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Chic Knits
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Bonne Marie Burns
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Monday, May 2, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Once upon a time a couple of years ago, I mocked an associate for cruising eBay (at work) in search of awesome Fendi purses. What a loser, I thought, I would never waste my time like that...

Alas! Payback, is as they say, a Mother.....

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or, in my case, a PomPom! Ahem, TONS of PomPoms!

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little scratchin' feet included

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bi-lingual directions included for this lovely Coccinelle (hey, where's the antenna for this bug? - Oh - MIA parts, does this call for
that elusive beast - Neutral Feedback?)

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add some Class to your Powder Room Sass with this lovely Cygne. Scratchin' Feet also good for propping books open...


Ok. What was YOUR silliest eBay purchase?

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005

More interesting than the actual Style of the Runaway Bride's Bridesmaid's Dresses?

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Probably not, but I am having a HeyDay on a cotton T-shirt Binge! It all started with, what else, a Holiday.

That holiday is coming up THIS weekend and I am going up north to Michigan to celebrate Mother's Day with Mom. Every year, my sister and I meet up with Mom at her church on the Saturday before Mday and enjoy a nice lunch, provided and served by the Men of the church. Every year, there's a bigger and bigger turn-out, so I think they are on to something.

Because I'm in lifelong possession of some kind of unique(neurotic) stranding, my DNA does not allow me to ignore ANY holiday without at least an attempt at a new garment. At least this year, I have the mighty Silver Reed to help me out.

I decided sometime EARLY Saturday morning before the Cuppa Kicked In (CKI), that a new cool cotton mock turtleneck would be in my immediate future.

I have worn this favorite one many times -

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It is really awful. It is almost the first sweater I designed all the way through. It is so beset with mistakes (front is wider than the back, missed/mismatched decreasing on the sleeves, weird partial felting/soshort/so sad) that I only wear this shorty around the house. (Such a bummer, because it is made from a really beautiful wool/alpaca blend and was the first really nice yarn I ever bought.) But alas, she is WONKY and remains a private torture.

But back to the future: I wanted a plain cream colored MTurt to wear to the banquet with one of my printed cotton skirts. It's cool enough up North in Michigan where I'm going that this will be perfect made from worsted cotton.

For the first time, the looming of my pieces went very fast. I think I'm really getting the hang of this! I took the time to make several gauge swatches (one of the BEST things about machine knitting - you can tweak those loop sizes alot more than when you are restrained to using 1mm jumps in diameter). This step, I think, was key.

So key, such an unlocked mind, that I couldn't gobble up just one and the next morning, made most of the pieces for another one from some Rowan Calmer rescued from the Deep Stash. This also was knit with a 20/28 gauge.

Now, I'm busy ribbing the cream colored MT edges by hand and I think, with any luck, it's on the catwalk Saturday...

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Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Lynda writes: "I'm awful. Last August/Sept. I knit myself a LowTech Hoodie and then could not make myself seam it up. Finally, after it has gotten too warm to wear it in Oklahoma, I started seaming it. When I got to the point where I was ready to seam the Raglan sleeves to the body I just stopped. I have Fear of Finishing. Please let me know what you beleive to be the best method for seaming this area which will be noticeable."

OH Boy oh Boy OH BOY!

B-Marie's Quick Start Picture Guide to Sleeve Seaming

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Mattress stitch the side seams of your garment and the sleeve seam. Steam flat (if fiber content allows) for a minimal, low bulk seam.

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With sweater and sleeve turned inside out, pin sleeve to body of sweater, matching underarm seams. (The right side of the sleeve faces the right side of the body.) I use big stainless steel T-pins.

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ENTER the Mystery Guest - FINALLY - a use for superwash wool! Although I often use the sweater's yarn to seam, I aim for low-bulk and like to use a yarn that is much smaller in gauge to seam my sweaters. In this case, the cotton yarn I knit the sweater with would've made a very thick seam so I opted for Sportweight SuperWash wool in a matching color. This works especially well for sleeves, where you really want to make a small flexible seam. Even though the body fabric is cotton, using stretchy superwash wool that won't shrink is a plus...

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Now, I join the sleeve to the body of the sweater using a slip-stitch crochet stitch. I find this to produce a flexible and easy way to join. It makes a very strong seam.

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Here is a CU of the stitch being made.

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This is how the completed sleeve seam looks. It is a chain just like at the top of a bag of dog food. You all know how to *un-zip* that type of join, so be sure to fasten the end of your seam securely so no accidental zippage occurs :)

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VOILA! Here is the completed Raglan Sleeve Seam - very strong and very lean...

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Friday, May 6, 2005

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Reality Chic MT
Design: Bonne Marie Burns for ChicKnits
Yarn: TLC *Cotton Plus*
Color: #3100 Cream
Gauge: 20sts/28rows over 4"
Needles: #5 & #7
Type: Fusion

Just a goin' to the Mother's Day Lunch Party topper - to be worn with a brown silk skirt that has huge cream-colored embroidered flowers all over it!

Happy Holiday to one and ALL! :)

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Monday, May 9, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

if you missed him the first time around,
have some fun with this...
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Jonathan Rhys Meyers as ELVIS
courtesy Creative Crew


the Presley Family-approved, music rich,
hip shaking megaBIO of the one and only
ELVIS!

WIN some fine Graceland Sculpture...

Solve the NYTimes Elvis Trivia Crosswords Puzzle...

WHO is Jonathan Rhys Meyers?


next MiniSeries Installment: Wednesday - can't wait to see
Rose McGowan as Ann Margaret...

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

a Tale of Two Bedrooms

If you've been tripping the lights over here @ChicKnits for any length of time, you've heard part of this tale already. I live in a *three-flat* type building where three families live stacked on top of each other.

I am the filling in the sandwich cookie.

I probably should feel special about this because without me, this building would just be a silly little two-flat, but no, I am just ordinary, just tortured...

I am the middle child of three and this has been my natural state for as long as I can remember. It is uncanny how history repeats itself.

My bedroom is over the downstairs duplex's nursery; my bedroom is under my upstairs neighbor's new music mixing *center*. I have lived through the teething, weaning and changing of three babies; I am now living through the live birth of rock'n'roll.

Sleep deprivation is not a good thing.

So after work last week, I hatched a plan coming home on the #66. I would flip bedrooms. By trying to sleep in an area where no one else was sleeping was sheer folly! My second, larger bedroom would now become my *real* sleep chamber instead of the work studio I was using it as. This is the area where all the adults in the building sleep. Just like those flap-jacks you find in the Denny's Grand Slam Breakfast, on any given night, we'd all be stacked and snorin'. I would restore the natural balance of the building (and not be a sh*t and fight about who could do what in their house...)

I moved all the big furniture in 3 hours. The large sweater armoire was emptied then pushed onto a folded old quilt and dragged down the hall like it was Christmas Morning and I was Rudolph tethered to the sleigh. I was so giddy I was glowing as I ran! The prospect of a good night's sleep was just around the corner and I was going home!

Needless to say, a pile of books, mailers, photographs, yarn, cables, lights, etc. forms a huge mound in the *new* office. But under the large double window now sits my drafting table, open to the inspiration of the sky where it once only faced a boring wall. Along the short wall in the new studio, lives the yarn stash in a burst of color and promise that will hopefully egg me on to greater work. It was all over the place before and OMG, it's bulk, enmass, I had no idea...

Downside: this place needs to be painted/and/or cleaned! (Anybody out there know the best way to clean painted walls?) Funny how it takes a move to *see* the reality of your surroundings. And by god, I need all new furniture! At least in the bedroom - when it was all crammed into the little bedroom, all those mixed up shook up styles and periods looked charming(?) but now that it's spread around it just looks tacky. Another reason to be online as much as possible: fantasy furniture shopping!

BTW, I'm sleeping like a baby...

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May 11, 2005

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YAY! I got my letter!

A couple of weeks ago, I was ringing the knitting blogs and found some people were already talking about Stitches Midwest. Now, I've only gone once before, and I was making a video, so I'm wasn't able to IMMERSE myself into the experience.

I've been told the best thing about this gathering is the CLASSES! So I upped for four and VOILA! There's my confirmation letter - with, I'm hoping, an atta boy for enrolling early. That was the other thing people told me - enroll early because the best classes go fast. Sure enough - many were already closed when I tried to survey the listing but I think I got what I wanted.

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Why do I say THINK? Because all this letter told me was that I was *Tentatively* enrolled in the classes. Awhat?

I picked these four classes:

Sat AM: "the Perfect Sleeve" taught by Jean Frost (!)
Sat PM: "Grafting with a Russian Twist" taught by Galina Khmeleva
Sun AM: "Where Do My Hands Go?" pockets as taught by Barry Klein
Sun PM: "7 Things that can Make or Break a Sweater" by Margaret Fisher

Anybody take classes before? I thought they sounded right up my alley! :)

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

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I took this picture of l'Arc de Triomphe in 1995.
They beckon me; I will follow...

More Plans, more Travel...

OOH La la! The time has come to leave my troubles behind and FLY! Fly away to see what one can see! To shake it up and turn it upside down! The Muse, she beckons...

In just a little over a week, I am going to Paris! This fair city is my favorite of all outside the USA and I can't wait. It's been almost 10 years since I was there last and almost 4 years since I was lured overseas...

Too tempting the prospect of joining mes amis Becky et Jackie on a late Spring adventure in the City of Lights~! Paris - she is a spectacle that I hope will sweep me away!

Invigorating! Full of energy (watch out for scooters!), art and food extraordinaire! History and architecture that will make me weep with joy!

Paris...

I stayed there once before for two weeks in an apartment in Bastille. We went every day to the farmer's market in the neighborhood to buy fresh food and flowers. Perhaps my favorite area is Marais (which you can see in yesterday's entry) - it blends the very old (17th century?) with the very new and the continuity is astounding.

Paris...

Much of which Chicago is not. The two are sister cities, but one is the flip side of the metropolitan coin. We even have subway enclosures that are copies of their's but you will never mistake their public transportation for ours. Theirs is Clean! It's on Time! It's accessible...

And the architecture! Much of Chicago was built roughly around the same time von Haussmann was tinkering with the Parisian skyline but we've neglected and abandoned our treasures. In the City of Lights, one will find people living in buildings that go back centuries and I marveled at the sight.

Paris...

Just the thing for a woman who does not tan! Will HE still be waiting for me outside Sacré Coeur?

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Friday, May 13, 2005

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the scrumpDIdiddleyOHMPtious cotton Ribby

Without even trying, I've entered the Spring Zone. This time of year for me means lovely skies, beautiful bulb flowers, and sneezing my head off. Ye old Allergies have me hittin' a wall this week - a little lazy. A little relaxed. Actually kind of yummy.

I've been enjoying the slower progress of my Cotton Ribby! This is my #66 BusMAte KnitAlong project and is growing as surely green and long as those flowers poking out of the dirt in my front yard.

You can see in the picture, I've used the larger rib repeats for the entire sleeve. The sleeve increases are then worked into the sides as Stockinette St. This matches the front, which has the same effect on the middle section. I basically dropped the side ribbing on both pieces.

This makes a more relaxed ribbed sleeve! I am really enjoying the cotton yarn too - woolies be GONE - your time is D-O-N-E. I see a Samoa Scoop in my future (hmm, dark brown?) - it appears that the Cotton Ease yarn is discontinued and this would be an excellent substitute for that pattern too. Can you believe I actually FINISHED all of my wool projects this year - there is not a single woolie friend hiding in the Marination Chamber ready to pop-out on me next fall like a little fiend. How the heck did this happen - WOOT!


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

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

ChicKnits New Threads Weekend Edition
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OOhLala Ms. Laurel!!! What a fabulous Ribby
you've made! You wear it well!!!

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More Ribby Goodness...



A beautiful Ribby crafted by Bets for her daughter
and modeled by Bets' beautiful friend, Dyanne...

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visit the
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for all the glorious details!

...Want to be in Gallery Ribby? Send me a picture of your Ribby with knitting details to be included in the gallery...

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Monday, May 16, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

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Mirth as Glad Appreciation: Ask and Ye Shall Recieve!
Just last week I was wondering HOW I was going to freshen up my dreary, dirty painted place and LO! and behold it arrives.

Last weekend, at the Mother & Daughter Banquet I attended with me Mom, I received the above beautiful hand knitted dishcloth. When attendees left the event, they were invited to scoop a little wrapped present out of a box on their way out the door. I picked something soft...

Now, with the little included scrubber, I am armed and dangerous! Look OUT wall scum! Run for your LIFE skidmarks! And all the time, I will be totally entertained by the lovliness of my tools...

Since this gift was anonymous, I would like to THANK everyone, everywhere who makes wonderful little gifts like this -
SO APPRECIATED!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooo

DIY Dishcloth

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

what's more holiday than Holiday?

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that would be, in the
Greater Chicagoland Area, a V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!

And if you think my DNA gets all wiggly in a new clothes knitting tither over one day, think of how spazzed I might get over a WHOLE WEEK?!!

Given there was only a weekend to rock around this concept, I wasted no time. I've had this yarn forever - Cleckheaton Tencel Wool (but of course, discontinued). This fiber was actually a souvenir from another vacation I took a few years ago when I was traveling in Traverse City, Michigan and stumbled into Baa Baa Black Sheep yarns out on 8th St.

In it's first incarnation, (and it seems for the last few projects I've made I've used re-cycled project yarn exclusively), this was going to be a stole. This idea was ditched because I DIDN'T REALLY READ THE BALL BAND! A lace project usually needs to be extremely blocked and Tencel? Not really a candidate for the way I wanted to steam and shape...

So it was FROGGED and washed and lay waiting for its Special Day(s).

And that was the Weekend. I'd actually gotten a head start on this design a few weeks ago - I'd seen shrugs and boleros everywhere - but none of them were going to fit me the way I wanted. My problem with the Shrug? I love the way they look on everyone else; I can't abide the way they make me look (from behind).

In fact this whole Shrug episode made me question some fundamental realities that exist for all of us.

For instance, questions for all eternity: why am I so concerned with my appearance when all I can really *see* of my body (in a standing position) is only about 15% of its mass. For 100% of the time, why will I NEVER see myself 100% from behind. (Mirrors LIE LIE lie...) Why is it we are facing forwards? Wouldn't it be fine to really understand how your toe-to-top stylings were workin' the room?

Maybe not. For me, anyway, I just have a *feeling* a shrug would do me wrong.

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Enter the Cutaway! This is a shorter sweater with a curved front and almost wrist length sleeves. It has a high V-neck, buttoning right on the start of what would be my cleavage, if I had one...

I have a jacket that does this and love the way it looks. And this design version has all the curves and sassy fit (not a lot of ease - to fit over just light T's and tanks) of those other toppers without my *problem*...

Enter the Tencel Wool! I'm hoping it will be a great travel companion - it washes like a dream, has wonderful drape, and just a little cozy warmth from that wool for the cooler Spring temps...

Now if I would just get in gear and PACK!

Cutaway
Design: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Cleckheaton *Tencel Wool*
Color: #2059 Black
Gauge: 22sts / 30rows over 4"
Needles: #3 & #5

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

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Shoes, check. Lipstick, check. Passport, check...

YARN? OMG!!! What the heck should I bring with me? This is harder than trying to get my passport renewed at the last second because I'd LET IT EXPIRE!!! (God bless those folks down at City Hall for helping me out...)

I am smack dab in the middle of two projects that don't want to leave home!

What's a person to do?

Start a N-E-W Project!

New yarn (after several projects with either recycled or re-purposed yarn - break open the GGH Java in a color they call "Adobe" which is a warm taupe)!

New pattern (a sexy little shell called *Bisect*)!

New ideas (should be fun to finagle some new angle moves while on the run)!

I am hoping to start and finish this while I'm on the road. Is this realistic? Probably - maybe - I think so?! Will I be too distracted to knit? Too jet lagged to purl? The adventure begins!

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

OUT to Lunch for 264 hours
at least...

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a favorite cafe in 12e

NOT Chicago:
- almost non-existent sidewalks
- narrow, narrow streets that CURVE
- cars driving real fast almost in your lap!
- Bonne urbain à Paris!

I took this photo the last time I was in Paris after I'd enjoyed a nice omelette for an early dinner in the cafe on the upper left...

"In the 12th century the 12th arrondissement was first named in scriptures on the right bank of the Seine under the Roman name “Insula Bercilis” The Romans arrived through the "via Carentonis", the actual "rue de Charenton". In the 17th century the chairman of the French parliament built the "chateau de Bercy", based on a design by Lenotre. The chateau was destroyed during the revolution but the citizens of Bercy stayed. It was only in 1860 that Bercy was incorporated in Paris.

The attractions of this arrondissement are the opera Bastille and the restaurant "Le Train Bleu" in the gare de Lyon. Also worth walking by is the “Bassin de l’Arsenal” the yacht harbour of Paris, all along the boulevard de la Bastille. There is room for 200 to 300 boats.

President François Mitterand decided to build an opera house for the "common people", accessible to everyone. The ultra-modern building opened in 1990 at a cost of $400 million. The Korean music conductor, Myung Whun Chung was nominated as musical director and opened officially the first performance of the new Bastille Opera. Its auditorium is very large (2,700 seats) and has been hailed as the hall to bring opera to the masses. The opera house includes a library, discotheque, videotheque etc. "

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

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(not Chicago) 2005
View from the Pont-Neuf bridge on the River Seine


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