knits by sachi

Beautiful Rose windows

rosewindow

My son has been making rose windows.

I think this is a nice Christmas craft idea. It is fairly easy to make and materials are inexpensive.

He got this book online second hand for £2. It is a great book and it comes with templates.

All you need is some coloured tissue paper, medium weight cards, scissors or craft knife.

You just cut tissue paper following the templates. If you layer two or three cutouts, your work becomes quite impressive.

And of course you can design your own.

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It is a good project for fundraising, too. My son is trying to raise some money for his trip to Africa in 2015. He is on a mission to work with children in Kenya and Tanzania.

I guess he needs to sell loads of these. But it doesn’t matter. He is having fun making them and his room window is looking pretty.

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Writing patterns

My Facebook friend has sent me this photo.

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It is so encouraging to know that some knitters are enjoying my patterns. This photo means so much to me.

I am still very new to publishing patterns. Yes, I have been writing patterns for some time, but they were only for myself for future references and have been kept in my computer quietly.

It is daunting to show my patterns to other knitters. It is very scary.

It takes a lot to write up a pattern. The stitch counts have to be always right. The sewing instructions have to be clear and easy to understand. I quite often struggle on describing the assembling steps.

It is not easy to be working on patterns on your own and have no pattern checker. I have been making mistakes although I had checked them over and over before saving them as PDF.

But last night, I found that working with editorial team can be tricky, too.

You may get the drift. I have sad news. The Polar Bear pattern in Knit Now contains a mistake.

In baby bear row 12, I originally wrote, dec 1 st at both ends. It was changed to k2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog during the editing process. It would have worked if this row was a k row, but it is p row, so it should have been p2tog, p to last 2 sts, p2tog.

It is very difficult to spot something like this unless you knit the pattern yourself again. I happened to notice it last night when I was making another bear for a gift.

I proof read the pattern before publication and I need to be responsible as a designer. I am truly sorry if I caused you a headache.

But I am learning everyday. I will be a better designer with experiences.

So please please forgive me and let me write more for you.

DSCF4027The bear lost the stars in editing, too. I wonder if you want the crochet pattern.

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Bunny in a stocking

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Here is another knitting project for you. The bunny does not have limbs so it is easy.

Bunny in a stocking

Size: 7cm
Difficulty level: beginner
Materials
• 5g red DK
• 3g white DK
• Small amount of Snow Flake or fluffy chunky yarn
• Small amount of fine dark brown yarn or 2 strands taken from DK
• Stuffing
Equipment
• A pair of 2.75mm (US 2) knitting needles
Abbreviations
St/st: stocking stitch
St: stitch
K: knit
P: purl
Kf/b: k one through the front then through the back (same stitch)
K2tog: knit two together
P2tog: purl two together
Skpo: slip1, knit1, pass slipped stitch over
Sl: slip stitch
Yf: bring yarn forward
Yb: yarn back

Stocking
Cast on 10 sts with red.
Row2: kf/b in each st (20)
Row3: p with Snow flake
Row4: p with Snow flake
Row5-15: break Snow flake and work in st/st with red
Row16: k14, yf, sl1, yb, turn
Row17: sl1, p8, yb, sl1, yf, turn
Row18: sl1, k6, yf, sl1, yb, turn
Row19: sl1, p5, yb, sl1, yf, turn
Row20: sl1, k6, yf, sl1, yb, turn
Row21: sl1, p7, yb, sl1, yf, turn
Row22: sl1, k8, yf, sl1, yb, turn
Row23: sl1, p to end
Row24: k
Row25: p4, (p2tog, p3) x 2 times, p2tog, p4 (17)
Row 26-28: st/st
Cast off.

String
Cast on 2 sts and work i-cord until the piece measures 8cm. Fasten off.

To make up
Sew the seam and attach the string.

Bunny
Head
Starting with the back of the head, cast on 7 sts with white.
Row1: p
Row2: kf/b in each st (14)
Row3-7: st/st
Row8: (k1, k2tog) to last 2 sts, k2(10)
Break yarn, thread sts through a sewing needle, draw up tightly.

Body
Cast on 7 sts with white
Row1: kf/b in each st (14)
Row2-14: st/st
Break yarn, draw through sts, pull tightly and fasten off.

Ears: make two
Cast on 3 sts with white.
Row1-6: st/st, starting with p row
Row7: p2tog, p1 (2)
Row8: skpo and fasten off.

To make up
Sew the head and body seams and stuff. Attach the head to the body. Attach ears. Embroider the eyes and nose.

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Advent Fair

It is that time again.

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I will be having a stall at Advent Fair at Kings langley Steiner school near London this Saturday.

http://www.rsskl.org/CommunityEvents/PTFA/AdventFair.aspx

It is a fantastic Christmas market. Although it is a school fair, it has many many stalls and attracts large number of visitors every year. Some even come from the other side of the Channel.

I love this market. I truly do.

I started having my stall there 10 years ago. I was not used to organizing a stall myself and it must have looked a bit messy and confused.

Here is one of my early stalls. Most of my knitted toys were my interpretations of other designers’ patterns.

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My older son always came with me and helped me.

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My son is 16 now. He is coming along with me on Saturday, too. It is nice to spend time with him.

Please come to the fair to see me if you can.

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My Mario

My Mario.

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My Mario

My Mario

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My younger son has been kart racing last 6 years.

He started from Karting school at Buckmore Park just like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Yes, he is in it seriously. He doesn’t just kart on his birthday and half-term holidays. He does it all year around as a sport.

Things are quite similar to horse riding in motor racing; you start with a pony (Honda Cadet class) to a bigger horse ( Mini Max and Junior Max engine class).

My son has just move up a class from Mini to Junior Max. His kart goes 80 miles per hour on straight. He has no seat belt or a panel under his feet. He has the petrol tank between his knees. Mad? I think so.

I have never shown much support to what he does. Motor racing is every mother’s nightmare.

But recently I have seen his growth as a person. He is learning a lot from the experience out there on the racing track.

He drives in cold and rain. Now he is in much rougher races with big boys.

I guess people who live their dreams have invested a lot in themselves. They have constantly challenged and made efforts in what they do. There isn’t much achievement without challenges after all.

So, go on son! Drive fast and make your dream come true.

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Steamed Tahini cupcakes

Steamed Tahini cupcakes

Another super food I love is sesame seeds. I love the nutty flavour and crunchy texture. And of course they have so much health benefits. They are high in protein, fiber, vitamin B-complex, and minerals especially magnesium, copper, iron and calcium.

It is easy to add to your diet, but for your body to absorb all the goodness of the seeds, it is better you crash them or grind them.

I love Tahini. Although it has less fiber than whole seeds it is fantastic source of minerals. When I first found Tahini, I was so excited and used a lot in dressings and sauces. My young fussy eater do not touch sesame seeds and even picks them from buns, but he doesn’t mind sesame paste.

I tried this recipe recently.

Steamed Tahini cupcake

Ingredients

* Wet
100cc milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp Tahini

** Dry
150g flour
50g brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder

Method

In a bowl mix the *wet ingredients and add brown sugar. Mix well with hand mixer. Add the rest of dry ingredients and stir with spatula just until combined.

Put the mixture in a cupcake cups. Silicone cups may work better.

Steam over a boiling water. I use bamboo steamer. First over high heat for 3 minutes, reduce heat to medium and steam further 10 minutes.

Done.

The cake is nice and soft and moist. You can add choco chips if you would like.

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The cover page

The cover page

It has been very exciting three days in the studio. On the last day, we worked on the group shots.

This is to use for the cover and a spread in the book. This one is a bit challenging because if we don’t do it right it will become a big cluttered mess.

First we throw all the animals in and took a register. Good, no one was missing.

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Then we arranged them considering the balance of space and colours as we took shots.

The cover photo is a long panorama shape and it wraps the book front to back, all the way around.

We have to remember to leave a space for the title, the author’s name (mine!), the publisher’s name (Search Press), spine and the barcode.
The space for the barcode! I didn’t think of that one.

For the spread in the book, we need to leave the extra space allowance in the centre for the binding called gutter.

See, I am learning new things everyday.!

After many trials we achieved very good photographs.

I am so fortunate to be able to work with such a talented team. Thank you everyone!

I am having an editorial meeting next week for the next book.

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Photo shoots

I have been in the studio last two days for photo sessions for my upcoming book. Sessions are going well and I am having so much fun!

Photographing is really a joint effort with photographer, stylist and designer. It is amazing how they create scenes with backgrounds and bits of props. We have used many different items. We have used grass from garden, fallen leaves, crystal beads and even Sushi mats.

Here my photographer is setting up a scene with lions.

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Sometimes my animals do not want to stay still or take a funny pose lifting one leg in the air. We try many shots until we are completely happy with it.

I don’t have much to do. Most of the works are done by the team. Although I did all the designing and creating of the animals, I felt I only did half the job when it comes to making this book.

Here are some photos I took with my camera.

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Not bad?

I have one more day in the studio today. This time, we are doing the group shots with all the animals together.

I hope they behave all right.

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Knitted Christmas mints

Knitted Christmas mints

Here is another project you might like.

Knitted Christmas mints

Today I will show you the one with red and green stripes.

Materials
* small amount of white, red, green DK yarn
* small amount of stuffing (cotton wool from chemist will do)

Use a pair of 2.75mm (US 2) knitting needles

Cast on 13 sts with white.
Row 1: *k1 (white), k1 (red), k1 (white); k1, (grenn);repeat *twice more, k1 (white)
Row 2-6: keeping the colour pattern correct, st/st
Break yarn, draw through the sts, pull tight and fasten off.

Sew the sides, stuff and close the cast on edges by working a gathering thread along and pull tight.

Done.

You can enjoy as decoration or how about making earrings and bracelets with them?

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