Like Let's Make a Deal, but different.

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august_13_2004_tank_thumb.jpg august_13_2004_carla_thumb.jpg
august_13_2004_toy_thumb.jpg august_13_2004_apricot_thumb.jpg


I am in major multi-project mode right now. This is what I'm currently working on:

1) The debardeur 4b from Famille Printemps/Ete 2004. I fell in love with that tank as soon as I saw it in the mag back in February, and during one of my frenzied shopping expeditions during the S-A-L-E-S I purchased 5 skeins of Plassard Grand Large Batik in a very subtly-variegated cream color so I could knit it. I swatched for it while on vacation last month, and decided to start a few days ago. Wow! This tank really rolls on the needles. I cast on while watching Mutiny on the Bounty with Clark Gable [boy, he was a hunky-hunk in his time, ears and all] and before I knew it, I was getting ready to start the raglan shaping. Oh, 4.5mms and Plassard Grand Large Batik...how I love thee!

2) A surprise toy for a non-knitting friend. This toy means that I must knit a whole bunch of teeny-tiny pieces and do a whole lotta weaving and sewing, but the toy is so cute even that will be fun. Plus, I get to play around with cutting out felt pieces which makes me feel crafty. Send a glue gun.

3) I've been reorganizing my stash* and discovered some nearly forgotten Cotton Tape in Glint. Wouldn't that make a wonderful lacy top to wear with jeans? I think so. Carla from It's a Tape Thing, here I come. Nothing like making a dent in one's stash AND knitting up something fabulous. (And thanks to Shobhana for the company!)

4) My Jacke in Apricot is blocking and I bought some fancy little buttons at La Droguerie, so it looks like a seaming party is going to commence soon. Send a kir royal.

All this finishing makes me feel like I should be getting ready for fall projects. So I am! Check out my latest stash addition of pretty powder-puff Cecilia yarn. As soon as I check off one of the projects above, I can get a-swatchin'. Giddy-ap!

*Sometimes moving through my stash makes me feel like I'm going spelunking in underground tunnels and grottos of fiber. Put on that lit helmet and dive under the bed. Oh, look! Some Cotton Tape in Glint. Find my way through to the bottom of the closet and rediscover a box of yarn. Hey! I forgot I had that Bouton d'Or Dune. I think from now on I'll refer to reorganizing my stash as spelunking for yarn.

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!

Oh la laaa....my penultimate summer project.

Why, it's a finished tank!

summer2004_tank_finished_mannequin.jpg
This is the stand-still-like-a-mannequin shot*.
[Click me for other views!]
[And here's the REALLY BIG sweater picture.]

This summer I was into knitting cardis because, to be honest, I never wear any of the tanks I have knit for myself. Unfortunately, it's the shameful truth. But tanks are always fun to knit, so at the beginning of spring I promised myself that I could knit one tank this season on the condition that i) I will wear it, oh yes I will, and ii) it be in a neutral [read: boring] color in order to ensure compliance of condition (i). And you know what? I really like this tank so it's easy to comply with these conditions. The "halter" feel of it makes it very comfy. I've worn it twice already!

[BONUS: The tank made its debut for running errands on Saturday, and I have action shots for you: The tank peering longingly into the closed Plassard shop and the tank going grocery shopping (oh, how exciting!) at Auchan.]

As I've been somewhat slothful in getting finished tank pictures up, there are LOTS of silly whack dancing shots for you. [Note: There really was music playing in the background...the dance shots should give you an idea as to what we listened to that morning!] Clear your cache, friends:




Project details: Debardeur 4b from Phildar Famille Printemps 2004, knit in the smallest size using size 4mm needles and Plassard Grand Large Batik yarn in a subtly variegated cream color. In order to keep the free edges at the armholes neat, I used a chain selvedge (slipping all sts purlwise on the WS rows and knitting them on the RS rows). Pattern was altered in that I did not knit the ribbing using smaller needles and the neckband was knitted-on instead of sewn-on. I worked the ribbing loosely in order to give the tank some ease, because the last form-fitting tank I knit in worsted weight yarn made me sweat like Rocky during his cliche training scenes when I wore it.

*We always have fun during picture-taking time, and when my husband was taking pictures of me wearing this tank my son said he wanted to take "a picture of Mommy, too". We gave him the camera and let him take one, and SURPRISE: It came out! So we stood him on a chair and let him take another one, and - surprise again - that one came out, too. I couldn't resist including it with the rest, so I did. And you know which one it is? The "stand-still-like-a-mannequin" shot at the top of this entry. Not bad, eh? :-)