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Monday, November 1, 2004

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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Spinach pasta anyone? Pass your plate...

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Thursday, November 4, 2004

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Holy K1P2, Batman, the election is O-V-E-R
but the Election Coverage continues...

Imagine, on screen, if you will, our intrepid character, Girl Photog, (played with exquisite grace by redhead Marg Helgenberger or honorary redhead, Molly Price), jumping out of the shower, putting on brand new undies (so lucky), shaking her wet hair like a dripping canine, and running for her jeans.

She lands in front of the mirror, grabs a comb, and rakes. Two brush swipes of mascara and a dab of concealer later, and her low-maintenence toilette is complete! OFF to the post-races...

WHAT the...

OMG, those are her eyeballs hanging from her chin! Her bags have moved so far south, her eyebrows have become a beard! That is her hair, not a wighat, still dripping on her collar, and as she pulls on her coat, she notices every d*** nail on both hands is broken!

NO MATTER!

There's work to be done and even though the election is *over* it's not really over for our Girl Howdy! All she needs to get the video rolling is a quick touchup with some lip gloss and a spray of Chanel COCO and SHE's OFF!

And apparently, I'm off my rocker but being crazy has never prevented ANYONE from Knitting!

I'm making swell progress on my Aran - it has now become my busmate//taxi/standby project and people, for once in my life, NOBODY thinks it's a scarf!

The Validation! The Thrill of thrilling the public with something they understand! Nobody even hints that it's CROCHET! WOOT!

It's the little things, at this point, that are going to have to bring us back around...

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Sunday, November 7, 2004

Real People... Real Color Combos...

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Monday, November 8, 2004

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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Tuesday, November 9, 2004

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While educating myself to the Miracle that is TWEED!
I've come across some interesting things...

The FashionMedia has boldly proclaimed things like:

"This season's tweed is versatile. It can be worn with denim, leather, silk or satin, metallics, even plaids or contrasting tweed. Channel Ralph Lauren in a fitted tweed jacket and full skirt for a very feminine look, or go edgier by pairing tweed with a lacy camisole and boyish slouchy trousers."

OR quotes various Personal Stylists, saying things like:

"When I go to yoga, I'll throw my Chanel jacket on with my Juicy sweats and a tank-top."

Everyone has a Personal Stylist, non? Mine is fixing me a Designer Breakfast (Peanut Butter Balance Bar), even as we speak...

He was busy doing the laundry and didn't have time to do my hair before I shot the above picture - but no matter!

I have TWONCHO!

Sort of...

I've lived through the blocking and seaming and deciding what I want to do with the neck and even *bound-off* stitches once. If you think when you bind-off, you are finished, let me tell you, that sometimes, you are only beginning...

Besides all things Warhol, I am obsessed lately with COWLS! My mother started me on these tube things awhile back when I became a photojournalist and spent many hours huddled into my jacket like a Mutant Non-Teenage, Non-Ninja TURTLE!

Scarves are my enemy when I'm working - they are either too annoyingly thick and unable to be climatically controlled, or they strangle me by getting caught in car doors, camera straps, zippers, etc.

The Cowl Tube is perfect.

So the Twoncho, being a cold weather beast, is wearing one.

I am on v2.0, however, because v1.0 was too high and would not drape nicely...

******************************************

I really want these...

what the...

a brief History of Tweed

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004



My Favorite Cowl

Yarn: 220 yds very soft Aran weight wool

Needles: #8 / 5mm 20" circular needles

Measurements: Circumference - 22"; Height: 9"

Gauge: 4.5 sts / 6 rows per inch over Stockinette St

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Cast-on 99 sts.

Join stitches without twisting and PURL the first round.

Knit one round. Purl one round.

Knit every round for 8 inches.

Purl one round. Knit one round. Bind-off all stitches Purlwise.

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The cowl above is fully extended :) for photo purposes but I usually wear it scrunched up...

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Want to Use Different Yarn?

Chunky: 4sts per inch #9 needles - use 88 sts (about 200 yards)

Bulky: 3.5sts per inch #10 needles - use 77sts (about 190 yards)

Super Bulky: 3sts per inch #13 needles - use 66sts (about 180 yards)

2004 Bonne Marie Burns

(originally mentioned on ChicKnits January 17, 2004)

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

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From the DIRTY Little Secret Files:
Two things happening here:

- first, the apparent need for cappage, due to the inclement weather

- second, the apparent need to run and get a camera and document it.

But no, no simple photograph will do! It must be grainy; it must have giant hands in the foreground; it must be a REFLECTION from a BATHROOM MIRROR!

In honor of the un-counted times I've lost control and found a camera in my hands in that very room, in that very posture, smirking, I've dubbed a title onto this photo to remind myself of my visual redundancy. I have no idea if the count is correct, but it seems likely. By doing this, in the photo world, it now becomes A SERIES!!! Who knows! Maybe some patron will spot me some day and I'll hang on the walls of MOMA at last.

NOT.

But in the meantime, I'm hot on the trail of the Christmas Elves, flinging hats and scarves in their direction, hoping to hit a bag-o-presents or two. I've been making bucket hats in the mornings with my coffee and blogging.

This is my first Aran Bucket made from OK - those with severe ACRYLIC ALLERGIES AVERT YOUR EYES - Red Heart Classic! This took one little skein (3 oz) of Color #0971 Camoflage. I think I paid $1.77 for it, but it could've been less...

I love it and plan on living in it and pity the poor teenager that was going to get it as a gift (but will still GET IT because, heeehe, I splurged and bought 3 whole skeins). In fact, I have a hoodie I made out of this yarn a couple of years ago. My mom and I went on a Kmart bender in Northern Michigan where the LYS Beast is almost extinct and most folks get their goods at a Walmart or Kmart. Me too...

Today's WX: "...Blustery, colder! Readings 15-20 below yesterday. Some rain from a thick overcast settles south, low/mid 30s all day."

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MORE DIRTY Little Secrets:
Today is the first day I will wear the SNUGGIES - the Long John's - John L Sullivans' Drawers, if you will. The rule in my line of work is: Snuggies from Halloween to Easter in the fabulous MidWest! Apparently, I've been really lucky and just didn't notice...

Feeling a Need to Slack in this pathetic weather? Read THIS...

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Friday, November 12, 2004

TGIF!!!

One of the odd quirks about the Rat Race of Work, is that even when the Project/Event Merry-Go-Round STOPS one can still spin and spin. It takes me, especially, about a week to get a bead on a *new* horizon - one that's hopefully moving slower and gentler. In the meantime, it's still full speed AHEAD! simply out of habit, and instead of drinking myself to death, becoming a workout freak, or cyring my eyes out, I've been dyeing my pants off...

Good idea? or Fool's Mission - you decide...

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This particular yarn falls into the Extreme Category of Barn Yarn. Now, make no mistake, barn yarn is my friend. By BY, I usually mean tightly spun, heavy duty, work horse yarn that I can make sweaters I can work outside in. Sometimes, I've even purchased the yarn in a barn. Other times, the sheep just grew up there and their yarn made it across the Atlantic and on my needles all the same.

The yarn above is the Barniest of all barn yarns I've ever possessed. I performed a Yarn Rescue from eBay on this lot a few months ago. It was advertised as "Wool Knitting Worsted", tan, 15 skeins, peanuts...

AND, it was exactly that. Cheap and well made! What was omitted from the description was that this yarn, in it's orignal owner's storage box, was home to something unadvertised! I giddily took the top couple of skeins off the pile I saw when I opened the box, and LO!! there was a little nest made in one corner of the box, with tufts pulled out of some of the skeins, making a soft bed for, dare I guess, FIELD MICE!

These critters had *left the building* a long time ago but now another sort of Rescue was in Order, in fact, the dyer in me demanded it.

Here's where it gets interesting - I decided this nice stuff would make a great bucket and cowl in what else: PURPLE in honor of its obvious Barney nature. But no cartoon purple for me - give me a deep Ash-Purple Blackberry of sorts and I was off - with mixing cup and spoon.

So I put the BY to its bath and then I got a phone call. A loooong phone call. I got up and stirred the pot once then forgot all about it while I was chatting away until I heard a hissing noise. THIS was the sound of the Simmer becoming a BOIL and I lowered the flame at once!

But witness what happened to my Barney Delight:

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AHA! This is what they mean by Kettle Dyeing - you have varying depths of color where the yarn has absorbed the dye in different areas of the heated solution in the dye pot itself. Notice where it's darker = closer to the bottom of the pan and heat source. Lighter Shade? Must've been floating for a LOOONG time at the surface of the liquid and where the skein ties were.

This was not a look I was going for - but after it's all said and done...

I LOVE IT! I actually think it's going to be more of an interesing cowl and cap!

Barney ON, dudes...

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Monday, November 15, 2004

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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click on *VIEW RESULTS* after you vote to see poll tallies...


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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

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MO BETTER BARN YARN

NOW that the Tweedy Bird Cardi AND the Twoncho are finished, I can branch out over some new Horizons. Over the weekend, I fired up the DYEpot once again and put forth more skeins from my rescued eBay yarn.

I was going for the shade found in my favorite T-shirt and a shade of blackberry from my favorite commercial sweater. The burgundy is spot-on; the blackberry is a little light, but overall, it's a done tonal match...

It's amazing to me, with my photographic background how different color is when you mix pigments. My experience is in mixing light. I can walk into almost any space and tell you its color temperature.

I can't tell you shade percentages.

Additive versus subtractive color spaces are two different beasts. I'm an Additive Amazon but a Sophmoric Subtractive.

Even after two workshops, I'm still crawling around sucking my thumb on this one - slowly, I've been able to garner some webbage info, but this has to be a hands on thing. You can only go so far without gettin' DIRTY...

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

In honor of the extreme business marriage of our friend
and inner city buddy, Kmart, I bring you, straight from
the SUPER Kmart purse department @Ashland Ave...


TADAAA!~ (or taduh, depending on your taste)

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My NEW Knitting Bag!!!

Those of you who have wearied of my Pleather Payless Minucci tote, can now sing with joy or scream with relief?! I love this thing~! It has three areas inside - so I can conveniently put other essentials all up in there. I especially like the closure - a punched shape, hanging from a metal ring with a hole that fits over a knob. Did I mention, it's PLAID!

I don't carry a purse.

This is it.

And there is plenty of room for two knitting things at atime and my makeup. Lately, I've been on a Bucket Binge and have been working on Shazaam. The Back is finished and I'm onto the right front.

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Friday, November 19, 2004

New Threads Friday
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Working with this yarn is just too much temptation. One cannot sit down with a plate of fresh warm chocolate chip cookies and eat just one, non?

So far, I've only made a sweater out of this stuff and a scarf. It was infinitely intriguing to watch the stripe patterns unfold and reveal their secrets. This is the type of yarn I want to unspin to see all of the nuances of strands that make up its mystery. (Nothing beats being entertained by the yarn itself when one is making Christmas gifts!) Needless to say, this was also a hit on the bus. Riders of the #66 give Kureyon a big thumbs up and to my happiness KNEW I was knitting a HAT!

ChicKnits Bucket Hat
Design: moi
Yarn: Noro "Kureyon"
Color: #52
Gauge: 18sts/24 rows over 4"
Type: Hand Knit

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Monday, November 22, 2004

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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some tiny love from my sis...

This is a holiday week! One of the best, IMHO, where we can SMILE and nationally have something of joy together.

The little bag you see above is some joy I got from my sister! Inside were two Scottie Dog barettes and a strange little green thing...

This Vintage Tool has become my favorite way to keep track of my cabling adventures!

Cool Family Bloggers
BlogDogBlog & Banana Flip

Claudia & Silvia

Yarn-a-Go-Go & Bethany



who else out there is FAMILY? :)

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

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My Little Turkey

One of the most intriguing things about a project is that sometimes your knitting tension will change up on you while you're sleeping. One day, you're loose as a goose. The Next: right on...

Case in Point: the Sweater Fronts of the Shazam Cardi! The first piece I knit on this sweater is the Right Front, shown on the left above. When I set these side by side to see my progress, I immediately noticed that my feature cable, the Chain Cable, was rather loose and directional on the Right piece. AND. it has a left-leaning tilt.

The Back Piece and Left Front had even patterning. What the ---?

The only explanation I can come up with is that, over the life of a project One Hits Their Stride, so to speak. The first piece was like ONE GIANT SWATCH! And should be treated as such - good practice, but it took that outing for me to develop the SKILL needed to make all these patterns look their best.

So Off to the Frog Farm it goes - I think I'll save the bottom cabled rib to use on a sleeve - they actually start off with the same stitch count :)

The interesting thing?

On the Back and Left Front, I quit using a cable needle for any of the cables.

read the Complete Notes for SHAZAM here...

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

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It's not a tradition at this traditional time of year. But it seems that life reflection will sneak up on you all the same. You'll be going about the routine of your days and then

In the middle of an icy downpour while driving on the Interstate, you'll be thankful for the brakes that are working in your car.

When you stop on the ramp where the highway splits and the trucks whizzing by are making your car shake, you're thankful for the passenger in your car who calmly pulls out the map and tells you you took the right turn and it's safe to go.

When you run for the building at your destination, you suddenly realize how thankful you are that you have warm boots to be able to move through the sleet and snow.

Going back towards your city, when the blizzard strikes, it strikes you how wonderful it is that the Semi-Truck Drivers will piggyback in a snow storm and you're thankful that by following them, you'll be able to tell where the road is.

Once you reach a point where you will have to stop driving and continue working outside, when the driving snow and ice is soaking your clothes through and making your pants freeze to your legs, you'll be thankful and almost faint with relief when your partner hands you the wool hat you threw on the dashboard. Because he noticed it was now warm and dry from the heater, it fits your head but feels like a healing envelope for your whole body, as you tie your hood over it.

At that moment, when you are staring up in the dark stormy sky at a 60 ft antenna you're trying to control, you surrender to thanksgiving because you remember the parent at the school meeting you just attended, who sorrowfully asked the School Board President why he didn't do something about the weapon threats last summer, when this day, 7 children are stabbed in a local High School.

You surrender to the thought, that on this day, today, you will respect the people and things that you normally take for granted and you promise to do the same as day follows day, so that in the coming year, thanks giving will be the only thing you've taken for granted.

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the little hat that could (the version above made from soft handspun wool so it drapes more like a beret)

Thank you, everyone, for making ChicKnits such a pleasure and delight for me this past year!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

HELLO! Fellow MT-Gurus out there!

I've gotten into the RSS Feed-ing frenzy over at Bloglines -

Is there any way to control the output of the xml or rdf files with a style sheet in the same manner as the rest of MT?

I'm missin' my CSS...

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Monday, November 29, 2004

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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ONE-Stop Shopping! A lovely selection of framed Wall Art available at the Dollar City Plus, 17xx W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL. Everything you need to freshen the Kidz Room then spark up the Den...

It wouldn't seem possible that by moving 100 feet to the East of where I stand every morning would open up for me a brand new horizon. Yet when the Chicago Transit Authority changed my Bus Stop to the corner across the street, they perched me in front of a WONDERLAND of Pennies from Heaven.

One Hundred Pennies, that is. One Dollar.

Now, I spend my 10 minutes or so waiting in front of the finest East Village has to offer. Some of these joints actually have the word DOLLAR in the name - like the Dollar General, where the lovely pictures above are found. Others are just named after the Proprietor or have a name that no matter how it's spelled sounds like *Save-a-Lot*.

Now, these are not the Super Franchise Dollar stores you see all across the highways of MidAmerica. No, my friend, no BIG LOTS, Family Dollar, etc. for us in the East Village of Chicago. These are home-grown palaces of spend, each tinkered to delight the neighbors who might shop there. I love them! (My personal favorite is the D&S Yo-Yo shop over on Milwaukee Ave.)

Here I have found:
Wastebaskets
Dish Drainers
Scrub Brushes
Plastic Bags
the very best Bleach Gel to clean the Kitchen Counter free of Dye Spillage
Picture Frames for Parties
Party Decorations
Notebooks
Small Wicker Baskets for projects
Fig Bars to die for
X-brand Potato Chips from a famous Chicago Maker
Oh and don't forget for the Holidays -
that famous Picture of Al Pacino

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Tueday, November 30, 2004

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my Cordovan Sanity: a Ribby Cardi

RUN FOR COVER! IT's the last day of November! I'm duckin' my bucket covered head to avoid that CHRISTMAS RUSH BULLET!

Everywhere I go, to and from work, through the Miracle Mile of North Michigan Ave. are reminders of the SEASON: shoppers...

Starting with the Festival of Lights a couple of weekends ago, where 1.5 MILLION people witnessed Santa coming to Chitown, and continuing with the Day After shopping carnival, I've been a hoola-hoop around shoppers and tourists. Watch me work a crowd! Whether I'm on the #66 (which goes straight thru Shopping Central by Water Tower AND the American Girl Store) or working the local Home Depot doing a "How to Buy a Christmas Tree" story, I'm a circulating and percolating through the masses. (BTW, the HDespot had some really FINE and cheap Xmas trees - the smell alone is worth the price of admission.)

I've bought nothing, nada, nyet.

I actually went into the local Walgreen's with a coupon for an $.89 Revlon lipstick in my hot little hand (truly needed a *Wine with Everything* to start my Holiday right!), but was CRUSHED to crumbs when they told me it was a 3-hour coupon and I'd missed by 15 minutes. AH the cruelty of the Season...

Second best cruelty - the company Christmas Party - to go or not to go?! We are having a rather swank soiree in a glamorous hotel. BUT, it is on a Friday night. AND, I'm usually in a parka and BOOTS! (How the heck am I gonna find time to duck into a phone booth and presto changeOH!)

And so it begins!

The Holiday Fantasy Garment!~

What kind of fun would I be having if I didn't have NEW CLOTHES for Christmas!

Corner #1: Parka, boots and thick wool socks.

Corner #2: Beautiful, glamourous Cocktail Barbie! Wearing (in this dream puff, anyway), sleek fitted trousers, maybe these pumps, and a PONCHO!

Sheer, modern and a little naughty...

Out of this:

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OOOOHHH it's madness, I tell you... $.89 Lipstick paired with $500.00 shoes!!!

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