BLOG: 04/16-30/2002

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 16. 2002

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...

Comments (8)

April 17, 2002

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 to unwind???

Oh right, make something out of cotton! Keep the hands cool and dry at the same time! I started this:

Rowan #25: called "Alice" - buy HERE

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...

Comments (10)

April 18, 2002

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. Discounts available!

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...

Comments (9)

April 19, 2002

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 "Diagnosis Murder".

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? Mr Rodgers!

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...

Comments (3)

April 20, 2002

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 predawn hours.

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 mile...

Back to the Mighty Peplum....

Comments (3)

April 21, 2002

go ahead and cry - it's gotta be done...
April Showers bring Out the Buckets at ChicKnits


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 @ChicKnits:

  • Re-cycled WIPs: These will be frogged and re-skeined - Grey Broken Rib Jacket (body only - too big); and the Wild West Variegated Pullover (hated pattern).

  • 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 MJ makes 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 material for
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...

Comments (3)

April 22, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

Spring Cleaning a la Testosterone

By Kellie Head

"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 area rug.

  • 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 luffa again!

  • 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, go ahead.

  • 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!"

Comments (3)

April 23, 2002

Click on pix for larger versions

Comments (8)

April 24, 2002

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 that a
nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse,
well, at least in Ireland...

Stay tuned for the broadcast date...

Comments (3)

April 25, 2002

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 manufacturer's site,
the Circulo Company

There's a bunch of crafty ideas here, knit, crochet, etc.

Here's 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 bikini appreciated!
I know that good ole cotton stretches when wet .
I think that's why these patterns are in a small gauge. . .

Comments (6)

April 26, 2002

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...

Comments (4)

April 27, 2002

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 for years.

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 Sooo Dull...

ENTER the fabulous idea of Kool-Aid Rescue...

click on pix for larger pix

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.

Comments (1)

April 28, 2002

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 bite)

I ended up using 4 packs of Blue Moon Berry and the rest of the open pack of Lemonade I used on the swatch.

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!

Comments (3)

April 29, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

10 Ways to make a Telemarketer go away

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, see ya."

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"!

April 30, 2002

She's Baaaack... And I'm Paranoid!

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. What the...

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 Burns
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April 9, 2004

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

Jenny G
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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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