Saturday, 17 August 2019

Quilting again after a long time

The first time I made a quilt was for my niece in 2015. I made it with my basic brother sewing machine, I'd bought this machine when I was in Toronto and it was perfect for any simple sewing projects.


The quilt that I made for my niece has been used everyday and is still going strong. It was a simple striped quilt with no binding which was perfect for beginners. :)








I forgot about quilting and used my sewing machine only to make small projects like wallets, drawstring bags and sewing lining for my crochet and knitting projects.
Fast forward to 2017, a friend of mine bought a sewing machine and wanted to try her hand at sewing. She was new to using a sewing machine and suggested making something together.

We decided to make a quilt and since I'd made a striped quilt with no binding earlier as a beginner, I thought it'd be perfect for her too. Right from fabric shopping , deciding on what kind of batting we needed, to cutting the fabric and quilting it, we did it all together. We used to meet at her place on weekends and order food in, play some music or movie in the background and sew the entire day :D The whole process was so much fun.

We started our quilt in November 2017 with the hopes that the we'll  be able to finish it by the fall of 2018. But then as usual a lot of other things took priority and it got delayed. But by March 2019 we finally finished it. And I think we are ready to use it for the fall of 2019.











The quilt is so soft and squishy. I plan to take more pictures of my quilt soon and will post them here.
I'm so excited for fall weather to start :D 

Till I post again!
-Ranjitha 



Friday, 25 January 2019

A beginner's guide to knitting

If you find yourself wanting to learn to knit and have no idea where to start, this is the exactly post for you. I'll walk you through the supplies, tell you where you can buy them, basics of knitting, types of knitting, basic stitches and beginner patterns to get you started.

A lot ppl have seen me knitting and asked a lot of questions about it. All those questions have made me realize the need for a post. I feel a blog post like this can be very useful for beginners who want to find all the information in one place and can come back to this page at any point in time for reference.


Basic Supplies:

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
Knitting needles are the basic supply you need(apart from yarn) in order to start knitting. There are so many kinds of knitting needles in the market that you can spend a fortune on it and still have a few options left. So what kind of knitting needles would you need as a beginner?
I would recommend wooden knitting needles for a beginner as the stitches stick to them and the needles don't feel off. Balancing two needles and yarn is one of the biggest challenges for anyone who is learning to knit. Metal needles are great if one needs speed while knitting, but that's not what you are looking for when you learning to knit. So stay away from metal needles until you are more comfortable. I still use wood double pointed needles when knitting in the round.
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Where can I buy needles?

If you are still not sure, if you are in this for the long haul , and just trying it out, don't go for any knitting needles sets. They can cost you an arm and leg. I would recommend buying 1 or 2 pairs of wooden straight needles 4mm or 5mm thickness or both from the following stores.

  • Daiso - They have limited selection of wooden needles, but they are perfect for beginners. Only downside, you may not find many store locations in your city.
  • Michaels - Clovers wooden knitting needles are available here.
  • Walmart - A very good selection of wooden knitting needles are available here.
  • Thrift stores - I'd once gone to Value village to donate some old clothes and I found a pair of brand new Susan Bates knitting needles. You never know what you'll find there. 
  • Amazon - You can find a variety of wooden knitting needles there.
  • Joann's craft store / hobby lobby - Only in the USA, no in Canada
  • Pony craft stores (India only) - They have a great online store. All my knitting are from this store They have a everything a knitter would need and they usually deliver a day or 2. They also have a retail store in Bangalore. Not sure if they have wooden needles.
  • Pradhan embroidery stores (India only) - this is another craft store located in Mumbai, India. They have also launched an online store last year. And have a great selection of needles and accessories too. They also sell yarn.
A lot of small shops in Raja market near avenue road for yarn, knitting needles and other accessories.


Now that we've covered knitting needles, let talk about accessories. Accessories make your life easier as a knitter.


Must have


  •  Stitch markers - These are very useful in keep track of the stitch changes in a pattern. If knitting in the round, they help with tracking the beginning of the round. Safety pin kind of stitch markers are also useful in securing dropped stitches before fixing them. 
  •  Tapestry needles- I have Chibi Tapestry needles which are great for knitting and crochet. 
  •  Scissors - To cut the yarn after finishing a project.
  •  Measuring tape - to measure the project.
  •  Crochet hook - Yes you read it right. It's useful to have a couple of 3-4mm crochet hooks. This is very useful in fixing dropped stitches. 
  • Row counters - Must have until you learn to count rows by yourself, after that it's a nice to have accessory.
  •  A small container to keep all these bits and bobs. 



Nice to have


  • Row counters 
  • Stitch holders - if you are using the same needles for 2 projects, then you can hold the stitches of the non working project temporarily on the stich holders 
  • Blocking needles 
  • Point protectors
  • Pom Pom maker - useful when making hats. 



Where can I buy accessories?

All the stores I mentioned above should have most of these accessories.

Yarn

There are many kinds of yarn. Broadly they can be classified into natural and artificial fibres.
Yarn weight tells us the thickness of the yarn.
Lace/Fingering weight, dk weight, medium / worsted , chunky/bulky, super chunky/bulky .
For a beginner dk or worsted weight yarn would be ideal. I'd recommend choosing bright /light colours instead of dark brown or black as they make it difficult to see the stitches.
Red heart super saver, Bernat Super Value, Bernat premium, Red heart comfort, Craft Smart value from Michael's are great for beginner projects and in terms of price.

Basic stitches:

Knitting consists of 2 basic stitches :
  • Knit 
  • Purl
We always start knitting by doing something called as a cast-on. This is the prep(first row) we do to start knitting.

Here are a few youtube videos to give you an idea of how these stitches are made

Types of knitting

  • English style
  • Continental style

Beginner projects

I'd recommend starting with dishcloth, pot holders, headband, cup cozies, beanies and fingerless mittens (knitted flat). Use garter/stockinette stitch.

While knitting, it's very common to make mistakes. The most common ones we make as beginners (in simple patterns) are:

  • Knit instead of purl and vice versa.
  • Accidentally drop stitches from the needle. In knitting, every stitch sits on top of a stitch that's underneath. So, if you drop a stitch, it's imperative to fix it as soon as you realise it, to prevent the entire vertical line from unraveling. In the beginning, this feels like a nightmare and can be discouraging, but trust me it gets better once you get a hang of it. Here's a link for you to refer to when you have to fix dropped stitches.
    https://youtu.be/eliQ0MXID0M
I hope you found the beginner's guid to knitting useful. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section of the post and I will reply as soon as I can.


Ranjitha

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Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Inside Out Beanie


In the mornings, I wake up with so many ideas and decide to work on them as soon as I get back home from work, but by evening half of the ideas I either forget or they don't seem interesting anymore and the other half seem too complicated and time consuming for a weekday. Story of my life. To get over this feeling, I have started making note of all the ideas. I prioritize them into a list and add some details about each idea and save them on my Google Keep App. This makes it easy for me to get back to them in the evening and continue the thought process.

One such project is this fisherman's rib beanie. I have been working on this for quite sometime. I have made baby sweaters with this pattern before, but first time knitting in the round. Also I was constantly experimenting on getting the decreases in the crown right. I struggled initially and then after many swatches was able to get it good enough to satisfy me(for now, I will continue to check if I can improve it more)


I'm so excited to share this beanie with you guys today. I've named it Inside Out beanie as it is reversible. So it's like having 2 hats with just one. :D 
It's one of my most favourite creations and I'm in the process of writing down the pattern. I plan to publish it by January. 
Till then I leave you guys with some photos of the beanie. Please let me know in the comments how you like it.













Ranjitha

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Crochet sheep pattern free, crochet sheep amigurumi pattern, How to crochet amigurumi sheep

Introducing Sheepika


I have made many Amigurumi animals for my niece and she has loved every one of them. I had knitted 2 bunnies, an elephant and crocheted a monkey for her. When I asked her which toy would she like next , she said a sheep. 
Initially designing a sheep pattern felt quite intimidating. but then it's been 6 years since I started crocheting, so I felt I was ready to start designing my own patterns.

I started designing it the first time sometime in May 2017 but then got busy with work, moving houses and other stuff that I forgot about it. Have you ever lost a design idea when you have just winged something up and didn't note down the steps. I have lost a few of them but thankfully sheep pattern wasn't one of them. Last month I was going through the notes I'd made and tried making another sheep. It's surprising how I felt the pattern was great last year, I ended up making quite a few changes to the pattern this time :) But after a few tries I think I'm ready to share it with you all now. So here it is:

Supplies: (not sponsored)
  • Red heard comfort yarn in white
  • Red heart super saver yarn in gray heather
  • 4.5 mm Knit Pro crochet Hook
  • Safety eyes - 1 pair
  • Stitch marker
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Embroidery floss/thinner yarn in black for the facial features


Abbreviations:
  • yo - yarn over
  • sc - single crochet
  • ch - chain
  • sc2tog - single crochet together (amigurumi style, to avoid gaps <link here>)
  • hdc - half double crochet
  • bobble stitch - (yo twice, insert hook into the working stitch, yo, pull through 2 loops on hook, yo, pull through 2 loop on hook)*4 times, yo, pull through all 5 loops on the hook, ch1. This ch1 at the top of the bobble will be referred to as bobble-top chain henceforth.
  • Sl st - slip stitch
How to crochet amigurumi sheep:

Head:
Rnd 1: Make a magic circle

Rnd 2: 6sc into the circle (6sts). Place stitch marker on first stitch and move it up after each round.

Rnd 3: 2sc into each stitch in the round (12sts) 

Rnd 4: (1sc in next stitch,  2sc into next stitch) *around (18sts) 

Rnd 5: (1sc in next 2 stitches, 2sc into next stitch) *around (24sts) 

Rnd 6: (1sc in next 3 stitches, 2sc into next stitch) *around (30sts) 

Rnd 7-12: sc in each stitch around (30sts)

Rnd 13: (sc in next 3 stitches, sc2tog) * around (24sts)

Rnd 14: sc in each stitch around (24sts)

Rnd 15: (sc in next 2 stitches, sc2tog) * around (18sts)

Rnd 16: sc in each stitch around (18sts)

Rnd 17: (sc in next stitch, sc2tog) * around (12sts)

Fix the safety eyes now. I just choose 2 stitches symmetrically to fix the eyes. You can also apply super glue to the eyes on the inside to make them extra secure.
Start stuffing the head now and continue stuffing bit by bit after each round.

Rnd 18: sc in each stitch around (12sts)

Rnd 19: sc in each stitch around (12sts)

Rnd 20: (sc2tog) * around (6sts)

Fasten off to close the hole and insert the needle into the head and pull it at the back and cut the tail to hide it inside the head.











Body:
Rnd 1: Make a magic circle

Rnd 2: 7sc into the circle (7sts). Place stitch marker on first stitch and move it up after each round.

Rnd 3: 2sc into each stitch in the round (14sts) 

Rnd 4: (1sc in next stitch,  2sc into next stitch) *around (21sts) 

Rnd 5: (1sc in next 2 stitches, 2sc into next stitch) *around (28sts) 

Rnd 6: ch2, hdc in next 2sts, (sl st, ch1, bobble, sc) in next st, (hdc in next 3sts, (sl st, ch1, bobble, sc) in next st) *around. You should have 7 bobbles at the end of this round. Sl st into last st of previous round. (28sts)

Rnd 7: ch2, hdc in next 2 stitches, hdc in bobble-top chain, (hdc in next 3sts, 1hdc in bobble-top chain) *around. Sl st in 2nd chain of the ch2 we did in the beginning.  (28sts)

Rnd 8: Repeat Rnd 6

Rnd 9: Repeat Rnd 7

Rnd 10: Repeat Rnd 6

Rnd 11: Repeat Rnd 7

Rnd 12: ch2, hdc2tog, hdc in next st, (hdc, hdc2tog, hdc) *around. Sl st in 2nd chain of the ch2 we did in the beginning. (21sts)

Start stuffing the body now and continue stuffing bit by bit after each row.

Rnd 13: ch2, hdc2tog, (hdc, hdc2tog) * around. Sl st in 2nd chain of the ch2 we did in the beginning. (14sts)

Rnd 14: (hdc2tog) *around (7sts)

Fasten off. Leave a long tail to sew the head on.











Cap: (in white yarn)
Rnd 1: Make a magic circle

Rnd 2: 7sc into the circle (7sts). Place stitch marker on first stitch and move it up after each round.

Rnd 3: 2sc into each stitch in the round (14sts) 

Rnd 4: (1sc in next stitch,  2sc into next stitch) *around (21sts) 

Rnd 5: (1sc in next 2 stitches, 2sc into next stitch) *around (28sts) 

Rnd 6: ch2, hdc in next 2sts, (sl st, ch1, bobble, sc) in next st, (hdc in next 3sts, (sl st, ch1, bobble, sc) in next st) *around. You should have 7 bobbles at the end of this round. Sl st in 2nd chain of the ch2 we did in the beginning. . (28sts)

Rnd 7: ch2, hdc in next 2 stitches, hdc in bobble-top chain, (hdc in next 3sts, 1hdc in bobble-top chain) *around. Sl st in 2nd chain of the ch2 we did in the beginning.  (28sts)

Rnd 8: ch2, hdc2tog, hdc in next st, (hdc, hdc2tog, hdc) *around. Sl st in 2nd chain of the ch2 we did in the beginning. (21sts)

Rnd 9: chsc in each stitch around (21sts)

Fasten off. Leave a long tail to sew it to the head. You can choose to not sew it, but kids tend pull the cap out very frequently. So it's upto you actually.

Insert the head into cap (magic circle part of the head goes inside the cap) and whip stitch the cap edge to the head to prevent the cap from separating from the head.








Limbs: Make 4 (in gray yarn)
Rnd 1: Make a magic circle

Rnd 2: 6sc into the circle (6sts). Place stitch marker on first stitch and move it up after each round.

Rnd 3: 2sc into each stitch in the round (12sts)  

Rnd 4-6: 1sc into each stitch in the round (12sts) 

Rnd 7: (1sc, sc2tog) *around (8sts)

Rnd 8-15: sc in each st around (8sts) 

Lightly stuff the limbs , don't stuff till the top, leave the top of the limbs empty as this makes them look more natural after sewing them to the body.




Outer Ears: Make 2 (on white yarn)
Rnd 1: Ch11

Rnd 2: sc in second ch from the hook and next chain, hdc in next 2chains, dc in next 2chains, hdc in next 2chains, sc in next ch, 3sc in last ch. Do not turn, continue working on other side of the chain, 1sc next ch, hdc in next 2chains, dc in next 2chain, hdc in next 2chains, sc in next ch, 2sc in last ch. Sl st into the first sc which we made in the beginning.  

Sl st to first sc and fasten off. Leave a long tail to sew ears to the head.



Inner Ears: Make 2 (in gray yarn)
Rnd 1: Ch7

Rnd 2: sc in second ch from the hook, hdc in next ch, dc in next 2chains, hdc in next ch, 3sc in last ch, Do not turn, continue working on other side of the chain, hdc in next ch, dc in next 2 chains, hdc in next ch, 2sc in last chain.

Sl st to first sc and fasten off. Weave in the end.

Use superglue /fabric glue to stick the inner ears to the outer ears. If you want you can even sew them, but I chose the easy way by using glue. 

Sew the ears to the cap. I just eyeball and choose a stitch to sew them in every time. 

Tail:
Make a min pompom, and sew it to the rear of the body.

Embroider the mouth on the face using some black yarn. You can just add a smile or choose to add the mouth as I have done here.
Sew all the pieces together.

IT'S DONE.... WOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Phew!!!!!





That took a lot of time to type. I think I enjoyed crocheting it more than typing this.
So if you find anything in the above pattern confusing, feel free to post a comment on this page and I will reply to you to clarify it

My niece named the sheep, "Sheepika".  
I hope you enjoy making your own Sheepika the sheep for yourself or as a gift. 
If you do make the sheep, don't forget to tag me on Facebook or Instagram @asmihandmade.
I love seeing all you work :)

Till I post again!
Ranjitha



Note
Please be respectful and do not sell or distribute the pattern to others. Instead, please share the link to the original post. A lot of love and effort has gone into designing this pattern.
You can however sell the finished products by giving credit to Asmi Handmade as the pattern designer and adding a link to this post. Thank you for your understanding. J

Note: This pattern calls for safety eyes and hence should not be left unsupervised around a child, as it can be a choking hazard.