Monday, June 29, 2009

Most mornings...


...start with a cup of tea and the newspaper. Sometimes I have a couple of Parle-G biscuits, but those are usually reserved for evening tea. I've been enjoying this tea lately (it comes packaged in a blue box in India), with a dash of milk.

Sunday, June 28, 2009



Red rice, a cocnut-based curry with kairi (raw mango), drumsticks (fruit of moringa), and potato, cauliflower, and a few slices of cucumber with lemon and ground, roasted cumin.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Konkan coast

My husband recently returned from a week long work related trip to southern Maharashtra. The Konkan is famous for mangoes, cashews, jack fruit, paddy fields, and yummy fish. I didn't get to go, but I recommended that he eat a lot of mangoes and a lot of fish. Unfortunately, mango season was almost over down there, and it's not really a good time for fish.

So in lieu of bringing back real mangoes, he brought back some wooden ones from Sawantwadi, which is famous for wooden toys, and wooden models of fruit and vegetables. I was inspired to make another box bag, but with an orange zipper in celebration of mangoes!

Wooden toysBox bag with mango colored zip

With a gentle tap, this beautiful doll wobbles (dances) at the neck and waist.



The grey yarn is from the fleece of a local breed of sheep. It is a bit rough, and probably better suited for weaving, rather than knitting; the purple yarn is jute. I was impressed with the canvas bag the shop gave out with each purchase.

Wooden top

I have also been enjoying spinning this top.

On another note, the Monsoon is here at long last. Subdued and disconcertingly late, but here nevertheless. Enjoy Sunday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From the neighbourhood

A few photos I took on an evening walk around the neighbourhood...

Around the neighbourhood

Not quite sunset

Around the neighbourhood

A little too big, you reckon?

Around the neighbourhood

This little one was very intrigued by me.

Around the neighbourhood

Ubiquitous Coca-Cola

Around the neighbourhood

Boys and puppies


Todays' lunch

Rice, chawli (black-eyed peas), doodhi (bottle gourd), salad, pickle, and yogurt.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New wallet

I have been using the same wallet for the last six years. There' s nothing wrong with it, but when I bought this fabric and saw this tutorial, I decided it was time for a new one.

My old walletMy old wallet


New wallet

New walletNew wallet


Yes, the new wallet is very similar to the old one, but I love the red and black fabric! I changed a few things - mine only has four credit card slots, as opposed to the six in the tutorial. Instead, I have three large pockets for notes and papers (vs. two in the pattern). I used interfacing for the largest credit card pocket, inner zip pocket, on the outside, and the snap tab closure. If I were to use this pattern again, I would make the snap tab closure a little narrower and shorter.

Did I already mention that I love the fabric?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Plenty of fabric, but pattern-less in India

I moved to India without any of my sewing supplies or patterns. I did bring my knittng needles and a few balls of yarn, but I wasn't really sure if I would have the opportunity to sew here. Since I now have a sewing machine (very different from the one I have in the U.S.), I have been enjoying trips to various parts of the city in search of sewing supply stores (which are very different from the ones in the U.S.) to buy scissors, needles, thread, and other notions. I've also spent a fair amount of time looking for patterns online. I will undoubtedly be browsing the internets some more. I'll save that for another post. Here is a photograph of my latest fabric purchase. Enjoy the weekend.


Washed and ironed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No monsoon yet

Still waiting for rain. I think we may get some today. Here are some shots I got after the superb pre-monsoon showers we got recently. I took this shot from just outside the flat. It had almost stopped raining by then.

Boy enjoying rain

We went for a short walk around the neighbourhood to take in the sights and smells. Others people were coming out to walk too. The sun was peaking out behind the clouds, and the light was wonderful.

Walking after the rain

I saw at least three vegetable vendors in action - setting up after the rain.

Veggie cart

Veggie stand

Vegetable vendor

This vendor was selling some lovely greens. He comes from a village less than 10 miles away, so the veggies were very fresh and local. Lots of people were interested in the greens - they went fast! I ended up buying dill and a red spinach like veggie, which we cooked up for lunch the next day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yesterday's lunch


Lunch was particulary tasty yesterday. Rice, chapatis, channa masala, a red leafy spinach like veggie with potatoes, and a couple spears of tender cucumber. No meal is complete without some homemade yogurt. Recipes to follow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pre-monsoon showers bring flowers

Pre-monsoon showers bring flowers

Photo taken by my husband.
We got some impressive pre-monsoon showers recently. Lots of chirping birds and beautiful new flowers. Monsoon is supposed to hit the city today.

Nigella Yogabag

Off to yoga! Photo taken by my husband.
Waiting for rain, I made a yoga bag for my mat. I used Amy Butler's Nigella yoga bag pattern. While sewing it, I wasn't convinced about the utility of the pockets. I didn't think I'd use it for anything other than car keys, but my Klean Kanteen (not in the photo) fits perfectly. I used it yesterday, and the fact that it doesn't have any closures isn't such a big deal.

Box bag

I recently bought a bunch of zippers and notions, and had no place to put them. To reduce the clutter and mess, I made a box bag from some scrap fabric. To make it pretty, I used some zari. I rather like it!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Egg burji for breakfast

Now that we've moved to India, I do miss some of my kitchen tools. I miss my knife the most. Although the gas stove here more than makes up for it!

Egg burji

Burji refers to anything scrambled - eggs, paneer. For the egg burji, I used some finely diced onions, green chillies serrano peppers), and fresh coriander (cilantro). I've also used capsicum (green peppers), mushrooms, corn, and tomatoes in the past. You could use pretty much anything that suits your fancy. I like to keep it simple for breakfast, but you could add garam masala, if you feel inspired.

Egg burji

Saute the veggies (for about 30 seconds) while you whisk the eggs, add fresh coriander, pour frothy eggs into the pan, and let eggs cook. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Knitting in mountains of India

Warm feet

Hand knit socks bought in a small village in Himachal

We headed up to Himachal Pradesh in March. We were prepared for the cold, but it was certainly colder than we expected. Not unlike early spring in the mountains anywhere, the weather was a little unpredictable. In fact, it even snowed while we were there. People have to walk long distances to get places, and a lot of women knit while walking.

Crocheting on the go

Crocheting on the go.

We visited Chitkul, a village close to the Tibet border. I saw this lady spinning and started chatting with her. She even gave me a spindle, but she couldn't find the wooden base to go with it.



I also saw quite a few looms. They weave large pieces of fabric that are then sewn into vests (we bought some), jackets, pants. In some villages, I noticed that they wrap themselves with a large piece of woven woolen fabric, wearing it almost like a sari, but not quite. They also make gorgeous, intricately woven shawls.


Setting up a loom

Setting up a loom.

I bought some yarn and needles - some sock yarn and a sweater's worth of a wool alpaca blend. For more shots, you can check out my flickr set here.

Yarn store

Yarn shop in India - they sell all kinds of other stuff, including cricket bats.

It was fun to be surrounded by 18,000+ ft snow capped peaks and knit. It had been very warm leading up to the trip, and the cold mountain air was a welcome change. It also made me whip out my knitting needles even though we were still in the otherwise balmy tropics!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Buttercup bag

My husband and I went to the cinema last night, and then to dinner. We picked a small restaurant called Charu that mainly serves food cooked in a Tandoor. We ordered some chicken tandoori and paneer tikka masala. It was outdoor seating and too dark to take decent pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it - the food was delicious! We were pretty full, so we skipped desert.

pic name

pic name

Buttercup Bag using Made By Rae tutorial

I also finished a Buttercup bag. It was a fairly easy pattern, except my sewing machine was giving me all kinds of problems. I first thought it was the thread, but I think the tension was off somehow. To make matters worse, the belt on the wheel kept coming off its groove. I'm not entirely sure what was going on, but I managed to finish the bag, and am quite happy with it. I'm off to my yoga class now. More tomorrow.