Thursday, August 18, 2016

Boxy Lace Sweater

 Finally a post about the Boxy Lace sweater for my eldest daughter. This was the July sweater for my year long a-sweater-a-month plan. I got a little late in getting it done and later in posting about it.
Here it is, all done and worn (getting my daughter to wear in the heat and humidity of our monsoon season, was no easy task). It is a heavily modified version of the original pattern, downsized to tweeny size, with a lot of help and inspiration from the ravelry project pages. All the technical details can be found on my ravelry project page. The yarn is our local worsted weight acrylic.
 For my next project, I am having a difficult time selecting a pattern. I have been searching the ravelry library and pinterest to find one. I did not get a pattern per se, but lots of inspiration. So the next sweater will most likely be a hybrid of different design elements and involve a lot of improvisation.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eid Dresses

Here is the promised post about the Eid dresses I made for the girls. It took a few days to get cool and dry enough weather to get a photo shoot. The fabric for all three dresses was the same, though I used only two color schemes. (Could not find a nice enough color for the youngest, so used the same color scheme for her as the oldest). Fabrics are diamante chiffon for the tops and dupattas and jamavar for the bottoms. And gota trim on the shirts (kameez).
For the younger two, I sewed Kameez with shalwar/straight pants.

Now for the interesting part, and the star of my sewing _ the gharara. My nine year-old has recently developed in traditional flouncy pieces, so I offered to sew her a gharara. Gharara is a traditional dress of the Muslim women of the indian subcontinent. Although no longer part of our day-to-day wear, it is one of the staples at weddings and makes a fashion come-back every now and then, with a modern twist. This year happens to be one of those years.

It is essentially a pair of extremely flared pants, the lower part of which is cut on bias and gathered at the knees. The seam at the knee is adroned with some trim or embellishment. It is worn with a short (and sometimes long shirt and a dupatta/stole). Its construction is quite complex and tricky. At least it was for me, as it was my debut attempt. The slippery fabric made it all the more challenging. And I had no idea how much yardage I would need. All things considering, it turned out quite satisfactory. 
My daughter had a great time wearing it, so it was all worth it. She still wants a ready-to-wear lehnga (traditional flared maxi skirt) for the next Eid. (Losing interest in your mom's handmade stuff has to be the first sign of growing up, I had to bribe her with a matching hand-sewn clutch).
In knitting news, I am just starting on the sleeves of the July sweater and hope to get it finished soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July Sweater Update

Eid came and went so fast, just as all the good times seem to. It is already two weeks past and we have settled back into the dull routine of the ordinary day-to-day life. But the people around us do not seem to have fathomed the fact. Our air-conditioner repair man took ten days to return from his eid break and fix our unit. Thankfully, a few rains in the meantime helped us manage without the AC.  Our broadband Internet slowed down before Eid and again it took nearly two weeks to get a response from the company. The solution they came up with, was to give us a new phone line and number. Now we have a changed phone number and no broadband  (not even the slower version). They promise to get to it "as soon as possible ". Meanwhile I am raking up charges on my mobile Internet.

Other than that, life is quite usual. Kids have three more weeks of summer vacation and are finishing up their vacation homework.  I still have to do the post about the Eid clothes but I am waiting for cooler weather to get some outdoor pictures. It has been quite hot to knit without the AC but I hope to resume work on the July sweater tomorrow,  in shaa Allah. Here is how far along I am. Just an inch short of starting the neckline shaping.
I did manage some more sewing but it was mostly sleepwear for the kids, nothing bloggable. Hopefully, less internet will mean quite a bit more knitting/sewing/reading time.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Sewing

Ramadan, our favorite month of the year, is down to its last 11 or 12 days. We had a wonderful start to the month, when we were able to sight the Ramadan crescent ourselves.

Since then, it has been all business, fasting, the suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and iftaar (the break-fast meal) and adjusting to a different sleep routine. On top of the hot June weather, we had to deal with a viral fever, which took all four kids in turn. That made the start of the month especially full.

I have had little time or inclination to do any craft work. Here I am sharing the sewing I did a couple of months ago, for my eldest daughter. These are a couple of lawn fabric tops and a dress.
The first one is a chevron print sewed into a Japanese-style top, inspiration for which abounds on pinterest.

The second top is a floral peasant blouse with raglan sleeves.

 And lastly, there is the multicolored polka-dot dress with a circle skirt. All these were my own drafts.

This summer has been very productive sewing-wise. I have sewn a lot of things, most of which do not make it to the blog. The most ambitious of  all was the sewing of Eid clothes for the girls _ glittery, shear, hard to manage fabrics, turned into cute, fun traditional dresses. I do hope to share them here after Eid.

In knitting, I have an almost done sweater front, with lace details, to share. In the next post, insha Allah.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Little Pullover For June

I reclaimed this yarn from a baby sweater, that I had knit for my littlest two years ago and had since then been outgrown. After searching through all possible patterns and failing to find a suitable one, I improvised one of my own. It has turned out on the smaller end of my target size range, but I am just glad to have a finished sweater.
This sweater marks the sixth sweater of the year, namely the sweater for June. I have already cast on for the next one, which promises to be a lot more exciting.  Still, Ramadan is round the corner,  and I plan to take a break from my crafty pursuits during the holy month. To this end, I am rushing through my Eid sewing,  these days. My girls are getting some sparkling, traditional dresses this year.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Toddler Dress

The finished sweater (in this case, I use the term loosely to include all types of clothing) for the month of May, is the dress for my youngest daughter that I started last October. It was a good thing that I cast on for a size bigger than her size at the time, seeing how long it took me to finish it.
 It is another DROPS pattern, one which I have knit once before,  back in 2010, for my niece. I knit the 3/4 year size, and the skirt portion had knitting in it equivalent to an adult sweater.  It got boring and went into time-out, at the end of last year. But I got it out a couple of weeks ago and knit the remaining few inches on the skirt. From then on, it went relatively fast, and I am happy to have it finished.

Now that I have no project on the needles, I have been dealing with the pre cast- on inertia, where I take my time getting things like pattern , yarn and supplies ready for the next project ready.  And some quiet time to actually cast on. This may happen tonight or tomorrow.

 Meanwhile, we have a birthday to celebrate. Our middle daughter  as turned five today.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April Vest And Spring Break

So while I waited for the right time to wind yarn for the next sweater for my daughter, I cast on a vest for myself. This change of plans means that the sweater of the month, for April, is this vest. It got knit up pretty quick and had minimal finishing. Just the shoulder seams and a row of crochet around the neckline. I ran out of yarn, right at the end and used some variegated leftover sock yarn, to finish it up.
 
The pattern is another DROPS free pattern. It was an easy knit and the result is very flattering and practical. The side ribbing plus the waist shaping makes sure of that. The yarn is of unknown composition, upcycled from an old sweater.

In other news, we took a much-deserved vacation before the grind of new school year kicked in. It was our first vacation in a very long time.

We went to Murree, which is a very popular hill station near Islamabad. People go there all the time, for many it is a routine thing. But our kids got to see it for the first time.
 The timing of our trip could not have been better, it being the lull period before the start of summer season, Murree was not jam-packed with tourists.
The weather was amazing.We spent wonderful three days filled with sightseeing, shopping and dining out. It was a nice time to relax and unwind and enjoy our family. It made us determined to make vacation more of regular feature rather than once in a decade thing.