Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Mom's Creations:
Fig 1
The month of March which is actually my birthday month but this year March had totally moved me. It gave a shock of my mother's demise. At the time, we all sisters and my brother were with her in Bangalore at my brother's place where she was living since two and half year. We saw her breaths slowing down and down. She was bed ridden since one month, her age was 85 still her demise made us orphan. 

Mother is always special in every one's life. Every one has lots of memories about her / his mother. I also have number of memories, out of which I will share one memory with you. 

My parents wanted me to be a singer as I had already mentioned in my post of "Music: the divine art". They always wished to hear me (songs by me), both classical as well as light music. After the death of my father my mom lived in Amravati with my younger sister Sadhana, I used to go there frequently, many times she asked me to sing a song and I used to sing also; but this was only in the last month when I realized that how much my mom used to be delighted on hearing my songs, when Aparna (wife of my brother) told me this incident.
My mom's Sodium level was reduced, she used to talk irrelevant since last one month. 
One day she said," Alka sing 2-3 songs". (though I was not at my brother's place at that time) 
After some time she said to the wife of my brother,"Aparna, today I am really so satisfied as Alka sung 4-5 melodious songs".
Hearing this I could not control my tears 😭.

She was very efficient manager. She managed the business of my father "Liberty Art Service", a business of painting, the movie advertising boards. It was very hard core business due to it's dependency on the working artists. Big banners like 60 ft x 20 ft, 100 ft x 20 ft size were painted in the studio for talkies decorations. Some of the photos of talkies decorations made in our studio (Fig 2, 3 and 4),
Fig 2
Fig 3
Trade mark of our studio
Fig 4

As I have already written in "About me" of this blog, she was (and will be always) the only inspiration behind all my arts. Though she never did knitting or crochet work but she was interested in every new creative thing she forced us to learn that.
Not only she inspired us but she herself creates number of things based on various arts. But I had very few photos of her creations. So to share them with you I have devoted this post to "My Mom's Creations".

She had worked some cross stitch embroidery on table cloths, mats etc. only one photo of  cross stitch work done by her with embroidery threads on Jute square is available. (see fig 5) This is a small mat used while worshiping God. 

Fig 5                                                   Fig 6

Fig 7

Another beautiful embroidery work made by her was the baby blanket with knot stitch (Fig 6,7 ). She made it at the time of her first grand daughter that is my daughter. After 36 years also, today we are using it as a washing machine cover.
She made patch work dolls, animals on the baby blankets of all of her seven grand children. I have photo of only one of the classic patch work embroidery which a small baby's photo (Fig 1).

Fig 8
She had done much of bead work. Beaded rangolies around the lunch plates. Each design was different (Fig 8). Some more rangolies were there but I don't have photo of them.

She made many articles by using white beads (we call it pearls) on velvet cloth. I had two photos, one of Toran, a strip used to put on the door. Blue velvet strip was decorated by bead flowers and small bells. See fig 9.
Another photo was of pair of peacocks which mom made as a rangoli but later on we used it for decorating any thing. (Fig 10)

Fig 9

Fig 10

Fig 11

One more special creation of my mother was "Halvyache Dagine", the jewelry made by halvaHalva  (Fig 11) is the special Maharashtrian recipe made from suger and sesamum or suger and poppy seeds. In Maharashtra jewelry of this halva is made for newly married ladies and newly born babies on the eve of Makar Sankrant. Fig 12 shows the complete Halva Jewelry set made by my mom which content crown, necklace, earrings, mangalsutra ( a special kind of necklace with black beads only married ladies wear it) different types of bangles, rings for hand and leg fingers etc In fig 13 my cute little brother and in fig 14 my beautiful sister wearing all Halva jewelry made by mom.

Fig 12

Fig 13
Fig 14

She also used to sew big banners required for our studio. She sewed her own blouse, our frocks etc.
At the time of arrival of every grand son / daughter she sewed many small dresses again I missed all those photos.
She also used to do quilting. Number of baby blankets she made by quilting and used small pieces of cloths she had.
I have only one photo of naming ceremony of my daughter (Fig 15) in which some of her creations in quilting can be seen and that knot stitch blanket (shown in fig 7) can also be seen.
Fig 15
She drew beautiful rangolies but again I don't have any photo.
Her affection about new thing and her creativity can be seen in her last few days also. She saw one soap case in TV advertisement. It was made of sponge, she explained that when the soap finished some stuff remained in the soap case which can be used from the sponge case to wash legs 😛. She ordered my brother and described him how to make that and her obedient son and my loving brother made it and the result was (it remains unfinished and she left us) ......
Fig 16

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lovely Lavender Jacket:
Fig 1 and 2

Hi friends,

Photography for a blog is again a time consuming factor. No doubt among different forms of arts which I love, photography is also one. But many times what happens is; the exact color which we can see by our eyes is not caught by the camera and then we go on trying. Try to change background, if we have taken a snap in night then try to take it in a day light, even try to change mobile once by my mobile then by my mister's mobile etc. You will realize, what I am saying once you see fig 3 and 4. The same piece looks lavender and the blue. 
So this Lavender and light yellow of baby set in my post on 8/12/2017 are the colors whose beauty of shade can't be caught by camera. One more thing, Though I have praised so many times the quality of wool in USA, Red heart or Lion brand etc  but I must admit that I missed the variety of shades available in India. This lavender shade is so pretty but I could not catch it in camera. I tried with different background and the result are above.

    I made this jacket for my grand daughter. She is 5 years old and slim so this will be perfect for her. Actually the lavender part is completely seamless and the black strips are made separately. Initially I made it by picking up stitches and working as per cross stitch design but that idea felt as got round up and didn't remain stiff. Hence I tink it all and worked separate strips and sewed it and wah! it looked marvelous.

Size: Height 19", chest 25", armhole 6.5"
Gauge: 16 stitches x 22 rows means 3" X 3".
Material: Lavender color Vardhaman 4 ply yarn 100 gm, Black 50", knitting needle 4 mm, dpn 4 mm, tapestry needle, crochet hook 3 mm.

Instructions:  CO 100 sts. = 17 for half left front + 66 for back + 17 for half right front.
Row 1: Working all knit, place 2 markers, one after 17 sts for and then after 66 sts for back.
Work Rows 2 to 9 all knit.
Row 10 (RS) onward we use stockinette stitch.
After 3.5" from CO row, decrease one stitch on both sides of the marker as,
Next row: k 15, SSK, move the marker,  k2tog, k 62, SSK, move the marker,  k 15. k2tog (that is in all 4 sts decreased).
Then go on by Stockinette stitch till the height is 7". Then again one row as above in which 4 sts are decreased. So now there are 92 sts. (15+62+15)
When the height is 10" from CO row increase 4 sts as under.
Next row: k 14, kfb, move marker, kfb, k 60, kfb, move the marker, kfb, k 14. (4 sts increased)
Repeat this row after 1.5" again. Then the total number of stitches will be again 100 (17+66+17).
Work stockinette stitch till the height is 12.5".
After this, we are going to work only Right front side's 17 sts.

Armhole shaping:
Row 1: K 17 and turn.
Row 2: Bind off 3 sts then purl all till end.
Row 3: K all
Row 4: Bind off 1 sts and purl all. (Now there are 13 sts on the right front side)

Neck shaping: Row 5: Bind off 1 st and knit all.
Continue stockinette st for 1.5". Then decrease 1 more stitch from neck side that is bind off 1 and knit remaining all. Now there are only 11 sts on right front side.Continue working in stockinette st till the arm hole measures 6.5". Place these 15 sts on a holder. Now from CO row the height will be 19".

Back: Join yarn on the first st of RS of back part. Now we are knitting these 66 sts of back part only.
Row 1: Bind off 3 sts, k all
Row 2: Bind off 3 sts p all
Row 3: Bind off 1 st k all
Row 4: Bind off 1 st p all. Now there are 58 sts on back side.
Work these 58 sts in stockinette st till the arm hole is 5.5".
Now for shoulder, work only 11 sts in stockinette st for 1", place these 11 sts on holder. Bind off middle 36 sts. Connect yarn with the last part of 11 sts of other shoulder. Work in stockinette st for 1", put the stitches on a holder.

Left Front Side: Connect the yarn at the first st out of 17 sts for left front side.
Row 1: Bind off 3 sts, knit all. Turn,
Row 2: All purl
Row 3: Bind off 1 st,knit remaining.
Row 4: Purl all. (Now there are 13 sts on the left front side)

Neck shaping: Row 5: knit all.
Row 6:  Bind off 1 st and purl all.
Continue stockinette st for 1.5". Then decrease 1 more stitch from neck side that is bind off 1 and purl remaining all. Now there are only 11 sts on left front side.Continue working in stockinette st till the arm hole measures 6.5". Place these 15 sts on a holder. Now from CO row the height will be 19".

Sew the 11 sts on shoulders by putting RS on RS and using third needle.
Now 58-22= 36 sts for back.

Your ready portion will look like,
Fig 3

Border of armhole: With double pointed needle pick up approximately 84 sts from the armhole. Work three rows of garter stitch and bind off. Similarly make the border of other armhole. Now your piece will look like this, 
Fig 4

Cross Stitch Strips: Actually first I have pick up stitches from both sides of the button band and back collectively then made this cross stitch design of 17 rows but after so many tries also the button band strip folds and didn't remain stiff. I didn't like it, I completely tink it and made the strips separately and then sewed them.
The cross stitch border I have chosen is of 13 sts.
Fig 5
Of course you can have your own choice, keeping the width required (17 sts here) in mind.
Cross Stitch Border: CO 17 sts, Work garter st for 9 rows. 
In order that this strip should remain stiff, first 2 and last 2 sts out of these 17, will be always worked as knit. Therefore 17-4=13 sts exactly remain for the design.
Make the strip according to the design till it's length becomes 20". Similarly make one more strip. 
Fig 6

Sew these strips to the button band. One inch of this cross stitch band will remain sew with the bind off part of the back. Similarly other cross stitch strip is sewed. Still the cross stitch strip is not stiff up to the mark so I decided to make a round of hdc through out the strip including the back neck portion. Now from back side it will look as, 

Fig 7
Fig 8

  I have one wooden bead and I want to use it as a button so I insert a crochet hook at the place where neck starts and work out 20 chains and close the ring at the same place. Then sew that bead as my button.
Fig 9

wah! see how beautiful it looks!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Saree / Dress Packing or Wrapping:
Fig 1
Gift packing or wrapping is an art of enclosing a gift by some material which is generally colored paper to wrap and on that ornamental knot by ribbon. When we wrap a gift, it gives value addition in your present, it gives personal touch to your gift, it gives positivity to the recipient when he / she receives it and finally it is a beautiful love symbol between you and the recipient of the gift. In addition to this, it gives an opportunity to the creative person to decorate the packing in number of different ways.
Some people think that wrapping a gift is a waste of time and waste of material used because everyone is interested in the inside gift and for that wrapping is going to be teared. But I don't think so only that it should not cost much. 
Fig 2
The culture of wrapping the gift is not a new fad or new idea. It's old. In old days gifts are covered by beautiful cloths or handkerchief with embroidery on that. There is one proverb in Hindi (our National Language) "एक नूर आदमी दस नूर कपडा"  meaning if a person counts one then his / her dress counts ten. Similarly we can say, "good packing increases the beauty of the saree / dress ten times".

Particularly marriage gifts are packed in a very decorative manners. In the marriages of my son and daughter I have made several and variety of gift packings. Though all photos are not with me today but some photos are here.
Fig 3

Fig 4
Fig 5
Fig 6

For wrapping I generally use beautiful printed papers and Adhesive tape.
Particularly when the packed item is saree I don't want to stretch the eagerness of a lady about the saree so I pack it in a special manner so that glimpse of the saree and its accessories can be seen even after packing 😛. 
Packing Method: 
In saree shop number of saree boxes are available. Two sarees can be packed in one saree box. First half part of the saree box is taken, it is wrapped by colored paper from outside only and  fixed by adhesive tape as in the photo 7 and 8. (Sorry for the photos because I have just used the paper which is at home hence it is not well pressed) Fig 9 shows the back sides of the packing box after wrapping colored paper. Then keep saree along with blouse piece, matching bangels, matching purse, matching handkerchief (what ever accessories you want to give) as in fig 10. Then fix a transparent colorless gelatin paper above it and wrap from all the sides and fixed by adhesive tape on the back side (please see the above photos). All the things inside (accessories) are packed and do not move. 
Now decorate it as you wish. For marriage packing I generally use tissue ribbon of golden color for decorating.

Fig 7
Fig 8

Fig 9
Fig 10

For decorating it, you can use sateen ribbon its bow, flowers etc. Just as in Fig 1, I have made two
flowers, one of golden ribbon and another from red sateen ribbon (matching with the inner saree), similarly in fig 2 and 5 where as in fig 4 saree packing I have used the white flower from an old bunch of flowers in flower pot. In fig 3 narrow ribbon is used with double strips. In fig 6 small roses are made again by folding ribbon. 
If it is dress material of gent's dress then I think that packing should be same but decoration of packing should be simple, just narrow ribbon and small rose flower on that as in fig 6.

But today we think of environment, hence to avoid unnecessary use of papers we should think of reusable papers and things for decorating the gift.  
Fig 11
Fig 12

Generally I prefer used waste material for decorating for example, broken jewelry, broken part of show pieces (as flowers are used above). 
We can also make flowers of fabric, ribbon etc. Many such flowers can be seen on you-tubes. 
The pink fabric flower is based on the flower demonstrated in the link,

Those ribbon flowers are also simple.

This beaded flower is also a part of old Toran, (Piece that is attached to the upper portion of the door in India). There are such six flowers in that toran. After that toran is fed up, I remove this bead flower part and use it to gift packing. 
Most right side pink color flower is as per

Some times I see some crocheted flowers, leaves on internet while surfing and I cannot resist myself from doing it,then where to use it? Of course for packing purpose. Similarly tatted laces are made to decorate the packing but as tatting takes much time I avoid that and use crochet instead.                                 
Fig 14
I found these beautiful flowers on You tube, I made them and now I will use them in some gift packing. Here are the links,

Thus number of crochet flowers and leaves can be made in leisure time which can be used in packing and they can be reused. See below fig 15,16 and 17.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fur Jacket: 

Hi friends,
This is again a different type of wool I saw in Samrat, shop at Pune. I even didn't know how to knit with this? still I bought them as I love their texture and colors too.
When I think to experiment with the new yarn, I CO 10 sts with 5 mm needle. Work all rows knit and what a wonder it looks good! Moreover the sts are so invisible, whether you knit or purl, it cannot be recognized. But it looks great!
Yes! I decided to work simple jacket.

Considering the thickness of the yarn, I know that the number of stitches to be cast on should be much less than usual.  So first I check the gauge and then decided the number of stitches to be cast on.

Size of the jacket: length 15", width 13" and arm hole 6".
Material: Golden color yarn 100 gm, knitting needle 5 mm, tapestry needle, 2 show buttons with 1" diameter
Gauge: 12 sts x 12 rows makes 4" x 4"
Back side: CO 36 sts
(WS) all knit
(RS) all knit
Next row is WS to recognize RS put a plastic pin on RS.                  Work all knit on both RS and WS till the height is 9"

Bind off 3 sts at the starting of Rs and WS both then bind off 1 st      again on both RS and WS. Now there are 28 sts.
Go on knitting both sides till the height is 14.5".
Work only 10 sts for shoulder for 2 rows. Keep these sts on holder. Bind off middle 8 sts. Then again work two rows of remaining 10 sts for other shoulder put them on other holder.
Right front: CO 21 sts.
(WS) all knit
(RS) all knit. Put a plastic pin on RS.
                                                 Knit all rows till the height is 9". Bind off 3 - 1 sts on WS.
Also decrease 1 st by k2tog on alternate RS till 10 sts remain. Keep them on holder.

Left side: CO 21 sts
WS: all knit
RS: YO k2tog, (for button hole) all knit. Put a plastic pin on RS.
Knit all rows with two more times YO k2tog for button hole after every 4.5". When the height is 9", bind off 3 - 1 sts on RS. Also decrease 1 st by k2tog on alternate WS till 10 sts remain. Keep them on holder.
Knit shoulders og front and back side properly with third needle method.
Sew three buttons with 1" diameter.
Jackets I have made in two more colors and size.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Handkerchief with Symbol of Love: (Valentine Day special)

Hi friends,
Coming week brings Valentine day which is popular all over the world. Every one is busy for purchasing gifts for his / her beloved. Heart and flowers are mainly used for the gifts on this day. In last 5-6 years it is also celebrated  in India but many groups of people oppose it every year. I think instead of romantic love if we consider it in a broader sense then there should be no problem. 

There is very famous poem in Marathi (my mother-tong) by our great literary Kusumagraj, (V V Shirwadkar),

प्रेम कुणावर करावं ?
कुणावरही करावं....

Whom we should love?
Love any one.......

and then poet describes different persons, characters some beautiful even some not and still suggest to love all that.

In the last two lines while explaining that why we should love, he says.... 

प्रेम कुणावरही करावं
कारण प्रेम आहे
माणसाच्या संस्कॄतीचा सारांश 

त्याच्या इतिहासाचा निष्कर्ष आणि 
भविष्यकालातील त्याच्या अभ्युदयाची आशा
एकमेव ….. !

Love any one because, 
love is the summary of culture, 
conclusion of history and 
the only hope of arising future of mankind.

The poem gives the most broader and deep meaning of love. In short we should love every creation of God.

On this platform we all are lovers of art and creativity. 
We want to create new things and Valentine Day is one of the occasion for us.
So I have created this pink handkerchief with tatted heart in 2010 for my daughter in law to express our love for her.
Material: One handkerchief with picot done on all borders, Anchor thread number 20 Maroon color, sewing needle and matching thread if available or you can sew with the same tatting thread also, Shuttle and scissor.
Last but not least lots of love for whom you are making this 💓💓

Fill the maroon tatting thread in a shuttle.
Start with R of 4-4-4-4, R of 4 join with the picot of previous R, 2-2-2-2-4 close.
Work R of 4, join with the last picot of previous R, 4-4-4 close.
Chain of 6-6.
R of 4 join with the last picot of the third ring, 4-4-4 close.
Note that all rings are 4-4-4-4 except two middle rings.
Lower five chains are 4-4, then two chains are 5-5 and last two 6-6.
When you arrive to the lower center, work one more ring with 3-3-3-3-3-3 close.
Similarly work other part.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Princess Jacket: 
Fig 1
Hi friends,
It was a good thing that pick up point of our Kerala Kanya kumari trip    (as I have mentioned in the last post) was Pune. Pune is such a wonderful city in every aspect; education, culture, arts etc. I always like shopping there. Shopping of anything right from saree, dresses to wool, tatting yarn, beads and  many other material useful for any art. Since last 4-5 years, it never happened that I visited Pune and not visited the shop Samrat which my sister, Sandhya had introduced me seeing my love for creativity. Many things that are not available in Amravati can be purchased there. 
This time I found a different yarn which looked like fur. 

The yarn I found in Pune

Delicate thread

I picked up pink color, I saw the delicate thread which gave fur type look to the yarn in totality. I was in love with that. I didn't know, what I am going to do with this yarn but I purchased it.
After returning home and spending 3-4 days in cleaning and all, I thought about making a jacket with this yarn and here is the result. Waah! a lovely jacket! which I called Princess Jacket. Because that pink fur border is just value addition to the jacket.

Material required: 50 gm off white Vardhamaan 4 ply wool, this above referred pink color yarn, tapestry needle, same pink colored embroidery thread, knitting needle 4 mm, two press buttons and two show buttons.

Final size: Length 14", width 24", arm hole 6". Fits 1-2 years baby.

Gauge: 15 sts and 20 rows makes 3" x 3"

Instructions: Jacket is made in three parts.
Right front: Cast on 30 sts with off white yarn.
Row 1: (WS) All purl
Row 2: (RS) all knit
Row 3: all purl
Row 4: all knit
Row 5: (WS) Join pink yarn and I worked all purl as it is wrong side but then I saw that all fur threads goes to back side hence I tink the row and knit all sts (Remember on WS)
Row 6: (RS) Purl all sts by pink color
Row 7: All knit
Row 8: All purl
Row 9: With off white yarn work stockinette stitch till the length is 7.5". (Approximately  after completing 50 rows)
Bind off 3-2-1 at the starting of each WS, continue stockinette stitch. After two more rows bind of 1 st at the starting of RS. Repeat this till 18 sts remain for shoulder.
Total length is 14".


Left Front: CO 30 sts Repeat as in right front till 7.5".
Then bind off 3-2-1 on each RS. Continue stockinette stitch. After two more rows bind of 1 st at the starting of WS. Repeat this till 18 sts remain for shoulder.

Back side: CO 65 sts with off white color. Till the height is 7.5" work same as left or right front.
Bind off 3-2-1 sts on each of right and wrong side.
Work stockinette stitch till the height is 13". Work only 18 sts for two more rows. Shift them on one holder. Bind off next 17 sts. Again work next 18 stitch  for two more rows and then shift them on another holder.
Facing RS of both left front shoulder and back shoulder bind off 18 sts of  using third needle.
Similarly bind off 18 sts of other shoulder.
Now for the border of armholes, I pick up 60 sts and work stockinette st for 4 rows, but then what I saw is that fur part is toward the neck which I don't like. So I again tink that and separately knit two pink borders for two arm holes with 60 sts and 4 rows then sew them.

I change this border
Border for arm hole.
Then make button band / neckband.
CO 5 sts with off white.
Row 1: All purl, Row 2: All knit, Row 3: With pink yarn knit all, Row 4: Purl all
Repeat rows 3 and 4 till the height is approximately 16".
Make such two bands, if necessary make two holes for buttons. I have sewed two press buttons and these two are only show buttons.
Now sew those bands and the sides.
Your princess jacket is ready! 
Before I got those two beautiful buttons shown in first figure, I have made one bow for tying as follows.
Join off white yarn at the beginning of the neck shape. Work 3dc tog in one stitch on back side of the pink neck band. Then chains 70, also make small tassel and join at the end. Make one more tying cord on other side of the neck band.
3 dc tog and then chains
Tassels & bow also look beautiful!
Is it not great! It only takes two days to finish, so this may be your next weekend project.

My Mom's Creations: Fig 1 Friends, The month of March which is actually my birthday month but this year March had totally mov...