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Sunday, December 3, 2006


details here...

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Monday, December 4, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

just because it's the Holidaze...

Scared of Santa Gallery!

and a very cool Advent Calendar, be sure to click on the holiday reminiscences...

...thanks to Girl Reaction

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Tuesday December 5, 2006

while I was sleeping, December stole through the house
like a roaring train...


I'm was going for a New Threads Tuesday but ended up with loose threads instead! OH! How I wish my Grammie would've taught me faster way of knitting - I'm a thrower and most times I think it's just S-L-O-W...

There is a sock knitter on my bus that knits at the speed of light; she is not a thrower. (We won't even mention the SuperSonic Crochet Ladies on the #66 - that's a different story - but man oh man, I'm blown away!)

So, instead of a finished sweater, all I have is a Body & 2 Sleeves.


And, those sleeves are a little(!) different than my first Ariann. In the face of a deadline, I had to make an Executive Decision and VOILA! Those sleeves were bossed around FLAT!

I make faster progress on tight circumferences by splitting the difference. Your mileage might vary, but it is much quicker for me to do a 15 minute seam sometimes than make myself dizzy by slowwwwwly revolving round and round. How do you convert to ze Flat? Simple put, you just add 2 stitches, which become your seaming area - and remember to account for those stitches wherever shaping takes place. With sleeves like these, that is easy peasy, because there is only one area where it matters - when you do the underarm bind off.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2006


The Museum of Contemporary Art is once again hosting the Downtown Sn'b! A lively cast of characters gathered for a row or two in the lovely Puck's Cafe.


Artist Anni Holm coordinated an interactive installation piece she calls "Networking". A central piece of knitting was worked on simultaneously by random knitters throughout the evening, all working from a circlular position in tandem.


It was fascinating to see what each knitter added to the piece - there was cabling, eyelets, and one knitter was twisting her strip every few rows to make a 3-D *cable*.


That's Anni smiling on the left; she's taken this project to Iowa and Pennsylvania so far -

What's fascinating about this, and other types of *knit-ins* I've witnessed is the ENERGY this creates -

Besides the end result of the piece, you have this interesting synergy between the knitters - even though they are working on a singular piece, they are bonded together by the stitching motion and purpose - powerful and FUN!

I love knitting in a group - it wasn't until I joined one in 2001, that my knitting fever really took off. The constant inspiration of the other knitters really launches one into bigger and better horizons. You suddenly are trying things you never thought of before or didn't think you could do.

The main exhibit at the MCA right now is "Massive Change: The Future of Global Design". It is fascinating as well - it explores "the power and responsibility of design." If you notice, in the first picture above, the question is posed: "Will we shift from the service of War to the Service of Life?" Looking at the turnout of stitchers sitting in peace together, perhaps that answer could be Yes.

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Friday, December 8, 2006

I finally made it to the shop and found some interesting buttons that might work on my Ariann sweater...


I can't make up my mind...

And with the amount of loose threads all over the place, you'd think something had come undone.

But no - it's actually coming together!


A little felted bucket hat made it onto the scene as well - this one is made from Jamieson's Soft Shetland. It is very dense - took quite awhile to *melt* into shape but I'm happy with how it turned out! The secret to bucket success? As it nears its final size, fish it out of the water, wring out the excess water and try it on Your Head over a little plastic shopping bag! If it's the right size, rinse it and block. If it's still a little big, pop it back in the Hot Water and felt away!

I've been trying a variety of yarns for these hats - my favorite is basic worsted wool (ala Cascade 220) - but there are so many temptations out there, omg - including my leftovers. I have lots of yarns that want to go ChaCha together as well. This cold snap is a great thing - makes wooly ideas pop up all over the place!


Time to go block Ariann...

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Monday, December 12, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

all I want for Christmas is...


maybe not...


maybe not...

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Tuesday, December 13, 2006

New Threads TUESDAY!


Pattern: Chic Knits *Ariann*
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Berroco *Ultra Alpaca*
Color: Lavendar Mix
Gauge: 19 sts/24 rows over 4"
Needles: #8

The 10-Day sweater hits the Runway! I started this on Saturday, the 25th of November and VOILA! Ariann arrives at the Arcadia Knitting trunk show December 10th...


This was a very exciting moment for me - I traveled up to the NorthSide with a battery of garments and more to meet and mingle with old friends and new!


The lovely Dana models the alpaca Ariann - you can see that this yarn makes a very smooth, drapey fabric - more relaxed looking than the original green sample.


Along with the Trunk Show, we had a little demo swag time - here is my good friend and muse, Edie, helping me demonstrate how to measure for fit. Here's a break-down of what we did in an article you can save...


My huge THANKS!!! to all that were able to join us - and especially, to Rachel for taking all the great pictures!


And a huge round of applause to all who joined in the FUN and wore some Chic Knits to the party! Here's Robin, looking gorgeous in a watermelon color CeCe that was most lovely!

Assorted garments from the Chic Knits Portfolio will be at Arcadia Knitting until December 31, 2006.
Please stop by and browse the sweaters and hats and see the new hard copy Chic Knits Patterns!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

the Ghost of Xmas Past...


THIS is the Topsy Turvy Time of the Year! These are the few weeks you purge the house of Doxies. Top to Bottom. Under the Couch. Behind the Bookcase.

And what do you find?


In my case: UFOs!

Here we see something I started and sidelined (hmm, banished) around this time last year? 2004? Oh. Apparently, (using my own Google search in the right sidebar - duh) I see I flirted with this in January of this year!

Problem is - now that I see it again, I'm not hatin' it - I WANT to Wear It!

It was destined to be a simple little shell made from some sparkley ribbon by Katia called *JOYA*.

And joyful she is - shall she get back on the Xmas Bus with the rest of the Holly Jolly #66 Riders? This yarn will surely make the Sugar Plum Fairies go round in their heads!

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Friday, December 15, 2006

gettin' the fash on over here...


Fancy. Party. Shell.

The thin shiny ribbon parts blow-up every few inches with a gold glittery puff. Personal fireworks so to speak.

After it's washed, they lay pretty flat, so there's no invasion of the bobbles look to this just texture -

Hopefully, I'll have enough yarn (and I use that term so loosely) to finish this - it is going fast but seems to eat up the yardage much quicker than the company line would suggest.

I'm aiming for a deep-scoop neck shell - with a very thin edge of gold (leftovers form another project) to finish the edge. I'll scoop out the back to save yarn too - it's depth TBD by the yardage count towards the end of the project. OH, to live dangerously...



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Monday, December 18, 2006

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Santa's Jokes

Question: What's red and white and gives presents to good little fish on Christmas?
Answer: Sandy Claws.

Question: Why does Santa have 3 gardens?
So he can ho-ho-ho.

Question: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Answer: Frostbite.

Question: Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
Because he had low elf esteem.
(this is my favorite HAHAHA!)

Question: What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper?
Answer: Ribbon hood.

Question: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
Answer: Claustrophobic.

Question: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Answer: Snowflakes.

Question: What was so good about the neurotic doll a girl was given for Christmas?
Answer: It was wound up already.

... leave your favorite joke below ...

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Meme du Jour

6 weird things about me...

1. Very few people knew my Mother's nickname for me was Budgie.

me/Budgie @1yo

2. I have read the 5th Harry Potter book 5 times.

3. I drive a 1991 Jeep Wrangler. It has 52,000 miles. I intend to drive it until it's dust.

4. For the life of me, I cannot tell a joke with a punchline, but give me 10 minutes and I could maybe make you laugh anyways. (Have you heard the one about my Great Aunt Mary, who in the middle of a brutal Midwest winter many years ago, while the entire family was wasting away from extreme rural Cabin Fever, built a sand box for her boys so they would have Something To Do. It took up most of the Living Room.)

5. I used to keep a short pair of drumsticks in my work truck so when I was stuck in traffic, sans passengers, I could drum on the steering wheel or dashboard, while listening to the radio.

6. I love to lie in bed in the wee morning hours and wiggle my toes back and forth in my socks.

Meme courtesy of Theresa; pick it up and run if you dare!

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Thursday, December 21 2006


Ye olde Christmas Spirit has been in rather short supply here at Chez Chic until around 11:30 pm Sunday. But of course, all the tree lots in town were closed by this wee hour, so somebody just had to make do...

Rivaling the minimalistic decorating I did last year, my little singing Scoopy-Doo now rules the Coffee Machine and gladly hosts the current WIP, my Ribby Shell in Lorna's Shepards Worsted and the Bling Fest that is the Katia JOYA Shell.

Will the JOYA make a joy-ful sound in the hut for the Holiday? This, if I am lucky (and baby, I'm feeling L.U.C.K.Y.) might just happen, because I just finished all the body increases and I have 2.5 balls of ribbonn left!!!!!!! This means straps! Some back action before a scoop so my freckles aren't amusing the masses!

Enough yarn to finish a project? THAT's just a nice peaceful feeling.

Mr. Roker sez
the Absolut Bottle Cozy
is a nice touch...

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Friday, December 22, 2006


1 gal apple juice
2 oranges
2 lemons
1 lime
1 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 qt water
1 cup sugar

1. Heat the water to boiling. Cut the lemons and oranges (and lime if using) in half and squeeze the juice into a separate bowl to save, throw the skins and pulp into the boiling water. Add spices and simmer for one hour.

2. Remove the cinnamon sticks, a few cloves, allspice and save to one side. Using a slotted spoon or strainer remove the citrus peels and pulp and the remaining spices. Return the cinnamon sticks and saved spices to the water. Add the apple juice or cider and return to heat.

3. When boiling remove from heat and add the citrus juice and sugar. Simmer very lightly for another 10 minutes and serve. Delicious!

...recipe courtesy

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The beat goes on...


Even though I'm doing my best to deny it,
the New Year is almost upon us.

I'm not quite ready to burp that baby - this year has unfinished business galore! A trip to the Marination Chamber reveals several of what I will hereby refer to as *swatches* (but in fact are really pieces of abandoned projects).

Some of these swatches are close to finishing - a sock or two.

Some are quite ambitious. (This one MUST get finished. Somewhere. Somehow.)

Most are folly.

My Queen of Folly, the incredible non-edible Blingster, however, is almost finished. This lovely shell, who LONGS to ring in the New Year, is too advanced to be on the #66 bus anymore but is now the early morning/after work project. I wrote this pattern awhile back and since then have learned a thing or two developing another project, the elusive Nicole (who, because of my Ariann knitting deadline was viciously sidetracked. It missed its Christmas debut - I cry I weep. Whoever saw me wearing last year's model, I apologize (not)).

Everything, including Queen Bling, will have its day eventually (this seems to be the lesson of 2006) and if I can just stay focused, might exceed expectations.

As you see above, the Back of Queen Bling is a modest scoop. This will reveal my lovely Little Drummer Girl tattoo, without scandalizing my more sensitive associates. The Front, however, is a different story...

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

wherein I practice what I preach...


This is one of my most favorite tops. It is a stretch tank with a relief paisley pattern in the velvet. The label reads "Pandora". I've had it so long I've forgotten where I originally bought it but I suspect it might've been the neighborhood Rainbow...

It is a holiday staple.

So much so that when I decided to make the Queen Bling top, I used its dimensions as a standard to shoot for. If I could match the measurements in strategic places on this top, chance were very good that it would FIT me in the same way.

This is the key to success for most of the garments I've made that fit me well the last few years. I've studied commercial standard measurements and brought this into play by comparing the dimensions in my off-the-rack wardrobe to actual knitting patterns and designs out there.

At first, I was shocked by the major discrepancy between the two worlds. Why wouldn't the two standards be closer together? I want my hand-knitted garments to look and fit like a commercial garment. Would this time be any different?

Deal or No Deal?

hit reload to replay animation...

Deal. Even though the materials used in these tanks are a world apart, their basic fabric behavior is very similar. The velvet has a little lycra and therefore has tension in its fabric; the knitting of the sparkly ribbon adds tension and stretch to its fabric as well. Side shaping matches; length is negotiable. Since I actually have some *JOYA* left, I am going to pick up around the bottom of the QB shell and add about an inch or however long the yarn lasts...

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Friday, December 29, 2006

New Threads FRIDAY!


Queen Bling
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Katia *JOYA*
Color: Copper #8
Gauge: 18 sts/24rows over 4"
Needles: #10.5

Behold! The power of the Lust for A New Party Outfit!

I am shocked/not shocked that I actually finished this - it was basically begun on the 14th of December and WHOOT! Two weeks later, even though the blur of the holidaze spun my head, even though the naughty nature of this tinselly ribbon provoked and aggravated this native, even though other more important projects were staring me in the face, I finished this.



A pile of jewels anchored by a brooch fills the deep neckline with a sigh.

Originally, I was going to use leftover gold tone ribbon to finish the edges, but it didn't work! The bright gold in the main ribbon clashed with the dullness of the edging. So I went back to the drawing board and decided to try the red leftover ribbon instead. It neither detracts or retracts but edges the shell with a delightful KISS of color that is in the same tonal range as the Copper in the body ribbon.

You've painted up your lips
And rolled and curled your tinted hair
Ruby are you contemplating
Going out somewhere
The shadow on the wall
Tells me the sun is going down
Oh Ruby
Don't take your love to town

...Read the Complete Notes HERE...

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

wishes you and yours a
Happy New Year!!!

Thanks for joining in the FUN in 2006 -
here's a few folks who Got Dressed...


click HERE for slideshow...


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