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Friday, September 1, 2006

  TGIF TekTalk  

After Wednesday's entry, I got some requests for some Demo Action of the fab Two-Circular Method of knitting in the round. Our KIP group was at the Mercury Cafe last night and the lovely Rachel from Sweet Figs was kind enough to take these shots that show how the technique looks in practice.


I am using two - 32" circular needles to make the tube. The stitches are divided evenly between the two needles. I chose to go from mid-sleeve to mid-sleeve while knitting the complete circular yoke of a sweater. (See the flat tube with divided stitches in a picture in this entry)


Because I am knitting this inside out to keep it clean, the resting needle lies in my lap nearest to my body and the Working Needle is on top, a little further away from the body. The distance in this picture is exaggerated to illustrate the difference. I like the fact that the bulk and weight of the sweater is mainly supported by the body and not the wrists.


When you form the circle made with the Working Needle to start knitting, the resting work will naturally fall below and be out of the way. You knit across all the stitches on the Working Needle. Then you drop that needle, flip the work and pick up what was the Resting Needle and that becomes the working side.

So, using one ball of yarn you knit around the tube, one-half of the stitches per needle at a time. It's the same concept of using multiple needles to knit in the round as when you use Double Pointed Needles but the flexibility and length of the circulars means you only need 2 needles instead of 4 or more.


Here's about half-way through knitting the stitches on the Working Needle. You can see how the Resting Needle just will position itself below it. Once you get through a few rounds like this, the pace and rhythm will become really fast and friendly!


Yesterday, my poor email addie was the victim of BackScatter Spam - I got almost 10,000 emails to my new DSL mailbox. Ten Thousand. They were mingled in with my regular email.

I think the problem is under control (not much you can do but wait it out and clean out the box). BUT. If you emailed me in the past two days, Please email me again because it might've been purged by accident...

There should be a special place in Hell for these people who casually steal our time by causing this VANDALISM.

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I BOW to this glorious shell!

The beautiful Madelyn
from Hooks, Sticks & Wheels
debuts a most lovely Ribby Shell in KnitPicks *Shine*!


b-Marie: "I love the way this shell turned out - it is the perfect transition piece for early fall - wear it during the day when its WARM and throw a jean jacket or shawl over it at around, hmm, 5pm, when it gets a little cool?


OR, wear it over a T-shirt or blouse as a cool ribbed VEST. I wear my Ivory color one like this alot and am picking out some wool to make one for fall...

Chic Knits = WARDROBE
get dressed...

this pattern and MORE available at Le Chic Boutique!

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Monday, September 4, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  


Proof positive Knitting's not for Grandma anymore! Madison Ave. sez so (also seen in an Old Navy ad in current Vogue)...

I shot this poster on a burned out building (that's the Buzy Bee Plywood board-up in the BG) across from my bus stop. It's plastered all over the place.

report other sightings below.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2006


stop and smell the roses...

And while you're at it, knit a little.

The scene above is, believe it or not, taken in a rooftop garden. (I missed Self-Portrait Tuesday so this is Hand-WIP-Portrait Wednesday.) One of the wonderful perks of living in the Urban Madness is finding these oasis of calm tucked into the most unlikely places. Since I usually have my camera & knitting with me, it was only logical to do the photo math.

I had a rare mid-day break yesterday, and I spent it gloriously knitting away in the sunshine. This year's late season Roses are bursting Everywhere - I took my shoes and socks off to pay my respects.

Our KIP group, thanks to Mary, has been more mobile than ever and it is so much fun to bring the craft alive outside. People generally are thrilled by it for some reason, magnetized, mystified and curious. I want to make some little postcards or something to give out with some learning links and other knitting *maps* because people most always want to go to the next step. Anybody ever use the online postcard printers?

I always love love love seeing everyone's knitting in a locale as well - check out Scout knittin' away at a soccer meeting! Lesson: always enough time to get in a few rows - I was knitting yesterday in the back of a taxi - but, urp, who knew it would be so different from the #66 - then again maybe it was just the NASCAR driver at the wheel.

Lots of happy time this weekend was spent nose-to-grindstone. I am still wallowing about Adobe InDesign - the more you use/practice stuff, the more natural it feels and thankfully, a lot of it clicked for me. This is a page layout program that is a bit like Quark but I think better. It is tightly integrated with all the other Adobe software, like Photoshop and Illustrator. Using it feels really familiar because the interface and commands match across the boards. I get all wiggly when I master something as simple as *placing* a graphic or making a textbox. Geek ON!

Question: is there any advantage to
upgrading from v2.0 to CS?

for the heck of it, I posted this and last week's portrait to a flickr gallery - WIP KIP - please feel free to post your mobile work-in-progress portrait and pin the map!

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Thursday, September 7, 2006


and now for something [completely] different

Certain things happen when you take your knitting on the road. As you grab your bag when you're heading out the door, you'll notice that your working yarn ball is probably down to a couple of yards. After you're done swearing, you race to wind some more because the Sport will not let you leave without doing so.

I swear to god. I had to go to the Swift before I went to the Bus.

Luckily, I found a pretty good horizontal perch for this birch baby and it is much faster, IMHO, than using it vertical. [Pay no attention to the ginourmous piles of stash in the background - where the hella did all that blue come from?!]


More Mobile KIP
Mercury Cafe
1505 W Chicago Ave
7 - 9 pm

parking is pretty good around there - or - take the Blue line and #66.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

ok, ok, it was raining this weekend
and I watched a TON of movies...

that is noo excuse for dropping this on you...

more silliness here in list in right-hand column

----- I downgraded back down to my previous Movable Type installation because it went KABLOOOOOEY! I am going to brush up on my PHP and then try it again. Maybe in February when I've got a lot of TIME on my glands -----

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


self-portrait Tuesday

The Knit-Geek Questionnaire
...via Laura via Kate

1. What's your worst habit relating to your knitting? What? Only one? I would have to say STARTITIS! I get a bee-in-my-bonne-ette and sooner rather than later there's more projects stinkin' up the joint than mixed metaphors in the average Chic Knits blog entry.

2. In what specific ways does your knitting make you a better person? Well. Yer average mixed-up shook-up citizen living in the Urban Miasma with other grumpy folk can easily be soothed and reformatted towards productive not destructive horseplay via the addition of sticks and string. (Note smile on knitter's face in above picture and pout on seatmate's.)

3. How might you or your life be different if you were suddenly unable to knit? Apparently, according to the latest media polls, a yoga booty call would have to take place every 20 minutes or so to manage the strain knitting erases. Are you lookin' at me?

4. If money were no object, what one yarn, and what one tool or gadget would you run out and buy first? Italy. Whawt?! You just said money was no object. OK. Be that way. Polwarth & Silk it is. TOOL: no doubt, a very flash Scale.

5. What knitting technique or project type are you most afraid of (if any)? What, specifically, do you fear will happen when you try it? Aye matey, no technique is safe from the needles of b-Marie! BUT, history will bear out the fact that I avoided Intarsia like the plague (many scars vaccinations later). If there were no *day job* I would probably be caught in the lovely net of Extreme Lace Knitting. I've become smitten with the work of Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva, whose specialty is Orenberg lace as is the delightful Mary-Ann Parisi who modeled her latest (although non-Orenberg) shawl at the last WCKG meeting. be continued

Many thanks to Leonda who snapped the above pic on the moving #66. It sort of qualifies as a *self-portrait* because of the milions of Photoshop moves I squeezed on it.

more on flickr WIP KIP

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Thursday, September 14, 2006


If you live in the Midwest, I don't have to tell you that it's been raining here for days and days and days. The grey skies are a color sponge that remove the vitality of everyday objects and leave them subdued and low.

The Outside Life is now become the Inside Life; autumn is officially upon us, early and strong.

After I get over the grey, I realize how much I love this time of year. This is the time when the projects begin in earnest. This is the time new things are learned and wallowed in.

I've been wandering around the Photoshop landscape a lot lately. It is so amusing to see what it can do:

Here is a *sketch* for the CeCe I'm working on now - I wanted to see what it looked like in brown.


Almost works ;p

The actual yarn I'm using is Calmer in *Coffeebean*.

the Fabulous Fluffa is also knitting this baby in the same yarn and she writes: "I think that Rowan should rename this color of Calmer "chocolate truffle" instead of "coffee bean". YUM!

Believe me when I say, this woman knows her Chocolat! She introduced me to the glories of dark chocolate in Paris - I did not realize that you could get Chocolat Bars in percentages of Cocoa (more being better!) We started me out at about 40% and by the end of the week I was, hmm, at 72%? This color makes you want to D.I.V.E. right in!

Quote for today from a Chocolat Website: "Cocoa is a precious commodity; it should be treated with respect."

BoogaJ has been kind enough to eat some chocolate
and write about it for us!

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Monday, September 18, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Mixed-Up Shook-Up Girl

let the People Speak...

Free polls from

"Just because something is possible to do,
does that mean we should do it?

Marji says it all! Read this and then come back and vote!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006


it might be sweater weather, but @Chez Chic, it's BOOT Time! VOILA! My gen-u-wine Harley Davidson Motorcyle boots, anytime anywhere with anything...

self-portrait Tues continues...

The Knit-Geek Questionnaire, Part II
...via Laura via Kate

6. Who is/are your knitting hero(es), and why? On a cold and gray Chicago morn a poor little girl with some sticks was born... OH. I had to go way back on the timeline for a minute and think about this but I think I can finger two significant turning points in my knitting. The first: learning How to Mattress stitch and finding out how much I loved it! I blame Janet Szabo and a little book she wrote called "I Hate to Finish Sweater's Guide to Finishing Sweaters." All of a sudden I was Not Afraid. All of a sudden, I saw a million beautifully banded, seamed and collared beauties gracing my horizon, sprung from my very own hands. The other really significant influence on me is someone named Caroline and she runs a très chic boutique in Winettka. Read my epiphany moment here in the June 7th entry. [note - there are broken comments and broken links on some of the archive pages.]

7. Do you consider knitting, for you personally, a mostly social activity, or a mostly solitary activity? What? I can't hear you, I'm knitting. L-O-S-T. Although I adore KIP anywhere anytime with the Ladies (and Gentlemen), I do most of my knitting avant et après travail.

8. Is there a particular regional tradition in knitting that you feel strongly drawn toward (e.g., Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Celtic, Orenburg lace)? Any theories as to why it calls to you? Without a doubt. Celtic. Cables. Aran. Wrap me in your twisted goodness. My DNA is a little bit-o-de-Green [autobiography here August 2].

9. If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be? No Doubt -- this is some yarn handpainted by Traci Bunkers from Bonkers! I got it at the first big fiber fest I ever went to and it serves as an inspirational sculpture in my Studio. be continued

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Friday, September 22, 2006

chibbles & bits

The Renegade Craft Fair was last weekend and I was able to go and mingle for a bit. First on my list was Corinne of Lucky Penny Handmade, who was there with her beautifully designed and knit dog sweaters. It was delightful to see the variety of dog owners visiting the booth and in my mind's eye I dressed the pooches in all those yummy clothes!

Upside: The Fair has gotten larger and larger each year and there were over 150 vendors in all repping all the lastest and greatest crafting goodness out there. I want to be there next year myself with something - it would be like going home - I lived right across from the park on Schiller St for a couple of very happy years and it would be just lucky, I guess :)

Downside: first I forgot my camera, then I lost the cell phone I took some pictures with! L.O.S.T. without my digital pals P.A.N.I.C. inthe P.A.R.K.



You knew this was coming so DUCK!

Leaving the *premises* emptyhanded was just not an option. Hee. Just not possible for moi. Trachey Lampe to the rescue! I ended up with a couple of skeins of her gorgeous Lamp's Lumps Handspun, which I reckon will morph into some really fine hattage as it's getting cooooolio over here.


Chic Knits Mystery Tip-O-the-Week

What she saw: k3 (0, 1, 3, 0, 1)

Now this is an interesting chain of numbers to be sure - a sequence that has given people fits on first approach more likely than not, including me. What the hella does that mean?

What she wrote: "For some reason on my printed pattern, there are instructions to knit additional stitches on Row 2."

What I wrote: That is not a mistake. :)

That is the conventional way instructions are given when there is more than one size. The number nearest the abbreviation is the first size, followed by all the other sizes in order within the parentheses.

The pattern instruction is written as a series of numbers in parentheses following an instruction:
k3 (0, 1, 3, 0, 1)

It interprets as Knit *x* number of stitches for your size where the first number next to the abbreviation corresponds to the first size (in this case size 34) then each number seperated within the parentheses corresponds to progresseive sizes that the pattern is written for.

You will notice in the pattern there are 6 sizes.
34 (36, 38, 40, 42, 44)

In the above instructions, there are six numbers.

k3 (0, 1, 3, 0, 1)

It translates as
size  34    36    38    40    42    44
knit   3      0      1      3      0      1

You will see this used throughout. I find it helpful to take a marker and black out all numbers that do not refer to the size I'm making.

Bonne Marie


Survey sez:


ye who are about to begin, I salute thee!

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Chic Knits loves the Weekend


It's Sweater Weather!

And here's the one you'll throw-on-and-go again and again.

Simple enough for the first time sweater knitter but with enough style and detail to wear barefoot or boardroom:

Chic Knits = WARDROBE
                      get dressed...



browse our collection of hand-knitting patterns at
Le Chic Boutique

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Monday, September 25, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  


Some Observations

1 - my co-worker says licker should be served up two-fingers high but not magazines - dude it's 754 pages long

2 - Kate Moss is in every ad (except for A.J. for St. J) - when DOES this girl find time to partay?

3 - beyond the Pear - turn to page 405 for an intriguingly bizarre redefinition of fashion silhouettes

Which one are you?
the Exclamation Point
the X
the Shrink Fit
the Triangle
the Hourglass
the Popsicle
None of the above, I shop at the Gap

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Threads TUESDAY!


Pattern: Chic Knits
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Ram Wools *Selkirk*
Color: Khaki
Gauge: 19 sts/24 rows over 4"
Needles: #7


Pattern: $4.95


more details

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*** Join us in knitting Ariann ***

the lovely Carole and I are co-hosting this fun -

just email HERE to join

knit - chat - ask questions - enjoy!

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