Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jumping Across the Pond

I have been coveting (majorly, majorly coveting!) Skinny Rabbit's knits for ages now - ever since I randomly stumbled across her blog more than a year ago.

The first thing to do it for me was THIS - her ribbon cardigan with 3/4 sleeves from Phildar's Eté 2004 pattern book, using this really cool (but now, sadly, discontinued) ribbon yarn by Phil Ruban in this incredible apricot colour 'Cuivre'. I did a frantic search for the pattern, and read somewhere that the Canadian shop Knit n' Tyme carries Phildar mags, and when I e-mailed them they quite kindly told me that yes, they did carry that particular issue and that yes, the sweater I was coveting was in it. And then they told me that this issue was only in French. And people, languages are not my strong point. Without coffee I even struggle with English in the morning - just as Peggers. (Or, as he'd probably quite kindly point out, I also struggle with it after a single glass of red wine - case in point? Last night after dinner - which involved one single solitary glass of Merlot - and a few errands out with a very very very wired Munchkin.)

A photo of the lovely - sadly, now impossible to find - Phil Ruban ribbon yarn. A quick Google search brought this to me from a 2005 (!) stash sale that is now long long long over.
The irony that pains me particularly is that this is even the exact colour that I dream of......

So after realizing that the Phildar issue was in French I simply gave up on it and contented myself to just read Ms. Rabbit's blog entries and willed myself to Let Things Go. Of course, I kept returning to the pictures over and over and over again, but I resisted. Oh, how I resisted. Then after I met Gryphon and listened to her talk and post about knitting and designing her own pieces, I realized that I could probably knit and design the thing myself from my basic knowled
ge of how knitted pieces are made and fitted together, with a knitted leaf/lace pattern put along the edge of the cardi all on my very own. So the pain eased a wee little bit.

Then yesterday, realizing that because Fluffa/Skinny Rabbit does not in fact have an RSS feed and so is not something that I can add to my list of updatable blog links, I went over and browsed her back back bac
k postings. And read all about the incredibly adorable intarsia linen jacket that she knitted her little boy (she's SUCH a good mommy - she knits him a jacket every year to go back to school in!), and at the bottom of the post she mentions this really neat zipper facing trick that she learned the previous year while making her son's knitted cotton jacket. And a nifty zipper trick with facings ("Facings?" I wondered to myself, "what are those???") is something that I was interested in reading about. Heck, this woman is so funny and entertaining when she writes that I even read eagerly about her afternoon snacks - she's that engrossing a person! (Hey, an American ex-lawyer who moved to France, got married and had an adorable son, and is now enrolled in fashion school? With a perfect bod for draping clothes on and a wack dance style? Engrossing is too weak a word for her!!!!)

So dutifully an
d happily I clicked on the post to read about her son's cotton jacket.

And totally fell in LOVE.

An asymetrical jacket done in 3x1 ribbing that melts into plain stocking knit on the front panels, with this wonderful collar that stands up just the wee-est bit and a zipper'd front. Ribbed sleeves. It just screamed out to me to make it for the Munchkin - - he so adores wearing his little jackets and just loves loves loves practicing with his zippe
r. Plus it would make me so incredibly happy to knit him something else other than the rooster sweater that I finished for him when he was about 6 months old (I made it in a 2-year old size) and haven't made him a thing since.

Plus I have this really cool Katia (?) yarn that I got on a major wh
ack discount from The Fine Needle about, oh, 2 years ago and it would be perfect for a jacket. It's this funky wool/something blend, where the something is this sort of ribbon thing that twists around the wool in an acid yellow green flecked with orange, brown, and red. Totally something that a child could wear as a jacket but nobody else could wear as a sweater because it would just be Too Bizarre. Plus it's a bit stiff, which is even better in terms of jacket & not in terms of sweater.

So I did it. I popped right over to Knit n' Tym
e and found the Phildar mag with the asymetrical jacket pattern in it and bought it, despite my total lack of French-speaking abilities. (A knitters dictionary in multiple languages is now apparently on my knitting purchase list!!!! AHEM! PEGGERS! Major mother's day present idea just stated here! Pay attention, Mr. Buggs!!!!) I also went out last night after dinner (and - hehehe - the afore-mentioned glass of red wine) and bought a copy of Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting because the Rabbit also mentions this several times in many of her posts - including this one with the cool trick with the zipper facings.

And lemmie' tell you, that Rabbit is one woman who turns out some muy polished looking knitted pieces. She's totally the boss of her knitting - and isn't afraid to rip out, re-work, or re-stitch something if it doesn't look exactly SO. And while my basic knitting skills are certainly up to snuff after all this time, my finishing skills need some boosting - so I figure this is about the time that I need to work on them - and this might just be the book to help me to do so.

I realized this for several reasons, but the most major one being that I finished & seamed & wove-in the ends on my Green Tea Raglan
sweater last night and am wearing it today. And while it looks lovely (.....albeit long! See how the pic in Interweave shows a cute little jean-clad backside peeking from beneath the sweater? My sweater - knitted most carefully to the measurements in the mag!!!! - covers the back pockets of my pants. Comes to the ball & socket joint in my hip. Is most certainly tunic length rather than slightly-long-sweater-length. What to do about this, I am not certain at all.) it doesn't look nearly as professional as I'd like. I don't think it looks Home-Ec from 8th grade, now, mind you - but it doesn't look as polished as it could.

So 2007 might very well end up being the Year Of Learning Finishing Techniques here at Chez Pointy Sticks...................


diana said...

She is the queen of finishing. You know I haven't been over to her site in awhile. Some great inspiration there!

Sandy said...

If I still lived in Maryland, I'd ask if I could join you in your Year Of Learning Finishing Techniques!

There were some lovely pictures on Skinny Rabbit's blog and I added her to my Bloglines account. Your Munchkin will love his new sweater! :)

Emily said...

Fluffa was the first knit blog I ever saw. Ever. I never left a comment. I still haven't left a comment. But I watched her knit and write about her knitting and said "I can do that."

Becky said...

Who says I don't have a feed? :-)

I've always had it. I also link to readers/aggregators through which one can subscribe to my blog's feed from my sidebar...

P.S. This is my first visit to your blog. I discovered you today through my referrers. Thanks very much for the mention and the kind words!