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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

IMA Proud Citizen of the SOCK NATION!
with liberty and HandPaints for all...
socknatbut.gif
:) take a button to use

Even if you don't have eyes in the back of your head, the Sock Nation is pretty hard to miss...

I am a Citizen! Your probably are too... :)

Maybe you've spent some time lusting (yes, that is the only word) after hanks and skeins and colors of YARN.

I have too! I have not only oogled fiber, I oogle everybody's SOCKS (lady on the bus the other day, I apologize for eyeing those little cables)! I love all the KALs out there and really, love nothing better than visiting everyone's WIP!

*****************KeepUptheGoodWorK*****************

I am going to do my best to do my part with you - I promise, Girl Scout's Honor!

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Above you see my Duty in action. I was two skeins up of some fine burgundy Twinkletoe yarn and put out the call for a swap. The lovely Karen B. brought the middle yarn to trade - it is STR color Alina (OMG - kiwi / tangerine / cobalt / turquoise / evergreen!). I met her at the SnB South Loop and enjoyed a night of knitting and fun with her buds...

The yarn on the bottom is OPAL! For some reason this yarn fits my sock bill exactly for knitting now - we've had such a mild winter that I crave thinner socks and dontcha know, Opal, makes a nice little pair.

This color was presented by the sparkling Carolyn, who in her infinite wisdom arrived at the Trade Lunch (dudes, I never swap on an empty stomach) with two skeins. She brought the one I asked for via email sight unseen (purple/black CROC) AND a wonderful early release of #9 GREEN. I blush when I say I was unable to extract myself from the tracktor beam the green exerted on me and I apologize to the burgundy for acting like it wasn't even there!

and Last, but surely not really last because I LUST after sock yarn and it is actually at the top of the picture, is more STR, 50% Wool / 50% Tencel, color: Flourite. Now what right has Blue Moon to keep making such POWERFUL color combos that I cannot resist? I am mad to try this fiber mix as well - I love the Black Cutaway Cardi I made from a similar fiber mix a few months back -

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February 2, 2006

dbshawl3.jpg
shawl collar first look

Ah! Behold my Second Flush of ROMANCE!

Not too long after the initial knitting frenzy of the Curve, the honeymoon was suddenly over.

Yes, I was still in love. But looking at the shape of the collar, mine eyes were darkened and my head began to swim. I made myself do three more pattern repeats to clear it. Nothing. So I put all of us to bed.

For a few days.

Then, refreshed! I read the directions again and pinned it to the neckline.

IT WORKS!

Yes, it's unblocked. Yes, it requires some skill in the attachment - have you ever *eased* a piece of flexible fabric into another piece of unyielding fabric? I can do that - god bless there were years of sewing in the day. Sleeves, skirt, gathered and pleated, pockets, and bands. Lapels.

AH. Yes. Those dark days of the dull apprenticeship pay off - Ollie, the Italian tailor who taught me everything she knew about the Mystery of the Lapel would be proud.

Now the shape returns to brilliant and I can't wait to see it done.


>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<

some fun Blog Fever in the shape of Word Clouds


cloud.bmp


via KARMA - thanks...


>>>>>>>>>>> <<<<<<<<<<<

After a couple of folks wrote to me, I made a little button for the Sock Nation! Take one from yesterday's entry or the right side bar if you like... :)

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Friday, February 3, 2006

New Threads FRIDAY!

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

scarffini.jpg

A general happy consensus was found at KIP last night:
a stole or scarf should be as long
as one is tall.

But of course, one must observe the effect in action - hold in hands close to head...

VOILA!

A scarf is born...

This is the longest scarf I've ever made! It used 4 skeins of #41 Diaketo *Diamuse* and only took 2.5 mo. (snort!) to finish (started November 7th 2005).

Lucky for me, Motha Nature obliges with some snow and CHILLY weekend temps so this colorful coldplay wraps me up!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Phil remarks: "Last weekend I made some changes in the navigation of the Chic Knits site. Please reload the web page if you see wonky routing behaviour - it's all there - it just needs to be refreshed! Thanks... :)

And yes! Somebody saw his shadow! Six more weeks of winter there'll be!"

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Monday, February 6, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

it isn't often that something just really GRABS me, but while looking for some Italian Itineraries (for a possible Fall trip) I found this which led to...

rockpolka.jpg

THIS!

My People, My Music(s)! And not only that, but Jimmy has more Grammys than BRUCE! or MICHAEL!

Show how much you care by voting in the Poll
at your Left for

Record of the YEAR!

OR leave a write-in vote for Your Personal Favorite
in the Comments below...

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Tuesday, February 8, 2006       Reminder: MCA SnB tonight

Sunday mornings at Chez Chic usually go something like this: drink the coffee, read the mail, drink the coffee, read the NYTimes, drink the coffee, realize it's noon and you've done nothing! Drink the coffee and watch your Little Bad Muse plot your busy Path of Destruction...

This last Sunday, while I was still on the paper, the Muse went all the way out to Albuquerque, possessed Scout, who in turn wickedly tagged me for a Super Bowl Sunday Knitting Challenge! AHH! Never one not to blink when staring a Rascal in the eye, I accepted! DROP Everything, except the cuppa, but of course...

llrib1.jpg

This lovely stuff is a pile of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, herded up on a yarn crawl to their studio (June 17th - anybody recognize the Shawl pattern in that picture?). The color is marked "one-of-a-kind" and it truly is! Now no where in this SBC, did the idea of NEW PROJECT come into play [I think it was more, like, knit as much as you can until your hands fall off or you're too tipsy to throw], but since I was on my own, I decided to make my own RULES! If I could've I would've just STARTED projects all day long and left them like little plastic beer cups all over the Ford Field of my living room...

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There is more going on here than in your mouth after a taste of some luscious Junior Mints! Minty Aqua, Sage, Cocoa, Ruddy Brown & a Ruddy Lilac! All living together in harmony on some really soft yummy strands - all joining together in a cute circle to make a Short Sleeved Ribbi Pullover!

sinkf.jpg

That is until reality reared its head and I got all distracted by some late breaking plumbing supplies - last year, around Christmas, I bought new toilet seats and two faucets. I had no idea of what I was getting into so the sink stuff just sat and sat, prominently, in the middle of the hallway, mocking me to DO SOMETHING! And, just a few short weeks ago, I was introduced to the Magic Phrase "Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty" (thanks, Dale!), and installed my first Faucet. So Sunday, I ran 75 yards to the second bathroom and SCORED a game winning Sink Touchdown!

llrib2.jpg

So what happened to all that Yummy Yarn? Well, it's well on its way to be that Pulli - (this morning, 3" and counting...)

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Thursday, February 9,2006

I gotta testify if you're extra fly
...Kanye West 2006

dbshawl4.jpg

And Ms. Bliss - YOU are the Flyest of them all.

I became a true believer stitch-by-stitch, wedgie row-by-row while knitting this *shawl* [that will become a collar]. Flaming enthusiasm was doused by fickle faithlessness. I burnt hot; I burnt cold. It took much longer than I planned. It almost spent time under the couch in a timeout. But the lust for somethinng NEW threw me back in the game. I'm still not sure I get it - but I don't have to - the loveliness, the symmetry, is quite enjoyable all the same.

Spurring me on were the Grammys. In-between numbers [with occasional johnnyjumpup dancing] I wacked out the last two pattern repeats ending almost-in-time with the spirited duet of Jamie Fox and Kanye West on"Golddigger". I especially found the Drum Corps stuff amusing and wonderful being a big fan of D&B. My day job lands me at a lot of parade shoots and I've been spotted in the wild shaking the groove thing in public More Than Once to any especially spirited high school marching band...

And people, I must say, your astute Poll voting was RIGHT ON! Green Day took the award for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". But Uhhuh. Hello O.C.!:

"And the polka king, Jimmy Sturr, claimed his 15th Grammy, this time for "Shake, Rattle and Polka!" (Rounder). The victory pulled him into a tie for Grammys won with the decidedly better-known Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman."
...NYTimes

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Friday, February 10, 2006

llrib4.jpg

the Handpaint Adventure cont...

Stepping into the commute gap, we have the new Mobile Project: the Ribby Pullover. My other projects are in the finishing stages (buttonbands, seaming, etc) and are just too fussy to stuff in ye olde bag.

This is not unlike the sock I have stuck in my pocket at all times for quick stealth knitting. It just goes round and round; you can stop at any point and quickly put it down. That was a problem with the other project(s) I've been hauling around lately - I would have to stop in the middle of a ROW and would drop stitches (or even in one dizzy instance, turn and knit the row in the wrong direction so I had an extra half row glitch happening for awhile. SCARY!)

This goes fast and is user friendly, so it can be RELAXING to do on the commute instead of a Rolling Wrestling Match...

I'm also diggin' the way the handpaint is revealing itself. It made climbing diagonal stripes during the bottom portion and now has reversed and made arrows in the opposite direction. I've just changed skeins so I can't wait to see what's next!

orch.jpg
Citius, Altius Fortius

All Hail Knit Olympians!

I give you this orchid as a token of Strength, Beauty and Fruitfulness...

May you achieve your goals and surpass your personal best!!!

My cheers from the sidelines will be Loud & Strong! All HAIL!

Faster, Higher, Stronger!

The most famous orchid, the ~Vanilla orchid~ was said to give strength to the Aztecs, who drank vanilla mixed with chocolate.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Just the Name Facts, Jack...
The Mechanical Contrivium

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Bonne Marie!

  1. In a pinch, the skin from a shark can be used as Bonne Marie.
  2. Bonne Marie can squeeze her entire body through a hole the size of her beak.
  3. An average beaver can cut down Bonne Marie every year.
  4. The pharoahs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten Bonne Marie.
  5. Antarctica is the only continent without Bonne Marie!
  6. Bonne Marie is the traditional gift for a couple on their third wedding anniversary!
  7. Bonne Marie will always turn right when leaving a cave.
  8. Julius Caesar wore a laurel wreath to cover up Bonne Marie.
  9. If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and Bonne Marie would be as small as a pea.
  10. Bonne Marie is often used in place of milk in food photography, because milk goes soggy more quickly than Bonne Marie!

I am interested in
do tell me about

...if you try this, leave your URL in the comments
and we will come Have a HOOT! with you!

===============================

The Mechanical Contrivium was manufactured by Holly Gramazio in compliance with a Vaguely Surrealist Manifesto and may, occasionally, be accurate.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

valen1.jpg




THIS is my most beloved knitting moment in the universe:
I give you the very heart of me -
the Turning of the Heel!


OOOOOxxxxxxx's to y'all...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

saffron1.jpg
late late at night...

I'd like to think that the reason I've been really rather muddled
the last few days is because it is February. You
know, Phil,
his shadow,
all that ...

Inspired by the fabulous Polly, I started a new project: Saffron, Rowan 25 by Kim Hargreaves. I've wanted this sweater forever and all it took was just one look at hers to get the party started. Deep in my UberStash, I found some cotton blend yarn that has been lingering for ages - it is (depending on the light source) a smoky aqua/blue. I bought it on eBay from some kind of close-out of a factory lot. It arrived in big wound-off Logs, perhaps from a super cone or something. I also bought it in smoky Olive Green (shocking).

It wasn't too long into a sleeve (row 1 to be exact) that I flopped. oVER AND Over. This sweater has a little scalloped edge and I just couldn't digest the instructions. It took 3 tries for it to *click* and then it was so obvious that if there was someone else in the room with me I would have been exceedingly embarrassed by the density of my brain. (And, perhaps, no not really, by the amount of VULGAR LANGUAGE that escaped my lips...)

But I wasn't alone - the television was bringing Men's Combined Skiing into my hut and some Skiers, in fact the top two seeds, were in some desperate straits of a much more crucial sort! Did Bode throw his yarn on the floor in a hissy fit and stamp his booted feet when he straddled a gate? Did Raich swear like a truck driver when he went OFF the Course (I'm convinced it is just too icy over there...) in the same race?

Maybe, but I couldn't hear him from over here...

(I did hear Claudia, however. Damn, I feel your pain~!)

So when, 30 rows later, in the deep night, when I really looked at what I knit and saw LOOSE (not loose lips, ginormous GAUGE!) with the little scalloped edge facing wrong-side out, I did what any sane person would do: it was OFF with Its THREAD!

(On to smaller needles...)

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Friday, February 17, 2006

New Threads FRIDAY!

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

dbshawlfiniF.jpg

b.lime Love 2006


Shaw Collared Jacket
Pattern: Simply Soft
Designer: Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Crystal Palace *Merino Frappe*
Color: #088 Split Pea & #020B Sage
Gauge: 18sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #7 & #8
Type: Fusion

Fini! The b.Lime Love continues at Chez Chic
heading into the weekend with more than a little Romance...

Higher Knitting Education continued for me on this project - the collar was very challenging and I admit to being of very little faith at one (ok, two or three) points but just did what the pattern said to do and VOILA! Form and function prevail - this design incorporates a genius use of short-rowing - a standing ovation for the wonderful Ms. Bliss!

dbshawlfiniB.jpg

The collar drapes beautifully and indeed, is a true shawl!

I believe this yarn could be an acquired taste. This brushed merino is not as warm as mohair but yields a fabric that is a cross between that fiber's fuzzy goodness and felt. It is very soft and lightweight - a pleasure to wear.

TGIF!

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Monday, February 20, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

what Women Want

on their Man...

Right before we went to lunch last week to celebrate my birthday, my very good friend Di gave me a cocktail. A Man Cocktail - a copy of the new March 2006 Esquire Magazine. I was immediately so intoxicated, she had to drive to the restaurant. (Where, BTW, I Devoured a half-a-slab of Dry Rubbed Ribs immediately after. Yes. I have issues.)

Inside this issue is the article "What Women Want Their Men to Wear."

A Sampling of their survey yielded
Surprising/Not Surprising results:

- Most Flattering Color: Blue
- Change? Give away the pleated front pants
- Flip-flops are sexy
- And, no surprises here, Best Man in a Uniform:   FIREMAN!

Close your eyes and imagine your man in your favorite outfit - now leave its description in a short phrase below...

...if your entry disappeard, I apologize - I'm a newbie at this thingie - I reset it now so it can show all entries with no funky popups - so if you want to leave your fave again, Please Sign...

Powered by TagBoard Message Board
Name

URL or Email

Messages(smilies)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

saffron2.jpg

Apparently, this is as close as I get to intarsia.
WHwat? There is no intarsia in this garment?
Exactly.

Still, I love Variety in me knits. What this little Saffron cardi (from Rowan Mag #25) is loaded with is Texture. Lots of Twizzle...

Just a little moving Purl Stitch makes the wavy gravy bulby thing you see above. I am thrilled by this. It amuses me over and over. Even when I've missed a couple of moves because of stitch shifting on the wrong side of the piece, it hasn't bugged me too much because then I get to flip it over and see the beauty on the front. Hypnotic! I love staring at it.

Speaking of staring - anybody keeping up with the saga of the Olympic Italian Ice Dancers Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio?

Now, I must tell you, my most entertaining O-moments so far have been in the Half-pipe and other Snow Boarding events - and contrary to the rest of my family, I usually don't watch many ice capades.

But baby, I'm hooked! Between the incredible Fantasy Outfits that go farther than ANYTHING you've ever seen during a Ballroom competiton (remember these skaters are going FAST - slippage cuppage b**bage?) and the drama what is there NOT to love? I missed the Sunday round of Passion that occurred when Ms. Fusar Poli and Mr. Margaglio unfortunately fell (as did 2 other couples - makes you wonder maybe that ice needs a zamboni pass or two) then Stared Each Other Down for long seconds before leaving the ice.

It made my head swim to see them behind the scenes in the locker room last night - FROSTY! And then they skated together! Now one partner flings the other around and around at high speeds with sharp blades on the slickest of surfaces - people ANYTHING could happen. I'd be so outta there.

But no - they carried on - dressed to the nines - and were almost MORE dramatic at the end when she knelt on the ice in front of him and then they embraced. YOWSA!

Sheer Madness

beyond the word Impeccable only leaves you with: Fierce

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

twinktoe2.jpg

I am hypmoetized...

NOW it's a sock! I've been gauging the progress of this knitting on the bus by what kind of questions I'm getting from my fellow riders...

I will be knitting away on this (and it SHOULD be done by now but...) and look up and see someone staring at me with a quizzical expression, forehead creased or mouth open.

It is too narrow to be a scarf. It is probably too off-the-color-charts to be a baby garment (why we are SO loyal to Famile Pastele - I do not understand - pourquoi?).

But now as I'm whipping around the rounds, it's taken a turn.

A HEEL is born.

And even though I have all good intentions to learn some new tricks, this is the heel I love - slipped stitch flap, plain old gusset, groovy little curve...

Here's where I learned the drill >>> Terry <<<<< :) you started this...

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Monday, February 27, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

grlsct.jpg

What have we here?
Well, in the miasma that is the culinary world
over here @Chez Chic
it could only be one thing...

the Food Pyramid

That's right, All Cookies All the Time. NOTHING but nothing gets one through the challenges of life like those little crispy disks. Especially these crispy disks.

They are Girl Scout Cookies. The highest food form of all.

And, as always, it's the story behind the story that intrigues and confounds.

For these boxes (10 to begin with), all came from the same Scout. And that scout was not a Girl.

THAT Scout was the girl scout's Dad - a co-worker who I adore and from who I was more than thrilled to buy 10 boxes of Do-si-dos (Peanut Butter Cremes -say it loud say it proud PEANUT BUTTER)!

What happened next was just a Froid of the most magnificent sort.

Now Citizens of Chez Chic love nothing more than a good Cultural Froid. That way, when we're caught staring at our fellow man, we can take the High Road and claim to be just doing our job, m'amm, just being an anthropologist and recording those human perks for all time's sake.

No sooner had I bought the cookies from my friend, than I observed Notices going up all over the workplace, advertising cookies from several parties. These handbills varied from type-to-type. Some were just photocopied blah [OOF girl in uniform]; others High Ink Jet Art [full color portrait of girl in First Communion Dress]!

The most amazing thing was that they were all authored by a Dad! The Cookie Sale had become A SPORT! And apparently, that throwdown was a success because as I watched the cookie forms FILL with orders, I just got outta the way [and was secretly glad I got my Do-si-dos before they ran OUT!]

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

llrib7.jpg
the adventure in handpaint continues...

An amazing tribute to the Power of Ribbing! Who would think this little anenome-like creature would bloom into

llrib6.jpg

But bloom the little sleeve did, and I am well on my way knitting the yoke of my Ribby Pulli. Now it's getting interesting - hmmm...

The original Orangecrush Ribby Pulli (knit in 2001) had a funnel-neck, which was what I was going to go for here. I'm looking at it from across the room and thinking a scoop-neck just might be better on this version because I am planning on wearing it over a long-sleeved blouse. It is wool; I wanted the Ribby to have short sleeves to do some temperature control for Indoor Wear.

So maybe, I better listen to the funkay muse and go with a modified scoop neck!

The interesting patterns being formed as this piece grows continues to intrigue. Here is my original swatch for the yarn...

llrib8.jpg

...little angled stripes broken up by sage colored zigzags...

How this translates into the exciting variation that has happened is Weird Science, baby. And I love it!

Although you can knit with two balls to get a non-pooling event, most of the time, I prefer to see what the yarn dyer might have had in mind for a straight through performance. I'm seeing all sorts of wonderful dyeing going on all over knitting blogland - dyers - when you make a colourway, what is the most intriguing thing you're going for?

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