The Puja Flavours of Kolkata – I

Every city has it’s own flavor!! And every city has a time when the flavor is at it’s best!

Kolkata is no exception and it’s at it’s best during the five days of Durga Puja.  The city takes the looks of a fairyland by night with artistically arranged strings of fairy lights not only draping the trees and poles but to tell stories.

The tradition of Durga Puja is old and there are houses (though at present most of the Pujas are a community affair, in the nineteenth century most of the Pujas were hosted by rich zaminders/landowners and kings of the princely states.) where Durga Puja is being held for more 250 years without a break.

In Bengal, Devi Durga primarily is the daughter who comes home, once every year for these five days, with her children all the way from Himalayas. So the feelings that run is more of affection and love rather than awe. Months of preparation in constructing the idols and various other rituals which start almost a month ahead finally culminates in the special function of these five days.

Here are some glimpses of a few such old traditional Durga Pujas held in such old families in their family-homes.  Some are being funded out of family trusts and some perhaps by the members of the family. The very fact that such a tradition is being continued over centuries impresses one. A speciality of the idols of the traditional pujas is that all the idols are put against one common frame and not put separately and independently, which is a setting very commonly seen in other idols.

Old Kolkata and it’s traditions always held a special place in my heart. Reading the stories since childhood based on Kolkata made me familiar with the names of the roads and landmarks and  gave me a sense of déjà vu ever since I came to Kolkata. Seeing some of traditional Pujas in some of the well known houses of the yore just strengthened that.

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This is the idol in the family home of Rani Rashmoni in Janbazar. The puja here is continuing since 18th century.  Rani Rashmoni , widow of a rich businessman and landowner, handled the property affairs very effectively, till her minor children grew up. It must have been a difficult feat to achieve more than 250 years back. She is better known as the person in whose temple Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa joined as a priest. Though the family house seems to have seen better days the tradition continues even now.

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Image This is the image from the Chunder family Puja. This too has been continuing  since 1877, without any break. The Chunder family was well known for their social and political service as well their contribution to the freedom movement of India. Even now some of the members of the family are well known in social/political/educational circles.

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  Thanthania  Dutta family puja is another one which is continuing over centuries. The ladies of the family wear a special nosering during the festival. The idol here is truly the daughter of the family as here her father brings her in along with her family and she is depicted as the daughter and not as the demon-killer.

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The lovely red house and quite a few similar looking adjacent houses belong to the descendents of Ramdulal Dey but better known by the names of his sons Latu Babu and Satu Babu (they seem to have been more popularly known by their pet names!)  The family seem to have become rich through business of various commodities but primarily of salt and owned large number of properties in Kolkata. The puja is more than 200 years old.

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 Khelat Ghosh was one of the richest businessman of his times and was quite popular with the East India Company and the Britishers in general. He owned a huge number of properties in Kolkata including the land on which Victoria Memorial was built, which is presently one of the most prominent landmarks of Kolkata. His palatial house has been declared a heritage house.  The well maintained house has beautiful marble statues everywhere in the passages and in the centre courtyard.

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Raja Naba Krishna Deb of Shobhabajar  was not only a wealthy landowner but also owner of Sutanuti one of the three villages from which the present day Kolkata grew. The Durga puja in his house was started in 1757. On one hand people like Robert Clive (he wasDewan/Chief Minister of Lord Clive)and Warren Hastings visited this Puja while on the other Ramakrishna Paramhansa and SwamiVivekananda came here too. All social and political leaders of the past visited the Puja. The first civic reception of SwamiVivekananda after his famous visit to Chicago was also held in these premises.

The common thread that seems to run through all these Pujas are that the stress is on the traditional depiction of image, the customs and rituals are followed strictly as these have been followed over centuries. No loud decoration or lighting here but they draw a crowd faithful to them throughout the Puja. The attraction of the past continues

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Field of Colours

Mitered square is one technique of knitting, I am totally in love with. The process is simple, yet it gives a beautiful textured end product. Simple stitch variations and change in colours give a totally new and different look.

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Knitting a set of cushion covers was a long pending item in my to-do list. Finally this year, I decided that I must start knitting them. I also decided that, I’ll try out different variations of the same theme/ technique viz. mitered square by changing colours and stitch combinations. These are the first two, in my set of twelve 12’ x 12’ cushion covers. You can see all the photos and know more about it, in my Ravelry page Field of colours.

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Being sewing-challenged, I have decided to attach these on pre-sewn covers. But you can either knit a garter or stockinette stitch back and join this front piece with that or attach this to a fabric back.

A number of friends asked me to write down the pattern. As always, this again is a recipe, which can be modified and made into different variations and the change of colours would also make a difference in look of the finished product. The basic pattern has always been there and used in many beautiful projects.

So now on to the recipe.

Ingredients

Yarn

This can be made with any yarn of any weight, only the size of the unit square will change.

In fact this can be one the lovely uses for the left over stash.

I used Anchor Knitting Cotton in various shades for this. You can make it monochrome or colours arranged in any variation of your choice.

I used about 68 gms of this yarn for a 11.5 x 11.5 square.

Needles

Use suitable size of needle for the yarn you plan to use, ensuring that the resultant fabric is firm and not hole-y.

I used 3.25 mm needles for this.

Stitches used

K – Knit

Sl – Slip stitch knit-wise

K2Tog – Knit two stitches together

Psso – pass slip stitch over

Gauge

Unimportant as long as you get a firm fabric.

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Method

CO any odd number of stitches (depending upon the size of square you want), with your favoured method of casting.

I CO 21 stitches since I wanted smallish squares , it gave me a 1.5 x 1.5” square.

Slip the first stitch of every after Row 1 purl-wise, take yarn to the backside of the work then proceed to work. This gives a series of chains at the edge, which helps you to pick up the stitches for the next square more easily.

First square

Row 1 (WS) – Knit

Row 2 (RS) –   K9, sl 1, K2tog,  psso, K9

Row 3 –  Knit

Row 4 – K8, sl 1, K2tog, psso, K8

Row 5 – Knit

Row 6 – K7, sl1, K2tog, psso, K7

Row 7 – Knit

Continue this way till you have 3 sts on needle.

Knit one row.

Slip 1, K2tog, psso.

Fasten off leaving 2” of tail.

You are done with the first square.

It may not look exactly a square at this stage but will become alright once you add the following squares.

Second Square

With a new yarn of a colour of your choice, pick up 10 stitches starting at end where you fastened off the first square.

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You’ll pick up one stitch at every chain formed at the edge (take both loops of the chain to pick up the stitch). Pick up the 11th stitch at the corner of the edge of the square.

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CO 10 stitch by provisional CO method. Now you have 21 stitches on your needles again.

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It might look a little wonky on the needles at this stage but as you progress that will straighten out.

Follow the instructions as in the first square from Row 1 till end. So your second square is ready.

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Third Square

Provisionally CO 10 stitches.

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Pick up the 11th stitch at the top right hand side end of the first square (it will be the other end across where you picked up the first stitch for the second square). Pick up 10 stitches along the top edge of the first square. You have 21 stitches on your needles.

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Follow the instructions as in the First square from Row 1.

And now you have your three squares ready!

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Knit in the ends while picking up stitches for the following row or weave in the ends later.

Now you know how to add on squares side by side in rows and columns. Here all the central double decreases will fall in the same direction.

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I knitted a narrow border in garter stitch around the final piece.

I do not know whether the process is clear or not. In case, it is not or you notice some error, please feel free to let me know.

There are any number of possibilities in arranging colours to get different shapes and looks. Depending upon the size of square you desire to have you can increase the number of stitches by multiples of two. Your number of rows will increase accordingly.

I look forward to see the pretty and colourful projects coming up.

In case you happen to follow this and make your Mitered Square project, I hope you do not forget to give credit to this post/mention this post as your source of direction or inspiration.

 

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Chhota Spikes

Chhota Spikes

Chhota Spikes is a small 12” x 10” sling bag, which can easily accommodate a book or two, your wallet, your keys, mobile and shades and you are on the go for the short trip, when you do not want to be bothered with a large purse.

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You’ll need

-DK weight yarn in two contrast colours. I used Vardhman Millenium acrylic approx 85 gms in each colour.

-Hook – 4.5 mm and 5.5 mm

– Fabric for lining

-Magnetic closure

– Tapestry needle

Gauge

Not important. The fabric done in spike stitch is dense so use a hook which is a size thicker than what you would use otherwise.

You can customise the size of the bag as per your need, by increasing/decreasing the number of starting chs in the multiples of 5.

Abbreviations

Ch – chain

Sc – single crochet

Sl st – slip stitch

Flo – front loop only

Blo – back loop only

Spike stitch – Spike stitch is scs done in the rows below.

It has been beautifully explained here

Yarn Dark colour – D

Yarn Light colour – L

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How to

 Make 41 ch with the D.

First side

1st row – sc in second ch from hook, sc in each ch till end. 40 scs. 1 ch turn

2nd row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end.

Change to colour L. ch 1 turn

3rd to 7th row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end, ch 1 turn.

8th row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end,

Change to D. ch 1 turn.

9th row –  *sc in the first sc. Spike st 2 into next sc, Spike st 3 into next sc, Spike st 4 into next sc, Spike st 5 into next sc*  Repeat from * to * 7 times more. Ch 1 turn.

10th to 13th row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end, ch 1 turn.

14th row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end,

Change to L. ch 1 turn.

15th row – *sc in the first sc. Spike st 2 into next sc, Spike st 3 into next sc, Spike st 4 into next sc, Spike st 5 into next sc*  Repeat from * to * 7 times more. Ch 1 turn.

16th row to 19th row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end, ch 1 turn

20th row – sc in first sc, sc in each sc till end,

Change to D. ch 1 turn.

Repeat from 9th to 20th row till you get the desired length for the bag.

I repeated 4 times more.

Repeat 9th to 14th row once more in D.

Roll-on tube border

1st row –sc in blo in each sc till end, ch 1 turn

2nd row –sc in flo in each sc till end, ch 1 turn.

Repeat 1st and 2nd row 5 times more.

Fasten off keeping a good length of yarn for stitching up the tube border.

Second Side

 Attach D at the CO end, with right side facing, working on the loops of beginning ch row , sc in each of the 40 sc, ch 1 turn.

Next row – sc in each sc till end.

Join L ch 1 turn.

Beginning with 3rd row  repeat as in First side till roll on tube border. Fasten off keeping a good length of yarn for stitching up the tube border.

Straps (Make two)

Taking one strand each of D and L and a 5.5 mm hook, make a ch as long as you want the strap to be plus 11” (this extra part will go inside the tube border.

Sc in the second ch from hook , sc in each ch till end. Fasten off.

Join the edges of the strap, without twisting the strap. It’ll form a long untwisted ring.

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Joining

Fold the piece along the CO ch line with right side out. Join D near beginning ch row , join the two pieces together with scs putting the hook through both sides together, evenly along the side, only upto the last spike st row. Do not join the sc rows meant for the roll-on tube border. Repeat with the other side.

Fold the border into half, folding it towards the outside so that the edge is aligned with the first row of sc in the border, do not join as yet. Attach the magnetic clasp at the centre of the border at the inside of the fold on both sides.This way the metal washer of the magnetic clasp will be inside the fold and not visible.

Then place a strap inside the fold on one side of the bag, placing the joined part in the centre so that it will not be visible once the tube is folded over and sewn. Tack the strap inside the tube with small stitches. Repeat with the other strap.

Now sew the edge of the tube border aligning it with the first row of border sc with small stitches.

Weave in all the loose ends.

Line it with a matching fabric. I attached  a pocket too with a fabric in contrast print.

Now put in your books, keys, mobile and the keys and you are ready to go out with your Chhota Spikes!

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In case some error is noticed or any part of the pattern is not clear or difficult to understand, please let me know.
This pattern is free for non-profitable/personal use and gifting purposes only. And not for commercial use. Please do give credit for this pattern, whenever you use it – linking it to my post and/or blog.

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Hanging by a Yarny Tale

When you are planning go to another country as a tourist, what are the things you do?

-Look up on the net about the country/city, may be consult Lonely Planet or Frommer’s,

-Make a list of the places to be seen,

-Read up about the history, art and culture of the place

-Plan an itinerary within the time you’ll spend there

-Check weather conditions and plan the clothes to be taken

-Also check if there is anything worth buying there, if so, where?

Well, a yarn-lover does all this, plus

– secretly (lest it gets shot down right at inception by the family members) looks up the locations of yarn-shops (thanks to Google)

-Checks up what all kinds of yarn is available there

-Get inputs from fellow Ravellers

-Checks and rechecks the secret stash of euros or whatever be the currency, which will be the key to owning the yarn

-And does not breathe a word about it to anyone.

So you see a yarn-lover/crazy person has much more to plan and prepare before she travels!

Since I was to visit Rome, Florence, Venice and Barcelona, my print out of shops ran into a few pages. After discussing with fellow Ravellers and reading up, the shops were star-marked with one, two or three stars. The schedule was tight so I have to read and re-read addresses and check up whether these were located near any of our other destinations.

Armed with all these inputs, when I landed in Rome and started my touristy tour, I realised that it is going to be a difficult thing to snatch away time to go to a yarn shop as there was so much to see, so much to imbibe and of course so much to enjoy. Despite that, one day while walking from Piazza Navona to another destination, we saw this yarn shop at the corner and yes, it was one of the listed ones! Daughter did not object much when she looked at my face. But unfortunately, language proved to be a barrier for communication. Asking for cotton/cotton blends in our rudimentary Italian, resulted in bringing out oh-so-familiar Anchor knitting cotton balls and nothing else. The shop had a good stock of wool and wool-blends but I picked up two balls of sockyarn and two lady-bug buttons and came out. So that’s the end of my yarn-sob-story in Rome!

Florence, our next destination, held more promise. The list of shops was long, with a few highly acclaimed ones. And every source spoke about the reasonable price. So I was more hopeful. In the train travelling to Florence, the-ever-so-hopeful-me gathered some courage and showed the list of yarn shops to daughter and she burst out laughing, “Ma, you can’t think of anything else!!” was the only comment and that definitely stoked the fire of yarn-purchase-hopefulness in me!

On the first day after visiting Duomo, Ufizzi Gallery and a walk on the Ponte Vecchio when we returned to the hotel, which was luckily very near Duomo, we were resting our tired legs and planning next day’s itinerary. It was then that my daughter said, there is a small slot of time after visiting Accademia available to us and may be that is the time we can go to your yarn shop. She, the navigator, looked up the map and stated it’s on the backside of Duomo and we can easily walk down to the place. It was a very happy sleep that I had that night with the dreams of sheep and fleece and colourful, soft yarn and what not!

After ogling at David for an appropriate but  always-so-insufficient time and being awestruck at the genius of Michelangelo and marvelling the other objects of art in the Accademia, we walked towards the yarn-shop. The walk was accompanied by constant reminder from my daughter that, I should be quick with my purchases and should remember about the luggage restrictions and also the fact that, we are not visiting Florence solely to buy yarn.

Then we finally reached the doors of Campolmi Roberto Filati. The door itself was interesting enough to make one rush inside.

And the next moment my jaw was touching the floor! The shop was a fairly large sized one, in L-shape and there was cartons overflowing with yarns of all variety, colour and thickness in addition to the ones arranged on shelves on the wall. And there was a whole lot which was on sale for 2 euros a ball of 100 gms as prominently displayed. I almost felt like picking up whole lot of them in all the lovely colours, but then the constraints of luggage weight and your not being born in the Medici family, always pulls you back to to reality.

A further walk into the long arm of the L showed the display of lovely variegated yarn with knitted samples on display. The knitted scarves etc actually showed how the variegation will show up once knitted. What a lovely idea!

Then there was this whole shelf full of lovely mohair in yummmmy colours and at unbelievable price. By this time my daughter was equally taken up with the amazing array and helped me to pick some mohair for scarves for herself and her sister.

Thankfully in this shop there was this young girl who could manage to speak some English and we could communicate comfortably. She was indeed very helpful. What I really loved here was that all shop assistants were knitting sample pieces with different yarns. There was a constant flow of customers and they were being helped promptly too. With the happy smiles and chattering and the one or two balls that they picked up matching them with samples, one could make out that they were the regulars.

The young shop assistant confirmed that they have cotton yarn meant for knitting and then bought out a folder in which she had samples of undyed cotton yarn in different weights and ply and twists and she had a colour card with about 30 colours and said that each of the weights of yarn are available in each of the shades. That made my selecting difficult as I was liking almost all the colours but then my daughter stepped in and I purchased a deep red in sport weight.

After picking up some and taking out some a few times, we zeroed on our final purchase and the bill was made and paid.

I came out of the shop very happy yet with a heavy heart

-knowing that I’ll perhaps never visit this lovely shop again, and

-wishing that I had a LYS like this!!

I can’t end the story without this post-script!

When we reached Venice, I had realised I can not do any more yarn shopping as I may find it difficult to fit in all in my suitcases while returning to India (which did happen, part of my stuff had to be left with my daughter. Yes, you guessed right, mostly clothes and none of the yarn!). So the list was left in the confines of the suitcase in the hotel.

On the second day we were walking in the narrow one-of-their-kind lanes near Realto and soaking in the aroma of coffee and food coming from the numerous cheerful little cafes, the buzz and laughter of the tourists, the dazzle of the shops and what do we see……..a yarn shop tucked in between two souvenir shops! My daughter smiled and asked, do you want to go in? And I said, not really. The look of disbelief was clear in her eyes. I took out my camera to take a photo of the shop and exactly at that moment this lady was walking in to the shop. She said something to her companion perhaps daughter and the exasperated look of oh-no-not-again was written all over the young girls face!

I looked at my daughter and we exchanged a knowing smile! 🙂

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Dakia Bag

Dakia  means the Postman in Hindi, who in my childhood always had a bag of this sort  ( a larger version made of canvas and full of letters for all) hanging from his shoulder.  This was the  pre-e-mail days, when we used to eagerly wait for the arrival of the Postman.

Dakia bag is a messenger bag, which will come handy for you when you need to carry a book or two and a few more things like your phone and shades and your keys and do not want to carry a large bag.

Use of this combination of colours was there in the back of my mind for a while, but then I was a bit apprehensive as to whether this would be liked by others. The friend for whose birthday I was planning to make a bag gave me a free hand to select the colours. And I used these two sober colours to be offset by the bright one. As the crocheting progressed , and I completed the body, the idea of placing the straps in a different way formed and on a trial it looked fine, so I went ahead and finally put it and found that the balance of the bag is not lost. The closure is also crocheted separately and stitched on.

Finished Size – 12″ x 10.5″

You’ll need

-DK wt yarn of your choice of colour.
I used Vardhman Millenium ,acrylic, DK, in shades of black, gray and golden yellow.
-Hook – 4.5 mm
-Fabric for lining and matching thread.
-Buttons for closure strap. I used a large golden yellow and a smaller one with gray and black zig-zag lines.
-Pearl-headed pins to tack in the pieces in place.

Gauge – Not important.
You can customise the size of the bag as per your need by increasing/decreasing the number of starting chs, the width of crocheting in each colour following the basic scheme.

Abbreviations (US terms)
Ch – chain
Sc – single crochet
Sl st – slip stitch
Hdc – half double crochet


How To

First side
With Black and 4.5mm hook make 45 chs.
Row 1 – sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch till end. Ch 2 turn. (44 scs)
Row 2 – hdc in each sc till end, ch 2 turn.
Repeat Row 2 in black till you reach 4” starting from the first hdc row.

Change to colour Gray.
For changing colour on the last st of last row of black – yarn around, insert hook into the last hdc of previous row, pull yarn through (you have three loops on your hook), now join Gray yarn and pull through the three loops on hook, ch 2 turn.
Next row onwards continue working on Row 2 with Gray, till the gray part measures 4”.

Change to colour Golden Yellow, changing the colour the way described for gray above. Continue Row 2 in Golden Yellow till the Golden Yellow part measures 4”.
In the last row of Golden Yellow make ch 1 instead of ch 2 and turn.
Last Row – sc in each hdc of previous row.
Fasten off.

Second side
Attach black with right side of the work facing you, at the start of the beginning ch row.
Do Row 1 in the beginning ch loops till end.
Do Row 2 with black till the black part measures same as done in first side.
Change to colour Gray and do Row 2 till the gray part matches the width of the same in first side.
Change to colour Golden Yellow and do Row 2 till the Golden Yellow part matches the width of the same in first side ending with the sc row.
Fasten off.

Shoulder Strap
With Black ch 195. Keep a long tail, approx 12”, which will come handy in joining.
Row 1 – sc in the 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch till end, ch 1 turn.
Row 2 – sc in each sc of previous row, ch 1 turn.
Do 2 more rows of Row 2 in Black. (Total 3 rows of sc in Black)
Change to Gray, do 2 rows of Row 2 in Gray.
Change to Golden yellow, do 2 rows of Row 2 in golden yellow.
Change to Gray, do 2 rows of Row 2 in Gray.
Change to Black, do 3 rows of Row 2 in Black.
Do 1 row of sl st in black in each sc of previous row till end.
Fasten off keeping approx 12” yarn tail for joining.

Closure Strap
With Black, ch 37.
Row 1 – 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch till last st. change to Gray when the two loops of last sc are on the hook. ch 1, turn. (38 sts)
Row 2 – sc in each sc till last st 2 sc in last st. Ch 1, turn. (39 sts)
Row 3 – 2 sc in first sc , sc in each sc till last sc, , Change to Golden Yellow when two loops of last sc are on hook, ch 1 turn (40 sts)
Row 4 – sc in each of the next 32 sc, ch 3, skip 3 sc (created the buttonhole), sc in each of the next 3 sc , 2 sc in last sc, ch 1 turn.
Row 5 – 2 sc together (reduced one st) sc in each sc till the 3 ch, sc in each ch, sc in each sc till end, change to Gray when two loops of the last sc are on hook, ch 1 turn.
Row 6 – sc in each sc till last 2 sc, sc 2 together ch 1 turn. (39 sts),
Row 7 – sc 2 together, sc in each st till end, change to Black when 2 loops of the last sc are on hook, ch 1 turn. (38 sts)
Row 8 – sc in each st till last 2 sts, sc 2 together. Turn (37 sts)
Row 9 – sl st through each sc till end .
Fasten off with a long tail for joining.

Putting it together

Fold the bag along the beginning ch line with right side out and join the sides with black yarn and blanket stitch. Yes, the stitches will be distinctly visible when done across the olden Yellow and Gray part. I felt, it just adds to the charm.

Position the Closure at the centre of the bag also ensuring that the both sides are hanging equally on either side of the bag, tack the base part of the closure with the body of the bag with pearl-headed pins so that position does not shift. Sew about one inch square of the base part with the body of the bag with small hem stitches with the yarn that you left as tail for this purpose, securing it properly.
On the other side f the bag, aligning with the buttonhole created in the closure, sew in the button of appropriate size. I stacked a smaller button on top of the large one and sewed both together in place.

I put a lining to the strap too for added firmness. If you wish to do so, please line it before you attach it to the bag.

Now place the straps as shown in the photo. Place one end aligning with the edge of the bag on the side and where the Golden Yellow part ends at the lower edge. Tack it in place with pins and sew it along the area overlapping the body of the bag.
Fold the strap in a way that other end of it comes in the same part of the body of the bag as the first end but at the other end. Sew it on the same way as the first end. Remember, you have to stitch the area of the strap which overlaps the body of the bag (this will be a rectangular part and secure the strap firmly to the body).


Now line the bag with your choice of fabric. I put an inner pocket too, with a contrasting fabric and before attaching it, did one row of simple embroidery stitches along the two sides. You can modify the lining to your liking, can even add a zipper if you wish.
Now you are ready with your Dakia bag!!
Put in a book, your sketch pad and pencils, a small project and a few more things and you are ready to go out!!

Here is my Dakia Bag in Ravelry.

In case some error is noticed or any part of the pattern is not clear or difficult to understand, please let me know.
This pattern is free for non-profitable/personal use and gifting purposes only. And not for commercial use. Please do give credit for this pattern, whenever you use it – linking it to my post and/or blog.

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Jaldi Clutch

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Imagine the situation!!

There is a birthday coming up in a couple of day’s time and you want to gift a handmade, since your friend is a craft-lover and a crafter herself.

There is total chaos going around you, at home and in workplace, since you have relocated recently. And worse, you can not locate / yet to unpack, all of your craft supply.

You look up the net for something pretty-yet-simple-yet-a-quick-one and the ones you can locate is not exactly what you have in mind.

You are slowly getting towards your tether’s end, as you do not want to be late for sending the gift!

So what do you do, close your eyes and conjure up a simple basic design which matches your above-mentioned criteria.

Then hunt out the available yarns and select what you had in mind and after a few frogging here and there……..you are there!! And you are happy with what you have made!

No, it would not be masterpiece and not a top-of-the-designer-line thing, but it matches the conjured images and serves the purpose!

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And that’s exactly is the story behind Jaldi Clutch.

It’s small clutch purse about 9” x 5.5”  in dimensions, where one can keep the notions and it can be carried around with the craft in hand. Or if you are going out in a hurry to pick up some essentials from your neighbourhood grocer, your house-keys, mobile and wallet will fit in comfortably.

And it gets done in a jiffy hence the name Jaldi (Jaldi is a Hindi/Urdu word which translates to Quick, yes plain and simple quick!).

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You’ll need

DK wt yarn of your choice, the clutch is crocheted with 3 strands held together.

I used Vardhman acrylic  DK Varigated in shades of green two strands and one strand of Vardhman Millenium acrylic DK in fresh leaf green.

Three strands of DK gives the clutch a fabric which is firm yet quite squishy.

Hook – 5.5mm

Fabric for lining, matching thread.

Two buttons for closure.

Gauge – Not important

Abbreviations (US terms)

Ch – chain

Sc –  single crochet

Blo – back loop only

Flo – front loop only

How To

Make 29 chs.

Foundation row – sc in second ch from hook. Sc in each ch after that till end (28 scs) Turn.

Pull the loop on the hook a little high say about 1-1.5 cms. (I did this and avoided the turning ch, which with such thick yarn would have given a bunched look and added some undesirable mass at the edge.) The last st in every row is to be pulled up like this.

 1st row – sc in flo of first st of previous row. Sc in flo in each st thenafter till end. Turn.

2nd row – sc in blo first to last st, Turn

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 till the piece measures approx 13.5” from beginning, ending with 2nd row (sc in blo row).

Buttonhole rows

Next row –  7 scs in flo in first 7 sts, sk next 2 sc, ch 2, sc in flo in next 10 scs, sk 2 scs, ch 2, sc in flo in next 7 scs. Turn

Next row – 7 scs in blo in first 7 scs, 2 sc in the 2 chs, 10 sc in blo, 2 scs in next 2 ch, 7 sc in blo . Turn.

Repeat 1st and 2nd row twice more, ending with a 2nd row.

Do one row of reverse sc as the last row.

 Image

Putting it together

Give the clutch it’s form, by folding it at 5.5” from one end of the flat piece and folding the other end over it as the top flap. Join the two sides with single strand the same yarn used for the clutch with stitch of your preference.

Line it with a matching fabric. Cut two horizontal slits in the fabric for the top flap in appropriate place against the buttonhole that you have made and secure it with buttonhole stitches.

I hand stitched the edges.

Attach two buttons of suitable size on the inside flap which will be covered by the top flap, in appropriate places against the buttonholes made.

And you are done!!

Put you notions, craft scissors, pen, keys etc inside and your Jaldi Clutch is ready for use!!!

In case some error is noticed or any part of the pattern is not clear or difficult to understand, please let me know.

This pattern is free for non-profitable/personal use and gifting purposes only. And not for commercial use. Please do give credit for this pattern, whenever you use it – linking it  to my post and/or blog.

5 Comments

July 7, 2012 · 10:59 am

Hootie-rings

Hootie Rings

With their wise round eyes and the know-all look, the owls are a gem of a subject to be crafted. So when it was decided to make a bunch of key-rings with critters/fruits as a gift idea, I looked up and searched, but did not get a suitable owl to hang on to a key-ring, so I decided to create one of my own. And so came the Hootie-rings.

It should be good as a quick small gift idea.

Let me admit and acknowledge that  I was highly impressed and influenced by Owlets
By Brigitte Read.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/owlets

Materials
-Some length of DK acrylic yarn from your stash
(I was about to add, in suitable owl-colours!! Then just stopped myself. Look at my colourful Hooties! What stops us from making them colourful!! I know the green owls are the most handsome ones, the orange ones most intelligent, we have a great dancer in the blue one, and of course the pink one is a beauty……and so on! You may ask,” how do you know?” I know!! Because, I made them)
-So go as colourful as you want in selecting from your stash, but just keep some serious colour handy for the top, as all owls are very serious thinkers! I chose brown.
-Some length of white DK acrylic yarn
-Small length of laceweight acrylic in white/ white sewing thread.
-2.5 mm crochet hook. To get a tight and pore-less fabric, so that the innards do not show.
– Fibrefill small quantity, to stuff it tight, to make them look healthy and well-fed.
– Two black beads of appropriate size. (You can use safety eyes too).
-Darning needle
– Stitch marker/safety pin.
– A key ring
– A jump ring to attach the Hootie with the keyring.

Stitches/ Abbreviations used (US terms)

Ch – Chain

SC – Single crochet

Sl St – Slip Stitch

St/Sts – Stitch/Stitches

FO – Fasten Off

Pattern

Body
You will be working in continuous circles without joining at the end of the round. Please mark your first st of each round from Round 2 onwards with a St. Marker/ safety pin.

With your chosen colour of DK weight yarn and 2.5 mm crochet hook,

Rnd 1 – Make 6 SCs in a magic ring. Tighten the loop.

Rnd 2 – 2 SC in each st around (12 sts)

Rnd 3 – *SC 1, 2 SC in next st* rep 6 times (18 sts)

Rnd 4 – *SC 2, 2 SC in next st* rep 6 times (24 sts)

Rnd 5 and 6 – SC in each st (24 sts)

On the last SC of Rnd 6 when two loops are still on the hook, join in the brown/sober/serious colour. Cut off the brighter colour yarn keeping a 2” tail and tie a knot at the back with the brown yarn. The knot will ensure that ends do not slip out and it can not be seen once the body is stuffed with fibrefill.
For changing colour in crochet the following tutorials may be helpful.

http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-change-colors-in-crochet/

Rnds 7 to 8 – SC in each st with brown. ( 24 sts)

Rnd 9 – SC in first 6 stitches, ch 7, SC in rest of the 18 stitches. ( the Ch 7 will become the ring, which will be attached to the key-ring).

FO keeping a long tail for sewing.

With white DK acrylic yarn and 2.5 mm crochet hook.

Eyes (make 2)

Rnd 1 – Make 7 SCs in a magic ring. Tighten the loop. Sl st into the first SC. FO with a short tail.

Weave in the ends with the help of darning needle, so that you get two flat disc-lets.

Flatten the body with your fingers in a way so that you have the yarn tail left for joining, at right top corner.

Place one of the eye discs covering the 2nd to 4th sitcht from right, in a way that the central line of the disc gets aligned with the line of change of colour in the body. Basically the eye is to be placed half on the coloured part and half on the brown part of the body.
With the darning needle and the white lace-weight/sewing thread, fix/position the disc to the body with a small stitch. Attach the black bead at the centre of the white disc. Now fix the edge of the disc to the body with small invisible stitches around.
Repeat the same with the left eye, placing the disc covering the 2nd to 4th sitcht from the left.

Fill the body with fibrefill tightly. Start joining the top with the long tail left for the purpose. Stitch the corner in a triangle a couple of times using small running sts to create the right ear. Join across the top of the head ensuring the 7 Ch ring remains outside. At the end repeat the process as done for the right ear to create the left ear.

Look at the Hootie giving you the wise look!!
Attach Hootie with a jump ring to the key-ring through the 7 ch loop.
He’s going to ensure you keys are safe!!!

In case some error is noticed or any part of the pattern is not clear or difficult to understand, please let me know.

This pattern is free for non-profitable/personal use and gifting purposes only. And not for commercial use. Please do give credit for this pattern, whenever you use it – linking it  to my post and/or blog.

3 Comments

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