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Bonne Marie Burns
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Chic Knits Weekend Editon

Chic Knits Twist
Chic Knits Gigi
Chic Knits Cutaway
Chic Knits Ribby Cardi

click on small images for garment details...

...see the Complete Portfolio



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Monday, October 3, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

(Warning: AUDIO file to follow - start out LOW...)

I've been having an extended Season of Bad Hair but really, found I am not alone... Get yer pipes lubed up (do re mi mi mi mi!)
and join in the Chorus


fast connection best...

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Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Back in the days of yore, before those wedding bells broke up that ole-gang-oh-mine, we used to gather at a place on the avenue. Every Sunday night (to this day), there was a Poetry Slam. Here you would find writers, new and old, upfront and sometimes in your face, reading their work, giving their unique mental morsels a turn on the micwaves. Adding a Voice to their page gave us a new dimension, and most always a wonderful peek into the real deal behind the words. It was MAGIC...

Hearing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee read Saturday at Arcadia Knitting brought me right back to that place - where the Words come alive and Speak to the listener, touching them personally, tickling them with meaning and delight!


I got to the shop after it was LOADED with folks.


Wall-to-wall knitters bright with smiles,
(that's the lovely Melody, middle front),


spellbound by the wickedly funny stories and
jokes that were buzzing all around.

WE, a whole Building FULL of Knitters just soaked it up
and wanted more.


Those of us with Muggle (non-knitting) friends can appreciate the opportunity to mingle and bond with those that share the Fever! I had a great time catching up with Emily or catching a buzz, enjoying ALL the hand knits (especially Melissa's Clapotis - see the 30th, WOW!), talking to friends old and new - charmed by Franklin and awed by Karen...


Check out Karen's tres cool Shrug - so Pretty!


Stephanie signed my book and referenced CHIC but I ask you, on the Left, the Harlot, in hand-knit socks with International Rock Star BOOTS or Moi, on the Right (picture snapped by the wonderful Laura) in loafers and tighty whities (eeek!)...


And these, on another Harlot fan, could sum it up:
the whole day just knocked my Boots OFF!
Magique, Magique!!!

A HUGE shout-out and thanks to Marcy Neth (from Stitch'n'Bitch Nation fame) for later taking us all to the restaurant - and Franklin for sharing the El on the way home - Merci Beaucoup!!!

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Thursday, October 6, 2005

Can I put my hand in your Pocket?

One of the reasons I'm so into Fusion Knitting (machine & hand knitting combined in the same garment), is that it can be a both a time saver and a mother of invention..

click all small pics
for larger pix

One of the differences between hand and machine knitting is that you always start machine knitting with a provisional cast-on.

That leaves live stitches at the bottom of your piece - you unzip the waste yarn and put the stitches back on the needle to finish by binding off or maybe something MORE....

Apres knitting, but before finishing, I decided I wanted some *Purse Pockets* on my Scoop du Jour. QUE? I hate carrying a purse!!!

No Problem! I attached my yarn to the WS of the piece, purled one row then knit about 4" of sts from the front edge.

Using another piece of yarn (from the outside of my ball) I did a long tail cast-on (cuz I like the look) to replace the next 4 or so inches.

I used a contrasting color of scrap yarn to bind-off the corresponding body stitches to be worked later for the pocket lining.

Then I finished the row and continued working the front ribbing to the bottom of the piece.


The pocket *front* was done when the ribbing was done, but now it needed a lining.

That was what those reserved stitches were for - an interior *pocket* that would be sewn down after it was knit.

I decided to save some time and do it on the machine...

You unzip the waste yarn from the reserved stitches, then hang them on the hooks, attaching some little weights to balance the load.

Then you KNIT!

I made my pocket about 4" x 4" (it looks much longer here because of the weights...)



my little Purse Pocket !~

Almost hidden, but at the ready just big enough to carry a lipstick, bus pass and $$$...

...see all entries here in the Complete Notes: Barny Yarny... all entries about Machine Knitting HERE

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Chic Knits Weekend Editon

ChicKnits New Threads Weekend Edition


Très beau, très chic !
The lovely and talented Cathi models her fresh Cutaway...

Pardon my bias, but I think this is WONDERFUL!
and that's not just because I share Cathi's incredible
fascination with Gnomes
What's not to LOVE!!!

>>> read her blog here <<<



for this pattern and more FUN! these pages for the n2.gif Gallery Chic! Send me a picture of you and your Chic Knits sweater with knitting details to be included in the FUN!

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Monday, October 10, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  


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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

How to Amaze & Astonish the Locals...

Even though I've been traveling up to Northern Lower Michigan for years, I don't really live here. My Parents moved to Tustin after all the kids left home - a romantic turn of events to mirror their first married days together when my Dad worked for the Highway Department.

Tustin calls itself the Headwaters of the Pines and indeed, you cannot walk any feet whatsover without being in the trees, sharing their wonderful air, being tickled by that fringe they have that passes for leaves.

It's autumn now and Pine's good friends and neighbors the Oaks, Maples, et all, are merging into an color palette that is so delicious but so elusive of words I'll just have to show you...

AMAZE: take pictures of everthing moving
or not moving that is even slightly different from home.

I ran away up here for a few days to escape Chicago. The noise, the crowds, the endless traffic jams become too much for me a couple of times a year and I am lucky enough to have a Mom who will welcome me with a warm house, meatloaf and a baked potato if I land on her doorstep.

She's also a knitter and we can knit together and watch old movies (currently having an Ingrid Bergman fest -"For Whom the Bell Tolls" & "Anastasia").

Socks like that. I brought some with me, trying to Do the Right Thing and clear out the workbasket. I've been working on three different pairs since last year when I had the Sock Bug and it's too sad to see Onsies sitting around the house so OFF they Go ON the Road and maybe get done...

I've discovered something odd though: people here do not knit while standing in line at the Walmart Superstore. They do not pull out the Sock while sitting in the McDonald's enjoying a Happy Meal and knock off 1.5 rounds. And they don't do THIS, apparently, EVER:

ASTONISH (scare the crap outta) the Locals: bring a sock to knit while you wait for your Mom to finish her doctor's appointment, but leave the pattern in Chicago. Ask the receptionist for a piece of paper. Trace your Naked Foot. Put the sock down on the floor compare to your tracing to try and figure out the length and toe shaping you have to do.
PULL out your CAMERA to make sure with a picture.
See people on both sides of you get up from their seats and move to the other (really crowded) side of the waiting room...

AH - just a few miles away and you're back in the woods, wandering around in blissful piney-ness not even caring if anyone (not likely) sees you petting the trees, delighted with their tickling handshake, letting them hold the new sock for awhile in return...


You are both Tourists and you are not ashamed...

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Sock's a Tree Hugger and so am I...

Arlene came down to check on what I was doing. She saw me sitting high up in the air on the spare tire attached to my Jeep. I told her I was waiting for the sun to come back out so I could take a picture of the maple tree by the side of the road.

I think she thought me a bit odd and was too polite to mention it but agreed with me about how very beautiful the tree was. She laughed and said, "No, I haven't combed my hair today," when I asked if I could take her picture with the tree. I thought her white hair was as beautiful as her bright blue eyes. She went back up to the house when the sun went back behind a cloud. I'd thought the house was abandoned, with its missing windows and a truck half buried in the yard, but was happy to know someone was there as magnetized to orange and red as I.

I roamed some more and the more I roamed, the better it got...

I gorged myself on color until I was almost too dizzy to continue.

but I found just one more...

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Chic Knits Weekend Editon


Scoop du Jour

Pattern: Chic Knits
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Cestari Farms Worsted & UNK Barn Yarn
Color: Dk Sheep Grey (5 sk) & Evergreen (2 sk)
Gauge: 18sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #8

My sister took this picture of me after we walked the dogs out in the country by her house. I've been wearing this all week hiking and hanging out.

I blocked the sweater twice. The first goround I washed all the pieces in hot soapy water before sewing it together to get the spinning oil and barn dirt out. Block #2 was after I seamed and banded it to get it to final shape. The yarn totally changed in character becoming soft and fluffy and very wearable!

Like a good pair of jeans, I have a sneaking suspicion it will get better and better with continued wear and washing.


My Mom, when she saw me in this sweater asked, "Where are your lederhosen?" WOOT!

...see all entries here in the Complete Notes: Barny Yarny

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Monday, October 17, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

who loves ya, baby....

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

it's all about the SOX!!!


WHOssa goin' to the World Series?

My perfect face-off, er, foot-off?, would've been the White SOX vs. the Red SOX! I didn't know unitl an incredulous co-worker told me the fugly truth yesterday afternoon that that would NEVER be becasue those two teams are in the same LEAGUE. (Ooops...)

Well a league of my own would have them playing each other and just picture it - a whole stadium full of knitters making Socks, watching men hurl, scratch, and run in circles. A glorious day!

A girl can dream, can't she?

Forget the World Series, people, we have SOCKTOBERFEST!


The lovely Lolly has started a KAL and I've joined...

I hope it gives me the SOCK SPIRIT to finish
all the ones I have laying around (4 onsies).


First up to bat, the wonderful Socks That Rock! This Blue Moon yarn has to be the most wonderful stuff yet! I got it at a fiber fest out in the boonies last year from the FOLD (you might've met 'em at Rhinebeck). The base yarn for the hand-painting is the best feeling stuff I've knitted with. Does anybody know what makes this so wonderful?

And then there's the hand-painting! To really appreciate it, you have to have it in from of you in close proximity and see it's subtleties escape the skein as you knit. This is the Garnet Dream colourway and indeed, it's knitting up like a dream!


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Thursday, October 20, 2005


Today is a Gift, that's why they call it the Present...

I saw this statement on a bumper sticker on the way downtown yesterday and gave it the usual harumph that escapes my lips when I see (but sometimes enjoy) a clever twist of meaning that might leave an annoying mental aftertaste.

You see phrases like this all over the Boonie Towns of the Midwest - usually on church signs. I'm convinced there must be a clearing house somewhere, probably a website, that the member responsible for the sign can go to find these nuggets. I saw one sign in a commercial district where a vacuum cleaner place was next to a religious bookstore and their's read "Cleanliness is Next to Godliness." WOOT!

Yesterday was not much of a gift, in my opinion, and when I found myself at 5pm still at the Northwestern Med Facility after getting there at 8-in-the-morning, I was ready to throw in the cryin' towel. Instead, I pulled out my knitting - Sock #1 from above is going to get a mate! And I pulled out a Secret Weapon, which in combination with same was sure to stun and vanquish the haze of boredom that lingers in any waiting room on the planet.

But especially this one. Knitting alone was just not enough. This was the female waiting room for CAT scans - and some of us were working on drinking a huge quantity of liquid. While you are wrapped in the thinnest of cotton gowns, you are treated like a queen by the kindest of attendants and served not one, but 3 containers that look like the little milk bottles of yore. You drink one every 20 minutes and then you get rayed. Something is wrong with my guts and my doctor needs to know more.

This liquid is beyond description - methinks they probably have tried to improve the texture and taste over the years, but medical people - you aren't there YET. For someone like me who shudders when even the smell of Pepto Bismal reaches my nose, this was going to be interesting. It was thick; it was chalky; it was insane.

Of course, it had to be done, so I settled in with my Sock, cracked my first bottle open, poured it into the lovely styrofoam glass (why is it that hospital plastic and styro products are always first class?) and then set it down to let it breathe. Now was the time to launch my secret weapon - "the Constant Gardener" by Le Carre - whose paper spine was massaged into limp flexibility and held open with a hair clip flat on my lap.

Now I could Knit, Read, and Honk Down that barium cocktail like nobody's business. My roomates politely sipping from their bottles either nodded appreciation by raising their drink or just stared, stunned by having to witness this display. (Or maybe, it was just the White Socks and Black Loafers with the Hospital Gown...) But it worked! I made it through the bottles with nary a flinch...

And that was the Gift after all - the Knitting (and Reading) once again rescued me from a Present that was too hard to unwrap by myself...

for Socktoberfest, here's a little Present that illustrates how I knit my socks, presented by the wonderful Trish...

and, if you want to knit and read, here's a page from my current at-home selection, from a book published completely online...


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Chic Knits Weekend

Catch the FEVER!

Astrosalt.gif    VS.    WhiteSoxalt.gif

Guess the winner and winning score of the final game of the World Series
and win this lovely YARN!!!

Lorna's Laces Shepards Sock Yarn
color Tuscany

- Send me an email with the words "World Series" in the Subject line and your guess in the body of the email.

- In case of duplicate answers, random drawing will determine Winner.

- Winner to be announced the Day after the Series ends...

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Monday, October 24, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  


Chic Knits perennial favorite, the Chicago Craigslist, has become a hook-up rally for folks just insane to go to a World Series game...

SOX GIRL: "We are pretty, smart, fun girls who happen to love baseball. We promise to be great company and the best 'accessory' your box has seen in a while. We're in for a good time [including] beers, dogs and baseball, but we're not whores. So please don't respond asking us what we are willing to do for tickets. Having said that, who knows what could [happen] after getting caught up in Sox fever! Send us a serious offer and we'll reciprocate with a picture."

SOX BOY: "Girls in tiny Konerko T-shirts who appreciate Grinder Ball -- sac bunting and hitting behind the runner -- are immensely hot. Impress me with your Soxiness and drinks are on me Saturday night. About me: 5-10, 180, been told I look like a skinny Bobby Jenks, if that's even possible. Favorite player is Podsednik."

WOOT! This was all found here - scroll down to find, (& recite), the Fan's Pledge of Allegiance...


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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the Six Stitches of Separation

One only has to romp around some blog rings to enjoy the fact that there are now OVER 900 KNITTING BLOGS out there! WOOT, people - we are a Phenom! (But you knew that...)

AND, one of the best things about that is the day (and it will come) when you get to actually Meet Up With other bloggers~!

Last Thursday, at the Wicker Park KIP, the lovely Michelle brought her fine friend Susan. Well, it turns out that Susan was her Secret Pal and was visiting Chicago with her hub on a conference.

Bottom Row, L-R: Michelle, Rachel, Dana, & Susan
Top Row, L-R: Corinne, Theresa, Lauren, BMB

Well, Susan is also none other than SUSAN! (I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can!) from Project-Give-a-Little, the wonderful knitter's effort contributing huge funds to the Red Cross Katrina effort. Along with fellow Salt Lake duchess, MARGENE! they've collected over $100,572.81 and ran a very cool prize raffle, to boot. THANK YOU SO MUCH Ladies for all your efforts, time and elbow grease you put on THAT wheel to keep it turning.

Madame, your charm and fun was contagious and we all had a wonderful time visiting! I especially enjoyed talking about the Black Water Abbey yarn to make the notorious Black Aran sweater I have doing laps in the idea lane in my brain.

BUT WAIT! There's more! We were joined by a new friend, Lauren, who just moved up here from D.C., who came via Theresa and now joins the fabulous Dana (also from Washinton) in the KIP circle that evening with Corinne and Rachel, the best yarn enabling buddies a girl could hope for! We all had a super fun GabFest about everything from knitting to the Pentagon! Stir in a little mocha-chino and a muffin and VOILA! A perfect evening!


seeking: knitter with the orange wool ribby shell at the Harlot signing - I'm a dork and lost your address...

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Wednesday, October 25, 2005

the Stitches of EastSox

Going through my winter hats yesterday to get ready for the Big Chill ahead, I found a dirty, crushed up gem. It'd been laying fallow all summer, waiting for the fallish rains to wake it back up. It's Black and is just too hot for summer duty but perfect for the low grade sun of Autumn.

SO on it goes. And Stays. Through Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Ball game.

Ball Game? Oui! At 7pm at night, it is still on my head because said hat, dear friends is a WHITE SOX hat. For some reason during the day, this dirty number has distinguished me from other Chicagoans - those who the South Siders are calling casual observers, johnny-come-latelies, fakers! or worse. Who knew that perhaps the greatest rivalry between ball teams wouldn't be with the team actually in the World series but a team in the SAME TOWN! A guy hissed at me the other day, "You're a Cub fan aren't you, I can tell..." like it was branded invisibly on my head.

My Answer: "DUDE! I'm a CHICAGO FAN!" And I've got the hat to prove it..." Not for me the ridiculous boiling rivalry between the boys above and below Roosevelt Road!

This magical Chapeau did not protect me from the game itself - a WHOOPER! It started late and went ON and ON and ON and my nerves could not take it - here in the chilly night on a Tuesday! a *school* night a night without excuse for the boss for showing up hosed in the AM because of those PM deeds of bravery and excess damn the consequences - I'm a FAN! But I'm a chick for chrissake and that just don't FLY...


So I was driven by the 4th inning to do what any sensible person would: I pulled out the Dye Pot. I decided to brew us up a victory! I could adjust the color temperature of the cotton Ribby I was working on. Its green was not the GREEN! I wanted to wear and it was going on and on lanquishing in the work basket mocking me like that Cub Fan from the North...

Grinder Ball Ruled as I stirred and stirred hovering over the pot for the first 20 minutes of the immersion effect. My nerves were such that when the SOX pulled away and started handing out whompass in droves in the 5th, I was standing in the kitchen, knitting an actual SOCK! while watching the TV in the living room, stirring my sweater every 5 minutes.


And the game went On and On and ON!

And I turned a Heel!

And I Blocked the GREEN! Ribby!


And I fell asleep in the 9th when the score was tied!

But indeed, the hat was still on my head this morning when I woke up and read:



Ode to Geoff Blum: All over the city, The People are taping White Sweat Socks in all their windows...

na na na na hey hey hey....

"The 5-hour, 41-minute game was the longest by time in World Series history and tied for the longest in innings."
...Chicago Sun-Times
It ended after 14 innings, with a Blum homer,
at around 1AM this morning...

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

for the second year in a row, a SOX team has risen into baseball infamy!

Ladies & Gentleman - I present the World Champion


*** Socks Yarn Extravaganza ***


CHELEE! Come on DOWN!!!

In what was even more nerve wracking than a 5 hit inning, the last game of the World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros, like the night before, dragged ON & ON & ON! Luckily for me, I'd decided the SOX needed More Good Luck than what the gnarly hat I was wearing vibed so I broke out the big guns...


Grabbing some forgotten stashed Black & White Regia, I started a Victory Sock in Inning One. What you see here on Missy Monkey's Head is the entire game's worth, knitting as fast as I could because I could not bear to watch! Damn, those #1 needles are small...

I leave you this HAPPY MORNING! with

Grinder Baseball Rule #102:
"Crying in Baseball's OK as long as champagne hurts your eyes!"

(as seen on the side of Comisky Park)

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Friday, October 28, 2005

ChicKnits New Threads Friday


Socktoberfest SOX! whitelittle.gif

Pattern: Regia 60 Stitch Sock Pattern
Tweaked: Lengths to Fit Foot
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Sock Yarn
Color: Seaside
Gauge: 7.5 sts/10 rows over 1"
Needles: #2

The very heart of me was in denial but pictures do not lie...

These bad boys are Fraternal Twins! One of them has more blue and white stripes than the other and what's really weird is that I didn't notice it until I took this picture (Reason #1 why I love to record my projects, although it can be PAINFUL!).

And am I whacked over it? NAY! If I ever am wearing them with a skirt (it COULD happen) and find someone staring at my ankles, I'll have to give them that Global Warning you give someone you catch staring at your boobalas, or something. Or NOT...

And in the meantime, my feetsies will be really enjoying themselves. These are boot socks and feel wonderful!

one down, four to go?

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Monday, October 31, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  


Happy Halloween!!!

OY! At the beginning of my personal Socktoberfest,
there were 4 little socks...

and at the end?



on the right, my favorite sock, on the left, a sock made from the same yarn, not my favorite sock



what's a girl to do???

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