Friday, December 23, 2011

11 shawls in 2011

Last year I completed the challenge on of making 10 shawls in 2011. I had a lot of yarn with me for many years and thought I could make shawls using only what I had. I did that and was very happy about it.
This year again it was 11 shawls in 2011. I had red machine knitting yarn lying with me for more than 20 years. I use to machine knit sweaters/cardigans for a school in my town. I did it for 3 years and then my machine started giving me trouble and I stopped doing the sweaters. I had ordered the yarn and it was sitting in my cupboard all these years. So I thought I would make all the shawls using that yarn. It is RED. It is very thin as it is used in multiple strands in the machine. So I did the same. I used 3 strands held together with crochet hook number I or 5.50mm and crocheted 11 shawls in 2011. I was not sure if I would complete them this year as I was busy with my daughter's wedding. But I did it. 
So here are all the 11 shawls with their names and pictures.
Most of the shawls are from the internet and the details are on on my project page.
                              All Shawl by Doris Chan


Royal Appearance

Flying Fans                                                                   
 Remember Me
 Fringe Fling
 Collared Shawl
 Bow Tie Pie
 Emily Shawl
 Simply Shawl
 Make It Bold

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I am also quilting.

I found quilting and piecing on the internet and went a little crazy trying the simple blocks. I like to do scrappy as I have not thrown any little piece of fabric for the last 35 years. With three daughters and a mother who sewed for them each little piece was stashed away. (lucky I have enough space to horde all this.) :)
My favourite quilting site is Bonnie Hunter is truly great, she has so many scrappy quilts done in such simple ways. She also has mystery quilts which I try to follow. But as yet have not made any. The other site I have often visited is and  for blocks it is  
Here are the early efforts. All these blocks have been done using help from various websites. None of these are my original patterns. But  the photographs are of the blocks I made and are my photographs.

Same star done in different ways.
House and the windmill
Fish. This is a great block. Arrange multi coloured fish blocks with blue printed blocks to make a beautiful "Fishes and the Sea" quilt
This one I did because I liked it and the way it was done.

Again something I liked.
X and O. Great block to use up scrap fabric as small as 1" strips
Close up of the block showing all the various fabrics used for the X's
The rail fence quilt. Needs binding to finish it. It is a toddler size quilt.
Close up
Various logcabin blocks
Spiral log cabin block

Scrappy mountain blocks. Easy and beautiful way of using scrap fabrics. The way this block is done is very different and easy. It is from Non directional print will looks better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baked winter vegetables Indian style

Here is one interesting recipe, which is made with winter vegetables and is absolutely delicious. There are many variations to this but generally it is done as I have described here.
Basically it is certain vegetables put in an earthen pot and sealed with some leaves that grow wild in this season and a bonfire is lit under the pot or it is kept in a hole/trench and lots of firewood is kept over it and burnt.
This is usually done in late evenings when it feels good to sit around the fire. The pot is opened after about 45 to 60 minutes and the vegetables dug out and eaten hot. No other accompaniment is necessary.
This year I made this a little early as the vegetables were available but the winter has not yet set in. I made this in an oven. To make it traditionally one needs to a lot of it and then it has to be enjoyed in the company of family and friends. With just the two of us at home this way we get to eat ookad handi often.
All the vegetable ready to go in the baking dish

The masala ingredients

 The purple yam / kand / konfal

Mixed beans

ova / ajwain / ajmo / bishop weed seeds

The baked delicacy ready to eat.

So here is my way of doing this wonderful recipe.
10 small / baby potatoes
10 small onions peeled
10 small brinjals
5 sweet potatoes cut into big chunks with the peel
2 small purple yams / kand / konfal cut into big chunks
500 gms of various papdi /beans (surti papdi, kadu vaal, toor, gujri papdi) these are the varieties of various beans available at this time of the year.
For the masala:
1 big bunch of corriander leaves
1 big bunch of mint leaves / pudina
1 small bunch of green garlic / garlic with its leaves or 1 big pod garlic peeled
8 to 10 green chillies or to taste
1 table spoon ova / ajwain / ajmo / bishop's weed seeds
Salt to taste
How to proceed :
Wash and clean all the vegetables. Keep potatoes, sweet potatoes with the skin. Prick with a fork or the tip of a knife, potatoes, onions, brinjals, sweet potato chunks and the  purple yam. Clean the beans. Keep some whole and remove some from shells to be used with the rest of the vegetables.
Wash and grind all the ingredients of the masala with a little water to a smooth paste.
Mix everything together. Add salt for the vegetables too. Pour the vegetables with the masala in a baking dish and bake in pre heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 2 hours or till the vegetables are cooked through. The vegetables should be cooked but firm and not too soft.
Eat hot. The only thing we have with this is a glass of butter milk as this is supposed to be a hot (with chillies) recipe.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wine making

My second wine is on its way. I got together the ingredients for making pink guava wine together yesterday and mixed and filled the jar to be readied into wine after a month or so. BUT I forgot to take pictures of it all. SO now after the wine is bottled I shall post pictures. Fingers crossed and hope there is improvement over the first attempt.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Winemaking ---- Success Story.

Finally the wine was tasted and approved and liked.
I had tasted the wine while I was filling the bottles. I filled four 750 ml bottles and two 1 liter bottles + almost a glass full. I wanted some more people to taste the wine before posting the success story here. My daughter and her fiance were here last weekend and both of them tasted it and approved it. My daughter also mentioned that one of her friends will like it. So now I can say I have made the wine successfully.
The wine is very pale yellow (like the pineapple) in colour and is dry. There is very subtle pineapple fragrance to it.
I never knew getting glass bottles with good screw on tops was so difficult. At present I have the wine filled into washed and sterelised whisky bottles with no tops/lids/corks hence the plastic with the rubber band. Desi style!!!!
Here is the picture of the 4 glass bottles.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My crochet skirt

This was crocheted by me in 1973/74. It is done using 6 strand embroidery cotton. I had got this thread in big hanks by the kilo. It was originally a peach colour but someone dropped coffee on it and so I had to get it dyed to this beautiful chocolate brown colour.  It is based on a doily that I had made. 
I used it a lot, then my younger sister wore it in her college days after which my niece wore it in her college days. It still looks good. 
This photograph was taken by my nephew. Thank you Aalok for the picture.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

60th birthday tote

Finally I finished the tote. Each of the 60 squares have a different coloured center. Today I lined it and stitched the handle. This is my pattern which came just off my head as I was thinking of a gift for this special occasion.
The Tote.

Side One

Side Two

You can see the pocket inside 

The lining and the velcro closure. You can see one of the pockets too.
I was very satisfied with this tote as it turned out good without much hassle.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Busy completing a crochet tote with 60 2.5 inches squares. Each square has a different colour and bordered in cream. Must finish it before 18th to give as a gift. Will post pictures after it is complete.

Wine has been filtered.and is given time to settle for another 3 days. Then the tasting. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wine making

Day 11 of wine making. 
I don't have a clue if it is happening or not. Everyday I open it and stir it and the close it up as mentioned it in the recipe I am following. 
Hope by the end of it all the wait is worth it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seasonal flowers

Added one more seasonal flower called Kavthi Chapha (कवठी चाफा ) in मराठी

One more seasonal flower.
This flower is so beautiful that one has to see it. The petals are soft and shiny. The shape is beautiful. The fragrance heavenly BUT it has such a short life. It blooms by 10 at night and by early morning it has closed its beauty and withered away. It is called Brhamakamal in Marathi, I think it is a type of cactus / succulent called Nopalxochia as it is a night flower and the day flower is called Epiphyllum which also comes in a very beautiful shade of red. I wish I can get it from somewhere to add to my collection of seasonal flowers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Winemaking ---- Day 1 pictures

All the ingredients collected and the clean jar. Wheat, yeast, pineapple, sugar and water.

All mixed, squashed by hand, closed and kept in a cool place.
Today is Day 4. Stirring again. Pictures taken on Day 1.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wine making

Finally I am trying to make wine tomorrow. I have had books on winemaking  for many years. Have read a lot on the internet but was always a bit wary of all the technical talk and the virus/bacteria thing mentioned. Did not want any upset tummies so never actually tried. But now I have a recipe from a local person who made it sound so easy that I am finally going to try. Read about it all here. Tomorrow pictures of Day 1 of Sandhya's winemaking. :)

shawl # 5 of 11 in 2011

Here is my shawl number 5 of 11 shawls in 2011. It is made from a pattern by Lily Go. It is on at Ravelry and also her blog.
the body of the shawl was a bit confusing but once I got the hang of it it went very fast. I did most of the shawl while travelling to and fro to New Delhi by train and my 3 day stay there.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pineapple Salsa Indian Style

Here is a quick recipe using fresh pineapple.
1 cup pineapple pieces
1/2 cup fresh coconut grated
2-3 red chillies dried will do too
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 cloves of garlic ( optional )
Salt to taste
Grind the mustard, grated coconut and red chilies and garlic (if using) to a very fine paste. Add this to the pineapple pieces. Add salt and mix well. Chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Tastes delicious with the sweet/sour taste of pineapple, bite of red chilly and tang of mustard. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bedcover/afghan done in 2010

Here is the one I did following the Ravelry Block A Month in 2010. I did all the 3 squares, two 12" squares and one 6" each month. I did four 6" ones to get a 12" square. Joined them all and made this bedcover/afghan. I used the yarn that I had ( leftover yarn from other projects)  so it has very interesting texture with many types of yarn. It made a big dent in my stash of yarn so now I am free to buy more yarn. :)