Project Sampler:

Girl's matching tank and cardigan using slippery cotton string and tiny 3mm needles, because I can't seem to get enough of small gauges. (Yes, the original set is in white, but I'm doing it in bubblegum PINK for my niece.)

We be saucy lasses! A cropped sweater based upon a rough sketch design of mine and a design that Rebecca 29 calls the "Cropped Sweater", but I call it the Cat in the Hat Sweater, because I worked it in RED and WHITE stripes. (Who doesn't love the Cat in the Hat? Plus, red and white stripes are hot right now. Me so trendy.)

Cutesy little top called "Ultra Femme" from Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation. Easy to knit and cute to wear, and it's just a little bit peek-a-boo. Oh la laaaa!

How about...a knit frog wearing snazzy striped trousers?

How about a little something of my own design? Like a see-through [wriggles eyebrows] mohair pullover with bell sleeves and lacy cuffs?

Baby Sweater No. 1

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This is the front. Look at all those wee baby cables!

This was the first thing that I knit when I was pregnant. I wanted to knit it back when I was pregnant with Captain Destructo (in 2000...yes 2000. I needed to type that twice because I still can't get over how much time has gone by since I started this blog) but I didn't have the know-how to do it (double pointed needles? What are those?). That is the main reason why I refused to get rid of the pattern book. The sweater is vintage looking and timeless, and I figured that someday I'd have the opportunity to knit it as a gift for someone. Surprise! It turned out to be me. Anyway, before I talk about how I knit it, let me give you the project details:

Pattern: Baby sweater from Phildar's Layette 2000. I can't recall the pattern book number. I have the magazine stored in the garage. As soon as I locate it I will update this entry with it. [Update: The pattern book is Phildar Layette No. 347 from 2001 and the sweater is design no. 6]

Needles: 3mm and 3,5mm [Update: I actually used 2,5mm and 3mm.]

Yarn: Essentials Cashlana Dk (80% merino/20% cashmere) by Rico Design. (The pattern called for Phildar Super Baby, but I didn't like the acrylic content/shiny look of it (my, what a yarn snob). Plus, my gauge was like Super Gauge as it was way too big than the one required by the pattern.

The sweater is closed at the back, and this type of newborn sweater is called a brassière in French. No, it is not a bra. A bra over here is called a soutien-gorge. Anyway, I digress. The pattern calls for the sweater to be knit flat in five separate pieces: The front, two back pieces, and the sleeves. Then they are all joined on five double pointed needles and the yoke is knit in one piece. Then the sides and sleeves are seamed. Afterward, a cast on row is picked up along both edges of the two back pieces and on one, buttonholes are knit before binding off. The neck band is knit separately, and then joined using grafting.

My cha-cha-changes (sing David Bowie with me, please) I chose to go round all the way, baby! Using one circular needle, I knit the back pieces and front flat in one piece in order to avoid seaming those. The sleeves were knit in the round on double pointed needles [care for a game of pick up sticks?] to eliminate those seams as well.

spring2012_babycables_insid.jpg

[Look, Ma! No, seams!]

Then, using three circular needles I joined (in this order) one back piece, one sleeve, the front, the other sleeve and the other back piece and knit the yoke.

spring2012_babycables_close.jpg

Both back bands were knit on at the same time by just switching from the pattern stitch to garter. I used math [oh how brainy...okay, not really] to calculate at which rows I would have to add on buttonholes.



[Click to make bigger.]
I decided to make up for the shorter row gauge of garter stitch by doing short rows every 4 rows or so.
If I were to make this again, I would not do this.
Or I would do it every 8 rows instead.
Yeah, the latter.

For the neckband, I simply decreased when I got to the neck and then started knitting in garter. And there you have it.

I'm sorry I have no photo of the baby wearing it. With all the photos I've taken, I simply cannot find one of him wearing this particular sweater. Too many sleepless nights, man. To make up for it, here is a photo of the Captain looking at his little brother the day he was born, in April of 2012.

april2012_captainmax.jpg

"Hello, little one. Fear not.
I will teach you the ways of the Destructo. Oh, yes. I will."

Whooooo are you, who who who who....

Wow! It's been a while. How about I play a little catch-up? Real quick-like. First of all, this is the city where I now live:

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It ain't Lyon.

Bordeaux, baby! I took that photo with my mobile almost as soon as we moved here from Lyon, in August of 2011. (To see some more photos I took at that time, you can go to mybluehouse.com.) I do miss Lyon (a lot), but Bordeaux is a fabulous city and I've made lots of great friends.

Also, Captain Destructo is very big now. Taller than me, and is still as thin and lanky as ever. He no longer wears my hand knit sweaters because I have no time to knit and finish them before he grows out of them, but he does spend a lot of time taking part in competitions doing this:

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(Among other things.)

[Sidenote: He recently took part in a competition where Sanson Boris, French gold medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, gave out the medals and autographed Captain Destructo's glove. Suffice it to say that the Captain's day was made.]

And! He's no longer an only child. A little over a year ago, I had this view of my shoes:

2011-07-24-18.33.23.jpg

No, that is not a helium balloon.

Which is why I made this:

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[Awwwwwwwwwwwwww.]

This, too:

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I wanted to make this for Captain Destructo in 2000, but didn't get the chance.
Twelve years later, I did. Yay.

And this:

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Of which I think Leeloo the Bichon approves:

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This was taken in April of 2012.
One. Whole. Year. Ago. Already!

More catching up soon, so that I can share more about the family and write individual entries for these projects (and others) including patterns and yarns I used. Isn't it awful of me to keep you hanging like that?

One thing leads to another.

I don't know about you, but when I look at this box I think "DONUTS!" That's all that ran through my mind as I snapped the shot. My sweet tooth rules over my yarn fetishes.

[Plain are my favorite. No chocolate, no sprinkles, no glaze EVER...just plain. Followed by powdered. Mmmm, boy.]

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Anyway, I'll be swatching one of these donuts tonight.

P.S. In other crafty news, those who follow me on twitter may have seen my tweet with a link to photos of Captain Destructo in his Mardi Gras costume that I made on the day before the carnival. For those who missed it, here's one of the photos.

Where is my mind?*

This morning as I'm doing some more of my pre-spring cleaning [we're talking major stash cleanse, peoples] I pull a cloth dust bag out from the depths of the closet. When I open it, these little guys pop out:


I could've sworn I heard them say "BOIIIIING!" as they sprang from the bag.


I'm like, "Castel? Don't even remember buying that. Alright, up in the eBay you go."

Then as I pull the last skein out of the cloth dust bag, I see the edge of what I initially thought was a swatch. I pull it out, and the swatch magically turned into a sleeve! As I pull him out I ask him, "Dude! Where'd you come from?" And he's all like, "Ask questions later...my brother is right behind me and he's all smooshed up. Pull him out, quick." And I reach back in the bag and pull out another sleeve. It was like magic, only instead of pulling a rabbit out of hat I was pulling two fully knit sleeves who were kinda teed off that I had stuffed them in a bag a few years ago and left them to sit in a dark closet.


We're back, b*tches.


At first I couldn't place the sleeves, and then I remembered the Cabled Jacket that I started when I was still in fashion school. I was really chugging away during that time, studying all day and often staying up all night to finish collections. I must have put the whole thing in the cloth bag and stuffed it on the top shelf of a closet, which made me promptly forget about it.

I can't possibly put the yarn up on eBay. I mean: Two. Whole. Sleeves. I have to finish that jacket! Even if I do it at a snail's pace, and it takes me all summer. Now, if only I can remember what size I started knitting...

*Thank you, Pixies. That song came on right as I started writing this entry, and oh how aprops!

[Taps microphone.] Is this thing on?

Well, hello there! Come on in. Have some of Captain Destructo's cake. He picked the recipe out of a dessert book, noted the ingredients, got them when we went grocery shopping and then made the cake himself (with some help from Monsieur Le Hubby).


All together now: Awwwwwww!


The boy is growing so fast I can't knit anything for him. He now fits into my shoes and the other day I mistook a pair of his jeans for my own. I had a mini heart attack when I couldn't pull them over my hips, thinking I had gained three sizes overnight (can chocolate cake really do that???) before I realized they were his. Phew.

In case you're wondering, I still knit things. Little things, that I can carry around with me easily. Like this lace in bamboo:



Don't ask me what it is, because I'm not quite sure yet what it wants to be. I loved the fiber so much that I just cast on and started knitting a lace pattern. It's getting hot over here so that's pretty much all I want to make in terms of knitting. Wool + my fingers on a hot day do not a happy couple make.

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That's not all. Just because you're still reading this, I'm inviting you over to my other site for a chance to win something that I've made. Some of you might find it useful for carrying around all the things you're knitting and that I wish I had the time to knit. It's an original design of mine, a soft French lace tote. Head on over to tortillagirl.com to enter to win this tote!

Psst...I still have a load of yarn in my stash. I may have a giveaway here as well to kick off the summer. Dude! The party will never end chez skinnyrabbit.

Yes, folks! She still knits in the car.


Look, ma! I'm playing pick up sticks! While in the car!


Remember those opera-length armwarmers I knit for myself a few years ago? The ones that made me feel all Joan Jett and rock and roll? I still wear those armwarmers. As a matter of fact, I've worn them every single winter since I've knit them. They've held up pretty well but I figured that it was time that I knit myself some more in other colors so that people won't start thinking that I've got those first armwarmers I knit permanently attached to my arms. So that's what I'm knitting in the car. Thanks to my new shorter dpns [Brittany, purchased in Austin!] I've been carrying my armwarmers around as a portable project and it's my new favorite mindless knitting.



I looooove wearing these. Perfect for the non-sweater person like myself.


Of course, knitting in the car means that I have car knitting snapshots*. Taken while driving along the Saone river.



[Click here to make the photo bigger.]
Can you believe that I haven't rented one of these bikes yet?
Someday.



[Click here to make the photo bigger.]


P.S. I've still got photos of Austin to show you. I took sooooo many photos during my summer vacation that I'm still going through them and trying to decide which ones to show. Soon!

*Again, the rules for my car knitting snapshots are as follows: All snapshots must be taken while knitting, or with knitting on one's lap, IN THE CAR. Further, the car must be in motion, temporarily stopped at a traffic light, intersection, in traffic or similar with engine always running. In no event may the car be parked, halted for more than 30 seconds or deliberately stopped for purposes of taking a photo. The seatbelt must remain on at all times, but the hand may be carefully stuck out of the window in order to obtain a good shot provided it doesn't cause any traffic accidents and even though it makes one look like a wacky camera-happy tourist.
   
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