This is the woman who taught me to knit

Mrs. A & I at our christmas decorating party. She completely flipped out when I showed her what I can knit now, and that I even have a website dedicated to it! A website that people read! Huzzah! Impress my elder- check. Get a photo for the blog- double check.

FO: TopSoul Men’s Hat + Pattern + Congee Love

You know when you’re sick as a dog, and there’s only one thing you crave?
That over the years it’s practically become a legend in your noggin for curing all maladies?

I grew up in Agincourt (Asiancourt) so my magical cure has tended to be steaming hot bowls of chicken ginger congee. The asian restos were so much better (+ cheaper- hello!?) When I’m sick that’s all I want- so it was no suprise to me when I phoned up Kevin (poor guy just had the worst 24 hour bug) that he jumped at the offer for congee. We devoured a HUUUUUGGGEGIMONGUS family bowl. It was nuts. Anyways, I’ve tried to make it myself, but the best congee I’ve had in Toronto is at King’s Noodle on Spadina at Dundas. For $4-9 you can eat till your hearts content!! You can ask for a fried stick, which is essentially a lightly salted donut. Sounds weird, I know, but it goes well together when you dunk them in the soup. Trust me on this one.

After congee and catching up, I took him back to my place to pick up his new hat- the topsoul! He was a good sport, but I’ll do a proper photoshoot later on when he is not recovering from the brink of death (and possibly has a tan from his christmas vacation with Becca! Bon Voyagie!)

I must confess that before this hat, I’ve been a bad kitten- I never, ever write down my pattern notes! (gasps from the peanut gallery) Blasphemy I know.. so bear with me as I forge ahead with this one. If anyone has questions or finds an error please email me: teamknit@gmail.com and I’ll fix it in a jiffy. I chose to use the mock cable eyelet stitch as the bulk of the hat, alternating between 1 and 3 rounds of k2p2 within the rib for more visual variety.

2.75 mm needles (circs/dpns)
1 skein Aplaca/Cashmere blend in a sport weight, (109yards ish)
gauge is 6-7sts per inch

Cast on 115 sts with circular or dpn needles, place marker, and join in the round.
Work 2×2 ribbing (K2, P2) for 2 inches, then begin eyelet mock cable ribbing stitch for 8 -9 repeats as I did or lengthen/shorten to suit. The pattern rows are as follows and if you make this/alter this I would totally love to see it!

Eyelet Mock Cable Ribbing (in a multiple of 5 sts):

Row 1: *K3, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 2: *K3, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 3: *K3, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 4: *SL1, K2, PSSO, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 5: *K1, YO, K1, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 6: *K3, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 7:*SL1, K2, PSSO, P2* Repeat from * to end.
Row 8: *K1, YO, K1, P2* Repeat from * to end.

After knitting to desired lengh, start your decreases. I like how this set of decreases flatten the end, making it more cylindrical rather than saggy queen street west hippie (*cough* not that there is anything wrong with that…) ha.

Row 1: *K3, K2TOG* Repeat from * to end.

Row 2: Knit

Row 3: *K2, K2TOG* Repeat from * to end.

Row 4: Knit

Row 5: *K1, K2TOG* Repeat from * to end.

Row 6: Knit

Row 7: K2TOG to end

Row 8: Knit

Remove marker, and K2TOG until 8 stitches remain. Break your yarn leaving a decent tail, thread your tail through the last stitches pull tight and knot securely a few times then weave in the start end and the begining. Bingo Bango.

It goes with his parka! yay!

I Hate Surprises- Unless it’s a Swap!!!

I’ve been working on Pasha, the penguin stuffy from Knitty. It’s going to be a gift for my stepdad, a gift that he requested. When he saw my tiger, he said he really wanted me to knit him a stuffed animal. So, enter Pasha: I would really like to sew up Pasha and stuff him, but I can’t- I have run out of safety eyes, and my trip to Walmart (Why no, Walmart in December is not an insane zoo that should be avoided at all costs….)came up empty handed. I’m sure I can find them somewhere in the city, but I hate it when something’s all knitted up and all it needs is finishing. I worry that I’ll loose one of the pieces somehow.

And today in the post, a lovely present arrived!!! This was from Christine, who organized the Wes Anderson theme swap. She didn’t start off as my partner, but since mine vanished, she was wonderful enough to step in and save the day. What a sweetie!! My lovely package includes:Key Lime and white chocolate cookies, 2 skeins of a lovely Life Aquatic-inspired yarn already spun into delicious little yarn cakes, a raspberry choclate bar, A mind-blowingly soft skein of Suri Alpaca, along with instrucitons for knitting a ebanie she designed! And most impressively, a fabulous red beanie inspired by Team zissou from The Life Aquatic. I wanted to do a modelled shot, but I’m in pyjamas, and I just got out of the shower, and it all seemed like too much trouble. I will show it off soon, though.

In general life news, I’ve recently resigned from my day job. I was offered a new one,at a different company, which I’ll be starting January 3rd. The new job is more money, less work, a more prestigious positon and all that jazz. But for some reason, I’ve been weepy and maudlin about it. It’s really quite pathetic. I had no idea I liked my job and my coworkers so much.

The other day we were supposed to meet in the boardroom for some Christmas fun- an ornament swap. but when I got there, there was a card and a gift and a cake that said, “Congratulations Julie”. And for some reason, I panicked. I guess I just felt ambushed. I left the room, went to the exit stairwell of my office building, ran up 5 flights of stairs, and then sat down.

I hid in the stairwell for 45 minutes to avoid the party. Yes, you read that right- I HID FROM MY OWN FAREWELL PARTY. When I eventually snuck back to my desk, my dearest coworkers pretended nothing unusual had happened. A cup of tea and a slice of cake were at my desk, along with the gift, and a card. I eyed all of these things suspiciously (except the tea), pushed them aside, and went back to work. I drank the tea, but everything else had to wait- I wasn’t ready to deal with it. I was going to get all weepy again. Eventually, I did open the card and the gift. And this is what they got me: A beautiful skein of Fleece Artist Goldielocks, already wound into a lovely yarn cake. So not only did I hide from my farewell party, I hid from yarn.

Grey Mystery Hat

Today, ladies and gents is the birthday of Kevin Chow !


“Hells yeah even at 3 I knew how to roll son!”

He leads an exciting life, traveling to foreign cities and is constantly surrounded by beautiful ladies.

it’s a hard life but someone’s gotta live it.

I gotta mention that Kevin is a super dope rollerblader, or as our crew dem say – “Hollerblader” !



So basically I thought it only fitting that the hat I’m currently (now not so secretively) knitting for him to be named after a trick… TeamKnit was founded on a cross-country rollerblading pilgramage to bittercoldshowdown, don’t forget!


TopSoul

I’m using very small 2.75mm needles so that the stitch deffinition will pop but in a very soft subtle way.

TopSoul

I love how the baby alpaca hairs heather the deep smokey grey.

TopSoul

TopSoul

I hope you enjoyed this peek, now please everyone wish happy birthday to Kevin!! Wooo! College!

Double FOs, and Raspberry Pear Pie (Warning: Tons O’ Pics)

A double whammy of FOs today. First up, Lady Eleanor, in all her unblocked glory.Pattern: Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole by Kathleen Power Johnson (Scarf Style)

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, colour way #243, ten skeins

Needles: 5 mm

Modifications: The standard one: dropped the needles size down to 5 mm (pattern calls for 6.5 mm) And then I just knit until I ran out of yarn, basically.

Notes: it’s still pretty big for my small-ish frame. I think it would be a great size for someone a bit bigger than me, or I could have not cast on for as many blocks, but I still love it to no end. I may have spent most of the evening cuddled up in it. My apologies for the blurry photos, for some reason, my camera is not fond of taking photos in the mirror. I probably should’ve asked for a new camera for Christmas. Oh well. Next year.
Next up: Quoddy Scarf. This is going to be a Christmas gift for my Dad.
Pattern: One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Yarn: Briggs & Little Regal, in Quoddy Blue. 2 skeins.

Needles: 6 mm

Modifications: What’s to modify? it’s four stitches, over and over and over again. If you need a mod, you probably are knitting a different scarf.

Notes: This is now my go-to scarf stitch pattern. It’s simple, completely reversable, and utter perfection. Love it. I do not, however, love this yarn. It’s super itchy, and I usually have a really high tolerance for itchy yarns. I’m going to block this in a lovely conditioner-filled bath, to soften it up. And since I infinitely prefer modelled shots of FOs, here are a couple of me wearing my Dad’s future scarf:

And if you are looking for a delicious new pie that you probably haven’t tried before, look no further. I give you… Raspberry Pear Pie.
I don’t know where I got the idea, but I was hell bent on making a raspberry and pear pie for Sunday dinner (some friends and I have a regular Sunday home cooked dinner gathering. It’s a feast, and feels so homey and comforting, especially in winter. I usually bring pie or wine.). I kind of made up the recipe as I went, so here are the notes for it, so you can make your own raspberry pear pie. It would likely also make an excellent crumble, for those who think making pie crust is dreadful business.

Ingredients:
– Pie pastry of your choice (I use the one on the back of the Tenderflake box, and it’s great)
– 2 pints of raspberries (500 g)
– about 9-12 pears (I used Bosc pears)
– quarter cup of orange juice
– 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
– half cup of white sugar (you’ll need 2 quarter cups in each step, plus more for dusting)
– a pinch of salt
– 3 table spoons of flour

Preheat your oven to 350(f) degrees.
Peel and core the pears, and cut into chunks. In a large saucepan, simmer the orange juice, pear chunks, pinch of salt,and a quarter cup of the white sugar. Stir reguarly, and let them simmer until nice and tender, about 20 minutes, depending on the ripeness of your pears. This is necessary because pears do not behave like apples in pie- they won’t get soft if you skip this step.

When the pear chunks are tender, transfer to a strainer and let cool. The strainer is to let any excess juice drain off (and to avoid watery pie syndrome). While the pears are cooling, wash the raspberries, and pat them dry (again, to avoid watery pie syndrome). Now sort out your pastry- roll it out, throw a pre-fab pie shell together, whatever you please. Now throw the pears in a bowl, although the raspberries, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar, and the remaining quarter cup of white sugar. Toss together lightly. Dump into pie crust.

Now for the top: The star top is something I did before I perfected my pastry making skills. I was making an apple pie for a Christmas party, and my dough was refusing to stay together and be lifted on top of the apple pie. So, I grabbed a cookie cutter, cut out a bunch of stars, threw them on top, and baked it like that. That was 5 years ago, and I’m still getting requests for ‘Star Pie’. Lightly dust the top with some white sugar and bake for 1 hour, although you may wish to put foil around the edges of your pie crust to prevent burning, if your oven is prone to that kind of acting out.

Sorry there are no photos of the interior- in our fervour to eat the pie, we didn’t pause for photographs. And the whole thing is gone now. For a pie that no one had ever tried before, it certianly was popular.