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Holey Pullover.

All over the place today...

I got new stash!


Oooooooooooooh!

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! :-)

I feel a slight case of startitis comin' on.

I couldn't resist. I tried, but that darn fluffy Amelie yarn kept screaming at me from within its ziploc in my closet, "Hey, you! Yeah, you...whack rabbit with startitis tendencies. Put the Holey Pullover aside for a spell and KNIT ME INTO A BOLERO. Go on...answer to the call of my soft fluffiness. Heck, you don't even have to swatch me. I got wee sleeves, so start with a sleeve. Go on...you know you wanna! Knit me a sleeve! NOW!"



Oooooooooooooh! Fluffiness!!!


So I did. Today in school, during a class that doesn't require anything other than listening to the teacher talk about culture mode, I sat at the back of the room and knit the beginnings of the Amelie Bolero sleeve with my hands hidden under the desk like a knitting fiend. Multi-taskin', bay-bee! And boy, this knits so quickly it's almost decadent. I'm already past the sleeve shaping. From what I've knit it seems that I got lucky with the gauge on size 6mm needles, but I'm going to wash the sleeve when it's finished to see if there's any change before I knit the rest of the bolero.


But what about the Holey Pullover?


I luuuurve armhole shaping.
It means I'm more than halfway through a knitted piece. Woot!


I had a lot of school work last week and didn't get a chance to knit at all, but on Sunday I was able to enjoy some quality knitting time (with kir royal accompaniment) on the back piece of the Holey Pullover, and I got through the armhole shaping. I'm really enjoying this knit. I thought I'd get bored with the repetitive stitch pattern but I'm not even close to getting bored yet. Tonight I'll finish the back piece and if my work load isn't too heavy this week I'll get started on the front piece, or maybe a sleeve. (Yes, I'm still gonna knit the Holey Pullover even though I got all antsy and started my Amelie Bolero. I may even cast on for another project I'm dying to work on, because the yarn for several new projects are calling to me as well. A little bit of startitis now and then is an okay thing. Because I say so. Hee!)

"Gimme front!"

Says the Holey Pullover, feeling all neglected and lonely in my knitting basket while the fluffy knits get all the attention. So I cast on [yes, more tubular for 2x2 rib...we here chez skinnyrabbit are longtime fans of the tubular] for the front piece and looky what we got now:



She likes me! She really likes me!


I'm still having fun with this cably, lacey-like pattern and haven't gotten bored with it yet. Then again, I'm trying not to think of the sleeves - which look like they are long enough to fit a gorilla - I'll have to knit. Maybe I should buy some yarn or pattern books to motivate me. Yeah. That oughta do it. [I know, I know. Any ole excuse for the stash enhancing, eh?]

Of knitting, mannequins and lazy cooking for Sunday dinner.

Hey! Guess who's finally getting some neck shaping?



Is this the beginning of a scoop neck I see before me?
(Just don't say the word "sleeves", okay? 'Cause I still gotta do those.)



My Holey Sweater! Now remember, this is a scoop neck. A really low scoop neck [shex-aaaay!], so armhole shaping is done at the same time as neck shaping. Of course, I decided to do both the left side and right side at the same time...you know, remaining in pattern and all. We're talking the knitting equivalent of rubbing your belly, patting your head and moving your feet at the same time. But that's not all: I had an afternoon cocktail consisting of two white wine kirs while shaping the neck AND armholes AND working the pattern, which only added to the fun. We like the fun knitting chez Skinny Rabbit.

In other news, I'd like to share that I've decided on a name for my mannequin! It was a hard choice, let me tell you. I narrowed my favorites down to five, and asked my design student friends at school to vote on them. The one that won it by a landslide vote was [drummer boy plays in background]:

GIGI!


...suggested by Jennifer. The name instantly reminded me of "Gigi", the novel by Colette, which I am going to re-read for the heck of it. Thanks to Jennifer for the name, and to everyone who participated in my Name that Mannequin Game. All the names were fabulous!

march_ovenomelette.jpg In thanks, I give you a recipe that I made up for Sunday dinner which, by luck and laziness, came out tasting so darn good my boy asked for seconds even though he hates eggs. I call it "Rabbit's Oven Omelette...Yummy!", alternatively titled "it's Sunday night and I don't feel like cooking because I'd rather be knitting, so let's throw something together quick-like while trying to cover all basic food groups, shall we?" Keep reading for the recipe!

Rabbit's Oven Omelette for Sunday Dinner...Yummy!

Enough for 2 adults and one child.
Ingredients (or, what I had in the fridge):

One bag of fresh baby spinach.
Diced ham.
About five little rounds of fresh goat's milk cheese.
5 or 6 eggs.
About two tablespoons of flour.
One 20cl brique (small carton) of "fluid cream" (I use this for making quiche lorraine; ditto with the diced ham).
Herbs, salt, pepper.

(These are things readily found in French supermarkets. I wouldn't know if the same things as they are sold over here can be found elsewhere so hey! Get creative if need be.)

Set oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cook spinach, if you want. (I steamed it for five minutes.) Stir all ingredients together with the exception of goat's cheese. Add herbs, like Marjolaine (don't know name in English, sorry), and salt and pepper. Grease shallow pan using olive oil. Pour ingredients in pan. Crumble goat's cheese on top. Put in oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with bread, and maybe salad. Why not have chocolate ice cream for dessert, like we did?

Enjoy! :-)

Hey! It's Talk Like Bill and Ted Day!

I bet you thought I had, like, totally given up on my Holey Sweater. Well, ha ha! I didn't.



Whoa! I'm about to start the sleeve cap shaping, dude.
Wanna see an AERIAL VIEW? You know you totally wanna.
[Plays air guitar.]


We got sleevage, dudes. Werd. This sweater will be a most triumphant finished sweater.

Be excellent to each other! Later.

Psst...

Wanna see a Holey Sweater sleeve cap? Well, here you go:


Pardon me, my top edge is curling.
Blocking board, take me away!


First sleeve down, second sleeve on the needles. And I promise not to procrastinate on it because SPRING is definitely here (at least my allergies tell me it is) and I gotta get off this winter knitting, already. I'd like to get some cotton and linen blends on the needles, like, now.

Footnote: I knit the above sleeve cap while reading The Devil Wears Prada because I like a dose of chick lit now and then.

And I'm now on three day weekend! Happy Easter Weekend! We love Easter! To celebrate I will update my blog every day from here to Monday. Yes, even though I have to work on a BIG school project that's due next Friday and even if I have so little knitting to show I resort to gratuitous shots of my Captain Destructo in order to distract you. Like, this one:



Captain in costume rides vintage car in a parade.
[Awwwww!]


A gratuitous photo of my boy riding in an old car during a parade held by my fashion school at a vintage fashion market last Saturday. He had a blast riding around and waving at all the people there, and basically getting enough attention to last him for the rest of the year.

Look at what I was knitting while riding in the car today:


In this photo, I'm just about to start the sleeve increases.
(I love it when we gotta ride in the car for 15 minute stretches.)


Sleeve numero deux of my Holey Sweater. And funnily enough, knitting this second sleeve is turning out to be rather entertaining even though I just finished knitting one exactly like it. Know why? Because this is now a CHALLENGE, bay-bee. It's a showdown, between me and Mother Nature: If I finish this sweater before the weather hits 25 degrees celsius I'll be the champion and award myself with a nice long visit to the yarn store. [Insert drum beat.] Sing it with me now, friends: "We will, we will rock you..."

Happy Sunday! Happy Easter!

I managed to knit a bit more on my Holey Sweater second sleeve last night:



Sorry...my work table is a mess right now.
Schoolwork got shoved out of the way for this shot.
(Bring back fashion school memories, Sil? :-))


And in Happy Easter news, we got Easter treats galore thanks to the thoughtfulness of my friend Mrs. Pilkington. Yesterday's post brought Cadbury eggs, Reese's peanut butter eggs, Nestle Crunch creme eggs, Cadbury mini eggs...we're talking major Easter goodness. But that's not all: There is also a cute Japanese comic book, vintage sewing booklet and a 1960s apron pattern from McCall's for me and some Glitter Putty for the Captain. People, the house is officially rocked. Thank you to Mrs. Pilkington for sending some big time sunshine my way in time for Easter Sunday!

Ta-da!


[Click here to see a full shot. We like the full shots.]
I like to call these sleeves "yarn hogs".
(Keep reading and you'll see why.)


I finished both Holey Sweater sleeves. Woo hoo! All I've got to knit now is the neckband, which I'd really love to do but CANNOT because I don't have enough yarn for it. People, there is nothing more frustrating than pulling a Holey Sweater sleeve off the needles while whistling happily, skipping over to the yarn closet in search of yarn for the neckband, and then discovering that all that is left in the Holey Sweater project ziploc are a few Quietude labels, 1/4 measly skein of Quietude, a wee bag of sequins for the decorative flower....but not enough yarn for the 200+ stitches freaking long neckband! Argh! So close, yet so far. Please excuse me while I stamp my feet in frustration.

A pitcher of margaritas and a skein of Quietude in the same dye lot, stat.

Look who's FINALLY getting her time in the spotlight.


Well, it's about time, lady. Sheesh.


I've blocked all the pieces of my Holey Sweater and I've FINALLY commenced seaming. I know what you're thinking, 'cause I'm thinking it, too: "It's about flipping time. Get this darn knit finished, already."

Now I gotta nag myself into knitting the miles-long neckband in 2x2 ribbing and then sew it on. YAWN. Someone send over a little gnome, with a cute name like "Ribby" or "Seamy", to do it for me. Please? Thank you. Much obliged.

In the meantime, I comfort myself with fabric stashing. Mainly lightweight cottons so I can do some sewing during this summer. I'm not exactly sure what I'll be sewing yet and I probably won't be using all the fabric I get, but I do want to sew at least one skirt using a pattern I'll construct and draft myself. And do you think I got enough brown in there? I don't think there's enough brown. I mean, I really think I need more brown, because it seems that I haven't purchased enough fabric in brown*.



I must have been craving chocolate when I went fabric shopping.


*Yes, I know there's more than enough brown for me to decorate a chocolate shop. [Mmm....chocolate.] Clearly, I think that I just don't have enough brown in my wardrobe. Brown is my new black this season. (Still, this isn't the last of my fabric stashing at The Fabric Stores. Other colors will be honored during future expeditions.)

"Argh. This sweater had better be worth it."

Said the Rabbit to Monsieur Le Hubby as she spent TWO FREAKING hours sewing on a loooooooooooong neckband to the Holey Twisty Sweater* this morning.



Free-loop backstitch, anyone?
[Psst...don't miss the SLIDESHOW.]


We're almost there, people. I have knit the (seemingly) miles-long neckband separately and am sewing it on using free-loop backstitch on the right side of the work. I don't always use this technique, even when the pattern calls for it, but it's a good alternative to picking up stitches and knitting on a neckband in certain situations. [Read more about when I like to use the free-loop backstitching technique here.] I decided to do it for this sweater because:

1) The border of the neck is too uneven and holey and, as a result, will not make for a nice foundation row for picking up stitches. This is the main reason why.

2) I'll be able to do the tubular cast on for 2x2 rib so the neckband edge will match the hem and cuffs. This is just a plus, though. If I had picked up stitches for the neckband, I would have done a tubular bind-off for 2x2 rib, like I did for the knit-on neckband of a sweater I knit for Monsieur Le Hubby a while back.

thumb.jpgI taught myself to do free-loop backstitch on the right side of the work by looking at the dinky little illustration provided in all Phildar pattern books while sewing a collar onto a sweater I knit for my Captain Destructo when he was a toddler, but I know that there are excellent instructions for it in Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting. Instead of rehashing what Ms. Buss has already explained in an excellent manner, why don't I just share another slideshow of photos I took during this morning as I sewed on this looooooooooooooooong neckband to the Twisty Sweater? I'll add my own personal tips that I've come up with over time to make the technique easier for me. Okay? Okay.

*I've re-christianed this sweater the "Twisty Sweater", because all those little faux twisty cables in the stitch pattern cause the WHOLE sweater to twist around slightly. I noticed this bizarre twisty action when I tried the sweater on my mannequin, so I'm going to give the sweater another major blocking session when I'm finished sewing on the neckband. Sigh. I feel a letter coming on....

Dear Twisty Sweater,

I wish I could bill someone for all the time I've spent working on you because I'd get a helluva productivity bonus at the end of the year if I did.

Yours,

Rabbit
President of "I Sure Could Use a Margarita" Finishing Club, Lyon Chapter

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