BLOG 10/17/03

Cultural Froids

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Saturday-Sunday, October 11-12, 2003

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As the Cubs continue their push through the postseason, the good-luck rituals, charms and reverse-curses performed by fans are increasing in intensity.

Players have their own rituals to appease the baseball gods. Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa tosses a cup of coffee out of the dugout before each game, and bench player Doug Glanville deliberately steps on chalk foul lines while running to and from the dugout (as opposed to most players, who avoid them).

But Chicago fans also are doing their best to help nudge the stars into alignment. The rituals were humming all over town Friday and Saturday night.

At the Black Rock bar in Lakeview Friday night, as the game crept into extra innings, Tristan Hari rubbed his hands as if starting an imaginary fire every time a Cubs player came to the plate, a technique he said helps awaken their bats.

"This is my only superstition," said Hari, 32, a bartender in Chicago. "But it works."

With the Cubs on the edge of their first World Series berth in nearly six decades, the ceremonial intensity promises to increase. In Chicago, one of the more superstitious towns in arguably the most superstitious of sports, that means:

Loyola University law student Andrew Tarnoff, 27, and his four friends will make sure to sit in the same seats in their Wrigleyville apartment during all Cubs games.

Kevin Knepp, 35, a Realtor from Chicago, will wear a battered blue Cubs cap he keeps hidden in a bedroom closet and wears only when the Cubs reach the playoffs.

Tim Schultze, 26, of Homeland Park, to his fiance's dismay, will not cut his hair until the playoffs are over.

The Breitenreiter household in Lombard will keep the bathroom fan on during games, because the Cubs win when it is.

Superstition has been hanging over the Cubs at least since 1945, when tavern owner Bill Sianis tried to watch a World Series game at Wrigley Field with his pet goat. He was kicked out of the park and promptly put a curse on the Cubs. They haven't returned to the Fall Classic since, though his relatives have lifted the curse many times.

Last week, restaurateur Spiro Papas, decked in traditional Greek garb, led a baby billy goat outside his Oak Park restaurant, broke a plate on the sidewalk, clanged a cowbell and declared the goat curse gone. Another man, deemed the goat's "godfather," kissed the goat three times on the mouth.

"I'm kind of upset about the whole situation with the billy goat," Papas said. "One hundred percent, I will give my life, the Cubs will win on the sixth game."

At the start of the season, Cubs manager Dusty Baker downplayed any hex or jinx hovering over his new team. But last month, before a crucial series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Baker was spotted sprinkling a sandlike substance around Wrigley's outfield. He never revealed what it was, and Cubs officials won't comment either. But the Cubs won four of five games from the Cardinals.

Richard Lustberg, a sports psychologist from New York, said he has counseled football athletes who won't change undergarments and basketball players who don't shower during streaks, but none are more superstitious than baseball players.

That goes for fans as well. During a recent WGN-AM call-in show, one Cubs fan admitted to washing his hands every half-inning, another turns away each time Sosa hits and one woman claimed she has to clean her house during games. (ChicKnits advises: "Kids, don't try this one at home. Na na...")

"You're dealing with a ballclub that hasn't won a World Series in (95) years," said Spike O'Dell, the radio show's host. "If it takes voodoo dolls and magic spells, we're up for it."
.......Chicago Tribune

Comments (10)

Monday, October 13, 2003

Monday Morning Mirth

if these feet could talk
they would tell you this story...

UnderBelly of the Borg

I am not a runner. I tried jogging about 20 years ago and promptly fell flat on my face from the sheer boredom of it.

I was rescued from this trend the moment I bought my first mountain bike. All hail those brave Bois on Mount Tamalpais who frankensteined the first models. I, of course, bought a Specialized Rock Hopper Sport and have never looked back.

Then, because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had a fusion done on my right big toe joint, which left me with a big honkin' screw in my foot. No more distance running, even if I was hit by the lightening of the Little Bad Muse. HOOOOray.

Yesterday, I was part of the Media coverage of the LaSalle Chicago Marathon as a camera along the route. This meant I had to work the entire weekend; I am now on the eight straight day of journeymanship.

Day One was great. I was Position 2, Mile 5, right outside of the Farm Zoo on Stockton Dr. by the huge pond. All the trees are turning and it was a crispy, clear sunny day.

Day Two was a Jodorowsky movie. We arrived at 4AM to set our shot exactly where we rehearsed on Saturday. At 6AM, we were invaded by trucks, tables and millions of liters of fluids.

We were the first Hydration Station. OOPs...

The first pack of runners that passed us were the highly seeded Africans; they did not want any liquid. Pardon me, but they looked like they really needed it. I've never seen any human more approximating beef jerky on a stick than these guys!!! Whoa...

They moved like the wind.

Then the fun began.

Our position was sited on a curve which quickly became a cul-de-sac of slower moving pissed-off bodies. Who wants their momentum broken by gridlock of the race planner's own making? There were 40,000 participants this year and they did NOT want to be slowed to some tortoise pace caused by the route.

So people ran around us, through our shot, between trees and tables, trying to slightly improve their position and dodge the pack. Much trampling of the Zoo vegetation ensued and I feared for the tiny inhabitants of the Petting Zoo right behind me to the left. Oh H* no, do NOT touch the goats!!!

The Yin of the Lube Yang was porta potties. Get rid of it and then fill it back up with some Gator Ade. All of a sudden, that area just as out-of-control as the narrow street, and everywhere I looked, men were relieving themselves on trees. People, I'm talking 2-3 feet away from me, while I'm live on the AIR!

The Body Clog itself was grabbing the cups of Gator Ade and sippin' and pitchin'. Since we were the only opening because of our camera position, people started throwing their partially full cups of liquid in the space, after taking the minimum mouth freshening amount.

My body, my truck, my camera, my monitor, my reporter and producer were cumulatively drenched with Gator Ade and flying cups.

Believe me when I say this wasn't a statement on the runner's part; they just were moving as a wiggling pulsating amoeba.

A Borg Racer Nation...

Common mind, common purpose. No smiling. No resting, just moving in tandem through the gap.

Imagine my relief when the Pack finally broke up and the few hundred *Happy I'm Alive* runners started coming through. My People. They were eating doughnuts and drinking beer.

Two guys dressed as the Nina and the Pinta sailing ships in honor of Columbus Day went by and I knew everything was going to be OK...

Comments (6)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

From the ChicKnits Cubs Fever Workshop!

the MiniChic Returns...

The Front has begun... So far, I am up to the first increases on the body of it. Since I've been jamming through this while watching the play-offs, tonight ought to be just rock 'em sock 'em good knitting. I think of this project as an anti-nail biting device...

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The poncho will have an overlapping 4" ribbed band for the collar section in the Basic Version. This will make the poncho easy to put on and take off AND easy to make. I know I have enough yarn to knit this detail. Instructions will be provided for the Basic Version.

I will be experimenting beyond that with an Advanced Version. It will utilize short-row shaping to form a curved roll-over Shawl Collar that will close with a toggle to make a self-scarf around the neck. Instructions may or may not be included for the Advanced Version, depending on my success AND whether or not I have enough yarn to finish this detail.

to be continued...

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

From the ChicKnits Cubs Fever Workshop!

non-artist's representation of poncho neckline...

OHHH, the agony of defeat... made me knit fast and focus on anything but Game 6 of the Cubs-Marlin series.

I tried everything.

Watched "the Guardian" (Huh?), would only allow sneak peaks of the game during commercials of other programming, ate peanuts and drank Diet Orange Crush, flossed, paid bills, did laundry, wrote part of a Knitty article, whined about working more than 10 days in a row without a day off, kept knitting, etc, etc, etc.


Except for the MiniChic! It just grew and grew...

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to be continued...

Thursday, October 16, 2003

A LITTLE BITTY TEAR... renowned Folk Singer Burl Ives

A little bitty tear let me down, spoiled my act as a clown
I had it made up not make a frown, but a little bitty tear let me down.

You said you were leaving tomorrow
That today was our last day
I said there'd be no sorrow, that I'd laugh when you walked away.

A little bitty tear let me down, spoiled my act as a clown
I had it made up not make a frown, but a little bitty tear let me down.

I said I'd laugh when you left me
Pull a funny as you went out the door
That I'd have another waiting
And I'd wave goodbye as you go.

A little bitty tear let me down, spoiled my act as a clown
I had it made up not make a frown, but a little bitty tear let me down.

Everything went like a planned it
And really put on quite a show
In my heart I felt I could stand it
Till you walked with your bat through the door.

A little bitty tear let me down, spoiled my act as a clown
I had it made up not make a frown, but a little bitty tear let me down.

A little bitty tear let me down.

Comments (24)

AND NOW, back to the Real World



2144 W Division
7pm to 9pm

Special Guest: the MiniChic Poncho

Mattress stitching and PickUp and Knit will be performed...

Friday, October 17, 2003

[almost] New Threads Friday!

Sitcom Chic
Jo Sharp DK Color 902
Gauge: 22sts/28rows per 4"

The WIPs have been advancing in the background all week. The Chocolat Sitcom is my KIP traveler on Route 66 and other places on the road where I might land. Like the Pharmacy, Bus stop, etc...

It is turning out better than I expected! I am suffering through the bulk of the join area, whew... That's why I usually prefer knitting in pieces. No floppin' ze flippen' ze!

I turn everything so the inside is facing me as well because I think when you knit something in one piece and are taking it in and out of a bag, you are already starting to WEAR IT. And, wear it out.

This is going to be done by next Saturday, so I can take it with me up to Michigan to wear while visiting my Auntie, who is continuing with her chemo. I sent her her socks for Sweetest Day and YbbaDubbaDOo they fit! Now I can start some for WHOOPS might be reading this for Christmas.

Socks are the only gift I've ever given a relative that is always appreciated. So, voila, let the sock juggernaut begin!!!

Comments (8)

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Claudia's Knitting & Spinning

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1. Sitcom Chic (65%)
Yarn: Jo Sharp DK
Pattern: Bonne Marie Burns
Color: 902
Gauge: 22.5sts/30rows over 4"
Needles: #3 & #6

2. Midnight Noon (15%)
Yarn: Sheepy Valley Worsted
Pattern: Bonne Marie Burns
Color: Navy Heather
Gauge: 18sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #6 & #8

3. Mrs CBs Camp Jacket (85%)
Pattern: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Sheepy Valley Worsted
Pattern: Bonne Marie Burns
Color: Oatmeal
Gauge: 18sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #6 & #8

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