Can't Wait to Finish This...
What's really amazing is how fast this yarn
(Rowan AllSeasons Cotton) knits up.
What's even more amazing is that the Spring Weather
here in Chicago has gone from snowstorms to sleeveless.
Wait a minute. That means I have to have even
MORE chic clothes to handle all the possibilites...
Too Hot to Handle
In typical Chicago fashion, the weather
has gone from frigid to tropical in about thirty
seconds. It was so hot in my apartment that I
could not even stand the feel of any of my current
projects - nasty damp palms GACK...
But how can you let that valuable knitting time
go to waste? I don't smoke, drink little and forgot
all the yoga I ever learned so how am I going
Oh right, make something out of cotton! Keep the
hands cool and dry at the same time! I started
Rowan #25: called
"Alice" - buy
This was slated for deep whenever meaning probably
not ever in 2002 but now it's speeding right along.
Sometimes the yarn just finds it's own level.
This is an older Rowan Pattern (Book #25) that
I adapted for slightly heavier cotton than the
original called for. It is fitted and ruffled
- can't seem to get away from this style. The
open work pattern is lace rib - I love it...
Where's my winning ticket?
I am sulking today because I am not one of the
three people who won the Eastern States Big Ball
Lotto. One time payout: about $55 million...
I had most of this money spent in my head. After
I gifted the relatives and friends, I would've
bonussed some of my co-workers (only the ones
that were kindred spirits of course. I also would've
stayed at work incognito for a week and made life
a living H for the handful of naughty ones.)
This leaves a pile of money to recreate on. I
love when people immediately talk about their
retirement investments. Baby, you are instantly
retired - this money is now your paycheck forever.
I don't believe anyone who says they would keep
on working at their present job either.
So begins my new life. One where I have a condo
in Paris and one in San Francisco. A house in
the Garden District in New Orleans ala Anne Rice
and Trent Reznor. I'd spend my winters there until
after Jazz Fest, then head out West.
After I spent about one year just throwing money
on the ground and walking on it in several countries,
I would open a Yarn Shop in San Francisco, where
it's always sweater weather...
I lived there for 10 years and miss it terribly
- compared to Chicago, there is GEOGRAPHY. Mountains
in minutes, the glorious Pacific to delight and
really mess up your hair.
My store would be open and airy with a big table
in the middle for drop-in knitting. There would
be tables and chairs outside where you could knit
and drink coffee from the expresso bar inside.
I would carry enough of one color to finish an
average sweater. I would try never to say, "Oh,
that's ok we can order that for you!" I would
browse the newest mags and pick my favorites and
stock like crazy some of the cooler Italian yarns
you hardly ever see. Furrgedabout Anny Blatt and
the really high priced weird stuff.
I could work out a deal with the Euro companies
(and domestic) to promote new yarns for new knitters.
There would be one permanent teacher who was there
just to answer questions and show technique for
free. No surliness at this house of yarn. Every
question is a good question!
And, because I'm sitting on a pile of money, who
cares if it turns a profit!!!
BTW, I did get the Big Ball number on my Lotto
ticket and won $1.00...
OMG... It's finally cooled down. I am
just too freaked out about 90 degree temps in
April. Don't like it. Scares me silly. Tornado
warnings last night up north a ways. It was fricky
sticky and by god I wish I had a barometer like
Dad had to check the PRESSURE: the air was so
thick I felt the moist hair around my neck curling
up underneath the top hair like some noxious little
animal. Now that's HUMID baybee.
(I love that Lipton Iced Tea commercial where
the Brisk Mini's go on strike. You just can't
keep Danny DeVito down. Oh NO...)
I did learn how to knit warmer yarn in HOT weather
- I threw it off to the side and let the bulk
of it rest on the couch. I really want to finish
the Rowan Allseason's peplum sweater - I finished
the left front last night. This heat wave is just
a trick and it will be back in the 40's before
you can two snaps up.
1. What's your favorite
TV show and why? I really love "Law & Order,
the Original." My friends tell me this is Bubbie
TV but I would have to say NAY, that would be
2. Who is your favorite television star?
Mr. Big Mr. Big Bring Back Mr. Big...
3. What was your favorite TV show as a child?
4. What show do you think should have been
cancelled by now? Fear Factor OMG...
5. What new show do you hope escapes the axe
this season? All shows that are not about
Medical Examiners (OOH mr. peterson), Cops or
Crime Solvers should go away. EEK that would leave
us with all crime all the time!!??? Wow, and I
dissed Fear Factor...
49 degrees High/36 degrees Low
A sprinkly initial overcastYeven spells of light
rain before clouds break.
Spells of sunshine this afternoon as northeast
winds reinforce the chill.
An overcast builds late nightYrain begins in Sunday╬s
ah yes, once again the
forecast calls for CRAFTY...
You can't keep a good Chicagoan down - they'll
just go find something else to do instead of that
stroll by the lake.
BTW, that strolling thing here is such a big fantasy!
There's a free paper here called the Reader that
has all sorts of entertainment and apartment listings.
They also have a HUGE personels section with something
for everybody. Lots of YouMustBeKidding Categories...
Great Lunchtime reading with a burrito. Most of
the ads in my section (SWF) from the men describe
their favorite things to do on a date. Number
Two with a bullet is (drumroll please...) "a romantic
walk along Lake Michigan".
That's just ROFLMAO funny!!! Imagine yourself
all datenight vulnerable and trying to make a
beautiful impression and your date takes you to
the Lake. First of all there is NO parking down
there, so you have to hike about a half mile to
the beach in those cool heeled slip-ons that make
your legs look so shapely. Even if you have any
will to stroll left when you get to the beach
and kick off those shoes, the wind will probably
whip you, your hair and your outfit into a frenzy
and you'll get hit in the head (like I did, swear
to God) by a volley ball from the insane Chicago
Social Club teams who are crazily bonding just
inches from your stroll...
If the ball doesn't get you, maybe a cyclist will!
There is an all out feud going on with the bikers
and bladers over the bike path. It is NOT a pedestrian
highway, and if you take up too much space you
just might get mowed down. You certainly will
be hailed with more swear words than you ever
thought possibly could come flying through the
air as Mr. Speed Racer zooms by you. There realy
is no where else to walk.
Dag, this makes me really want to go TO the beach
for some reason on my bike but it's so windy out
that I would be knocked right down the first 1/2
Back to the Mighty Peplum....
go ahead and cry - it's
gotta be done...
April Showers bring Out the Buckets at ChicKnits
TOP 10 SIGNS YOUR HOME NEEDS A SPRING CLEANING
10. Someone asked, "What died in here?" ...and you showed them.
9. Dust on screen gives everybody comical Andy Rooney eyebrows.
8. When you win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes,
Ed McMahon refuses to get out of the van.
7. The so-called "Dust Bunnies" have sharp, snapping teeth.
6. Your house gets hit by a twister and it actually looks better.
5. Guests take one look at your bathroom and decide to use the
4. When someone from the health department rings your doorbell,
you say, "Not again!"
3. Every time you turn on a faucet, you hear a muffled barking
2. Even Robert Downey, Jr. refuses to sleep on your floor.
And the number one Sign Your Home Needs a Spring Cleaning...
1. You've been receiving death threats from Mr. Clean
With that Bald Head hanging over me like a
lightbulb, I've actually jumped into the fray.
Clean curtains (does everyone in America have
TabTop white muslin curtains by now?), rugs are
washed, floors vacuumed and counter stuff moved
and cleaned behind.
While I was vacuuming the workroom, I decided
to spring clean my WIPs (works-in-progress) in
a MasterFul Attempt to Avoid Power Mopping. Janine
from the YahooKnitList has a SIG that says "from
the multiple WIP reality" which surely describes
my knitting environment to a Tee...
Here's what's being Spring Cleaned
- Re-cycled WIPs: These will be frogged and
re-skeined - Grey Broken Rib Jacket (body only
- too big); and the Wild West Variegated Pullover
- Sell Yarn: Lavender SoftBall-like Cotton (14sk);
lavender Sirdar DK (10sk); Cone of Crystal Palace
Biwa 100% Cotton (color: sand); Cone fo Crystal
Palace 100% Georgia (color: desert); to eBay
thee shall go!!!
- Re-cycled Magazines: All sorts of Knitting
Magazines; to eBay thee shall go!!!
- UFO = FO: Finish up the Rowan Tullulah Cardie
& Linen Drape Shell. Store all other winter
partial projects with closeted yarn.
- Move the Woolies to Storage Boxes and bring
out the Cottons.
- Must get some Cedar Blocks and Chips to ward
off pesky moths...
Since I got a lot of "mothproofed or not"
yarn this year, I want to make sure there are
no surprises when I go diggin' next fall. My friend
soap @ SoapSublimeand I have many bars of
soap in the sweater cupboard but methinks this
is not enough...
Today on the KL, Chris Laning from Davis,
CA came to the rescue:
"When I was a starving student with more time
than money, I made
"pillowcases" (fold cloth rectangle in half, sew
up the sides) out of
cheap muslin that was the same size as the bottom
of my sweater
drawer, and filled each one with about half a
package of shredded
cedar from the pet store -- it's sold as bedding
gerbils, bunnies, hamsters etc. I did go around
smelling like cedar
for a few months, but at least it's a nice smell
:) A couple of
dollars worth of the stuff filled two bags for
my two drawers, and
they worked for several years. Of course this
doesn't look as elegant
as the nice cedar blocks or balls do...."
Gotta Go PetCo...
Monday Morning Mirth
Spring Cleaning a la Testosterone
"Do men just play dumb when it
comes to cleaning? Is this an obvious attempt
to avoid any sort of housework? I used to think
so, but now I think it may have something to do
with a testosterone brain block or something.
Last year my house barely survived
our annual spring cleaning day. In fact, both
the fire department and the American Red Cross
still have us on their monthly check-in list.
So this year when the time came to divvy up the
chores and dig into spring cleaning, I made a
cheat sheet of sorts for my husband to refer to:
- Broom (brum) - a long handled brush used for
sweeping(also doubles as a mode of transportation
for your mother)
- Vacuum (vak' u em) - much like the leaf blower
except it sucks in, instead of blowing out.
Don't let this alarm you. It isn't broken and
doesn't need more torque, speed, RAM or whatever
it is you did to the dishwasher.
- Dust pan (DUH) - Contrary to popular belief,this
is where you sweep the dirt, not under the hallway
- Dust Cloth (dust kloth) - A cloth designated
for removing tiny particles of dirt from every
flat surface of the house. Hint: look for your
old "lucky shirt".
- Bucket (buk' it)- Cylindric container used
for holding soapy water when mopping the floor.
Also known as your mid-evil knight helmet when
you're playing with our seven-year-old
- Mop - (mop) a bundle of coarse yarn, rags
or cloth fastened at the end of a stick. You'll
remember this as your dance partner at the New
Year's Eve party last year.
- Toilet Brush (toi' lit brush) - Used for scrubbing
the inside of the toilet bowl. I don't care
what this looks like, you may NOT use my shower
- Oven Cleaner (uv' en Klen' er) - No, not the
teenager. This is an actually product that you
buy, spray in the oven and wipe out two hours
later. You won't need your welder's mask for
this task, but if it makes you feel more dangerous,
- Sponge (spunj) - used to gently wash away
food particles from dinnerware. It won't be
necessary to use your 300psi Power wash set.
That was given to you in hopes of cleaning the
EXTERIOR of the house (hint hint).
- Squeegee (skwe' je) - Same principle as washing
the car windshield, and yes, real men DO squeegee!"
Code Name: the Internationalists...
Password: Stitch 'n' Bitch
A Euro moment landed on the Perfect Cup
on Damen as we returned to our NorthSide digs
and were visited by famous radio reporter Ronan
Kelly from Irish
RTE Dublin Radio 1.
Although many of the stitchers in our group have
a little or a lot of Irish, Mr. Kelly was more
interested in urban knitting by urban babes...
He even passed up a Cubs game to hang with us
over the tea and jazz at the Cup.
Mr. Kelly catches the
S'nB vibe. Usually we get yelled at for sitting
on the tables but an exception was made for Ronan
because he was just so darn charmin' with that
accent. Ladies you know what I mean...
Mr. Kelly gets the
lowdown on the finer points of Mattress Stitching
from none other than the famous SpinningGinn...
Ronan reminds the ladies
nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse,
well, at least in Ireland...
tuned for the broadcast date...
THANKS! for the email
Sandi Gavin: "Hi, when I saw this site, I
thought of you, great patterns. Mostly crochet,
but a few good knitting ones - Sandi"
PRESENTING - a Brazilian yarn
There's a bunch of crafty ideas here, knit, crochet,
my favorites (muchas gracias Circulo!)
The butterfly makes me want
to break out the crochet hook!
Maybe some Fixation Cotton Lycra Yarn?
Any yarn suggestions from folks who've knit a
I know that good ole cotton stretches when wet
I think that's why these patterns are in a small
gauge. . .
A deep 6exd UFO!
becomes the latest spring FO!
You know it's time for a vacation
when you start looking for some stored summer
clothes and find YARN!!! What the... I found summer
yarn with summer clothes and this half-finished
cardie. It was all knitted and just needed a button-band
and a collar. And, oh yes, seaming...
This is usually not a problem with me, but I
was PO'd that I'd found one dropped stitch in
the sleeve so I tossed it in with the shorts.
This was made out of balls of Rowan DK cotton
that I'd found one by one or two by two at end
of season's sales. I'm not sure that the colors
are very spring-like but for work this over a
kiwi tee might just be the ticket.
I need a remedial work clothes make-over! I spend
a lot of time outdoors on the job so the clothes
I wear take a beating - whatever the weather dishes
out, crawling on all 4's like a beast to get the
right POV of some spring flowers, or being spit
on with hydralic fluid by the mast of the mini-cam
truck when doing live shots.
May the high goddess of ApropoBizAttire smile
on me! Hey, chic happens...
Bonne the Ripper...
In honor of Earth Day (which I missed on Monday
the 22nd), I am working with the idea of recycling.
I have the grandmammy of all resurrected sweaters
that I've knitted three times. The first time
it was in seed stitch and was 25"W x 22"L and
hideous. It sat on a shelf in various family households
Last summer, I took it apart and recycled
the yarn. But my gauge skills were zip and
the body was big and the arms were tiny. So I
ripped it one more time because the yarn is beautiful
and barely used. My
sweater turned out great but the color is
ENTER the fabulous idea
of Kool-Aid Rescue...
click on pix for larger
I had enough yarn to make a swatch which I dyed
using equal parts of Blue Island Twist and Lemonade.
Because the yarn is 50% Wool & 50% Cotton the
Set It and Forget It Method really didn't work...
So I microwaved it for 2 minutes on each side
and you can see the nice sublte result! I think
when I dye the sweater, because of the volume,
I will use the Kettle Method on the Stove. This
yarn seems to want HEAT to react to the dye.
It's Raining it's pouring no
knitters are snoring...
Believe it or not, Kool-Aid is not at my corner
store. So I had to walk almost a mile to get my
raw ingredients in the pouring rain. AND they
did not have the stuff I started with. So I got
anything blue they had figuring it would be close
enough to make aqua if I added a little yellow...
click on pix for larger
pix (sweater has moire patttern
not really on garment that is just a digital reality
I ended up using 4 packs of Blue Moon Berry and
the rest of the open pack of Lemonade I used on
Using a big enamel pot, I brought the water to
a simmer and added the Kool-Aid mixture I prepared
in a seperate container with 4 parts water to
1 part vinegar. Then I carefully added the sweater
and moved it around in the solution with a spoon
and spatula! The Iron Chef Indeed...
This concoction simmered for about an hour. I
would check it every 15 minutes or so and flip
it with my tools so there would be even coverage.
It looks darker than it will when dry, so I just
let it go until the dye was all absorbed. THE
WATER WAS CLEAR! I just love this part; the second
picture shows the resulting finish.
Then I washed the garment on the gentle cycle
with two other blue sweaters using Mane'n'Tail
Shampoo, and added Mane'n'Tail Conditioner to
the rinse water. Then I dried it in the dryer
with some towels. As far as I can tell, there
was no fading .
AQUA: the sweater is a little darker than my
swatch, which is what I was hoping for by adding
4 pkgs of KA to the brew. (So the ratio was 4:1
instead of 1:1). It has a slight tweeding effect
because the cotton doesn't take the dye - but
it seems to be plied enough with the wool content
of this yarn to not be a mottled mess...
Dare I say, LOVE THIS SWEATER now it is the softest
nicest spring surprise could've wished for!
Monday Morning Mirth
10 Ways to make a Telemarketer
1. If they want to loan you money, tell them you
just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use
some money. Ask, "How long can I keep it? Do I
have to ever pay it back, or is it like the other
money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?"
2. If you get one of those pushy people who won't
shut up, just listen to their sales pitch. When
they try to close the sale, tell them that you'll
need to go get your credit card. Then, just set
the phone down and go do laundry, shopping or
whatever. See how long they wait for you to get
your credit card.
3. If they start out with, "How are you today?"
say, "Why do you want to know?" Or you can say,
"I'm so glad you asked, because no one seems to
care these days and I have all these problems,
my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore,
my dog just died...." When they try to get back
to the sales process, just continue on with telling
about your problems.
4. If the person says he's Joe Doe from the ABC
Company, ask him to spell his name, then ask him
to spell the company name, then ask where it is
located. Continue asking personal questions or
questions about the company for as long as necessary.
5. Crying out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure
and surprise, "Julie!! Is this really you? I can't
believe it! Julie, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully,
this will give Julie a few brief moments of terror
as she tries to figure out where the heck she
could know you from.
6. Say, "No," over and over. Be sure to vary the
sound of each no, and keep an even tempo even
as they're trying to speak. This is the most fun
if you can keep going until they hang up.
7. If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with
their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister
a voice as you can muster, "I don't have any friends...would
you be my friend?"
8. Let the person go through their spiel, providing
minimal but necessary feedback in the form of
an occasional "Uh-huh, really, or, "That's fascinating."
Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to
marry you. They get all flustered, but just tell
them you couldn't give your credit card number
to someone who's a complete stranger.
9. Tell them you work for the same company they
work for. Example:
Telemarketer: "This is Bill from Widget & Associates."
You: "Widget & Associates!! Hey I work for them
too. Where are you calling from?"
Telemarketer: "Uh, Dallas, Texas."
You: "Great, they have a group there too? How's
business/the weather? Too bad the company has
a policy against selling to employees! Oh well,
10. Tell the Telemarketer you are busy and if
they will give you their phone number you will
call them back. If they say they are not allowed
to give out their number, then ask them for their
home number and tell them you will call them at
home (this is usually the most effective method
of getting rid of Telemarketers). If the person
says, "Well, I don't really want to get a call
at home," say, "Ya! Now you know how I feel"!
She's Baaaack... And I'm
Too little too late! Too much too soon?
I can't even find a cliche to describe this one...
I should have paid more attencione when everybody
was talking about knitting both sleeves at the
same time! My bus project is almost done but sneaking
paranoia had made me just wonder if it was going
to fit. The ribbing around the waist, the flares,
the ruffly sleeves...
So I took some scrap orange yarn and a big plastic
darning needle and quick-basted it together. It
took less than 15 minutes - not bad...
But sure enough
the one sleeve that's done is 2 INCHES too long.
At least the body is right - Whew! I am NOT in
the MOOD to rip the whole thing out. I want to
wear it! Sooner or later, Spring is going to land
in this hemisphere, and by gum, I'm going to be
ready. I have a fabulous lilac sleevless tank
top to wear under this not to mention the black
chiffon ruffly neck blouse...
I've been KIP bus-style for as long as I've ridden
the #66 but the one drawback is the pieces can't
get too big because it gets very awkward moving
them around. Two sleeves on one needle with two
balls of yarn theoretically is fabulous but NOT
on the #66. In the safety of my living room, yes...
On the people stuffed 'til you're blue in the
face coach NAY...
I really get a lot done while commuting though
- I have it down to a science about where I sit
and when I'll knit. (No one has asked me to put
it away or even given me a dirty look.) Most of
the time knitting is a magnet - the other day
the bus was almost empty and a fellow came and
stood over me and watched me stitch.
He had a huge briefcase and like many guys, HIS
PURSE WAS OUT OF CONTROL!!! It kept hitting me
in the shoulder everytime the bus would lurch.
PULLeeeze, mister, do I have to hold a Purse Carrying
Workshop this Weekend for y'll who are determined
to carry half of your life strapped to your body.
Please keep the baggage close to your side by
holding the strap with at least one hand at all
times! Don't hang from the upper bar by both hands
until you and your 30lb package swings like a
brick pendulum and smacks me in the head. Je ne
suis pas aller ,gal mentionner le vulgarity d'avoir
vos gonades dans la proximit, ,troite . mon nez...
I just want to Knit In Peace! KIP!!! Now go sit
down and be a good boy...
© Bonne Marie Burnsns
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