Dashing, out of Season

Even though it’s summer and really not practical, may I present Dashing, from the Spring 2007 issue of Knitty.

These are a gift for someone (now a friend of ours, but then a remote friend-of-a-friend) we met under strange circumstances that also include the story of how Jen and I got the name Team Knit (it wasn’t cooked up just for the blog), but we’ll tell that story another time. Anyway, the pertinent details of Dashing involve being in the hotel bar at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, Ohio, and our new friend saw me wearing a pair of hand warmers I made from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. He wanted a pair, but with a thumb. I may have had a lot to drink that night and agreed to knit something for someone I had only met an hour earlier (boy, do I ever keep to my word or what?!). Coincidentally enough, Dashing came out in the new Knitty a couple weeks after that.

I was bored witless knitting them, but EVERY guy that saw me knitting these wanted a pair. They wanted to try them on, they wanted to touch them, even guys who don’t normally wear gloves like these. I really dragged my heels on this project, because I was in the mood for something more stimulating, pattern-wise, and all that ribbing bored the hell out of me. But for a quick low-key knit, these were perfect.
These are being modelled by our kind co-worker Jonathan, hours before I packaged them up and shipped them to Team Knit’s friend in California.

My Vogue Knitting magazines arrived! I have been waiting and planning for this, so I immediately cast on for the first sand dollar-esque part of the capecho. And here it is, in all it’s unblocked glory: The capechos I’ve seen have been huge, and I wanted something a bit more form-fitting, a bit more like the way the cover looks (even though I realize that really, that model has a capecho bunched and pinned behind her back). Also, I knew that this bit of experimentation might go horribly, horribly wrong, so just in case, I didn’t want to be using my priciest merino for this. It’s basic DK weight acrylic, done on 2.5 mm needles. Yes, that’s right- 2.5 mm. Now, here’s my confusion: The pattern calls for 5.5 mm needles. And the schematic in the magazine shows that each sand dollar is about 5″ across (for the xs size). So explain this:

The sheep says that my unblocked sand dollar is only a smidgen under 5″. How on earth did I get gauge on 2.5 mm? I’m completely flabbergasted. My stealthy plan to knit this on tiny needles is going to need a re-think. I’m going to block it tonight. For acrylic, I just give it a good old fashioned steam-and-press with the iron. This makes acrylic limp and drapey, which is exactly what I want it to do, since I have no desire for the capecho to make me look like a linebacker for the NFL. Once blocked, I’ll see how big it is, and then decide how many of these it would actually take to fit around me. This one will be an experiment right up to the bitter end, I think.

To Nupp or knott to Nupp?

I don’t remember the first time I saw Nancy Bush’s Madli shawl, but instantaneously I was in love. The I watched on as other experienced knitters churned out that heavenly stole in varied weights. I never dreamed I’d have the necessary skills to complete lace, let alone a full stole- due to sheer commitment. Well my friends, that day has passed twice over and I’m determined not to miss it on this third round. In particular it was Joyblogging‘s and All Tangled Up‘a that game me the final push.



This one is Joyblogging’s Madli.

Look at that, gorgeous! Or like I usually say in my Little Britain voice- GOOOOOORRRRRRGEOUS!

But alas, nupps aka bobbles, were something I vowed never to do again. *que dream sequence*
In 2006 my roomate Jena Gatto was completing her degree in fashion at Ryerson University; in which, all designers must complete a 7 piece line. Jena’s influences were her italian roots and created haute coture pieces based on the sicilian godfather-esque theme. (Here’s where her bestfriend Kate and I come in) Jena designed garments with a lot of handknit details- cuffs, waistbands, kneepads etc. The bobble rib stitch pattern she chose complicated what Kate and I thought was easy knitting. Alone, a 6inch cuff would take 4+hours of solid knitting a whole waistband would take days and days. I think you may see the problem- knitting isn’t fun when you are rushing to make a deadline. I won’t even go into the pain of explaining how we had to remake pieces when they were a few centimeters off. Such is a labour of love, and in the end, boy oh boy were we proud. My boyfriend Tobias Visualbass agreed to lend his photography skills in the master photoshoot which resulted in the following shots.



And because Jena’s garments won a giant contest- two of the pieces were displayed in HOLT RENFREW’S main Bloor Street windows. Amazing, I know! My handiwork- at HOLTS. Crazy.

I even managed to convince Jules to model with me for the second part of the shoot.(she’s going to kill me- i know it!)


Hot. Like. Lava.

So what do you think? Go nuppless and finish it faster? Yeah I think so too!

Check out www.visualbass.com and www.gattodesign.net for more pictures and info on both collaborators.

A Typical Morning for Team Knit

This conversation was conducted via email, over the course of four hours of work (we really do work at our jobs!)

Jen: The Summer Knitty is out!
(Team Knit goes and investigates all new patterns on knitty.com)

Julie: I like sophie, zinzin, wisp, and unmentionables- they look like comfy house pants for lounging around in.

Jen: I like coachella, but would want something sexier in the back.

Julie: Too. Many. Socks. I like knitting socks, but not that much.

Jen: I would have liked to see something for the house. Like that Knitted Chandelier you showed me?

Julie: Ooh, yes. The chandelier on Anthropologie . But you told me I was insane. It’s still on my mental list though, of things to knit. I’m still looking at zinzin: I think I would use smaller ribbons. And I would need to live with someone, so they could do me up. (moment of self-pity).

Jen: Or you could invent a bow tying robot.

Julie: Not a bad idea. The robot would need to be able to do buttons, and dress zippers. God, that would be brilliant!! I’ve been looking at Sophie a bit more– I think I would make another slash in it, in the body, just to up the sexiness.
(I imagine the black slash that I added would be cut out, like the neckline).
It would compliment the neck slash a lot more. Thanks for the rice krispie, by the way. Yummy!

Jen: I think it would look good on a manequin, because of the way the top sits. Keep in mind, tummy is taboo these days- remember how out of place that girl looked yesterday? Ps. I want a robot who can compute my outfits for temperature, comfort and occasion.

Julie: Right…. (remembering girl wearing tummy bearing shirt and looking like an idiot) I meant as a bar top, though. Not a Saturday afternoon top. You know how some things look right in a bar, but look slutty elsewhere. I don’t know, I’ll think about it. Wisp looks really functional, though. I’ve got that Rowan kidsilk I’ve been hoarding for a wrap. Did you decide what you’re going to work on when Lelah is being difficult?

Jen: I have a ball of white mohair haze that I need to use up. Wisp looks like a good use. Not a lot of yardage needed. I worked on Lelah last night completely changed how I said I was going to do the decreases, the new way looks much more chic. But I do need a few more somethings on the go. Tonight I’ll cast on for the shopping tunic. I’m torn between fuschia and navy blue- what do you think?

Julie: Hmmmm. I vote Navy. More versatile. And I can’t wait to see the Lelah decreases. Want to go knit in the park at lunch?

Jen: Yes! Lets go now!

Lelah, the difficult little wench

I’m mad at Lelah- we are barley on speaking terms at the moment.

I had carefully done measurements and calculations to consider how to get the lace to work with the fact that I’m starting with a lot more repeats than I’ll end up with, and not have any bunching. I got to the point where I was starting to do decreases to get to the empire waist, but suddenly I needed to take 40 stitches out. Yes, 40. That’s a lot of decreasing. Especially if you don’t want it to bunch in that billowy, pregant way. Suddenly, near the empire waist, I relaized that I couldn’t do all the decreases the way I thought. I need to frog, substantially, and try again.

Frogging sucks. I feel like I’ve frogged so much since I’ve started this project- I frogged the first version, when it was too small, and I’ve frogged inches and inches along the way. I feel like I’ve knitted enough lace to make 10 Lelahs, and ripped it all out again. Like Cyn my Craftster-Tank/Tube-Along-buddy says, It eats away at the soul! Especially when it’s the only thing I’m working on. I need to pick up another project, something to soothe the soul when Lelah has played too many mind games with me.

So, when I gather the emotional strength to pick Lelah up again, I’m going to do the decrease like before two on either side of a stable pillar. To also cut down on sts, I will decrease the two purls between the lace to one, and of the purls between the merges to a single knit stitch. It will make the joining decreases smoother I believe.

We here at Team Knit believe no entry post should be without pictures. Enter my favourite new necklace, happy in a field of clover flowers.