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Cloverleaf Socks Free Pattern
Okay, so I charted the cloverleaf pattern and wrote it up, and it’s available as a .pdf download on the left under "free patterns." You can also click here. As I was writing it, I realised, I used Wendy’s toe-up pattern, but you can adapt it to any toe-up or cuff-down pattern. You can just use the cloverleaf charts for the cuffs and feet. This is my first attempt at writing up a pattern; if you do take a look at it or even – gasp – knit it, please let me know how to make things clearer and shorter, and if there are any mistakes. I have a lot of respect for pattern-writers all of a sudden.
After hearing me complain about eating so much junk on the road and missing my kitchen and some decent home-cooked dal and rice, Manisha rightly figured I was feeling nostalgic and tagged me for a "meme", so here we go.
Ten things I miss of my mum’s cooking:
My mum isn’t one of those legendary cooks who can put a fabulous meal together within no time with no effort. I don’t say this negatively; I admired her for freely admitting that she did not like cooking that much, and cooked because she had to. She always said that left to herself she was fine with some bread and butter. Amidst all the women in our colony who wore their culinary skills with pride and fell all over each other at festivals and colony get-togethers, this must have been tough to admit, but also liberating. She can put together a comfort meal like nobody else, though, and try as I might, I can never replicate some of her dishes. All of them are Marathi/north Kannadiga vegetarian preps.
Amti. A Marathi version of toor dal (yellow lentils) with tamarind and jaggery and Marathi "goda masala". I can live on this and rice all my life and indeed, have, come to think of it, for most of it.
Pithla, aka Zunka. Chana-dal (chick pea?) gruel. Very difficult to screw up, but with the right combination of jeere-khobra (ground cumin-dry coconut), heavenly. My dad and sister prefer this with green chillis and I with red chilli powder. Nowadays since I live so far away the latter gets made more often when I’m home.
Sabudanyachi Khichadi. Sunday morning brunch, alternated with Idlis or Dosas depending on how much time she had to soak, grind and ferment everything. The best part of the khichadi (which is a kind of spiced sago with ground peanuts, cumin and green chillis) was the slightly burnt part at the bottom which I got to peel off the pan. With the idlis or dosas she makes this Tomatocha saar (kind of tomato curry?), with a little jaggery and ground sesame seeds instead of the usual sambar, which is heavenly. Also, I like that her dosas are always thin but soft, not the papery restaurant things that poke around in your mouth.
Puran poli, which I had blogged out a while ago. Also, Godi kuttada payasa, broken wheat with poppy seeds and jaggery. Mmmmmmm. Oh, and some Tambittu, which also have poppy seeds and jaggery and coconut and some kind of flour, which are made in the month of Shravan (around August) for Nag-panchami. We’re big on jaggery-lentil based desserts in Maharashtra/north Karnataka, rather than the milk-sugar ones in the north and east, and I love these:
More than actual dishes (there are lots of simple ones, like Gajarachi koshimbir, or carrot raita or Pushpicha kanda, a kind of spiced onion salad named after Pushpa, its creator and a relative), though, my mum is a specialist at using every part of a vegetable, fruit or whatever and creating different dishes out of the same thing. This developed out of sheer necessity initially but now she’s honed it to a fine skill. So the flesh of a gourd goes into a curry, the peels into a chutney, the seeds roasted and salted for afternoon snacks, that sort of thing. If it’s edible, it’s to be eaten.
This wasn’t as traumatic in my childhood as it may sound. Over the years I’ve really grown to respect it and try to follow her example as I use the cauliflower florettes in a curry and chop and save the stalk for adding to the sambar the next day and scour the net or ask some serious food geeks for ideas. I prided myself on wasting very little, but when Aai visited me last year , watching her in my kitchen was still an eye-opener on how much one ends up wasting on a daily basis and how one can do better. I think of her every time I save the dratted peels off something.
All this nostalgia is making me really eager to go home now. Maybe next month I’ll take pictures of some of these things. Thanks, Manisha!
Here they are, done! Lying on some kind of bush in the shade in Reno, NV. After seeing the shades of pink in the painted desert, the hues in these look a little tame to me, but there’s no denying it, Koigu makes some incredible colours.
I am quite kicked with this pattern. I picked out the cloverleaf stitch out of Barbara Walker, and it’s a simple repeat over 6 rows and 3 stitches. So with 60 stitches, it’s easy to adapt it to the overall sock pattern. I did the usual cloverleaf pattern for the left sock, which slanted leftwards and then came up with a reverse cloverleaf of sorts ("unvented" to quote Elizabeth Zimmerman!) to have it slant rightwards. Am very pleased with it only! Hey, we’ll do all we can to avoid SSS, right? This afforded the right variation for the second sock to feel different. The pattern makes instinctive visual sense in terms of placement of the pattern (once the initial six rows are done you basically shift the cloverleaves three stitches over, that’s it), but am trying to write it up. It doesn’t lend itself to easy and clear narration. Let’s see, maybe a chart.
One odd thing was that all other things being equal, I knit the first sock on size 0 metals and the second on size 0 bamboos: the second sock is marginally larger. Not large enough for me to frog it, but noticeable.
Oh, so I finally didn’t go to Vegas. After seeing Phoenix, AZ I was all the more convinced that I didn’t want to see bright lights in the middle of the desert. Phoenix reminded me of Delhi in more ways than one, none of them complimentary, of which the heat was the most prominent. Walking in the afternoon in Phoenix gave me some idea of what to expect next month in ze good ol’ capital city, even though I’m *dying* to go back to Delhi after six years and visit some of my old haunts and friends. The drive to Reno from Phoenix was alternately hellish and heavenly: the desert was deeply depressing (and gas $4 a gallon: had to be, when I’m driving a car for the first time in two years, right?) but the Sierra Nevada mountains, esp. near Lake Mono, Tahoe and the Walker river were out of this world. Haven’t seen much of Reno yet but am mostly going to catch up on some sleep here.
Bryce Canyon, Utah is eerie and beautiful and one of the most stunning natural formations ever. After a short hike into the canyon floor, I left early, though, because I just couldn’t keep my eyes on it. Somehow it looked so out of this world, so unreal that I had to keep
looking away from the vista. In this part of the country there are so many canyons, so many towering cliffs and deep gorges that it seems easy to just shrug at one after a point, no? I am a little tired of this dry desert weather, though. Looking forward to the coast, although next month I’ll be craving this dryness in Calcutta!
In knitting news, my second pink cloverleaf sock progresses. And here is a sweater, part of a baby set my mum knit for a cousin’s baby. Isn’t it pretty? It’s a generic seamless top-down pattern, and she just emailed me the photo.
Now am in Phoenix, Arizona. Next up, have to decide whether to drive through more desert via Vegas, or to cut west and head up to the Bay area through the Sierra Nevada mountains. On the one hand I want to avoid Vegas totally – the idea of bright lights in the middle of the desert is not really appealing – but on the other hand I wonder if I shouldn’t just grit my teeth and see the place once. Decisions, decisions. (actually, the slot machines are calling……)
Finally, check out how technology meets tradition in The Onion : (thanks to Sepoy, who continues to find the strangest knitting-related stuff on the web:)
Hello folks, I don’t have much to show by way of knitting progress, so alas, this is a photo-less post. But Lobstah, I am thrilled that you loved Sholay, and have to hear more about it! Please tell me you liked the brooding Jay more than Veeru. I was in love with the man for the longest time in my teens. Manisha, no special drinking water in the rooms, is what I meant. They did have decent plumbing, thank god. Uccellina, repeat after me (or get him to repeat after you): rangeen moja, rangeen zindagi (colourful sock, colourful life!).
Am in New Mexico having a blast, and when I’m not stunned by the natural beauty around me, the colours and shapes of pottery, rugs and paintings are assaulting my senses. Everytime I think I have seen all the combinations of various black, white and red Navajo pots, I see another one and swoon over it. I am usually drawn to regular Indian (as in desi) earth-tone combinations of deep reds, ochres and black and those are here aplenty, but some of these weavers make fascinating use of green, blue and even pink with grey in ways that would never occur to me. There are lots of cheap rugs that are machine woven and which use chemical dyes, but there was one handwoven green rug in Taos yesterday that was just absolutely stunning and nearly my take home pay. I gently walked away from it,
but really, it’s nice just looking at the designs and patterns.
I also went to a few yarn stores in Taos, but most of it is geared towards weaving, so the yarn is quite coarse. Will check out some in Santa Fe today. Accha, how do all the galleries survive here? Throw a stone and you hit a gallery with "authentic tribal art" or "contemporary fine art" or something. I’m being a total tourist, taking it all in, but the enthusiastic commercialization of the arts scene leaves me ambivalent. On the one hand I like the democratization of it: there’s a gallery, "fine art" and critic for every taste and budget and it’s not at all snooty and hoity-toity. On the other it’s also so unabashedly geared towards commerce that it makes me cringe.
More later… am off to hike a bit in the Pecos wilderness around Santa Fe today. Hope everyone’s having a good summer: I haven’t had time to check everyone’s blogs and it’s making me feel quite cut off, but also looking forward to catching up with everyone in a few weeks.
Thanks so much for all your comments and sympathy on the Ipod, folks! The good news on that front is that the guy who contracts the packers out to the moving company said that if I didn’t find it on arrival he’d reimburse me for it without my having to file a claim. So. I still hope it turns up, but in the event that it doesn’t… and would you believe it, my friends in the city got together and gave us an Ipod as a farewell gift with a lot of music on it, which was awful sweet of them. So please watch this space as I narrate the (mis)adventures of this next-gen machine.
I’m in Colorado, in a small motel in a small town in the southwest, and it has free wireless internet! No coffee or water, but free internet. Delightful! I drove through some of the most gorgeous country today; the southwest is lovely and breathtaking, both when it’s stark and dry and when it’s green forest and snowcapped peaks. Somehow its sheer grandeur resists capture in a camera, and perhaps that’s just as well.
Oh, and speaking of photos not being the real thing, I saw Spudsayshi’s Orenburg Shawl in person this weekend and it is absolutely stunning! It’s gossamer light and a lovely shade of almost lilac. It’s going to be an heirloom when it’s done.
Some major disasters have kicked off my trip: the loss (possibly theft) of the recently acquired Ipod in the course of the pack/move and a massive parking ticket and boot for a car I borrowed for a short while. Great going away present from my town, what? Aaaanyway. I actually managed to get the first cloverleaf sock done amidst all this madness:
It’s a lovely evening here in the city: a massive thunderstorm after a sultry, hot day, and I got to get nicely wet walking in the rain. After tons of errands and promising myself I will *never* ever move again (I have moved house 14 times in the last 18 years, don’t ask), I arrived at a friend’s place, and this is what I am looking forward to later this evening:
I wish I could capture how perfectly the pink in the cosmopolitan matches that in the sock: it is now clear where the inspiration for this particular shade came to the Koigu folks!