September 27, 2004

Very Manly Jacket!

Moooom...she's knitting in the car again!

(The beginnings of a sleeve.)

Yep. Been car knitting again. Can you guess on what? <insert manly background music> The beginnings of a Husband's Manly Jacket! [Pattern from Phildar Hommes Hiver 04/05. Click here to see it.] I'm using Phildar Pegase acrylic/wool blend in solid black and variegated black. My husband chose the pattern, and after I had KNIT THIS MUCH of the sleeve he decided to ask, "What yarn are you using?" and this is how our conversation went after that:

Me: "I'm using Pegase. The same yarn I used for the other sweaters I knit for you."

Manly Husband: "Isn't there a lot of acrylic in that yarn?"

Me: "Yes...there's wool in it, too."

Manly Husband: "But won't it pill?"

It's official! My husband is turning into Yarn Snob.

[Footnote: Pegase is one of the few high acrylic (70 percent acrylic *gasp!*, 30 percent wool) yarns I like. It's not scratchy or shiny. It knits up nicely, softens up after the first wash and holds up well in the washing machine. In short: It's a good yarn for Manly Husband projects that will get worn into the ground. End of free yarn plug.]

Anyway. I finished one sleeve and managed to cast on for the second yesterday while watching Madonna and Antonio Banderas in Evita*. And did your eagle eyes notice that I used the tubular cast-on for 2x2 ribbing on the sleeve? The tubular cast-on is, hands down, my favorite cast-on for ribbings. But I don't get the chance to use it as often as I'd like because some yarns just don't lend themselves to it very well. Pegase, in spite of its high acrylic content [looks pointedly at Manly Husband], is perfect for the tubular cast-on because its elasticity allows the cast-on edge to recover after being stretched. It knits up on 3.5mm-4mm needles, so I used the yarn over method described in Katharina's Buss' Big Book of Knitting instead of the stockinette stitch method in order to avoid a thick edge. The stockinette stitch tubular cast-on, described in Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook, is the one I usually use for 2x2 ribbing because it has less of a slant, but it thickens the cast-on edge so I tend to use it on finer-gauge yarns only.

In other knitting-related news, the STASH ENHANCEMENT continues! My friend Evelyn (a.k.a. "Chicago Evelyn") sent me a surprise package containing Crystal Palace Musique in beautiful shades of blue. [Runs madly around the room in circles from excitement.] It is gorgeous! Please, click here to see it and read about it.

*I had never seen this movie before. And I must admit: Madonna wasn't bad in it. As a matter of fact, she was pretty good in it. Which is rather unfortunate, as it encouraged her to continue to try her hand at acting. (Singing and dancing very good, acting usually very baaaaad. Sorry, Madonna fans!)

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39 comments to this entry:

hm. Pegase. Thanks for the tip.

I really like the manly has a nice fit.

Evita was the only movie of Madonna's that I can sit/knit through. Although if I do, I have "Don't cry for me Argentina" in my head for an eternity. hehehe.

I like the model for the manly jacket. How are the rest of the patterns in the mag? Is a sweater knit from Pegase hot? This is my husbands usual complaint over sweaters I have knitted for him. And we live in a cold climate... Looking forward to see the finished jacket.

Your cast on is just so . . . so . . . tubular, dude!

(refugees of the '80s will hopefully forgive me for that)

I too love the tubular cast on!

I remember being pleasantly surprised at how good Antonio was. Now I'm waiting to see when Captain Destructo will become a yarn snob!

i love that movie shamelessly. i may even love it more than the original stage version. (gasp)

hubby is becoming a yarn snob, eh? good for him. :) it just means your excellent taste is rubbing off on him!

It was the weekend for 2x2 ribbing, I guess, but mine was done while watching "Man on Fire"! Always in a hurry to get started on a new project, I have not yet risen to the art of the perfect cast-on (just get the darn thing on the needle and let's go!, is more my approach), but maybe I'll notch it up and try tubular on the next 2x2...

Musique is very happy in its new home; I can tell!

Love that sweater! Excited to see Mr. Rabbit wearing his super cool Phildar sweater.

I have a gray zippered cardigan almost exactly like that one that I bought at H&M in Paris a year ago. LOVE H&M!

how absolutely funny! right on! i think my friends and family are starting to catch on to the "what kind of yarn are you making my <insert knitted gift here> with? acrulic? oh..." it's funny.

The hubster as a Yarn Snob? You must be very proud.

Musique is lovely--it became a scarf in last year's Christmas knitting. I know you can design something lovely, but the Crystal Palace website has a scarf pattern for it and some pictures that show how lovely Musique knits up!

Ha, Ha - I love that your hubby is turning into a yarn snob! LOL!! Looks like that will be a great sweater!

what a timely post - i just fell in love with a sweater and shoulder warmer knit in pégase in the latest phildar catalogue and was wondering if i'd like a yarn with that much acrylic content. so thanks for sharing your opinion!
i should look at that men's catalogue too, since i've been promising hubby a sweater for a while.....

You are so productive!!! I like knitting in the car, too. It makes me feel productive. I just wish I had someone to drive me to work and pick me up...
You are so much fun to read!! And I think you have me hooked on Phildar patterns. I found a place to get some in english, including the BEAUTIFUL baby sweater you made. Now, to figure out how to get FIL to increase stash with PHILDAR on his next trip to France!! (He has a house in Boege, in Haute Savoie).

Have a great week!! Patti

maybe i will have to try the tubular cast-on again. it gave me such grief the first time i tried it that i came up with a not-so-nice name for it. i do like the look, however.
i am so lucky that the guy i am now dating came to me as a yarn snob already! i'm still working on turning him into a beer snob, however ;-)

that Phildar Pegase yarn sounds perfect for a Dale sweater I want to make my hubby.. but alas I can not find this yarn availible for sale on any canadian websites.. so sad phildar is so hard to get to in the US..

your conv. with the hubby is too funny about the yarn. and i must try that cast on. very nice!

I'm glad that the Manly Jacket is getting some thumbs up! Frankly, knitting an entire gorilla arm sleeve in BLACK RIBBING is dull at times, so encouragement is appreciated :-)

This year's HOMMES pattern book is very nice in comparison to last year's, which I did not get because none of the patterns called to me. This year's has more than a few very wearable and stylish garments. We had a hard time picking just one!

Another thing I like about Pegase: It's a longstanding and popular yarn. Chances are it won't be discontinued for a while (although the colors change) and there are always several patterns that call for Pegase in nearly all the cold-weather pattern books.

Substitute: Lion Brand's Wool-Ease, maybe? Last time I was in the U.S. I checked out some of Lion Brand's Wool-Ease (dk weight) and was reminded of Pegase.

Your lucky hubby! It doesn't get cold enough here in SF (should I sign off as SF Evelyn? :-) ) that my hubby even wears sweaters! I love the colors of Musique! That will make a scrumptious scarf. Wanna know something funny? I used to live in Chicago. There aren't many Evelyns around...

Heee...yarn snob...heeeee! The sweater is very fact my few working braincells are trying to convert it to girl-y shape (read "shorter" and "tighter"). Love the black and tweed together.

I really like this manly jacket....I must say, I admire you for taking on a 'husband project'. My husband is 6'3", and thank goodness, does NOT want me to knit for him because he says he will be too hot in a sweater-type garment. So, I never have to knit yards and yards of sleeve to fit him, and I don't have to feel any guilt for only knitting for myself and our kids!! :)

Mr. Gorilla Arms strikes again! Love the sleeve modeling shots. What must that conversation have been like? "You need me to hold up my arm and do what?" (Although he's probably very used to it by now).

I'm very impressed with the speed at which you knit, just judging from the frequency of completed objects appearing on your site. Your fingers must be flying all over the place. People in passing cars must be in awe at the blur of hands.

I have always thought that Madonna would have made an excellent SILENT screen actress.
Once she opens her's all over for her!
Just like Lena Lamont from Singin' in the Rain!
"and I caaaan't stand 'em"

I love logging onto your site regularly to see your wonderful projects. It's just what I need after a long day at work. It very nearly has the same relaxing effect on me as knitting for an hour myself.
You knit so fast and so beautifully. This promises to be another stunning creation regardless of acrylic content.

Sound like pegase was an excellent choice to me. Especially if it need to be super washable. Sounds like you man is well on his way to being versed in the fine points of laundry care for wool.

Mr. Rabbit, a yarn snob? You didn't see it coming? :) That sweater is so awesome. You always pick out the BEST male knitting patterns...I always show Jacob the ones with too many crazy crisscrossing cables and he's like, umm, please don't ever knit me that.

(Psst...I'm knitting the wig from Knitty right now in NEON orange acrylic, and I'm LOVING it. Don't tell anyone, okay?)

Hey I think I spotted the Ladies version of the sweater/jacket your knitting for your sweetie...

check out the contents.... like the opposite version...

Love your blog and how to's..

Fluffa! I have recently become an addict to knitting and yours was the FIRST blog I stumbled upon (thanks to the SnB book). (Talk about intimidation! Ha!) I love watching you progress upon your gorgeous projects. This looks to be another fabulous one. Do you have any pictures of your blocking sessions? Thanks for the inspiration - I have a lot to look forward to.

Mr Rabbit being a yarn snob will only be a good thing. You will be able to make REALLY large yarn purchases and say, "See? Feel this here. Love the alpaca, baybee," and he'll just say, "Is there merino in there, too?"

Hi Becky,

I noticed your pieces of knitting, before blocking, always have long yarn tails hanging. Do you always join new balls of yarn at the edge?
Do you recommend doing it that way?
If so, do you later darn the ends in diagonally or along the seam line?
How about pattern's yarn estimate? Do you sometimes go over the estimate when you joining new ball at the edge?

I love that Mr. Rabbit has become a yarn snob! Mind you Phildar yarns seem to be able to do acrylic that works for yarn snobs. I remember being pleasantly surprised with the Oxygene which is lovely and soft and knits up really well. It's nice too to be able to chuck something in the washing machine without worrying!

Miss Becky --

You have left enough Phildar breadcrumbs on the garden path for me to follow in your footsteps. Let me announce on your blog that I have begun to plot and plan my first Phildar pattern project!! It has two by two ribbing, just like your Man Sweater, but only two by two ribbing and nothing more. Thanks for the inspiration. Now, I need to search your blog high and low for how to do tubular cast on!

I really admire your attention to detail in your knitting. Your are an inspiration when it comes to making the very most out of any knitting project and taking it to the next level by using the best techniques in the process of making the garment.

Thank you for the kind words :-)

Re blocking: I've posted pictures of some things while they were blocking, and the most recent one is probably this one:

Click on the thumbnail on the bottom right.

I usually steam block most pieces. I cover with a lightweight damp cloth and use the iron on a low setting. If the garment is in cotton, I'll follow with a water spray.

Re joining new yarns: I *always* join in new yarn at the beginning of rows. If I notice that I'm reaching the end of a skein, I'll make sure that I have enough to finish a row. If this passes me by and I run out mid-row, I'll frog back to the beginning of the row and join in new yarn. I rarely run out of yarn because I always try to buy at least one extra if it's a yarn I've never knitted before.

P.S. If you haven't seen it already, go to and see the jacket that Michelle pointed out. It REALLY does look like the "she" version of the Manly Jacket. I'm almost tempted to knit it. How cutesy would that be???

Don't you love it when you find the hubby has actually been listening to you all this time you've been droning on about yarn?? Well, at least I drone ;-) More like buzz, actually...

Thanks for the cast on tips. I always knit on, but I should broaden my horizons.

Ah, car knitting - yes, I've lost my car knitting cherry on the way to the Lake this week.

What a ginormous sleeve! I will try this famous tubular cast on on day - it does look pretty nifty :)
(And ace stash additions as well)

Hah! I love the header. I usually get "Mom! You're not going to knit in the car again, are you?" Keep up the awesome work. I love the tubular cast on. I'm going to try it for my next manly sweater. Great pix.

LOL about that Madonna comments.
Only yesterday they had "The next best thing" on.
I like the movie and I love the remake of the cover song for the movie. I think I fell asleep watching Evita...found it borring.
For me it's refreshing to actually be knitting at home recently, with out the cat attacking me or my yarn...I knit when he sleeps =)


Where can I get the Phildar Hommes Hiver 04/05? Is it available to those of us in the US?

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