FO- Pasha the Penguin

I had meant to blog with abandon over the holidays (from my parent’s house in Sudbury, Ontario), but I forgot the cable that allows me to get the pictures from my camera onto my parents computer. So no blogging from my end, although Jen has been doing a bang up job. So, rather than do a giant post that tries to cover everything, I’ll do a few small ones over the next few days. First up: this cutie pie, Pasha.
Pattern: Pasha, from Knitty

Needles: 4 mm straights

Yarn: generic craft yarn that I keep specifically for toy knitting

Mods: When sewing up the beak, I tucked a lot of it in (meaning I sewed the seam about four rows in), so that it was pointier. If I had sewn just the seams, it would have been a thicker, rounder beak, and I’m not sure if I would have liked it as much. Also, there is the option of having a tubby penguin or a fairly svelte penguin, and I opted for svelte. Which is still pretty portly, for a penguin. Check out that profile: My stepdad specifically requested a knitted stuffy for Christmas, so he got Pasha. He has since requested two smaller penguins, and a polar bear. Presumably so that we can continue the Christmas-themed photo shoots outside in the front lawn, with the light up candy canes. Who knows, we could make a knitted version of those Christmas Coke commericals with the penguins and the polar bears.

Can I just say how much fun it is to knit stuffies? I love how quick and satisfying they are, and I find that muggles (non-knitters) are always so much more enthusiastic than they ever get over a scarf. I think it’s the element of surprise- everyone expects knitters to churn out scarves.

FO: Parishil Braided Cable Hat + Pattern + tons of photos

Allow me to explain why this entry is only just appearing on the blog.

The night before I was set to post this entry, I planned to stop by Adam’s studio after Karo and I went to Jena’s to watch the finale of top model (aka get hammered and eat popcorn). By the time I reached the Parishil studio, Karo and I were roasted so it seemed perfectly logical to keep drinking. Adam: Hey you guys want a beer? Uh, yeah? lol Anyways, a few days later when I remember that I took the FO photos, but not two minutes before I went to upload them, dbf erased them all when he formatted the memory card by accident. He’s been hunting for the software to retrieve the pics since and now finally I have them back! Huzzah!

And guess what? He likes it! He really likes it!

The pieces that the boys are working on are for a silent auction with the proceededs going to charity. I tried to get some good shots of the art and the hat but it was kinda either/or. These two have such effin talent, I can’t wait to work more with Adam on designs for teamknit!

Now the pattern itself is pretty straight forward.
Using one skein of Rowan Cocoon and size 4.5 16″ circs, cast on 72 sts and join, do a rib pattern of *k3 p3 k3 p1 k1 p1* for a good inch or longer if you’d like a more solid edge (the braided cable tends to scrunch up the ribbing) then begin the braided rib cable stitch.

1st row: *hold three stitches forward, k3, knit 3 from cable, k3, p1, k1, p1 * repeat to end

2nd, 3rd and 4th rows: *k9, p1, k1, p1* repeat to end

5th row: *k3, hold 3 stitches to back, k3, k3 from cable, p1, k1, p1 * repeat from to end

6th, 7th, and 8th row: *k9, p1, k1, p1* repeat to end

Rows 1-8 form pattern. Repeat for desired length. (mostly until hat covers ears and reaches the crown of your head) In all honesty I did not write down the decreases in full but from what I recall this is how basically how I did them. Each braid strand was reduced with a simple k2tog to make each one have two stitches for a total of 6 per braid still cabling on rows 1 and 5. I continued with 6,7,8 then I took out the ribbing sections by p3tog for a single round then reducing the remaining 6 to 4 by p2tog the first of the knit stitches and k1psso of the last. I continued in this fashion until i had one purl stitch and one knit stitch. Knit the entire next round and k2tog until I had 8 stitches left, broke the yarn and threaded it through the remaining stitches. knot twice and wove my ends in.

Adam wanted a pompom on his hat so if you don’t know how to make one- pop a how-to in the googler.
This lovely pompom was made by Julie, my fingers weren’t working when I tried to make one and she hapily obliged when I asked. Thanks babe. Attach pompom and there you have it!

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: 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.