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Backstitch collars on the brain.



My son's tweedy jacket is seamed and almost ready to go! All I have to do is embroider the pocket and sew it on. The collar was finished last weekend, and was sewn onto the jacket using free-loop backstitch. I bet you're thinking, "but for heaven's sake, why would you do a fool thing like sew on a collar when you can just pick up stitches and knit on the collar in the round?"

When I first learned to knit, most of my garments were finished using backstitch because that's the way I was instructed to do it by the patterns I was using. I later saw the technique described in Katharina Buss' Big Book of Knitting (pages 70-71), but I had taught myself how to do it just by following the dinky little illustration that comes in all Phildar catalogs. Now that I've attached neckbands, buttonbands and other facings onto garments using various methods - including knitting-on, grafting and backstitch - I've discovered that sewing on neckbands using backstitch is good for several things:

1) When you want the edge of the neckband to match perfectly with the cast-on rows of sleeves and hems. For example, did you do a tubular cast-on for double rib, but don't know how to bind it off using kitchener stitch for double rib? You can make the edge of your collar match with the hem of your sweater by doing the same cast-on for the collar, leaving a row of open stitches after you've worked the double rib, and then sewing these open stitches onto the garment using backstitch.

2) Stretchy collars! Collars are usually stretchier when sewn on this way because the edge of the neckband is the cast-on edge, not the binding-off edge, and this is good for children's sweaters. That's why I still sew on all the collars to my son's sweaters using backstitch. (You can take a look, if you like. Many of them are featured in the gallery of this site.)

3) Did your neckline edge come out like crap? Sewing on a collar covers it up, and we all know that knit-on collars don't usually do this.

4) When you don't have an appropriately-sized circular needle to knit on a collar in the round. The bulky sweater I did last fall on size 5mm's has a turtleneck collar that was sewn on using backstitch because I didn't have a circular needle short enough to knit on a collar.

Most of all, it's a neat thing to do! Here are some snapshots of me sewing the collar (with its row of open stitches) onto my son's tweedy jacket using backstitch. Doesn't that look like fun?

Grafting, grafting, bay-bee!

So. Where am I on the Rebecca 22 tutti-frutti striped Estelle Young Touch cotton sweater?


spring2004_stripes3.jpg
The sweater that launched a grafting party.


Okay, here's the deal. As I substituted the yarn required by the pattern, my row and stitch gauge were off. Not much, but enough to make a difference in the length and fit of the sweater, so I reworked the pattern (including armhole depth and sleeve cap shaping) to accomodate the difference. [Sigh*.]

Anyway. I managed to achieve the above successfully. See? Here are all the pieces I had completed, looking all rumpled and indecent with their ends hanging out. I'm on my way to seaming, right? Er, no. Because when I finished the second sleeve I realized that as a result of my reworking the pattern, the bottom of the sleeves had more green rows than the bottom of the front and back pieces. Argh. Just by four rows, and I know that there are people out there who would leave it like it is and not let that bother them, and to you and I say: Hurrah! But I know myself. Seeing that wee difference would have irked me into the ground, every time. Oh, if I could only add four measly green rows to both the back and front pieces!

So I did. I pulled out the scissors, some Katharina Buss, an embroidery needle, stuck Shrek into the DVD player and had myself a little grafting party this afternoon.


spring2004_stripes4.jpg
Paaaah-taaaay!
(And don't miss My Totally Excellent Grafting Adventure.)


Katharina Buss' Big Book of Knitting (pages 184-185) has some instructions on lengthening and shortening pieces. I didn't follow her written instructions to the letter, but I used her excellent photos as a guide. What I did was snip the selvedge of a row at the LEFT end of the piece using scissors. Then I used the tip of an embroidery needle to gently pulled out the yarn, undoing the row stitch by stitch. This separated the work in two, and I placed the open stitches of the BOTTOM piece (which contains the ribbing) on a needle so I could work the additional 4 rows in green on that piece. The row I had cut and ripped out had been a knit row, so I joined new yarn and started knitting on the right side of the work. I worked the four rows, ending with a purl row. Then I joined the open stitches of the bottom piece to the open stitches of the top piece by grafting. And just for you, here is a little photo display of my mini grafting adventure.

I've joined pieces by grafting before, but this is the first time I've taken scissors to knitting, lengthened a piece and then joined via grafting. I liked it! Seeing that little row of grafting bring those pieces together seamlessly made me want to sing like Donkey from Shrek. Danke, Katharina Buss!

*Fact: I don't particularly like reworking and/or drafting patterns. I am Lazy (yes, with a capital "L") at doing the math, which is why I love knitting from patterns. Pulling out the calculator just makes me want to yawn. Which is funny, because I have a specialization in financial tax law. Hahahaha!

Additional things worth sharing re grafting:

As in free-loop backstitch (which is just as FUN, oh yes it is!), I find that holding the open stitches down with a thumb while pulling the yarn through keeps them from stretching out.

I found it easier to keep the stitches of the top piece OFF a needle and the stitches of the bottom piece ON the needle. The stitches of the top piece didn't come undone because they had been knitted for a while, but the stitches of the bottom piece had just been added on so they probably would have come undone if I had pulled them off the needle.

Working the new rows on the bottom piece meant that I got to keep my selvedges as they are, so seaming will still be a breeze. Working new rows on the top piece would have shifted the stitches over by half a stitch.

I would only do this sort of cutting and grafting on pieces knit in stockinette stitch. Maybe garter. But anything else? No, gracias!

That's all I can think of for now, and dinner's a-callin'.

Viva le grafting!

Postcards from La Loire.

Back from the Loire Valley!

july_20_2004_blois.jpg
The royal chateau in Blois.
[Click here for the BIG view.]
[Psst...don't miss the slideshow!]


Lots of chateaux, lots of wine, a perfect view of the July 14 fireworks from the terrace of the apartment, a visit with the white tigers at Beauval, ogling Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester at Chambord, rowing a small boat around the Cher river at Chenonceau castle, a magic show at Robert-Houdin's Maison de la Magie, a horse-drawn carriage ride through Blois, a light show at a royal castle...our trip to La Loire was incredibly fun and went by all too quickly. We made headquarters in Blois, where we stayed in an apartment ideally located in the vieux quartier with a beautiful view of the city. Some days we stayed in Blois; other days we hopped in the car for outings to Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambord and other places. Click the thumbnails below to see a few images of some of the wonderful things we saw and did during the first days of our vacation (there will be more photos in a subsequent entry):


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Even with all the activities, I got to do some summer knitting! We made several outings to surrounding areas which required 15-30 min rides in the car, so when I wasn't reading, admiring the scenery, or napping with face embarrassingly squished against the passenger window (happened only once, thankfully), I was KNITTING. (The MS&W Festival tote that my pal Claudia gifted me a few months ago rode with me all over the Loire Valley. XOXO, Claudia!)

july_20_2004_loire_cardi2.jpg
[Click here for the rest of the road knitting!]


road tripPhoto above is of the front piece of my Phil Ruban cardi, and I seamed it while I was there, opting to save the dreaded weaving of the ends for when I got back. The cardi was too big to tote around with me, so I spent time swatching for some projects when in the car. I got lucky with the gauge on two and decided to start one of them while I was there: The "Jacke in Apricot" from Rebecca 27, using GGH Java in light pink. [Rebecca 27 is from Athena, who sent it to me back in May. Java is from Marta, who sent it to me a few weeks ago. Photos here!] And just for you, I have car shots: Pictures I took of things I saw while knitting in the car. All photos were taken while the car was in motion, and some required that I stick the camera out of the window in order for me to get a good shot. [Hello, I'm just a photo-happy tourist with some knitting in her lap!]

But wait...there's more! I left the Loire Valley with some stashy goodness [click here to see it]. While driving through a town after a visit to Amboise, Monsieur Le Hubby said to me (and I'm sure he regretted it afterwards), "We just passed a Phildar." Oops! The car skidded to a halt and I ran inside the store, on a quest for yarn on sale (SOLDES - magic word, that). I was in the store for five minutes only, but all I'm gonna say is: If you live in Contres and were hoping to pick up some discontinued Phil Ruban in fabulous colors, a whack tourist rabbit already cleared it all out.

More postcards from La Loire.

summer2004_apricot2.jpg
Back piece, take two.
[Zoom in, zoom out.]


This is the back piece AFTER I had reached the armhole shaping and ripped back [only about, oh...50 rows!] to where the waist shaping began because I discovered that I had done the increases over an incorrect number of rows. I surely wasn't going to leave it the way it was because doing so would have required omitting an increase, and you just know that I'm not going to do that. Maybe I'll get in the car and head back to the Loire for another vacation, because the return home appears to have broken my knitting concentration. (Okay, I'm kidding.) Speaking of which, I present you with:

More postcards from the Loire!


The Captain, playing in the gardens at Chenonceau.
Click the thumbnails below for lots more pictures!



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I thought I'd throw in some more vacation photos for the cool people who visit my site on the weekends. Now, it's time for me to settle in for a quiet Saturday evening with the husband and some Cremant de Loire, which the good man bought during our trip. Maybe I'll knit some more rows on this cardi, which (in spite of my having to rip out once and wee bit of grumbling) really is a quick and enjoyable knit. GGH Java just rolls on the needles!

Finito!

Why, it's a finished ribbon cardi!

[Just because, here's another view.]
[Click here for the really BIG sweater picture.]
[And how about a CLOSEUP of that neckline, folks?]


Finally...photos of my second finished project of the summer: my ribbon cardi! (Pattern from Phildar Ete 2004. 34/36 size, using Phil Ruban in Cuivre.) Oh la laaaaaaa...I really love wearing this cardi. It's lightweight and drapey, and my favorite part is the leaf edging at the neckline (probably because that's what I had the most fun knitting). The cardi's been finished since I returned from La Loire, but I didn't get the chance to wear it out until Sunday. And wear it, I did! Here it is, making its debut at one of the many murals in Lyon:

Where's Rabbit?

august_04_2004_mural_cardi.jpg
This mural is in the Croix Rousse.
[Click here for a bigger view of the mural.]
[BONUS: Fun shots of the cardi (and family) at the mural.]


[Footnote: I just love these murals. We always have fun posing in front of them and looking at the details regarding Lyon that the artist included. Notice the spools of silk shown in the shot where I'm pretending to open the car door? Well, that's just one of many such details.]

Finishing details of the cardi: The pattern called for two cords, each made using two strands of Phil Ruban, to be attached to the front pieces. I decided to make the cords using my lovely new lucet*, which I had never used before. HELLO! Mademoiselle Lucet made a cord that was so fabulous I actually got up and did a happy dance right there. And speaking of which, you just know that there are customary dance shots for you for no reason other than it's fun:




*I had never used a lucet before, but I am so glad I did! It makes such lovely cord. I learned about it from Claudia, and was finally able to give a it try thanks to Carolyn, who very thoughtfully got it at MS&W festival and brought over to me when she came to Paris in May. Merci!

"We don't need no stinkin' eggs."

Why, it's a hand knit chicken!

summer2004_chicken_finished.jpg
(Yes, he's dancing in this shot)
[Click to ENLARGE]


A couple of rainy mornings, a few cups of coffee, some knitting, weaving and gluing, and my pet chicken was born. Knitting the pieces took hardly no time at all, and I decided to make things easier on myself by sewing each piece as it came off the needles. I sewed the head and body pieces together, but the legs and neck seams were joined via grafting. (I knit a few ostriches a couple of years ago, and sewing those skinny legs together was enough to almost keep me off of making toys forever. For this one, grafting made the whole thing fly and I really enjoyed making it.) All of the adornments - eyes, wings, etc. - are felt* cutouts. Instead of sewing all the felted bits to the toy, I decided to use water-resistant fabric glue and only sewed on the "crète" (the thing on top of the chicken's head...I think it's called a "comb"; the word escapes me in English), the tail and wings. If I were sending this toy to a child or baby, however, I would have omitted the glue altogether and stitched on all the pieces. And of COURSE, I documented all of this for you in a slideshow. You knew I would, right? And here you have it:


summer2004_chicken_finished_snapshot_thumb.jpg


Project specs: Design from Phildar Pitchoun Printemps 2004, 2 balls of Phildar Licorne, and sheets of felt from La Droguerie. (I had as much fun shopping for all of this as I did putting it together.)

Monsieur Chicken was finished a couple of days ago, and he has already been packed up and taken to La Poste to make his way overseas so he can be adopted by a friend. [BONUS: Click here for a clue as to where he's going!]

*I bought the felt at La Droguerie, and nearly fell to the floor when the salesgirl rang up the total because it came out to three times the cost of the yarn. Felt from La Droguerie must be made of gold. (Okay, I'm kidding. But as much as I love La Droguerie, next time I'll go to DMC when I want a few pieces of felt.)

Me no like neckband seams.

summer2004_tank_pieces.jpg
Oh, give us a neckband, already.
[Please, click here for a BIGGER view.]


Well, I've got the makings for a wee Phildar tank right here, friends. All I need to finish it up is seam the sides. And how about all those ends hanging out??? Looking at them makes me want to forego weaving altogether and just hack at them madly with some scissors while I laugh an evil laugh.

But not before I give those tank pieces a neckband! Here at Casita Skinny Rabbit, we don't mind doing things backwards if it facilitates finishing. [Oooh...such a little knitting rebel!] Instead of joining the side seams first, I decided to join the pieces at the top by giving them a neckband first. A no sew, no picking up stitches, no backstitch, just plain ole knitted-on kinda neckband with free edges for the shoulders and with the added bonus of having shaping on the front neck.

[Footnote: Yes, I know the pattern calls for sewing on the neckband using the free-loop backstitch technique. And it's no secret that I ADORE sewing on neckbands using free-loop backstitch, and pretty much shout out the window to my neighbors that nearly all of my son's sweaters have neckbands sewn on using the fabuloso free-loop backstitch method. But! I do not like it for this tank simply because I want the free edges at the armholes and neckband to be joined as invisibly as possible and I do not want a neckband seam. If I were doing the sweater version with the sleeves, however, I'd probably use the backstitch method for sewing on the neckband. End of incredibly long footnote.]

In short, I want my neckband to look like this:

Well, whaddaya know, it is the neckband!

summer2004_tank_neck.jpg
Look, Ma! No seam!
[You wanna see it inside out? Sure you do.]
[P.S. Click me for the snapshots!]


Here you have it. Skinny Rabbit's no sew, no picking up stitches, no backstitch, just plain ole knitted-on kinda neckband with free edges for the shoulders for her Phildar debardeur 4b. With the added bonus of still being able to have shaping on the front neck! Now all I have to do is seam the sides and weave in the ends and I've got a tank.

Neckband ingredients: Short rows. Leaving open stitches on back and front pieces. Buttonloop cast-on*, cable cast-on or knitted cast-on. Short circular needle. A free evening. The movie Ice Age in the DVD player**. One pair of comfy jammies.

Neckband procedure: For the front piece, instead of binding off the stitches for neck shaping as instructed in the pattern, work short rows. (Wrap stitches in order to avoid holes.) After working the last short row, leave stitches on stitch holder. For the back piece, there is no neck shaping. Simply leave stitches of back piece on a stitch holder. Note: Do not cut working yarn of back piece. This is the yarn used to work the neckband, so make sure there is sufficient yarn for it.

Using a short circular needle, work across all stitches of BACK piece. At end of row, and using any of the cast-on methods recommended, cast on amount of stitches required in pattern for shoulder, plus one. Then, join to FRONT piece by working across all stitches of front piece, hiding short row wraps. At end of row, cast on same number stitches as for back piece. Join, place stitch marker, and work neckband in the round. Bind off. And you just know that I have a few snapshots for you, right?

Margaritas for everyone!

*I used the buttonloop cast on. Reference: Monste Stanley's Knitter's Handbook, my favorite knitting book of all time. One can find notes re short rows AND wrapping stitches there, as well.

**I cried at about 5 different scenes of Ice Age, including the closing scene. It's official: I am turning into a movie sap.


P.S. On an entirely different note, it's been happy snail mail days around here lately! I received the Novita knitting book from Finland as a gift from Iris, some Tahki Cotton Classic as a gift from Jenny, and some NASA [!] goodies from Heather. WOW. Check it all out here!

Me no like neckband seams.

summer2004_tank_pieces.jpg
Oh, give us a neckband, already.
[Please, click here for a BIGGER view.]


Well, I've got the makings for a wee Phildar tank right here, friends. All I need to finish it up is seam the sides. And how about all those ends hanging out??? Looking at them makes me want to forego weaving altogether and just hack at them madly with some scissors while I laugh an evil laugh.

But not before I give those tank pieces a neckband! Here at Casita Skinny Rabbit, we don't mind doing things backwards if it facilitates finishing. [Oooh...such a little knitting rebel!] Instead of joining the side seams first, I decided to join the pieces at the top by giving them a neckband first. A no sew, no picking up stitches, no backstitch, just plain ole knitted-on kinda neckband with free edges for the shoulders and with the added bonus of having shaping on the front neck.

[Footnote: Yes, I know the pattern calls for sewing on the neckband using the free-loop backstitch technique. And it's no secret that I ADORE sewing on neckbands using free-loop backstitch, and pretty much shout out the window to my neighbors that nearly all of my son's sweaters have neckbands sewn on using the fabuloso free-loop backstitch method. But! I do not like it for this tank simply because I want the free edges at the armholes and neckband to be joined as invisibly as possible and I do not want a neckband seam. If I were doing the sweater version with the sleeves, however, I'd probably use the backstitch method for sewing on the neckband. End of incredibly long footnote.]

In short, I want my neckband to look like this:

Well, whaddaya know, it is the neckband!

summer2004_tank_neck.jpg
Look, Ma! No seam!
[You wanna see it inside out? Sure you do.]
[P.S. Click me for the snapshots!]


Here you have it. Skinny Rabbit's no sew, no picking up stitches, no backstitch, just plain ole knitted-on kinda neckband with free edges for the shoulders for her Phildar debardeur 4b. With the added bonus of still being able to have shaping on the front neck! Now all I have to do is seam the sides and weave in the ends and I've got a tank.

Neckband ingredients: Short rows. Leaving open stitches on back and front pieces. Buttonloop cast-on*, cable cast-on or knitted cast-on. Short circular needle. A free evening. The movie Ice Age in the DVD player**. One pair of comfy jammies.

Neckband procedure: For the front piece, instead of binding off the stitches for neck shaping as instructed in the pattern, work short rows. (Wrap stitches in order to avoid holes.) After working the last short row, leave stitches on stitch holder. For the back piece, there is no neck shaping. Simply leave stitches of back piece on a stitch holder. Note: Do not cut working yarn of back piece. This is the yarn used to work the neckband, so make sure there is sufficient yarn for it.

Using a short circular needle, work across all stitches of BACK piece. At end of row, and using any of the cast-on methods recommended, cast on amount of stitches required in pattern for shoulder, plus one. Then, join to FRONT piece by working across all stitches of front piece, hiding short row wraps. At end of row, cast on same number stitches as for back piece. Join, place stitch marker, and work neckband in the round. Bind off. And you just know that I have a few snapshots for you, right?

Margaritas for everyone!

*I used the buttonloop cast on. Reference: Monste Stanley's Knitter's Handbook, my favorite knitting book of all time. One can find notes re short rows AND wrapping stitches there, as well.

**I cried at about 5 different scenes of Ice Age, including the closing scene. It's official: I am turning into a movie sap.


P.S. On an entirely different note, it's been happy snail mail days around here lately! I received the Novita knitting book from Finland as a gift from Iris, some Tahki Cotton Classic as a gift from Jenny, and some NASA [!] goodies from Heather. WOW. Check it all out here!

A Sunday post for the cool people who visit my site on the weekends.

Welcome back from Sleeve Island!

summer2004_carla_sleeve.jpg
A Carla sleeve, when it was still on the needles.
That's right...WAS.
I'm already having a seaming party. Woot!


My trip to Sleeve Island for Carla was short, sweet and uneventful. 9mm needles and bulky ribbon yarn may make for clumsy knitting sometimes, but working across rows that have only 20+ sts means I'm gonna fly even if I feel like I'm knitting with broomsticks instead of bamboo circs. Both sleeves were completed over a couple of evenings. Yeah!

When I came back from Sleeve Island, I decided to immediately start in on a seaming party early one weekend morning in order to avoid procrastination, a habit I used to have when it came to seaming my knits. Unfortunately, my Carla seaming party was not uneventful. It took me three different attempts to get a raglan seam that didn't look like it had been sewn using my toes. Those TRIPLE DECREASES at the edges...I twitch just thinking about them. But, to be honest, I knew that seaming would be a headache when I was knitting the pieces, but I kept the decreases at the edges anyway because I didn't want to interrupt the lace pattern. So, the headache was worth it. In the end, I achieved a nice, straight and invisible seam even with the holey lace and was so happy when I did I got up and break-danced in my jammies. And there is a slideshow, of course. Of the seaming, not break-dancing. (Wouldn't want you to miss the seaming party, though.)

I used mattress stitch to join all seams. I did not use embroidery floss or a different yarn because the lace gives random peeks at the seam, so I decided to use the same yarn despite its bulkiness. My selvedges, or edge stitches, were done as stated in the pattern. And here's one thing I'm thankful for: That my selvedges were neat. People, neat and tightly-worked (but not too tight) selvedges are essential in this sweater, because Cotton Tape can stretch. If one doesn't get a nice seam until the third try [like yours truly], pulling out the yarn used for seaming would probably wonk out messy selvedges and the only way to fix it with this kind of yarn would be to reknit the pieces. And that is the end of my chatty paragraph.

As I near the completion of the last of my summer projects, I feel the need to stock up on some winter projects. So, I went yarn shopping yesterday afternoon! (Plus, yarn shopping always gives me a kick.) But that's not all: I've been receiving lots of knitting book goodness and other nice things in the snail mail from knitting buds overseas so it's been fun mail days Chez Skinny Rabbit lately. Check out the show-and-tell here!

Voilà!

Why, it's a finished baby sweater!

summer2004_babysweater_finished.jpg
[Click here for a BIGGER view.]
[And don't forget to peek at the back!]


And the baby gift is completed! A fluffy baby sweater with very clever construction: The front piece is basically just a rectangular piece of fluffy yarn, and the back piece is an extra wide piece in a finer gauge yarn that wraps around the sides to the front. I've never seamed a sweater with this kind of construction before, so putting it all together was like working a jigsaw. As for finishing, the sweater has buttonbands at the back, so I didn't knit the neckband in the round. I picked up stitches along the neck, purled the first row so we'd have a charming little half ridge of garter at the edge, and then worked the neckband ribbing back and forth. [Footnote: If this sweater did not have a closure at the back, I would have knit the neckband separately and sewn it on using free-loop backstitch because babies have such adorably huge noggins and my cast-on edges are stretchier than my bind-off edges.] After the neckband was completed I picked up stitches for the buttonbands and knit them on. And of course, I documented all of this for you in a slideshow because we all like pictures:


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Pattern details: Pattern from Phildar's Layette Hiver 2004 using yarns Oxygene and Brumes, and 2.5mm and 3mm needles. I knit the sweater in size 18-24 months so that the recipient can get a good amount of wear out of it. Even though all that ribbing on 2.5mm needles is like a valium at times, I enjoyed knitting this sweater and working the finishing details on it, and I learned some new methods of shaping in the process. The big plus: The baby's mother was really happy to receive it!

P.S. My favorite baby gifts to knit and give are now (in the order shown) sweaters, hats and toys. I tend to procrastinate when I knit booties, so I haven't been knitting those as gifts as much as I used to.

It's, like, a TOTALLY excellent finishing party, dude.

fall2004_tweedgarn_seaming_snapshot5.jpg
Why, it's a seaming party! [Breaks open a piñata.]
[And don't miss the rest of the finishing photos.]


Lots of finishing going on Chez Skinny Rabbit! Mostly on my son's "tweedy sweater" from Rebecca 24. All pieces have been blocked, the sleeves and neckband have been worked, and seams have been joined. Here are some finishing notes for you:

1) Stitches were picked up along the armholes and the sleeves* were worked from the top down, which means that shaping was done via decreases instead of increases. I loved doing this! Watching the rows get shorter instead of longer as the sleeves progressed makes a stay on Sleeve Island more enjoyable. Send a kir royal.

2) When I finished the sleeves, I decided to work the neckband before joining the side and sleeves seams. I thought I'd just pick up stitches and work in the round but then I discovered that the English version of the pattern instructions for the neckband reads like a cryptic spy note: "...Turn work to front, [x] sts below right shoulder, divide between [x] sts and cont in rib patt in open rows..."

Open rows? Divide between? Turn work to front? For a second I thought I was going to have to write that into my own personal algebraic expression. ["Skinny Rabbit has 12 sts below the right shoulder. How many sts does she need in order to complete a rib pattern in open rows?"] But after looking closely at the photos of the sweater in an attempt to decipher the instructions (story of my life with Rebecca patterns), I saw that the neckband is OPEN at one side. (At first glance, it looks like a closed neckband worked in the round.) So the quasi-algebraic expression simply means that after working a few rounds of the neckband ribbing, one must separate the work into two at the right shoulder and continue in rows. That's it. And funnily enough, even after I deciphered the text, I decided to work the neckband entirely in the round because I like it better that way.

3) After the neckband, I closed the sleeve and side seams. The yarn is bulky, and after joining the shoulders using a three-needle bind-off and picking up stitches for the sleeves, both which left very little bulk in the seams, I decided that I wanted to do away with thick seams entirely. So I looked in the stash and came up with some leftover fingering yarn in a wool/acrylic blend comparable in composition to GGH Sierra. [Look, Ma! No bulky seams!]

End of incredibly blabby finishing notes. And you know that I documented all of this for you in a slideshow, right?

*I saw Girl with a Pearl Earring while knitting the sleeves. Provided nice sleeve entertainment and definitely gets a thumbs-up, in spite of the hideous wig that Colin had to wear. (I mean, it's COLIN. He could wear a bag of roving on his head and still look appealing.)

"Ich Liebe Tweedgarn"

fall2004_tweedgarn_finished.jpg
This is the "trying to sit still" shot.
[For Daddy, here's the Mini Man pose!]
[BONUS: The silly behind-the-scenes snapshots.]


My son's tweedy sweater is finished! And just because I'm happy with the way the sweater came out and my son really loves wearing it, there are more finished sweater and scenic photos than you can shake a US13 double-pointed needle at. Here is the sweater making its debut in La Place des Terreaux*:


fall2004_tweedgarn_finished_scooter.jpg
[Don't forget to take the scooter tour!]


Captain Destructo loves to ride his scooter around the mini fountains and ruin his shoes by sliding them through the water when he thinks Mommy and Daddy aren't paying attention. Funny guy. [BONUS: It's a virtual scooter slideshow tour! Shots of La Place des Terreaux, the fountain, the town hall and the museum featuring Captain Destructo racing around on his scooter like he's got rocket jets attached to his feet.] Oh, but that's not all. As Mommy likes to snap photos like a camera-happy tourist, here is a photo of the sweater at the big fountain:


fall2004_tweedgarn_finished_dancing.jpg
This is right before he spontaneously kicked into dance mode**.
[As customary, here are the whack dance shots!]


Project details: Pattern is from Rebecca 24 [thanks, Janet C], using GGH Sierra in shade #2 [thanks, Carolyn] and honkin' big 9mm (US13) bamboo needles. I used 9 skeins and knit a larger size (chest size 56/58), lengthening the torso by about 4 centimeters so that my son can grow into it for next year. It's just a basic drop-shoulder turtleneck, but it has small interesting details that make it a little distinctive: Knitting sleeves from the top down, ribbing at the tops of the sleeve caps, and a wide neck. Plus, it's quick to knit, has lots of ease and is so thick it's warmer than a polar fleece jacket. I give it a big thumbs up!

*I love this area and come here often. Le Musée des Beaux Arts (which always has excellent exhibitions) and L'Opéra are nearby. Another plus is that my favorite YARN haunts [La Droguerie! Phildar on Rue Grenette!] are a short walk away.

**After he looked at the fountain, he turned around and started dancing in front of it. (I had taken dancing shots of him before we headed out, but I couldn't resist showing the spontaneous fountain dancing shots instead.) He's done this before [photos linked in third paragraph], so I'm starting to think that he gets a kick from dancing at fountains.

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