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A Triumphant Sleeve Cometh.

Expand: Sleeve one and sleeve two.
And they're both the same size!
(Yeah. She showed that naughty sleeve who's boss.)

NEWSFLASH! This just in: Our sources reveal that Skinny Rabbit had two straight late-night knitting sessions in a row - one session consisting of a torturous 2+ hours in front of Eyes Wide Shut starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's bubs - which resulted in a second Salina sleeve knit using the correct needle size of 3.75mm. The sleeve got pulled off the needle before the credits of aforesaid too-bizarre-to-be-artsy film appeared on the television screen and a Kacha Kacha measuring tape confirmed that said sleeve measures the same as the first sleeve. To celebrate her victory Skinny Rabbit ran triumphantly around the block with hands in the air, theme music from Rocky I blaring in the background. "Flying high now..."

Upon successfully finishing the second sleeve, Skinny Rabbit immediately started backstitching the shoulders of the front and back pieces even though she has yet to knit the blasted sleeve cuffs in moss stitch. The correct needle size (3.25mm) has already been tagged in order to ensure that she doesn't flub AGAIN by knitting the cuffs in the wrong needle size. Evidence of Skinny Rabbit backstitching the shoulders has been documented in the form of yet another slideshow, of course.

[Footnote: Skinny Rabbit learned how to backstitch in 2001 using Monste Stanley's Knitter's Handbook as a reference. Skinny Rabbit hearts this book and would probably lug it with her to the North Pole if she had to move there. Which, thankfully, she doesn't plan on doing any time in the near future.]

This also in: Skinny Rabbit stashes again! Sources reveal that Skinny Rabbit became an auntie again [congrats to her little bro on becoming a father to another little girl last week!] so an emergency weekend yarn run was in order. Of course, this means that she didn't break her lenten no-stash rule as the yarn obtained is for gifts and not for her own greedy self.


In the batch: Phildar layette pattern book, Phil Eponge for the new niece's flowery cardigan and some gray flannel Quietude for a vest for Skinny Rabbit's dad. The vest is going to be a Father's Day present, and as Skinny Rabbit's dad is built like a linebacker she felt that she better get an early start on it in order to ensure that it be, in effect, a Father's Day gift and not an early Christmas gift. And doesn't her new yarn look all lovely bathing in its own ray of sunlight on the table? We think so, too.

Still reading? Good. Skinny Rabbit's unforeseen stash run and project reorganization for spring means that there's yarn up on the stash-o-mat page. Take a look!

And this is when I show off my new yarn...

Guess what? I'm blocking the Popcorn Jacket! And that means that I'm close to seaming. Which also means that I am entitled to swatch for new projects, and play show-and-tell of some new stash additions:

Such an exciting color to photograph!

Debbie Bliss Cathay in BLACK, soon to become a "Fiery Bolero" [Interweave Knits Summer 2005]. (Psst...Heather's going to be knitting this, too.) Oh, silky yarn! How I itch to knit thee! And is that a groan I hear because I picked black instead of fiery red? I know, I know. But black goes with everything and this particular lot is itching to become a little black bolero that I can wear over some of those strappy black camisoles I have. And that's all I have to say about that.

But there's more.

Ooooh! French linen blend!
(Such a shameless yarn trollop, I know.)

As we say in French, j'ai craqué during my latest visit to my local Phildar boutique and bought 6 skeins of Phildar Phil Lin so I can make a cropped cardigan [Phildar's Phil Lin leaflet 2005]. There was a sample knitted up in the store, I tried it on, and my carte bleue got pulled out of my handbag faster than you can say "no freaking willpower". Two short tops in one season! I hereby declare The Season of Shrug, Bolero, Cropped Cardigan and Otherwise Mini Sweater open here at (Come on! You knew I was gonna. My trend-lovin' self is all over these shrugs, boleros, cropped cardigans I keep seeing...basically, if it covers the boobs and bares the waist I'm a happy knitter in 2005. Mini sweater me, please.)

So it's official: These two tops are the things I'm going to KNIT while I'm on vacation in PARIS. I'm heading on over to Par-ee with my pals Bonne Marie and Jackie for a week of fun from the 21st to the 28th, and these are the two projects I'm going to stick in my duffle. (Of course I'll be documenting it all with the digicam!) Chicago, New York and Lyon bloggers meeting in Paris...can you stand it? Allez, les parisiennes, on organise une petite réunion "tricot" dans un café qui serait disposé à recevoir quelques tricoteuses pipelettes? Ecrivez-moi!

Look, Ma! I made a flouncy skirt!

Where's the garden party?
P.S. Captain Destructo took the shot. [Awww!]*

My latest sewing efforts have rendered a flouncy skirt using McCall's pattern M4875 and about three meters of flowery fabric purchased in La Croix Rousse. The pattern is classified as "easy" and the front envelope even proclaims "Suddenly You're Sewing!", and that is no lie, my friends. I put the skirt together over a couple of afternoons and suffered no boneheaded moments. I'm dying to put on a pair of sandals and a ballet tank so I can wear this skirt out, but I can't because the weather is being all fickle and cloudy. (Where's my summer, man?) I guess I have no choice but to dive into my wee stash of Fall fabric that I got a few weeks ago before La Maison des Tissus closed for the month of August.

summer2005_sewing_petitesundress2_finished_thumb.jpg I've also finished the petite sundress I had cut out and started sewing before I left on my trip to the Loire Valley, and I'm pleased with how the dress came out. However, I don't want to wear it out yet because I don't like how the back closure looks with the way the instructions called for it to be sewn in (with apparent stitching and a regular dress zipper), so I'm going to buy an invisible zipper and sew it in using a special zipper foot. That means I have to rip out this zipper, and do the whole entire zipper dance all over again without making a mess of it. Lucky me!

Speaking of stash, I've cleaned out enough of my stash during my MAJOR HOUSECLEANING to justify a couple of stash acquisitions for Fall projects. First up:


A nice little batch of Rowan All Season's Cotton in deep denim blue, traded with my friend Sarah W. (via Rowan supplier Kangaroo...thank you!) that wants me to make it into a cardigan to wear this Fall. Which cardigan? Oh, the suspense!

And because I am like to remain faithful to my local market, I bought the fixins' for yet another back-to-school jacket for yours truly:


One of my new rules of stash acquisition is that I won't dawdle anymore and that I will knit any and all new stash acquisitions in a somewhat timely manner. [Yeah, right!] In order to comply with that rule I will be taking these yarns with me to the country for an extended weekend starting this Saturday so I can get a headstart on my Fall projects. I feel my needles clicking already. Click, click, click!

*When Daddy's at work Mommy shall employ the photography services of four-soon-to-be-five-year-old Captain Destructo for taking mannequin shots. Of the five shots he took, this is the one shot that wasn't angled, blurry or chopped off. I would have included customary dancing shots, but i) there was no music, and ii) Captain Destructo wanted to get back to his morning cartoons. Whaddaya gonna do?

Why, it's an Incredible Gaping Armhole!

I bet you're wondering how the armhole of my "Wrappy Jacket", knit in one piece, is gonna look. Well, wonder no more:

Oops! Pardon my gaping armhole.
[Click to see the whole piece, Incredible Gaping Armhole included.]

Now that, my friends, is an armHOLE in the true sense of the word. And it looks so...Gaping! Huge! Cavernous! Still, I think it looks pretty cool, and I can tell that sewing in the sleeve is gonna be a party. Send a pitcher of margaritas, and don't be stingy with the tequila.

Gaping Armholes aside, I must admit that I don't usually wear whole garments knit in variegated yarns, but I love how it works for the Wrappy Jacket. It adds interest, and I don't think the Jacket would have the same effect if it were knit in a solid color yarn.</end two cents>

In other news, my friends are keeping me in STASH:

Received from Heather: Rowan Summer Tweed in Oats! That was received in trade, but she threw in a few extras because she's so sweet: Some Kidsilk Haze in black, a lucet from MS&W, the Rowan Tweed Collection and some excellent NASA swag for the Captain. WOW.

Received from Ei: Four skeins of Kid Silk Haze! Now she did something truly thoughtful: I was expecting two skeins in a color she was going to choose for me, and she went off and included FOUR; two of each in gorgeous colors. I'm in KSH heaven! Ahhhhhh! Now I can knit a beautiful Butterfly, too. (Have you seen hers yet? WOW.)

Received from Jenny: A surprise package containing a "back-to-school" gift for me: Some beautiful material that she bought during her trip to Hawaii. WOW. Sewing goodness! (And that marks the third time I wrote "WOW" in this entry. But really, can you blame me?)

Such fabulous stuff! I raced around the room in circles when I opened up the packages. I have such great friends. (And I know you're thinkin' it, too.)

Speaking of sewing, yesterday I picked up the Burda magazine at my local tabac. Silvia recommended these patterns to me and this is the first copy of the magazine I've ever bought. Boy, oh boy are there fab designs in this one! Five words: Me. Fabric store. Saturday. Ka-ching!

Is this...could this be...?

A sleeve cap, perchance?
Well, GO ON and click to see!

Woo hoo! I completed a sleeve on my Wrappy Jacket, which I bet you thought I had forgotten about and left to collect mites in my knitting bag. Well, not only did I finish what felt to be a mile-long sleeve [it's knit on size 3 needles, after all], but I went off and started the second one. All done in bits and pieces early in the morning or late at night, and surprise! I didn't fall asleep or make any mistakes due to sleepy bedheadedness. Can I get a "Woot, woot!"?

october_07_2005_debbiebliss_thumb.jpg I hope to get some quality knitting time on the Wrappy Jacket this weekend so I can get it close to completion. Which would, according to Skinny Rabbit Rules of Personal Knitting, justify starting a new project. Maybe a cardigan in the latest Vogue Knitting [thank you, Sarah R!] using this fabulous yarn sent to me in trade by Ashlee. It's Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and Astrakhan, and the lot looks so chocolatey and yummy every time I see it I feel like sticking my face in a box of truffles and just, like, pigging out, dude!

How do you knit your H20 hat?

I present to you Wee Egghead in H20 Hat:

How I knit my H20 hat:
In workout clothes with Colinette 'round neck.
(We're just too lazy to wind our Colinette into balls, slappy.)

P.S. I've also got a picture of my Wannabe Snow Bunny Ski Hat and Scarf. (Pretend that I'm wearing a white snow suit and that there's a snow backdrop when you view it. You can also pretend that there's a guy wearing a snappy winter hat and stubble on his chin sitting next to me on a ski lift, only instead of being called "Pierre" he's named "Monsieur Le Hubby" and has been married to me since 1996.)

So! As you can gather from the photo above, I'm knitting another ChicKnits H20 hat using Colinette in Cream Tea. [Cream Tea closeup here.] These H20 hats are like chips; you can't stop at just one.

What else? In spite of the fact that I didn't sleep more than two hours a night from Wednesday to Friday thanks to a big project due I still managed to knit High Energy Knit Jenny's Jo Sharp yarn which is JUST SO FABULOUS how could I not knit it? Jenny sure knows how to pick the good yarns. Here's a preview of what's to come:

An almost finished object.
You know what this means, right?
I get to buy some more yarn. Muwaahaaaaaaa!

All that's left to do is weave in some ends. Looks like there's another finished object on the horizon soon! Which is good, because it allows me to justify the fact that I went to my local Phildar boutique on Saturday morning where I went whack making unnecessary yarn purchases:


More of that fluffy Myriade and some Phil Eponge, both in pink-y beige. I'm a sucker for the muted colors this season. They're the ones that I wear the most so they're the ones I'm knitting the most.

I've also done some fabric stashing. The BIG SALES started on Wednesday, so I decided to head to my favorite fabric boutique in La Croix Rousse for some fabrics. I bought a few meters of a pinstriped gray cotton (for a shirt project we'll be starting in school this month), brown embroidered taffeta and gray satin. There's also some washed denim and a speckled beige wool/polyester blend that I have no idea what I'd use for, but snatched up like a greedy seamstress because the price was nice. I love me a bargain.

All over the place today...

I got new stash!


German knit goodness from Rike's Wollmaus: Rebecca 30, the latest Rebecca 31 for spring and a batch of GGH Amelie so I can knit the fluffy bolero from Rebecca 28. Lots of cool stuff in the spring Rebecca 31; I haven't even begun my Amelie bolero but I'm already thinking of knitting one of the spring designs. Spring can't get here fast enough. And aren't I such an incurable yarn glutton? I know, I know.

I started a new project!

I like to call it "The Holey Sweater".
(I mean, look at all those holes. Ventilation, bay-bee!)
[Hey! Click here to ZOOM OUT.]
[Psst...Wanna see my tubular cast-on? Oh, GO ON.]

I'm knitting a pullover (Phildar Automne 2005) in a wool/acrylic [ACRYLIC...aaaaah! I like acrylic!] blend called "Quietude", which is the same yarn I used for my dad's Papa Vest. I confess: I'm not a big fan of wool pullovers because I get too warm when I wear them, but I'm making an exception for this one because it's lacey and has a wide neck. I like me some good ventilation.

The lace pattern for this sweater is very straightforward and I'm having fun knitting it; I cast on for the back last week and am about to reach the armhole shaping. [Click to see the back in all its rumpled, unblocked wackiness.] The hem is worked in 2x2 ribbing, and as this yarn is so wonderfully malleable I took the opportunity to work a tubular cast-on, which I do for all my projects that are worked in yarns that render nicely in it. [Wanna see a closeup of the cast-on? Sure you do. Click here to see it.] I'm such a sucker for the tubular cast-on.

[As I've mentioned previously: Look at Katharina Buss' Big Book of Knitting and Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook for my favorite tubular cast-on methods.]

And there's more: I got mail! From my friend Evelyn in Chicago: a LOAD of fabrics from her stash. Gorgeous, gorgeous fabrics which are destined for use in my future school design projects. And I also got something else: My friend Leisl in Australia surprised me with some Australian candies! Fizzoes, Musk Sticks, Cadbury chocolates, Sherbet Bombs and some Yowies for Captain Destructo. WOW. [P.S. The Captain is now Leisl's number one fan.] Merci, mes amies! :-)

Seaming party alert! Send wine.

I'm spending most of my weekend in Photoshop (big fashion project due this week...sigh) but I want to show you that there is a finished object on the horizon:

Block us! Seam us!

Those knitted pieces have been sitting in that pathetic little pile since last week. I'm going to try to take the time this evening to have a seaming party so I can wear a Fluffy Halter soon. Anybody want to come over and help me weave in all those flippin' ends? I'll serve kirs! Dancing on table with lampshade on head optional.

march_stash_thumb.jpg In other news, I did a little bit of stash enhancement last Tuesday. I bought some yarn to make my Captain Destructo a linen jacket with intarsia stripes (that he picked out himself from the latest Pitchoun) and a knitted toy. And that is all the yarn buying I'll be doing until Lent is over. Eek! Someone should put an electrical fence around the yarn stores so I won't go near them.

On a non-related knitting note, I have a teeny quiz for you. Frequent visitors to my site know that I sometimes mention movies I like to watch while I knit, as well as actors I think are very RAWR. (You know, as in lion's roar. Hee hee!) Next week in fashion illustration we'll be drawing fashion silhouettes for MEN [wriggles eyebrows], and we're supposed to take photos of our "ideal man" so we can individualize our drawing style. Can you guess whose pictures I'll be taking? (And no, they're not my husband's even though he really is my number one ideal guy...awwww!)

Froggy pieces!

Ribbit. Like my stripey trousers?

How does one pass the knitting time when one has no yarn to knit the neckband of a Holey Sweater? Hm. Lemme see...

Knit the beginnings of a toy frog for Captain Destructo - CHECK.

Knit the frog some stripey trousers, even if the stripey trousers are in fingering yarn with teeny needles - CHECK.

Go to yarn store to buy one single skein of Quietude to knit the neckband of Holey Sweater - CHECK.

Buy a project's worth of yarn while you're there. You know, to make the yarn store trip really worthwhile - CHECK.

Oops! I stashed again.
See the skein of Quietude?
Holey Sweater, here I come.

Now that it looks like I've got a finished project known as the Holey Sweater on the horizon, I'm organizing my warm weather "Want to Knit" list and there is so much on there I must think 1) I knit faster than the speed of know, like a whack knitting superhero, and 2) I've nothing else to do except hole myself up in my apartment with a pile of DVDs and knit 24/7. As this is (sadly) not the case and I would like to do some SEWING as well, something from my knitting project list got the boot. Remember the pretty cardigan from Rebecca 29? I even swatched for it last summer, but for some reason I can't motivate myself to actually cast on for it. My pokiness has prodded me to put it out there for anyone else who'd like to knit it. There are almost ten skeins; 9 are intact and one was used for swatching. There is enough to knit the largest size given in the pattern, which is European 36/38. So, who wants it? Almost 10 skeins of GGH Scarlett in Eisblau. [Click here to see the yarn.] No swap this time. All 10 skeins in exchange for the price I paid + shipping to you. Pattern included if needed. Write me if you are interested. [Edited to mention that the yarn is going to la fabulosa HEK Jenny in the US. Enjoy the yarn, Jenny!]

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.

Random Friday:

Let me see...let's start with the Flashy Hawaiian-Print Pajamas. They got sewed up on Wednesday evening just in time for Monsieur Le Hubby to pack in his bag and take with him to the hospital. I just came back from visiting him there, and the first thing I saw when I walked into the hospital room was his head, followed by his shoulders wearing the loud Hawaiian print peeking out of the bed covers. That is one set of flashy jammies, let me tell you, and he was wearing them proudly. [Awwwww!] P.S. His surgery went well and he's recovering well; he'll be home tomorrow afternoon which makes me happy. Hurrah!

thumb.jpgUp next, stash news: I think I realized why - even though the weather here has cooled down considerably (we're talking mid-70s) - I was still moving so slowly with my knitting. My remaining summer projects - a linen tunic and ChicKnits CeCe cardi in Calmer, to name a couple - are all going to be knit in yarn that I've had in my stash for quite a while: The Rowan Linen Drape has been in my stash for over 3 years [!] and the Calmer has been there for at least two. No new yarn = no knitting motivation. While I want to knit these projects I have nothing to push new yarn waiting in my stash to give me the urge the finish what I've got on my knitting plate so I cast on with it. That's means one thing: It was time to FEED THE STASH MONSTER. So I did, by ordering Rowan 40 and heading to my local Phildar boutique where I bought two of the latest pattern books for fall and a project's worth of yarn. Hear that? That's the sound of my knitting mojo flying back in through the door.

But! Even though the knitting mojo has returned and the heat wave is over, the sewing is still going REALLY strong and I've got tons of things I want to make so get ready for muchisimo sewing content. Next week I'll draft a pattern for my Anthro top, for starters. I'd also like to make some trousers, blouses...maybe a dress. As I've clearly got it in my head to spend my school vacation designing and making things I want for myself but don't feel like combing a ton of stores for, I decided to participate in the Wardrobe Refashion Project. I took the pledge to MAKE my own clothes and buy nothing for two and and half months straight. There are longer periods, but two and a half months is perfect for me because when fashion school resumes 1) I won't have the time, and 2) I still love to shop, slappy. Ka-ching.

Before I go, here's a photo of a Miu Miu ad that caught my eye, found in the August issue of French Vogue:

Love those knit sleeves.

Have a good weekend!

Okay, so I needed some quick knitting satisfaction.

And the best way to get it was by digging in my stash and pulling out the GGH Samoa and Soft Kid I bought a few months ago, and casting on for a cutesy little top called "Ultra Femme" from Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation. I cast on for this last night and this is how far I got after a while:

The beginnings of "Ultra Femme"
P.S. See the little picot edge?
Oh, how FANCY!

Oh! I just love it. I'm not a huge fan of circular knitting or worsted cotton, but I certainly don't mind a little bit of it every once in a while. This stuff knits up so fast I have no time to feel guilty that I'm churning it out so quickly. If anything, I'm enjoying it. And isn't the picot edge a riot? It reminds me of a pie crust. I had contemplated not including it but I figured, what the heck? If I'm going to knit a cutesy top I might as well go the whole nine yards. (I initially wrote that "nine yarns". Haha...big indication as to where my mind is.)

[Footnote: The pattern calls for Rowan's All Season's Cotton, and while I love that yarn it doesn't come in black so I'm substituting it with the GGH Samoa. The pink version is cute but I know I'm more apt to wear it if it's all in black, so black it will be. (Tired of my neutrals yet? I hope not 'cause they're a-stayin'.)]

And while we're on the subject of new projects and GGH yarn, yesterday I got a new stash addition from Germany [thanks again, Rike's Wollmaus]:

New yarn! New mags! Aaaaaah!
[Runs madly around the room in circles.]

winter2006_rebecca_thumb.jpg Lots of skeins of GGH Taj Mahal so I can knit this FABULOUS frilly jacket (thanks to Silvia for helping me decide on a color), Rebecca 32 and Lang Fatto a Mano 155. Lots of cute stuff in Rebecca There are a lot of designs I'd love to knit from there (I wish I had more knitting time) but I may narrow it down to just one other thing. The Fatto a Mano also has some nice designs; lots of things that can be worn over several seasons depending on how they're styled. A good example is this vest; it has classic cables but unfinished edges that give it a modern twist. And the model is wearing it layered...bonus points for the layering.

Today is my last day of vacation and I go back to school on Monday. I'll have less spare time starting next week, but I'm excited about these new stash additions so I'm still feeling energized in the knitting department. Nothing like feeding the Stash Monster to bring on some more knitting mojo, eh?

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