Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Learning to knit

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One day last week when I was very bored and didn't feel like crocheting I picked up the only pair of knitting needles that I had and started to teach myself to knit. I have been having this pair since my college days. They are size 10 needles and were birthday gifts from my friends who obviously didn't know the difference between crocheting and knitting. I remember receiving two pairs but I am not sure. I have only one now. It took me just one afternoon to learn how to knit and purl. I also learnt how to bind off but I did that only once, it was a bit frustrating. 


 On a sleepless night last week I was thinking about my online business. Last year was not a great one for me business wise, at the same I wouldn't call it a bad one too. I thought I should make a few changes. I am thinking of giving it a new name, I have already done that twice and I'm not sure if Etsy would allow me to do it again. If they do I'll change the name. I was also thinking of combining both my Etsy shops into one but I don't know if I would really want to do that. I will be revising the rates and removing or updating those patterns which have very few or no sales. I have already started rewriting a few patterns. All these changes would be gradual and will take some time. Only when I am done with all the old patterns I'm going to start with anything new. I already have a couple of patterns which are almost done but I think that would have to wait. 

Allfreecrochetafghanpatterns has again selected this blog as one of the top blogs of 2016. It's because of you readers and thank you all so much. 

Still I don't know how to bring my blog list back to the sidebar. It shows in the blogger layout but it does not appear in the sidebar. I'm still trying to figure it out.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Stitch pattern #6

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Hey everybody, can't believe new year's already 4 days old. I never make any resolutions and surely I am not going to make a resolution to blog more regularly. I know I won't stick to that. So here is the stitch pattern for this month.


The pattern is written using standard US terms. Use any yarn and a suitable hook.
Abbreviations used are ch - chain, sc - single crochet (UK - double crochet), dc - double crochet (UK - treble), tr- treble (UK - double treble)

You will need to start by making chains in multiples of 8 + 2.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, **ch 2, skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch, ch 2, skip 2 ch, sc in next ch** Repeat from ** to ** across. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in sc, **ch 3, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 space, ch 3, sc in sc** Repeat from ** to ** across. Turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in sc, **ch 4, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 space, ch 4, sc in sc** Repeat from ** to ** across. Turn.
Row 4: Ch 7, **sc in ch-1 space, ch 3, tr in sc, ch 3** Repeat from ** to ** across, tr in last sc. Turn.

Row 5: Ch 3, 2 dc in same st, **ch 2, sc in sc, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in tr** Repeat from ** to ** across, 3 dc in 4th ch. Turn.
Row 6: Ch 3, 2 dc in same st, **ch 3, sc in sc, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 space** Repeat from ** to ** across, 3 dc in last st. Turn.

Row 7: Ch 3, 2 dc in same st, **ch 4, sc in sc, ch 4, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 space** Repeat from ** to ** across, 3 dc in last st. Turn.
Row 8: Ch 1, sc in same st, **ch 3, tr in sc, ch 3, sc in next ch-1 space** Repeat from ** to ** across, sc in last st. Turn.
Row 9: Ch 1, sc in sc, **ch 2, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in tr, ch 2, sc in sc** Repeat from ** to ** across. Turn.

Repeat rows 2 to 9 until you reach the desired height.


This is how it will look after blocking.
    

Monday, December 12, 2016

Crochet Christmas tree wall hanging

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My Christmas tree is complete. I crocheted a gingerbread man and house, a stocking and a Santa face, and also the snowflakes. I might make some more and add them later on. I should mention that Susana's Christmas tree from here was the inspiration for my tree. That's it from me for now. 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bohemian vest - new pattern

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Hey everybody, today is Wednesday and I'm supposed to post a stitch pattern, but I had been quite busy with some Christmas crocheting that it just slipped out of my mind. I am thinking of making this tutorial thing a monthly affair. That would give me enough time to prepare. 


This Bohemian style circular vest is the latest addition to my pattern store. This is more of a summer pattern but I couldn't wait till summer to release it. This mandala vest is crocheted using sport weight yarn and size H/5.00 mm hook. It's quite easy as the instruction includes only basic stitches and suitable for a beginner.  As most of my patterns this also includes plenty of photos. The pattern is written for a single size and would fit a bust size of up to 36 inches. If you want a bigger one you can use a heavier yarn and a larger hook. 


The pattern is now available in my Etsy shop. It will soon be available in my other shops too. 

I said I was busy doing some Christmas crocheting, yes, I was crocheting a Christmas tree, this time a big one to hang on the wall. I took a photograph of it but didn't notice that it was out of focus. I just clicked it in a hurry, anyway here it is to give you an idea. It's about 80 cm high. I'm yet to decorate it. I handmade a few decorations and will be making more. So once everything is done I show you.

   
Have a nice day! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Whole wheat carrot cake with coffee flavour

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First of all thank you so much for your lovely comments on my new scarf. I have already started using it and I love it.

I made this cake 3 days ago and the reason why I'm sharing it here is:

  • I want to save the recipe because 
  • the recipe is my own and I don't want to forget how I made it because 
  • I am certainly going to make it again and again because 
  • it tasted so good!

I had made carrot cake once but that was long ago and I don't remember which recipe I used but I do remember that though it was good it was oily, dense and a little too sweet. This time when I surfed the internet for a recipe I came across several which used pineapple. All these recipes were the same with little variation here and there, so I chose one of them but decided to skip the pineapple and use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. These recipes used oil instead of butter and I knew with the amount of oil used I'll end up with an oily dense cake as before and I didn't want that. Also, my son did not approve the idea of adding carrots to a cake but I was adamant that it was going to be carrot cake or no cake. Finally he yielded thinking that some cake is better than no cake but he asked me not to add too much carrots in it. My husband looked on doubtfully as I added the ingredients one by one into the mixing bowl, whole wheat flour? carrots?? yogurt??? coffee????..... even I was getting a little skeptical. Anyway I went ahead as there was no other way out after mixing everything and it turned out to be a perfect carrot cake. It was surprisingly soft when eaten the same day.


Seen in the background are my desert in bloom baby blanket and carrot boy.

Here is the recipe

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour - 1 and 1/2 cups
Powdered sugar - 1 cup minus 1 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 3/4 cup
Eggs - 3 large
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt/thick curd - 1/2 cup
Instant coffee granules - 1 tbsp dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Chopped nuts - I used cashew nuts 1/4 cup and a handful of roasted almonds
Grated carrots - 1 and 1/4 cups loosely packed
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp

Method

Sieve flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder twice and keep aside.
Beat eggs well until frothy. Then add the sugar and beat well until thick and creamy.
Add oil, yogurt and vanilla and mix well.
Then add the coffee at room temperature.
Fold in the flour.
Finally add the grated carrots, raisins and nuts.
Pour into prepared tins and bake at 150 degree C for about 50 minutes or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Enjoy your cake!
I like to have mine with a cup of unsweetened coffee.
Have a nice day!
 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A scarf for me

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I had hanks of two variegated yarns that I had purchased long ago. One had red, pink, yellow and green in it and the other had a combination of blue, green and yellow. I had been having these yarns for over a year or so waiting for the right project.


Now that winter is approaching I decided to make a scarf to keep myself warm during my occasional early morning walks. Occasional not because I'm lazy (I love my morning walks), but because of the smog. Anyone in India would be aware of the pollution situation in Delhi. A couple of weeks ago the air quality was so bad that I developed a sore throat and cough even though I stayed indoors all the time and didn't venture out at all. 


And when I say morning walks, don't image some fancy countryside road, park or playground. We live in an industrial area and my building has a long terrace. I get up early in the morning before sunrise when it is still dark outside, go up and walk to and fro, to and fro with earphones plugged into my ears listening to some peppy numbers for at least 45 minutes until sunrise. Then I'll come down, have my coffee and will have just enough time to prepare breakfast and pack my son's lunch before he leaves at 7.30 for his school. 


Now coming back to my scarf, while I was making the tutorial for my stitch pattern #5, I decided that this was the pattern that I wanted for my scarf. I worked the scarf horizontally alternating 3 or 4 rows of each colour and used 8 mm crochet hook. The end result is a beautiful riot of colours. The scarf is slightly fuzzy, warm and extremely cozy.   


That's it. Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Stitch pattern #5

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Hi, time for a new stitch pattern. I used a lace weight yarn and a 3.25 mm hook for the above doily. I even started a wrap using the same pattern and I am using worsted weight yarn and 8 mm hook.


Use any yarn and a suitable hook. The pattern is written using standard US terms. I have not written the pattern for the edging shown above.


Instruction

 Stitches used
ch - chain (s)
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
ch-sp - chain space

Ch 1 at the beginning of a row will not be counted as a stitch.
Start by making chains in multiples of 10 + 2

Row 1: sc in first 3 ch from hook, ch 3, skip next 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 3, skip 2 ch, **sc in 5 ch, ch 3, skip 2 ch, dc in next ch, ch 3, skip 2 ch** Repeat from ** to ** across until you have the last 3 ch left, sc in 3 ch. Turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in 2 sc, skip next sc, ch 3, sc in ch-3 space, sc in dc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc, **sc in next 3 sc, ch 3, sc in ch-3 space, sc in dc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc** Repeat from ** to ** across, sc in last 2 sc. Turn.

Row 3: Ch 6, sc in ch-3 space, sc in 3 sc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc, **dc in next sc, ch 3, sc in next ch-3 space, sc in 3 sc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc** Repeat from ** to ** across, dc in last sc. Turn.

Row 4: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip 1st sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 3, **sc in ch-3 space, sc in dc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 3** Repeat from ** to ** across, 2 sc in last ch-6 space. Turn.

Row 5: Ch 1, sc in 2 sc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc, dc in next sc, ch 3, **sc in next ch-3 space, sc in 3 sc, sc in next ch-3 space, ch 3, skip next sc, dc in next sc, ch 3** Repeat from ** to ** across, sc in next ch-3 space, sc in next 2 sc. Turn.

Repeat rows 2 to 5 as many times as required.


Have a nice day!








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