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is your source for
modern hand knitting patterns. You'll enjoy making AND wearing our collection of sassy classics designed by
Bonne Marie Burns
that reflect the way you
work and live.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

All Gone to L@@K for America - ahemm - Dale Jr...

OK, now you all know this to be true: like most folks that are part of the Y2K Knitting Revolution, I knit while I'm watching, GASP, Television!

That's right! No programming is safe from my remote, the least safe being (in the last year): NASCAR racing!

Oh gentle reader, there is nothing like the thrill of the engine while you're zipping through the rows - the helmet cams, the hairpin turns, the pit stops, the DRIVERS!

Knitting and NASCAR were meant for each other - I truly believe I knit faster and better with that BUZZard soundtrack whining in my head...

And who do we love the MOST
on the NASCAR Hottie inner circle??

Imagine my delight, after struggling for a couple of hundred of miles on the winding twisting mountain turns of Interstate 77, in being rescued by none other than that Bleached Blonde Bad Boy, DALE Jr!

I was busy working, for the entire Road Trip TO Camp Lejeune, NC, on the Big Blue BizChic Cardi, seaming and knitting, picking up stitches and marking, using my whole arsenal of knitting accessories, which just kept disappearing into the door well exactly when I needed to put my hands on them.

We stopped for gas in, I believe, Woodlawn/Hillsville, Virginia, and there HE WAS! - all bright and shiny, right by the cash register, ripe for the first vacation souvenir purchase.

So along came Dale Jr. on our adventure, becoming THIS.

No more fumbling for the needle gauge finder (although I did have to cut it in half to fit it into the case), no more grasping blindly into the depths of my bag trying to fish out a stitch marker, just everything in its place, at the ready for that next big PIT STOP on the fly speeding toward the Finish Line and that B/W checkered flag.

AND, did you know, Dale Jr. is North Carolina born and bred? Just perfect! Even though we were headed for the other side of the State, it was good to have a Homeboy on board...

THIS question remains: when in the world did he start DYEING his HAIR???

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Boogity! Boogity! Boogity!


After a nasty delay at the beginning of my NCarolina Trip, the Urban Pshawl is back on track. Methinks the Urban-ness of the Pshawl threw a hissy fit and just refused to go to the Country!

You think your projects don't have a mind of their own! Heh heh heh heh...

I drove up to Tustin, MI to hook up with my boon driving companion, Mrs CB, (better known in these parts as *MOM*), on Saturday, with the UPs in tow. I had less than 4 pattern repeats to go on one piece and the very simple neck trim. No fuss; no mess. Knock it out while we watch a movie - I brought along "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" to kick off the festivities...

Pshaw! goes the little Cream Pshawl! I will not be DONE!

All of a sudden I realized, I was running out of yarn, and had NOT packed the last skein! I was almost 300 miles away from that purdy little ball of yarn and I was hung out to dry!

Vainly, I tried to high groove it out, and fudged and tricked the Pshawl onto the track and towards the finish line. I ripped back a couple of rows of each last pattern repeat to get some yardage for some Splash-n-Go; but BLACK FLAG! I still had the neckline and some bottom trim to finish from where I split the original looong rectangle to make two.

So back into the bag went the Little Pancaked UPs, and out it came last night - no more Dirty AIR - just some reworking of the *fixes* I tried to pull off last weekend.

Out came the Steam Iron after I laid out each piece on a folded quilt on my bed. I went over each piece thoroughly with the steam then let it cool and rolled it up on a cardboard tube left over from paper towels. First I rolled an old hand towel around the tube, then the knitted piece. This will keep it nice and blocked until I have time to seam it up.

Grandma used to do this with freshly ironed linens...


How's your NASCAR lingo? Take this QUIZ

WTF is Boogity! Boogity! Boogity?

Who are our Presidential Hopefuls wooing?

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

More Pressing Issues


Meet my little friend...
THIS is none other than a Sleeve Board for ironing sleeves, cuffs and small items.

AND it is beautifully designed by Michael Graves, the renowned, postmodern architect and winner of The National Medal of Arts! His Sherwood Pavilion is the ultimate Knitting Nirvana!

AND I got it at TARGET!

So convenient for reaching those interior seams...

Perfect for steaming those pesky sleeve caps...


I put the finishing touches on the BizChic Cardi last night in a flash, using the Board. Since most of the finishing knitting and seaming was done in the car or GASP, at the beach, it was impossible to iron as I go, which I ususally do.

Although not quite as exciting as a Sleeve Ham, (which I am still looking for - saw this one at Clotilde's but the matching Hamholder was no longer available), the Sleeve Board is my new best friend...


"What are Tailor Tools and How to Use Them" from Fiber Images

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Friday, August 13, 2004

New Threads Friday

gettin' down to BizChic

BizChic Cardi
Design: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Lion Brand "Cotton Ease"
Color: Ice Blue #106
Gauge: 18sts /24 rows over 4"
using #8 needles

TGIF!!! NOW it's time for some fun...

Chic to visit: ... "The Art of Dr. Seuss," a retrospective and national touring exhibit, (Atlas Galleries: opening, 5:30pm tonight), celebrates the 100th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, the cartoonist who gave you your first dose of surrealistic life lessons. But don't expect bedtime stories -- most of the 150 pieces on display include obscurities like the secret art Seuss painted late at night, his early work in advertising, fictional taxidermy projects (two-horned Drouberhannis, anyone?), and rare books that never quite went the places others had gone."

...Daily Candy

OR, this weekend's Street Fair Du Jour: Retro on Roscoe

This year's 10th Anniversary Edition features an antique car and motorcycle show and MANY music acts, including ChicKnits perrenial favorite, Liquid SOUL...

OR: check out the First Annual Bash on Wabash and catch the pumpin' vibe of Funkadesi

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Saturday, August 14, 2004



I've seen this type of cardigan in many places - but none had the variety of simple elements I wanted in something I wanted to wear ALL THE TIME!

The RONCO CARDI! Set it and Forget IT!!!

Put it on and just go forth in chic array...


My Essential Details...

Collar, Cuffs & Bottom: 4x4 Chunky Rib gives just enough texture to slightly ripple the landscape.

Ease: big enough to go over a blouse, but fitted enough to flatter the shape.

Almost Hidden Buttonband: I like the option of wearing this *wrapped & tied* without buttoning or more formally as buttoned-down and ready...

Semi-Narrow Tie: not too bulky and anchored with swell Belt Loops on the side of the Cardi...

Overall: as plain and delicious as bread and butter...

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

- buy pattern online -

a HANDY-DANDY YARN LIST for the MondoCable Shell!

You asked for IT : You got it! Here's a short list of yarns that would look great using this pattern...

This pattern works best with a *blend* yarn; microfiber adds a nice lightness to the mix...

Gauge: 16 sts/20 rows over 4 inches Stockinette St
#9 needles or needles necessary to get the above...

Printable copy HERE

As always, no commercial associtation with the following yarn companies or vendors...


Artful Yarns:Cinema

Artful Yarns: Fable

Berocco: Suede Cascade: Cotton Rich

Berocco: Zen

Cascade: Sierra

Katia: Serpentina* Crystal Palace : Monterey
Reynolds: Cabaret Debbie Bliss: Denim Aran
Schachenmayr: Goa* Gedifra: Aragona
Tahki: Lily

Gedifra: Beauty Cotton

Tahki: Positano* GGH: Goa
Trendsetter: Dolcino

Jo Sharp: Desert Garden*


Lana Grossa: MultiCot

  Lana Grossa: Binario


Rowan: All Seasons Cotton

  Reynolds: Mandalay


Schoeller Stahl: Portofino*


Vittadini: Diana

*star indicates discontinued but still available online yarns...

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Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday Morning Mirth


OH! For the Love of MONKEY! my wallet, yes does open...

This little buddy found it's way into my knapsack at the Retro @Rosco Street Fair Saturday.

It is a refrigerator magnet made from a bottle cap.

It is also a COLLAGE!

That's right, Ms. Jeanmarie Petro painstakingly, lovingly, cut out the little shapes needed to make this one-of-a-kind MONKEY SHINE!!!


YOU can find Miss Jeanmarie at WEENER WARE, the studio she runs with her cool partner, Barbara Tinger!

WW will also be at the Bucktown Arts Fest
August 28-29, 2004


the Renegade Craft Fair
(Wicker Park, home of our very own KIP!!!)
September 18-19, 2004

If you're visiting Chicago this Summer
go to the Chicago Cultural Center at 79 E Washington
and get some Weener at the Art*o*mat!


"What is an Art*o*mat?"

"Created in 1997, Art*o*mat machines are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art.

Currently, there are 71 ACTIVE MACHINES in museums and various locations throughout the country."

Find an Art*o*mat near you.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Onde = Wave = Ombre

pick up the mic and OndeAlong!


Although the best thing about my recent Road Trip to North Carolina was being with my Fam and THE MOUNTAINS(!) the second best thing was the Knitting.

I rented a Ford FOCUS from Hertz and my Mom & I split the driving. I did the RustBelt Circuit through Michigan and Ohio and Mom did the driving through the more rural areas.

This was my time to KNIT.

On the way down, I worked on the BizChic Cardi. On the way home, I worked on my ONDE. Smooth Stockinette Stitch was the order of the day as mile after mile sailed by and the Right Piece just grew and grew. From the early morning, when we went through the misty gap near the foot of Jellico Mountain, where Tennesee joins Kentucky, it was perfect auto-pilot stitchery. We were listening to some SMOKIN' Blue Grass progams on Sunday morning out of Knoxville, TN. Never before in my life (and I've been a lifelong fan) has this music made more sense to me than to hear it in the hills from whence it began...

The melodies, the rhythms, the unique instruments, the lyrics, all blended to soar and amuse in a way it just never does when I'm driving on the Dan Ryan Expressway up North. For most of the trip, coming and going, we stuck to the low power FM stations through 7 states and all I have to say is THANK YOU NPR!!!

By the time we got to mid-Ohio and it was time for me to drive again, I had made it just past the armhole split on this gigantic piece that encompasses half-back and half-front.

I finished the *piece* last night and to my extreme delight, watched with wonder as the WAVE of the Right and Left pieces matched up perfectly!!!

YES! I was skeptical! There were a few knots in one of the balls for the Left Body Piece and I was worried there would be tears and whining BIG TIME in the Windy City when it all was said and done. But no - it is wonderful - I did take the time to measure off the same amount of yarn when casting on both pieces (actually wrote it down when I started) so I would lessen the odds of mismatch.

What's Left: Collar, Belt and seaming...


the Temptress:
Le Gilet Long
Effet "Tie & Dye"

read the Complete OndeAlong HERE

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

oh L@@K, it's!
your Fashion Future along N. Michigan Ave.


ANIMAL PRINTS mixed with florals, faux jewels,
Aunt Mimi Suits, you name it...

PONCHOS, Ponchos, ponchos!!!

Variegated long wrap sweater worn
with a FEDORA!


Juicy Couture does
PINK (& brown & fuschia) ACCESSORIES:
hats, bags, belts and SHOES!

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

More Sublime b.LIME


Back into the Garden we go, and things start to get a little tricksie...

Your pixelated pixie eyes do not deceive!

That is indeed, INTARSIA around the neckline of the Trellis Shell.

I became intrigued by lattice lace around the proposed V of the neck but what if...


That is how the wacky AQUA became a part of this equation in the first place!

The LIME, even in it's splendiferous BRIGHT GLORY was actually just too boring on its own...

Now it sings FIESTA! Partay! Sexay! Come On & Dance, all you red-headed girls!


Lattice Lace DETAIL

Intarsia DETAIL
from the Wrong Side

Read the Complete b.Limey Notes HERE

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Friday, August 20, 2004

Woman on the VERGE of a New Threads Friday
and to prove I can't do anything in a direct way, I'm binding off the last stitches of my Urban Pshawl even as I write this...

My fascination with my knitted projects, in typical late summer fashion, ebbs and flows in equal parts love and disdain. A Sine Wave of positive and negative charge - AC Knitting Electricity, if you please...


I need to be more linear and travel that Stitchery Circuit in a direct fashion...

And there-in lies the problem: ahemmm, FASHION!

I see sweaters on the street, on the rack, AND, now that it's becoming, for real, Sweater Weather, on display in all of the Local Yarn Palaces...


I ran into We'll Keep You in Stitches yesterday to snag some 24" circs to finish the Pshawl neckline and what do my gluttonous eyes spy?

The new Fall 2004 Adrienne Vittadini pattern book! WOOT! IMHO, this design house (anybody out there know WHO the actual knitwear design genius is?) puts out the BEST, bar none, collection of patterns every season. (To say I'm seriously underwhelmed by the Fall offerings at Vogue & IK is an understatement...)

AND, as I was checking out, I saw these hand crafted Birch Needles by the register (let's hear it for IMPULSE PURCHASING YAY!!!). Actually, just what I needed to whip out some Super Bulky Scarves without beating myself to death with my other pair of looooong #19 needles. These are from the folks at Lakewood Needle Co. in Milwaukee, WI.


(20 min. later...)
the Urban Pshawl is FINISHED!!!

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Monday, August 23, 2004

Monday Morning Mirth 




Continuing my everlovin' delight with the Summer that is Chicago

I bring you the Trinity Dancers!

These Irish Lasses are all the global rage and to see them on a small stage in the middle of the Roscoe Village neighborhood was quite delightful!

I didn't even put out the edict for green but some of these Celtic adorned outfits just screamed b.LIMEY! The motifs on the costumes were wonderful crosses and knotwork - check out the site for more delightful CU's - and click on the pictures below for more fun!

trinity_princess_kickSM.jpg spacer.gif
trinity_feetSM.jpg   trinity_princess_jumpSM.jpg

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

help me, I'm a slave of SBC!!!
Mondays are my least favorite day of the week.

It's just too hard to say good-bye to the 2-day fling that was the weekend. Two days is just long enough for me to start to think, that perhaps, I am a Lady of Leisure...

Mondays always have the slowest start and always drag to an even slower end.

I don't require a lot of myself on Monday nights because I know I just won't be able to pull it off. For instance, I used to be in an acapella singing group up at Old Town School of Music, but finally had to quit because, gasp, it didn't get started until 8PM and I was a wiggly, off-key, over-vibrato'd alto by 8:15!

So it came as no surprise that I didn't even get around to reading my email until around 7 last night. Or, should I say, attempting to read my email.

My phone line was deader than an Igor/Kilmousky mouse in MA...

No internet. No email. No funsies on the blog...

I HATE SBC! Not only did I have to wait 6 whole weeks when I moved into my place to get service established, but now, while establishing the service of my new neighbor downstairs, they cut off mine!

Living through over an hour and a half on my cell phone to get the measliest, meager, stingy, rude service has put me in a gigantic SNIT! An over-the-top don't want to wait all day for the Serviceman Snit. A Snit of Proportions so Gigantic if SBC Spokesman TOMMY LEE JONES materialized right now before my very eyes, I'd arm wrestle him into submission until he rolled over like a limp little chihuahua kicking his tiny feet in the AIR! (Also hate those quasi-political, back-patting, self-serving HORRIBLE ADS SBC runs continuously here - HEY! -how about spending some of that advertising $$$ improving your service and training your techs>!)

So the time has come, my dear knitting friends, to lose the landline and get WIRED...

Your favorites?????

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Like many in the USA this Summer 2004, I've been tossed and turned by the unnaturally COOOOL weather.

Now that it's in the HOT HIGH 80s, I'm trying to play CatchUP with all the summer activities I missed earlier in the season.
The weekends have been chockOblock full of hither and yon!
Playtime and sandtime; festivals and shows!

This weekend in Chicago was the BEST so far! The 46th (!) Annual Chicago Air & Water Show took place over Lakefront and I joined the over 2.2 MILLION folks who sat a spell down by the waterside...

The Pageantry! The FlyBys! The Ice Cream! The Radio Wing Men! The Golden Knights! The mighty, the one and only, BLUE ANGELS!!!

I LOVE THE AIR SHOW! It is one of my lifetime ambitions to fly in an F16 (or other jet) and take pictures from the air! I've taken enough from the ground, (including several days last week), to have virtual WhipLAsh from the spinning around of my camera and tripod (it's quite a sudden movement - BOOOINGG! - when you track those babies through a fly by!).

I was so excited by all of this that when I attended the show I never even saw it coming!

The Sunburn!

I am fried, ON ONE SIDE ONLY, like a piece of fine BACON!

I guess I was so used to the Summer being pitifully SUNless, that I forgot all about the water reflection factor and bright overhead orb effect. YUP! I had on a ton of sunscreen but Mr. Sun found me none-the-less and striped me like a freshly-painted BARBER POLE!


HENCE! the scarlet-hued picture above - Missy Red Face in her Lacy Poncho!

Now that I've photographed it, I'm saving the
NOMER: Urban Pshawl for another creation, because it looks, well, rather trad And I LOVE IT!

I think it would l@@k very special in, hmmm, KOIGU!!!

click HERE for stitch CU...

NOTE: on a normal person, the length at the wrists would be at least 2 inches longer but I have very long arms...

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

i'm a collar and a belt away from wONDErful~!
just gotta go sew sew...

In this, the last week of August, the most amazing phenomenon has occurred! I am actually on a Finishing Frenzy! Perhaps mon petit sunburn fried some of those disconnected brain circuits back together and ZOOM! We're off to the needles again...

That, of course, is not the REAL reason I am in such a hurry to get some projects off the table -

The BLUNT TRUTH is that I am READY FOR MORE, More, more...

While on an online blog romp yesterday, I visited the Tiny Dancer, herself, BECKY, la Fleur de Lyon...

She has crafted the most amazing cardigan in a luscious PINK (see August 23rd entry), giving it her stamp of excellence along the way - just impeccable workmanship and finishing...

I have loved this design from afar for several months - ever since I got Rebecca Nr. 27, where you can find the pattern - it's #25.

Then Silvia made it this spring and I was totally in awe...

Insert Dirty Little Secret here: hmmm, on a slow Sunday in Spring, I started this cardi myself! I reward myself sometimes on my days off by trying new knitting techniques and patterns; on this day I explored 2 x 2 rib for the VERY FIRST TIME! :)

Right - but many partial projects inhabit a rather large wicker basket in the ChicKnits Workshop. Why, I've explored: Seed St, socks, scarfs, hats, loops (and wait until you see that one...)

Now, Mme Fluffa has inspired me to pick my #25 back up and finish it as my first Fall garment...

la Fleur de Fluffa!

Calling this beautiful design simply #25 will not do, so in honor of the Skinny Rabbit herself, I'm dubbing mine, but of course: la Fleur de Fluffa!

I'm making this from Rowan All Seasons Cotton, Color #164 which looks like a deep, denimy Navy, #8 needles, 4.5 sts per inch, upsized pattern.

I believe, you can still get this pattern book at the Knitting Garden...

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Friday, August 27, 2004

New Threads Friday

get yer DANCE ON!!!

Design: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: GGH "Bali"
Color: #44 Lime & #84 Aqua
Gauge: 20sts /28 rows over 4"
using #6 needles

If garments could talk this Trellis shell would shout HOORAY!!! I'm done and ready for some FUN!

read the Complete b.Limey Notes HERE

As always, it's TGIF once again here at ChicKnits! BY gum it's one of the last weekends of summer and what have we here?

The annual Bucktown Arts Fest!
August 28-29, 2004
2300 N. Oakley Ave.

"Following the directive, “It’s the art, stupid,” the Bucktown Arts Fest continues to present art in all its forms. From its humble beginning as a small gathering of local artisans, the fest has grown into a premier gathering of painters, sculptors, photographers, craftsmen, musicians, actors and poets. Free from large-scale commercialism, the event keeps its eye doggedly focused on art."

AND, for music lovers with some dancing feet, there's
Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival
August 28-29, 10:30AM-9:30PM
Petrillo Music Shell
235 S. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60603

Don't miss original Santana drummers with the Tellstars:1:55 - 2:35 p.m Saturday - featuring José Chepito Areas, Mike Shrieve and Armando Peraza...


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Monday, August 30, 2004

Monday Morning Mirth

Carrie: "So many roads, so many detours. So many choices, so many mistakes. As we drive along this road called life, occassionally, a gal will find herself a little lost and when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going. As we speed along this endless road to destination called 'who we hope to be' I can't help but whine -- Are we there yet?"

Ummmm, apparently not...

Witness those wonky GAP ads that aired for the first time during the MTV Music Video Awards - I adore SJP, her style (this woman would look FABULOUS in a black plastic trash bag) but a Super What the ---???

from the Gothamist: "The Gap's fall campaign is centered around SJP's customization of GAP jeans: On one pair, she added a velvet ribbon sewn down the legs to imitate tuxedo pants. Another one of her customized looks features jeans cut just below the knee and enhanced with a ribbon bow at the hemline...

"For the love of God, Gothamist does love being able to customize crap, but we fear people getting the wrong idea about Gap clothing - it's about conformity!"

Did you know: "Some of Sarah's finishing touches – including more than $10-million in antique jewels from Fred Leighton – will presumably not be available at the international retailer."

And, people, doing a bit with LENNY Kravitz? He just gives me the willies these days...What up with that hair?!

I saw him in NYC YEARS ago at the Ritz, when he was just starting out, when he had flailing dreads and the original Watts Horn Section as his Backup Band and now I FEAR he shares the same hairdresser as another prominent New Yorker: the one the only Rev. Al Sharpton!

SJP and Lenny's biorythym compatibility chart HERE

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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Scoop du Jour! Machine knit fronts - one with hand ribbed edgings

If one could be said to have a Split Knitting Personality, I am GUILTY! The cool thing is that it goes right along with the Split Weather Personality of CHICAGO these days - one day is very cool and rainy - then the next, is tropically TORCHED!

My dilemma? I can't stand to touch WOOL right now...

So off the Chopping Block of WIPs comes the Fern sweater.

AND, in it's place goes:
Scoop du Jour!

I've had a bag and a half of Rowan All Seasons Cotton (my very favorite yarn) languishing in the Stash Palace for quite awhile. I was clueless as to what to make from it - the original idea died a lingering death and vaporized some time last year or thereabouts...

But I love this yarn's subtle varieagation - Grey on Grey - and saw a Utility Sweater in my FUTURE!

Now that Rapunzel and Wavy Bulb are history, I'm set on the FANCY PANTS Front for quite awhile and can make some WORK CLOTHES!

YES! I work for a living - 50-60 hours a week on my regular photojournalist gig.

And I need clothes - cool clothes - I am caught in an endless round of T-shirts and GASP, Parkas and my head is just reeling with the threat of another Autumn looking like a UPS Delivery Guy.

OH WAIT - I just bought this activewear jacket to work in because it WOULD make me look like...

Anyways, in a fit of extreme energy, I pulled out my freshly acquired knitting machine (similar to the one in this auction) this weekend and whipped out most of the body parts of this sweater. Then begins the hand finishing - which for this garment is fat, chunky ribbing on all the edges.

It has a wide scoop neck, with deep ribbing on the bottom and less deep ribbing on the trim.

Just the Saucy Sassy Cardi that BUSTS the Parka/Tshirt tyranny!

Can you see the mistake with this piece? Ahhh, the power of cheese, the photos never lie!

I'm going to have to RIPPIT! Hey Froggy, once again I'm following your mantra!

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