BLOG 04/01-15/2002

Cultural Froids

from the

What the...

RK's lawyer
sings the blues

"... People seem to have gotten the idea that R. Kelly is some sort of walking ATM they can hit up for cash simply by threatening to sue him."


Cubs/Giants 2-1
Cubs Win
Cubs/Giants 10-4

Reds/Cubs 5-3
Who can play in freezing rain! Sunday's game-time temperature was 42 degrees, but 16 m.p.h. winds gusting to 24 m.p.h. set the windchill factor at 34 degrees. Poor babies!

Montreal 15 -
Cubs 8

Hey, the Cubs scored 8!!! runs. There's a lot of baseball left yet...

hearts the ROCK!!???

Fer ChrisSake...
Give Ozzy back his little Pippy so he'll stop shaking so much...

Baretta goes BAD
Blake, 69, can now lose the wonked dye job

Pigs in a

Umm, Harrison
Calista will now have more time for Mr. Ford and maybe a little chow

ABC cancels
Once & Again

Cubs Rule!

I'll be chic in this tiny tee

under this lovely PARKA

until at least June when it might stop snowing here...


If you do a search on Yahoo for David Gest, ChicKnits is the 14th search return...

Getting a ton of hits from people wanting to know more about Liza's new hub - hopefully some of these people will start knitting!


Anna Nicole Redux
Talk about getting your pound of flesh!
Anna Nicole Smith ... worth a mind-boggling $440,000 per pound – or 135 times her weight in gold!

Pin the fish on ChicKnits favorite

April 1, 2002

Monday Morning April Mirth

April is National Humor Month!

In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April first. It was celebrated in much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night.

Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January first. There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools."

They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true. In France today, April first is called "Poisson d'Avril." French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs. When the "young fool" discovers this trick, the prankster yells "Poisson d’Avril!" (April Fish!)

Here are some fish for you to color, cut out and tape on someone's back!

More Poisson!

Can't get easier than this!

Don't forget: In England, tricks can be played only in the morning. If a trick is played on you, you are a "noodle".

In Scotland, April Fools Day is 48 hours long and you are called an "April Gowk", which is another name for a cuckoo bird.

The second day in Scotland’s April Fool's is called Taily Day and is dedicated to pranks involving the buttocks. Taily Day's gift to posterior posterity is the still-hilarious "Kick Me" sign.

Comments (1)

April 2, 2002

the April Mirth Just Keeps on Coming...
48 Hours of Foolish the Scottish Way!

Lots of my fellow knitters have self-portraits on their sites and have asked where's mine!!???

Two emails asked if I was really a guy posing as a girl (since they thought I was obsessed with Liza Minnelli - I kid you not!) but I am really just a girl seen here posing with some guys...

My mother really hates this picture - I think it's because my hair is really messy... Or maybe it's because no one is KIP!

Comments (2)

April 3, 2002

Ce qui est plus gentil que le miel?

ooh la la...

Comments (11)

April 4, 2002

More Fun than a Barrel of Sock Monkies!

I had so much fun making this little purse I wasn't even bugged that I made a couple near fatal mistakes. And of course, I couldn't help pulling out my digital camera and practicing some more. I've been playing around with the white balance and light sources around the house to see what I can pull out of my hat.

This is my favorite picture...

Ah, screw-ups are the real mother of invention. I started out with enough "felt" to make the body the correct length but didn't understand that my TechnoFur would be soft and not tough enough for the top of the bag. Handsome Norm, the carpenter from This Old House, would not have thrown this creation across the room like I did but he would've pulled out some more wood and made some beautiful crown molding to cap the container...

So I used two strands of yarn - one the same cotton I used on the straps and one strand of some light blue DK yarn - to make a cuff that would fit around the top of the bag. This became my favorite part of the purse although I wasn't going to get the dual action fluffy pet that would've happened if it could've been just fur...

Comments (4)

April 5, 2002

Les bandeaux sont un meilleur ami de filles…

I finished my cabled headband last night
and lucky me - it's still snowing in Chicago
so I can have a warm fluffy head!

Wish I could make a few of these for
the Cubbies who have their opening
baseball game this afternoon...

Comments (3)

April 6, 2002

Opening Day ChicKnits Spring Galllery!!!
My first 2K2 FO made from cotton!

Hooray for the late winter because
now I can wear this a lot!

Cubs Drool
Alas, the Cubs freeze
their tookas off in the
Home Opener and lose 3-1...

Courtesy Chicago Tribune

cool Opening Day
Picture Gallery

I suggest the Cubs take
the Which Powerpuff Girl Are You? Test!

C'est moi naturellement...

Comments (2)

April 7, 2002

Des gara^ons et des filles...

Pouvez-vous dire l'Kool-Aid?

My funky first dyeing attempt!

Over the last year, I've been introduced by my new
knitting friends to the world of Handpainted Yarns.
Ah, a chord of recognition sprang across my brain
like the swift pass of a hand across a harp.

My earliest memory of variegation was my grammie's afghans. She used Red Heart and made each grandchild a Granny Square binkie in their favorite color. Mine was in shades of green; my cousin's was in purples. (I grew out of the green thing but to this day my cousin adores purple!) These afghans were used until they were shredded - which if you know acrylic is almost impossible to do!

When a friend who's in the Windy City Knitting Guild told me about a Kool-Aid Dyeing workshop they were having, I decided to give it a try. I thought it would be funky and flashy - neon - good for a hat or two...

Imagine my delight in finding Fiber Artist and Designer Bethany Lankin running the show! She has incredible experience using traditional chemical dyes and came to Kool-Aid as I; an experiment, a fancy...

BUT, Bethany's taken it to the MAX! She's developed methods to mix the colors to get almost any color you can imagine, not just the "straight out of the envelope" wild bright results you might have seen. She's made beautiful multi-colors, subtle solids, and Regia type combinations - Yum...

We started out dyeing some yarn using what she calls "the Set It and Forget It" method. You mix your dye in a little cold water then put it in a big container like a jar or pot. Add a few cups of boiling water (enough to cover, not swim), your yarn and SIAFI!!!

After a couple of hours, all the dye will have entered the yarn and believe it or not the water is CLEAR!!! The picture on the left is my first little skein in a ZipLock Bag, which I used because I didn't remember to bring a jar. I was going for a burgundy and got pretty close...

I'm telling you it's like a miracle! Bethany showed us all sorts of methods including sponging on more concetrated dyes to handpaint the yarn. The picture on the right is my HP try - purple, burgundy, orange and a little yellow. I love it! These yarns are colorfast (Kool-Aid has a lot of acid in it naturally) but this technique only works on animal fibers.

I felt like COLINETTE!!!

Bethany tells us that Russian Kool-Aid is different than USA Kool-Aid. Different water produces different results. There is even this little bit of What the...

Here's some kewl Kool-Aid links:

AND - Hands Across the Water - Theresa over in Norway at Bagatell and I are simultaneously trying this out - we just found out we were both having a Kool-Aid kind of day!

Comments (1)

April 8, 2002

every Monday Morning is April Fool's Mirth@ChicKnits

ever do a double take on those radio lyrics???

Mystikal's "Shake it Fast"
Misheard Lyrics:
Take a bath! Wash yourself...
Show me what you're soapin' with...

Correct Lyrics:
Shake it fast! Watch yourself!
Show me what you're workin' with...

Comments (7)

April 9, 2002

STARTITIS: the Movie

The latest episode of my yarnaholism, starring in
alphabetical order: Cleckheaten Tencel Wool DK

Opening Scene (Wide Shot): Woman walking to mailbox and opening it with no expectations since Tuesdays are grocery flyer day.

Cut (CU): Beautiful french manicured hand goes into box and pulls out a pile of colorful envelopes...

Cut (CU): Woman's perfectly made-up face with fashionable frosted mauve lips in a big perfect "O"!

Dissolve (SwishPan): (simulation of woman running to closet where yarn is stashed)

Dissolve: CU same french tipped hands furiously moving back and forth. Viewer will be confused and think the woman is beating a drum or clapping but her hands are moving too fast to tell...

Cut (CU): Very intense eyes that are made up like that chick Gwyneth with too much black liner that's slighty traveling in a smudge close to the nose.

Cut (MS): Woman draping new partial shawl across arm with a wistful look on face, with slightly pursed lips. Audience will know her satisfaction at not being a whiner about having nothing to wear over those cool sleeveless dresses she loves so much but hates wearing to her friend's over-air-conditoned parties...

Marketers say at this point all the movie's viewers will break into tears and hug themselves in empathy because after all, they're all freezing their freakin' a**** off at the Cineplex! Guarawhnteed...

Comments (4)

April 10, 2002

Betcha by Golly WOW!

Hip Hip Hooray for JJ!!!

From Kansas City, JJ writes:

"I just finished my first *big* knitting project - the ChicKnits Ribby Pullover! it took 4 months (of on-and-off knitting) but it turned out amazingly well and actually fits! and it's still cool enough outside to wear it! hurrah! . . .I can't wait to make my 2nd sweater now."

"I think several people at the museum where I work want to make it now too! I wore it to work today and showed it off to all the knitters there and the pattern is definitely a hit."

"It's by no means perfect, and I didn't block it yet, but I'm darn pleased with myself :) I ended up added about 1-1/2" of ribbing to the bottom 'cos it was rolling up and was a teensy bit shorter than I wanted at the end. And I think I improvised on the neck a bit as I had more than 60 stitches left after decreasing as instructed for some reason. And I had to rip it back some after binding off when I realized that I bound off WAY too tightly and I'd be lucky if the darn thing would fit over my 1 year old nephew's head!"

"But these were good lessons to learn, and I'm quite proud of my first sweater."

"I used Plymouth Encore Worsted Weight (75% acrylic/25% wool)."

This is neater than the fresh Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy my neighbor Jack got today!!! (Puppy's name is Moose!) Imagine my delight in getting this email from JJ about her first sweater - OWWWWW! SupersonicOK...

Now I want to make another Ribby myself - I think I'll make mine a cardigan. I have some lilac Adriafil "Navy" bulky cotton blend yarn that's just a beggin'...

I need to tweak the pattern a bit (thanks JJ for helping me troubleshoot it! I'll fix the bottom ribbing and make it a couple of inches longer).

I'll post the new "cardie" pattern when it's done. Phase Two becomes you . . .

Comments (3)

April 11. 2002

not singing in the shower

I am going to a double baby shower tonight and I've run out of time... I was going to make some little handknit gifts but couldn't get a hold of the most important ingredient I needed! Frustrating as all H.

So what did I do? Went to Wolf Photo and searched their huge selection of picture frames. Two. Alike. What do you do at a double shower???

OK. I found the sweetest 3-D silver metal scooter with a red flag on a pole with a clip on it so you can post your baby's picture. It even has rubber wheels and a kick-stand. It's about 6"w x 5"h. I wanted to go for a ride. And they had it in duplicate. I added 5 rolls of color film (on sale) to each box and I'm ready to GO... (Not so deep pockets emit groaning beeps...)

Alas (actually HOORAY!)
the missing ingredient came inside this yesterday...

Comments (1)

April 12, 2002

Wrap it Up Baby...

The little bad muse told me
I can't buy any more yarn if I don't eat my
vegetables and finish those winter projects!

Spring has sprung here in the Midland, and we are a bunch of laughing leaping gnomes. Hopefully, I will be leaping into this luscious "jacket". It's still a little nippy in the dark hours and wool is just the best wrap-up around.

I loved my ruffled ice blue long cardigan so much I made another and it's blocking and just needs a TON of finishing. I still have to make the ruffles around the front edge and the belt. I think I started this in January - it's been my "knit it on the #66" project for a long time now. This is probably the first thing I've made on the bus that people are not asking if it's a baby sweater - the color is too adults only...

I actually used the yarn called for in this Rowan pattern that I got at the wonderful Colourway in Wales. They have great sales!

It is a deep burgundy Rowan calls "Brazil" and it will look mahrvelous with a shocking pink shirt or that lilac shell that's almost done. I am fascinated with this color combo. My version of early spring: earthy little bud covers with a ruffly rhodedendron peeking through...

Just Ducky Baby Shower: I never ate so much in my life! At least since Christmas!!! One fine fine baker brought the richest chocolate mousse pie; another a strawberry cheesecake. M&M's, brownies, cake, Hawaiin Punch(!!What the...) and I even had a little salad...

Super Shower What the... one of the preggies got three identical Duck Bathrobes - they were adorable with little bills on the hood. But 3!!! And the theme of the shower was DUCKS... What are the odds of that; there were two stuffed ducks as centerpieces and little duck candles everywhere. A huge Duck Cake that had 3-D feet made from graham crackers covered with orange frosting!

I won gift bingo (you marked on a card the gifts received) and got a cool cucumber bar of soap, then left it on the table when I left! Just like I do when I ask 'em to doggie bag it at the restuarant.

1. What is your favorite restaurant and why? Cafe Absinthe, North Ave in Chicago - mouthwatering prawns!

2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to? La Pasadita on Ashland Ave in Chicago - the best, bar none, barbacoa tacos in the world...

3. What are your standards and rules for tipping? 20-25% (this is Chicago) Sometimes, I've left 100% of the bill because I put myself through college waitressing and if someone is extraordinary, they deserve it. I"ll never forget my roots...

4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert? Only if they seem too good to be real, then I always share.

5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant? Cocktail w/appetizer: Below 85 degrees / martini; Above 85 / margarita, no salt. With the entree: wine apropo. After: expresso or a brandy or grappa.

Comments (1)

April 13, 2002

I see London, I see France....

Is it wrong to be a fashionista with champagne taste on a beer budget?

Is it just me or do our knitting magazines and books seem hopelessly behind what's on the racks? While shopping for a wedding shower, I just happened to notice the many fine new spring clothes for 2002 and do not recall seeing any of these things repped in Vogue, Interweave, etc. But I wanted them - I'm actually trying to make wardrobe here. I have a closet full of knitted stuff that is basically unwearable because it was out of fashion even when it was just finished!

I need basics with a little flair! Simple with a frisky turn...

So I did what any red-blooded American would do:

I went EURO!!!

Current Faves: perennial favorite Rebecca and new (for me) Bouton d'Or #76. More fresh looks than you can shake your needles at - although the most of the really cool stuff isn't shown in the Bouton page.

I'm making Rebecca #22/Pattern #24
out of Rowan AllSeason's Cotton and it is delightful.
I started it last Sunday and it has a peplum with
ribbed detailing that is hard to explain so


Get this pattern HERE

AAHHhhh... I'm dreaming of the day I can afford that
Dolce & Gabanna bathing suit the model is wearing.
It appears I have the BedHead part down.

Comments (4)

April 14, 2002

oh L@@K!

Le petit a sophistiqu? est juste habill?
comme l'enfant de diable "the Omen"

I think my brain was having lunch on the Left Bank because if I'd looked a little closer at the first couple of inches of my anti-airconditioning shawl, I would've seen that the yarn I'm using is NOT the yarn for this pattern.

The pattern is called Wave Crest, a variation on one of the most traditional knitting patterns, Old Shale - the Baby Blanket favorite...

I found it in Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle - she uses it in a design called the North Sea Shawl. Really beautiful! However, she uses 100% wool and the shawl is steamed and blocked perfectly FLAT.

My yarn is 80% Tencel which makes it a very well behaved traveler, but it cannot be steamed or blocked FLAT ENOUGH to do justice to this pattern. It looks like the Baby Blanket for Damien... All poofy and lacey where it should be geometric and sophisticated.

DRAT! I guess I'll have to design my own...

So I decided to try to find a pattern that would required little blocking and found something called Lace Blocks and put together this:

I am going to make a "stole" with garter edges to prevent curling.

Materials: 13 skeins Cleckheaton Tencel Wool - ~1300yds DK yarn

Needles: #6 & #7 needles

Dimensions: 22"w X 72"l

CO 111 sts using #6 needles. Work 9 rows garter st.

Change to #7 needles.

Work the first and last 5 stitches in garter stitch on both the RS & WS to form a stable edge.


Rows 1, 3, 5, 7: K5 (border), K1, *(yo, sl 1, K2TOG, psso, yo, K3); repeat from * to last 9 sts, yo, sl 1, K2TOG, psso, yo, K1, K5(border)

Row 2 and all even rows: K5, purl across to last 5, K5

Rows 9, 11 13, 15: K5(border), K4, *(yo, sl 1, K2tog, psso, yo, K3); repeat from * to last 6 stitches, K1, K5 (border)

Row 16: K5, purl across to last 5, K5

Continue in pattern until about 1" from desired length of stole.

Change to #6 needles and work 9 rows garter stitch.

Comments (0)

April 15, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

Comments (1)




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Finishing up a couple of projects then I'll start my ENGINES!

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Currently Knitting

1. Coppertone (AKA WavyBulb) (83%)
Pattern: Vogue Knitting
Fall 2002
Designer: Shirley Paden
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa 501
Color: Magenta
Gauge: 22sts/30rows over 4"
Needles: #6

2. Fern (23%)
Design: Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara
Color: Kiwi
Gauge: 22sts/30rows over 4"
Needles: #3 & #6

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