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Bonne Marie Burns
that reflect the way you
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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

All Swag Great and Small

I've been having a LOT of fun on my job lately. At this time of the year, that has not always been my song du jour. The weather can make le travail un jour sans joie. Or the politics, a filibuster of pain.

Well, this was NOT an election year and I wasn't stuck with the candidates on the trail. It Was a World Series year ( for the first time in 88 ans) and one could revel in the faces, etc. of players in their prime, fans estatic and yes, off topic discoveries.

While shooting a profile on the fellow quite possibly Rookie of the Year, White Sox player Tadahito Iguchi, a new mall was discovered out in the near Northwest Suburbs. This was not a super mall but had a lot of spice on its own: grocery store, fine liquours, gifts, large food court, a miraculously incredible Dollar Store AND a book store. What made this mall so enticing to me?

It was entirely Japanese...

This merited a trip back this weekend when I could look for what I just thought might be hidden treasure socked away in the realm of the bookstore itself: White Gold! Printed Page! JAPANESE KNITTING MAGAZINES!!!

I was not disappointed!

There was a Whole Section of Books and Magazines devouted to our beloved stitch craft. I was so ecstatic but so spent by the display that within a few minutes, I had to go devour a Bento Lunch Box Special in the food court and fuel up for a second round of pleasure.

Once again energized, I returned to make my selection and here's what I came away with -


the freshest selection awaited...


I was prepared for the difference in format in these mags because I have a couple of others, sent to me by the lovely Ms. Cruz...


They are read back to front, left to right and have the entire pattern, given graphically on one page. All the statistical information is in the area of the graph - I love this - wonder if it will ever catch on here? What's really appealing to me is that it appears to this eye to be a fusion of trad written pattern with machine instructions...

But of course, one only has to go mining online to find a plethora of tips about reading and using international patterns. I found these links to be very helpful...

-- Tata-Tatao's Tutorial (wander around this site and you will be greatly rewarded in other ways as well!)

-- Clearwater Knits Fabulous Lessons

-- Practice your graph skills on these hat patterns from *Puppy*

-- Knit Japan Links

Asahiya Bookstore
Mitsuwa Marketplace
100 E Algonquin Rd
Arlington Hts, Illinois

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Fruit of My Loom


A scant 3 years have passed (like lightening!) since I tripped into a suburban Joann's with a 50% off coupon and scooped up a Bond knitting loom. That first year saw me knitting like a banshee, enlarging my wardrobe and, for maybe the first time EVER, wearing clothing that actually fit my frame (especially those gracefully long ARMS!)

The sweaters I made for work are now ready to be *retired* - they look tired, a little shabby; they've earned their day in the pasture, to be sure...

And, it's time to make some new ones...

Luckily, I've been bit by the Machine Bug all over again after a demonstration Corinne and I gave as the October Program at the Windy City Knitting Guild. I took the Bond On the ROAD! up to the Northside (I'm a Westside girl myself, teeheehee) and proceeded to astonish and amaze myself when I actually got through an entire, I believe, one hour's worth of machine knitting while being observed by actual audience! I think this is what happened because I have such terrible stage fright, I only remember about 30% of what went on - 2/3's of the time are really fuzzy, (but warm - thank you all for your Very Kind Attention!).

What you see above are pieces of two seperate sweaters - both in Navy, my favorite Work Garment Uniform color. They lay tightly in obedient Stockinette rolls, as is the nature of the stitch, waiting for the finishing to begin...

I began calling the first one of my sweaters *Elemental* and the second rightly became *My Dear Watson* in response. Here you see the first front of the Dr.


It is loomed using the most beautiful Black Water Abbey yarn - 2-ply, one ply black, one ply a very rich purplish dark blue - in sum = celestial NAVY! I knit the body parts on the Machine and add the bands, etc, by hand. To keep the Project Juice ALIVE, I've picked out buttons from the Button Chest - believe me when I say that it took a long time to find the correct shade of black plastic button! WEIRD, but true, they are all slightly different depending on composition and finish, ie. shine, matte, semi-gloss. YES! I had a lot of fun auditioning the Buttons...

This sweater is destined to be the plainer of the two - fitted but fabulous, showing off the really rich depth of color of the yarn.

Even though I've seen some really fabulous trad Aran BWA sweaters, especially at Stitches Midwest this summer, I was just too totally blown away by this yarn's hue to muddy the waters reflecting the deepest night sky. all entries about Machine/Fusion Knitting HERE

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Thursday, November 3, 2005

Affy Tapple Tipsy

It's a topsy-turvy kind of week! A stand-on-your-head and whistle kind of day! When you find yourself eating leftover mini-Baby Ruths and an Affy Tapple and call it Breakfast, you know Daylight Savings has KICKED IN and perhaps is kicking your a**...

I'm thinking this is why I'm having a PROBLEM sticking to anything but the smallest of projects the last few days (although I did finish the second sleeve of Sheila...)

Not only am I not knitting MUCH, I'm de-constructing LOTS!

On Monday, I frogged the greeny hemp/wool ginourmous Sock and skeined and washed it.


Still destined to be a pair of lovely Ribbed Socks at some point since I found the original pattern I used for my other favorite, the yarn is now delighting me as just a centerpiece on my kitchen counter. Thanks Lorri for bringing me those delicious healthy Michigan apples - but my clock is all turvy and I must have MORE CHOCOLATE!

Looking for that pattern was successful but not SO for one of the other sox in my Soxsie Banshee Socktoberfest BINGE! I've LOST MORE YARN - and cannot complete the second quasi-Monkey Sock that was in the mix. SHEESH - maybe I'll find that yarn next October.

SO, I appeased the balance of the Universe by finding and frogging something ELSE! At some point, at another bend in the Knitting Time Continuum, everyone out there was Madly Knitting Multidirectional Scarves. I'd bet my bottom dollar right now there are a bunch on the needle across America right now because by gum, not only is it Daylight Savings Week, it's Time to Start Knitting Those Christmas Presents...

My own MultiD scarf was a total failure - I blithely dug it out of a shelf yesterday and went EUREKA - something I can finish quickly but it was not meant to be. QUE? It was thick and thin - I obviously was not grasping the fact that you were supposed to have an equal number of stitches on the triangles and some were skinnier than others and NOT IN A GOOD WAY...


So here it is - frogged and fabulous - waiting to become a correctly done MultiD? OR should it start down a new road, one paved out West on October 27th and become the scarf GRINDA?

Excuse me, I have to go eat a couple of mini-boxes of Junior Mints to decide...

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Chic Knits Weekend Editon

ChicKnits Weekend Edition


Say Bon Jour! to your feminine form with this worsted gauge shaped Cardi! Simple, fitted design features easy modern cabled panels, set-in sleeves and a flattering ribbed collar...

This model is shown in Cascade 220
color #8400 Charcoal Grey

more yarn choices HERE...


get the pattern here

modern designs for the modern knitter


browse the Collection of Chic Knits Garments
fashioned by hand-knitters from around the world!

send me a picture of your creation to be included...

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Monday, November 7, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

when Harry met .... ?

perhaps they will get together and study Potions?

or perhaps knit a sock or 2 ?


bone up on yer lore before the party...

I don't know HOW they do this but it sure is fun!

other TV appearances here - just in case you need an AM Rupert fix --- ladies, I know you...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2005

ChicKnits New Threads Tuesday


Ribby Cardi

Pattern: Chic Knits
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: GGH *Samoa* from SuperCrafty
Color: Sage Green overdyed with Procion MX Bright Green
Gauge: 19sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #5 & #6

Just in time for the flirtatious atmosphere of (tickle me WARM tickle me COLD) November - the Green Cotton Ribby finally hits the Runway!

Ribbing just in the middle of both the arms and body sections makes a more relaxed shape - really cool if the cling don't mean a thing in your world... I think I'm going to run some more brown stripes up the ribs closest to the zipper for a little sporting amusement...

ZIPPER? My original plan was for a button band - I made a vertical one and didn't do the right size buttonholes for the buttons I was planning on using so Off with Its Thread! and on with a Zipper - which I prefer - I am wearing this to work in and it behaves much better for my purposes with that closure's flexibility. To get the button bands off, I also had to frog the collar I had on it - which I wasn't totally in love with... I AM in Love with this mock turtle tipped in Brown - which I then added to the edges of the sleeves in a wider band. They are now quite long, but I think I'll get over it :)

And because I just can't seem to leave a pattern or yarn in its original state (yes! even my own designs), I overdyed the entire thing (pre-brown yarn & zipper) in a frenzy during the World Series Playoff with a load of Procion MX dye in Bright Green. NOW it's exactly the shade of my very favorite T-shirt and Heaven Help the Mister that sits between me and my Ribster on the #66 - shades not included...

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Wednesday, November 9, 1005

Throw Your Hands Up inthe AIR

Imagine having a day so rushed and out-of-control, you flag down a Police Vehicle in the mistaken impression it is the CAB YOU NEED! Imagine having a day so cruising down the Giant Slalom of Life missing a ski you have no make-up on, even though, at the minimum, by the time you hit Chicago Ave. at least a little mascara has landed on your lashes because, after all, definition is a MUST - Lip Liner or Bust...

But you have none of that this day.

You DO have 4-day-old Hair that is letting you down now that you know

THIS will be the Day that one of your dreams might come true...

This will be the day you get to go stand on a stool for 90 minutes above a crowd of 3000 people waiting for HER to arrive, chatting it up with HER personal sound guy who is spinning off a playlist using the same iPod you have, who slips you an audio line directly off his box. Oh, did you mentions SHE is the CKS House Diva? You do a happy Dance, never leaving the stool, even though by this time your right foot is totally asleep...


YOU do a Happy Hat Dance and go F*it and put on your HAT! By gum, that hat has more color than will ever be ALLOWED in your Makeup Palette and even your hair can pretend to look normal when it's actually under something...

And funny thing is - SHE didn't mind at all...

As if! - like she could see ANYTHING beyond the thousands
of flashes going OFF! Hi, Jamie!!!


BEYONCE: Beautiful - Elegant - Youthful - Original - NICE! - Charming - Enchanting!

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Now more than ever, we need some COLOR!

Here we are, heading into the dreaded PARKA season (how I envy the fashionably coated fems on the #66 - and there are some beauties out there this year!), while I'm wrapped from head to toe in navy, brown or black, and it's time to do something...


I got started on this scarf while I was visiting Northern Michigan - this is some Diakato (sp?) yarn (color 41) that jumped out at me while I was shopping one day. Can I spell b-l-i-m-e-y? You bet! And burgundy and bright turquoise and orange and shocking pink. AND more variations of lime/kiwi/green than you can shake an entire forest at.

Believe it or not, the green is the Neutral in all this. Just like in nature, where the color of the leaf or stem doesn't subtract or clash with the flower and bud, the Greens in this yarn mix blend those BRIGHT colors together into a funky wearable Whole. Might just work with my burgundy bucket hat OR (and I have my fingers tightly crossed for this) if I have enough yarn, I can make my favorite hat...

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Friday, November 11, 2005


Sadie the Sock Monkey Snatched Stealing Series Sox...

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Chic Knits Weekend Editon

the Forecast Calls for the Fine Art of Fiber


Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Avenue
Winnetka, Illinois 60093

12th - 13th November 2005

The Fine Art of Fiber (FAOF) is one of the oldest and most prestigious needle art shows in the Midwest. FAOF 2005 is the combined efforts of Illinois Quilters Inc., North Shore Weavers Guild, and Windy City Knitting Guild. The combined show and sale is now in its 9th year and is an outgrowth of the earlier exhibits and sales that date back to 1981.

The weekend show features a wonderful array of activities including:

An exhibit of quilts, various types of needle art, knitting, & wearable art

Boutique with wearable art, handmade holiday & gift items, hand-woven and knitted items

Sale of traditional & contemporary quilts

Silent auction of unique handmade pieces to highest daily bidder"

The events schedule is:

Show, Sales, & Demonstrations—Daily 10:00–5:00

Silent Auction – Daily 10:00-3:00

Raffle Drawings—Sunday, 4:00 more HERE

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CHIC Knits Weekend Edition

Today is Honorary Meg Day @CHIC Knits

Meg, from Inch-by-Inch inchbyinch.jpg
has been reading CHIC Knits for a long time. She loves our hats and OUR HATS LOOoooVE HER! (so adorable! - check out her Gallery...)


Meg is a girl after my own Lower Northern Michigan heart! She likes to *chew* her coffee - her handle is HappyBean... Most importantly, Meg knows that TIARAs are Correct, at any latitude, at any time of day, with any outfit, and doing anything (especially housecleaning...)

Sitcom Chic

Pattern: Chic Knits
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Lion Brand *Cotton Ease*
Color: Pistachio
Gauge: 18sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #5 & #8

I got this lid from a tiara store in NOLA
thanks to all of you
for reading
this Silly Blog...


Where YA From?
say HAaaayy!
and leave your name and a link!

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Monday, November 14, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  


the Rock Star

there is music on this so don't snort your coffee...

heaaaay - did you pin the Map>? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Inspiration Infusion


Sometimes, all it takes is a little stroll around the Fiber Garden for one to grow...

The Fine Art of Fiber show this weekend featured a wonderful (and large) display of quilts of all types, masterfully done, beautifully rendered. It was quite exciting for me to tour the Exhibit and just let COLOR wrap me in Tone.

The quilt above was breathtaking - I don't know how to describe it ( the colorists out there will know ) but the quilt embodied the tonal range of the color wheel from Hot to Cool in a geometric compostion that just drew you in and let you swim...


Yes. Sadly(?!) it's true. Not only do I immediately go to the Lime Green at the LYS, but apparently, EVERYWHERE! I was totally drawn to this medium size quilted hanging by Leslie Riley - both the color AND the Design were graphically pleasing, thoughtful and bright.


This hanging by Maureen Collins represents an aerial view of my beloved New Orleans. The colored pieces are roof tops floating in the flood. The photo doesn't convey the dimension and range of the work, but it was Powerful and quite embodied the idea of how the neighborhoods, once so bright and delightful, were washed away...

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

when Life imitates Art





Even though everyday I go about my merry spaced-out way (too much to DO! The Holidaze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. OMG, next week is Thanksgiving. Where the H are my car keys), My Mind has a mind of its own and just keeps connecting all the dots, in spite of my chaotic path.

Above you see my new Pin Cushion from the indomitable Felt Inspired that I could not resist this weekend at the FAOF.

At the right Above >>>>>^^^^^^^^
you can see The Frapp Map
and if you click it, all its Pins.

Coincidence or just a Cosmic Glitch!?

How I'm enjoying your beautiful comments and pictures!

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave one - it is so much fun getting to see you and *talk* to you...

If you are a Knitter with a Frapp Map send me your URL in an email HERE and I will add you to a link list so we can all SAY HAAAAaaaaaaaaaay! to each other...

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

gimmee a WOO gimmee a HOO


WooHoo! An FO! A weekend FO! This little scarf has been in the making since last year -

It seems like every once in awhile, on a weekend, I get a bug. The Startitis Bug. The Bug that will not let you go until you get something on the needles - something that probably will not ever get off the needles unless you catch the Other Bug.

The Finishing Bug.

I admit it. I'm a Clothes Whore. I LOVE NEW CLOTHES! So when I gleaned the Work Basket (ahem, my whole House) and found this half-finished scarf a few days ago, I just couldn't resist. Problem was, the original was not knit right - so it was frogged, started as a Grinda Scarf, frogged again (!) and NOW has attained its rightful place - Around My Neck...

I love new clothes...

28 stitch MultiDirectional Scarf
Designer: Karen Baumer
Yarn: Noro *Kureyon* - 2 balls
Color: ??? - this is what happens when you have Startitis
Needles: #10

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

ChicKnits New Threads Weekend Edition

Meet the Ribbys!


A Thanksgiving Tale
Sugar & Spice & Everything
NICE = Debi!

Debi writes: "I'm always knitting socks for Dad but haven't knit him a sweater in about 25 years and I thought it was about time to revisit that even tho we don't need warm woolies very often 'round these semi-tropical Florida parts. We *do* have seasons and it's all relative as we Floridians are acclimated to HOT so when the thermometer hits um, 60, we're all freezing!! :)

I wanted a nice, warm comfy sweater for the 'rents and Ribby fit the bill!

I knit the Mom Ribby a few months ago and finished up the Dad counterpart during my powerless Wilma days!"

Read all about it here


at Debi's blog...


visit the

for all the glorious details on these and many other fabulous garments!

...Want to be posted in Gallery Chic? Send me a picture of your Chic Knits garment with knitting details to be included in the gallery...

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Monday, November, 21, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

looking for...

the Perfect Christmas Gift?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"SOCK: from the latin word *soccus*
which was a type of low-heeled loose-fitting shoe or slipper
used by the Greeks and also by Roman comedians"

Unbelievable, the thrill I feel when I get to this point. I am ready to turn the heel on this sock. It's going to happen, it's going to be a sock, it's not a tube...

Somehow, it feels like the biggest invention of all time is about to take place. Everytime I do it, it's like the very first time. I cannot get over it.


This is the second sock of the World Series Championship Socks - I am knitting it with a 24" Inox #1 circular needle. This is unseemly. All the Loop info out there recommends a 40" needle - after wrestling with some new-cable Addis, I abandoned that advice and just went for what felt good to me. This needle folds up on itself - the cable is *soft* and the hard needles are short and really pointed. Perfect for looping...

Richard Rutt from the "History of Hand Knitting" (pg. 62) remarks on why people wore cloth socks until about the time of Henry VIII: "...knitting needles cound not easily be made. Steel rods required a high degree of skill from a whitesmith hammering away to produce them. Fine metal rods could be easily produced only after the art of drawing steel through perforated plates was perfected. This happened in England during Elizabeth's reign."

Are we lucky or what?!:)

all about socks

the turning of the heel

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Thanksgiving 2005


to you and yours...

What is the name of the skin that hangs off the turkey's neck?

for more EXCITING Thanksgiving TRIVIA...

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Friday, November 25, 2005

this Little Piggie Went to Market (ahem) ALREADY!

Point 5 by Colinette

Just because I've been working through this Holiday, doesn't mean I am NOT shopping with the rest of my mates...

By the time this posts, the most HardCore of Us will already be storming Target, the K, and the Wal - for those incredibley cheap personal DVD players, XBoxes and more....

You know Who You Are...

I am one of you but the Core in my Hard is YARN!

And like any good citizen who might be elsewhere on the Day, I Shopped Absentee! In Advance! The Glutton Will Not be SUBDUED or sub-dude as the case may be.


Reasons to Buy Yarn Today?

Because the World is Round!
Everybody else is doing it, Mom
It would be Un-Patriotic not to...
my White Sox Sox needed a White Sox Hat

View Result

Free Web Polls

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Weekend, November 27, 2005


WOW!~ I've been trippin' around the Frappr Map
and landed over hither and YON...


Another Lover of the Low End of the Radio Frequency Dial, my new friend Corine links to a few nice Men's hats in her Nov. 26th entry...


Baby's First Thanksgiving: Say HELLO! to my neighbor from Wisconsin - Vicki's ADORABLE nephew who enjoyed his first dinner with the Fam...

Do NOT Miss her Album of the Chicken Viking HAT!

ahem, how about that incredible St. BRIGID!????? WOOT!!!


Right On, Sarah! The fabulous Hand Knitter from Lower Eastern Michigan bites the Finishing Bullet and is rewarded with a wonderful new pullover!

Hey, Sarah - thanks for the heads up on your DS's first road venture...


CraftLilly: check out Jennifer's Esther Williams hat...

from, But of Course, Poor Miss Finch's
Synchronized Knitting KAL...

very cool...


And if you haven't already, GO wish a Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the FABULOUS FLUFFA! who I was just wishing I could go Button Shopping with this morning...

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Monday, November 28, 2005

  Monday Morning Mirth  

I spend ALoT of time on the road - probably 30, sometimes 50% of my day is in my vehicle. More and more it's happening...

I thought it was just us, just the MidWest, trying to carve out a Hip Identity in the Cultural Wilderness that is the USA...

but nooo...

IT's EveryWhere!

and now that the Holidaze are upon Us, the bling has changed accordingly - trees, wreaths and more!

What's the strangest one you've ever seen?

NYTimes SlideShow

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Tuesday, November 29,2005

ChicKnits New Threads Tuesday


Dear Watson

Pattern: Chic Knits
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Black Water Abbey
Color: Navy
Gauge: 18sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #6, #7 & #8

Knowing, on this grey, cloudy day, I didn't stand a chance inH of taking a good picture of this wonderful color, I give you the above - including, at no extra cost, the Fred&George hair! I figure this Fusion Knitting thing is as close as I'll get to the Molly Weasley School of Knitting...

The Yarn: I fell in love with this yarn at a fiber fest this summer - and before I could shout IMPEDIMENTA! it jumped out of the booth an into my bag. Stupified, I carried it home, without a clue as to what I was going to do with it. Even though the vendor (the actual BWA people) had a trunk show going on in the booth with a whole cast of cable rich characters, I longed for something that would just show off the beauty of the color of this yarn.

And so it became the simplest of all - Stockinette Stitch - perfect for a run on the knitting machine with Hand Finishing of the edges. Out of this yarn, even the lowly St st has reached its top form. BWA makes a firm FABRIC and this sweater reminds me of my favorite DARK Blue Jean Jacket - I have little pockets (rounded bottoms this time out but just big enough for the keys & cards) that button and a nice shaped fit.

Elemental (still in the finishing stages) my Dear Watson! (DONE!)

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My favorite thing about Dear Watson is his POCKETS!

For some reason, my little brain is not coded to carry *extra* stuff off-person. Be it a purse, doggie bag (don't even offer to wrap it), or glasses, if it isn't in my pocket, it will surely be left behind. It's a measure of my Passion/Obsession for Knitting that I can even carry a project around without it going up in smoke, but so far, none have gone AWOL...

So, it is in my ultimate Best Interest to put pockets on things that Might Be worn outside. Little Dear Watson, then, was a ripe candidate for the addition of same.

And like any variation on a theme, practice, practice, practice! is the order of the day. I like to think of it like playing the piano - most anyone can pick up Chopsticks the first time out, but a concerto, oh my! I must say, would you rather be Charley Brown or Linus! (whispering)

This hand-knit pocket took 5 versions before I liked it. THEN, it took a bit of pinning to go where I thought it would look best. Everybody is shaped differently across the hips, below the waist. In my family, we look broad from the front and thin from the side - not really very round - more rectangular. So my pockets will hit differently from someone who is shaped, perhaps, more cylindically.


Now comes the fun part! I run a colored *thread* (a piece of yarn brighter than what I knit with which in this case is almost any yarn on the planet) through the row of stitches right above where I want the top of the pocket to be placed.

Then, being a lazy bones, I use a giant safety pin to mark where the side should be, running it through the column of stitches a distance from the front band. I note the number of rows and the number of columns, because in this case, there is Pocket #2 to be attatched later.


Secret Weapon #2: I use a plastic cutting board under the top piece (front) to seperate it from the back of the sweater. Then I can pin to my heart's content on whatever needs pinning.

"Excellent!" I cried. "Elementary," said he: to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, I sew this to the garment while I am STANDING UP! I can control the sewing much better from above, on a smooth plane. I put my non-needle hand on the piece being sewn, and slip-stitch the pocket to the sweater, using small stitches, stopping to tighten them (but not pucker) around the edge of the pocket, removing the pins when they get in my way. The Cutting Board allows a firm contact below the two pieces being joined, without distortion to the fabric or damage to my table.

and dear Watson was heard saying as he went his merry way: "I had neither kith nor kin in England, and was therefore as free as air—or as free as an income of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit a man to be. Under such circumstances I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained. There I stayed for some time at a private hotel in the Strand, leading a comfortless, meaningless existence, and spending such money as I had,
considerably more freely than I ought."

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