Rowan Butterfly...ooooh!

Big time multi-project mania.

I know I should be wrestling with the enormous blanket that has become my Wrappy Jacket or finishing up the back piece of my Melted Candle Whisper cardigan, but I'm not. I'm acting like a little yarn 'ho and starting another project: The Butterfly camisole using luverly Kid Silk Haze. Take in an eyeful of the frill I started:

And it's got teeny-tiny beads, too.
Click here for a really BIG shot!

I know, I know. Too many projects! But I couldn't resist the call of the KSH. So lovely! So floaty! So wanting me to put it on the needles and cast on, already. And besides, knitting Butterfly means I got to go to La Droguerie, a.k.a. Big Time Craft Heaven, and search out some beads. I love popping into La Droguerie, even if it's just to look at all the pretty ribbons, beads in jars and yarn hanging from the walls like taffy so I can drool over it all like Homer Simpson drooling over a bowl of pork rinds. I love me a good Craft Heaven.

sep_09_2005_magazines_thumb.jpg And that's not all. I'm barely beginning my fall projects and I'm already thinking of things for winter. This morning I received these beautiful pattern books from Rike and Magnus at Rike's Wollmaus. The Lang Yarns book instructions are in French and English [woot!]. The Gedifra is in German only and I don't speak a word of German other than "Danke" and "Ich Liebe Wolle", but some of those designs are so fab I'm thinking of plowing my way through the pattern instructions. Gorgeous stuff. But I promise to continue organizing my monster stash and finish at least one of my fall projects before I even consider starting anything else. For real! Stop looking at me that way. [Hehe.]

sep_09_2005_phildar_thumb.jpg And of course, I must knit something for my Captain Destructo this season. I picked up the latest Pitchoun from Phildar and as always he's chosen the flashiest thing in the book: The multi-colored jacket on the cover. It's cute! It reminds me of a high school letterman jacket. I should start it soon, so I went downtown to my favorite Phildar boutique and picked up the yarn for it. [Any little excuse, I know...such a yarn trollop!] And check this out: While I was there, it started to rain lightly. Just my luck, I had no umbrella. As I looked out at the rain I laughed and told the yarn store owner, "Well! Guess I'll be heading across the street to Tati so I can buy an umbrella." And right then, with two customers waiting in line behind me, she went to the back of the store and brought back a Phildar umbrella with a little wooden handle shaped like a duck's head for me! With a smile she said, "Keep it." And for that gesture of kindness I proudly give her a big SHOUT OUT here: Phildar boutique on rue Grenette in Lyon is my favorite yarn hang out!

I'm now Morning Knitter Rabbit, too.

Hey! Remember when I said that I was getting a dress form to use in fashion school? And how I wished I could take the dress form home with me? Well, yesterday I found out that - hold on to your sewing machines for this one - I will be getting TWO dress forms: One that stays at the school and remains school property, and a brand-new one that I get to take home and keep forever. AHHHHH! I'm getting my own dress form that will be mine, mine, mine! [Runs madly around the room in circles.]

Okay. I'm calmed down now. Let's look at some knitting:

Oh, the KSH...she is so gauzy!
[Click here for a BIG view of the teeny beads on the KSH...oooh!]

Don't tell my other projects, but I've been getting up about 20 minutes earlier than I usually do so I can sneak in a few rows on Butterfly while drinking my morning coffee. Knitting Kid Silk Haze in the morning puts me in a good mood for the day. So floaty! So gauzy! So wanting me to finish it so I can wear it, already. And can you see the tiny little beads I'm knitting into the piece? Oh, how SWANKY!

sep_09_2005_phildar_thumb.jpg And in knitting repair news, I took some scissors to the sleeves of my Pretty Cotton Jacket. After two years of wear, the bobble stitch in lower half of the sleeves grew to the ridiculous length of down to my fingertips. I looked like a little girl wearing her mommy's knits! Thankfully, the first few rows of the sleeves were worked in stockinette stitch, and then continued in the bobble stitch pattern. So I placed markers to indicate how much I wanted to rip out and where, and then I cut the edge stitch of the last row worked in stockinette stitch row before the bobble stitch and ripped out that row in its entirety. (The cast-on row and all the rows worked in stockinette stitch were removed as a result.) I then ripped out rows in bobble stitch until the sleeve reached the length I wanted, put the live stitches back on the needle, and worked the few rows of stockinette stitch from the top down using the same yarn I had just ripped out. I then bound off loosely and VOILA! My sleeves were at the proper jacket length I prefer: Between my knuckles and my wrist, as shown here. (And I wore the Pretty Cotton Jacket to school today, by the way.)

This is, like, a very blabby post.

( the links and thumbnails or you'll miss the visuals.)

So! This is how my Wrappy Jacket looked for the past two weeks:

Photo entitled: "This is what happens when Rabbit decides to go back to school."
(To be viewed while listening to lyrics of song "I'm so lonely" sung in a funny helium voice.)

All blocked and nowhere to go but in a waiting pile of lonely non-seamed knitted pieces. For two long weeks Wrappy Jacket remained untouched! However, I'm happy to announce that this past weekend was spent finishing Wrappy Jacket, and she's ready for a debut this week (hopefully tomorrow, which is a holiday) so photos will be forthcoming. But before I can even think about showing you a finished knitted object, I must bring you up to date on activities the past two weeks:

School. I had three school assignments due over the past two weeks, which is why Wrappy Jacket remained so neglected. One of those assignments was in pattern drafting (construction of skirt from start to finish, with accompanying visuals and documentation), and this is how my apartment looked for a good part of that time. I felt like a one woman sewing sweatshop! Thankfully, the project has been turned in and Skinny Rabbit Sewing Sweatshop is hoping for a satisfactory grade.

[Footnote: The observant may notice an addition to the Skinny Rabbit Sewing Sweatshop. That's right; it's my new SERGER. I call him "Boxy", and oh how I love him.]

Captain Destructo. To add to the busy-ness of the past two weeks, my boy decided that it was high time he got the chicken pox. Boy stays home all last week and binges on A Bug's Life on DVD and games of "Go Fish" while my husband and I manage to perform juggling of schedules and "I'll take the morning off while you take the afternoon off" negotiations. Boy gets to wear staining red medication that he happily says makes him "look like a clown". Today, after almost 10 days of recovery, he's more than well enough to go trick-or-treating and I don't think he'll need a costume thanks to red medication.

Knitting. Shockingly, I managed to get knitting done even though seaming on the Wrappy Jacket took a back seat. I nabbed some rows here and there on a few projects currently in the making so it's basically, like, total multi-project mania, dude. Really, it is.

Go on, click a thumbnail:

fall2005_butterfly_back_finished_thumb.jpg fall2005_letterman_back_thumb.jpg summer2005_papavest_front_thumb.jpg

1) Butterfly camisole. Oh la laaaa...the Kid Silk Haze, she's like an early morning drug. I still get up 20 minutes earlier so I can knit a few rows on Butterfly while drinking my morning coffee and trying to clear my bedhead. Early morning knitting on Butterfly works, as I've completed the back piece and have started the front piece. The end of November will not come without my wearing a finished Butterfly, let me tell you.

2) Captain Destructo's "Letterman Jacket" from Pitchoun Hiver '05. How could I let fall go by without knitting this cute jacket for my boy? I have a free hour every Monday at school and this is the project I'll work on during that time. The hem and sleeve cuffs have striped ribbing that is worked on size 3.5mm needles, and the rest is worked in another yarn using size 6mm needles. It's a pretty fast knit thanks to those size 6 needles. Last Monday I started the back piece and finished the ribbing at the hem. The project remained untouched for the rest of the week, and last night I knit through most of the back piece while watching Star Wars (the very first one, with Carrie Fisher and her side buns hairdo) on DVD. (P.S. The first time I watched it: When it came out in theaters way back when. Hello! My age is showing again.)

3) The Gigantic Knit Otherwise Known as Papa Vest. Bet you thought I had given up on those seemingly miles of ribbing on my dad's vest, didn't you? Haha! I didn't. I started the front piece (back piece is completed, remember?) and in this very photo I'm just 30 rows shy of the armhole shaping. Looks like my dad is going to be wearing a handknit ribbed vest this winter. Who loves ya, dad?

But wait, there's even more: A big thank you to my friends Nancy and Mrs. Pilkington for keeping me in happy snail mail. On Saturday I received packages from both of them, and that made my weekend! Nancy thoughtfully sent some Noro goodies, a vintage "how to knit" book (I *love* that kind of stuff) and some Halloween treats for the Captain. [See it all here.] Mrs. Pilkington, who always knows just what I need, sent me some gorgeous fabric, some hard-to-get-here candies, a 70s sewing pattern for a sewn telephone and trucks, and a 70s book entitled Creating Body Coverings that is literally FULL of wacky ideas I can use in my projects at school. [See it all here.] Wow! I'm very touched and want to give a big public "thank you" for their thoughtfulness and generosity!

Woo hoo!

Look where I am with my Butterfly camisole:

[P.S. Don't forget it's got beads. Wanna see the beads?]

I'm on my way to a completed front for my Butterfly camisole. Oh, yeah! And look what I finished up after my English [!] test* today:

[Oh, but there's more. Click to see it!]

It's the completed right front piece of my son's Letterman Jacket. Once you get past that ribbing on 3.5mm needles and change to size 6mm needles for knitting the stockinette stitch in the main yarn, the piece practically flies off the needles. ZOOOOOOM! Frankly, I love knitting on small needles but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't get a decadent little knitter's rush when I hit that armhole shaping so quickly thanks to those 6mms. So go right ahead and give me a big knit every once in a while, skippy.

*I love that I have to take English as a course. Gee...I sure hope that I passed the test I had today. [Har, har.]

Before I head off, it's a meme! (I don't usually post memes, but Whispering Pine asked and it's a knitter's meme):

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?

Right now, KSH. But I'm so fickle I'll probably have a new favorite next month.

Your favorite needles?
Addis and Clover bamboo. Circulars, bay-bee!

The worst thing you've ever knit?

Frankly, I can't think of one. I currently like everything I've knit and if there has been a project I didn't like I usually ripped it out before it was even finished. I always frog things I am not enjoying or that are not coming along because I am a proud member of the Rip Out The Crappy Knits Club.

Your most favorite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit)

Up to now, the Flowery Cardigan and matching culotte I knit for my niece. Working that flower intarsia was waaaaaaaaay fun.

Most valuable knitting technique?

Tubular cast-on. Mattress stitch. Free-loop backstitch on the right side of the work.

Best knit book or magazine?

Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook.

Your favorite knit-a-long?

I rarely join knitalongs and I'm gonna be partial: My Bucket Hat Knitalong. Fab design by a fab designer and everyone who joined knit great hats and shared some excellent pictures.

Your favorite knitblogs?

The blogs you see me commenting on frequently/those by my friends are my absolute faves. Even at my busiest I'll stop by and see what they're up to. (I also tend to visit blogs by knitters who regularly comment on my own blog and I enjoy reading them, too.)

Your favorite knitwear designer?

The entire Phildar design team, Kim Hargreaves and Bonne Marie Burns.

The knit item you wear the most?

My Elfin, my Bobbly Cotton Jacket, my Debbie Bliss Fiery Bolero and my Hagrid Beard scarf.

And that is all for today as dinner is a-calling!

Why, I do believe it's my birthday today.

Happy Birthday to me!*

And look who got a Bratz cake (pre-candles) for her birthday.
(Isn't it fab? I lurve it.)

Now, on to knitting! Even though my work table currently looks like a fabric store exploded on it thanks to another school project due next week, I found the time to complete the front piece of my Butterfly camisole:

Send a kir royal, stat.

Both back and front pieces are ready for seaming! Unfortunately, I've been too busy to sit down and dedicate the time required to seam the floatiness of Kid Silk Haze. And, well, I'm just plain lazy about seaming. Soon, soon. All I need is a few free hours, a couple of kirs and a really good DVD, like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Unless, of course, someone wants to send over a little elf to come over and do the seaming for me. Anyone? Bueller?

There's something else I want to show you. Even though I haven't seamed my Butterfly, I figured that having two completed pieces is equal to an almost finished project so I get to start something new. Here is my most recently begun project:

I know, I know. I'm all about the brown yarn lately.

What is it? It's a fuzzy something for me, otherwise known as The Mystery Project for Winter, which means that you'll know for sure what it is when I've finished with it. And aren't I just awful with all this suspense?

In other non-knitting news:

1) Remember my first skirt project? At the risk of sounding like I'm bragging (oh, what the heck...I am bragging), I received the highest grade in the year for it. Woooooooot! (The skirts are kept on display at school for a while. As soon as I get mine back I'll share a photo of it.)

2) Speaking of school, I started a knitting club over there because I'm such a whack knitter, yo. Almost thirty members to start with. Can I get another "Wooooooot!"?

3) Switching reels back to my "berfday", I'd like to give a BIG THANK YOU to my thoughtful friend Miss HEJ for sending me a birthday present (which I just picked up at the post office yesterday): Seven lovely skeins of Jo Sharp Kid Mohair in a pearly gray. Gorgeous! And I also received a beautiful pair of hand-knit socks from dear sweet Emma, who spoils me with the lovely socks she knits for me. (I'm the proud owner of four pair, and now that the weather is so cool I am able to wear all the socks Emma has knit for me. Just the other day, as I was sitting in class, the cuffs of my hand-knit socks were peeking out of my ankle boots and someone complimented me on them. I felt very spoiled when I said that a friend in England knit them for me!)

*P.S. Thirty-*cougheightcough* years old and I've yet to get a gray hair. Hair's still natural, bay-bee! Think it's all the stash enhancing I like to do on a regular basis? I think so.

A few knitting things I plan on doing this Sunday:

1) Get off slothful when-it-comes-to-finishing bee-hind and start (I said start...key word, that) seaming my Butterfly camisole, already. Really! I ain't lying. Look:

Look, Ma! I'm grafting! (Again!)

Fun, fun, fun. Har! Grafting Kid Silk Haze makes me want to drink a margarita. Two, maybe. Lampshade on head optional.

2) Finish knitting the second sleeve of my son's Letterman Jacket:

Ze sleeve, it is not alone.
Look at ze first sleeve I knit already. C'est chouette, no?

Yep. Second sleeve. This is the SECOND sleeve because I already finished knitting the first sleeve during free moments nabbed at random times while at school. Look, just look at them both! And I admit that I'm happy that they're in contrast colors because it made knitting one sleeve after the other so easy. No procrastination, bay-bee! I love how the Captain chooses flashy knits.

3) Start blocking the front piece of the Papa Vest. That's right, friends. Your eyes do not deceive you. I finished knitting the seemingly miles-long front piece of my dad's vest! Here it is posing with the completed back piece:

[Click here to see the front piece on living mannequin. Hee hee!]

[Monsieur Le Hubby consented to acting like a mannequin by modeling the front piece for me even though he's about 40 pounds shy of being able to wear it. Dad used to be a weightlifter and is built like a rugby player. Good thing I knit the vest in stretchy ribbing, eh?]

Steam-blocking of both the back and front pieces began today. And you know what this means, don't you? There's another completed knitting project on the horizon. Woot!

I don't know about you, but I feel like celebrating with the current knitting productivity happening at Casa Skinny Rabbit. Go on, have another margarita. Dancing on table optional.

You want your Butterfly? I got your Butterfly, pally.

A Fall Butterfly over see-through shirt*:

This is the silly posing-like-Rowan-model shot.
[I got other SHOW-OFF POSES, too. Go!]

*This is how I wear Butterfly in cold weather.
Come spring, I'll be tank-toppin' it!

Details, details: Butterfly camisole from Rowan 37 using Kid Silk Haze in "Majestic" and a whole lotta teeny beads bought at La Droguerie [La Droguerie....oh la laaaaaaaa!]. I knit the XS size, but modified in two ways: I added one extra edge stitch at both ends and knit those stitches in stockinette stitch throughout. I also lengthened the camisole a tiny bit by adding a few rows at the hem because I wanted a tunic-style camisole that I could wear long. (I didn't knit the dress version, even though I was tempted to at first, because the dress length would stumpify my legs unless I wear heels, and as I'm not one of Charlie's Angels I don't wear high heels all the time. A tunic-length is doable for my 5'4" height, though. Let's make Butterfly wearable**, bay-bee!)

And here's the stand-still-like-a-mannequin shot.
[Click here to see a BIG shot of the neck.]

I followed Rowan's directions for finishing by using mattress stitch for the side seams and grafting for the lace hem. I knit the straps at the length called for in the pattern but I pulled on the straps when I measured them so that they wouldn't come out too long. I didn't block Butterfly's pieces before seaming, but after Butterfly was completed I covered the whole thing with a damp lightweight cloth [baby cloth diapers (never used OF COURSE) work wonders] and gave it a quick steaming to make it look crisp. I didn't pin down or anything, though. Then I wore Butterfly to school to show it off, and I got slight case of Big Head when I received beaucoup de compliments on it. This is a cool thing to wear!

Now, how about a few gratuitous dancing shots?

**A big SHOUT-OUT to the fabulous and talented Ms. Ei, who knit a Butterfly that made me truly covet one, and who made it wearable anywhere by cleverly pairing hers with sleek jeans. [Fact: When I first saw it in the magazine, I didn't even blink an eye at it. It wasn't until I saw Eilene in her Butterfly that I thought, "WOW! I want to knit that!"] Many thanks to Eilene for the inspiration!