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Bonne Marie Burns
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Sunday, April 3, 2005


Seriously beautiful and cool WIP's and FO's -
OOOOOHLAHlaaah!!! Dawn...

For the Naughty Knitter: Dawn's Knitting Resolutions...


PROPS to Lesley (knit-ticisms) on her FABUlous First Sweater!
Many Happy Returns!!!


DIG the Thrifty Knitter's Webring & Forum!
Join Lolly & friends for mini-$$$ knitting adventures!


ENVY ENVY ENVY: Jenn and her chocoliscious Cardi
with the furriest Fur!

Be sure to check out the fur making details...


(... it's SPRING! There's P-----S~!)
The lovely Christina and her new pal share some knitting FUN!


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Monday, April 04, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

from the lies my mother never told me file...


Part of Deep Spring Cleaning here @CHicKnits is the inevitable HairCut! What happens when you go PAY for the HairCut? You fall into the Product SinkHole that is right next to the cash register!

WHO could resist this?! Not me! It wended its way into my bag after I read this from the product packaging:

"Il n'est pas réservé auxs blondes niaiseuses, il convient ausi aux rousses ardentes et aux grosses brunettes..."

Rousses Ardentes? But of course, the dry little mop of ChicKnits which could truly luxuriate in this product: "created by blondes for blondes, and all the colors in between...

Hair conditioning and care was very important in my family. One of my favorite smells as a tiny tot was the aroma of Creme Rinse on my Mother's head. Her father, DziaDzia to me, actually used to wash his hair on Saturdays in the Kitchen Sink. We lived kitty-corner to he and Busia and would always run over there to see the deed.

He had a fabulous full head of silvery white hair and on Wash Day would start the water running to give it time to get comfortably lukewarm. Then he'd go into the fridge and get one egg. Yes, an egg. After wetting his hair under the faucet, he'd crack the egg on his noggin' and wash away! This Cracking Fun was just enough to send me and my year older brother into the fittiest of giggles. I swear that egg foamed up just like store bought!!!

NOT to be outdone by his FIL, my Dad recommended to me ( quite often when I was a teenager - damn those parents repeat themselves), an Egg Facial! He told me it was a *Family Secret* handed down from generation to generation.

Here's a Not-So-Secret Version, with a little honey for you sweeties...

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Tuesday, April 5, 2005

ChicKnits New Threads Tuesday

Ribby's got the FUNK!
Me & Bootsy singing "Hollywood Squares"

Ribby Cardi
Design: ChicKnits
Yarn: I Kettle Dyed Barn Yarn
Color: Cordovan & Blackberry
Gauge: 19sts/24 rows over 4"
Needles: #6 & #7
Type: Hand Knit

I have no idea when and where I got the CD but it's called "Back in the DAY: the Best of Bootsy"

Hey, who's Bootsy? The premier FunkoPhonic Bassist in the 70's for James Brown, Parliment & the Funkadelics and then his own RUBBER BAND...

NOTES: becasue I wanted this as a *Work Jacket* instead of a regular cardi, I lengthened the body by 2 inches (taking approximately 75 extra yds of yarn) and I lengthened the sleeves by 1 inch (which takes about 20 extra yds). Translated to patterneese, that would mean an extra ball of 110yds/skein yarn! As a rule of thumb, it's always a good idea to *get more* as in that extra ball as added insurance for the project...

I also *tipped* the collar with a little COLOR! I used about 6 yds of CHARTRUESE (but of course!) to edge the collar for a tonal LIFT!


You can see the kettle goodness of the dyejob here, too... the color is striated throughout - it isn't nice and even but is nicer and uneven! the Ribby Notes HERE

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Thursday, April 7, 2005

first flowers spied on my street...

Just because the weather in APril in Chicago is so confused that one can't tell up from down doesn't mean my little knitting brain should spiral around like a top. Yet it happens. Over and over.

I take a straightforward pattern and make it HARD! I can't look at a picture or read directions without having to TINKER. And tinkering can get you into trouble...


Here is the Martha cardi from Rowan #37. On the left you see tinkering: a moss stitch border. It is clunky and too wide. On the right, is the way the pattern intended it to appear - unobtrusive and simple, letting the checkerboard pattern sing it's solo...


The Little Bad Muse has decided that I MUST tinker some more! To banish the nasty moss stitch edging, I will reverse engineer the edge. I take a needle several sizes smaller than the body needle and thread it through a row of stitches right where I want the new border to begin.


Now I find a stitch a row above the stitch I want to keep and snip it. This point should be a couple of inches from the nearest edge because you will use the *tail* formed to attach your new thread. Then, I un-ravel the yarn in both directions.


After all the stitches are unraveled in both directions, I am left with *live stitches* all ready to be knit into the new border of my chosing.


Here lies the detached moss stitch border, crying out for more tinkering! If I had a similar gauge project going on I could GRAFT this sucker right on another edge. See directions HERE...

OMG! Stop Me before I TINK again...

...Martha Knitalong hosted by the fabulous Rose

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Friday, April 8, 2005


Sarah writes: "since the weather for wool is winding down, I was wondering what your thoughts were on making the cardi in a cotton or cotton blend? I don't have any experience knitting with cotton and have
no idea how a substitution like this might work..."

Oh, YEAH! Cotton and the Ribby are old friends! The original Bulky Gauge Ribby ribbycardiesm.jpg was made out of a now discontinued yarn by Adriafil called *NAVY* which was 60%Cotton/40%Microfiber. This was made in 2002 and has held up VERY well. In fact, I'm wearing it to work this morning...

And because the sun is shining and the forsythia are blooming (!), another Cotton/Microfiber Ribby is on the make - VIVA Spring!

I looked high and low for a cotton blend I wanted to use for this outing. My favorite Cot/M yarn, All Seasons, was too chubby. Enter GGH *Samoa* which has the goodness of the blending, the matte finish I love so much and really wonderful colors. Problem - can't find Samoa anywhere...

Enter, a USA source, which I found through valiant search engineering and VOILA! Samoa galore! Voila! On the ChicKnits Springtime Needles we have:

YUM! Since my other Spring sweater is the center part of b.Lime,
I thought I'd make this the Rind!

Kim writes: "I just started my Ribby Cardi last night and I was wondering if it would be a bad idea to make the back fully ribbed, but make the front with the flat pannel."

No Probs, Kim! You can mix and match your ribbing to your hearts content. (Just remember that ribbed portions will be more fitted and clingy and the plain portions expanded.)

My Cot/M Ribby is going to have a 3x1 ribbed center panels with plain sides on both the sleeves and body pieces. I am also going to put a button band on this one instead of a zipper to reduce bulk and make a more *air conditioned* garment. I'll keep track of the mods HERE...

Cotton Ribby Cardi
Design: ChicKnits
Color: #42 Soft Kelly Green
Gauge: 19sts/24 rows over 4"
Needles: #5 & #6
Yarn: ggh *Samoa*

This Just In: Woot! SuperCrafty writes and says if you purchase at least a bag (10 balls) of Samoa from them and mention "ChicKnits" when you pay, SuperCrafty will give you free shipping on it and any other items you buy with that purchase...

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Monday, April 11, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Becasue sometimes life is just too boring to do anything but Google Image search on random words, I present to you my search on the word *knitting*...

1. Page 1-Row 3-2L: Warning! Naughty Content...

2. Page 2-Row 3-4L: a dog who K***s?

3. Page 3-Row 5-1L: just because...

and, in case you missed it the first time around...

googlize your name HERE...

bonne marie burns


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April 13, 2005


I am what I am.

I am not a poison fig.

Behold olive fair.

Garnish and enjoy!

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April 14, 2005

Garnished AT Last...


VOILA! What a difference some buttons make, as in, FINI!

This little fusion cardi is finally ripe to meet the day! Why I stalled over some button sewing is beyond my IQ this week but it happened nonetheless. (I stole the original Green Marl buttons for the Cotton Ribby - button guilt?)

b.Limey indeed...


Smile a mighty grin.
Feet up high lift knees to chin.
Music is no sin.
DANCE, the Muse, BEGIN!

Daily Ribaguil3.gif
Design: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Austermann *Rubino*
Color: Grass Green
Gauge: 20sts/28rows over 4"
Needles: #6 & #7
Type: Fusion the b.Limey Notes HERE

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Saturday, April 16, 2005


I must say, I am truly happy with the Fashion Colors roaming about the landscape this Spring!

Wouldn't it be fun to be a fly on the wall when the Powers that Be decide what's going to hit the Runway next season...

WHO are those people? How do they figure out those shades? Anybody?

Lots of frontal progress on my cotton ribby this week - ever since I got an iPod, it seems like I knit much faster on the bus ride home. The trick is to keep from shaking my head and tapping my feet in time with the music. Sometimes, I bite my lower lip too on an especially fine music phrase. Shake, bite, tap, throw yarn, flip needle, blink, drool...

I was hoping this would get me plenty of seats to myself on the #66 Bus, but with over 1/3 of the riders iPod enchanced, NO CHANCE! Now I just look like a stitchin' maestro with those needles in hand and shaky head...

OH I'm full of questions (and coffee) this morning! Why is it that the GUYS on the Bus wear *cans* - those full or 3/4 size headphones - and the GIRLS wear the skinny cable white Ear Buds? I've been doing an unscientific poll on the other riders (ie. head-bowed eyeballing with mental notes) and for real, guys/cans, girls/buds.

A guy might come on the bus one day with his Buds; and Blam. Next day, Cans. The social pressure must be enormous! Another reason I'm glad to be a female... It isn't enough that you are limited to Three Colors that you can wear, but you have to look like an Alien Insect while you're trying to pick up women. OH, that's the other difference. Women pod up to get away from the other riders; men - to achieve that essence of magnetic cool that no women could resist. Picture it - he catches your eye; shakes his big bulging head; lips slightly parted; you are on him in a minute.

DID I mention that the Personal Music Player has replaced the Trucker/Mesh Back Hat as the Number One Spring Fashion accessory?

CAN you hear the mighty Sigh of Relief blowing through the Windy City as we speak? ANYTHING would be a more welcome sight than that...


I'm liking how the center rib panel is working up. It is a subtle texture effect that will be more *open* when you wear the sweater. I'm going to use a button closure with this buttonband - will probable knit it right on! And, I'm going to use the Mock Turtleneck collar because, it's my favorite...

Cotton Ribby Cardi
Design: ChicKnits
Color: #42 Soft Kelly Green
Gauge: 19sts/24 rows over 4"
Needles: #5 & #6
Yarn: ggh *Samoa*

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Monday, April 18, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Is your sap rising with the greening of the Grass?

Quench that Spring Fever - get a Gotti of your own!

Who's YOUR HoTTi GoTTi?


ChicKnits is starting a Paypal slush fund to perhaps buy the Gotti Mansion which is up for sale - any partners our there? A single girl can dream can't she?

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Tueday, April 19, 2005


The Morning Buster, aka, Martha, is moving right towards the finish line. I am on the last piece, a sleeve. Why buster? It's still chilly willy when I wend my way to the bus stop. I long for the day when, standing in the morning shade, I will be rapturously wrapped in the glorious glow of this gorgeous garment.

ANYTHING to make it easier to go to work in the morning, hear, hear!! I am so lucky to have a dayside shift - over the years at the television station, I've worked every time frame imaginable - overnights, early morning, late night - and had ridiculous days-off combinations as well. (News never sleeps!) How I stumbled into the current assignment parameters is a happy accident and I'll not poke that dozing Giant to find out WHY.

But LuckyYesorNO I have to bribe myself to get ready for work on any given day. This is accomplished with two cups of coffee (wake it), a generous piece of Chocolate (feed it), and coconut smelling shampoo (scent it)... GO!

I have two alarm clocks - one is set to get me out of bed. The other is set to get me out of the house so I don't miss the Bus. Without these Little Buddies, I'd go merrily along into some kind of House Hypnosis - that state where ANYTHING is more interesting than what you're supposed to be doing. This can be activity as mundane as working out or as tedious as sink cleaning. ANYTHING that is not *on somebody else's clock* applies.

This is actually where House Arrest would NOT be such a big deal for me! Peapod & Leona's already drop off the viddles. USPS delivers the goods. And, music? We've got it.

I can see myself in the yard, surrounded by the wrought iron fence, gardening, pizza slice in hand, pods in place - Oui!

Our frisky friend, Martha At-Home, is wasting no time and has a new line of household products in the works: "Kmart will soon launch its first new line of Martha Stewart Everyday products in three years -- ready-to-assemble furniture including dining tables, beds and even a sofa." She also is going to be on the Radio!

Hey, now there's a REASON to go to work - get some dinero to pick up that broadcast on de Pod! Woot!

...the Martha Along is hosted by the fabulous Jessica! Check out her gorgeous new FO!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

FLASH from the past...

Once upon a time in a knitting galaxy far, far away, a young woman bought a bag of 1,000 beads...

They joined a bag of yarn, which had traveled from a far place, over mighty water.

These treasures were got at great hardship (~ 759 dinners of frosted flakes and skim milk...), and much scratching...


What's this to my wandering eye should appear! A Bolero! A Beaded Bolero! Hundreds of shiny black beads, all hand-threaded onto yarn and knit into the fabric, marching in swirls and flowers and more! Oui! Oui!

No, NO! One could add a thousand more beads and STILL not recover from the visual impact of the Hideous COLOR of the poor little Bolero!

Our intrepid girl knitter of long ago was so excited by the design and the fact she had finally scored some UK yarn, she forgot all about COLOR! The design, from a group called Artwork for Rowan, (shown only in a Black&White photo in the pattern book) was just too juicy to ignore! She was excited by the beads, the curves, the lone line of light blue edging the entire moss-stitch border.

She was too fresh a knitter to know that that body color suggested by the design group was, perhaps, NOT the color for her in fact might not be the color for most on the planet! She was just too polite to even think, let alone utter, the words: "WTF were they thinking?"

FLASH to the Future!

WTF were they THINKING!!! Hmm, that little knitter is no longer Fresh; (some might even suggest she might be smidge Ripe!). But now she KNOWS that she can substitute color to her heart's content! And she knows, she can sometimes UNDO her Folly! Why should this lovely piece be ignored year-after-year when the Summer Clothes make their grand appearance from their storage state.


Two boxes of Teal Rit dye later...


...and we have Lift Off!


...still not perfect - the color is a little striated - I washed the sweater before dyeing, but it still absorbed the dye a little unevenly (the story of my Dyeing Life thus far...) I was totally amazed by the finishing job I did (almost as hideous as the original mustard color!) and on the next rainy day, I will remove the sleeves, take in the side seams, and re-seam those sleeves...

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Friday, April 22. 2005


a HUGE SHoutOut to Therese Cruz for sending me this fabulous Japanese Knitting Pattern book (ISBN 4-529-03911-0)...

I've lusted after one of these for months after seeing them online - really wonderful designs and ideas! Therese also sent me this to help understand the incredible charts! Thank you so much!!!



OMG! I'm edging away from the green - slowly now - I'm taking a deep breath of neutral...

Here's some lovely Elizabeth Lavold Cotton Patine that arrived yesterday - I believe Tank Madness is about to ensue!


Is Tiramisu considered dinner? On KIP night you bet! After a ridiculous work day, much funk/noise ensued over at Letizia's where we broke out the needles, snacks and knitting. We were joined by the lovely Melanie, in town for a business trip - all the way from Richmond, VA. A huge shoutout to Melanie for driving all the way in to see us and CONQUERING the Chicago traffic and inscrutable highways...

Melanie just finished GIGI using Knitpicks' Merino DK (check out her April 14th entry) - BRAVA! At the KIP, she had a sweater she's working on out of their wool/silk yarn. Yummy...
steal this if you like
If you're already in town or in from out of town and want to join in the fun, we meet the first and third Thursdays of the month at Letizia's on Division. We're (all Chicago Knitting Groups invited) also putting together a Summer Fun list of possible KIP outdoor picnic/rave events attending other scheduled outdoor music shows, festivals, etc. Email me event suggestions here or leave it in the comments section - we're thinking of Taste of Chicago; Blues Fest; etc...

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Weekend, April 24, 2005

A lovely scooped neckline tops this easy sweater...

The Scoop's Body & Sleeves are edged with
deep, chunky ribbing for a
modern flattering look...

This Size 38 Scoop has set-in sleeves and is knit in pieces using:
Lion Brand "Cotton Ease" in Vanilla.

The pattern is perfect for any Aran weight yarn, cotton, wool or blends that can knit to a gauge of 18 sts/24 rows per 4".

The Scoop is modeled by the fabulous Heidi from "Step Into My Thimble."

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Monday, April 25, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

from the pages of the Washington Post Style Invitational: take a hyphenated heading from the top of a page of the Yellow Pages and define it...

Alcohol-Apartments: Universities used to call these "dormitories." (Elden Carnahan

Attorneys-Audiologists: Lawyers who guarantee they'll get you a hearing. (Marty McCullen, Gettysburg, Pa.

Automotive-Bail: What you'll have to pay if you're found parked on Constitution Avenue at 4:00:00.00001 p.m. on weekdays (Elden Carnahan)

Balancing-Balloons: Silicone implants on just one side to "even things up." (Russell Beland)

Billing-Blood: A loan shark's late payment fee. (Harold Kerr, Takoma Park)

Chiropractors-Christmas: A forecast of freezing rain and heavy, wet snow. (Brendan Beary)

Curtain-Dancing: What burlesque queens resort to when they've lost the figure for fan-dancing. (Brendan Beary)

Can-Car: Pulled by the Little Engine That Could (Pam Sweeney, Germantown)

Child-Duct: An FCC-acceptable euphemism for part of the female anatomy. (Pam Sweeney)

Demolition-Dentists: Let us rearrange your mouth in a single visit. (Marty McCullen)

Environmental-Escort: Ooh, I'll maketh you lie down in green pastures, big boy! (Harold Kerr)

Foam-Foods: The nation's top supplier of airline meals. (Joseph Romm, Washington)

Financial-Fire: For when cooking the books didn't work well enough. (Jane Auerbach, Los Angeles)

Granite-Grocers: Specializing in those holiday fruitcakes. (Stevens R. Miller, Ashburn)

Kitchen-Labor: Term of endearment likely to go over even less well than "the old ball and chain." (Russell Beland)

Lawn-Lawyers: Little statues of guys in business suits holding attache cases -- for the discriminating homeowner who'd never have a lawn jockey. (Russell Beland)

Lumber-Magicians: Your friends at Pfizer. (Michelle Stupak)

Mattresses-Memorial: Hugh Hefner's already planning his grave site . . . (Les Greenblatt, Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Paper-Parapsychologists: Practitioners who, instead of attending a rigorous school, simply got their parapsychology credentials from a diploma mill. (Russell Beland)

Real-Refrigerators: A Food Network reality show featuring spur-of-the-moment dishes like Worcestershire Sauce and Two-Year-Old Olives Wrapped in Brown Lettuce. (Tom Kreitzberg)

Rubber-Safe: Where the bank puts the bounced checks. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Radio-Ready: Less than photogenic: "That guy has a face that's radio-ready." (Seth Brown, North Adams, Mass.)

Sewer-Sewing: The latest fad since extreme ironing competitions. (Dave Prevar, Annapolis)

Stools-Storage: Label on a vault in Howard Hughes's home. (Pam Sweeney)

Tree-Trophies: What beavers proudly display in their lodges. (Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf)

Wedding-Welding: Up to 40 percent less likely to be put asunder! (Tom Cary, Hollywood, Md.)

Women's-Zoning: A wife's rules for use of a house's public space. Seldom written down; usually enforced with a simple "You're not putting that in here, are you?" (Brendan Beary)

Yacht-Zoos: Noah's three sons launch a successful business chain. (Roy Ashley, Washington

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

meet my little friend, Mme. Dumas...

In a Move that could only be topped by a springtime tornado or two, the Little Bad Muse has started Spring Cleaning! A legandary FIVE loads of laundry were done over a two hour span of excrutiatingly boring Moday Night Sitcom TV and that only whet her whistle.

ON to the closets! DIG through the Sweater Armoire! FIND the scoundrels that need to be cleaned before their Summer Hibernation!

SCREECH! This is a cool thing - the yummiest deep indigo color - but the sight of it makes the Little Bad Muse hem and haw and before you know it, she's borrowing a phrase and SHOUTING in my ear: "Dumbass"....

That's right - it's too big and looks wonky! This poor creation is the end result (and becoming my personal MO) of NOT reading the pattern. Just knit the thing, make a few critical changes and carry-on as a card carrying member of the Dumas Family, who in legendary fashion, set the standard for blissful ignorance!

End Result? Floppinzeeze in ze shoulder, droopin' in the sleeves, and an accidental waistline that would do Mme. Josephine proud...

OFF with it's Thread! Vraiment...

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Wednesday, April 26, 2005

the PinkU Hanami Party...

Even though we don't have Cherry Blossom Time here in Chicagoland, I have extreme Hanami Envy. In Japan, during the *opening season* of the flowering trees, people gather together under the flowering glory in parks everywhere and have picnics!

Over the last couple of years, most of the knitters I know have wanted to get together OUTSIDE and get their knit on. Being an inveterate public knitter myself, I know how much fun it is to hang out in a public place and stitchit. Lots of my lunch breaks are spent sitting in the sun (even if I'm indoors) in a Public Place and knitting with the People. On ANY given work day, you will find me on the #66 Bus, wailing away on some WIP or another, all the time soaking up the vibe of the city-in-motion. It never fails to inspire me.

Chicagoland is chock FULL of places and events that would be a natural for this. So while I was studying this weekend, trying to hone my CSS & XHTML skills, just for the fun of it, I put together a little page to catch this idea and run with it:



Here you will find listings of events and places that might be of interest to you as a person who likes to KnitInPublic! You can use the comments section to perhaps hook up with other folks who might be attending said event. It is just starting up and has just a few listings right now, but I'll be adding more as I find them. Please send me any suggestions/events from the greater Chicagoland Area and I'll put them in! :)

I also included a list of Local Chicagoland Yarn stores. (If you have a link and are not on there - let me know...)

Coming Up: still looking for a cool, big page calendar script that I could run on a page that you would see the links in the day blocks. Working On: a list of local area knitting groups - send me your link if you have one :)

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hold That Yarn...

SCORE #1: Joann Fabrics on Elston Ave -
3 little baskets for 3 little WIPs...

KA-Ching $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Score #2: Now my Mobile Yarn can sing *HELLOOOO Spring* in an Indeed tote with cool black & white striped lining and green accents.
Original Cost: $48.00. Score Cost: $11.00

KA-Ching $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Nature balances the books: I run over muy $$$ eyeglasses with truck at work while trying to find a hole in the sky to raise the truck mast
for a live shot...

OOps...<BGSOUND src="">

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Friday, April 29, 2005

ChicKnits New Threads Friday


Design: Stella Smith (Rowan #37)
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa *Zara*
Color: #1660 Chartruese
Gauge: 22sts/31 rows over 4"
Needles: #3 & #6
Type: Hand Knit

This color is ALIVE! I am so glad it is getting to be warmer here, because this tropical hue is almost too HAPPY for those nasty SADD days we are gonna leave behind AS OF NOW...

1. Changed gauge from 28/38 to 22/31 - made it one inch longer so it's pocket-top on me and adjusted as needed to fit my measurements.

2. Forgot to follow pattern for hem bands and needed to use provisional cast-ons for all pieces to add correct hem later..

3. Blanked out pattern instructions for front edge, which included a knit-in button band - added and sewed on button band after fronts were done. This actually worked out well - I used much smaller needles to knit it and it doen't pull as much as one knitted with the same size needles as the body would. WHEW!

4. Changed neckline from hard edge square, to slightly curved edge square. I have a seriously right-angled jawline and this softens the neckline towards my face without destroying the designs *look*.

5. Not a mod but: decided to use the multi-colored vintage buttons I was playing with early on with this cardi - they are really FUN! Might have to lose the yellow ones - their scalloped edges grab the buttonholes in a naughty way when buttoning...

...A special THANKS to Jessica over at Rose-Kim Knits for hosting the Martha KAL!!!

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