Fluffy jacket with fringy

Is this a new project I see before me?

Aaaah! I bought new yarn!

photo copyright skinnyrabbit.com
Fluffy yarn. Oh la laaa!
And wouldn't you know?
I started knitting it in the car!

So I can make this amazing fluffy, fringed wonder. And in an adrenalized rush brought on by my recent project finishing, I already started it! In the car. On Sunday. En route to Vienne (the one outside Lyon, not in Austria) for a day with Aunt Josephine and some chicken and dumplings in a deeeeeeelicious tomato sauce. I cast on for the back piece as soon as I settled myself in the car, and by the time we got there I had reached the waist shaping. (And NO, I wasn't driving.) But I did take the time to snap a few snapshots for ya! [BONUS: Everybody was wearing something I knit. Can you identify the projects?]

Oh, but that's not all. I spent yesterday evening's knitting time finishing up the back piece while reading The Da Vinci Code, and immediately cast on for the right front piece. Oh fluffy Brumes on 6mm needles, how I love thee!

P.S. I know, I know. I need to fringe my Pull Poncho and show finished pictures of it, already. But knitting straight stockinette stitch means I get to read at the same time, and The Da Vinci Code is a real page-turner.

Go, go Speed Racer...

Why, it's a completed front piece!

(Buttonhole is right under the stitch marker.)
[Click here to view the whole enchilada.]

I'm really rolling along with my Fluffy Fringed Wonder! This project is very easy to knit. I've completed the back piece and both front pieces, and went into the yarn store yesterday to pick up the buttons I had ordered. [Footnote: I didn't buy anything else while I was there. I just browsed some pattern books, drooled over a few yarns and chatted with the shop owner. But no yarn! I felt almost guilty leaving with just four measly buttons.]

Despite how quickly this project is progressing, I'm enjoying knitting it. It's cleverly designed. There's very little neckline shaping required because the designer has used the curling nature of the yarn as a means to create part of the neckband. See where the stitch markers are placed at the right edge? That's where the piece curls itself outward, forming the lower part of the neckband. Talk about using acrylic content to its best advantage. Neat-o.

Incidentally, I worked horizontal buttonholes for this jacket. I had first tried knitting a buttonhole using the yarn over method but it left a gaping hole that didn't look like it would wear well. The horizontal buttonhole (Nancie Wiseman's version as shown in Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques) looks neater for this kind of yarn.

P.S. I know, I know. My Pull Poncho awaits. But I figured I'd better show where I am on my Fluffy Fringed Wonder because I finish an entire piece in a single evening's knitting time. (It's The Da Vinci Code, I tell you. I can't put the book down, so I'm knitting feverishly while reading. I'm almost sorry that I'm reaching the end of the book.)

Another seaming party on the horizon.

Why, it's a fluffy jacket in a pile!

Look at all the pieces I have to block and seam.
Don't you feel just awful for me?

My fluffy jacket has been in this pile for a week, and I finally decided to get off of my procrastinating bee-hind and start blocking it all, already. This yarn is a big time curler so I'm steam-blocking the dickens out of the pieces - especially the sleeve cuffs which curl insanely upwards - and then placing them [get ready for this] between the mattress and box spring of my bed in order to kill the last of the curl. Yeah. That'll show it.

I'd like to get seaming sometime this weekend but in the meantime, I'll show you one of the sleeve cuffs (pre-blocking) because they are so simple yet clever that failing to show a progress photo of one would be mean of me:

I love how the cuffs are split in the style of jacket cuffs.
P.S. See the edge rolling up? I told you this yarn was a curler.

Next up: Knit the pockets and then hunt down thread or yarn for seaming. (There is no way I'm going to seam using this yarn. It's too bumpy and tugging it through edge stitches for seaming would be torturous.) And after seaming we still have all that mad, mad fringe to attach. Send a crochet hook and a kir, stat.

On another note, I cannot believe that we are already at the end of November! The yearly Fête des Lumières in Lyon starts in a week and I want to make some armwarmers or fingerless gloves to wear for extra warmth when I visit the outdoor light shows at night. I've never knit anything like that for myself before, but last week while eating at a restaurant near the Presqu'île I saw a young woman at another table wearing fingerless ribbed mitts/armwarmers that went past her elbow in the style of opera gloves. She was wearing them over a long-sleeved blouse in a matching color. Of course, I immediately wanted to knit a pair for myself. To the needles, Plassard Merinos!


Look! Fluffy Jacket Progress:

It's, like, TOTAL fringe-itude, dude.
(What can I say? I got younger brothers.)

I bet you thought I'd gone off and forgotten about my Fluffy Jacket, didn't you? Well, ha ha! I didn't. I seamed the monster (using very strong machine sewing thread; I'd be really whack to seam using the yarn itself), and early this morning decided to start fringing. And you know what? I'm still fringing. I cloistered myself in the apartment and fringed all morning. Why so much fringe? Well, let me highlight a small portion of Phildar's finishing instructions: Fringe is to be added at the hem, the sleeve cuffs, the collar, and the edges of the front pieces in EVERY stitch or EVERY row. [Insert music from shower scene in Psycho.] Every stitch or every row, depending on where the fringe is being placed. That means that I'm probably going to be fringing all day. I expect to see my husband walk in around seven-ish to find the house in complete disarray with Captain Destructo bouncing off the walls and me sitting on the couch still putting on that mad, mad fringe. Hair a mess, eyeballs all bloodshot, bits of fringe fluff flying around...

But it'll be worth it. The jacket definitely needs that fringe to jazz it up. After I seamed the jacket I tried it on as is, and it's very "blah" without the trim. So fringe, I must. Anybody want to come over and walk the dog for me?

In other knitting news, I've got some great stash additions to share, all thanks to my thoughtful online knitting buds. Go on, click a thumbnail:

1) A surprise package from Marie in Wales containing some Colinette Mohair and Colinette Giotto! [Click to see.] I think I'll add the Colinette Mohair to the shawl I've been wanting to knit from last year's holiday edition of Vogue, and the Giotto...hm...maybe rectangular stole in a simple stitch pattern.

2) Another surprise package from everybody's favorite Mason-Dixon ladies, Ann and Kay! [Click to see.] This one contained some books I've been wanting for a while now: Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and Everyday Fashions of the Fifties as Pictured in Sears Catalogs. Of all the pattern books I have, Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns is among my favorites so I was very eager to get her second book of patterns. And it's no secret that I love looking at all sorts of vintage images, especially ads, patterns and catalogs of fashions, so Everyday Fashions of the Fifties is a much welcomed addition to my books collection.

3) Yet another surprise package from Wendy, containing some yarn that she spun herself! [Click to see.] I'm always impressed by people who are able to spin their own yarn (something I don't know how to do), so receiving beautiful handspun yarn from a fellow knitter is like a treasure to me. [P.S. to Wendy: While walking around downtown I saw a guy selling balloons in front of the Printemps store. Guess who was at the top of the pile of balloons?]

4) A package I received in trade from Froggy, containing Rowan Felted Tweed in "Crush", Rowan Kid Silk Haze in "Heavenly", a sheep tape measure and some cute knitter's cards! [Click to see.] I've got this fab Rowan yarn slotted for a couple of things from Vintage Style, and I really want to start knitting one of them this winter. (It's amazing how a box of yarn can make one totally rethink one's winter project lineup, let me tell you.) Don't let me until I finish fringing my fluffy jacket, alright?

In a word: WOW. Thanks so much to my online knitting buds for bringing in such holiday cheer! [Passes spiked eggnog all around.]


Why, it's a finished Fluffy [Christmas] Jacket!

This is the stand-still-like-a-mannequin shot.
[Click here for the gratuitous "jacket bathing in sunlight" shot.]
[Psst...wanna see a BIG closeup of the sleeve cuff?]

You didn't think I'd let the year come to a close without showing you my finished Fluffy Jacket, did you? I don't think so! The jacket has been finished and fringed for [gasp!] nearly two weeks, but I didn't get a chance to debut it until Christmas Day, when I wore it for dinner with family in Vienne. We got some early afternoon sun and I decided to take advantage of the decent lighting to take some photos for you. And you bet I've got some Christmas whack rabbit dance shots, too:


I am really happy with this jacket! The love didn't come until it was completely fringed and finished, though. I had tried on the jacket - sans fringe and pockets - after sewing the pieces together and was disappointed at how "blah" it looked. But once those details are added the jacket instantly becomes The Amazing Fringed Wonder, a.k.a. Party Time Jacket. And that's why I wore it (with dangly necklace and dark brown pants) to Aunt Josephine's house for Christmas Day dinner, where it received lots of nice compliments. I didn't get a chance to take an action shot of the jacket because I was too busy stuffing my face with foie gras, salmon, shrimp, turkey, veggies and dessert, but I did take a holiday shot for you on the way back home:

(The lights on Rue Edouard Herriot, in the first arrondissement.)
Happy holidays, everyone!

Project details: Design 11 from Phildar's Tendances Hiver 04/05, using Phildar Brumes and Steppe. I made the jacket in the smallest size 34/36, and didn't make any modifications to the pattern other than elongating the fringe a bit. (What can I say? I love me some fringe.) The pieces themselves take very little time to knit, but I wouldn't say it's a quick knit as time needs to be invested for fringing and sewing on the pockets.

[Additional footnotes re my finishing: I worked horizontal buttonholes as described in Nancie Wiseman's Book of Finishing Techniques because vertical buttonholes worked using this yarn look like gaping cave entrances. Additionally, I embroidered the buttonholes using blanket stitch as described in the inimitable Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook.]