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Heide blogged about these two contests and I thought I should spread the fun. Ellen is offering books and yarn, while Nan makes some lovely purses…All the best! Tell them I sent you πŸ™‚

So Jae over at Some Knitting Required (she of the beautiful Peacock shawl) was doing a Pay it Forward post, and I happened to be amongst the first three to comment! Yay! So now it’s my turn. So here it is, Cmd + C, Cmd + V:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, which is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. So, leave me a comment if you’d like me to Pay It Forward.

We’re off travelling tomorrow, and for once I am not carrying my laptop with me. *Gasp* But knitting is planned and a book or two. Also keep your fingers crossed that I get to see the inside of a craft store. It isn’t a very long trip…

After a long self-imposed gap, I got tempted again by one of Kathy’s designs and begged to be allowed to test for her. I used some ‘silk’ thread and a Pony handled hook to produce this:

Gypsy Queen

Here are the details:

Yarn: ‘Silk’ on cones, about #10 or so, I think. I used two separate cones to make this, starting the new cone at the beginning of the second half, because what was left on the first wouldn’t have been enough and I didn’t want to have ends to weave in. Ironically, both cones had knots in them so I had ends to weave anyway. Even after the edging, I have thread left over on the cones. Sigh. Not a colour I’d choose for clothing, but then I felt the need to break out. Here is my Ravelry page for the project (not that it’ll tell you much more).

Hook: Pony handled 1.00mm

Pattern: Gypsy Queen (Ravelry link) by Katchkan

Time: About two weeks

Size: 19″ x 30″ (too big for our coffee table width-wise). Might have to give it away.

Extra #1 No printer in Hyderabad, so I worked entirely from the Mac screen. no probs.

#2 My edges are always wonky in filet, no matter what I do in terms of increasing and decreasing 😦

#3 Happy to be testing again πŸ™‚

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And here’s some more orange for you, from our grocery (‘fresh’) rations:

Two-legged carrot

Swatchy in the tropics

Swatchy had a secret getaway to a tropical island (Minicoy) to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. Doesn’t he look absolutely steaming?!

ETA: Linked to more information about Minicoy.

for a chance to win some very nice stuff: Jane’s 300 post contest. All you have to do is tell her something weird about yourself. That can’t be very difficult, can it now? πŸ˜€ I’ve been wanting to knit my own version of that bag since seeing it in Knitting Daily.

Thank you for posting about it, Andrea!

for a chance to win some very nice stuff: Jane’s 300 post contest. All you have to do is tell her something weird about yourself. That can’t be very difficult, can it now? πŸ˜€ I’ve been wanting to knit my own version of that bag since seeing it in Knitting Daily.

Thank you for posting about it, Andrea!

Petal bib from One Skein

A certain someone sent me some lovely cotton yarn a few months ago, which I’ve been afraid to use (I’m petrified of using good yarn, and hate cutting it! There must be a name for this phobia…). But I got my hands on a copy of One Skein (thanks to another friend) and found this project in it, just right as I’ve been searching for something nice to make for a colleague’s new baby (the husband’s colleague, not mine). In our weather, warm clothing isn’t required, so I thought a bib might be more useful. The pattern went by very fast, but here are the tech specs:

Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Catania Color (whew!) in 226 (how romantic), about half a skein

Needles: Metal 3.25mm

Pattern: Petal Bib from One Skein (mind the corrections)

Time: 3-4 hours (more for finishing than the knitting itself, see below)

Size: 4.5″ x 8β€³

Extra #1 Very cute pattern, but omg, the number of ends to be woven in for such a small project! Each of the petals is begun separately and then all are attached and knitted together. About 14 ends in all. I finished the bib in about 90 minutes, but the weaving in took me two hours or more.
#2 My short rows came out beautifully, can’t spot where I wrapped the stitches, yay!

#2 My first time doing applied I-cord, and I’m very pleased with the result. See for yourself:

Applied I-cord closeup

#4 Perhaps I could have arranged the petals better to get a more symmetric striping, but it’s okay.

#5 I suspect the recommended yarn has a larger gauge, so the finished size would be bigger.

#6 I might knit the project again if I can think of a way to do away with the ends. In such fine yarn, carrying along the ends while knitting isn’t an option, especially not in stockinette stitch.

Since a good bit of the yarn was left, I sought around for another pattern to knit, and didn’t find any likely bibs, but I did see one for a dishcloth, so I cast on and knit that instead.

Multidirectional bib

Yarn: The Catania again

Needles: Metal 3.25 dpns

Pattern: Multidirectional dishcloth

Time: A couple of hours.

Size: 6.5″ square

Extra #1 Loved the pattern. Makes me want to knit the multidirectional scarf it’s inspired by, and I shall, too, when I have some appropriate striped yarn in enough quantity.

#2 Added straps by chaining a desired length, and then turning and hdc-ing (US) all the way back, hdc over the bib, chaining again and hdc back to the bib. Simple.

Even after all that, I still had a bit of the yarn left, so I cast on chained for a whimsical pattern that’s been on my mind for ages (it’s how I discovered the parent blog).

Solipsis

Yarn: More Catania!

Hook: 2.25mm Clover double-ended

Pattern: Solipsis from Redshirt Knitting

Time: An hour or so.

Size: Doesn’t matter!

Extra #1 I made mine in crochet, because I didn’t want to cast on 60 stitches…All over hdc (US).

#2 Great fun! I plan to use it for my stitch markers.

#3 those buttons were the only ones I could find 2 of and I was in a tearing hurry…

Now I’ve gotto run. Duty calls.

So on the second Saturday we spent in England, we took the train back to London from Sheffield (from Meadowhall Interchange to Doncaster and then direct to King’s Cross). The taxi driver who drove us from our friends’ house to the station was of Pakistani origin and we had an interesting conversation with him in Hindi (with sort of political overtones, so not for this blog).

I love so much the sheer amount of information that is available in all the train stations and coach stations and interchanges and at the bus stops. There are route maps and bus maps and brochures. I picked up a whole load of paper, just as souvenirs. Culled a lot of it when we were packing to move from Vizag. Of course the best part was, it was all in a language that is de facto my first language. People I spoke to on the street and elsewhere didn’t seem to have issues understanding my accent either, but my mom was disappointed no one sounds like the Beeb! I explained that the Beeb accent is largely an artificial one. Ruth and Tom said perhaps some people sound like that in some parts of London, but we didn’t meet any. Anyhow, the weeks I spent glued to Silent Witness, Waking the Dead and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries on BBC Entertainment paid off and I understood the different accents quite satisfactorily. Actually, I think I’d have been intimidated if someone had sounded like the Beeb. This way, my accent was just another among a thousand others.

Not that I watched the series to learn the accents. Also the years of growing up with British writing meant I got a thrill just from recognising street and place names :D. Like unexpectedly stumbling upon this while looking for something else entirely:

Found! New Scotland Yard

That was on the way from watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Or cutting through from Marylebone Street (after walking through Oxford Street) en route to Portland Place and seeing this board:

Harley Street

Almost enough to make me forget the ache in my feet (our feet ached the entire two weeks! Never have I ever walked so much in my life.)

Then for the murder lover in me (the genre of books, not the act naturally), this on the way to Trafalgar Square:
Murder bookstore

I made a lifetime of memories from those 13 days. And if I was nostalgic before the trip, now it’s like “I have to go back every year!!!”. Dreaming on…

While on the subject of language, this is the first time I’ve lived in a place where I don’t even read the script. English is ubiquitous, obviously, but I wish I could read Malayalam too. A penfriend from Cochin in my youth tried teaching me but I remember very little of it. One weekend, I shall try to locate her, as I remember her address by rote. Do you think I’ll be able to find her? It must be almost 20 years since we last corresponded. I’m hoping at least her parents will be here, even if she has moved away. I found a schoolfriend in Mumbai when we moved there, 11 years since we last met.

I think all my posts for the foreseeable future are going to be rambling ones. Stay with me if you can!

Jacque‘s celebrating her blogiversary with a contest. All you have to do is comment!

All the best πŸ™‚

Amma and I are going to be in the UK from the 17th to 31st. The land of Dickens and Shaw and Shakespeare and Austen and Sayers and Rendell and James (PD) and Townsend and Heyer and Francis…. I’m excited.

It’s my first trip abroad, the first time I’m taking a long-distance flight, the first time I’ve applied for a visa. There was some drama with my mom’s passport first, a policeman playing havoc with verification and delaying the renewal until the last minute. But the visa magically came through in three days without us having to travel to Chennai for an interview.

Do you know, my parents and my sister came back to India via Europe when they resettled from Canada in 1972? And they actually landed in London two years to the day I was born! They spent 4 days there and also visited Paris, Venice, Rome, Belgrade, and Egypt.

Ruth has very very kindly offered to help with accommodation in London. I was originally planning to go to Edinburgh/Lake District/Yorkshire but friends there haven’t responded to my latest mail, so I’m going to try and see as much as possible via day trips from London. Maybe move into a hostel so we don’t inconvenience Ruth more than we are already.

Anyone has any tips? Ruth says she might take me to her local knitting group, which is a scary idea! Me, the amateur knitter, meeting actual real knitters, who probably make usable items!!! And beautiful ones. It’s terrifying. Gulp.

I don’t plan to buy any yarn, because I’d probably want a little bit of everything and that would be way above my budget/baggage allowance. Too much temptation might sometimes translate into none at all, you know. But maybe some small gizmo, if it is affordable.

Will I meet any of my readers there? Let me know. Did I say I’m excited? I’m excited!

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