BLOG 10/01-17/2002
Cultural Froids

from the
What the...

October 1. 2002

Hey, Kids! What time is it???

It's Bonkers Knitting Time, it's Bonkers Knitting Time and it is so sublime...

Now that the little white ruffled cardigan is blocking, I am free to START THE WAY COOL Karabella cardigan (August 27th entry).

This yarn is just scrumptious! Even though the whole sleeve is made in 1 x 1 Rib, it is just sailing across the needles. I've forgotten how easy wool is to knit with - this is 100% high quality merino.

Check out Bonkers Online

Comments (5)

October 2, 2002

ModaMetro Part II: Flygirl Chain Reaction

Sometimes you're the fly. Sometimes you're the windshield. Or something like that... I love these words of wisdom and others like it in our American venacular. Could you say this in a European language and evoke a smile? Can a person from one state say it to a person from another, even. Say, Illinois and Indiana, perhaps...

Fly, windshield. Fly, windshield. Windshield, fly. Uhmmm. When I heard the un-mistakable sound of metal hitting metal and realized it was me being hit (it took about a microsecond to sink in because I was going really slow driving one of the big mobile trucks from work), I jumped out in the middle of stopped traffic to take a look.

An older woman was looking at me through her open window . Her face was all scrunched up in amazement and disbelief and she kept looking from me to the tiny space between our vehicles. Back and forth. Fly windshield. Windshield, fly.

We pulled off the ramp and parked curbside Chicago where we exchanged all the pleasantries of the fender bender. We were both OK and our cars were drivable so we went our seperate ways after I video taped the damage (boss's rule). I found out when I tried to file a report with the CPD that since we were technically on the freeway, I had to file with the State Police.

The Illinois State Police maintain a toll-free number to report the multitude of fender bender drivable no-injury accidents in Illinois. I tried about 50 times to leave my number on their funkified automated irrational multiple choice automaton-voiced plexi-system. It would hang-up on me every time I spoke to leave my number. Still I prevailed. FLY. Fly. Fly...

The next morning I went to the Chicago Area State Police HQ and filed the report. It took forever! Then a smiling officer who looked about 10 years old came out to the waiting area and told me my Driver's License had been suspended since June 19th. HUH? Fly me...

Immediately, I called the State Capitol HQ of the DMV and buzzed them until they admitted that it was a mistake, that they had never sent me the proper paperwork to get an emissions test, and time had run out so I was automatically jettisoned into limbo.

Buzz BUzz BUZZZZZ!!! "Yes, mam, we're taking that suspension right off your record now, even as we speak..." And although this seems like a happy ending, it took them 5 minutes to swat me down but it will take three days to get me back up! Must cycle through the system. What the...

Imagine having a job where you drive about 50% of the time and you have to tell your boss to send someone up to BumFly North to pick your sorry bum up and drive you back to the loop because you can't start the engine yourself. A big uniformed windshield is standing by you until even he gets tired and goes away because your boss lets you cool your heels for three hours in that parking lot. (No prob really and I think you can guess why a little quality time with some bamboos is not un-called for at this point...)

On the way back to the Windshield Show Room, I get an assignment to go to Miegs Field and go up in the chopper and take some pictures of a truck crash downstate about 40 minutes. Hey, I'm a fly. Might as well... well, fly...

I love flying in helicopters! Even when the pilot is a hot dog and turns it on it's side trying to make you hurl because that seems to be humor of the highest order in the pilot's atmosphere. I don't get motion sickness. I just get on my knees, bum wedged between the seat, elbow wedged along the door and shoot through the open window. This is always really exciting because it's just you and the camera (which weighs about 20lbs) and it could go flying if you can't hold onto it.

On the way back I get a POV shot of the runway, as if I'm landing a plane. A small-engine aircraft has almost missed the end of the runway and landed in the Lake. Miegs Airport is right on the coast of Lake Michigan and is a landing area for small craft and corporate jets. The Mayor hates it and wants to make it into a park. This is right up his alley.

Picture the Flygirl humping the camera and tape the 3/4 mile to the live truck, in the humidity and mist, handing it off and going back to the terminal for another round.

Hear the pager go off repeatedly and the cell phone start ringing as the studio calls with many AttaFlys because the resident aviation reporter has used your shot on a video "Wall" and expounds on the facts of the crash.

Whoosh... I am a Windshield...

Comments (6)

October 3, 2002

the People's Yarn

Today, October 3, 2002, I LOVE eBAy! The yarn above was such a good find I could not pass it up. It is OLD. Probably 70's or something but is spun alot like Point 5. It is NEW. Once it's made into a nice chunky cardie and washed with a little hair conditioner it will be fabulous!

It is called Caro-Vel by the spinning company Fairloom Yarns and the label says it is sold only by Sears.

What the! I'm must be having a flashback here people because it trips me OUT to think that you could go into a Sears and buy yarn like this. Was America Knitting? I mean coast-to-coast, border-to-border needle clickin' delightful chunky style sweaters everywhere.

Sears means bulk purchasing. Their catalog must have been the Costco/Sam's Club of the day, mail-order style! I lived right around the corner from the Sears on Lawrence Ave. in Chicago(about two blocks from our S'nB coffee shop) for a few years. I would've LOVED to pop in and get some fiber off the shelf and pop back in to S'nB with some makings of a beauty.

MY FANTASY: Knitting becomes so popular again that yarn re-appears in the department stores. HEY TARGET, HOW ABOUT SOME TODD OLDHAM YARN??? I met a wonderful lady in Borders that told me that you could buy yarn at Jewel stores here once-upon-a-time. Jewel is a GROCERY STORE. TARGET would be the bomb...

Comments (18)

Oc tober 4, 2002

Friday Five:

1. What size shoe do you wear?
JMJ, a topic custom made for me! I wear, like millions of women around the globe USA size 8... These seem to always be sold out when I want a new pair of very tasty models...

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Forgive me for taking the 5th on this topic, but suffice to say my friends call me Imelda. And for good reason, my shoe collection IS larger than my yarn stash!

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)? A couple of years ago, the low-heel slip-on pump returned to female duty and I have many of these. I also like to look at windows full of expensive spiked heels but don't wear them because I am very mobile and can't just pose for hours...

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite? These are my all time favorites: Design, style, fake fur, low-sexy heels, and the color RED! One year, my sister gave me a pair of red high-heels. I said what's up with those red shoes. She just said wear them and you'll see. I did. Everyman I came across was drawn to them as if they were a pheromone beacon. If you try this, be very careful because this is a very powerful technique...

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes? Nordstrom's is the Shoe Capitol of the United States! I went in there on my lunch hour one day and bought a pair of high-water Ralph Lauren, spiked, stack-heeled, black boots that have a cuff that buckles in two places. Time: 30sec. Cost: $450.00... Needless to say, I am banned for life from Nordies!

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Comments (2)

October 6, 2002

uCan C the Wheels Turning

New Favorite Technique! I first read about this over at FLUFFA where Mademoiselle Becky made the coolest sweater from some Falaise yarn (I'd love to try this yarn - I don't get why we have a lot of British yarn over here but NO PHILDAR!!!).

She used a tubular cast on - you see this on a lot of commercial sweaters, especially cotton because it lies flat and doesn't stretch out to infinity. The Italians love it! and use it on almost everything.

I saw a Mondial book and they all start off with this cast-on technique - the translation calls it "elastic rib". I searched on Google and came up with this from the everlasting fabulous Flor in Brazil!

It is just the groove thing - I can't wait to try it out on cotton. No more rolling bottoms for me unless it's me bum on a bike...

I am trying to design an olive green merino cardigan with big oval pieces on reverse stockinette stitch with a cable running up the middle. THEN, I'm going to try making the edge band with this tubular method and do a 3-needle bind-off using stitches I pick up from the edge and the stitches from the tube. SOmeboDY SCREAM! ANd maybe use BIG HOOK'n'Eyes to close it like on the Ribbie Cardie. ZAP!

This is just typical of what happens when you are a weekend Coffee Achiever...

Comments (2)

October 8, 2002

ModaMetro Part III: Just Whose
21st Century is It?

Maybe it is just because it was Monday. Maybe it's me on Mondays. Maybe Mars is going retrograde in Venus(!) Oh come on, whoever started this Mars/Venus thing should be whacked, locked in a trunk, driven to Alligator Alley and left for the CSI Miami crew to find all jello'd and ripe.

(At this point I have to say I think the CSI Miami is just NOT as good as the CSI Vegas. I also read somewhere that William Peterson is not OK with this recent "franchise" move and said it cheapens their efforts. I just think the acting and writing is not as good. I am amazed by their interpretation of Floridians.)

I met someone new who seems to be sending himself to the bog. Just a transplanted Texan photog new in Chicago but straight from Mars who on his first day working in the pack gives big attitude to one of the nicest guys in the world, a shooter from ABC. Over nothing. At a grammar school reading program presser. It was a great macho moment and we all laughed.

An hour later and I'm on my way to another story about a boater who disappeared while sailing in gale force winds Sunday (Mars). We have to go down to the HQ of the Coast Guard where the recovered towed sailboat is. The harbor is really hard to get to and I notice Mr. Jello following me then turning into a drive way to watch which way I go down by the docks. I go into an almost hidden driveway, lurk among some construction material and watch him make a wrong turn. Then I go to the destination and we start shooting an interview with a spokesman from the CG.

Jello comes running up with a microphone and jumps into our interview, big as day. He has no reporter with him and hasn't asked if we mind if he piggybacks on our questions. This is just not done! Street ettiquette demands some props before you join the party. You just can't crash and get the goods on someone else's back. The competition is just too real and deep for that bold (er, naive) a move at any time or any place.

We finish the interview (I should've just stepped back and let the newbie fire away with his own questions). I turn and ask the guy nicely what he thought he was doing and pointed out it wasn't a news conference, it was an interview. He immediately starts yelling at me what BS that is and what, do I own the world? Am I a F**Kn Video Goddess. (I swear to God!) I said "Well, yes I am, thanks, now get out of my way, D**K!"

So Jello keeps yelling at me, while he follows me, rolling his camera - guess he's going to give it to his new boss. I am just laughing my A** off at this and go back to my car.

ABC rolls up and I'm chatting them up and Jello comes running out of his truck and shouts, "If you got something to say about me say it to my face!" I say, "What makes you think we'd waste our time talking about your raggedy a**, we're just talking about the weather." Now ABC is pOd and points his finger close in J's face and says, "Dude, we don't do that HERE."

I get a little queasy at this point - Mars vs Mars is just not my territory and I look over at the field producer who did the interview with me and she is actually crying...

There's no crying in Televison! At least not in public, (just the ladies room) so I get her out of there pronto. Boyz will be boyz no doubt about it. What is it, 1956??? Or just Monday on Mars...

Comments (4)

October 9, 2002

a Grand Experiment: Folly or More?

Have you ever heard the phrase "Yarn Snob"? Thise is a semi- annual favorite topic on knitting listservs where people expound on their personal prefences for knitting fibers. Many want only animal fibers. Some want only plant fibers. Most people in America knit with whatever is available to them locally which is Acrylics. Allergies notwithstanding, the zealous animal fiber folks seem to have nose altitude towards the local poly people.

I find this very amusing. I'll knit with whatever suits my fancy and the intended wearer. Give new parents an expensive 100% wool baby blanket or sweater and I guarantee that WHOOSH it will alchemize into doll wear at some point. What about Aunt Jenn whose allergic to wool??? What about all those fabulous new blends that are on the fall market.

When I saw Adrienne Vittadini Yarns are now using Microfiber, I knew the days of Yarn Snobbishness were numbered. (Short but very loud CHEER inserted here!)

I've been experimenting with locally available yarns. Hence my choice of Lion Homespun for the 3xChic Pullover in Knitty. You can get it almost anywhere, it's easy to knit with and looks great!

My current fascination is with a yarn called Aunt Lydia's Denim. It is 50/50 cotton/acrylic and I'm making a jacket out of it loosely based on a denim jacket profile from an older Rowan pattern (Rowan 19 Design 16 Jazz):

I made a swatch first and washed it three times with towels and blue jeans... Dried it in the dryer. It kept getting softer and more comfortable feeling. I Love It!

The only catch is that it shrinks lengthwise about 20%. that is why the pieces above look long and skinny. But it will fit perfectly after I sew it together, wash it in the washing machine and dry it almost dry in the dryer. Then I'll lay it out flat on a towel and let it dry completely.

You can do this with any of the more inexpensive cottons. Just make a swatch with the needle size they recommend. Measure your gauge before washing and record. Wash and dry, then measure your gauge after, then adjust your pattern accordingly. Most yarns shrink lengthwise much more than they shrink width wise. Think of your blue jeans - they get shorter the first time you dry 'em in the drier...

Comments (9)

October 10, 2002

From our Friends on the

courtesy of Burda Verena

Jill Miles writes: "Man, I love the internet! While surfing in search of interesting lace stitch patterns, I followed a series of links to a page in Russian that has a lot of stitch patterns -- luckily with good photos and graphs, so translation wasn't necessary:

Just for fun, I clicked on what appeared to be a link to the main page for the site, and got what looked like an online knitting magazine, or the website of a print magazine. Ran it through Alta Vista's translator, and got a garbled but semi-passable English version. Here's how to see it in English (sort of): Go to Alta Vista's translation site at

and enter the following in the box that says "translate a web page":

(don't forget to pick "Russian to English")

You can click on links in the resulting page and it will continue to translate the pages.

There are several interesting-looking patterns on the site, including one that looks like a Russian soldier's winter hat, complete with fur visor, and a really cute kid's sweater and bear hat. You'll have to slog through some goofy English translations (sample: "To then pass to knitting needles 3,5 or 4 and to bind with facial smoothness 27 cm from the elastic.") but luckily they have diagrams of the garments.

Warning: For a giggle, if you click on the photo that is translated as "Knitting Erotic" you go to a gallery of photos of some very interesting knitted clothing, some of which are photographed in more revealing poses than you'd see in most English-language magazines. Nothing hard-core, mind you, but let's just say that Vogue Knitting has a ways to go...although the thought of angora bra and panties makes me itch just thinking about it!"

Thanks so much for making my day Jill!!!

Comments (3)

October 11, 2002

Carry on!

Hearing Catherine Zeta-Jones utter these words at 6am this morning has me in a snit... Just reading them probably put you in a littlish snit for a microsecond. It's a silly phrase and when said by a STAR with nose altitude, I go grumpy.

This is actually good because I have a little cold and this has completely woken me up! This is bad, because I just frogged the Black Roving Cable Jacket I was making. Even though I swatched, it was 3" too big! This happens every once in a while to all knitters, so I did not panic. I just pretended it was C Z-Js hair I was pulling as I rewound the yarn...

Later: I just opened my mail and guess what I found? My wireless service has been Borged by T-Mobile!!! GAAAaaack! I am now paying for C Z-Js Mascara, and maybe wine for her pervy hubby...

Needless to say, I'll be changing companies ASAP...

Comments (1)

October 12, 2002

a ChicKnits Runway Presentation

courtesy Lana Grossa

Lana Grossa genrerously posts a new Fall Model for the man in your life HERE!

Just click on "Model of the Month"
when you get to the index page...


Comments (0)

October 13, 2002

TV Tids'n'Bits from the Knitlist...

Julia Mary writes: "Last night on "Law and Order - Special Victims Unit", the detectives picked up a wandering elderly woman with mental problems. Back at the station house, one of the detectives described her as "..knitting with only one needle."

Monique writes: "There is a knitting TV show on the DIY channel starting Oct 28th at 2Pm eastern. It will be on every day of the week. It will be hosted by Edith Eig."

(***Edith Eig is the owner of La Knitterie Parisienne in Studio City, CA. It is the HOTBED of all Celebrity Knitting. Stay tuned...***)

Cheryl from Fiberarts writes: "Set your VCR's(on Wednesdays) to the Caroline Rhea show. It's a syndicated comedy talk show so check your local listing. Here in NYC, it's on ABC or channel 7 at 12:30 *AM* (technically Wed, 10/2). It's on during mid-day across many other US locales.

Lily Chin is kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness month by starting a knitted throw to be auctioned off. Proceeds go to breast cancer research. Intermittently throughout the show, they'll show her progress, etc. She'll probably demo the actions of how to knit.

Thereafter, there will be a different "average knitter" on each show working on this throw in this same manner throughout the month. That means a whole month of knit exposure on nationally syndicated broadcast television!!!

The schedule is filled primarily with members of the Big Apple Knitting Guild. Including myself - Cheryl Kellman - & Stephanie Klose (we are profiled in Lily's book, "the Urban Knitter.")

The yarn and needles were generously donated by Lion Brand Yarn, we're using their "Homespun" & "Polarspun" together on very large needles, in pink - of course !

So even if you don't catch Lily getting this thing started, watch a fellow knitter in progress, working for a very good cause."

Comments (0)

October 14, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

say it isn't so...

My friend Laura was over the other day for a segment we were taping for Episode #1 of SnBTV. She saw the picture on the left and commented, "Hey, nice Debbie Reynolds thing you got going on..."

I said riiiiight.

Then I was rustling around down in my storage room and found the magazine on the right which I got at a flea market. It has all the Golden Era of Film Superstars and guess who's on the cover?

And guess who looks (at least the hairdo) a whole lot like her!

SOmebody Help Me Please!!!

Comments (7)

October 15, 2002

First Fall FO

is really just a Summer Leftover...

Isn't it a little righteous when I need something sweet to wear to our Fabulicious Premiere, I can get my can in gear and FINISH something that's been in the pile for weeks...

I figure that's my way of SHOP-PIN'. That, and diggin' through the multitude of shirts I have - uuhmm - tuxedo ruffled front shirt might be nice...

Bottoms are up for grabs!

Comments (6)

October 16, 2002

Watch Us Put the Cable Back in Cable Access!!!

TONIGHT @8:30pm

Your favorite irreverent but savvy knitting group has gone to the videotape in a big way - a whole sparkling fresh half-hour full!

You will be delighted with Fashion Forcasting, Project Air, Chat, Techinique Segments for Beginner's and Advanced.

And, this time out, a feature story on Stitches Midwest, one of the most out-of-body orbital experiences you can have…

Be there or be a Granny Square!

October 17, 2002

People Did Not Boo!

Even after sticking cameras in their face for weeks and including all the bloopers, our little program launched with a bang!

It was also the 2nd Anniversary of Stitch'n'Bitch Chicago! Many thanks to Kelly for her natural born hostessing and beautiful party room with a view where we ate drank laughed hugged joked and cheered our birthday and knitting!

TESTIFY TIME: if you're a knitter, there's nothing better than to start or hook up with a group of other knitters. The friends and creativity I've gained in the last two years was something I'd never have found if not for getting off the couch and into some fun! Thank you ladies!

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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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