Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music: 
Part V - Cushion and Rug

Hi friends,
After a long break of 15 days I am back. Within these days we both (me and my husband) enjoyed Kerala - Kanyakumari tour, had seen various places including Munnar, known as God's own country. No need to say that it is very very beautiful. Also met so many new friends enjoyed with them a lot and now back to our art's circle with more energy absorbed from nature. 

Here is the last part in the series of our crochet work, "Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music". All instruments are done now it is turn of rug and cushion.

In Baithak actually there are three round cushions but I have crocheted only one. One more thing is that rug also which I have crocheted felt short, it should be such that all three instruments with three artists should be accommodated on that rug. So if you are going to make it size should be little bit bigger.
Actual size of the crocheted rug is 40 x 30 cm and
the size of cushion is 10 ch in length.
Vardhman Millennium - Shade No. 10 (Brown)
Vardhman Millennium - Shade No. 24 (Off white)
Vardhman Millennium - Shade No. 113 (Wooden color)

Rug: Start with 52 stitches with wool no 24. Sc 1 in second ch and the sc in each stitch up to last st. Ch 1 turn sc in each st. Repeat till the length is 18 cm. Close.
Change color to shade no. 113 (wooden) and join at the st of any one side of the rug (not at corner). Crochet sc in each st and 3 sc at corner st. Work 6 rounds like this. Close
Join brown color (no 10) at some different place than the previous joint and similarly work for 4 rounds.
Again join shade no 24 at some new place and work 6 rounds with sc in each st and 3 sc in corner stitch.
The rug is ready.

Cushion: Start with shade no 24 and work 20 chains. Ch 1 turn sc on each st. After 3 rows change to shade no 113, wooden color as per photo and work 2 rows then with the third color, shade no 10, work 1 row only. Then again with off-white yarn work 7 rows then with dark brown 1 row and with wooden color 2 rows again. Lastly with white color work 3 rows. A rectangle of 11 x 9 cm is formed. 

Cut the yarn sufficient for sewing and closing one side of the cylinder. Using tapestry needle sew the 9 cm sides with each other. A cylindrical shape is formed. With the same yarn work,
Round 1:  2 sc tog, now there will be 10 sts.
Round 2: Work 2 dc tog.
Pass the yarn through all 5 sts and close.

Stuff the nylon fiber in this cushion lightly. Close other end similar to the first one by rounds 1 and 2.
Here the cushion is ready. If you want you can have two tassels for each cushion.

Make such three cushions for the three instrument player.

Arrange your harmonium, tabla, dagga and tanpura on this rug and cushion as follows and this will be excellent show piece in your guest room / drawing room.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music: 
Part IV - Tanpura
Side view of Tanpura

Tanpura is the string instrument which does not play any song or different melodious group of notes, it is supporting instruments. It only plays Sa, Pa, Pa and Sa; continuously throughout the performance. 
Tanpura actual size: (female) L = 122 cm, W = 40 cm, D = 32 cm
Ready Crochet tanpura with size: L=20 cm, W = 6.3 cm and Diameter= 5.3 cm
First to know the name of each part of the tnpura in order to understand the description, let us have a look at this photo,

Material: Maroon /brown color for Dandi,  Golden color for resonator, light yellow for lower and upper bridge, tailpiece as well as some decorative part, crochet hook no. 11, wire, wooden stick, general needle, 4 small white beads, light ash color thread.

Finger Board / Dandi: With maroon or brown color make 10 ch and sc on each st starting from 2 nd. (thus 9sc) Ch 1 turn. Repeat this till the length becomes 14 cm.
First time I fill it with poly fiber and make complete tanpura but what I saw 😨, the tanpura didn't stand on its own. Thus the whole hard work is in vain. It was bending from the neck of Dandi.
So then I decided to insert a wooden stick in this Dandi. One more advantage of this is; 4 pegs found its holder!  
Front view

Turned the end 
Embroidery on pedals


Pegs: We make 4 pegs. Two pegs are in the upper portion 1 peg to the left and other to the right portion of the Dandi as shown in the photo.Take a piece of wire 6 cm turn one end to form knot there as shown in figure.With black color wool make a small crochet ball at one end with ch 2, then 3 hdc in second ch sl st in the first to close it.  Insert the knot part of the wire in a small black ball, we just made for peg, wrap the remaining wool to the wire and insert this in the dandi made above in proper place. Then wrap the remaining wire to the wooden stick to fix it. 

Make such 4 pegs and fix them in their places properly.

Resonator: With golden color wool, magic ring of 6 sc. Ch 1 turn
Round 1: (sc in next st, sc 2 in the next st) repeat, sc 2 in the last st, close.(total 9 sts)
Round 2: (sc in next st, sc 2 in the next st) 4 times, sc 2 in the last st (total 14 sts)
Round 3: Ch 1, (sc in each st) 6 times, place marker pins at the first and the sixth st here. 1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc in each of the next 6 sts, 1 hdc in the next st. (total 20 sts)
Round 4: 1 sc in each of next 6 sts, 1 hdc, (2 dc in 2 ch, 2 dc in next ch) 4 times, 1 hdc, (total 24 sts)
Round 5: 1 sc in each of next 6 sts, hdc 3 on 3 sts, (2 hdc in 2 ch, 2 hdc in next ch) 4 times, hdc 3 on 3 sts (total 28 sts)
Round 6: Sl st 6, dc on each of 22 sts (total 28 sts)
Round 7: Sl st 6, hdc on each of 22 sts (total 28 sts). Ch 1 turn. Now we work only on 22 sts leaving 6 starting sts.
Round 8: (4 sc in 4 sts, 2 sc in each of next 3 sts, 4 sc in 4 sts) repeat. Ch 1 turn. (total 28 sts)
Round 9: (4 sc in 4 sts, 2 sc tog 3 times, 4 sc in 4 sts) repeat (total 22 sts). Ch 1 turn
Round 10: 6 sc in 6 sts, 2 sc tog 5 times, 6 sc in 6 sts (total 17 sts). Ch 1 turn
Round 11: 2 sc in 2 sts, dc2tog 3 times, 1 sc, dc2tog 3 times, 2 sc in 2 sts (total 11 sts). ch 1 turn
Round 12: 2 sc tog, 7 sc,2 sc tog. Bind off 9 sts.

Now we have to extend that dandi to cover the upper portion of resonator. Join the same wool as that of Dandi, to the last row of Dandi, at third chain from starting.

Upper cover of resonator: 
Row 1: sc 5 on 5 sts. Ch 1 turn. Put marker on the middle st of these 5 sts.
Row 2: sc 2 in 2 sts, 2 sc in one st, sc 2 in 2 sts. (6 sts). ch 1 turn,
Row 3: 2 sc in the first and the last sts, sc on  all other sts. ( 8 sts) Ch 1 turn, 
Row 4: (sc 2 in 1 st) 2 times, (sc in each st) 4 times, (sc 2 in 1 st) 2 times, (12 sts).Ch 1 turn
Row 5: (2 dc in 1 st) repeat, 1 hdc in next st, 6 sc in 6 sts, 1 hdc, (2 dc in 1 st) repeat. (16 sts)
Row 6: 2 sc in the first and the last sts, sc on  all other sts. ( 18 sts) Ch 1 turn, 
Row 7 - 9; Sc on each st
Row 10: Skip 1 st 15 sc on 15 sts, skip 1 st, sc on last st. (16 sts) Ch 1 turn
Row 11: Skip 1 st 13 sc on 13 sts, skip 1 st, sc on last st. (14 sts) Ch 1 turn
Row 12: Skip 1 st, sc2tog, sc 7 on each of 7 st, sc2tog, skip 1st sc on last st. (10 sts). Ch1 turn
Row 13: sc2tog, 6 sc on 6 sts, sc2tog. Close. (8 sts).

Bridges: Upper bridge is worked only by chains with light yellow color.
Lower Bridge: Ch 4
Row 1: Sc 3 starting from second chain. Ch 1 turn
Row 2: Sc 3. Close.
Base of the lower bridge: (Make 2). Ch 3 and work 2 sc starting from second chain.

Tail piece: Ch 4
Row 1: Sc 3 starting from second chain. 
Remember that we have to sew 4 threads to this lower piece as 4 strings of tanpura.
Now by embroidery thread 

Embroidery: With embroidery off white yarn or if you have fine/ thin wool then with that, work front embroidery design as shown in front view of tanpura. Again I have small embroidery work on the two sides of neck band from front facing.

On real tanpura there can be seen beautiful designs on the front side of the resonator by tusk. If I make another piece of tanpura any time surely I will make better design on that. The gaps on the wool base do not allow me to work delicate design any way. 

Sew the upper cover of the resonator with our golden resonator. Also fill a light layer of fiber round the wooden stick and sew the Dandi.   

Five leaves part on back side: First I have tried to make this part separately and attached later on but that doesn't work. So I make it attaching and joining the parts. 
Join the dandi color to the first st where the cover of the resonator is extended. 
Row 1: sc 5 on 5 sts. ch 1 turn,
Row 2: 2 sc in 1 st, 1 sc, 2 sc in 1 st, 1 sc, 2 sc in last st. (8 sts)
Row 3: 2 sc in 1 st, 2 sc, (2 sc in 1 st) twice, 2 sc, 2 sc in last st. (11 sts). Ch 1 turn,
Row 4: (2 sc in 1 st) twice, 3 sc, 2 sc in 1 st,  3 sc, (2 sc in 1 st) twice. (16 sts) ch 1 turn,
Row 5: 2 dc in 1 st, 1 dc, 2 hdc, 2 hdc in one st, 6 hdc, 2 hdc in one st, 2 hdc, 1 dc, 2 dc in one st.   (20 sts)
Row 6: 10 hdc, 2 hdc in one st, 9 hdc (total 21 sts)
Now we shall make five pedals.

Petal 1: sc 4 turn, ch 1, sc 3, ch1 turn, sc 2, ch 1 turn, sc 1, close. Leaving 4-5 cm yarn for sewing, cut the yarn. Join yarn in 6th stitch. Repeat as in petal 1 and make such 3 more petals.

Fill the resonator by fiber and properly sew this five petal part to close the Tanpura completely. Also sew the five petals maintaining the shape of each pedal. 

Finishing: Then I work a long tail of chains with light yellow color. Sew it to the boarder all over from front side as well as on neck band and where there is upper bridge. Sew the lower bridge base and fix it. Sew the tail piece as seen in the photo. 
Then from lower bridge to tail piece sew 4 lines of single wool for the base of the 4 beads for fine tuning of tanpura. 

I] Take 4 small beads, thread them in a light ash color thread by small needle. Sew its one end at the right corner of the tail piece. (we shall sew one by one from right to left and go on passing string) Slide one bead and be it on the right most yellow yarn (out of 4 yarns we have already sewed in between lower base and tail piece) then let the ash color thread pass on lower bridge from right most position, pass the needle through upper base again from right most position and then join to the peg number 1 ( as in the photo). Twine it to the first peg 3-4 times and cut it properly. 
II] Then again sew the thread with beads to the second right position, slide one bead and be it on the second right yellow yarn then pass through lower base let it go to the peg 2 by passing needle through upper base, as shown in photo. Twine it to the second peg 3-4 times and cut it properly. 
III] Now again sew the beaded thread to the third position of the, slide one bead put it on the yellow yarn then pass the thread through lower base and let it go to the upper most top side position of the peg via upper base. 
IV] Lastly  forth bead in the same manner and twine it to the left most forth peg.

Small embroidery remains to work on those five petals as shown in the photo.

Waah! at last finally it is completed. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music: 
Part III - Tabla and Dagga:
Tabla is a percussion instrument in India which is sounded on striking by hand. It is used both in classical Indian music as well as folk music. It consists of two drums which are single headed. They are hollow wooden / brass and they are laced round. The wooden dowels and leather lace hoops are used to tighten the tension of the membrane and tuned the instrument. Generally tabla is tuned in Sa and Dagga is tuned in Pa.

Actual Dimensions: Diameter: 5", Height: 10”
Crochet Tabla Dimension: Diameter: 2.5 cm, Height: 5 cm
Actual Dimensions: Diameter: 8“, Height: 10”

Crochet Dagga Dimension: Diameter: Lower base 2 cm, upper top 3.3 cm, Height: 4.2 cm

Add card like this
Sew the card to fix
7 dowels made
Tabla: base side

 Dowel                                       Base of Dagga                                              Empty refill of ball pen

Body: Starting with magic ring of 6 sc, close.ch 1 
Round 1: sc 2 in each of the next st. close (12 sts), ch 1
Round 2: (sc 1, sc 2 in 1 st) repeat till end (18 sts) close. Ch 1 (18 sts)
Round 3: (sc 2, sc 2 in 1 st) repeat till end (24 sts) close. Ch 1 (24 sts)
Round 4: Work with light yellow color (sc 3, sc 2 in 1 st) repeat till end (30 sts) close. 

Then two pieces of card board are cut, one with the base size and other with the size of the top just now formed. Fix the  card board piece at the base and fill with fiber then put the second piece of the card board on the upper side and sew by cross yarn so that card board should be fixed at that position. Please see the figure. 
Round 5: Make sc 1 on each st 
Round 6: (sc 8, 2 sc tog,) three times (27 sts)
Round 7: (sc7,sc2tog) 3 times (24 sts)
Round 8: sc on each st
Round 9: (sc 6, sc2 tog) 3 times (21 sts)

Stuff the nylon fiber in that.

Top of Tabla: With white yarn magic ring of 6 sc. close
Round 1: ch 1, sc 2 in each of the next sts. (12 sts). Close.
Round 2: Join light yellow color. Ch 1, (sc 2, sc 2 in one st) repeat. (18 sts). Close. Ch 1,
Round 3: hdc in each st.
With black color make magic ring of 6 sc close it and attach it at the centre of the top.

Hoop: We simply make chains, use tapestry needle and cover the boarder of the top of tabla and dagga by inserting in alternate st.
Dowels: Dowels are made with wooden color wool,
Ch 4 turn
Row 1: sc 3 starting from second st. ch 1 turn.
Row 2: As row 1
Take the empty ball pen refill and cut it in 6 pieces (Remove ink portion if any) with length of 3 stitch dowel we just made. Then put that piece inside and sew it and close.
Make such 6 dowels.

With yellow wool make the base as shown in figure,
A magic ring of 6 sc, close.ch 1 
Round 1: sc 2 in each of the next st. close (12 sts).
Now the yellow chain which is wrapped on the top of the tabla is attached to this yellow base as shown in figure of tabla. Then 6 dowels are put in between again as shown in figure.

Dagga: Magic ring of 7 sc close.
Round 1: (sc 1, sc 2 in one st) repeat 3 times, sc in last st. (10 sts)
Round 2: (sc 1, sc 2 in one st) repeat 5 times (15 sts)
Round 3: (sc 4, sc 2 in one st) repeat 3 times, sc in last st. (18 sts)
Round 4: (sc 5, sc 2 in one st) repeat 3 times,sc in last st. (21 sts). ch 1,
Rounds 5 to 9: sc in each st,ch 1 turn. 
In 9 th round don't work ch1 and close.

Top of Dagga: With white color wool make magic ring of 6 sc close.
Round 1: (sc 2 in one st) repeat 6 times (12 sts)
Round 2: (sc 2, sc 2 in one st) repeat 4 times (16 sts)
With light yellow color work round 4.
Round 3: (sc 3, sc 2 in one st) repeat 4 times (20 sts). Close.

With light yellow color make chain of 15. Join with the first ch. Sew that round to the bottom of the Dagga as in figure. We call it bottom ring.

Make more lace of chains with light yellow color. First wrap the top of the Dagga and then pass on that lace through the bottom ring and the edge of the top as shown in figure.

Lastly we have to make Gadi for tabla and dagga to balance them.

These rings are made by 3 chain crochet I-cord with two strings (red and black) simultaneously. 
One of 10 cm and other 12 cm. Then the round is made by joining with tapestry needle.

Here I am giving a photo of real Tabla - Dagga so that you can have ideas to make more beautiful version of this.

So .....
Here our tabla - dagga is ready.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music: 

Part II - Harmonium

Material: Vardhman Millennium - Shade Black, Shade No. 24 (off white), Shade No. 113 (Wooden color), Buttons 3 black (see figure), 2 golden beads, one red bead, Tapestry needle, sewing needle, black and off white thread.
Actual Dimensions of Harmonium: 22” x 12” x 10”
Crochet Harmonium Dimension: 9 cm x 5 cm + 1 cm bhata  x 5 cm

Fig 1
Fig 2
Rectangular Body: Fix your gauge with your yarn and needle. Then as per fig 1 make a strip of single crochets with making one chain instead of sc at the st where we have to fold. After completing pick up the base stitches on one side of base-rectangle and work to cover the base, sew the extended part with the remaining three edges of the base. 

I have started with 50 chs. From 2nd st work
Row 1: sc 8, ch 1, sc 15, ch 1, sc 8, ch 1, sc 15, ch 1 turn
Row 2: sc 15, ch 1, sc 8, ch 1, sc 15, ch 1, sc 8, ch 1 turn
Repeat rows 1 and 2 till the height is 5 cm. End with even row.
Then work only on these 8 sts.
Row 1:  8 sc, ch 1 turn and
Row 2:  Sc 8, ch 1 turn repeat till the length of this strip is 9 cm. Join to form a box as shown in fig. 2.

Decorative Strip and Handles: With off white yarn and chain stitch, a cord is made which is sewed nearly 1.3 cm below the upper face (which is open) of the box, on all four sides ( as the decorative metal strip which real harmonium has). Two small handles are made with 5 chains and a picot of three chains in the middle and sewed on both sides to hold the harmonium.
Fig 3
Fig 4, 5 and 6

Note Board: White strip is worked as shown in fig then with black yarn, notes are made in the groups of 2 and 3, as they happens to be on real harmonium. Then it is stitched to the upper side of the harmonium.
I made note board of 16 sts with white wool and 15 sc starting from second chain and work 4 rows

Fig 7

Fig 8
Bhata: This is the part of the harmonium for blowing the air. Generally player push and pull this wooden bhata by one hand (left)  and play note board by other hand (generally right). A simple rectangle is made with the size of the harmonium with wooden color yarn. I have 16 chs and 15 sc starting from seconnd. I worked 9 row to reach the required height.

One holed black strip on outer side of bhata: There are generally 3/6 holes on the outer side of this bhata for blowing air but here we have shown only one hole as in figure 7. Because with wool it is impossible to show three holes, otherwise I should make a black strip with 20 number thread instead of wool. Then it may be possible to have three holes for airblowing but as I don't have black thread, I just reduced the number of holes. You may have this correction.

Make one white strip as per fig 8, narrowing at both edges and join bhata with the body of the harmonium by sewing this white strip.

Boarder: Make a cord by chains with double yarn in wooden color and sew it to all the four sides of the back part where the note board is joint (as shown in the fig 9).

    Fig. 9                                           

Fig 10

Wooden cover: With wooden color yarn and make this wooden cover strip to fit or to cover the portion behind the note board or which fits inside the boarder we have just created, with three stitch button hole at four places where you can see the red lines as shown in fig 4. Then on the back side of this coverred strips four strips are embroidared with 3 strange of wool so that it can be seen from above side, as shown in fig. 10. I know that you can do it in a better manner but now I am in hurry to see it completed. Then sew a red bead in the centre of this wooden cover on upper side to pick up this cover.

Black Base: Lastly we make black cord with 6 strands as shown in the photo or make a twisted cord with four strands and sew it to the base of the harmonium. 

Hope that you get guide lines from this to make the harmonium. This is the very first piece I have made. Now I thought if I will make another one it will be more finished. I also thought that if I would have made it with thread instead of wool, it may look more beautiful so you can try that. Lastly here I am giving a simple photo of real harmonium for the reference of those who have not seen it. So that you can make corrections in that will be improved version.

Buttons: Number of buttons varies in different harmoniums but generally there are 3 buttons above the decorative strip and 4 buttons below the strip. The buttons below the strip are little bit bigger than upper buttons. I sewed 2 small buttons above the decorative strip and 3 black buttons below.
Instead of filling with fiber I used a piece of thermocol of the same size, you can use sponge. Then covered it by making the top similar to that of lower base and sew the extended portion to the  remaining three sides.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music: 
 Part I - Baithak

Hi friends,
I know that in last two days, everyone’s laptops and mobiles were flooded by the Happy New Year messages. Whenever I say Happy New Year to some one, the thought comes in my mind that really am I too great to bless someone? and then I realize that actually whenever we  say happy New Year to someone, we pray God and say that “May his / her New Year be happy”. Keeping other words hidden we only say “Happy New Year”.

For praying God, Music is one of the best medium. There is a word Nadopasana, (Naad means melodious sound with specific frequency range and upaasana means worship) means praying God or worshiping God through music. So I think that there is no better way of welcoming New Year or wishing someone for New Year, than the melodious musical notes.  Now, on our blog I can’t present the melodious musical notes for you 😁. Instead, I have designed  this “Baithak” (a special type of arrangement usually done for the program of Indian classical music) of Indian Classical Music by Crochet Work.

"Baithak" for Indian Classical Music with artists
For those who are not aware of the word Baithak,  here I am giving the photo of general Baithak for Indian classical music. Usually singer sits in the centre and along with singing he / she plays the tanpura himself / herself. Then Tabla on the right side of the singer and harmonium on left side of the singer. Many singer prefer to sit and sing only in such cases tanpura accompany sits on his / her back side.

When first time there was a thought in my mind to crochet musical instrument, I started surfing whether there is any crochet instrument pattern already on internet. I found some of the western instruments like Gitar and Piano but not any Indian instruments for classical music, such as Tanpura, Tabla, Harmonium etc. So I decided to crochet harmonium. After completing harmonium as per my satisfaction then my confidence level increased and I decided to crochet the complete Baithak means all these six parts and finally it was a successful project. 
Hope that you will like them all.

Till this project, I cannot say myself as crochet designer because though I have crocheted many things just by seeing the items (without having pattern) but this is the first time I designed these instruments myself without any crocheted instrument in front of my eyes or pattern of them. So now I can say that I am the designer of these musical instruments.

I have crocheted in all six items in this baithak arrangement, as harmonium, tabla, dagga, the base of tabla and dagga, tanpura, rug and the load behind. 
Tabla and Dagga

Base for Tabla and Dagga


Coshion (lod)
Rug (galicha)

Detail instructions of each one will be given in upcoming
"Basic Instruments in Indian Classical Music" parts II to V

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