Thursday, 8 March 2018

The influential women of Kashmir.

Today is 8th march, the international women's day. The internet is abuzz with the celebrations. Everywhere you will find women influencers' who changed the world around them. In this post I'm am remembering but a few of our amazing women who rule the hearts. Without them the world we live in wouldn’t be same. Today is the day when we should feel proud to be women because we are incredibly strong, intelligent and beautiful. Spread love, support each other and always be yourself.
In today's article I bring you the amazing women who changed the world around them. The most prominent figures in the history of Kashmir, who will always be remembered and whose contributions to the society will always be celebrated.

1.       Lalleswari aka Lal Ded.

She was born in 1320 in Pandrethan, Srinagar. She belonged to a pandith family and is associated with the mystic poetry in Kashmir, as its creator. Her poems and couplets are sung and promoted even today. Her poems are amazing treasure of Kashmiri literature as they are the earliest composition in Kashmiri language(koshur). The poems say a lot about the history of this land and her spiritual journey.

Beautiful painting by Kayehaan

When Lal-ded was 12 years old, her parents married her off. She later left the wedlock on pertext of unhappy marriage and went to become Sanyasan(renunciation).

Her poetry has been translated widely, including English translations by Jane Hirshfield in Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women(1994), Coleman Barks in Naked Song: Lalla (1992), and K.C.I.E. Sir George Grierson in Lalla-Vakyani or The Wise Sayings of Lal-Ded, A Mystic Poetess of Ancient Kashmir (1920).

Her most common phrases and verses are used even today. One among such is “hael maertan, Hakar maertan, lali lalewat tchali ne zahn” (no matter what cuisines are cooked, I will be served the same stone in my food). (Back story: Her in laws mistreated her so much that they would serve her rice and underneath it they would place a stone to make it look much in quantity, when it never was sufficient)
It is well known that the famous Muslim saint Sheikh Noor-din-Wali or Nund Reshi was also influenced by Lal-ded.

2.       Habbah Khatoon

She is considered as the nightingale of Kashmir and is popularly known as zooni or zoon(lit. Moon). She was born in 1554 in Athwajan and is considered as one of the greatest poets of Kashmir. Even after 400 years of her death, her songs and ballads are sung in the valley and liked by one and all. (she is my personal favourite).

Painting by Barooja

Her parents married her off to a peasant lad in the neighborhood who was horribly abusive. The marriage ended with a divorce. After few years, the king of the valley- Yusuf Shah Chak, heard her singing in the forest while strolling there and instantly fell in love with her. They married and were living a happy life but this happiness was short-lived as her husband was held captive by by Mughal emperor Akbar, he was subsequently taken away to Bengal in 1579 to never return. She became an ascetic and died in 1609.

Most of her songs indulge in remembrance of separation and sorrow of her husbands disappearance.
Her poems are in Kashmiri language too.

3.       Parveena Ahangar.

The iron lady of Kashmir. An epitome of strength and a source of inspiration. She is the one who formed the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) in 1995. On August 1990 her 16 year old son was picked up from his home by the Indian troopers never to return. The disappearance of her son triggered her inner strength. She searched every nook and corner of the valley but couldn’t find her son. Realizing that she was not alone in this battle, in 1994, she founded APDP where the victims of this injustice gather not only to fight together but also to comfort each other.

Artwork by Rollie Mukharjee

According to APDP at least 10000 men are missing due to forced disappearances. She has represented APDP’s cause at Philippines in 2000, Thailand in 2003, Indonesia in 2005, Chang Mai in 2006, Geneva in 2008, Cambodia in 2009 and London in 2014. Her efforts attained a global recognition on July 10, 2005, when she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

She was nominated by the prestigious Indian media Channel CNN IBN for a coveted award which she rejected on account of the deceit approach adopted by Indian media over the pain and tragedies of Kashmiris.

She is also the recipient of Rafto prize for her continuous efforts in campaigning for human rights.

4.       Asiya Andrabi.

She is presently the only strong woman separatist leader and the founder of Dukhtaran-e-millat(daughters of nation) group. This Islamic group is part of the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir valley. The main aim of the organisation is to work for separation of Kashmir from India. Asiya Andrabi remains one of the most important women separatists in the valley.

Digital painting by Suhail Naqshbandi

Asiya Andrabi was married to Dr. Qasim Faktoo (a founding member of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the biggest militant organization in Kashmir) in 1990. Her husband is in jail since 1992. By then, Asiya was already a household name as the head of Kashmir's biggest network of women jihadists (as she describes her lieutenants of Dukhtaran-e-Millat), Asiya Andrabi plays a crucial role in politics of Kashmir valley.

5.       Raj begum.

Born 27 march 1927, Raj Begum is the melody queen of Kashmir. She is the leading 20th century Kashmiri singer. She was recognized with the Padma Shri award in 2002. She died in 2016, aged 89.

Artwork by Faheem Hussain

There are many more women who have influenced our society in many ways. I have compiled brief details about some of them.
Mention the one who has inspired you.

Crochet Gladiator Slipper. (Tutorial)

Hi everyone. In this post I will be sharing tutorial of my very sweet gladiator slipper. I combined crocheting and leather for this project and the final piece is just amazing. it is very ideal for this time of the year, neither too warm not too light. And yes it looks cozy and good on my feet too.
The yarn that i used in this project was available in the local yarn store . it is not like  common yarn with few yarn strands twisted together but a simple thread knotted to form a para-cord rope like structure with the wisps wool in it. it had no weight label or any other specifications and I was not sure what would be the best thing that could be made of this yarn. Regardless I bought it, it was too cute to be left out.

I figured out its weight by using the WPI method and it is a double knit weight yarn.

I used 3.5mm aluminium hook for this project.

The stitch used is Tunisian crochet stitch.

And the pink stripes are made of faux leather that are hand sewn to the crocheted patch.

I got my leather swatch along with other cute swatches from our leather dealer to try and see. i had these pastel colors for a while and this one suited my slipper too well.

I have already uploaded the tutorial on the you tube. Watch it and tell me how you like this slipper.
Dont forget to share this tutorial with your friends and family.
Any questions? Post below.


Note: This pattern is original pattern by Hobbiesinn. Please do not claim this pattern as yours. If you wish to share it, you may link to this pattern but please do not copy on your site. You can use it for personal use but DO NOT sell the pattern/pictures or distribute it.

You can however, sell the products of this design but do credit the design to me  @hobbiesinn. Permission is NOT granted for mass production or factory manufacturing of any kind.  Thank you for being respectful and for your understanding!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Choosing Correct Hook Size With the Yarn For Crochet.

Last time I did a post about determining the yarn weight so today I am all set to compile a new post informing you peeps how to decide what hook to use with what yarn to get the best result.

I hope this cheat sheet will be of much help to you people as it is to me. I find myself coming back to this little table to revise the basics. I have figured it out over the years and did my research online to see for myself if I’m doing it right. Now that I am sure I feel it is the right time to share with my reader community.

Here is a breakdown to help you understand, I have added names for USA, UK and Australia/NZ to help you along the way.

& NZ
Hook Size
 2 ply
 2 ply
Super lightweight, thread like, used for intricate projects. Very difficult to deal with.
Requires small hook size.
 3 ply
 3 ply
This yarn is thicker than the lace yarn and is ideal for baby clothing. 
 4 ply
 4 ply
Apparently thicker than the previous one and hence require thicker hooks. 
 2.5 – 3.5mm
 Light /Double knit
 Double Knitting
 8 ply
Most popular choice of yarn, I use this mostly in my projects too. Very versatile and can be used in almost any project.
 10 ply
 Ideal for the following; sweaters, cardigans.
 16 ply
Requires larger hooks and is perfect for chunky yarn projects like rugs. 
 Super Bulky
 20 ply
Very thick, quick to work with.
 9.0mm & above
 Super Chunky
Very thick, ideal for modern knit and crochet designs, ideal for beginners as well but costly.
 15mm and above


Before investing in any project always check the requirements and what the pattern or project demands.

Keep the tension in your thread under control. Do not pull too hard or too softly. It makes a huge difference.

 If you happen to want to know more about the yarn weights and what do they mean And if you have a lot of scrap yarn that you don’t know what weight they might have then check my guide to determine the yarn weights all by yourself without the need of any special tool. 

I hope that this is useful to you. If you know some other tips that will help other crocheter’s then comment below and let us all know.

Don’t forget to pin this post.


P.S. I am working on many new designs, I hope to publish them soon. Wish me luck. Also the Facebook page for our blog is all set don’t forget to follow us there.