Thursday, 28 November 2013

Cowl Inspiration

Hello friends,

~*~*~*~*~  HAPPY THANKSGIVING ~*~*~*~*~

And Thank You, Yes YOU, my lovely reader. The person who makes me want to write and share a teeny weeny part of my life. The person who visits me even when my posting is erratic, sarcastic and ungrammatic (!) and also says polite things about my crochet projects. :) And especially You, who take a few precious moments from their busy life to write to me, words which feel like raindrops on parched earth, to me. After all a conversation with oneself is only a monologue and not a dialogue...or a blog!

In the last post I shared the "family picture" and then I kept wondering which of my babies (crochet!) should I introduce first. I decided to start with this gorgeous cowl, which I made inspired by a free pattern.

Plum crochet cowl

Now, most of my internet sessions start with Google and "free crochet patterns". While the patterns may not always be the ones you are looking for, I see it is a good way to find some lovely blogs and make some beautiful friends. One such blog, and one of my favorites is Mooglyblog.com.

The truly talented Tamara at Moogly has some gorgeous patterns AND they are all FREE. Tamara's patterns use a lot of lovely colours and there is something for everyone at home. You feel that you have to make them all!! The pattern that inspired me for this cowl was the Moroccan Market Tote. While I thought that I may not have the patience to make the complete bag, I was desperate to try the stitch which was producing such a wonderful texture. So I decided to make a cowl (a side effect of my trip to ladakh).

Isn't it gorgeous!! I simply loved the texture. The white yarn envelopes the plum yarn from both sides and it looks almost like a woven fabric. 

Plum cowl detail

Have you ever visited the Taj Mahal? While this pattern is inspired by Moroccan tiles, the ruby jewels peeping through the white filigree reminded me of the beautiful marble inlay work at the Taj Mahal.

crochetkari cowl detail
Image source: Wikipedia

Don't you agree? And if you have never visited the Taj Mahal you must add it to your list of "Places to see before I..........". 

There is also a pattern for an afghan using this same pattern at Moogly with instructions for different sizes. It is accompanied by a video tutorial for the stitch pattern. I had a slight problem at Row 3 so I urge you to watch the video if you are going to try this pattern.

For my cowl I used yarn from THIS stash and a 4.00 mm crochet hook. The cowl is 60" in circumference and 6" wide. 

Plum infinity scarf

Such cowls are also known as "infinity scarves" as they have no ends. So you can wear it like a scarf, thus:

Crochet infinity scarf

Or wrap it around your neck twice so that it looks like a cowl, like this:

Plum crochet cowl

The photos are a bit messy as I was trying my hand at some photo editing with (as you can see) not so good results. But I know you will excuse me.  :) I used the two different colours for the two edges just for visual interest.

Do let me know what you think of my cowl? 

I will be back soon with another cowl and another one of my favourite crochet blogs.
Until then Happy Crafting. I am anxiously waiting to see what my bloggy friends are going to make for Christmas - either for themselves or as gifts.

Ciao,



Thursday, 14 November 2013

Things to come.....

Hello friends,

I know I have been off the grid for a long time but hopefully things will be back on track soon. There a lot of lovely crochet projects to show you and many sites with free patterns to share.

I think you all know how it is....sometimes silly things like life, health, etc get in the way of important stuff like blogging and crochet. LOL. Just joking....

Well, my mother-in-law was here for her annual visit and two months just flew by with lots of travelling, eating out and festivities. 

Here is a teaser of projects I will be sharing soon.
Crochet projects collage

Most of these projects were made from free crochet patterns so look out for a link to those sites in my posts. 

Hopefully things should now fall back into place and I should get my blogging rhythm right.
We also visited some quaint places in and around Ahmedabad and I will share those photos too.

Today, 14th November is Children's Day, 
which I believe is not just for kids...
but for all of us...
to celebrate the Child in Us...
never mind whether we are 6...or 16...or 60...
So, HAPPY CHILDREN'S DAY to all my dear readers!!!

I leave you with this poster that really captures my mood.........;)

Crochetkari work
Source: Facebook

I am sure many of you feel the same way too!! See you soon

Friday, 11 October 2013

Birthday Goodies

Hi Friends, remember me?

Well, I wouldn't blame you if you don't remember me since I disappeared for so loooong. I was actually jolted out of my stupor after reading THIS post by Sharon, that is when I realised that I had been neglecting my blog and my lovely friends too. I know you will forgive me but you see this is what happens when overgrown kids get too many toys to play.

Confused? I am referring to the presents I got for my birthday. As Aishwarya rightly pointed out I spent my birthday, which was on 10th of September, in Mumbai. And much to my surprise I got a lot of pressies which I was not expecting at all.

Firstly I was not happy about the trip to Mumbai, because;
A) Believe it or not, after all my grumbling, three years down the line I am finally calling  Ahmedabad my Home, and I hate leaving my house to go Anywhere.

B) Hubby could not get any leave from work so it was only me and sonny to Mumbai, which also meant I would spend my B'day without him....Grrrrrrr.

But then, surprise, surprise...Hubby managed to squeeze in two days of leave and reached Mumbai just in time for my birthday.
He also threw a lovely dinner party for me, along with a few of our closest friends at my favorite restaurant, Urban Tadka (at Ghatkopar), and with desserts on the house, what more could I ask for, right?

But wait there is more, a visit to my Mom's place revealed a huge pile of crochet, knitting and craft books bought for my by my brother!! Yes, dozen's actually, plus a whole set of "Stitch by Stitch" books which I think are now a vintage item. All thanks to the eagle eyes of my brother and my sister-in-law, both of them are avid readers and spend most weekends visiting all possible book fairs. Since I couldn't carry all the books back with me as my shoulder is on the verge of popping out of its socket, I picked the most colorful book of the lot. The rest are expected to reach me by courier. So here it is:
There are a lot of lovely projects in this book and I will give you a book tour soon (ulterior motive... I want to play with our new scanner).

Then a visit to my aunt who had just returned from the U.S. brought forth this goody, something that I have been lusting after for a long, long time...

 Crochetkari Crochet World CD

This CD has sixty two issues of Crochet World magazine!!! Can you imagine how many patterns that works out to?!! Even if I make only one fourths of the patterns I think I am set for life... What do you say?

Think that's all......NOOO I am saving the best for last!!!! Guess what was waiting for me in my mailbox back home at Ahmedabad. This fantastic book which I secretly longed for, sent by the lovely Gale from Boocoos Blogthingy, all the way from USA. Now isn't that very very sweet of her. It was the prize of a giveaway but as I firmly believe in the power of Positive thinking I knew the book was looking for me too. ;) Hehe.


 Crochet Saved My Life
(Affiliate link)
 Ever since I had heard and read about this book I longed for it, (especially since I believed that the lives of People around me was saved because I never put my hook down to pick up any weapon.....haha) and it was definitely on my bucket list. Who knew my wish would come true so soon. Thank you, dear Gale. Did I mention the Bonus - the book is signed by the Author Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence. Now that is a first for me - an author signed copy!

So now tell me, can you really blame me for getting lost, poring (read that as salivating)  over the patterns and the books and forgetting to update my blog!! I am sure you will understand. :)

Now, no visit to Mumbai is complete without a visit to my favourite yarn store - Pradhan's of course. I got a lot of yarny goodies...kilos actually but more about that in a later post.
So do come back for the book tour, my review of "Crochet Saved My Life" and to see my yarn extravaganza.

Have a great weekend. Happy crafting.



Thursday, 5 September 2013

Snow Capped Orange

Hi friends,

Yes, its me! Still alive and playing hooky as usual. I know I am writing after many, many days and that is because I was busy with some "behind the scenes" activities. More about that later.

For a change I actually remembered something that I promised earlier and that is, to show you the matching hat I made for the orange and white scarf. So here it is:

crocheted  hat

crochet textured hat

Cute, isn't it? It does look like any simple crochet hat but I am very proud of it. Why?  Because I made it without any pattern. Something which I very rarely do as I am a slave to the written word and also because I just do not have the patience. But this time I had to rack my brains as I wanted a matchy matchy set.
 
crocheted scarf and hat set

The trick was in adapting the scarf pattern to the hat. While the scarf is worked by crocheting back and forth the hat is worked in the round. But I managed to do it without any gaps showing in the pattern. 

I will discuss more about adapting patterns in my next 'scarf and hat' post. I chose white for the crown as I thought orange would look too bright and even kiddish. So the white cuts through the orangey-ness. But I kept the cuff orange as that is the part which is handled the most while putting on and taking off and white may get soiled quite easily.

crocheted hat scarf

The set looks just lovely. What do you say?

Here is a closer look at the stitches and cuff

crochet hat textured stitch

And here is some unknown model wearing it.....   :)  LOL

crochetkari hat

Now, about those "behind the scenes" activities, you may have seen the advertising banners and links on the blog. I know that they are a bit irritating but please bear with me. Recently I came across many articles about monetizing your blog and I thought I should give it a try. Also the real reason is that I am hoping in the long (looooong) run it will help me pay for my yarn acquisition disorder without feeling guilty when I stock up. Since Adsense, for reasons unknown to me, does not want to be my friend I had to hunt for other options. Also fear of html is a big handicap.

Another activity is that I have now joined Twitter. I have not really got the hang of it yet but it is an easy way to "follow" your favorite bloggers, crochet designers and experts. Hoping to be active and tweeting soon. PS- Any tips are most welcome.  :)

This has been a hurried post as I am leaving for Mumbai to celebrate the Ganesh festival with my friends and relatives there. Last year I wrote a small post about this festival and you can read it HERE. I hope I have some good pics to share with you from Mumbai. 

I am also planning to buy some yarn in Mumbai, so wish me luck. No, not for buying but for camouflaging and stuffing it into my suitcase so that nobody is wiser!!  LOL The things one has to do just to keep your hobby alive.

So that is all for now. Can't resist one more pic of my orangey matching set!  :)

crochetkari orange scarf and hat set

Happy crafting and Happy Ganeshotsav


Monday, 19 August 2013

Scarfed for life

Hello friends.

Thanks for popping in. I know I am not blogging consistently but I have been crocheting like it is going out of fashion. Now that my hook has become hot let me keep it down and pick up my camera.

But first I want to thank everybody for their good wishes on our Independence Day and also for your lovely comments about my crocheted hearts. And a warm welcome to all new friends who have joined us.

You may have read one of my previous post about our trip to Ladakh. Before this trip, I used to think that scarfs are fashion accessories and I always wondered how a thin strip of fabric could protect you from the cold. Well, that trip put all my doubts to rest as I wore my scarf 24/7.

Once home I decided to make a few more, now that I had realised  that they were useful and handy and definitely helped to keep you warm. 

I decided to use a pattern I had already used here but with a twist. This time I decided to use two colours. 

Soooo...... tad dah.....

crochet orange scarf crochetkari

And this is my first scarf

crochet ivory scarf crochetkari

The two colours make it look like a whole new pattern, doesn't it? But I love both of them.

When my scarf was done, I thought it looked like fragrant "parijat" flowers strewn down a pathway. A sight that greeted us every morning when we would go to our native place, Mangalore during school vacations.

Pic source axsoris.com

crochetkari orange white scarf

Don't you think so?

orange crochet scarf crochetkari

Do you think it needs a fringe?

Well, scarf done, now what?  I am going to make a matching hat. 

But before that, let me tell you something funny. Since Ladakh is an extremely cold place I was happy that for the first time I could actually take all my hand crocheted goodies along with me and of course flaunt them. But after reaching Ladakh.....flaunt was the last thing I wanted to do. WHY?... Because I had my ivory colored scarf (shown above), my canary yellow fingerless gloves and a deep blue beanie (this pattern) I had made.


Now you can well imagine what a sight that must have been - blue beanie, cream scarf, yellow mitts coupled with my outfits in various colours. A real clownish ensemble!!!  :)
Well, at that time I was more worried about keeping myself warm rather than being fashionable...!!!

So that is how I was struck with the idea of making matching sets. [Confession - I am a big fan of matching sets]. I will be back soon with my matching hat.

Till then, happy crafting and have a great week ahead.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Heart to Heart

Hello friends!!

Finally I am back with a crochet post. At present I seem to be on a scarf making spree but today I am going to share something different.

Recently my physiotherapist Dr. Vrushali saw one of THESE hearts hanging from the strap of my purse and she liked it so much, she promptly placed an order for a few.

Here are the hearts I made for her...

Crochet puffy hearts free pattern

Dr. V had asked for six, but I made eight so that she can pick and choose. But guess what, she ended up buying all of them!! 

Do you want to see them up close? Here goes:

crochet hearts detail

crochet heart keychain

crochet heart charms

crochet heart ornament

crochet heart pattern

red crochet heart

free crochet heart

crochetkari heart keychain

Making these hearts was fun, but do you know what was even better! Getting paid for making them!! Yes, the mere thought that somebody likes your handiwork and is ready to pay you to make them is wonderful. Hmmm..... like having your cake and eating it too?!

You can see the first hearts I made and get the link to the free pattern HERE.

I will be making another batch of crochet hearts in Christmas colours, so if you would like to have a set, just drop me a line.

See you soon with another fun project (also a custom order). Until then happy crafting.

P.S. Expect a book tour soon as I am dying to play with my new toy - a Canon scanner.


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Waiting for Inspiration...?

...Then you will be waiting forever!

Hello friends, how are you? Eagerly looking forward to the new month?  I know I am, as hubby's birthday is on 28th of August.

I am afraid I have not been posting as much as I want to, and I can give umpteen excuses for that. And that is what they actually are...just silly excuses. Because, I firmly believe that if you really want to do something you have dozens of "reasons" for doing it, but if you don't want to do it then you have hundreds of "excuses".

Just when I was thinking up an "excuse" to begin this post... you know, like the weather was dull, my photos were bad, my neck was acting up etc,etc...to explain my tardiness, I came across this video which shut me up for good. Wondering what I am babbling about? Then you must watch this video. I have already shared it on my Facebook page, and I thought I should share it here too in case you are not a fan of my page.


Please click on the image to see the video.



Did you watch the video? Let me know if the link is not working.

I find this woman to be really remarkable. Picking up a craft/skill you already know is one thing, but to actually learn something new after losing one's eyesight is simply fantastic!! What courage and determination this woman has! She has motivated me to once again try my hand at sewing and tatting.... two things that I always felt I will not be able to do.

So, if you have always been wanting to learn something new, but never have because of "no time", "I don't know how", "I can't do it" or "I am not good enough".........I hope this video pushes you in the right direction.

Did you enjoy this video? Let me have your comments. Yes, go on write to me, make my day. I will be back soon with my latest projects (minus excuses). LOL

"Til then, keep crafting and have fun.  :)


Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Cold and The Beautiful

Hallooo there!! Oh please, walk right in.....I can see you peeking in, wondering where I have disappeared. Well, I am right here...alive and kicking, or should I say alive and crocheting!  :)

After coming back from a wonderful vacation it took us some time to slip into our regular routine. But once we settled down, calender pages just seemed to fly and before I knew it June had made way for July. And I had not written a single post!!! You have to forgive me for that, but I guess once in a while everybody gets caught up in domestic duties. I did finish a lot of new crochet projects but those are for another post.

First things first, I want to share the lovely pics of my trip with you. As Aishwarya and Preeti rightly guessed in the last post, my holiday destination was the Cold and the Beautiful Ladakh. "La" means pass and Ladakh - meaning Land of High Passes is a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Ladakh is known for its scenic beauty and enchanting culture. Buddhism is the predominant religion.

The very first glimpses of Ladakh from the plane, had everybody scrambling for their cameras, mobile phones and what not, and then rushing from window to window to get the best photos. I was fervently praying that the plane would not tilt to one side, as in the movies. :) Truly breathtaking!



The first day was spent inside the hotel room, lying in bed to get acclimatized to the high altitude (3000 ft) and the low level of atmospheric oxygen. This is absolutely necessary as otherwise the consequences can be fatal.

Our hotel  - Hotel Grand Willow, Leh.

Sightseeing started from Day 2 onwards.

Shanti Stupa at Leh



Apricot Blossoms:


Sankar Gompa monastery with its gold spire


Leh Palace - built in the 17th century in the grand tradition of Tibetan architecture.


Day 3: We proceeded to Nubra Valley




Brrrrr..... it was freezing and it was a relief to finally reach the Diskit monastery....


the giant statue of Maitreya Buddha - the tallest in Ladakh


The white sand dunes at Hunder




We reached the camp at Nubra just before nightfall. Good thing those tents were sturdy and waterproof as it rained cats and dogs during the night.


Most of Day 4 was spent on the return journey to Leh via Khardungla Pass, said to be the highest motorable pass in the world at nearly 18000 ft.




Day 5
 Shey Palace and monastery, the 15th century summer palace of Leh's royal family



 No visit to Ladakh will be complete without a visit to the Druk White Lotus School. Confused?? Well, maybe it is better known as Rancho school from the Hindi movie "3 Idiots"  :)


The entrance to the museum at Thiksey monastery. I loved the painting and the Leh costumes.


Changla Pass the third highest motorable road in the world at 17586 feet.


Finally we reached our destination camp for the night - Pangong Lake. The lake is 134 Km long and 60% of its length lies in China.




This was our camp for the night. It was directly facing the lake and you wouldn't know from the photo but icy winds were blowing and as you can see the terrain, there is no place to hide. There was a small, teeny weeny, embarrassing incident with someone crying "I want to go HOME". Okay that was me.....hehe. What can I say.....I don't like being cold.



If this place looks familiar to you then you are a confirmed Hindi movie buff as scenes from "3 Idiots" and "Jab Tak Hain Jaan" were picturised here.


A gazebo at Pangong lake


The Brown headed gull - a migratory bird from Central Asia.



Day 6: Return to Ladakh from Pangong Lake



   Tibetan Wild Ass



    Grazing Yak


Day 7:
We proceeded to Alchi - a small quaint village in the Indus valley. Enroute we saw the majestic Sangam (which means confluence), here one can see the Indus river flowing and becoming one with the Zanskar river. Can you see the different colours of the water before they merge?


Alchi village - after days of seeing bare brown and white snow covered mountains, this greenery was a sight for sore eyes!


This path leading to the Alchi monastery was lined with 80 prayer wheels. (And yes, I turned each one of them).


Prayers wheels and stupas are common in Ladakh and you can find them just about anywhere. Giant prayer wheels are seen alongside the streets and marketplaces. It is believed that spinning the prayer wheel is equal to reciting the prayers and hence helps accumulate good karma.


Magnetic Hill - alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull cars uphill, which was demonstrated to us by the driver of our vehicle.



Our sightseeing ended with a visit to Gurudwara Pathar Sahib (a Sikh place of worship) where one can see the huge boulder (pathar) hurled at Guru Nanak Dev ji by a demon while he was meditating. The rock turned soft like wax and did not harm him and one can see the imprint of Guru Nanak ji on the rock.


And the Military Hall of Fame, which is a MUST visit place.


A farewell gesture by the travel company - a cultural program which showcased the various song and dance forms of Ladakh.


What an incredibly long post!!! I have tried (with great difficulty) to keep my jibber jabber to a minimum, hoping that the photos will speak for themselves. I hope my pics have captured your imagination and your hearts and that Ladakh will be on your list of places to see.

Lots of crochet goodies to share with you in my next post. Until then, take care and happy crafting.


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