Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

I had to do it- the mosaic tool in flickr for the TeamKnit 2008 knits in review.

To be honest, although I’m happy with my knits (most of the time), I think I could have knitted more this year. And there are some projects that really should have made it into the 2008 grouping that will have to wait until 2009, but such is life.

I’m not usually one for resolutions, but I think I’m going to make one this year- I resolve to use me time more wisely. In 2009, I want to knit MORE, blog MORE, use my time BETTER and not waste it puttering around on the internet and watching tv (often at the same time, like right now, for example…. good thing it’s still 2008 and have a few more hours of slacking off….) and somewhere in there… plan my wedding, and get married in August. ;)

Knitted Engagement Ring

Whew! Since the last post, we have moved, unpacked the new place, had my 30th birthday party, recovered from said party, drove to Sudbury for Christmas and back again….. and somewhere in there we found time to get engaged.

And get this- he knitted me my engagement ring.
I do wear it all the time. I’m wearing it right now, in fact. We knew that things were going this way (meaning, towards the alter), and we were thinking of designing our own engagement ring (I really like art deco style rings)and having it made. That is still the plan, but G didn’t want to wait. I love that about him. I hope everyone had wonderful holidays!! I promise to blog more regularly from here on in. Knitting content coming soon!!

The Difficult Month

I can’t believe that November has gone by with TeamKnit postless! Please forgive us, this has been a really hectic month for all sorts of non-knitting related business. First, I signed up for Nanowrimo. Tragically, it did not go very well- my crooked landlord, who has always been the kind of person you would typically cross the street to avoid, has been doing his best to get me to move out of my apartment (which I’ve only lived in for two years!) so he can raise the rent by hundreds of dollars when getting a new tenant in. In Ontario, Canada, this is completely illegal- there are fixed annual rent increases allowed, but when a tenant vacates, you are free to charge whatever you like when negotiating a new rental contract. It’s been a really difficult situation, and the result was that I spent most of November looking for new digs. As I’m sure you either know first hand or can imagine, looking at the adverts, calling places up, staggering appointments with enough time apart so that I can get from one part of the city to the other, and then the amount of really awful places for rent in the city…. well, it’s depressing. And time-sucking. And subsequently, not much writing or knitting has been taking place.

I keep trying to remind myself that sometimes a big change feels like a crises but is actually for the better, and then when G and I signed the lease for our new place last week…. well, let’s just say it makes all the nuttiness of November worth it. For one thing, I’ll be moving out of a basement apartment and into a lovely second floor with big bay windows! Finally, some decent light for knitting photos. And yes, this was definitely something I was considering when checking out new places. Priorities, people!

December is going to be filled with harried packing, because I actually move into the new place in the middle of the month! And of course, I have Christmas knitting to do….So, some pics of what I’m working on: first up, is the River Forest Gansey from Handknit Holidays, which I’m knitting for my dear friend Paul.
And since it’s absolutely huge, I’ve been doing a lot of reading while knitting it. Skrilla Knits suggested these handy little things, and I was happy to try my hand at them: Bookweights! Check out the great little pig fabric: I love it! it works really well, and is filled with popping corn kernels. It was a snap to make, and is now indispensable.

And this, although currently nothing more than skeins of yarn, will be a bulky mini cardi for my friend Monica. She saw me wearing my black bulky cardi one night, and asked if I’d make her one. It’s a pretty quick knit, so I’m hoping it’ll knit itself in no time. And for reasons I can’t explain, this hat is taking me forever:The pattern is a modified Marigold. I’m aiming to have a slouchy version a la Eliza’s gorgeous version.

And since it’s been ages, since I posted, here’s a shot of my darling kittens doing what they do best. Sleeping, and getting into trouble:

FO: Neckwarmers Galore

These neckwarmers were finished ages ago, but it was tough getting some good FO shots. Re-shoots were necessary, on more than one occasion. There just isn’t as much daylight as there used to be!

I made my neckwarmer first:And G liked it so much, he asked me to make him one, too:I was pretty pleased about that, since it was the first time he had ever asked me to knit him something.

Pattern: Jan 2009 update: pattern link on the interweb is dead, now seems to only be a Ravelry Download

Needles: 9 mm straights (I haven’t knit on straights in ages- felt odd)

yarn: stash, some grey homespun for Guy’s neckwarmer, some mysterious black (possibly merino?) yarn for mine.

Notes: The stitch pattern is really easy and enjoyable. In case you were curious about button placement (I certainly was!) I’ll show you what they look like unworn: (Little Yarn wanted to get in on the photo action, it would seem). Guy wanted his toggle at a certain point, and I knew I had wanted two buttons on mine. Having the buttons on the diagonal from the loops allowed for a good closure around the neck, and to make a tidy triangle that tucks into your coat. Also, you can see that G’s is not as wide as mine, and is longer. I love how easy it is to customize for the perfect fit, whatever you want.

For those of you familiar with Phoe (and if you’re not, go check out her awesome blog!), you have already seen many gorgeous photos of the beautiful cowls she knits up. I was very happy to receive one of her cowls in the mail! Lucky, lucky me.
The colours are gorgeous, definitely the sort of colours I wear, and cowls are the chilly neck solution for fall.

Between neckwarmers and cowls,I’m feeling so over scarves. How about all of you- are you still feeling scarves, or do you prefer other little knitted treats to keep the chill away?

I Lykke Me Some Yarn

I don’t know about you, but I can’t just pop into a yarn shop. If I’m there- it’s for the loooong haul. I spend a good hour or two even just combing the isles. This probably seems ridiculous to some who research their yarn choices, ravel everything and go with yarn in mind-in/out boom. Done. Not that I don’t (I usually write up a guide list) but when I walk in to my LYS fanciful thoughts like those fly out the window. Romni is like crack for yarn addicts. I’m a total freakin zombie when I go there. Shuffling slowly down the isles… MUST.. HAVE.. YARN!

So on this particular occasion I needed fiber for two projects. A scarf for John, T’s friend, and Spiral Boot Socks by Veronik Avery(love her!). I got nothing close to what I wanted for either project and instead chose these:

2 skeins of Drops extra fine merino in charcoal


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I’d been wanting this stuff for ages and the fiber is soooo soft and perfectly spun. Merino has to be my all time fav fiber. This will either be a cowl or a marigold hat with some fun mods for better slouching like ifandany’s marigold.

and then I fell in love with Cadence sock yarn. Two skeins and 700 shy yards of beautiful caramels.


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Cadence Caramels

However in purchasing these, I knew another big LYS shop had to take place. Crap!(j/k) I finally got around to it last Saturday after work (we’re starting to get winter in and fall will be on 40% sale soon, fyi). I combed and combed and found what I wanted.

For John’s scarf: 6 balls of Cascade Superwash 220 (4 black & 2 dark emerald green) Let me tell you how nice and springy this stuff knits up. Exactly the density and material I was looking to create. This swatch was knit on 4.5mm. Sorry for the photo quality, it was batshit cold outside and I couldn’t hack it!

Cascade Superwash 220

Superwash 200 Swatch

Then I chose the sock yarn. It was between Sublime extra fine merino, RYC cashsoft and Lana Gatto VIP for the longest time but I settled with the VIP. It was the exact color and blend I wanted. 3 skeins of this, although I may only use two depending on my gauge.

Lana Gatto

Beauty.
Speaking of that, I saw Lykke Li at MOD CLUB this past Friday. Fantastic show, absolutely on point. Amazing covers of Vampire Weekend’s Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa and I lost it when she did Tirbe Called Quest. Yes girl, you can kick it. This version isn’t as good as ours was but you get the idea. Pretty dope. I’ve mentioned her on the blog before ages ago, but she’s now blowing up! Get your hands on everything by this girl, her voice will haunt you!

Two other musics to love:

Grizzly Bear-Knife.
Watch this video. Have your mind blown.

Kaiser Chiefs-Never Miss a Beat. Video here.

**one last quick note**
This new layout is driving me mental. I don’t like that our photo edges get cropped. Jules and I had a great surprise over the last week and I’m happy to say that it looks like a bigger and better TEAMKNIT is peaking around the corner. Hold tight folks.

xo

Jen