Mom! She's knitting in the car again!

You bet your size 7mm's I am. On our way to Vienne to visit Aunt Josephine where one can eat the most delicious duck cooked with apples, gratin, salad, cheeses, wine [oh! the wine!], flan, honey it dinnertime already? I'm getting hungry just remembering it.

Of course, I had knitting on my lap.
Viva Car Knitting, bay-bee!

And it's a New Knit! A Mystery Knit! Ready for next spring, maybe end of this winter...I'm not sure yet. Ideally, I'd like to consider it a winter knit but considering how my schoolwork has been cutting into my knitting time I think it's safer to say that this Mystery Knit will be wearable next fall. (Or for nippy spring days...please, weather people! Send a couple of nippy but sunny days my way for spring. Just so I can wear some of my knits.) Anyway, here's the latest Mystery Knit, started in the car while driving in Vienne:

I know, I know. MORE BROWN.
I bet you're dying to throw some colorful paint on all these neutrals I'm knitting.
But I just love me the neutrals. Gimme neutrals!

A few clues on the Mystery Knit: Rowan Cork (traded with my dear friend Heather of, big needles, and....well, that's about it. But it's an easy one to guess. Come on! Anyone? Bueller? And aren't I just terrible with this knitting suspense?

Okay, I admit it.

I've been working on something else this week! Secret knitting, like a sneaky rabbit. Remember, back in April, when I mentioned that I had started a new Mystery Knit? Some of my particularly observant readers [coughMaudinFinlandcough] probably thought that I forgot about it or just plain got tired of it. Well, haha! I didn't.

This may or may not be the wrong side of the work.
The fact that I mentioned this at all may indicate that
this is, indeed, the wrong side of the work.
Then again, maybe it isn't.
[Tee hee!]

Rowan Cork. Size 7mm needles. I am knitting this from a pattern. And to give another clue, what I'm knitting was guessed correctly in the comments of this entry. (You all are good!) If you're still unsure, I expect to have this done in September so you won't be held in suspense for too long. And if I don't finish it by then, I will not allow myself to buy new yarn for a whole year.

Okay, I'm kidding about that last part.

While we're on the subject of guessing games, I had fun reading the comments guessing who sang Just Can't Get Enough in my previous entry. It is Depeche Mode! It originally came out in 1981 and is the first song that Depeche Mode featured in a music video. I say that we all put on this song right now, and have a 3 minute dance party like the one that Jodi mentioned. Hold up your knitting while you dance and sing, "Just can't get enough...I just can't get enough..."

Chocolate truffles, anyone?

Last time I was in here, I was whining about the too-short zipper of Captain Destructo's Linen Jacket. Solution: I ordered a 40 cm zipper from my local Phildar boutique (I love how I can just call the owner on the phone and let her know what I want), and when it comes in next week I'll be exchanging the 35 cm one for it. I'll have to reknit the buttonbands so they suit the new length, but hey! At least the Linen Jacket will have a fancy zipper that'll look good. [Does happy dance.]

So. That's taken care of. Now let me tell you about something else that happened, and it ain't pretty. Yesterday, during my evening knitting session, I was happily finishing up the front piece of my Mystery Project (back piece is already done), and when it came time to join a new skein of yarn I discovered that I had NO MORE CORK. No more in the basket. No more in the stash closet. No more in the stash hidden under the bed. Curses flew about like a party of sailors as I yanked all my ziplocs out of my stash, thinking that I had at least one more skein hidden in there, somewhere, ANYWHERE. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Only good thing about this is that I found four stitch holders I thought I had lost two years ago, a bag of Plassard Merinos I forgot that I had, and an extra pair of 10mm Addi circulars. But...No. Freaking. Cork. Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! [Pigeons in the nearby park fly away, frightened, as my frustrated scream echos off the Alps.]

So...anybody out there got a skein of Cork lying around in the colorway Mouse?

Didn't think so.

Chill. There is a solution. After careful analysis of the Mystery Project, I discovered that my row gauge is almost 3 rows smaller than that called for in the pattern, but I knit to the lengths required. Which means that I used a more yarn than I should have. I did swatch, but my tension must have changed (and boy, did it) while I knit the project. Still, I'm not going to hide this in a closet and hope that a ball of Cork falls miraculously out of the sky. I'm going to RIP THIS OUT - yes, the whole thing - and REKNIT using a larger needle so that my row gauge matches up to the pattern. Good thing these needles are big, eh?

In the meantime, I drown my sorrows in my Faithful Tension Doesn't Change CeCe Cardi knit in Calmer.

Oh, Calmer! How I love thy mah-velous luxuriousness!

I think that Rowan should rename this color of Calmer "chocolate truffle" instead of "coffee bean". I mean, I have nothing against a good cup of java, but if you placed a coffee bean and a chocolate truffle before me and told me to pick one, my hand would be snapping at that chocolate truffle faster than you can say, "sugar rush". I look at this cardi as I'm knitting it and I think CHOCOLATE. Really, that's how it flashes in my mind, like a neon sign and all in caps. And after my faulty zipper and yarn shortage woes, I think I deserve a chocolate truffle even if it's disguised in the form of Calmer and a cute little CeCe cardi.

And speaking of the CeCe cardi, I worked two more inches since the photo above, worked the buttonhole* and just started the neck shaping. [Runs around the room waving arms triumphantly, like Rocky.]

*This is the buttonhole I used, thanks to Miss B-M of ChicKnits for passing on that link to me.

That's all for today. Before I go, I leave you with the Fabulous Corset Image in Popup Window of the day. Just for the heck of it.

Where's my pillbox hat?

The Skinny Rabbit Design Hour presents the toile for the short jacket I'm making:

This is just a toile.
(A sample made to perfect my custom pattern.)
This one looks a little bit like a bedjacket, I know.
It's muslin...whatcha gonna do?

It doesn't look like much because it's lacking details and, well, it's in muslin. (Pinkish muslin, which made Monsieur Le Hubby ask me if I was channeling Jackie O when he saw it.) I'm happy with the general shape and fit, so it looks like my pattern is good to go and I'll be able to cut into the fabric soon. I still have to draft the pieces for facings and lining, though. And I've decided that I want to include pockets so I'll try a couple of samples and then draft the pattern pieces for those.

In knitting news, I have something GREAT to announce. Remember how I ran short of Cork to finish my Mystery Project? I was planning to RIP OUT the whole thing so I could reknit it on a larger needle in order to match my row gauge with the pattern's. And just like that, my Mystery Project was saved from a trip to Ripdom by a very thoughtful knitter named (gotta put the whole thing in bold caps, I just gotta):


spring2006_linenjacket_zipper_thumb.jpgShe had some Cork in Mouse in her stash that she was kind enough to offer to me, and before you can say "thou shalt not rip out the Mystery Project" she packed them up and sent them to me from across La Manche. Cork is in the hooooouse! So not only has my Mystery Project been saved from the frogpond, but I've made a new online knitting bud who I discovered knits some fabulous things in my favorite colors (you have to see her cowl and her ribbed top with the diamante buckle) and has two really cute - and I mean REALLY cute - kids. LING (yes, all in bold caps again), you have star status around here. I and my sweater in Cork thank you!

Mystery Project REVEALed*!

Fresh off the seaming table, I have a finished Mystery Knit on a mannequin for you!

(I like to call this "The Matrix Sweater")

"Reveal" from Rowan 34, using Cork in shade "Mouse". Design is by Leah Sutton, and it is fabulous! Forget about whether or not it's wearable and how a knitted sweater is supposed to look; I didn't take any of that into consideration when I slapped eyes on this design and decided to knit it. It's an inspired piece and I knit it because everything about it is "off": the reverse stockinette stitch, the asymmetrical neck, the cable twists sewn haphazardly to the neckline...knitting all the pieces and putting them together was like creating a knitted sculpture inspired by a science fiction post-apocalyptic film where people need to scrap together and recycle old clothing. For some reason [coughKeanucough] The Matrix films come to mind, so I hereby christian this piece "The Matrix Sweater".

Other details: I knit the size small, going down one needle size to get stitch gauge. My row gauge was smaller than that called for in the pattern, so I knit extra rows to make up the difference. The result is a sweater that was knit to the proper dimensions with the consequence of a shortage of yarn. [You knit more rows, you use more yarn. Oh oh!] Thankfully, my new friend Ling quickly came to the rescue and sent over some Cork in the same shade, and ALL the cable twists sewn to the neckline were knit using a skein of Ling's yarn. And because the yarn gods love us, one can't even tell that the cable twists were knit using a skein in the different dye lot. (Although a difference wouldn't have bothered me. Heck, it might have even added to the character of the sweater.) Not even in person, in the brightest of light. Thank you, yarn gods! I shall eat much chocolate today to honor you.

And that's about it. All that's lacking now is the sweater's debut! And as soon as the weather gets cold and I find a hip, edgy blouse to wear underneath, this sweater shall have it.

*I know: That was a really bad pun. I couldn't help myself, though. Tee hee!