Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Knitting Machine

Yes! That's what I got as my Christmas present! I am so loving it...

The assembly was a little on the hard side but thanks to hubby dear, it's all set up and ready to go.

My first thought for the machine are - woah, I can make everything so fast now...I don't have to wait for the days to check what's coming out of my knit, knit, knit effort. One swipe and you have one row finished. Wow, that's quicker than I thought!

On the downside -being a handknitter I kind of miss the connection that the yarn and the process brings. :-( But hey, think about the possibilities :-)And I cannot imagine what a completed project would feel like...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pink and Blue Cardigan revisited

Behind the scenes

I started this sweater when Adya was almost 5 months or so old. I wanted to try the 'Feather and Fan' pattern and so I experimented with these two colors. The result was superb. The wavelike effect looked very nice on the sweater. I used US 10.5 and thus the sweater grew quickly. I finished the back within a week's time.

Then I started the front and when I reached near completion, I realized it was hard to make the neck because it would end in a wave. I tried many ways to fix it but in vain. Frustrated, I gave up on this piece.

It was lying in some dark corner of the closet until this year I showed it to someone for the pattern info. That's when I decided to work on it again. One day my husband suggested why didn't I make the neck in a square and finish it off. I looked at the piece and guess what, it was the excellent advice! That was the only way to make the neck in a complicated wavy pattern!

So, I picked up stitches from the front end and made a u-neck with all pointed edges. Then I joined the shoulders in invisible join stitch. And finished the sweater by making the front button-strip.

I was never this happy to get a sweater completed than this one. And what's more satisfying is that it fits her well even after a year. And special thanks to hubby dear! :-)

The front view of the cardigan

The back of the sweater - there is no neck band in this part

Legwarmers completed

Here are the pic of the completed legwarmers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

Vogue Knitting Magazine Editors (Author)
Price: $25 (check the site for deals)

I had seen this reference book in the bookstore and liked it. When I finally got a better look later at the local library I loved the description, detail and the lucidity of the instructions in it. So, I asked my husband to buy this for me. He ordered it online and had it delivered a couple of days prior to Mother's Day! So this is my official gift :-)

I opened it like a treasure and turned the pages with utmost care. The smell of a new book is as pleasing to a reader as a well-done pizza to a food-lover!

I am enjoying this book ever since. Being the first and the only knitting book that I own this book has topped the list of books to be reviewed.

The Review

As I said before, this book has everything in very clear detail. It can very well be used and appreciated by a new or an experienced knitter. The book has knitting instructions from simple cast-on, binding off and everything in between.

There are multiple techniques explained with example and the format is easy to follow. So if you are a beginner, all you have to do is, understand the terminology and walk along the steps mentioned and in no time, you would be able to knit a simple scarf. When you gain some confidence in holding the needles and ready for something more challenging, there are patterns and samples that you can refer to. For an experienced knitter, there are the advanced techniques elaborated.

The most important thing that I loved about the book is that it teaches you how to have an estimate of the yarn you would need for some project. That's something I hardly found in any other book. Another nice thing is the special section devoted to the designing of a knitwear. Right from the basic guidelines to intricate patterns and their desired effects, the book has it all.

I will surely recommend this book to anyone who has interest in knitting and would want to experiment with style. There are many new things one can learn at any experience level.

Bottom line

If you are a knitter, want to learn to knit, or just looking for a reference book to give to someone who loves to knit, yes, go ahead, buy this book. It's worth it.

The Fun of Frills

These are written by Nicky Epstein, a genius knitting artist. She has great taste and I am glad she shared her wealth of knowledge. Many of my pieces has her influence.

Here are three of her books that I have read. I will post the detailed review shortly.

This book is a total visual feast!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

I will soon post the review of this excellent knitting book I own.

Another catagory coming up in Creativity Corner

Hola! It's a beautiful sunny day in Fremont and what can be cozier than sitting down with your laptop, nibbling on buttered sweetpotato cubes and enjoying the new ideas floating around. One such cool idea I just had is to arrange the book-list I regularly refer to as part of my creativity mission.

Details of the cool idea

I am talking about the books I have read, consulted, or taken inspiration from, mainly for the purpose of creating art, crafts and other stuff in life.

Then, if time permits, I will also try to put a few words about the non-arts books I would read along the way. I will compile a list of the books I have read or have been meaning to read under separate sections. I guess that will bring back memories of near and far; about people I think about and also things that shaped the 'present me' of my personality.

What do I usually read

I love to read non-fiction. I strongly feel that life is the best thing to write about and the next best thing is to know and learn from the experiences of others. Have you seen Sideways? There is a character in the movie who bumps into a novel-writer (a manuscript actually and is waiting to hear from the publishers) and asks him why is he even bothered about the fiction, there is so much more in real life than making up a story about people who don't even exist! He completely reflects the thoughts I have about fiction. The writer can make the character do impossible things, can make people have change of heart any time and the topper is that the end can be altered at any point!

People have been the greatest source of inspiration to me. And that's the reason why biographies interest me so much. I think, the list will be dominated by them, but we will see what other contenders would be.

My strong bond with libraries

I could not thank my stars enough when we moved to California where we went to one of the best libraries of the world - Santa Clara Central Park Library.

It has amazing collection of biographies! You name it, they have it (well, almost!) They also have an immense collection of pretty much everything else.

I have been a member of all the main libraries of Bay Area. Besides above mentioned, I would rate Sunnyvale, San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Alameda libraries in my spare time. So let me close this posting with a thread for the next one - The new category would be called Book Reviews.

Thanks for reading and feel free to recommend the books you liked. That might jump on this list.

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Legwarmers for Adya

These were on my to-do list for a really long time. So, finally, I worked on these over the weekend.

I will post more pictures once it's completed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Multicolored Full Sleeved Sweater Swatch

I made this swatch to test and try a color scheme that I have in mind for Adya's new pullover.

I am not very excited by the final effect. :-( I have to rethink over the stripes and their placement against each other. The color-play seems incomplete without blue. And I don't have any blue in the same type of yarn.

Project postponed!

Pondering Over the Painting

I am thinking of completing this painting that I started some two years back. It needs a lot of work.

First, I need to buy some new brushes. The 2 I had are not in the greatest shape anymore. Once there, I will have to touch the right side of the work with the pastel shades of oil colors. Not sure how well I would be able to capture the effect of light but I will try nonetheless.

Then I will give a second coat to the left side and finally heap up some paint on the overall picture.

So, what I am looking at is atleast a month of uninterrupted dedication. If I wok from weekend to weekend, the target date should be sometime close to March. Let's see if I can meet that deadline.

If I come anywhere close to restart this work, I would consider that a success. :-)

Red Scarf

This is the latest I am working on...

This is a yarn mom gave me from her stash. I am trying some simple cable patterns on this scarf.

I casted on 24 stitches and knitted 7 rows in purl st. The central panel has a 4-st cable in the middle of pick-and-purl patterned pillars on either side.

I am not in a hurry to finish this scarf and plan to spend time on it whenever I would feel like knitting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Progress in a painting

I took out this painting from the dark corner of garage and placed it in well-lit sunroom (talk about transition). I look at it with a hope that it will be completed sometime soon. When and how? I am not sure!

Monday, November 24, 2008

India Trip and Current Project Ideas


I am back from my 8-week long India trip and trying to fight off jet-lag. I finally found this quiet time to get back to my blog and share my upcoming projects. I have a few in mind but I have to revisit the leftover projects some of which are lying in the garage (read half done paintings) and others(such as yarns and stuff)zipped inside the closet.

Some Highlights

This India visit was very different than any other in various respects. Firstly, this time we went in September so that we could celebrate Diwali and other festivals there. Secondly, it was our first trip after having the baby. And the entire trip turned out to be fabulous. We met with all the relatives, celebrated the festival with all elaborations, ate tons of sweets, shopped, and traveled. This trip was marked by multiple birthdays, [Adya's, mine and Ashmit's], one engagement ceremony, two Diwalis, Dussehra, Navratri, Bhai dooj, and sadly one death. :-(

The Arts Discoveries

This time I received my older paintings from my mother and in-laws, on my prior request. I would try to save them under something like "older work". It's kind of nostalgic when you see your work that you'd done long time back. It makes a connection between your present and the much younger self. What I also received was some embroidered pieces.

I wish I could take pictures of those pieces. I will try to carry those in some other visit. [last minute weight limits forced me leave the heavy paintings :-(]

Focus on Now

I have a half-sleeved cardigan in mind. I am planning to make it in some thick yarn and put wooden buttons on it. I am thinking of light brown color for this.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Easter Bunny

This is a oil painting made on canvas pasted on a board. This painting is of the size of a post-card and thus it didn't take me a long time to finish it. I made this around Easter time.


This is a oil painting made on canvas pasted on a board. It is a post-card sized board that I made for my nephew's room.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Setting Sun

This is a oil painting made on canvas pasted on a board. This is not my favorite medium because a canvas fabric when pasted on the board loses the absorbancy of the medium. What that means is that when the brush hits the canvas the color is not absorbed. And thus all of it stays at the board level. It makes it 1) hard to dry and 2) hard to mix different colors. The output looks quite two dimensional. Why did I buy it then, you might ask? Answer - $! It's way too cheap :-)

Thankfully, I experimented with small post-card sized boards only. In future, I would like to stick to the regular stretched and primered canvas only.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A sketch

It's a sketch of Adya using point-pen on paper. She was saying something and I asked her to be quiet for a moment and captured this instant portrait.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sharing the Blog

 Today this blog becomes public. Mixed feelings.

Writing a journal is more or less an intimate issue. You write whatever your heart desires, as opposed to an open blog where you write with an intention of the post being read by others! The readers may or may not share your opinion, like or criticize your ideas and hopefully making it all a learning experience for both, the writer and the reader.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hot Pink High-neck Sweater

Pattern Information

Needle size: US 10 and US 11
Crochet: US 9
Gauge: N/A
Yarn: Red Heart brand Super Saver 100% acrylic (MC)& Chunky USA brand acrylic yarn
Color: Shocking Pink and white
Size: 2-3 years
Start Date: July 24, 2008
End Date: August 1, 2008

Knitting Details

Cast on 50 stitches in white using #11 needles and crochet.
Row 1: (RS)Add MC and rib in 2k2p pattern
Row 2: Repeat row 1
Rib for 8 rows (5 cm)and end in WS
Row 11: (RS) Introduce mock cable
Row 12: Knit in pattern till the piece measures 9cm. End in WS row.

Shaping Armholes

Row 1: WS - BO 2 stitches at the beginning of the row and knit in patt - 48 st
Row 2: BO 2 st and knit in patt - 46 st
Row 3: WS - BO 2 stitches at the beginning of the row and knit in patt - 44 st
Row 4: BO 2 st and knit in patt - 42 st
Row 5: WS - BO 1 stitch at the beginning of the row and knit in patt - 41 st
Row 6: BO 1 st and knit in patt - 40 st
Repeat last two rows - 38 st
Knit 6 more rows even

Shaping Neck

Row 1: BO central 10 st. Knit rem 14 in patt
Put the right half on holder and work on the left half
Next row: Dec 1 on the neck edge - 13 st
Next row: WS - Knit in patt
Next row: Dec 1 on the neck edge - 12 st
Next row: WS - Knit in patt
Next row: Dec 1 on the neck edge - 11 st
Knit in pattern for a few more rows

Shaping Shoulders

Row 1: WS - BO 6 st
Row 2: RS - Knit in patt
Row 3: WS - BO rem 5 st

Right Half

Row 1: Attach the new skein on WS and Dec 1
Repeat 'Shaping Neck' part as the mirror image

Making Sleeves

I decided to make the sleeves upside down.
Row 1: RS - CO 16 st and knit in patt
Next row: WS - Incr 1 - 17 st
Next row: Same as last row - 18 st
Next row: Same as last row - 19 st
Next row: Same as last row - 20 st
Next row: Incr 2 - 22 st
Next row: Incr 2 - 24 st
Next row: Incr 2 - 26 st
Next row: Incr 2 - 28 st
Next row: Incr 2 - 30 st
Next row: Incr 2 - 32 st
Next row: Cont in patt
Next row: Dec 2 every 2 cm
Next row: Knit in patt - 30 st
When the piece measures 13.5 rem st - 26
When the piece measures 21 rem st - 20
Knit in ribbing for 5cm and BO in White using #11 needle.

Making Highneck

This was a first and after first two learning attempts I finally got it right. Here is how -

Row 1: Sew the shoulders and pick up 62 stitches around the neck evenly
Next row: WS - knit in ribbing and dec st to 40
Cont till the neck measures 11cm.
BO in white.
Roll in half for the highneck.

Design Copyrighted. Please do not use anything from this site without my consent.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pink Bolero

This is a journey from here.... there...

(yes, I made this!)

...and everything in between.

Pattern Info


2 Skeins of Lion's Brand of Chunky USA in pink
Pair of US 11 SP knitting needles
cable Needle
2 Buttons
Small Craft Scissors


To fit age 2-4 yrs
Actual Measurements: 29 in
Length: 14 in
Sleeve Seam: 9 in

12 x 16


Row 1: With US 11 CO 35 st
Row 2: K1, * P1, K1 * till 1 st rem; knit 1
Work even till the piece measures 27 cm
Next Row: Dec 1 on neck edge in RS, note the patt in on WS

Shaping shoulder

Next Row: BO 5 st; work 1 row; BO rem
Next Row: With RS facing, rejoin yarn and BO central 11 st. Work in patt till end
Next Row: WS- work in patt
Next Row: Dec 1 on neck edge - 11 st
Next Row: WS- work in patt
Next Row: Dec 1 on neck edge - 10 st
Next Row: WS- work in patt
Next Row: Work in patt
Next Row: RS BO 5 st
Next Row: Work in patt
Next Row: RS BO rem st

This completes back. It took half the skein.

(Made together using the two ends of the same skein)

For left
Row 1: CO 10 st US 11
Next Row: Inc. 1 in RS - 11 st
Next Row: WS- Knit in patt
Next Row: Inc. 1 in RS - 12 st
Next Row: WS- Knit in patt
Next Row: Inc. 1 in RS - 13 st
Next Row: WS- Knit in patt
Next Row: Inc. 1 in RS - 14 st
Next Row: Piece mesures 5 in; dec on neck edge
Next Row: Dec 1 every 3rd row until 10 st rem to match to the shoulders in the back
Next Row: Knit straight continuing for the total of 26 rows
Next Row: Shape shoulders same as the back

For Right
Row 1: CO 10 st US 11
Next Row: Inc. 1 in WS - 11 st
Next Row: RS- Knit in patt
Next Row: Inc. 1 in alt. row in WS - 12 st
Next Row: RS- Knit in patt
Next Row: Inc. 1 in alt. row in WS - 13 st
Next Row: RS- Knit in patt
Next Row: Inc. 1 in alt row in WS - 14 st
Next Row: Piece measures 5 in; dec on neck edge
Next Row: Dec 1 every 3rd row until 10 st rem to match to the shoulders in the back
Next Row: Knit straight continuing for the total of 26 rows
Next Row: Shape shoulders same as the back


Row 1: CO 18 st using US 11
Next Row: Knit 3 rows
Next Row: Incr. 2 st on either sides when the piece is 4 cm or 4 rows
Next Row: Cont. in this manner until the piece meas. 9 in
Next Row: BO [July 10, 2008]


Row 1: CO 8 st using US11
Next Row: make a 4 st cable with 2 knits on either sides
Next Row: Cont. until entire edges of the cardigan are covered
Next Row: BO and sew on the end using a tapestry needle



Join shoulders and sleeves, sew in the edging starting from the left front. Weave-in all the loose ends and sew the two buttons.


The "Seed Stitch cardigan with Cable Edging" was the inspiration to this project. It's available in Knits for Babies and Toddlers (Hardcover) by Fiona McTague. You may find more information on the following website.

I am looking for the email/ contact information on Fiona, but could get it yet. If you have it, let me know.


1. When working with the chunky yarn, the sleeves could be more roomy on the underarms
2. The gauge info needs to be very precise


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Knitted Flower

This this piece I knitted flower and two leaves separately and sewed it on a green backdrop. I used red heart brand for all three colors. I am planning to get a shadow-box to frame it in for display.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pencil Holders


1. Take an empty cylindrical box of salt (I used Morton's).
2. Cut the top and clean it thoroughly.
3. Peel off the wrapper and scrape off any leftovers of the label.
4. Decorate it with your favorite picture, stickers, ribbons or a knitted tubular sweater.
5. Put in some coins to give it a heavy base to avoid any tripping.
6. Use it as a pencil holder.

Baby Booties - Blue


For this pair, I used the following:
Needle size: US 10
Gauge: N/A
Yarn: Babysoft
Color: Ocean Blue

Pattern Info

The pattern is for the sizes small(newborn to 3 months), medium(4-9 months), and large(9-15 months)

Please note, the pattern is available for $1 effective Sep, 2015.
You may pay via paypal by clicking the button below.


If you have a reason for not being able to pay $1, let me know.
I will offer it for free.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baby Booties - Pink

These are the cute-looking pairs that can be completed in reasonably short period of time.

I used the following:
Needle size: US 10
Gauge: N/A
Yarn: Babysoft
Color: Shy Pink
Pattern available for $1.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Village Girl

This is cross-stitch embroidery using silk threads on mat.

A closer look at the piece.

Design Copyrighted. Please do not use anything from this site without my consent.

The Sheep Dog

This is a cross-stitch embroidery on mat-fabric. The mat came pre-printed and all I had to do was, to put the correct colored stitches on the right squares.

Design Copyrighted. Please do not use anything from this site without my consent.

The Face

For this painting I used watercolor on thermocoal. The picture is of goddess Durga.

For the added effect, I used golden fabric paint over the jewels and eye-lids.

Copyrighted. Please do not use anything from this site without my consent.

Pink Tulips

It is oil on stretched canvas.

A closer look to show more details.

Design Copyrighted. Please do not use anything from this site without my consent.