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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christmas Ornaments

Time flies it not?
Sharing with you a Christmas nativity set that I had made last year. Hope you like it.
This set has 6 pieces in it. Sculpting wears my hands out more than crochet. Yet I love to keep looking at these cute tiny creations. There's Joseph, Mary carrying Infant Jesus, a chubby donkey and a sheep, and a crib with a blue bird sitting on it, and the crib is empty of course as baby Jesus is in Mary's hands!! There's some straw and a lovely rose too..

The same set in a different setting....

This is Joseph....

I have made  ornaments as gifts over the years. Found these pictures for now..this is a miniature keyboard ornament. All ornaments can be personalized with the name or year or wishes written on them. All these are my handmade work, and some of them have taken me days together. 

The musician and pianist in me comes out every now and then and here is a bass and a treble clef ..embellished with a rose and  leaves. Each petal has been individually shaped and assembled with no paints or molds.
 This is a miniature tree ..

. Over the past weeks I have designed more than 4 new designs and I have to pattern write from my notes that I had scribbled. Until next time and hopefully would have unearthed more pictures of my ornaments...leaving you now with lots of love

Sari Yarn History Preparation and Patterns

Thanks for visiting again. 
This is me!! I have  my  picture here clad in a sari  to show you what a sari looks like. Sari is an attire that has its origin  from  South Asia, particularly India.  Sari is a long rectangular piece of machine or handwoven fabric, about  6 yards in length,  akin a large scarf,  that is used to drape over the woman, by creating a set of pleats  in front  and worn over a short blouse called the choli that just covers the bust, and an  inner skirt over which it is draped. Click HERE to know how to wear a sari. The most decorative piece of the sari is the end piece of the scarf, which is called the Palloo, and which drapes over the bust and over the shoulder. Some drape it over the right shoulder and some over the left shoulder. The bottom line is that it serves to cover the breast of the woman. 

Saris are made with various kinds of natural fiber  such as from cotton,   silk,    banana and jute, and  man made fibers, just as we have both natural yarn made out of plant and animal fiber as well as man made acrylic yarns. The sari that I am wearing here has been made with the silk  thread produced  by the silk worm, which is the most expensive form of silk. You can read more HERE. on sericulture, the cultivation and production of pure silk. 
In the market today there are many look alike silks, and imitations, and a novice in silks will find it very hard to differentiate the genuine ones from the imitations. In pure silk the gold weave is nothing but pure silver that is handwoven in traditional designs. Therefore even after the sari has served its purpose, the silver can be melt into a block and used for making ornaments  while the fiber portions  of the sari can be up cycled into pretty things, through what is called as sari ribbon. Sari ribbon is nothing but cut shreds of long pieces from these 6 yards, joined together with knots or with a needle and thread, by hand or machine. These are called reclaimed sari  yarn/fibre. Fiber that is left behind on the weavers loom is also collected and made into usable strands of yarn. These two forms of sari yarn is usually made at home. Most women do not find the time or need to reclaim what they have used and these are collected by people door to door in return for something usable such as utensils for the kitchen etc. Most often they are used for quilt making. Especially in Northern parts of India where the winters are really cold, these quilts really help.   These used saris are often taken, washed and shred to yarn. Good portions of the sari are made into cushion covers and other home accessories. 
I do not wear any other silk but that which is handwoven and made from raw silk on the weaver's loom. They are expensive but something to treasure, and the smell of the silk and the sound of the rustling is something to be experienced. 

In the picture above you will find themes handwoven  in pure gold toned silver thread such as a peacock, trees, flute music and so on. Notice the end of the sari fabric that has the fiber running to and fro. Sarees have dual color threads that run up and down the grain of the fabric producing a pretty double shade such as what we find on the neck of the peacock. 

These two are pictures of a sari yarn floor decor.

Synthetic or natural sari yarn ribbons are cut or shred into long pieces akin the model shown here. 

The above is a sari ribbon yarn floor decor and the following picture shows you a possible layout of shredding and processing the yarn.

Sari yarn can be used for making necklaces, shawls, and any kind of accessory. The loose fibers that come with these shred or cut ribbons add to the rugged charm. Saris can be converted to beautiful keep sake pieces. You will never look at a sari the same way again!! Patterns can be as simple as circles or ovals or a converted doily pattern. If you have been inspired to make something from a sari, or salwar, please do link your projects to the blog and so share as well. Happy crocheting!!

Until next time,
Lots of love from

Monday, July 29, 2013

What a simple clothes hanger can do: Hairpin Lace

Over the years I have used various kinds of hairpin looms, and till date my best liked is the U shaped prong also called the hairpin staple.  This one you see here was self made by me!!  with a clothes hanger. I found some  disadvantages as well as advantages.
Firstly let me explain why I made this.
I wanted something light weight and which did not involve too much of changing of rods and clasps, and which I could just grasp easily. And whilst flipping the loom to and fro weight does matter to me.
So how did I make this?
I simply  took a clothes hanger that we get usually get from the dry cleaner's and snipped one end off, with equal fork length. Hairpin lace is also called fork lace. So in a way a fork has thus been created.

The advantage is the weight and ease of flipping the loom. I particularly like the way it fits snug into the palm of my left hand, with the v portion   pivoting to flip to and fro. The disadvantages are that it is very delicate and has to be held gently. Overall for a quick project it comes in handy. Below are some of the hairpin lace projects that one can do.

Made with Pumpkin from Red Heart.

Made with Bernat Baby Coordinates, lime green.

Made with Bernat Baby Coordinates.

This one was made with Autumn Red from Caron Simply Soft.

This one was made by Caron Simply Soft off white.

This one was made with Caron simply soft off white. Hairpin lace Shawls look awesome  to use with  saris too. You can find the pattern for the broomstick hairpin lace ensemble by clicking HERE. 
Until next time
Lots of love

Peacock inspired

If you have visit my art journal  you would have noticed that I am much inspired by nature and among birds am most inspired by the peacock. Here is a  peacock focal pendant that I handmade,  that is kept on my sari, for the photo. The sari is an attire formed by draping 6 yards of long rectangular scarf like material around the body. This sari has a traditional peacock weave hand woven into it.  The links of the necklace were also handmade by me. Working with metals bruises my hands quite a bit..but the rugged beauty of handmade surpasses the pain.

This is a real peacock ..notice the vibrant colors. The peacock neck color is my favorite!!

He is getting inquisitive now!! I took this picture in a  farm in Virginia.
Until next time lots of love

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A peek into my tools..

Hello dear friend,
Thanks for visiting. Hope your art journey is enjoyable as well as relaxing. I just took a few moments to show you around some of the tools I work with. It is not exhaustive but it has captured some of it.

You see my self healing mat, that I use for various tasks such as measuring and not limited to mere use  as a cutting mat. The Rotary cutter blade is so very sharp and I use the scissors and cutter as per needs. On the background you see a little mat that I made out of four to be trashed grocery bags. Click HERE to see more of this mat.  Click HERE to see how I made it.
Here are my team members.. I do not collect hooks and these are all the ones that I have and some of them have been with me for a real long long time. I have decorated them as per my needs with my jewelry mix that is built to last and strong.  I hold the hook neither as a pencil nor as a tooth brush but as a combination of both.

My pen is one of my art tools that records and writes down all my inspirations.

That's a peek into the quilting, sculpting, sewing and crocheting needs.

A pocket iron that helps to iron out my pieces of fabric and tape and so on..

Singer has been our family favorite, what my mother uses, what I use and what my daughter uses.
Hope you liked this little tour of my tools.
Until next time lots of love

BBB- Bold and Beautiful Broomstick Lace

Hello again,
Here is a piece that I made yesterday. Broomstick lace lends itself to a great range of possible textures, feel, and mood depending on the type of yarn and the colors and so on..for a nugget on the origin of broomstick lace please click HERE

I love bangles especially those carved from wood. Enjoy the sheen and polish that they take.

Well, made this broomstick lace scarf with vibrant colors transforming into a pretty neck accent. Changing colors on a broomstick lace fabric is a challenge, and especially weaving the ends in. The more number of times I change colors the more ends to weave as each new color has a starting tail and a ending tail.

Tassels add charm to a scarf that a crocheted fringe cannot. They can be made long or short real thick or narrow. I added a fringe with all the colors that went into the scarf.

This is a close up ..

The final product off the hook..This scarf forms a lacy open and light fabric and one can slip it into the purse and transform am outfit for an evening dinner after work. The pop of color goes well with any sweater or dress, with or without  a dark or light color cardigan. Possibilities are endless. Can be used as a sash too.

Thanks for your visit and do leave a few words of comment that will encourage me. Lots of love until we meet next

Origin of Broomstick Lace

A question for you: 
Have you ever wondered why this pretty lace, which I make so very often,  is called the broomstick lace? It is also known as the peacock eye lace or the jiffy lace.

In ancient days women after their work for the day sat down with their brooms and wrapped yarn around the handle of the broom and gathered the loops thus formed often in groups of five and crochet these groups together to form long flowing garments and pieces of accessories. 

The Broom is the most commonly used household tool, designed to handle a common task,  and this tool has been re engineered by ancient women, to create a new technique in weaving. Thus the  use of the broomstick has been an excellent innovation, born out of the necessity to use what was at hand and also with an attitude of being accountable for any little time that the women got at hand, and staying busy creating, and expanding activities rather than making break times into  a time waster.  This beautiful ancient art is what I use often in my creations integrating this technique with modern and contemporary colors and textures. The name broomstick lace was thus given to this lace made with the broom handle. 

Over time the broom handle was replaced by a large knitting needle, or wooden dowels to cast on the loops. The prop I used in this picture is a broom and a grass mat imported from India, purchased in a local grocery store. The sample I made is with lavender yarn. A pumpkin patch orange and green leaf scarf is in progress.

Broom handles are no longer used, and I have created this only to show/ enact  the origin of the name.
There are brooms that have a long handles wherein one can sweep without having to bend the body. But the Indian broom is shorter and requires one to hold the handle and bend over to make the sweeping motion, and the outcome  is as fine as using a swifter.  Broomstick lace is believed to have originated in Europe. A Scottish missionary brought crochet into India (in the 1800s)  and that is where I learnt crochet from, having learnt this stitch at age 12.  Hope this nugget of information was educative.

click HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE HERE and HERE for some of my broomstick lace work (There is more if you go into the search box and type broomstick lace) 
Until next time,
Lots of love

Friday, July 26, 2013

Neon Orange Broomstick Lace Scarf

Hello lovely people,
Thanks for your visit.
Here's a Neon Orange Broomstick Lace Scarf, with a wooden bangle that you see as a prop for the picture.

That is me with Caron Simply Soft yarn resting on my knees, with my favorite crochet fabric rug that I made on the night when Sandy Storm passed by. I have called him therefore as Sandy, and he is real tough and utilitarian and my favorite place to rest my feet on whilst designing.

To make this scarf follow the pattern by clicking HERE 
The only difference is that instead of working one row of sc, work an additional two rows of dc and then continue with the next row.

I would love to hear from you. Do leave a comment and also share pictures of your work. Wishing you a restful weekend and much love to you.


Sugar candy broomstick lace scarf

Hello friends,
I simply love making broomstick lace weave. That was the first stitch that I learnt in crochet. I have been making them ever since I was a twelve year old, and I do not therefore realize how difficult it is because I find it easy, and my fingers have got used to making this weave. Here's one I completed this morning. Loved the transition in colors and the texture that it created.

Hope you liked this collage. The following is a closeup. There are times when I use the tassels and times when I make a crochet fringe. Tassels produce their own rugged beauty.

A colorful scarf as this adds that quantum of pop of color that can go well with any solid color sweater or dress. The lacy texture is a feature that makes this a great neck accent without adding too much warmth and discomfort.  It is so very delicate and light you can just roll it up and slip it in your bag to wear for the evening dinner just after work and look different from your work dress.

Until next time signing off now with lots of love and wishes

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Snow white broomstick lace scarf pattern

Here are some helps for you to make a scarf just as what I have made. You may additionally want to Google you tube videos for "broomstick lace" if you are new to the lace. It is not hard at all. I do not have any of my own work video recorded,  as recording with my iPhone and balancing the knitting needle is a little challenging. Please search on my blog for "broomstick" and have a look at all what I have made. This makes an airy breezy and delicate scarf to suit any occasion. You may want to make it as broad as you want for a broader shawl, and or as narrow for a bracelet, but the methodology  is the same. Outcomes can be altered by altering the width of the loops varying the size of the knitting needle and the total number of multiples of 5 for as broad or narrow as required.

Materials needed for this scarf:
1. Knitting needle or a scale (a foot ruler) If you do not have a foot ruler please use a old paint stirrer that is usually thrown away. Sand it a bit to make the loops. Remember that the scale has to be longer than the breadth of the scarf that you  would want.
2. One skein of any yarn.
3. Crochet hook 5.50mm

Stitches used: Single crochet: sc and dc- double crochet and broomstick lace loops cast on to the knitting needle or scale or piece of long wooden dowel or piece of wood, slip stitch.

Time taken evening

Complexity:  Intermediate


1. chain 25 (we will be grouping 5 loops together) for a narrow scarf please make only 20 chains.
2. ch 3 to count as one dc (if this 3 chain is longer than your  dc  you can use 2 chains)
3. turn,  dc  into fourth from hook, dc into all chains, you will have to get 25 dcs.
4. From now on you will not turn, and be working on the same side left to right and right to left until the last ending row. (like a similar motion scale on the pianoforte keyboard) Draw loops now through each chain, working left to right and cast each loop thus drawn onto a knitting needle or any tool that I have mentioned, which acts to hold the loops.   Cast the loop on as soon as you draw it through each chain. Hold your work fairly firm and tight to get a neat finish. After having drawn loops through all the chains you will reach the right end with the right side facing you.
5. *Gather the first 5 loops by slipping them off the needle (or scale) and chain one, into this group of five loops. Work 5 sc into this space
6. gather the next 5 loops and sc 5 into them.
7. work 5 scs into the next 3 groups, in a similar way.  You will have 25 scs.
8. You will not turn, working with the same side facing and left to right draw 25 loops through all these 25 scs, on to your knitting needle, and repeat from * until you have 43 rows, ending with a sc row.
9. Work 3 chains,  to count as one dc, turn  and work dcs into all the scs. you will have 25 dcs.
10. Fringe stage..the options are to use tassels or what I have used here..**chain 10, into the third chain from hook work 3 dcs, chain 3 and slip stitch into the third chain to close the round, continue with 7 chain.
11. Skip one dc and slip stitch  into the next stitch, and repeat from ** till you have finished creating these little fringes for all the 25 dcs. Fasten off.
12. Rejoin the yarn at the base of the first row and work a fringe here. Fasten off and weave in the edges.

Scarf is ready!!!! Enjoy!!
 (a smooth handle of a broomstick is ideal too, and that's how the name originated. Friends, this was the first stitch I learnt to do as a 12 year old!!). Do write to me at in case you have any difficulties. And do share your pictures too if you would like to.

This is the picture of the scarf the rolled portion is the reverse of the scarf.

This is the picture of the scarf with the right ride rolled up.
Well both sides look great and have a unique texture, there is no right or wrong side..!!

This is a picture of drawing loops onto a paint stirrer..

Until next time lots of love and blessings

(for a hairpin broomstick lace shawl pattern click here )

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hairpin lace Shawl and tutorial

Hello lovely people,
My laptop is working now!! and blogging from the laptop is different from the phone. It helps with the links better!!

Here is the Hairpin lace shawl that I made with a refreshing "lime green"  Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn. I used just one skein. Hairpin lace uses less yarn and hence also gives a great light open breezy and delicate texture to the garment being made. The tulips were from the garden.
The yellowish green also reminds me of the tender soft and velvety mango leaf shoots, that even have an awesome shine on them!!
This  is the tutorial that I used for this shawl. Hope it helps. Click here

A very unique hairpin lace that I made using a real hairpin is here for you to read!!

Until we meet again keep smiling
Lots of love

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book cover pattern and method

This is a bible cover I made a long time ago.. Is well used weathered and washed.. On request I an sharing how I made this.
1. Measure the book and make that many chains. Chose yarn that does not stretch.
2. Turn and work sc across till you reach the other end of the book.
3. Make two flaps for the inner side of DC filet stitches to half the size of cover.
4. Sew the flaps together, with a yarn needle.
5. Rejoin yarn on one side and edge the cover with three chains to count as one DC and three DC and slip stitch into the next fourth stitch

Your cover is ready. You can use old files also and cover them like this to make a pretty file that can be kept on the desk as a desk paper organizer

Until next time
Lots of love