BLOG 12/07/2002
Cultural Froids

from the
What the...

Either an Oxymoron or just Plain Dumb Luck
ChicKnits gets a mention in the Wall Street Journal!

Oh Staples
If someone gave me that handknitted lime green sweater with the word DUDE knitted in I'd fall at their feet and kiss them...

Three Mo' Tenors
are the singing sensations from the Marshall Field's Xmas commercials!


the "Long Route" for Senor Spike

Black Friday
Sounds too weird to me...

December 1, 2002

Sleepless Sunday

One of the other curses of the working class is that when you finally take a vacation, your body still is punching the clock. Mine will wake up every day at the same time, even if I haven't set the alarm, no matter what time I went to bed.

So me and the lightly frosted streets are sitting under the very early morning overcast sky, while the rest of the world works up their Anti-Green Bay energy sleeping late. Oh, I forgot. Me, my bucket hat on my head, my COFFEE and my big felted sweater are sitting writing this in the cloudy single-digit weather. It's record cold this morning in Chicago - there's really no way you can keep all the cold air out of your house (another reason to just STAY IN BED ALL DAY!)

I cannot imagine the weather up in Green Bay Wisconsin (Yah hey, hosers!!!) today for the football game. There will be frozen patootie galore out there, but you just KNOW someone will take off their shirt and show us their beer belly. There is also a 99.99% probability that that person will have a painted face. (If any of you are watching this game, I make a quarter bet here and now that this will happen. Double or nothing that the person is a GB fan, too...)

Yup, I'm gonna watch the Bears vs. Green Bay and maybe eat some cheese curls later. But not before I pick-up and start the second ruffle on my beautiful "Sweet".

Rowan Magazine 26 Design 2

The second ruffle only goes around the neck and the straight-away along the fronts gets tight garter stitch button-bands. Happily this means I won't go into a coma about half-way through and start crying for my mommy like yesterday...

Actually, I invoked the power of the Slayer and watched two Buffy episodes to fool myself into rapid-fire completion. What's up with that Spike character? Is he Australian or British? Why is he so skinny? Do vampires have to be Wraiths as well? Lestat, my all time favorite New Orleans ghoul, was rock star handsome. Hmm, thin but ripped...

I think this guy should play Spike! Guess his name???

I think Spike should grow out his hair too. That dyed blonde thing is so over. Get a little mop goin' will ya please?

Comments (10)


I've *finally* added an INFO PAGE for ChicKnits Patterns!!!

If you've been curious, skeptical or wondering...

Click on this button to read all about it!

December 2, 2002

Monday Morning Mirth

courtesy Boy clothing

OOH LA la!!!

My wonderful Spike replacement is none other than Brazilian sensation €lvaro Jacomossi

I *discovered* Jaco in a big way Saturday while shopping at the Guess? store on Michigan Ave. where in the Men's Department (UhHmm - should be in the Women's dept.) there is a 3x size billboard of the whole reclining Brazilian Bebe...


For some more "mirth" check out this Jaco fan site. The third picture from the left is especially mirthful and shows Alvaro laughing splendidly!

I also get to see him in this ad (Lower Left) that's two stories high on the side of a building from the #66 on my way to work. Never fails to "wake me up".

Comments (2)

December 3, 2002


The HUGE CHUNKY snowflakes falling right now means I won't be taking the bike ride to the Museum today.

If it's over 35degrees, I ride my bike.

A couple of winters ago the assignment editor at work sent me out every morning to take pictures of the weather for the morning show. This is the kiss of death for most TV shooters. How many ways can you shoot a sunny day?

Snow is much more interesting...

Tricky, but fun! I had the best time ever the day I decided to sit on various curbs and get street level stuff of Bike Messengers in a snowstorm. I figured if I came back with something so off-the-wall, I wouldn't get sent out on the weather beat again.

That, of course, was extreme wishful thinking! But I did talk to many Bikers that day (and believe me, there are some characters who choose to do this for a living, especially in such a weather-challenged area as this!). They gave me their secrets for cycling in the freezing weather.

So now, if it's not too slippery, I go out too, in my thin layers and fleece. I just have to be careful which bag I carry because I had one that really ID'd me as a messenger that seemed to signal carte blanc abuse from the car sector. WHoa, these bikers (and their free-form antics, I must admit) have really ticked people off! I took more flack in two hours than a lifetime of biking...

So it's a no go to the photo show down at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. I was going to see some pictures taken by a cop I met during the TABD *demo*. Scott Fortino is part of the Midwest Photographer's Project and was a very interesting guy so I wanted to see what he and the other folks were up to.

Instead, since it's just such a rarity for me to watch it snow instead of being in the snow, I'm going to be a little Elf today and finish some stuff. OR start some stuff, TEE hee HEE...

Rowan Magazine 22 page 99 *Tallulah*

This one lies a-blocking! If a project goes over several months, I finish it up, then wash it and let it dry flat.

This turned out better than I could've imagined. It's the second one I made and is much better than the first. I used a stretchy merino for the first one and it just is a PITA to wear, although it's very pretty. This one is made from the recommended yarn from Rowan, called Magpie Aran and it holds its shape much better.

I've learned the last year the secret to substituting yarn involves much more than gauge. You must consider the drape and nature of the FABRIC you are creating before using something else. The new yarn must be very similar in behavior (can you assign human properties to yarn, hmmm) to the original or your results could be a crap shoot!

Believe me, I've learned the hard way...

Comments (12)

December 4, 2002

OH What Fun (Jingle Jingle Jingle Jingle)

Marshall Fields is the largest department store in Chicago. It is also owned by the same people who own Target (Dayton-Hudson?). Now I don't know if I'm a little perved, but I REALLY like Target's commercials. They are fresh, musically provacative, and always interesting.

My favorite right now is the Wayne (Never Say Wrinkle) Newton walking and singing in the winter wonderland! Just makes me scream!

Now, Marshall Fields must've borrowed the agency that little sister Target uses because their Xmas campaign is just as entertaining - jazz singers and I think gospel singers talk, scat and sing.

I was almost going to INFECT you with the jingle but it's been roaming around me head for two days so I'll spare you.

Instead, here's what I did on my Winter Vacation, Day 4, Tuesday:

Vogue Fall'02 Filatura di Crosa 501 Yarn - Color #2120

Even after all of my ranting about that Vogue Fall02 issue, I went back and found something I adored! It is on page 105, by Shirley Paden and features traveling twisted stitch oval designs that run vertically in groups.

This is now my projet compliqu¡ mais ¡l¡gant, that of course, I intend to be finished with by Christmas...

(You can manicially LOL at this point; I am...)

I thought the design was very feminine and looked like Christmas Tree Bulbs in a way. I'm going to adapt it to a cardigan somehow...

Comments (10)

December 5, 2002

Finding the Alchemist Within

Although it's strictly forbidden to do housework on Planet ChicKnits when on an official vacation, gardening is OK so I went through my closet, weeding out some things I just wasn't wearing. Some of the items that ended up in the pile were things I MADE WITH MY OWN HANDS...

Could I relegate them to the recycle bin or should I banish them to the Box Of Shame that holds the Style WannaBees, Misfits or Experiments Just GOne Wrong??? Fashion being the fickle fraulein that she is just doesn't play fair some years and in my knitting youth, I was taken advantage of quite a few times by designs or yarn that just would not bend to my will.

Some of these Pokemons are just a frozen testament to the learning process. Most of them should've just either never been started or ripped out before they became such a reality bite to my pocketbook and fashion sense. Hence their banishment to the BOS, because I just can't bear to throw or give them away. I've rescued the one's I could and just have to live with the nagging underbelly of knowledge that I didn't swatch, measure, or use the right yarn. About once a year, I open the box and make myself look at them for a few minutes.

I guess I think that like mushrooms they might be growing into something larger or more palatable in the dark and I can still pull them out and make them shine in the light.

Well, yesterday, I just maturely acknowledged that the BOS is full and put some things in the Recycle Pile.

One sweater just would not go.

Noro Kureyon Color 55

Oh, how I love Noro Kureyounl!!!

Would that I would've figured out that it is just too HOT a wool to wear as an indoor pullover. (Here's where Americans can all take a bow for overheated houses...)

But wait, just because this isn't a Scandinavian design does not mean it cannot be STEEKED!

Thanks to Corinne from Lucky Penny for this shot!

Who says I can't just make it a cardigan and live happily ever after?!

Not the Lovely and Talented Lucy Neatby who explains on her Tradewinds site the Zen of Steeking. If you pretend it's just a regular sweater instead of a Fair Isle, you just mark the center, sew a couple of lines of machine (!)stitches over the vertical ladders of yarn between the stitches and CUT IT!!!

If you don't have a sewing machine, follow Knitwear Design Goddess Dawn Brocco's Hand Technique.

That's right, cut it and pick-up some stitches and make button bands.

And V²ILA! Now, you have a Cardigan! A cool Kureyon Cardigan that feels like butta and now has a furry collar!

Today, I lengthen the sleeves - I was lucky enough to find a ball of this colourway at the Knitting Workshop and will have a go at it later...

Comments (19)

December 6, 2002

Just in the Nick of St. Nick Time...
Knitty is HERE!!!

Take a spin in the groove with
the best free knitting magazine online.

The one that speaks with YOUR VOICE!

free pattern here - Vodoo Wrist Warmers

I promised myself last year I would not let the freezing temps here in Chicago hold me back.

It's 16 degrees right now and I'm going for a walk wearing these under my gloves!

You need some too! Even if you are living La Vida Loca more South than me, they make a very cool fashion point under another sweater or by themselves...

Here's your chance to justify buying just one ball of the cushiest or colorful yarn you can find!!!

Comments (3)

December 7, 2002

Let's Ride!

Some friends went to a Dude Ranch this summer for a week. I was insanely jealous because I love to ride horses! AND, one of my back-burner lifetime goals is to learn how to wield and spin a lariat upright so you can jump back and forth through it. Kind of a vertical hula-hoop. (If you need to know RIGHT NOW how to do this go HERE...)

Well, it looks like I'm not going anywhere anytime soon (I still have another week off with no plans - my company made a "mistake" and I have to use the days by the end of the year or lose them and they just sprung it on me! No time to plan. No money to squander during the holiday season either... (OH quit yer whining!))

But where does the roaming insatiable mind of the ChicKnits traveler land? Why in her own DUde RanCH of sorts, where lariats are replaced with YARN and the corral is the comfy couch with all the fine touches of the deep MidWest, which in my case is a laptop and maybe a delivered pizza...

Hey, where's the DUDE in ChicKnits Dude Ranch?:

DUDE! #1: Work the thousand plus stitches to finish the ruffling around a sweater neckline!

DUDE! #2: Finish the sewing and blocking of Ms. Tallulah.

DUDE! #3: Steek an oldie and make it a newsie.

DUDE! #4: Really mix your metaphors and some Kool Aid and start some real experiments in the Home Home on the Range category.

I have a plethora of beige yarn and am just not a beige person. So I've been experimenting with dyeing it with Kool Aid which I learned how to do last year.

Most of the colors on white yarn come out very Brilliant...

But they are toned down considerably if you use beige or light grey yarn to begin with. I am trying to make a really deep eggplant color. Not quite there yet, but, joy of joys, I've discovered how to use that Lime Green to make my favorite chartreuse!

Giddy UP!

Comments (2)

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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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