoying the snow we are back again in Delhi where summer has just started and I am already dreading the heat and dust of Delhi's hot summer months.





Friday, March 14, 2014

Crochet cable stitch hat - free pattern

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Yes, this is the free pattern that involves post stitches that I told you about in my last post - an adult sized cable stitch hat. The cable stitch is commonly seen in knitting. If you know how to work around posts this is actually quite easy and you can use it to create many interesting textures in crochet. 

This hat would fit a normal adult head of about 22 to 23 inch circumference. If you want a larger hat you can use a bigger sized hook. You will need approximately 170 to 175 yards of worsted/aran weight yarn in main color and about 50 yards in a complementing color. Hook size is H/5.00 mm.

Gauge is 16 sc = 4 inches

I have used standard American terms.

Abbreviations:

 ch - chain
st/sts - stitch/stitches
hdc - half double crochet (UK term - half treble)
dc - double crochet (UK term - treble)
fpdc - front post double crochet 
fptr - front post treble

Front post treble crochet (fptr) - Yarn over twice, insert hook from front to back between 2 posts, (yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook) 3 times.

If you are not familiar with working around posts you can refer to my tutorial here.

Instruction

Note:

  1. The hat is worked from top down. 
  2. Chain 2 at the beginning of each round will be considered as the first hdc of the round.
  3. At the end of each round join the last stitch to the 1st stitch using a slip stitch. 

Ch 66 and join to form a ring taking care not to twist the ring.
Round 1: Ch 2 (considered 1st hdc), hdc in next 65 chains (66 sts). Join. 
Round 2: Hdc in every st (66). Join. 
Round 3: Ch 2, hdc in next 3 sts, [fptr in next 4 sts one row below, hdc in next 7 sts] 5 times, fptr in next 4 sts one row below, hdc in the last 3 sts (66). Join. 

Round 4: Repeat round 2.

Round 5: Ch 2, hdc in next 3 sts, **skip next 2 sts, fptr in 3rd and 4th fptr one row below, fptr in the missed 2 fptr, hdc in next 7 sts** Repeat from ** to ** around, hdc in the last 3 sts (66). Join.

Round 6: Repeat round 2.
Round 7: Repeat round 3.

Round 8: Repeat round 2.
Round 9: Repeat round 3.

Round 10: Repeat round 2.
Round 11: Repeat round 5.


Repeat rounds 6 to 11 until you reach a height of about 7 inches. Break off yarn.

Brim:

Round 1: Join new color, ch 3, fpdc in every st around (66). Join. 

Repeat until the brim is approximately 2 inches high.

Closing the top:

Turn the hat inside out. Thread the yarn through a tapestry needle and weave in and out of every stitch of the topmost row. Then pull the yarn tight and tie it off. Weave in all the loose ends.

Make a pompom and sew it to the top of the hat.

I hope you find this pattern useful. If you come across any errors please do let me know.

Have a great day!









Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How to work around the posts - front and back post stitches

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Crocheting around the posts is an interesting way of adding texture to your crochet work. You can either crochet from front to back which is called a front post stitch or from back to front called the back post stitch. I have used standard American terms in my tutorial. I will show you how to make a front post double crochet (fpdc)

As shown below the vertical part of a stitch is called the post. I have worked a few stitches using the regular double crochet (dc). My next stitch is going to be front post double crochet (fpdc).


Wind the yarn over the hook as you do for the regular dc but instead of inserting the hook into the top of the stitch insert it from front to back into the space between the posts (the post where you worked your last stitch and the post in which you have to work your fpdc), take it behind the post and bring it again to the front as shown below.

Wind yarn over the hook and pull the hook out.


Now finish it as your regular dc.


For working the back post double crochet (bpdc) you have to insert your hook from back to front.

First wind the yarn around the hook, then insert the hook from back to front into the space between 2 posts (post of your last stitch and post of the bpdc stitch that you have to work now),

 take the hook around the post and exit though the next space

wind yarn over the hook and pull the hook out. 

 Then finish your stitch as a regular dc.

Below you can see 3 bpdc stitches worked one after another.

This technique can be used to work single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), or treble crochet (tr). I hope my tutorial was helpful for those of you who are new to this kind of textured stitch because shortly I am going to share with you a free pattern involving working around the posts. So watch out this space for a free textured ____ pattern.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lacy loops and flowers shawl - new pattern

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After my first triangular shawl here, I had always wanted to make a lacy one with flower motifs joined together. I have seen some of them in the internet and in crochet magazines and was inspired to create one. I felt crocheting countless flowers and joining them all together would be a huge task for me since I normally don't enjoy such things, also it wouldn't be much different from the Japanese flower scarf that was very popular some time ago. So I decided to make loopy flower squares so that when the squares are all joined together the final effect would be a mesh shawl with interwoven flowers.


I was left with plenty of pink and fushcia yarns from my round ruffle blanket and so they became my obvious choice of colors for the flowers. I also had the beige yarn which I felt complemented the pinks well.


Actually I finished this shawl long ago and the pattern was also written and ready to publish but all of a sudden I lost interest in it and the photographing part got delayed. Finally I pulled myself up together and completed it. The pattern is now available in my Etsy, Craftsy and Ravelry stores.

  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Water lily potholder

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I can't believe we have already entered the 3rd month of this year. Time is flying too fast. The water lily potholder pattern is an old pattern from my shop, I just decided to give it a new look. I am even thinking of using it as a motif to make a blanket. The pattern is available at my Etsy, Craftsy and Ravelry stores.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Flower square

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An addition to my potholder collection.
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