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  BLOG 11/16-23/2002
Cultural Froids

from the
What the...

Extraordinaire Derriere
George Clooney in SOLARIS

Daylight in the Swamp
I now understand the reason I'm so neurotic is that my father used to make me wear a veil when I went to the zoo...

Little Prince Michael #1(#2?)dangling off the balcony!


That statement is the only thing that is *free* about SBC!

SBC=ATT=Can't Fool Me


Big$$$ productions - just cut my rates!

There's no crying in Monopoly!

Quit yer whining!

Tommy Lee Jones shame shame shame

It took 6 WEEKS of phonelessness for SBC/ATT to install a home phone for me when I moved...

November 16, 2002

She's One of Ours...

One of the current cultural trends (fueled by advertising and the media, of course) is embracing your *individual stereotype*. Hmm, I know that last statement is an oxymoron, but it's cropping up all over the place.

For instance, White Castle Restaurants have a commercial campaign that maxes out on this idea. The little hamburgers they produce are steamed while they're grilled and served in six-packs with lots of grilled onions. Most spots are open 24 hours a day and I was introduced early on to them by friends aprÁs clubbing after I moved here from San Francisco.

I thought they looked and tasted like Alpo dog food smeared on a bun. Not to mention that distinctive *odor* they leave everywhere afterwards for hours...

The punch line to all White Castle commercials is "He's/She's One of Ours" - like they show a slightly trashy white famile arriving at the relatives for Thanksgiving with big bags of Castle's and big smiles.

I hereby claim that phrase for Knit Addicts like myself! I don't know any stereotypes that exist for knitters except Granny in a ROcker, eewww, and I think we need a new one.

For instance, this morning, I did a rather knitty thing myself. My hut is the 2nd floor of a 3-flat and I opened a front window and put out several skeins of very cool but musty eBay yarn on the window sill to air out. Of course, two blew off when I wasn't looking and then I had to go outside in my socks on the street and look for them. I didn't bother to comb my bed head or even put on a coat, although it's freezing outside. I did take my coffee.

I found one immediately on the steps of the building but panicked when I couldn't find the second. What if some innocent passerby got hit in the head by a flying skein and picked it up and kept it for a souvenir??? It would probably be just the last few yards I needed to finish my sweater!

Then I remembered that GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO KNITTERS and just stood there a minute. AH, there it was under a bush by the wrought iron fence post...

Here are the balls resting comfortably in the freezing air on the deck:

YUP. SHe's one of ours...

Comments (5)

November 17, 2002

It's Sunday. There's Snow Everywhere...

A true environment for STARTITIS! I might even build a fire later.

But as I'm writing this, drinking coffee, enjoying the view of the inch or so of snow we got overnight, I'm also knitting...

Gwen inspired me to finish the aqua Rowan DK Soft "Sweet" cardigan I started last year. She just finished her pullover and it's gorgeous...

So this morning, I'm making those durn ruffles for both fronts (this is what caused the STALL in the first place), then leaving them on the needle to finish. (I just cast on 245 sts for the 1st front.) I think I'll try knitting them both at the same time after the ruffles are done... The back and both sleeves are already finished and look very lonely.

This afternoon, I'm starting this (Firth from Rowan's A Season's Tale - 2001):

This is my first digital picture with white-balanced flash. WooHoo...

I got a bee in me bonnet and bought a USM from Bond. This stands for the Ultimate Sweater Machine and is basically a bunch of latch hooks seperated by little walls that then make up a whole bed. You might of seen the commercial for this thing on TV where a crafty lady speed knits three yards of fabric in two seconds.

UHHmm... It is NOT that easy. I got it to make plain-bodied Stockinette sweaters for work. I made the Orange Hoodie like this - it turned out too big, but luckily I used wool and felted it down to size. Then I handknit ribbing on it later in a different color wool.

I think I have the hang of it now so I'm trying again with this way-cool red-black-grey-white 100% wool Red Heart worsted weight yarn I got on eBay for pennies. Then I'll handknit the Fair Isle yoke and ribs later when all the pieces are done. I didn't like the Fair Isle pattern that was provided with this Rowan model so I borged one from another source and then changed their colors to what I want with my colourway.

I just finished the first decrease row of the left ruffle.

HK is mobile and portable. MK is stationary and I feel most in command of the process doing it STANDING UP. HK is WYSIWYG (whizzy-whig for all us geeks: what you see is what you get) and pretty easy to fix mistakes. MK is quite different - you work with the wrong side facing you at all times. You have to count Rows, Inc/Dec with exactitude, hope you don't pop any stitches off because the tension wasn't properly maintained by weights (!) on the fabric you're making.

I just finished the second row of the ruffle. I'm sitting with my coffee now and typing this while it lays in my lap.

MK should be done from beginning to end on a piece for best results - it's hard to just leave it and come and go with it. You need to totally organize your materials and details pretty much from the start to be efficient.

I just finished the first ruffle. I was lying down on the couch looking out at the snow covered trees.

Later today, I have a 2-hour appointment with the USM during a TV session of the original "Batman" with Michael Keaton (my favorite). I'll probably get the back, fronts and most of a sleeve done while watching this movie.

It took me one hour to make the ruffle for my "Sweet". I'm off to make #2 but not before I have a piece of rasberry bittersweet chocolate...

Comments (6)

November 18, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

Death by Knitting
or Ode to Stephanie Pearl (not Purl)

by Janine Tinklenberg
(From the Multiple WIP Reality Nation!)

As she surveyed her Christmas list
(For gifting, not for getting),
Her family started a knitting pool
So they could run the betting.

Would she finish her knitting this year?
The tension ran quite high.
All walked softly as they passed,
So they wouldn't get poked in the eye

By her needles going clickety-clack.
Wool fluff filled the air,
Whirled in clouds about her head
And settled everywhere.

She started looking hollow-eyed,
She started getting thin,
Still, she kept a-knitting on
With a weird and manic grin.

Socks for mamma, a hat for Ted,
Gloves for Auntie Sue.
All far more than twenty
Knitting thirty years could do.

She finished her knitting on Christmas Eve,
Long after all were in bed.
But when they all got up that morn
They found her lying dead!

Yarn and needles were clutched in her hands.
The mortician left them there,
And so she was buried, wrapped in the shawl
She meant to give to Claire.

"Why did she do 'IT'?!" her family wailed,
"She knit her life away!"
"Oh, is that knitting?" A friend remarked,
"I thought it was crochet!"

© 2002 by Janine Tinklenberg.

This poem may be used in knitting guild newsletters freely as long as my name appears and I get a copy of the newsletter.

Comments (2)

November 20, 2002

a ChicKnits Runway Presentation

courtesy of Rowan Yarns
click on photo for preview...

My Crystal Ball IS ALIVE And I see that I won't be able to keep my resolution of NO MORE YARN until the current projects are wrapped...

The new Calmer cotton/microfiber blend yarn is now being offered by Rowan. That used(?!) to be my absolute favorite yarn (oh, Squib!!!) That makes non-heavy garments with beautiful stitch definition - I hope this is it's Baby Sister. I would love a thinner weight!

A definite HomeRun for Rowan and Kim Hargreaves! Let's hope they let it sell for more than one season and offer a plethora of ADULT colors!

Comments (3)

November 21, 2002

Come to the Cuter Side of Knitting...

Fair Isle in

Just like a little tiny school girl I am all wiggly about this Cardigan...

I finished the two fronts and the back up to the armholes on the USM and then did around 20 rows of Fair Isle and finished up the raglan shaping. (The pattern is Firth & Nevis from last year's A Season's Tale by Rowan.) I still have to do the ribbing on the bottom but I'll probably save that until last.

I must say it is as cute as a puppy's kiss, but back-and-forth fair isle compared to fair isle in-the-round makes me want to tear my hair out. Especially on the wrong side where keeping your tension is just absurd.

That's the order of the day - absurdity. Raglan shaping AND purling in up to three colors will make the rest of the day seem like a cake walk.


My Bonkers sweater was going great guns until I saw I had made two mistakes in pattern repeats and had to frog 12 rows. Now I KNOW it's going to be a beauty because the one's I foul out on at least once go on to be the best...

Comments (5)

November 22, 2002

In Lieu of the FF
Here's the Bust Questionaire:

1. When did you start your knitting blog?
I started in 2000 when I launched ChicKnits. It languished for months and it wasn't until November when people started visiting it.

2. Why did you start it? The urge to write about knitting overwhelmed me - I *suffer* from the disease of Startitis. Many behavioralists recommend keeping a journal to manage your cravings and acting out. You can go back and read and understand the triggers that cause you to pick up the needles and that new ball of yarn when seven other projects are littering the couch and surrounding floor...

3. What do you get out of it? The thing I like most about knitting is almost the thing I like most about writing. When you blog, you take words (lines and scratches, symbols, punctuation)and record your thoughts and the mental progressions of your creative ideas. If you're lucky, this vaporware becomes a conduit into someone else's reality. And, drumroll please, COMMUNICATION is achieved. You've reached out and touched someone using the most mysterious, ancient art of signing.

For me, blogging took my rather solitary experience of creating and pushed it out on the horizon. I've met many wonderful people and have been inspired by their like efforts. Commonality with manners - all of the group seem like people I'd have over for dinner, with knitting afterwards, of course...

4. How much time do you spend a week working on it? Although I worked nights for many years, now I am an early riser because of my job. I have to ease into my day with a pot of coffee, email, and blogging. I'm drinking coffee and writing this at 6:50am. I usually have 15 minutes or so to do it.

5. What do you get out of reading other people's knitting blogs? The inspiration, elevation and soulfullnes I've discovered in our corner of bandwidth is astounding! From ideas for new projects, to the sharing of life events, the experience has pushed me into a more forward plane. It is just HONEST. We share our triumphs and tragedies like butter on bread, served up plain as day. Blogging = Maximum Mental Refreshment... Knitting IRIE!

Comments (4)

November 23, 2002

It's Beginning to Look a lot
Like Partay...

The little Bad Muse once again has kicked me in my Southern Hemisphere! Even though it's not as wonderful as the one belonging to George, I must say it is now moving forward.

It is just another typical Chicago Late Fall Day - Grey - Windy - Freezing - Nasty (1:30pm - Sunny - go figure). My neighbor is roofing his house and suddenly my path to the garage is blocked with a TON of debris. He didn't ask first either. !**??##$$&@*&(#*^)@(*!

But it has given me a wonderful excuse NOT to go rake up the last of the leaves! Instead, I am going to try and finish up those items needing some sewing so I can DRESS SMART for the holiday ahead.

I am going to a wonderful family gathering tomorrow and can use a new outfit! Here's where you go *shopping* in the UFO bin and sew some seams, steam and VSila!

You are a beautiful princess awaiting her coach!

Or in my case, the #66.


From the BADreallymeansGOOD School of Language, overheard on the #66: "Look at that, knitting! That's just weird. Hmm, intriguing", uttered by a cute 20-something wearing a handknitted ear-flap hat who was watching me knit the Bonkers cardie. I was cabling...

Comments (0)

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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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