"Popcorn" Jacket!

She's knitting in the car again!

I just love me a good car knitting session, don't you? Here's what I've got this time:

I hereby christian thee: The Popcorn Jacket.
Close-up! Close-up!

It's the beginning of a sleeve of a fringed jacket [Phildar Tendances Automne 2004] which shall hereafter be known as the Popcorn Jacket thanks to those puffy little tufts in the yarn that remind me of popcorn. For this jacket I'm using Phildar Oxygene and tufty Phil Pompom, which are two yarns that would probably make a yarn snob twitch. We're talking wool/ACRYLIC and NOVELTY yarns. Together. In a trendy jacket. With fringe, no less. How could I not knit this? You can bet your high-end yarn I'm going to wear it, too. And don't you want to see a close-up of the tufty popcorns in the novelty yarn? Oh, go on.

I've worked with Oxygene [such a wool/ACRYLIC blend 'ho] before so I didn't swatch for this one. On Sunday morning I put my yarn and needles in a bag, cast-on, and giddy-ap! Worked on the sleeve on our way to Vienne and before I knew it, I had nearly reached the sleeve cap shaping. It's a relaxing, mindless project. Knitting striped reverse stockinette stitch on 4.5mm addi circs makes me feel like dancing, dancing, aaaaaahhhh...

And here is something else I took to Vienne:

The completed baby sweater for a new baby cousin!
[Click, make BIGGER.]
[Wanna see some CLOSE-UPS?]
[You know what? There's a HAT, too.]

Quick summation: Baby sweater and hat using 100% fingering wool "Baby" by Tiboodoo's (by the makers of Anny Blatt/Bouton d'Or yarns). The baby sweater is in reverse striped stockinette stitch with stockinette stitch cuffs and hem. Pieces were lightly steam-blocked before seaming. All seams were joined using mattress stitch. Stitches were picked up for the buttonbands and neckband, which were worked in garter stitch. The hat [finished photo here] is in striped stockinette stitch, and was knit flat because that's the way I prefer to knit striped hats. Both were enjoyable knits, and I love the softness of the finished garments. My one complaint: I ran out of cream-colored yarn from the sweater kit and had to use a small amount of yarn from the hat kit so I could finish the neckband. Oops!

But wait...there's more: On Saturday even more Peeps made their way to Lyon! They must want to try the Beaujolais and saucisson.

Peeps Chick at the circus.
Slideshow! Slideshow!

A very big thank you to Cambria [psst...a snail mail thank you is on its way soon] for surprising us with a load of belated Easter candy: Marshmallow Peeps, malted milk eggs, Cadbury creme eggs [!], a chocolate bunny, jelly eggs...we're talking serious Easter Bunny goodness. Heck, I could BE the Easter Bunny with all these Easter sweets. And you just know that my wacky camera happy tourist self couldn't resist taking the Peeps with me on the road to Vienne, right? So here you go: Another gratuitous Peep Show on the Road slideshow!

Not one, but TWO sleeves. Now gimme chocolate.

Gratuitous photo in the car while raining shot*.

Now this is the kind of weather that makes one say, "Yep. Better stay inside on Sunday and do nothing other than make pancakes, watch Tootsie and Jumping Jack Flash on DVD and knit the Popcorn Jacket." So I did. See?

And there's another sleeve! Really, there is.

I love it when I get to the sleeve cap shaping on sleeves for set-in armholes, mostly because i) I know I'm almost done with the sleeve, and ii) I get a kick from seeing that little cap get rounded through decreases or bind-offs. (I know, I'm easily amused.) In this case the sleeve cap is shaped through gradual bind-offs. I thought I'd have to cut and weave the ends for color changes (as that's what I usually do when I have to decrease or bind-off several stitches at once) but I decided to just go ahead and keep on carrying the yarns up the edge because, to be honest, I was just too lazy to cut in and weave in ANY ends at all. The yarns were carried up the right edge (shown in the photo above), and hey! The edge looks pretty neat, if I say so myself. The secret is to not pull the yarns too tightly and to carry them as you bind-off (I stranded them in the manner of color knitting as I bound off so that there wouldn't be any loose yarns at the edge).

But that's not all! I finished both sleeves, one after the other [click here to see both sleeves], and then I cast-on for the back piece. It's the tufty popcorn-y goodness of this jacket, I tell you. It makes me want to keep knitting. Plus, I want to wear the jacket already. And if the rainy weather continues for just a little while longer, I might be able to.

In Sweet Tooth news, I had a reward for myself for not procrastinating with the sleeves of the Popcorn Jacket:

Further proof that Evelyn is a golden goddess.

A box of nuts and chews from See's Candies and some posh Bollicina cashmere/silk yarn! Evelyn thoughtfully sent this to me last week and I kid you not when I tell you that all that is left of those nuts and chews is the photo you see above because - get ready for this - they've already been eaten. Tee hee!

*I took this shot while riding in the car [NO, I wasn't driving] over the bridge on the way back from Tassin, where I take a dance class on Saturday mornings. The buildings in front are mostly restaurants, and the one on the far right is a Chinese restaurant that has the best spring rolls I've ever eaten. Once, two years ago, I jokingly told my husband that for my birthday I wanted 35 (yes, THIRTY-FIVE) spring rolls from that restaurant. I was joking, really I was. Well, on my birthday my husband came home with all thirty-five of those rolls! I feel like popping an alka-seltzer just thinking about it. But mmm, boy.

P.S. Wait! There's more! I just put up a new eighties-inspired design for this site. (Stuck in the eighties? Like, TOTALLY.) Check out the skin here. (I know, I know. I was four months late in getting the yearly design up; skinnyrabbit.com turned 4 years old back in January.)

Big thank you to Theresa for browser checking, and to Nikki (longtime friend and queen of clean css layouts) for cross-browser and platform checking and for going in and looking at my css without laughing. If you have a problem loading the new skin, make sure cookies are enabled, clear your cache, hit refresh or open a new browser window.

Popcorn Jacket, revisited.

Before anyone thinks that I've forgotten about my Popcorn Jacket...

We got front!
Psst...here, look at the whole thing.

With all the work I've been doing on my son's cotton jacket, I've still managed to tuck in a few rows on the pieces of my Popcorn Jacket here and there. I'm moving along much more quickly than I thought I would so I figured I'd better show some progress before it's all finished! The back is completed, and I've completed the right front piece (see that, too). Boy, knitting wool on 4.5mm's has been a BREAK from the ribbing and detailed finishing on the cotton jacket. Plus, I'm still getting a kick from the popcorn-like tufts created by the Phil Pompom. Looking at the knitted pieces from the side is a riot:

Knitted relief map.

Remember when you were a kid in school and would mix detergent and water to make relief maps? I get nostalgic for relief maps when I view the pieces of my Popcorn Jacket from the side. Thankfully, the Popcorn Jacket doesn't feel like a relief map or I'd be in trouble when wearing it.

And since I'm close to finishing current projects, I might as well 'fess up about swatching for a new project, already. Such an eager knitter:

GGH Scarlett in shade 015.

This, my friends, is the swatch for the Rebecca cardi (Pattern 38) in Rebecca 29. Sometimes I like to start with sleeves instead of swatching but this time I decided to be a good girl and swatch for this one because i) the cardi is knit in one piece from the bottom up so starting with a sleeve is kinda hard; ii) I've never worked with this cotton before; and iii) it's a cable pattern with about 20 cm of ribbing before the cable pattern even starts, and do we really want to frog a cable pattern and 20 cm of ribbing if it turns out that I'm off gauge? And it's a good thing I swatched because I didn't get lucky with the gauge this time. My tension was too loose according to the gauge set in the pattern, so I'll be going down to size 3.25mm needles. (Incidentally, I'm using bamboo needles for this one. Addis are usually my needle of choice but Inox bamboo circs are my fave for slippery cottons: The yarn doesn't snag on the join [coughCRYSTALPALACEcough] and the points are sharper than addis, which makes knitting up finer gauge cottons a breeze for me.)

Check out my crazy Popcorn Jacket!

Take me to Paris, bay-bee!

This is the stand-still-like-a-mannequin shot.
[Click here for the "Look, Ma! No hands!" shot.]
[Wanna see some other VIEWS? Oh, go on!]
[Psst...got some CLOSEUPS, too.]

Project details: "Popcorn Jacket", otherwise known as "Veste" pattern 8 from Phildar Tendances Automne 04/05. I knit the 34/36 size, and used less than 5 skeins of Oxygene in Noir, 3 skeins of Oxygene in Blanc and 6 skeins of Phil Pompom in Pie. And let me say this: It is one WILD and FUNKY jacket. Six years ago I wouldn't have even thought of wearing something like this, but you know what? The beauty of being able to knit my own stuff while living in France, the place where people basically wear whatever tickles their fancy, has liberated me and my wardrobe. Bring on the tufts and fringe!

I've been working on finishing this jacket all week during my free time, and had woven in the very last end right before pulling it on and taking the shot you see above. I have not been able to debut it yet, but I'm taking this jacket with me to PARIS so I can wear it over there during a chilly evening. But before I go, I must do some whack dancing 'cause it's a rule around here:


Things I did when I knit this jacket: Hmm...long-tail cast-on for hem and cuffs. Shoulders were not short-rowed this time, because there was a color change and short-rowing would have looked wonky. (I know, I tried...you always gotta try even if you think it won't work!) So I did regular bind-offs for shoulder shaping, but slipped the first stitch of each bind-off row. Shoulders were joined using backstitch. Sleeve and side seams were joined using mattress stitch. Prior to seaming I steam-blocked all pieces with WRONG SIDE facing down. [Slideshow of how I block here.] After I attached all the fringe* I decided that the neck looked a little unfinished (I saw this jacket knitted up as a sample in the store, and there was no fringe or edging around the neck) so I picked up stitches around the neck using Oxygene in black, and simply bound-off the first row. I then attached hook and eye fasteners to the front edges of the jacket. [NOTE: I've already washed the jacket as a means to give it a final blocking session, and the tufts in the Phil Pompom held up wonderfully as did the fasteners. No snags, no disasters. Man, I love me a well-behavin' jacket, don't you?]

*Before I head off to Paris with this jacket, I need to dedicate a little paragraph to the fringe. At first I considered not putting ANY fringe at all, but working a border around the jacket instead. I did that, and it looked bare. So then I decided to put only black fringe instead of black and white fringe, and that looked really weird. It was then that I realized that pattern designers really do know what the heck they're doing, and that black and white fringe was used for a reason. And you know what? I found the reason. I finally tried the black and white fringe and it's what looked best on the jacket. I cut the fringe at the length called for in the pattern and the only way to wear it is all wild and flying about. Trying to make the fringe look neat (yep, I tried that, too) looks a little strange on this jacket. Wild is the way to go when you've got a jacket with popcorn-looking tufts all over it, believe me.