April 30, 2004

Ze plane, ze plane!

Welcome to Sleeve Island!*

I am Dance Rabbit, your host. Please join us on a short tour of the only things I seem to be knitting this week: Sleeves.

Oh, finish me already.

Our first sleeve wishes to reach sleeve cap shaping, because we have grown tired of knitting 4/2 ribbing in acrylic/wool even if we are using zippy Addi Turbo needles. We knit each row lovingly as the sleeve is for a sweater destined for The Husband, but as we trudge through all that ribbing we find ourselves lamenting the fact that The Husband, in spite of his many good qualities, appears to have been born with Gorilla Arms. Either that, or it is simply taking us ages to knit this sleeve.

DVD watched while knitting this sleeve: Part of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. We saw this movie in the theaters while visiting London back in 2001, and we wonder now why we decided to watch it again on DVD. The three hours of the film seem no shorter even if one is watching it in the comfort of one's home.

I'm about to knit on stitches for the body.
It's going to be slooooooooooow.

Our second sleeve is of the year-long sweater we commenced a few months ago, and it is moving along at a nice, relaxed pace. However, this sweater is knit sideways in one piece from sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff, and we are about to reach the body shaping which requires that we cast on about 10,000 stitches at both ends. That means that this project, which was crawling along when we had shorter rows to work, is about to hit the same speed that our knitting took while knitting the chocolate Phil Ruban poncho. Alert Tita.

A good part of this sleeve was knit while waiting for oatmeal cookies to bake and at various sporadic times while riding in the car. This is our multi-tasking sweater. And the oatmeal cookies came out pretty good, thanks.

This is the sleeve to Audrey.
(A spot of blocking wouldn't hurt.)

Our third sleeve is completed, and we were almost sorry to cast off that last row as knitting Calmer has got to be among the most Luxurious Knitting Moments of All Time. We are thankful that we have stashed up on Calmer because we feel that knitting with it is even better than chocolate. Really, it is.

Thank you for visiting Sleeve Island. And I have no idea why I used the royal "we" throughout this entry. There's no one here but me and a bag of tortilla chips. Oh, and a couple of sleeves on needles.

*Remember Fantasy Island? If I could go to Fantasy Island I'd ask to be let loose into a yarn emporium for 48 hours straight with a credit card that has no limit. And Mr. Roarke would foot the bill.

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32 comments to this entry:

What a sleeve marathon! :) And nothing can be better than chocolate :D
The royal "we" is really a very underutilized voice. We approve greatly of your use of it and in the future will expect to see it with increasing frequency. Or else, off with your heads. I'm sure Mr. Gorilla Arms will adore his new and luscious frock knit from the finest fibers with such delicate detail....Er, that is, I mean, highly masculine garment that strongly resembles a coat of armor and which we're sure will make him seem even more manly than he already is. Grrrrr, Mr. Gorilla Arms, grrrrr. Keep sleeving away!! The kingdom's arms lie bare as we speak!
nothing wrong with the royal we. We use it all the time :)
Hey, maybe I can get you to knit my cowl sleeves. Then perhaps I'll actually get this thing done. (I want Calmer now, dammit. I just lost an Ebay auction on some.)
Becky, our lovely husband ALSO has gorilla arms (and monkey-like feet!) His most recent sweater took FOREVER. We thought we would never reach the end... so we commiserate with you. Also, we have wanted to do a sleeve-to-sleeve knitted sweater but remain daunted by the 10,000-stitch cast on that will commence. We will be excited to hear how you feel about this...
WE already have some Calmer on order and WE are NOT AMUSED to see you waxing lyrical about it as WE shall be forced to order more because WE are very easily led astray. And we want an oatmeal cookie. whimper
Wendy: Muwahahahaha! Our purpose has been achieved. We insist that you order more Calmer so that we, who visit your site everyday, can see it being knit up. Jackie: You knit like the wind and are flying on that cowl. We expect you to finish those sleeves by next week, missy! Jenny: While we don't really look forward to casting on a gazillion stitches at one time for the body of the garment, we believe that the sweater is so freaking cool that knitting those looooooooong rows will be worth it. We also think that everybody should refer to themselves in the plural for comments to this particular entry.
we are so sad to hear how perfect calmer is because we were outbid on ebay for 10 skeins of bleached calmer. ): i was so sad. i have a gajillion summer tanks on the mind and want to be able to wear them with everything-- white seemes just right and now rowan doesn't make it anymore. sigh.
We are so very glad to see that we can once again view your website from work while we pretend to be busy! We are setting off next week for a marvelous trip of stashing for me and breweries for the husband. We must find and purchase calmer--bless you all for enabling us. We are certain the husband sends his thanks as well! Our husband also has gorilla arms--that is why he is getting a scarf this year. We knit slow enough as it is.
We loved journeying through Sleeve Island with you. We have never tried to start with a sleeve, although it seems wise and less frustrating than frogging the body of a sweater. Duh. We are also anxious to try Calmer after the Dance Rabbit's claim that it is 'better than chocolate'. Thems strong words, missy! Have a wonderful weekend :)
We are amused by your line "Our third sleeve is completed," which caused us to giggle helplessly remembering the old joke about the boy in the army whose mom knitted him three socks -- because he told her in his letters he had grown another foot since he'd been away from home. Ba-da-boom! Around here we always make our sleeves (only two of them! :-) first, for two reasons: It's a great way to get two good-sized gauge swatches (with little harm done if they are off slightly from the smaller gauge swatch which preceded them), and it prevents us from saying "Oh, well, maybe we'll just leave it as a vest!" Your audience with us is now over.
Ahem, better than chocolate? Surely you jest! But, I might have to try the Calmer soon, since I seem to be consuming mounds and mounds of chocolate, and my stomach seems to be expanding a bit!
We ARE amused and would like to thank you profusely for the guided tour on this exotic island, and less so for making us want to buy COTTON yarn. We don't have enough items on the wish list as it is. ;-) Mmmmmm ... oatmeal cookies ... How did you find the right kind of oatmeal in France!
All of those sleeves look great! I think I will start on the sleeves first from now on. It seems really smart. Lovin' the blue, white & red. I immediately thought 'drapeau franšais' and the Trois Couleurs trilogy that I will be watching this weekend. I should just buy it already and quit renting it over and over. By the way, I re-sent that email from earlier. Let me know if you don't get that info.
Dear Dancing Rabbit I just put two and two togethe and humbly ask for some personal knitting advice. Before you made me want Calmer (how can one take lightly its comparison to chocolate!), you made me want the pretty women's cardi with cables, bobbles and seed stitch. Do you think Calmer would be a good yarn for it? Just wanted your opinion on that. Thank you! Valentina
We would also like to take that trip to Fantasy Island. We think it would be devine if Mr. Roark were to have hunks like Johnny Depp & Keanu Reeves there to serve us chocolate. Oh, and maybe John Travolta could be our pilot? Your sleeves are FAB and we think they look great without blocking! We were wondering where those cables got to. We thought they might have been back burnished for the summer...they must be a nice change from all the ribbing for hubby's and Audrey!
We *heart* Calmer!! And we *heart* all those fabby sleeves, oh great sleev-ed goddess! We are still waiting on our ASC to arrive to commence the Bucket Brigade so we console ourselves varicariously thru your knitting endeavors! We hope you have a wonderful weekend, really we do :)
Okay. I'll accept the "we" (I do on occassion). But please not the third person (I'm thinking of Seinfeld's "Jimmy"). I'm rooting for the Audrey (another fan yes?). Go baby go! I'm with Kim regarding ebay. It can be brutal if you have your heart set on something. I call those who wait till the last possible moment "lurkers" (Babylon 5). As for the trip to Fantasy Island and unlimited use of credit card? Do you have room for me too?
We love all your beautiful sleeves! We think that you and your husband will look absolutely smashing together in blue and red, we truly do. And the cables look truly regal, we do believe. We have recently begun two sweaters sleeves first, and think it will keep us from short-sleeving them. Now if only we could seam first, so as to avoid sweaters sitting around dolefully in pieces. We suppose it's quite time for a Kir already. ;)
We were wondering about the progress of the "kimono" sweater. Hey! Who better to knit with than a bag of tortilla chips? No one here, but me and a cuppa coffee and a couple of chocolate almond biscotti....
We bow to your sleeve commitment (well, we had someone bow for us). It takes a strong knitter to knit sleeves at the best of times, (we agree with Maryb, that sleeves should be knit first to avoid the urge to turn every garment into a vest.) but we are simply staggered that anyone would knit a sleeve when the reward for finishing it is casting on 20, 000 more of the same, somehow gathering the strength to complete that and then (the horror) knitting another sleeve for dessert. We shudder inwardly at the thought, but our thoughts will be with you. We do agree that the sweater is extremely cool, but wonder if there is enough chocolate in the world.
We were going to knit Audrey substituting Calmer with something more readily available, but after reading this entry we *really* want to get Calmer after all. But the man of the house seems to think we have enough yarn already, so we probably won't be getting it anytime soon. Guess we'll just have to knit the said man a new sweater and thereby justify a new yarn purchase. Unfortunately the man has very broad shoulders (no gorilla arms, though), which makes knitting sweaters for him quite a task. But what we wouldn't go through to get some Calmer ;) (Commenting for the very first time, the use of the royal "we" just seemed to good to pass.)
Great sleeves! I'm so glad to see hubby's sweater progressing. Go, go, go!
Hello Sleeve Rabbit. We really hate knitting sleeves.
Hi Becky! Thank you for your comment on my blog. I won't resist Audrey anymore, now that I've seen yours! Is the shade "Amour"? I can't wait to see it finished! Bon courage pour les manches de gorille!
My sleeves have been growing shorter as I knit them. I measure...I see I am about an 1/4 inch away from cast off and then I am an inch away. I don't know what has happened. I hate sleeves. More vests!!
We love the impressive display of sleeves. They are sleeve-tastic! The pictures are superb. On another note, we have been admiring Becky's black Bucket hat from winter and wanted to know if anyone of your highnesses knew of a website where we could order Plassard Merinos. We liked the choice of yarns so much we wanted to use them for a future winter hat...(We really ARE going to start on the spring bucket - soon!)
I am so taken with your "kimono" sweater! Am I going to have to stalk ebay for the pattern? Am I going to have to learn French? I am rather obsessed...
Hats and sleeves, sleeves and hats! I think your pronoun usage is entirely appropriate for the titular head of the knit-along.
You are the most proficient knitter I know. Your my hero...
We up here in the north have also enjoyed the tour to Sleeve Island very much. Still, we think that the body is often a bigger task to knit, and the sleeves feels like a piece of cake after that, so we will continue to knit the body first. Nice progress on Audrey, and we look forward to see the finished white sweater.
We have very much enjoyed reading all of the comments to this entry. Clearly, the comments are more than half the fun. Valentina: While we love Calmer we do not think it would be a good substitute for Phildar Aviso. A perfect substitute would be Rowan's All Season's Cotton. Verily, ASC does not surpass the "Better Than Chocolate" level, but we still think it is one damn fine yarn. Elaine: Or maybe Alan Rickman could pilot? Wynne: Chocolate almond biscotti? [Drools helplessly.] Maud: We think that Maud and Dance Rabbit would make an excellent and prolific knitting team if we united forces with Maud. We could knit the body and Maud could knit the sleeves.

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