BLOG 06/01-15/2002
Cultural Froids

from the
What the...

Overheard @ Chicago Dogs wiener stand: demanding tourist saying, "Hey, I heard you guys are supposed to insult the customers!" Counter response, "Rude before 6pm is extra..."

Fergie gets her own syndicated TalkShow filming now in NY

No Tears from ChicKnits for the departure of Ann Robinson & Weakest Link on NBC...

the "Marriage" of Jennifer Lopez and whatizname on the rocks...
If you just want to have a big party and get your hair done go to the Oscars...
SAVINGS: $1.5Million

the Main Event
Lewis vs Tyson: DUD!
But the rooftop party was FAB with 5 TVs and cocktails and snacks. I did wonder why immediately after the Fight, almost every man there lit up a honkin' HUGE CIGAR...

Hi-Lo Testesterone

1. Rooftop Deck
Boxing Party
2. Birthday Party for Lenny of the Impotent Sea Snakes (Punk Rock Band)

Russell Crowe
as gangster Johnny Stompanato in the proposed movie of the life of Lana Turner?

Gangs of New York
rumored to be as fab as the original Godfather if only the producer and my favorite director Scorsese can stop fighting with each other and release the dang thing...

Viagra Nation

I wanna hold your Wallet

Face by Mac
Blog by Mac

June 2, 2002

June 2 is ROcky RoaD DAY!!!

Hard Decision: I have decided to marinate the Tencel/Wool shawl until late summer. It is so warm to hold while knitting, I'm starting to dread picking it up! The perfect garment for late summer/early fall, huh?

I really need a stole I can wear NOW (insert more than just a little magic here). So I started looking for a cotton/linen blend yarn that might make a light weight wrap. This is the most interesting fiber I came up with: Block Island Blend. It is a Halycon exclusive and they say, "The appeal of this stylish 3-ply yarn is created by its unique fiber combination. One ply of a gentle slub cotton creates a homespun look, a ply of rayon adds sheen, while a ply of a linen/hemp blend provides extra body and strength."

One cone is 1400yds of sportweight. I would want it to be BLACK. This time I think I'll alternate St st panels of 10 sts with eyelet panels of 10 sts at a gauge of 5 sts per inch on #7 needles. ~19" wide x ~72" long? Probably knit until the yarn runs out...

One of us recently wrote about a knitting shrine from the book "Knitting Goddess" - how you are a more powerful knitter when it is in site of your work. This is a "shrine" I have in sight - not especially knitting but mine started as a power of women diorama. Bridget Bardot from "And God Created Woman" - Barbie (a Hallmark(!) ornament my mom gave me a couple of Christmas' ago) - a Wonder Woman playing piece from a limited edition SuperHeroes Monopoly Game (you can barely see it)- and a basket of miniature vegetables to Mother Nature!

My shrine is not helping me with this linen dilemma. Oh mighty knitting goddesses - has anybody out there made a linen shawl? Does this gauge sound right? Does the yarn sound like it would make a anti-air-conditioning "shield"? Or - anybody use Louet Euroflax Linen?

Comments (4)

June 3, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

Wild man of rock to play at Queen's jubilee concert

The Guardian, London

"The Queen's lineup for the royal jubilee pop concert in the gardens of Buckingham Palace now includes the former wild man of heavy metal Ozzy Osbourne and the Latin heartthrob Ricky Martin, courtiers announced yesterday.

Stars are falling over themselves to take part - just about every big name from Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin and Shirley Bassey to Atomic Kitten, Mis-Teeq and S Club 7 by way of Eric Clapton, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Brian Wilson, Ray Davies, Tom Jones and Phil Collins. The concert, which will be televised live to an estimated worldwide audience of 200 million, is scheduled to run for more than three hours on Monday June 3.

Asked about the appearance of the 53-year-old, Birmingham-born former Black Sabbath rock star with a reputation partly based on biting the head off a bat on stage, a palace official said: "We have taken the very best of advice, mainly from the BBC."

The Queen was said to have been kept informed of who had been invited, though not necessarily consulted. It remains unclear whether she will put in more than a token appearance at the concert.

The rock show - and a classical concert two nights earlier - will also be shown on giant screens in the Mall in London and at 10 other locations across the UK for those not among the 12,000 in the palace's garden.

In the intervals between royal events, the screens will broadcast England's World Cup encounter with Sweden, which coincides with the royal family's attendance at thanksgiving church services on Sunday June 2. On the Monday evening, more than 1,700 bonfire beacons are expected to be lit across the country.

Thousands are expected to take part in a festival pageant in the Mall, including a 5,000- strong gospel choir, a steel band with 100 members and a parade headed by 50 Hell's Angels bikers, led by a man called Snob, on Tuesday June 4. That day, when the Queen will attend a thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral, will culminate in a firework display around the palace in the evening."

Even though part of Buckingham Palace went up in smoke
on Sunday, the show WILL go on...

Comments (1)

June 4, 2002

the Ribby Cardie

somebody screeeem....

Janice writes: "Any chance of a picture of the sweater on an actual person...or even a mannequin?"

How about the sweater on an actual person (me) who's trying their darndest to look as fake AS a mannequin? This isn't probably what you had in mind but once I get started in Photoshop the devil takes over and feeds me cheeese.....

Just my homage to those 3-D floating displays like you see @Barney's NY ...

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You too can get these BlueCammo boxers at
your local Dollar Store for $4.00!

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Comments (7)

June 5, 2002

it's goin' on...

the front of my BoatNeck

The last couple of days I've been laid low by some bad gumbo I ate this weekend. WHEW! Have you ever been so dizzy ILL that you couldn't even knit? I was SHOCKED & confused!

I got most of this done on my BoatNeck Sunday while talking with buddies on the phone. I went to the Sony Store and got a HandsFree Headset - it's a little dongle that hangs in your ear with a thin-arm mic pick-up that is very clear. My friends are giving thanks because I was in the habit of wrapping my pinkie around the antenna on my cell and it would make an echo or breakup.

Now it's as clear as a bell and I can knit like a banshee while gabbing for hours! I did scare a neighbor on the #9 bus the other day. My head was slightly bowed while I was knitting something on my lap. The entire 45 minute ride I was chatting with Mumsie up in Michigan. My hair hid the mic and when I would lift my head, I'd see this dear Grandma looking at me in abject fear because I was one of "the INsane Clown POSSE" folk who talk to their invisible fans on the bus...

Comments (3)

June 6, 2002

June 6th is Float Your Boat Day...
without breaking the Bank!

It's always fun to go to the yarn section on eBay and look for bargains. I have been finding some good stuff lately - seems to get better all the time! Like many of you, I don't bother looking through every page; instead I do a search on a color or quality I want to find.

For example, the BoatNeck Shell takes DK weight yarn. Call up the Yarn category and type "DK" in the search box and put checkmarks in the little boxes below. This search returned 3 pages of items. Then I clicked on the choices in the middle above the lisitngs to call up "Lowest Priced".

Cool Sellers:
akyrn: has some cool ribbons and variegated stuff under $10.00!

consolidating: who plys together skinny yarns in interesting combos and offers other interesting types and fiber contents (some acrylics which do not scare me! I just bought this lovely yarn from this buyer - - it has that nice summer tweed thing happening... for $4.95 instead of $49.95! OOhlala...)

So, for $20 or under, you can get some nice summer yarn!

Online bargains can also be found at:

One Fine Yarn Tons of Stuff in the Closeout/Oddball Sections

Smiley's Internet Yarn Sale


Comments (4)

June 7, 2002

======   the Friday Hmmmdinger   ======

or knitting ideas that made me go Hmmm...

Rousting around the web last night
I found a great resource from Pat Kirkland
over at the Yarn Barn.

She's put together a
"Short Course in Sweater Design"
that is VERY educational and easy to understand.

Last summer, I met someone like I imagine Pat to be up in Winettka, IL. "She" is the wonderful Caroline herself from:

Caroline's Fine Yarns
843 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
+1 (847) 441 0400

My knitting buddy and good muse, Eden, took me there the first time a couple of years ago. (Thanks be to those who are so kind to introduce us to their fiber worlds...) I was amazed when Edie took a ball of yarn off of a shelf, whipped out some needles and made a swatch. Then Caroline measured Edie (just like how the "Short Course" recommends)and Caroline wrote an original pattern ON THE SPOT for the gauge swatch and type of sweater Edie wanted to make. I was in awe (mouth in a big round "O"!!!) She'd asked for a hip length V-neck cardigan out of some greaat tape yarn and WHOOOSH there it is...

This idea changed the way I think about knitting forever. I had been blindly following patterns letter by letter, number by number. When they didn't fit me, I usually blamed the pattern, designer or even just the Little Bad Muse...

But ladies (& gentlemen), It Was Me. I never swatched. I never used the yarn called for in the pattern. I NEVER measured anything besides sleeve length (am overly sensitive because once my brother called me "ape arms"). I never checked my progress to the schematics most patterns come with. No wonder I kept coming up with DUDS.

THUD... (sound of hand slapping forehead palm first) - I better get hip to my hips, my arms, MY waist, MY NECK, even my underarms...

These measurements are the most important tool in the knitting repetoire. So simple, yet so ignored.

The sketch above was what happened when I went one step further and measured my favorite cardigan that I was wearing under a down vest the entire fall of 2001. I used it like a jacket and it fit like a glove. Not tight, just right.

Guess what? These Numbers almost Approximate my body measurements with about 2.5-3" of ease (ease = the amount of inches over your exact body measurement). Makes perfect sense.

Now when I go to make a pattern (commercial or original), I take into consideration whether it is outerwear(+3"), an indoor cardigan (+2" - meant to be worn over a light blouse), a pullover worn singly(+2") or over other clothes(+3"), a shell that is meant to be a second skin in the warm air(+1") or a tunic(+2") that allows air underneath. I compare the measurements of the proposed pattern to my eased measurements at the onset and several times during the making. And, I really almost always come very close to getting a perfect fit these days...

Go figure...

Comments (8)

June 8, 2002

Over on the Holo Deck...

sll of this variegation made my digital camera go beserk!!!

It gets very exciting around here when something starts looking like it's supposed to! I've got about 3" done on the front of my BoatNeck and am hoping that I have enough yarn (I cheated and started out with much less than the pattern calls for)...

This tape also came in a tropical orange/red/yellow colorway and how MOD would it be to edge the neck and armholes in such a blatant contrast. I am very tempted but hopefully I will eeeeek out the edgings as is...

CHIC FIELD TRIP: to the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, IL, a yarn store not visited by either myself or Edie, my knitting muse. We go off into the hinterlands 2-3 times a year and explore the world of fiber around greater Metropolitan Chicago . Yeah, baby, Chicago is NOT a CITY it is a METROPOLIS...

Comments (4)

June 9, 2002

+++++   the Fine Line   +++++

between LOVE & YARN...

There are no hills in Chicago. It is so flat, when you wait for an EL train up above the streets, you can see straight down almost 10 miles to the horizon.

I lived in San Francisco for 10 years. They have what I'll lovingly refer to as "geography." Now that's livin'. All you have to do is go out of your house and roam around and be amused by the earth rising to meet you under your feet.

Here, it requires a Road Trip.

So yesterday, my knitting buddie Edie & I jumped in my old faithful Jeep and went for a romp!

For awhile we got lost outside of St. Charles, IL,
but then we landed here!

- click on picture for larger version -

This is the Fine Line out on Twin Silo Rd on the outskirts of St. Charles. We didn't mind getting lost - there are hills and wildflowers and a fine bike path that was found.

Not to mention the YARN that somehow jumped into the Jeep with me. I tried to keep the amounts small for I am on a Shell Binge. They only take a few days and VOILA! Fashion to Go...


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RAKU Pottery Day: I signed up for the Fine Line mailing list because they are a center for all sorts of Fine Crafts like weaving, calligraphy (Ginn??), pottery, sculpture...

Saturday was RAKU pottery day and there were tents up around the barn (which has several modern additions). For a small charitable contribution, you selected a piece of pottery, donned an apron, went into a special area and got down with your glazed self. Then they fired your piece up in an outside Kiln and when it was done firing, they tonged it out and buried it in a pile of sawdust.

The surface of the piece is so hot it combusts the dust and the resulting smoke creates random patterns on the surface of the pottery. Very beautiful...

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Comments (1)

June 10, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

the Jubilee continues...

You are a Revolutionary Woman!
You could care less about the monarchy!
You live for yourself!

You're beautiful and kick-ass! And like a female-warrior. You're resourceful, smart, tough, street-smart. You live life for yourself and not as others dictate and refuse to be branded into a category. You live apart from world and society.

Which Royalty Are You? Find out!

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Mon Ăle Abandonn,e

Non-Knitting Book: Gone With the Wind (I'm a survivor!)
Movie: Babe (always makes me laugh...)
Music: Kermit Ruffins "World on a String" (ooh the glory of love!)
Food: Endless Supply of Zap Potato Chips
Knitting book, yarn & needles: Endless Supply of DK wt. cotton ribbon & #6 needles (shirts, shorts, thongs, bras, etc.)

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Comments (0)

June 11, 2002

Outrageous Barometric Pressure

OK - reality bites! I needed to go back and re-do the neckline of the shell. IT WAS TOO SMALL TO GET OVER MY BIG HEAD!!! So I built in an extra 2" of ease. It looks more "Boaty" too...

There, that's better....

I am so excited about finishing this shell! First of all, although it's one of the easiest things I've ever knitted, it is the most difficult to photograph. The beautiful striations in the ombre of the yarn just convolute the little digital brain of my camera! I wish you could see how fab the designs are - the yarn must've been printed on a machine and the dye was applied every two inches. It doesn't "pool" like other variegated yarns I've used. Pooling can be a drag when you end up with a big solid color section and you wanted vivid OP ART throughout.

I did make a cardie once where there was an almost perfect round dot on one sleeve that measured about 4" across. Now that was cool and I did not whine...

It is sooo humid here and stormy, today I am relating to all of my Gulf Coast neighbors who routinely have thunderstorms and rain on and off during the day. How do you do it?

I finally found a hair balm (Sebastian's Laminates Gel) that tames the wild beast and am so grateful I decided to grow my hair out after Thanksgiving. Now It just curls up softly - when it was shorte, it would just go BOZO and scare me. Jasmine, my stylist, cut in a lot of layers and This is Officially the First Time in My Life I am HAPPY with MY HAIR!". (Thought I better write it down in case I forget next week...)

Back to the BoatNeck Shell. I am finishing it up today! I sewed up one shoulder seam (actually crochet slip-stitched it) and then picked up the stitches around the neck to do the edge.

Then I will sew up the other shoulder and pick-up and knit the edgings on the armholes. Then all that is left is the Mattress Stitching - which I love to do for some reason...

I will write this down too - "Bonne Marie is One of the Only Women in North America Who gets Excited by Mattress Stitching!!!" How's that for a bathroom wall etching...

Comments (6)

June 12, 2002

Get yer YaYAs out

this YaYAs on the runway!!!

--- click on picture for details ---

Or at least those lilac polished cotton Capris! Ooh La la... I love summertime and summertime clothes. A little less is a little more! These sleeveless tops look foxy on all of us. (And God Bless those of us that can wear Halter Tops - I am too chicken, believe it or not, because of all of my thousands of freckles!)

I have no problem with high sandals and those frisky capri pants. I'm leaning towards a boycott of the current version of the low-rider hip-hugger pants. If they don't fit right, they really look tragic from behind! I'm sorry, but not all size 8s are the same...

Somebody like J.Lo (whatup with that pre-nup, huh?) with a custom fitter looks like a million. Somebody like me, with a sorta flat porch needs either tighter pants or a different trend. AND, we will spare the gentle reader the vulgar 'sit-down' factor of this style, at least on this page...

OH What the...


Call me a realist but when the boys get THIS

And the ladies get THIS

makes you kind of wonder just how far we've come...

Maybe, if you are a fan of this trend (although the racks and racks of sale items at the Gap doesn't bear out the numbers) you can use this

to make a reverse peek-a-boo "loin cloth" for your thong in honor of the "12 nurses who went through NASA astronaut training in 1973. The 12 passed with "flying colors" but were never given the option of joining the program."


Comments (7)

June 14, 2002

======   the Friday Hmmmdinger   ======
or knitting ideas that made me go Hmmm...

I am a row counter.

I say this with neither pride nor humility.

be sure to play these numbers in tonight's BigGame!

These intriguing devices have both simplified my knitting life and rescued me from the HORROR of all those novelty bumpy furry yarns out there that I can't seem to keep my hands off. (You know what I mean if you knit some scarves last year out of this stuff and tried to keep track by visual counting... Or, god forbid, you had to rip out something that wasn't coming out right like my fiasco February 19th.)

They've also simplified the whole garment making process in general by keeping me on track and in line, especially with multiple cable patterns with non-synched row repeats.

One of my fellow S'nBs made fun of me one night when I repeatedly kept manually counting my rows (no devices in tow). She just measured (which, according to last week's Hmmmdinger, is GOOD!!! but let's not stop the train just yet...) and when one sleeve matched the measurement of the other, etc. she stopped knitting and continued on.

This is Trouble with a Captiol T for ChicKnits. This makes me VERY NERVOUS because one of MY sleeves would be a couple of INCHEs longer than the other. It's happened before and you just know it might happen again! Why risk it...

If you've noticed, I am a piece knitter. I tend to make things that have to be sewed together and finished later. Sometimes much later. Sometimes mucho finishing as well... I think I gravitated towards this kind of knitting for two reasons. First, most of the pattern books I saw when I first became a knitter had pieced together patterns. Second, I've had Rheumatoid Arthritis in my feet, hands and jaw since I was a kid and holding big pieces of fabric is a no-no for me, so knitting in the round usually is not an option.

AND I lost my fear of finishing, (thanks to Janet Szabo's book "I Hate to Finish Sweaters Guide to Finishing Sweaters" and some gentle guidance from a S'nB knitter); putting those pieces together is not a problem. In fact, I almost look forward to it because it means I am that much closer to having Something New & Exciting to Wear. I am also a clothes junkie and when this happens, it's a Two-Fer of Major Magnitude. Very desireable in the ChicKnits Universe. NewFO and NewClothes. Holy Crap!!!

Counting rows makes it easier to keep track of complicated patterns, match fitted pieces, have even armholes and sleeves, and body lengths in general. When using fuzzy type yarns, it is almost impossible to find that last INC/DEC or even stitch. I'm making a Disco Dance Tank out of some really fuzzy stuff from Lang called Bali that you can't even see the stitch once it's knitted. Without a counter, it might never hit the Dance Floor...

Comments (7)

June 15, 2002

If you smile at me, I will understand
that is something everybody everywhere
does in the same




The Fit is a Hit! Even though the model is too shy to show her face, her Big Smile illluminates the BoatNeck and makes her want to take it out to lunch with her friends visiting from California!

Comments (6)

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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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