There’s a lot of loose ends to tie up. Well, not exactly, but my mind is all scattered in the past few days. I’ll tell you all about it, but let’s get the knitting out of the way first, shall we?

Me and bags…

Lambe bag

I stole some yarn from Jaishree to make this bag. It’s now living with its owner in Australia happily, so I can blog about it now.

In the usual fashion:

Yarn: Common-or-garden acrylic, pinched from Jaishree’s stash. The recipient said she liked blue and this was what I found. I used two strands held together. I’m happy to report that despite being acrylic, the yarn shows off the cables quite nicely. Perhaps the tight gauge helped. This is light-worsted weight, the usual size.

Needles: 4mm, 6mm and 6.5mm

Pattern: The Lambe bag from Berroco. This came in a newsletter with four cabled bag patterns and I had in fact queued one of them when I read in the Rav RAK group that someone wanted this one, so it sounded ideal. The other one’s still on my queue, but will probably be made later. My project page on Rav is here.

Time: This took a while to make, because after starting it and finishing a repeat or so I realised that I’d miscrossed a cable, and had to rip. That kind of put me off a bit, but this was the only knitting project I took with me to Hyderabad, to ensure I would finish it. And I did.

Size: 9″ x 13″ across at the widest point, going down to 11″ across at the top.

Extra #1 I was glad to have the bamboo handles, which were almost identical to the ones the pattern called for. I bought them right here in Cochin.

#2 I like cables and bags. What can I say?

#3 I didn’t line this bag, because I felt the fabric was dense enough…Should I have?

#4 I had yarn left over and couldn’t resist the temptation to begin another pattern on my queue. I cast on almost immediately I got back and even finished part of it, and then found myself wondering if I had enough yarn. So of course I demanded that Jaishree send me more, which she has, the poor thing. So keep your eyes peeled for yet another blue thing in the future, ok? I know you can’t wait.


Other stuff. Warning: will be hodge-podge-y

  • There’s this new job I’m doing (job? contract? assignment? whatever) and I have a couple of files to attend to.
  • Yesterday we had two separate meals out at the hospital, one a traditional Onasadya (Onam meal) for lunch served on a banana leaf, and the other a dinner in the evening to dine one of the doctors out. I got told off after the first one by the male in-law for waving my hands about when I talk. It isn’t ladylike, apparently. Not if I’m dressed in a sari. I wonder if I have a banner on my head that says, “Yes, I’m 34 years old, but I need to be told how to behave.” In a suitably tasteful font, of course. Needless to say, I tried to be very demure at dinner and did not go over to talk to the men which I normally do. Mustn’t blot my escutcheon further.
  • We are hoping to go to the UK/Ireland/Italy in a few weeks time, and now that The Man has been given approval from his headquarters, the visa process has begun. Last year I thought getting a visa to one country was bad enough. I don’t know what made me think trying for 3 at a time would be any better! If they had all been within the Schengen zone, it would have been nice, but alas, no! All three countries have minds of their own, so we need a UK visa, an Irish one and a Schengen one from Italy. Just the UK form has 21 pages.

Of course, a lot of it we don’t have to fill, because it’s full of sections for all categories of visitors, but the bulk is still intimidating. Also, finding answers to questions like “How much money will you need for your accommodation and food while visiting the UK?”, “Have you ever done anything which might make you not a person of good character? If yes, please give details.” is quite exhausting (I wonder if waving my hands about would qualify). And so much of it is plain terrifying. The Italy visa requires a long list of “mandatory documents” including a confirmed air ticket…what if we don’t get one? Then we’d have to add the visa fees to the cancellation charges as lost money.

  • Bright spot? I posted for advice on the Rav forums and found a great new friend who’s promised to put us up in Rome. Best of all, she has 3 cats!!! No wonder she’s so kind as to offer a bed to almost-total strangers.
  • Italy sounds more and more like India every time I go to a different website or source of information. The potholes, the pickpockets, the 60-day train bookings, the refusal to accept credit cards…But the men should be handsomer, no? 😉 And I always have been drawn to Rome and Egypt…Perhaps Rome because my parents and sister went there as part of their farewell tour (actually they were relocating from Canada for good and decided to cover Europe on the way back, touching London, Rome, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, Belgrade and Egypt in 1972). Anyway, they had a photo-rich book on Rome I still have memories of.
  • Another India-like feature? The Consulate site tells me the VFS (Visa Facilitation Service) has a centre in Cochin, but the VFS-Italy site says there isn’t. This sort of confusion feels so Indian! I’ve sent a mail asking for information. I’m hoping not to have to travel to Chennai or Mumbai for the visa, sigh. Anyway, we need to get the visas in order, so nothing to be done until the other two come through.
  • Looking once again for help/advice on accommodation in London. And do any of my mostly silent readers live in any of these places and could we meet? It would be so much fun! This would be in late October, early November. Last time I didn’t actually get to go to a knit/crochet meetup. Or a real yarn store. Though I’m thinking that would be too tempting/depressing/dangerous for my credit card. So, anyone out there in London/Manchester/Belfast/Dublin/Rome/Venice-or-Florence?
  • Another example of the unexpected kindness of people: I saw someone queuing or faving the Ten Stitch Blanket (Ravelry link) on Rav and discovered the UK’s Knitting and Crochet Guild were selling copies of the past issue of Slipknot which had the pattern. I wrote to them to enquire whether they’d send a copy to India and the lady was sweet enough to send me a copy free! Gives you a nice warm feeling inside. The pattern itself is written in Elizabeth Zimmermann’s chatty style, not the row-by-row detailed style.

Thanks for listening! My mind is flitting from one topic to another these days, and the table at which I work is in a royal mess. Which is reflecting the other I am not sure, but the likeness is astounding.

Improvised thread holder for crochet

Don’t mind me, I’m just a sloth.