Frogs and crepes.

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She likes me so nice, she knit me thrice!


Oh, string-like cotton yarn! How I adore thee! You create such a glossy, crisp fabric. But that also means that every imperfection, every loose stitch, every too tight row is magnified in my eyes because you show it off so well. So in return I rip you out. Not once, not twice, but three times. Thank you, ever so much.

Rip Out Episode 1: Clearly brought on as a result of too much coffee, because it took place after I had already BINDED OFF and pulled the piece clear off the needles. I spread out the piece, looked at it, and decided that I didn't like that approx 20 rows down, there were two knit rows that looked too tight. Unfortunately, no fiddling with the stitches helped. Rip it, rip it good!

Rip Out Episode 2: I had gotten midway up the armhole shaping when I realized that oops! Forgot to do a chain selvedge like I had done the first time around. (The armholes are free edges, so I had done a chain selvedge by slipping the first and last stitches of all right side rows, and purling the first and last stitches of all wrong side rows.) Rip it, rip it good!

Rip Out Episode 3: After I did the first few decreases of the armhole shaping I decided that I wanted to pair ssk with k2 together instead of s1, k1, psso with k2 together. Yep. Just like that. Switched reels even though I had done it differently the first two times. It was only a few rows so I ripped it, ripped it good.

Now I've finished the front piece and I'm very happy with it. I would have started the back piece yesterday, but I was too busy stuffing my face with all the crepes that my husband made. I like to eat mine with butter and granulated sugar, but my son, a.k.a. Captain Destructo, likes to make a mess by eating his with Nutella. He's just turned 3 years old and he already knows how to slap Nutella on his crepes, fold them in half, and then again in quarters. Such a continental little chap! And here are a few pictures for you. (Please note how my dog Lucy - otherwise known as Sweet Tooth Dog - sits by the Captain in the hopes that he'll drop a crumb or two.)

Weekend Knitting.

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Car knitting early Saturday afternoon.


This weekend we drove outside Lyon to visit an aunt and uncle*, and I took the opportunity to do some car knitting. Fiber Trend's "Berry Cute Hat" [thanks, Patricia!], Cotton Fleece and Arabella Zodiac. By the time we got there, I was nearly finished with the green band and border. My husband, the kid and the uncle went for a walk while I "took tea" with the aunt (oh, how fancy!), so I was able to pull out my knitting and work on the berry portion. Voilą what I had as of yesterday morning:


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Can I sing the praises of Cotton Fleece? Damn, that's a great yarn. Makes for fun and fast knitting. I think I'll knit a pumpkin hat, too.

*I love this aunt and uncle. They're Spanish-French, so it gives them a kick when I sprinkle my French with words in Spanish. Plus, the aunt knows how to make Spanish white wine cookies and orange cakes. Whenever she knows I'm coming to visit, she'll make some especially for me and I end up shoveling about 50 cookies into my mouth and polishing off half a cake myself. Gluttony at its finest!

And speaking of cookies but totally offing on a tangent, my son and I spent another weekend afternoon making chocolate chip cookies. The mixer we use is one that my mother-in-law sent us. It's a retro mixer! My husband used this same mixer when he was a kid to bake things because it's lightweight. [Awwwwwwwwwww.] The cookies were very good, but they didn't come out like American chocolate chip cookies, which is what I was aiming for. They came out more like tuiles, probably because of the ingredient substitutions.

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And for the foodies out there, here are some gratuitous shots of my Captain Destructo making chocolate chip cookies, French-style.

Salsa will get those needles clicking.

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I just love that wee sparkle.
[Expand this shot: Look at me, look at me now!]


Energized by some salsa mexicana*, corn tortilla chips, spicy olives and just a tiny glass of tequila last weekend, I got my needles clicking and completed the back piece of my fluffy Kid Mohair cardigan. It's so easy and straightforward; the only thing I did differently was (as always) short-row the shoulders and leave the shoulder stitches live for three-needle bind-off seaming later on.

Now all I've got to do is knit the two front pieces which I think will be fun because, thanks to the deep neckline, they've got neck shaping that starts only a few cms after the ribbing at the hem. I always get a kick from watching my rows get shorter and shorter as I decrease for neck shaping. Like I said before, I am easily amused.

Stash enhancement from abroad!

Sally from Knitting by the Bay in New Zealand [!] had some Noro Lily yarn in a gorgeous PINK sent over as a surprise. Oh Lily Yarn! How luxurious you are! There are six skeins and I'm swatching now to see what possible projects could use this yarn. I'm really into cardis right now, so maybe a cardi? One cannot have too many cardis.

I also received my first subscription issue of Interweave Knits, thanks to Miss Jenny from High Energy Knits. I immediately became intrigued with this delicate vintage cardigan with its fabulous front band edging and the wraparound cardigan with the mile-long sash on the cover.

*Now, it's time for: SALSA MEXICANA!


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(Come on. You didn't think I'd close this entry without sharing my own original recipe for salsa mexicana [or salsa botanera] straight from Me-ji-co, did you? After all, it's what gets my knitting needles clicking during some free weekend afternoons.)

RECIPE FOR SALSA MEXICANA!

Ingredients:
3 or 4 fresh round tomatos.
2 to 5 chiles serranos, or small green chile peppers.
1 white onion.
Fresh cilantro.
1 tsp sunflower or corn oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Recommendation: Don't substitute any of this unless you want to change the taste of the salsa. 1 tsp of sunflower or corn oil doesn't hurt, and use dried cilantro only if you can't get it fresh.

How to:
Peel tomatos. Here's how I do it: Put water to boil in a saucepan. When it boils, turn off heat. Add tomatos and leave them there for about 3 minutes. Remove tomatos. Let cool for a couple of seconds. Peel off skin. (If they haven't started to peel when taken out of the water, just poke with the tip of a knife and start peeling.) Chop tomatos. (This extra step is worth it. Don't use canned tomatos!)

Finely chop onion.

Rinse cilantro in cold water. Shake off excess water and gently pat dry with paper towel. Finely chop.

Wash peppers and dry carefully. In a small frying pan over medium heat, roast peppers for a few minutes. You can add a wee bit of vegetable oil if you want. (Crack open windows if you find yourself coughing from the smell of peppers roasting. Hehe.) Once roasted, chop peppers.

Note about peppers: I usually use about 4 to 5 chiles serranos, even more if I'm going to serve the salsa to family members who are used to eating spicy food, and I chop them finely. If you're not used to eating spicy, reduce to 1 or 2 peppers (don't chop too finely) and pop a TUMS the next day.

Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste, and one tsp of vegetable oil.

Serve as botana, or aperitif, with unsalted corn tortilla chips. All that vitamin A will get your needles clicking. Arriba!

Of knitting, mannequins and lazy cooking for Sunday dinner.

Hey! Guess who's finally getting some neck shaping?



Is this the beginning of a scoop neck I see before me?
(Just don't say the word "sleeves", okay? 'Cause I still gotta do those.)



My Holey Sweater! Now remember, this is a scoop neck. A really low scoop neck [shex-aaaay!], so armhole shaping is done at the same time as neck shaping. Of course, I decided to do both the left side and right side at the same time...you know, remaining in pattern and all. We're talking the knitting equivalent of rubbing your belly, patting your head and moving your feet at the same time. But that's not all: I had an afternoon cocktail consisting of two white wine kirs while shaping the neck AND armholes AND working the pattern, which only added to the fun. We like the fun knitting chez Skinny Rabbit.

In other news, I'd like to share that I've decided on a name for my mannequin! It was a hard choice, let me tell you. I narrowed my favorites down to five, and asked my design student friends at school to vote on them. The one that won it by a landslide vote was [drummer boy plays in background]:

GIGI!


...suggested by Jennifer. The name instantly reminded me of "Gigi", the novel by Colette, which I am going to re-read for the heck of it. Thanks to Jennifer for the name, and to everyone who participated in my Name that Mannequin Game. All the names were fabulous!

march_ovenomelette.jpg In thanks, I give you a recipe that I made up for Sunday dinner which, by luck and laziness, came out tasting so darn good my boy asked for seconds even though he hates eggs. I call it "Rabbit's Oven Omelette...Yummy!", alternatively titled "it's Sunday night and I don't feel like cooking because I'd rather be knitting, so let's throw something together quick-like while trying to cover all basic food groups, shall we?" Keep reading for the recipe!

Rabbit's Oven Omelette for Sunday Dinner...Yummy!

Enough for 2 adults and one child.
Ingredients (or, what I had in the fridge):

One bag of fresh baby spinach.
Diced ham.
About five little rounds of fresh goat's milk cheese.
5 or 6 eggs.
About two tablespoons of flour.
One 20cl brique (small carton) of "fluid cream" (I use this for making quiche lorraine; ditto with the diced ham).
Herbs, salt, pepper.

(These are things readily found in French supermarkets. I wouldn't know if the same things as they are sold over here can be found elsewhere so hey! Get creative if need be.)

Set oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cook spinach, if you want. (I steamed it for five minutes.) Stir all ingredients together with the exception of goat's cheese. Add herbs, like Marjolaine (don't know name in English, sorry), and salt and pepper. Grease shallow pan using olive oil. Pour ingredients in pan. Crumble goat's cheese on top. Put in oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with bread, and maybe salad. Why not have chocolate ice cream for dessert, like we did?

Enjoy! :-)

[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.