Whisper in Calmer...oooh!

Welcome to the Valley of the Looooooong Rows

You wanted something big? I got your big, pally. Go on, click a thumbnail:

fall2005_whisper_back_thumb.jpg summer2005_papavest_back_thumb.jpg fall2005_wrappyjacket_thumb.jpg

That's right! We've kicked into major multi-project mode like a mad, mad knitter Chez Skinny Rabbit. And it's all BIG! BIG and bad! Every knitting session is like a wrestling match with long rows and even longer circular needles. Neely* should have been clever enough to pick up one of these knits every evening:

1) Weighing in at 10 balls of Calmer in shade 474, light khaki, and 95 measly stitches for the back is "Whisper", from Rowan's Calmer Collection. Oh Whisper! How I've been wanting to knit you for the past two years! Why I procrastinated, I do not know. But procrastination is no more and I'm going at the Calmer like a starved knitter. One evening I cast on and flew through the tucks like they were a batch of Grandma's cinnamon cookies. [Cooooooookies!] And don't the tucks at the hem remind you of a melted candle? Yeah, me too.

2) Weighing in at 10 skeins of Phildar Quietude in heathery gray and 120 sts on an Addi circular is a Papa Vest. Yes, a Papa Vest. Remember the vest I started working on while I was on vacation in La Loire? Well, I bet you thought that I had hidden that under the bed and tried to forget about it. Haha! I did not. I worked on it while I was visiting my friend in the country. The seemingly endless rows in 5/2 ribbing make it easy to blab and knit at the same time. A good part of the back piece of the vest was knit while sitting outside and chatting with my friend, while our respective Messieurs Les Hubbies grilled every meal. As my Dad is a barbecue fiend connoisseur himself [five custom-made smokers and grills, anyone?] I'm sure he'll appreciate the barbecue smell that seems to have impregnated itself in this particular piece.

3) And the granddaddy of them all, weighing in at 9 balls of Phildar Auteil and 162 stitches [!] on a Clover bamboo circular, is my "Wrappy Jacket" from Phildar's Fall 2005 pattern book. Knit in one piece from side to side and taking up all the space in my knitting basket, this piece requires multi-tasking or it has the effects of a Seconal. I also worked a few rows on this piece while I was away, and now that I've returned I've been knitting it while reading the latest Harry Potter. [Thanks, Carolyn!] The looooooong rows in stockinette stitch make reading, watching dvds or otherwise watching Captain Destructo race around the playground like he's got a jet pack stuck to his back easy.

Speaking of loooooong rows, and to further prove how serious I am about my stash housecleaning (yes, there's more up), I'm putting to rest a project that I'm sure will remain unfinished. Out with the old and in with the new, and all that jazz. Say your goodbyes to:

R.I.P, Twisty Kimono Sweater

Thanks for the [looooooong] memories.

The twisty kimono sweater that made me weep a thousand tears while watching Seabiscuit. I've been reluctant about putting this project to sleep over the last year, thinking I'd eventually want to complete it, but truth is I probably won't. Yes, yes. I know the final result would have been fab. But the color and endless repetitive cables have the effects of a valium and a fab final result is not enough incentive for me to get past a sleeve. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I've already returned the unused balls of yarn to my local boutique, have kept a few for another project and remain with this woeful lonely sleeve as a souvenir. Woeful and lonely, no more. It will be ripped out and recycled, and maybe made into a long scarf with a more complex cable pattern. Hasta nunca, amigo.

In other news, I'd like to give a big public thank you to my pal Sarah R., she of the witty commentary in my comments box, for thoughtfully sending me a goodie package of treats for the Captain and some knitting magazines for me. The knitting magazines, of course, mean that I've now reorganized my entire fall knitting lineup because I fell in love with several projects in the mags. [Read: stash cleanup will continue.] My knitting pals are serious enablers, let me tell you :-)

*Come on, this is an easy one. Name that movie!

'Cause I eats me spinach...

My boy started school last week and the fun has begun! The other day when I picked him up from school we saw a kid who had squeezed his head between the bars of a gate and - you know where this is leading - couldn't get his head back out without risking his ears. From the look on his face I'm sure he was expecting the firemen to come racing over with sirens flashing to save his head, but that didn't happen. I placed one hand on each bar on either side of his head and, using my foot as leverage, pulled the bars apart just enough for him to squeeze his noggin back out. [Wonder Woman theme song plays in the background.] The mother of one of son's schoolmates, with whom I was walking when we stumbled upon the boy with the stuck head, said, "I can't believe you were able to pull those bars apart!" You bet your spinach I did. Knitting gives you muscles, little lady.

Speaking of which, I've got some knitting right here. Behold some progress on Whisper:

Believe it or not, the color is a very light khaki.

I'm about to hit the armhole shaping. Woo hoo! Looks like I'll have a completed back piece by the end of the week.

But that's not all! Remember that nice little batch of denim-colored All Season's Cotton I recently received in trade? Well, I went off and knit all of it up already. Behold the Mystery Pile of Knits:

Seam us! Seam us!

It's gonna be a cardigan for me. Which cardigan? Well, that's gonna be a surprise. And aren't I simply terrible with all this suspense?

P.S. I'm still reorganizing my monster stash and projects-in-waiting like mad. Up for grabs is a fancy sweater's worth that's been sitting in my stash for quite a while just waiting for me to knit it, but this year is gonna be too busy for me and I'm not going to be able to knit it any time soon. Anyone else want to do it justice? Take a look! The fancy designer yarn has been taken, but I've still got things up in my Major Housecleaning entry, and I'm still putting things up for auction on eBay. Check it out, share in the stash!

P.P.S. NEWSFLASH: I have an extra copy of Marie Claire Idées No. 58 September 2005. In exchange for it I'm asking that the cost of the mag plus shipping be covered, that's all. If you want it, let me know! - The mag has been taken!

The crack known as "Calmer".

Before I even blab about any of my other projects (which are moving along nicely, thanks), I want to show the completed [!] back piece of Whisper, posing on a table and bathing in its own ray of sunlight.

[Psst...Click here for a view of the WHOLE PIECE.]

When I look at the back piece, I think "Oh! How I wish my Whisper were finished already so I could wear it during this crisp weather we're already having. Why did Lyon decide to go straight from summer weather to early winter weather? I do not know. But it is definitely "Whisper cardi paired with trousers and kickin' new boots" weather so I should give Whisper priority. Without rushing through it, of course. Because even though I am eager to wear Whisper, I must savor the knitting of the Calmer. I just love me some Calmer*.

[Quick insertion of pop culture footnote: As I type this I'm listening to Haircut 100's Love Plus One. Remember that song? If so, high five me, bay-bee! We can feel old together.]

In other news, check out this tattoo tee that the fabulous Ei surprised me with. It's got a bejewelled tattoo design on the front, and another one on the right lower back area. It is SO COOL! I already wore it to school with the sleek long-sleeved black shrug that La Chic B-M sent me in August and the next time I wear it I'll pair it with my Fiery Bolero. Olé! (And I love how I get to go to fashion school wearing things sent to me by my stylin' friends.)

*This is the third project I've knit using Calmer, and I don't usually knit several projects in the same yarn unless it's a yarn I really like. And I really, really like Calmer. Like crack, the Calmer is.

Woo hoo! Stash loot!

Yarn looooooooooooooot!
[Runs madly around the room in circles.]

My knitting agenda for spring is quickly filling up, because I got some great stash goods from Germany in the mail [thank you, Rike's Wollmaus]: GGH Bali in red and white, GGH Samoa in black and GGH apart in (surprise!) more black. All that destined for a couple of cute warm-weather tops. I also got the latest Lang Fatto a Mano mag, and there are some cute tanks/sleeveless cardis in there in the style of my teeny camisole. Very nice. [I got the mag in English from Rike's Wollmaus, but there are photos of the projects at Lang Yarns.]

I also received the latest Rowan mag in the mail, and after my husband and I chuckled over the Pirates of the Caribbean-esque styling of the mag (dude with the kohl eyeliner looks like Johnny Depp in his pirate garb), I decided that I've got my heart set on knitting Crinkle along with Miss Claudia. I'm a sucker for lacy cardis lately.

With all this new yarn coming in, I've decided to lay to rest a project that has fizzled out on the back burner: The Whisper Tuck Cardigan I started last summer.

R.I.P., Whisper Tuck Cardigan

Yes, yes. I know it's a gorgeous jacket. Yes, yes. I know some people would love to see it finished. Heck, I'd like to see it finished. But not here, because what intrigued me the most about that jacket were the TUCKS, and after I completed the back piece and got my ration of the TUCKS, my interest for the jacket waned. I can't motivate myself to even start knitting the other pieces, much less finish the jacket, so I say: Adieu, Whisper Tuck Cardigan! Thanks for the memories.