| Cultural Froids
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
October 2, 2002
ModaMetro Part II: Flygirl
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
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,
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
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
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...
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...
Oc tober 4, 2002
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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October 6, 2002
uCan C the Wheels Turning
New Favorite Technique! I first read
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
This is just typical of what happens when you
are a weekend Coffee Achiever...
October 8, 2002
ModaMetro Part III: Just
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
(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
October 9, 2002
a Grand Experiment: Folly
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
I've been experimenting with locally available
yarns. Hence my choice of Lion Homespun for
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...
October 10, 2002
From our Friends on
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
Thanks so much for making my day Jill!!!
October 11, 2002
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
Needless to say, I'll be changing companies
October 12, 2002
courtesy Lana Grossa
Lana Grossa genrerously
posts a new Fall Model for the man in your life
Just click on "Model of the Month"
when you get to the index page...
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.
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
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."
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
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
And guess who looks (at least the hairdo) a
whole lot like her!
SOmebody Help Me Please!!!
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
Bottoms are up for grabs!
October 16, 2002
Watch Us Put the Cable Back
in Cable Access!!!
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, 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!
© Bonne Marie Burnsns
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