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Monday, April 3, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

rain, rain, go away...

an unusually gloomy Monday calls for especially
inspiring craftiness...

...thanks Rachel!

more...

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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

oh for the love of Red...

redtom.jpg

Everybody has 'em. Most probably deny 'em. But I've noticed, walking with people in the city, almost no one steps on a crack.

Almost no one walks under a ladder (at least without thinking twice).

Mine are of another type, peculiar to living Urban Style. You probably share some of them.

Yes, I always wink at the big black cat that is perpetually lounging in my front yard. I do not know Senor Gato, but I smile at him - with a grin on the outside that almost matches the huge grin on the inside as I chuckle and think I've made some kind of cosmic bank deposit I'll be withdrawing later when I need it.

Yes, whether walking or riding anywhere in the Windy City, if I happen to pass under the El tracks, I make a wish. If the train is particularly LOUD, I make two. Always. And if you are with me, you must wish along (or at least pretend to - and if crunched-up closed eyes are any indication, most do...)

Yes, when one of the top 3 superstitions in my urban list appeared in front of my Jeep, I lunged. I'd scored a Parking Place Right In Front of The Building I Wanted to Visit! In a Loading Zone - where the tariff for 15 minutes of doing business in the art supply store was mere flashing hazard lights.

But wait - this Parking Superstition is two-pronged; not only do I get to enjoy a pass from the parking pirates (up to $33.00 to park anywhere near downtown) BUT the Easy Empty Space is a clear indicator that I'm Supposed to be where I am! SHOPPING!

And this is no regular shopping - I am on the Hunt for Dye Stuff. Tomato Red Dye. This is the catalyst that will transform some peculiarly tepid lavender yarn I have that is calling out to be something else. I am, but of course, in thrall.

I must grab the dye, quickly return to the hut, and stir. When I jump in the car, and hear a click-click-click, I cannot believe my ears - and my hand goes into the pocket of my coat. Finding no cell phone, I know I'm hosed - I'd run down to the store, no purse, no cards, and am now left holding just a bagful of dye.

So, taking strength from the Brown Line Tracks almost overhead, I do what any sane person would do - I beg for a jump start. 3 tries later, no one with cables can be found (although all were willing). I move on to an Illinois Highway Dept. Truck driver (they almost always have cables). He snorts and tells me to call 311. Indeed!

An icy rain propels me into my pocket where I finger a Twenty Dollar Bill and start waving down cabs. 3 tries later, I am jumpless (although all were Very Willing).

Desperate now, looking like a drowned rat, I pull all my luck to me and promise Never Again will I leave the house to run to the store wearing only what looks like pajamas topped off with my infamous Midnight Cowboy cordouroy jacket, and I start on my last helper class of fellow drivers - the Delivery Man.

One try and a double sawbuck later, with his cousin's cables thrown in for good measure, my car is revived and I am enjoying the most wonderful Superstition of All: the Good Neighbor in the Big City! KAching...

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Wednesday, April 5, 2004

high on dye

Before there is Red, there had to be Brown...

Years ago now, I knit a foxy little number from my favorite, All Seasons Cotton by Rowan in a color called Boudoir. Like most of my stash, I got it on sale - but the color always left me a little BLAH.

brown3.jpg

But this is one of my favorites and since I wear it all the time, I thought I'd try a Dye Intervention...

Now, I must say that I entered into this with not a little trepidation. But, in the interest of Science and Fashion, someone had to take the plunge.

brown2.jpg

Once again, the Procion MX dyes were called into service. Using equal parts of Brilliant Orange & Midnight Blue with a tsp. of Bright Golden Yellow for tops, I mixed what I hoped would be a soft Sienna Brown. The nature of the base color of the yarn was a light reddish brown to begin with and I wanted to take its saturation down as well as the tone.

brown1.jpg

Here is the final, washed result with the original color shown in the tiny ball on top - that is how much yarn I had left from this project - not enough to test run the color mixture - a most important step that fell by the wayside in my lust for Brown! I love this brown - it is very close to the very first sweater I ever knit - when I was 10yo - a cardigan for my Barbie Doll out of fingering weight wool...

NOTES --->

- Weigh the garment

- Remove buttons before washing

- Soak in soapy (alkaline) water for at least an hour (preferably overnight) - do not rinse out

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Monday, April 10, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

the inspiration lives on...
the man and what he left behind...

celebrate
Gordon Parks
featured on the Digital Journalist

"I was just born with a need to explore every tool shop
of my mind, and with
long searching and hard work,
I became devoted to my restlessness."

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

socknatbut.gif
the Sock Speaks

Yesterday was a virtual Trifecta of Crafting on the #66.

While I was knitting away on my River Sock, I spied in a side seat in front of me a lady embroidering what looked to be a small tablecloth! Across from her, was a young woman furiously wielding a hook.

In her lap lay a gorgeous green crocheted shawl. She was working so fast, I could not see the stitches actually being made - she was poking the hook back and forth into the edge of the piece so quickly I couldn't see her throw the thread over the hook before it disappeared and grabbed another stitch! THRILLING!

Thread? Did I hear the word Thread? Indeed - the fiber she was using to crochet her masterpiece was the finest gauge *yarn* I've ever seen.

river2.jpg
hey Ann this is for you...

But of course, this made me knit faster and faster. I am still in thrall to the River Sock - I'm actually almost finished with it but I left it at work so all I have is what you see above.

The last few rows of the heel turning drew some attention from fellow riders when made. Next to me was a young woman wearing the uniform of Chicago Teens - roughhouse - low riders, starter jacket, no brow left unpierced.

She and a friend proceeded to have one of those amazing bus converations where people in close proximity to you, discuss you, & maybe what you're doing or other, like you are a table or chair. [Perhaps I resembled fine furniture with a few moving parts - indeed - I spend a lot of time in my glider in the hut, knitting...]

My neighbors puzzled over the type and meaning of my object and when they decided it was a sock, started a conversation with me.

She told me she knew how to knit, too. That while she was in Cook Co. Jail a couple of months ago, a group (must find) came in and taught the ladies-in-waiting. Speaking with obvious delight, she told me how from her hands came a yellow baby blanket, recipient unknown, but good will winging its way. She said she probably wouln't knit anything else, but she really liked my sock.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006       click on small pix for Large Pix

mellow yellow romp    

      

      

   



ps_april.gif

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Stand-by Unit 10
jump street POV - woman with camera

Most people know that Chicago is called the Windy City. After I relocated here a few years ago, I invoked its name (with extra f*adjectives) every time my hat blew away down the street - everytime my hair stuck to my fresh A.M. glossed lips as I waited for the bus, I sputtered anew...

One day a native brusquely kicked me to the curb with the news that the phrase Windy City was in reference to its Gasbag Politicians NOT the freakin weather. By then, after witnessing many a Metropolitan Scandal, I could only take my whipping and nod my head.

WITNESS that AIR: Unless you're pushing up the daisies this Spring, you would be hard pressed to miss the mess that is the trial of ex-Governor George Ryan down at the Federal Building. Old School Campaign Fund Fraud Walks into New School Cyber Invetigative Wall. RESULT: a gathering of the gassiest, baggiest, co-mingling of politician and attorney species, the likes of which we will probably witness soon never again.

The Media, in a long tradition of loving to give names to stories, sporting events, and gangstas, has named the raggedey group of assorted scribes, TV reporters, shooters and groupies - (yes, there are always court groupies but that story is for another day) - who attend the proceedings "Camp Ryan". They mostly hover in a waiting room on the same floor as the courtroom, eagerly awaiting the verdict.

But almost forgotten, until they are in your face, are the Other Camp Followers.

That would be me. And my ilk.

The Photographers wait in a cordoned off area in the gargantuan lobby. We have been relegated there by the order of the Chief Judge who proclaimed that "Cameramen with cameras who stampeded and trampled the public" would be coralled off so they could no longer poach the Free Range (my interpretaion).

This is Bad but (oh yes) Good. Because these members of Camp Ryan are actually, well, a Camp! Here behind the ropes along the 3 story high glass exterior walls, you see folding canvas chairs behind a row of cameras connected to every cable ever invented for the transmission of electronic broadcast.

The Geeks will not go quietly or will they?

Here you will see people warming themselves with a virtual campfire of iPods (regular, nano, mini (including my beloved Keanu who I thought I electrocuted yesterday OH NO!) and the most coveted of all - the guys with the video ipods watching MOVIES! How I lust for this option). Also represented are laptops of all shapes and sizes; books, newpapers; magazines; cell phones and devices emitting every chirp sequence under the sun.

[Lest you think this is the Best Job Ever, let me indicate that at a micro-moment's notice, the Camp must and will SPRING into action and throw itself on the Grenade of Coverage as soon as the pin is pulled. NOW one must heave the 25-30 lb. camera on the shoulder and run for six blocks, up and down stairs through traffic backwards and around and through anything in the urban landscape in all types of weather. WINDY trumps windy.]

But I worship most of all the LoTech Device I always have with me:

river3.jpg
This little number is good in all weather, windy
or otherwise, and will never need a battery.

river4.jpg
I love my little Old School Heel...

... read more

- Upstairs Ennui

- more Jump Street POV

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Monday, April 17, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

my local Chariot achieves its 15 minutes...

I KNEW it!~

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

to be RED!    

      

Calling all Photoshop CS Gurus: This morning I used the Web Gallery feature to create the album you get when you click on the above pictures. One of the options was for a pop-up info window below the main window. I tried to enter Meta Data Info for each picture, but it wouldn't save it. Does anybody know how to do this?

This would be a great project scrapbooking feature - I wanted to record all the steps I took to get to the finish line.

I found some time this weekend to perform a Yarn Rescue of some yummy Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I've had this yarn for a few years now - it's a dusty lilac color (was I on a lavender bender or what?!) that I'd worked up as a cardigan front and one sleeve before I *Frogged & Forgot* it in the X-Files that make up some of my stash.

I'm wrapping up a little pattern for Spring and as I finish one sample, I realized I wanted another one right away - but this one just for me to wear - in RED! WOOT!

Even though Red is NOT a traditional Spring tone, I visualize myself wearing this alot - it combines well with light blue, white, black, kiwi (!), aqua, jeans, linen, and cotton. Funny how a favored color suddenly becomes a *neutral* when you just Wear It.

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Thursday, April 20, 2005 KIP KIP KIP Letizia's 2144 W Divison 7-9pm

if the sleeve don't fit, you must convict convert...

Now that the press has christened my morning ride the Love Bus, I've been noticing all sorts of stuff: first and foremost, the redundancy of my wardrobe.

PARKA PArka parka

Sounds like a dog barking; looks worse.

It has become my Civic Duty to upgrade my mobile commuting look - for the good of Chicago (and my flirt life), I've decided to get my A.M. act together.

Fortunately, that's not as impossible as it might seem - and fortuitously, my insane habit of marinating unfinished projects is going to bail me out.

I love this Jacket! But somehow, this was made in the days when I must've been avoiding all use of a measuring tape because the sleeves on this unit were over 2" too long. I tried once, half-heartedly, to start to fix this problem but lacked the courage and strength to complete the task. NO MORE! The Love Bus is calling. I must shorten these sleeves and right now. Above you see where I left it - with the sleeve seam opened up about 4" and a scrap piece of yarn threaded one row below where I wanted to pick up and knit the new cuff.



Now I take my sharpest scissors and clip the stitches in the row above across the sleeve.



After picking out the remnants of the cut stitches, I have new *LIVE* stitches.



Now, just carefully unravel one row (I like to have a nice tail to attach the new yarn to) and carry on!

Does one inch of Seed Stitch stand between me and Romantic History?

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Friday, April 21, 2006

jack5.jpg

It's sort of New Threads Friday - I finished the new borders last night at KIP - and re-seamed the sleeve.

This jacket is from Rowan 19 and is called *Jazz*. That Spring pattern collection [maybe 1997 ? I got it on eBay in 2003] was intriguing - the selections were either very boxy - or very very fitted.

Jazz is almost too fitted - it really reflects the parameters of a fabric design more than a sweater - some of the proportions in the body shaping are more conducive to a woven material rather than knitting.

And, but of course, I could not follow the instructions exactly, and I substituted another yarn instead of the Denim yarn that was called for. Call me nutty but I love good cheap yarn. This was made from something called Aunt Lydia's Denim Art - and is marketed as a crochet fiber [size 10 worsted wt Linen color]. I got it at Michael's?

It comes on a cone and is a cotton poly blend which is what I was attracted to - better washability I hoped - but I swatched it and found it to be just as shrink prone as regular cotton. The content split is 75/25. So it was a straight substitution into the pattern - you make the garment then you shrink it in the washing machine. You know, I love to live dangerously.

BahBye, parka...

smiley face picture of me wearing jacket a couple of years ago when its sleeves were still funked...

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Weekend April 23, 2006

cece.jpg
sample shown in Rowan Calmer color "Calm"

Dare to Bare?

Chic Knits CeCe chases the chill away and lets you enjoy your glorious sleeveless wardrobe in style! CeCe will grace your favorite cami or get glamorous over a dress.

Knit in one piece in an easy but lovely lace pattern with inclusive button band, CeCe will wrap you in CHIC in no time at all...

Try CeCe in cotton, wool,
silk or blends.

SKILL LEVEL: Advanced Beginner

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:
34 (36, 38, 40, 42, 44) "

YARDAGE (lt. Worsted Weight yarn):
575 (600, 650, 750, 800, 850) yds

GAUGE:
20sts / 28rows over 4" St st
using #7 / 4.5mm needles

$4.95

Be sure to check your network/firewall settings if you experience slow or no page loading of the shopping cart...

Paypal payments accepted - send to:
bonnemarie@core.com

Pattern will be emailed to you...

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Tuesday, April 25, 2005

Yarns clockwise from top: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece; Butterfly 8 (teal wheel in rear); Sirdar Breeze; ggh Bali; King Tut Cotton; Elspeth Lavold Cotton Patine; Patons Washed Haze DK; Tahki Cotton Classic

To celebrate my Spring Fever, I went virtual Stash Diving and put together some alternate yarns that would look FABULOUS! in the CeCe Cardi...

Almedahls - Cotton Lux Brown Sheep - Cotton Fleece
Butterfly - Super 10 Cascade - Pima Tencel
Classic Elite -Provence Debbie Bliss - Cathay
Diamond - Cool Linen Elsb Lavold - Cotton Patine
Estelle - Young Touch Filatura di Crosa - Brilla
ggh - Bali Goddess - Carmen
Jaeger - Trinity James Brett - Kool Kotton DK
KnitPicks - Shine Nova - Sari
Patons - Brilliant Patons - Washed Haze DK
Reynolds - Saucy Rowan - Calmer
Rowan - CashCotton Sirdar - Breeze
Twilley's - Freedom Cotton Vittadini Marissa

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Weekend, April 30, 2006

cece.jpg
sample shown in Rowan Calmer color "Calm"

Dare to Bare?

Chic Knits CeCe chases the chill away and lets you enjoy your glorious sleeveless wardrobe in style! CeCe will grace your favorite cami or get glamorous over a dress.

Knit in one piece in an easy but lovely lace pattern with inclusive button band, CeCe will wrap you in CHIC in no time at all...

Try CeCe in cotton, wool,
silk or blends.

SKILL LEVEL: Advanced Beginner

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:
34 (36, 38, 40, 42, 44) "

YARDAGE (lt. Worsted Weight yarn):
575 (600, 650, 750, 800, 850) yds

GAUGE:
20sts / 28rows over 4" St st
using #7 / 4.5mm needles

$4.95

Be sure to check your network/firewall settings if you experience slow or no page loading of the shopping cart...

Paypal payments accepted - send to:
bonnemarie@core.com

Pattern will be emailed to you...

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