Monday, 30 June 2014

Happy Flowers

Crochet thread
It takes little to get inspired. As I keep going through my favourite craft blogs as a daily ritual, I promise myself that someday I am going to make this or paint that. During one such inspired trip to the market many years ago, I bought boxes of mercerised cotton thread. And then packed them with heaps of other crafty stuff into boxes to carry along wherever our nomadic life took us. Now, I cannot sit doing nothing. I think about creating stuff all my waking hours. That I cannot get it done due to various reasons is another matter.
crochet flower
One day the auspicious moment arrived when suddenly all my reasons of not crafting vanished and I started out with this pattern from 'Attic24' in mind. A happy flower hanging, colourful and charming, crocheted to perfection. In India, we do not get the wide range of craft yarns that is available abroad. So, we make do with what is available to us. The yarn that I have stashed is mostly meant for sweaters and other warm stuff and it does not look good in a crocheted form because it becomes bulky. Also, mostly the yarn is a little 'hairy', even the yarns meant for babies are not completely smooth, and no, we do not get as many beautiful colours too. So, I looked towards my crochet thread collection and thought of using them. I had quite a few colours too, so the plan looked good. Only after a couple of rounds did I realise that thread and yarn are not named differently for no reason. They actually differ in many ways, the most obvious one being the gauge. :'(

crochet flower
And this teeny tiny flower was not going to be even visible on a wall if I went ahead with it anyway to complete the project. So what do smart people do? We double the thread to get a bigger gauge....but nopes, it is still way below the expected size. My 'happy flower' is going to look malnourished, underweight and unhappy. It was already past midnight and my inspiration was vanishing speedily. So, I gave up the hopes of making the 'Happy Flower' that night or anytime soon. But I completed the two tiny flowers anyway, because I wanted to see how we block crocheted work and how does it look, since I had read a lot about blocking and had never done it.
crochet flower
The two little flowers went to lie down on a towel and were soaked with water. Then...oh wait! We need to pin them, right? But there were no pins around. Uh oh, what are we gonna do?? Doesn't matter, we do it our own way, like a true blue MBA. I can put some weight on it. But then how will I see the magical transformation of crochet?? Haha... I will put a see through weight- a glass baking dish :D... see?
                                         crochet flower
Ahh...I can rest in peace, now that I have seen everything that happens while crocheting and even the divine process of blocking. Or have I?

Meanwhile, the two flowers are happily tucked away with the above mentioned thread and yarn stash. 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

No Crying Over Spilled Raita

A couple of weeks ago we invited a few friends over for lunch. In order to impress them with my culinary skills, I prepared food since morning. I was expecting this particular bowl of cucumber raita (spiced curd) to become a conversation piece as the guests would pile up their plates. After all, I had used so much ingenuity and improvisation, cutting out the bottom of a paper cup and bending the hole into a heart shape, then using the heart shaped hole as a stencil held above the curd, sprinkled red chilli powder ever so gently . Caution: never blow away the excess chilli powder as I foolishly did. After removing the paper cup, I patted my own back and admired myself for inventing something genuinely in the era of Internet, when I could have easily copied someone else's idea. 

After some more decorating, and photo shoot to my satisfaction, I hastily proceeded to keep the bowl in the fridge. There was still a lot of work to be done in other departments. In my haste, as I was putting a lid on the bowl, it slipped and shook the entire liquid and my red chilli heart broke! Raita fail gaya!!

But as I was in no mood to give up (the chances of my hospitality being talked about), I stirred the red chilli in, and created a similar heart again. This time I was very careful and the bowl with a red fiery heart made it to the dining table intact. The guests talked about the raita, but about its lip-smacking taste. Even better!