Twisty "kimono" sweater!

Why, yes! It's another project, thank you.

Yep. This piece went to the frog pond.
(I blame it on Seabiscuit).

Twisty cabled "kimono" style sweater. Phildar [surprised? I hope not] Tendances Hiver 2002. Pure Laine. Cream color. Knit in one piece. Very simple cable pattern worked over 12 rows and 15 stitches. (I had it memorized after the first 12 row repeat. That's how simple it is. Really, it is.) Perfect travel project. I started this baby while sitting in a plane heading to the States in December. Seabiscuit started playing as the flight movie, and I pulled out my ziploc of Pure Laine, 4mm bamboo circs and cast on. Just like that. Giddy-ap! Let's get knittin'.

The problem is that Seabiscuit had about 50 scenes that made me want to cry. In order to keep myself from blubbering out loud like a baby in front of my fellow passengers, I knit everything you see in the picture above like I was in a race. You'd think someone had whacked me with a riding quirt, I was flying so fast and so blindly on those needles. It wasn't until the final scene where Tobey Maguire is riding Seabiscuit in the race and losing, and his friend George lags behind so that Seabiscuit can see the other horse in order to give him the push he needed to win....Excuse me. I need a moment. [Grabs tissue.]

Anyway. It wasn't until the movie ended that I finally composed myself, looked at my work, and said, "Why, this looks like crap." I took a better look at the pattern instructions and discovered that I had started the chart pattern at the wrong place. That's why the piece looks off-center, wonky, and, well, like crap. I stuck the project in my ziploc, shoved it back into my carry-on in disgust and pulled out a mag. And there the project stayed for over two months.

Last week I decided to start over, and (thankfully) second time was the charm. This is what I worked on while I was sitting in front of the computer developing the print magazine for my son's school:

This is the way it's supposed to look...
[Click here for a closeup of the stitch.]

Once you pass those 5cm of 2/2 ribbing and start the chart pattern (the right way, that is), it really does fly. The rows are short and except for occasional crossovers, it's just straight stockinette. Perfect for multitasking. Therefore, this will be my "work a few rows every once in a while so expect me to take a year to finish it" project. It is the project I will work on in short spurts whenever I'm working on a non-knitting project at the same time. So, if you want to wait to see this in its finished state, please wait for it sitting down. Watch Seabiscuit while you're at it. [Pass the tissues, please.]

Ze plane, ze plane!

Welcome to Sleeve Island!*

I am Dance Rabbit, your host. Please join us on a short tour of the only things I seem to be knitting this week: Sleeves.

Oh, finish me already.

Our first sleeve wishes to reach sleeve cap shaping, because we have grown tired of knitting 4/2 ribbing in acrylic/wool even if we are using zippy Addi Turbo needles. We knit each row lovingly as the sleeve is for a sweater destined for The Husband, but as we trudge through all that ribbing we find ourselves lamenting the fact that The Husband, in spite of his many good qualities, appears to have been born with Gorilla Arms. Either that, or it is simply taking us ages to knit this sleeve.

DVD watched while knitting this sleeve: Part of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. We saw this movie in the theaters while visiting London back in 2001, and we wonder now why we decided to watch it again on DVD. The three hours of the film seem no shorter even if one is watching it in the comfort of one's home.

I'm about to knit on stitches for the body.
It's going to be slooooooooooow.

Our second sleeve is of the year-long sweater we commenced a few months ago, and it is moving along at a nice, relaxed pace. However, this sweater is knit sideways in one piece from sleeve cuff to sleeve cuff, and we are about to reach the body shaping which requires that we cast on about 10,000 stitches at both ends. That means that this project, which was crawling along when we had shorter rows to work, is about to hit the same speed that our knitting took while knitting the chocolate Phil Ruban poncho. Alert Tita.

A good part of this sleeve was knit while waiting for oatmeal cookies to bake and at various sporadic times while riding in the car. This is our multi-tasking sweater. And the oatmeal cookies came out pretty good, thanks.

This is the sleeve to Audrey.
(A spot of blocking wouldn't hurt.)

Our third sleeve is completed, and we were almost sorry to cast off that last row as knitting Calmer has got to be among the most Luxurious Knitting Moments of All Time. We are thankful that we have stashed up on Calmer because we feel that knitting with it is even better than chocolate. Really, it is.

Thank you for visiting Sleeve Island. And I have no idea why I used the royal "we" throughout this entry. There's no one here but me and a bag of tortilla chips. Oh, and a couple of sleeves on needles.

*Remember Fantasy Island? If I could go to Fantasy Island I'd ask to be let loose into a yarn emporium for 48 hours straight with a credit card that has no limit. And Mr. Roarke would foot the bill.

Welcome to the Valley of the Looooooong Rows

You wanted something big? I got your big, pally. Go on, click a thumbnail:

fall2005_whisper_back_thumb.jpg summer2005_papavest_back_thumb.jpg fall2005_wrappyjacket_thumb.jpg

That's right! We've kicked into major multi-project mode like a mad, mad knitter Chez Skinny Rabbit. And it's all BIG! BIG and bad! Every knitting session is like a wrestling match with long rows and even longer circular needles. Neely* should have been clever enough to pick up one of these knits every evening:

1) Weighing in at 10 balls of Calmer in shade 474, light khaki, and 95 measly stitches for the back is "Whisper", from Rowan's Calmer Collection. Oh Whisper! How I've been wanting to knit you for the past two years! Why I procrastinated, I do not know. But procrastination is no more and I'm going at the Calmer like a starved knitter. One evening I cast on and flew through the tucks like they were a batch of Grandma's cinnamon cookies. [Cooooooookies!] And don't the tucks at the hem remind you of a melted candle? Yeah, me too.

2) Weighing in at 10 skeins of Phildar Quietude in heathery gray and 120 sts on an Addi circular is a Papa Vest. Yes, a Papa Vest. Remember the vest I started working on while I was on vacation in La Loire? Well, I bet you thought that I had hidden that under the bed and tried to forget about it. Haha! I did not. I worked on it while I was visiting my friend in the country. The seemingly endless rows in 5/2 ribbing make it easy to blab and knit at the same time. A good part of the back piece of the vest was knit while sitting outside and chatting with my friend, while our respective Messieurs Les Hubbies grilled every meal. As my Dad is a barbecue fiend connoisseur himself [five custom-made smokers and grills, anyone?] I'm sure he'll appreciate the barbecue smell that seems to have impregnated itself in this particular piece.

3) And the granddaddy of them all, weighing in at 9 balls of Phildar Auteil and 162 stitches [!] on a Clover bamboo circular, is my "Wrappy Jacket" from Phildar's Fall 2005 pattern book. Knit in one piece from side to side and taking up all the space in my knitting basket, this piece requires multi-tasking or it has the effects of a Seconal. I also worked a few rows on this piece while I was away, and now that I've returned I've been knitting it while reading the latest Harry Potter. [Thanks, Carolyn!] The looooooong rows in stockinette stitch make reading, watching dvds or otherwise watching Captain Destructo race around the playground like he's got a jet pack stuck to his back easy.

Speaking of loooooong rows, and to further prove how serious I am about my stash housecleaning (yes, there's more up), I'm putting to rest a project that I'm sure will remain unfinished. Out with the old and in with the new, and all that jazz. Say your goodbyes to:

R.I.P, Twisty Kimono Sweater

Thanks for the [looooooong] memories.

The twisty kimono sweater that made me weep a thousand tears while watching Seabiscuit. I've been reluctant about putting this project to sleep over the last year, thinking I'd eventually want to complete it, but truth is I probably won't. Yes, yes. I know the final result would have been fab. But the color and endless repetitive cables have the effects of a valium and a fab final result is not enough incentive for me to get past a sleeve. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I've already returned the unused balls of yarn to my local boutique, have kept a few for another project and remain with this woeful lonely sleeve as a souvenir. Woeful and lonely, no more. It will be ripped out and recycled, and maybe made into a long scarf with a more complex cable pattern. Hasta nunca, amigo.

In other news, I'd like to give a big public thank you to my pal Sarah R., she of the witty commentary in my comments box, for thoughtfully sending me a goodie package of treats for the Captain and some knitting magazines for me. The knitting magazines, of course, mean that I've now reorganized my entire fall knitting lineup because I fell in love with several projects in the mags. [Read: stash cleanup will continue.] My knitting pals are serious enablers, let me tell you :-)

*Come on, this is an easy one. Name that movie!