Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4

I am in junk food heaven.

I sincerely wish that I could get some serious knitting done, but quite frankly, I am too busy making oinking noises while I dive like a glutton into the enormous suitcase-sized box of American treats that my adored blog reader and friend Janet - a.k.a. The Taco Bell Fairy - took it upon herself to send me as a surprise when I casually listed in a weblog entry all the junk foods I miss from back home. Movie theater popcorn, candy, lemonade, refried's endless. My eyes bulged when I saw what was in the box. And that is why Janet is, without a doubt, the Queen of the World.

Holy Amazing Snack Foods, Batman!!!

In the box please note the four skeins of Lamb's Pride worsted wool in some of my favorite colors - beige, orange and pink - which Janet included so that I can try out some felting. F.E.L.T.I.N.G. I am in knitting heaven right now.

Speaking of pink, be warned that February will be all about knitting pink around here. Pink? Yes, pink. Oh, the suspense!

Knitter on vacation.

Well, I finally managed to bust my digital pencam and my Nikon Coolpix 3100 is still in queue for shipment. Please excuse me while hysteria ensues over my camera-less state.

Anyway, knitting is going slowly on the Smooch tank because (i) the weather has been hitting 36-37 degrees celsius which depletes me of the desire to knit, and (ii) I've been busy doing other things. Saturday morning was spent at a craft store and then at a bookstore (where there were ZERO people by the pile of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It took me precisely 2 minutes to leisurely walk over, pick up a copy and pay for it. No long lines for me and no waiting for Amazon to deliver. Hahahaha!), and the evening was spent out in the city enjoying La Fête de la Musique in France. (This was great fun! We saw a lot of music groups, but we spent the most time watching a group play every single hit the Rolling Stones has ever made. The singer was dancing around like he had ants in his pants and would stick out his lips like Mick Jagger does. I was starting to suspect that the singer was British because his imitation of Mick Jagger was dead on and he sang the lyrics too well. During a break he said "bloody hell" in a British accent, and the microphone picked it up. That pretty much cinched it for me.) Sunday was spent at the park and my free time yesterday was spent reading (my easily attained copy of the latest Harry Potter...hahahaha!) and building a new website. I'm taking the kid to playgroup today but I do hope to finish up the back of Smooch during his naptime.

So, you see, there'd be very little knitting to show even if I hadn't busted my digital pencam [sob!].

It's total yarn-o-mania, I tell you!

Cotton and ribbon and lycra, oh my!

Got yarn? I do. Lots! See above photo. Oh, and here. Don't forget here, too. Oh! Is that Rowan 4-ply cotton I see before me? Phildar flamme coton, falaise, coton microfibres, bouton d'or rabanne and balzane...yep, I'm swimming in yarn.

It's those blasted sales, I tell you. When I buy yarn, I usually buy it with a project in mind. Apparently, it's dangerous for me to walk into a yarn shop and buy yarn that's on sale when I don't have required yarn amounts for projects on hand. I went into the yarn shops, had a fit of madness complete with beads of perspiration on my forehead, and snatched at full bags of discounted yarn, while I sing-songed out loud, "This lot is for a tank and cardi...this lot is for a sweater for the kid...and this one's for the heck of it. Ring it up, lady." When I finally came around to organizing my new yarns into ziplocked bags, I discovered that I had [surprise!] bought two to three times what I actually needed for my projects. Either I think I'm an XXXXXXXXXXL size or I'm planning on knitting three or four exact duplicates of the same garment. So! I've decided to start sharing bargains with fluffa! readers. Wanna dive into my stash and come out with some choice French yarns? It'll be an ongoing thing and I've already got something for you up at my "stash diving" page. Expect more, soon.

Random blab.

Random notes:

Non knitting: My son turned three years old today! Yesterday we took him to have some identification pictures taken for school and I almost wept like a sentimental sap when I saw how big he looked in the shots. Here is the first identification photo he ever took (for his passport) when he was about 8 months old, and here is the photo he just took for school. He's growing up so quickly...sniff. Happy Birthday to my little guy!

My husband's raglan sweater: A few people noticed that the sleeves are a different color than the body of the sweater. Er...I forgot to mention that little fact. Here's the design as featured in the book, and as one can clearly can see, that green on green is very leprechaun-y. While I have nothing against leprechauns, I don't think the vivid green on green wool sweater look is for the husband. I decided to use cotton instead of wool, and went with a dark beige for the body and a dark khaki for the sleeves.

The neckband that drove me to aspirin.

Speaking of the raglan sweater, yes! I finished it, but only after I suffered a small episode of teeth gnashing over the neckband, which is in 3/2 rib. A neckband in 3/2 rib means that a multiple of 5 sts must be picked up around the neckline. Distribute them evenly. Lose points for holes. Bonus points if my anal-retentive self can't tell where the extra stitch went in that chunky knitting. I didn't want to lose any points and decided to go for the bonus points, to boot. Had to rip out the neckband twice as a result. Once after I had picked up, knit 3 cm of 3/2 rib, and then BOUND OFF for the neckband. I still can't believe I did that.

But I did! And I'm now glad that I did. The sweater was finally given an acceptable neckband, and my husband likes the sweater and will wear it today when we got to the movies. (There will be pictures, but right now I have to make a batch of little birthday cakes for the kid to take to school tomorrow. I'll make up for the delay, though. As is the custom chez skinnyrabbit, there will be still shots of the knitting accompanied by obligatory dancing fool shots. Yes, I will ensure that the husband dances while wearing his knits. It's like a rule. No phony staged theatrics here, folks. Just in your face spontaneous dancing shots. Send tap shoes.)

Just one skein and I'll be a-fringing.

On Saturday I went into the yarn shop to pick up my one measly skein of Phil Ruban so I could finish fringing my sister's poncho, but the yarn hadn't come in yet. Sob! That means that my sister's poncho will remain in an unfinished state until Thursday when the next shipment of yarn comes into the store, and boy oh boy it had better darn well be there or I'll search out the delivery guy and box his ears.

Now, some good news: My trip to the yarn store on Saturday wasn't at all in vain. I got to go with a new knitter friend! Jillian is a British student living in Lyon, and she reads my site. Last week she wrote me a very nice message, and I suggested that we meet up. So we did, and visited La Droguerie, Phildar and Bergere de France in the premier arrondissement on Saturday morning. We had such fun browsing and chatting! I showed Jillian my sister's (partly-fringed) poncho, and Jillian showed me an Anny Blatt scarf she decided to make after she saw the one I knit. Here is Jillian, holding up her gorgeous scarf loud and proud at the fountain in the very public Place des Terreaux:

Just how cute is Jillian???

The scarf is knit using Anny Blatt Victoria, Muguet and Super Angora on large needles, garter stitch with rows of elongated knit stitches. With one skein of each you get a long and lacy scarf. My own scarf was in ocean blues, and Jillian chose lavenders with a hint of bubble-gum colors in the ribbon:

Oh la laaaaaa! Glam scarf!

Jillian and I will definitely be meeting again, and one of the things we want to do is head back to the shops for some yarns that piqued our interest. We both fell in love with a Bergere de France lace cardi, and there was some fluffy angora yarn at La Droguerie that would make for a nice scarf. [P.S. A special hello to Jillian's mother, who also reads my site. Here's another photo, just for you!]

Speaking of meet-ups, I am in the process of setting up a group weblog and have invited a few French knitters and French resident knitters to participate. It will be about [surprise!] knitting in France. It will be bilingual, and cover several regions of France. Friends Stéphanie of Bretagne, Marie in Paris, Jillian in Lyon, Kim in Le Havre, Lou in Montpellier, Kate in Paris and myself in Lyon will be writing there. It will be a fun way for us to meet up until we get to do it in person, and I hope that others interested about knitting in France will glean some info from it. If you live in France and would like to take part in this weblog, let me know. Vous pouvez écrire au choix en français ou en anglais (ou dans les deux langues).

*Thank you to everyone who sent my son well wishes after his minor surgery last week. We had a bit of a scare on Saturday, when one of his ears got infected. He was taken to a nearby clinic for an emergency consultation and given treatment for it. Thankfully, he was already on the mend by the next day, and this morning he was able to go to school. He's such a trooper. As a special treat, I made him mini pancakes [from scratch! Quite possibly one of the few things I can cook without the need to pull out a fire extinguisher], and let him "make" pancakes with me using his toy dishes. And just for you, here is a gratuitous shot of his pajama-ed morning self proudly holding up his pan with the mini pancakes in it. Awwwwwwwwwww!

Knitting blab from all over the place.

The weather has gotten so hot that all I'd like to do is sit around with a cold glass of agua de horchata* and my feet in a bucket of ice. Instead, I'm shopping for yarn. Yes, more yarn. But it's cotton yarn, dammit! I'd show a picture of it, but I'm feeling too slovenly to pull it out of the bag. As soon as I've had my agua de horchata, I'll pull out my new yarn and admire it, and then leaf through my pattern books so I can decide what my next project will be. I'll probably poke through my stash and swatch one or two things, too. Oooooh, how I love new projects! The very thought of new projects makes me feel like sticking my head out of the window and singing "Twist and Shout" really loudly, even if it annoys the neighbors.

As for my current projects, here is where I am now (click for expanded views):

1) Tutti-frutti striped cotton sweater. Let's see...all seamed and only lacking a neckband. I've already woven in most of the ends. Woot!

2) Purple wool/cotton bucket hat. All finished and blocked. Just need to weave in the ends and decide if I'm going to add any embellishments.

3) Audrey. I cast on for the back piece yesterday evening and got midway through the waist shaping. And you know what? Knitting with Calmer gets better every time, oh yes it does. If I had to choose between a skein of Calmer and a chocolate truffle, I'd have a hard time of it.

*Just for you, here's my own personal recipe for agua de horchata:

Ingredients: 1 and a half cups of uncooked white rice (I use 1 cup of dessert rice and 1/2 cup of long-grain), half a stick of cinnamon, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of milk, about 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.

How to make: Soak rice and cinnamon in water for at least 2 hours. Place rice (together with water and cinnamon) in a blender with milk and sugar. Blend well. Let it settle for a few minutes, then serve with ice. Yum!

Gone to see some chateaux!

I'm heading off to the Loire Valley for vacation. I'll be back with updates and photos in about a week. See you soon!

Open invite to a swap!

It's an open call to a swap!* Here's what I'm offering:

[Click here for a CLOSEUP of the yarn.]
[ can click here to check the DYE LOT.]

3 brand spankin' new skeins of Phildar Copacabana yarn, enough to make the lovely ribbon tank I made last year. The color is Aquatique (the same one featured in the pattern book), and all skeins are the same dye lot. The 3 skeins make up to size 42/44 cm chest measurement . Also up for trade is a brand new copy of the Evasion pattern book, which contains the pattern to make the tank. [Note: I bought this copy of the Evasion pattern book for purposes of trading it. I have my own copy of the same book, and here they are together to show that what I'm trading has never been used.] And! I'll also include a translation into English of the Copacabana tank pattern. To further sweeten the trade, I will include the latest copy of the crafty Marie Claire Idées magazine, also brand new. The magazine contains sewing, knitting, embroidery, decorating and lots of other crafty projects. (Here is a peek inside of it, so you can see some of the neat-o crafty things we do over here in la France.)

I like doing occasional open calls to swaps, because I figure it's a good way to share some French knitting goodness with others, and trades are always fun because they make me feel like I get knitting presents in the mail. This is what I'm looking for in exchange (brand new and never used, please): Rowan 36. Set of five bamboo US3/3.25mm double pointed needles. The Fall 2004 issue of Interweave Knits. Orville Redenbacher Microwave Popcorn. Okay, I'm kidding about the last one. But not about the others, and those are what I'm looking for so, er...please don't offer something else unless it's in addition to those things and you'd like for me to add on something else, too. If you'd like trade with me, e-mail me.

[Update: The call to a swap is CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who kindly offered to swap exactly what I was requesting.]

*Bit of unrelated trivia: I've prepared open calls for bids before. But on companies! [Hee!]

Like 100 things, but not.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I am a Nice Yarn Snob. I'm not the kind of Yarn Snob who turns up a nose at acrylic blends or who will only shop at a store that only carries pricey yarn. I like me a good, fancy yarn in any sort of blend and I'll shop at ANY store that carries a nice selection of yarn. But! I draw the line at shiny 100% acrylic [sorry, Red Heart] or ultra-flashy novelty yarn, even if it's high-end, because I find it unpleasant to knit.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I don't spin. I crochet decorative bits, but not entire garments [insert 1970s flashback].

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Allergy tests have revealed that I'm allergic to every single pollen in existence, dust in humid environments, some detergents, miscellaneous foods, and certain perfumes and perfumed cosmetics. Everyday I thank the heavens above for not giving me any allergies to wool.

4. How long have you been knitting?

Since August of 2000.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

You betcha. Buy me stuff...NOW.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

GARDENIAS. Oh my gosh. I love gardenias.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Is there snow in Alaska? My grandpa used to call me "Sweet Tooth". I had all my baby molars capped before I was 10, and one of those molars even had a little silver crown which I was terribly proud of because I was a strange child. (Thankfully, the silver crown fell out when my adult molars grew in.) My favorite candies: gummy candies, jujyfruits, twizzlers, peanut clusters...the list goes on!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I like to hand-make cards.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if you want to make her a CD)

I am the Queen of Eclectic Musical Tastes. You'll find everything from Hipsway and Garbage to mariachi and the Brandenburg Concertos by Bach in my MP3 player. I like all kinds of stuff: 60s (the Chantelles, the Righteous Brothers), 70s (Blondie, early Pat Benatar), 80s (Joan Jett, Def Leppard, Vixen), 90s (garage bands, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Robert Palmer). I even like Jesus Jones and Julio Iglesias. [I am sticking a big "MOCK ME" sign on my back by admitting that last one, but it's true. So there you go.]

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

Blues, deep reds and pinks. When it's winter, you'll usually see me in my uniform of black.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a French husband of Spanish origin who prefers Mexican food and a 3 year old child who will dance for candy because, apparently, he has inherited my Sweet Tooth. I also have a faithful Bichon Frise of 9 years who will dance for pieces of cheese, soy crackers and bits of lettuce. She is named Lucy, after my favorite Peanuts character.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

To grow my hair down to my feet and ride through the town on a horse like Lady Godiva.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Phildar! Rowan! Plassard! [Drools helplessly.]

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Scratchy 100 percent wool ones and scratchy 100 percent acrylic ones. Those novelty flashy multi-colored yarns that will knit up quickly into a boa or look like a tribble.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Vintage sweaters.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Sweaters, hats and toys. (Me no like socks.)

17. What are you knitting right now?

A baby sweater on 3mm needles.

18. What do you think about ponchos? (this is really a curiousity question for us)



19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circular needles, bay-bee. Addi's. Inox BAMBOOOOOOOOO.

20. How did you learn to knit?

I taught myself. Moi même. Yo solita. All by my lonesome. Just me, myself, a few knitting books and the internet. Yes, it is possible.

21. How old is your oldest UFO?

I think it's 2 years old. A teddy bear with 2 arms, two legs, a body and the beginnings of a head STILL on the needles. It's sitting at the bottom of my knitting bag in the hopes I'll finish it, already.

And the knitting blab resumes.

Go to see:

thumbnail.jpg thumbnail

1) First, I must share a wonderful surprise gift package I received from the talented Emma: Stitch markers hand-made using some very posh glass beads and two pairs of hand-knit socks in beautiful yarns! [Click here to see it all.] Oh my goodness. I'm so terrifically spoiled by my knitting buds. Wearing gorgeous socks hand-knit especially for one's narrow rabbit feet by a friend makes one feel like dancing and kicking around like The Lord of the Dance. I have the best-socked feet in the region! Thank you, Emma. [P.S. I wore the blue picot-edged ones over the weekend, and I'm now wearing the striped ones. Lovely, lovely!]

2) Now, on to my own (rather fruitless) knitting. I present to you: The sweater that will never be. Last week I worked on the sleeve of a wrap cardigan with a shawl collar from the latest Phildar Automne using Cecilia in Poudre, and I was so NOT enjoying it. I'd find myself knitting a row or two, and then putting it down so I could do something else. The yarn is very fluffy and very pretty, and the design is nice and feminine, but it just wasn't clicking with me. So I stopped working on it altogether, and discovered that I was relieved to do so. That means one thing: I'm not gonna knit it if it doesn't click with me. So, who wants it? 10 skeins of Cecilia in Poudre. [Click here to see the yarn.] With the exception of 2, all skeins are intact. The remaining 2 skeins are in the sleeve I knit, but will be carefully unravelled and rolled back into skeins. No swap this time. All 10 skeins in exchange for the price I paid + shipping, and I will include the receipt in the package and maybe some candy if you are a sweet tooth like me. Write me if you are interested in this yarn. [Edited to mention that the yarn is going to Carol in the US. Enjoy the yarn, Carol!]

3) Now, your opinion, por favor: I haven't seen the latest issue of Rebecca in person, but the previews shown at the Rebecca site look good. I'm tempted to get it. How excellent (or not) is the latest issue?

Thank you, Secret Pal!


I received a package from my Secret Pal containing a bunch of different goodies: A tote, a bag for stashing small items, a notepad with the initial "B" (my initial :-)), some blank notecards for my card-making hobby, some knitting bras [hee!], some "bling" for decorating a vase and a squishy toy for the Captain. She included a very nice note and presented everything so beautifully. What a nice package! Thank you very much, Secret Pal!

A nice surprise from my Secret Pal.


I just received a very thoughtful gift from my clever and crafty Secret Pal: A hand-crafted mini album of photos of my little Captain Destructo! She compiled the photos by browsing the ones I've published on my site, printed them out, and placed them in an album she put together herself. She left lots of white space within the album so I could put in my own text and/or captions:


Wow. I am very touched by such a thoughtful gesture! Thank you, Secret Pal :-)

There are multiple pages in this category: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4