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

Very Cute

Holy moley, these are too cute. If anyone is thinking of making animal mittens for any reason, here is a whole whack of inspiration for you. These versions can be bought from www.rainbowjeans.com (Over the Rainbow in Yorkville, Toronto)and retail for roughly $30. Lobster Mittens, or as I affectionatley (if geeky) call them ‘robsta craws’ Tiger Mittens Lion Mittens Raccoon Hat Bear Mittens Panda Mittens Penguin Mittens

Homesick Razor Cami

Castin on outside

I was sitting out back this past Sunday wondering what in the heck I was going to do with the yarn I had just frogged. Some of you might remember my very first Montego? Well it’s no more. I saw it hanging on my scarf rack and decided that it would get more use as a top or cami of sorts. Not knowing what pattern I was going to use didn’t stop me from casting on for a gauge swatch. Gotta start somewhere.

Knit Ridges

In the coming days I was going to have a bunch of free time-mainly because I was working the Federal Election as Deputy Returning Officer. Which was an ordeal itself, but I made a good friend along the way. (Shout out to Morgan! xo) However throughout the day, I became increasingly sick. At first I thought it was allergies, being in an old elementary school gym and all. Perhaps my sneezing was due to the dust. Ha. Wishful thinking. The next day I turned up half dead to work and C took pity on me and sent me home. I spent the next 12 hours lying in misery knitting this:

Morning time

The Razor Cami.

It’s a simply sweet pattern that relies on negative ease instead of shaping to hug the wearers curves. With only one real pattern row I hardly had to glance down while watching the entire Bourne Trilogy that first night. I can knit like a demon when I’m sick it seems.

Cathay Razor Top

and here I am now as compared to my beaded halter/cami

vs the beaded cami

Two more inches and I’m ready to start the straps. I saw on Ravelry a version with thicker almost cap like sleeves which I’m going to try and duplicate. So far I really like it, and I can’t get enough of the Cathay. It’s like a soft hug against the skin.