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Tuesday, January 2, 2007


ooh la la, the first WIP of '07

It seems funny typing 2007. My fingers are resisting. First I typed 2006. Then for a few moments it was merely the year 200.

Back to the future, and we have another.


I'm loosely counting the recently finished Bling shell as a vest, because, indeed, it will be worn over a blouse at some point (have I ever shown you my favorite chartruese chiffon shirt - this combo is not for the faint of heart but a pale washed out winterite redhead like myself needs all the color excitement she can GET! and it does work it).

Above you see something made out of a material as polar opposite to the ribbon-y glitz of last week as you can get: Noro Silk Garden.

I originally got this for a wrap, but while rousting through the stash, it occurred to me I had enough for a Mondo Cable. Inspired jointly by Lisa and Corinne (who for 2006 it was the YEAR of the Vest), I decided to give it a try -

Hmm. The texture and feel of this yarn is not the most favorite that's ever passed through my hands.


The end result almost makes me faint with joy! The colors in this yarn endlessly surprise and entertain while knitting. (It is Color # 203). The band says it's a combo of 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair & 10% Lamb's Wool. Now my standard for kid mohair is the ubiquitous Kid Silk Haze, but the SG is not fluffy, soft or pettable.

It is however, lusiously colored - and I believe, quite perfect for this vest - although I had to tweak a bit for gauge. I am getting 17 sts / 22 rows on #9 needles (the pattern is 16/20). I am also knitting it in the round to preserve stripey goodness - YES! I am one of those people who WILL try to match the stripes on the NORO, so this is just a kindness.

I'm almost at the armholes - now it will go back to being knit back and forth - what will those colors do?

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

First Cara wrote about "the problem".
And Norma mentioned it last week too.

Now it's my turn.


I usually do not write about the downside of being online, but it's a New Year, with new corners, new roads. New surprises.

I was contacted this weekend by a lady who wanted to exchange website links with me - the usual I'll show you/yours if you show me/mine...

Because of the way the email was written with misspellings & weird syntax, I went to the site and looked it over.

On this site I found a blog created entirely from what appeared to be other people's content (a splog). No visible attribution. Just entire posts, articles, patterns, pictures (hotlinked but of course) etc. published online AS IF they came from that site itself.

Not RSS feeds. Not aggregator-gathered entries used with your permission. Your blog - but not your blog.

Digging around a little (after I notified the people I recognized), I found out a curious thing.

This site was built using Mechanical Turks.


Well, my fine friends, for the princely sum of $1.00 per article or link, a *requester*, in this case, someone representing a yarn outlet, wants YOU to do all of the heavy lifting (Human Intelligence Tasks) for him. Apparently, several individuals are willing to work for one dollar and are harvesting any ole knitting content out there and publishing it. In THEIR name. To support his commercial site.

Unbelievable. Intentional.

Since I started this blog in 2001, I have learned several lessons about copyright and trademark. I've been threatened by a big yarn company in a ridiculous situation. I've been copyright violated six ways til Tuesday by people wanting to make money from my hard work without my permission or knowledge - everything from photo *borrowing* by major newspapers to entire pattern reproductions on CD's for sale, article siphoning, patterns being cloned and offered as someone else's originals, free patterns being sold in stores, name cloning, you name it.

All of these things, when they happen, cause anxiety, confusion and incredible wastes of time and money.

I've never mentioned here how this can banish one's imaginative spirit. But it does. Thoroughly. Quickly. I know this first-hand.

It does not induce more creativity. It induces Chaos.

Imitation (i.e. plagiarism) is NOT the sincerest form of flattery. It IS an injurious and crippling form of insult.

Copyright means the content creator gets to control how and where their stuff is used. That's all. This, at its most basic, is just common courtesy.

Yet, there appears to be no end in sight for the wholesale lifting. No end in sight for greedy (and false) concepts like "how much do I have to change before I can call it mine"; no end in sight for the people seeking business short cuts at your expense.

I have one thing to say to all of this: Get off my back.

M. TURKS & other JERKS: Write your own blog entries. Link to a site instead of lifting other's content. Design and write your own pattern without cribbing someone else's. Ask permission before posting graphics and pictures. Don't assume it is free advertising - if you don't have the knowledge and permission of the content creator, it is not OK.

If you see original work used in an inappropriate place and know the author, photographer, designer, etc. please let them know. It would be a kindness. It's become a prevalent COMMERCIAL trend to harvest content from our community; the Bottom Feeders need to come into the Light...


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Thursday, January 4, 2007 KIPKIPKIPKIPit

Tracey writes: "So thank you, screw them, and
keep on keeping on."



Here we have the fabby back of my Mondo Cable Shell/VEST (!).

I swear I didn't do this.

I swear I didn't finagle the yarn stripes so they'd end on a GREEN series.

But hey. Why look a yarn horse in the mouth.

YES! It's 2007 and I indeed intend to mangle and misuse as many metaphors as I can get my hands on.

This will look great under Red Hair, non?

After seeing the incredible Ribby Shell/Vest Corinne made out of Noro Kureyon #116 which she has graciously allowed me to reproduce here:


I decided to just LET the COLOR HAPPEN.

As I shaped the top of the vest, the stripe repeats became wider but still graduated in tone and scope. You can see this happen on Corinne's vest too - the darkening of the skinnier parts means more dense striping.

I was tempted at one point to alternate skeins, but I must admit, this always seems Too Much Aggravation. I would rather the Yarn Muses who crafted these strands have their natural way. Rarely have I ripped because of pooling - a little bit just might make a cool shape -

I do like this idea though seen on scarves about town: one row of Noro, one row of a solid color. OR Alternate 2 different (3 different?!) colors of Noro...

The Front awaits...

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Monday, January 8, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

because I was NOT praticing Hiki Komori because I was running all over the place, these are ...cough, a little late...

Top Ten Words of 2006 according to the Global Language Monitor

1. Sustainable

2. Infonaut

3. Hiki Komori

4. Planemo

5. Netroots

6. Londonistan

7. Brokeback

8. Ethanol

9. Corruption – As in ‘Culture of’

10. Chinese

see explanations here...

...someone thinks you should JUST SAY NO!
to using these...

who's looking up what...

top 10 Tech Words for you Geek Grrrls...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year...

What WORD snuck up into YOUR vocabulary then stuck like glue whether you wanted it there or not? If you've corresponded with me, the word shooting from my lips, I cringe even now was...

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

when worlds collide...


Self-Portrait TUESDAY
New Threads TUESDAY!

This pair of socks was supposed to be finished A Long Time Ago...

Don't really understand why they went missing for months - Summertime? - Tedium?- Ignorance?

They started out around mid-March 2006 from some lovely Lorna's Laces gleaned from a studio sale in 2003 (see June 19th entry) - proof positive there is no expiration date on w.o.o.l.

That's it second from the right amongst the other swag I got that day - the skeins on the far left made it into a pair of socks after months/years by last year's Socktoberfest (hi Lolly! who's now hosting a Green Sock Knitalong with the beautiful Maritza). The others are still waiting their turn - any suggestions for the Bumble Bee colourway??? ;p

I adore these socks - I've always adored the Lorna's Laces sock yarn - but these are quite the midwinter pick-me-up!


Yum! Beautiful colors in a soft small gauge flirty yarn...

These skeins were what Kathy Kelly called Burnt Cookies - or *seconds* from the studio, but all I can see is that they are a little fraternal and had occasional pops of yellow.


Pattern: Chic Knits *Sock Love*
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Lorna's Laces *Shepard Sock*
Color: River
Gauge: 9 sts/12 rows over 1"
Needles: #1

All I know is that it's a Happy Happy Dancin' Day here @Chez Chic when those new socks hit my smiling feet! all entries on the River Socks

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

ha ha ha


Go ahead - laugh at the grey skies - mock Motha Nature because she's mocking YOU!


What better way to do it than a really big burst of b.LIME! Spurred on by the Green Sock Knitalong, I have been maniacally knitting this simple sock.

It is the ubiquitous 56 st / 56 Row Sock from Regia and this is their Crazy Color sock yarn in color Green #5264.

Winter is back in a big way here in Chicago - the type of cold weather that inspired the phrase *turtleneck* which IMHO refers NOT to a collar treatment but instead describes the way frozen wind-smacked humans hunker down into their jackets, using their collars to sheild their red, red noses.

It is so brisk here in the WindyCity that even with a scarf the cold makes one scrunch, shoulders UP, head tucked in, to face the 20-30 mph wind.

Somehow, this COLOR rescues me with it's warmth. Last night, on the #66 after waiting in the dark, I quickly found a seat and turtled in, knitting out, and didn't realize my face was half-covered by my jacket the entire ride until I rose to my full height to leave at my stop and felt a draft at my neck.

Hey - a big Thank You to Karen from Mingling Yarn for the shout-out on the Yahoo KnitList - thanks so much for the compliment!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  


sorry... anybody else notice what this guy's turned into?


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Tuesday, January 16, 2007 - Buy our patterns from these STOCKISTS

in the


Last year, sometime around Time for a NEW! Idea, Chic Knits decided to try something different. Two or three times a week, we get email from knitters who want to know if they can get our patterns in a way other than PDF files - in paper form? Perhaps mailed to them or purchased at their LYS? Hmm. What a great idea!

We loved that idea. We loved it so much, we started prototyping graphics and layouts that would reflect our modern look - the Modern Look that many knitters have added to their wardrobes the last few years using Chic Knits patterns. NOW ready for the Runway? Hard copy brochure editions of a selection of knitting patterns from our portfolio!

To celebrate, we decided to go back to the beginning - to one of the first designs ever to hit the runway at Chez Chic, in 2002: the Ribby Pulli, fashioned in a 2028 gauge.

This time, however, we decided to go for broke and make it just like we envisioned it in our wildest dreams - just like we wanted to wear it. And the only way to do this? Design the yarn colorway ourselves and have it made up to order, just for this garment.

And, but of course, the first person who came to mind when we thought of beautiful dyeing was Jamie from Scout's Swag!

Over the last couple of years, she's worked tirelessly to develop and distribute some of the most incredible colorways online. And not only are the colorways fabulous, but Scout's yarn base and craftsmanship are absolutely wonderful. We wanted a worsted weight wool in two subtle colorways.

Lucky for me, she was able to work with us and she took our inspiration and made it reality - and I have to say - when I opened the package from Albuquerque, I was simply blown away - she nailed it!

chic-knits-yarn2-0099.jpg how she did it here and stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the story...

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

mmmore in the

the b-Marie colorway

And, knitted up into the Ribby Pulli, Scout's Swag became one of the most awesome garments ever - beautiful subtle gradiations - little or no pooling. Below you see, on top - the b-Marie colorway and on the bottom, Double Door.


All in all a most worthy first Runway Strut!
Thank You Scout!!! more about Scout's adventure here...


We had a great time in Wicker Park shooting this series! You can see what our Runway is really all about - sidewalk, streetside, urban, chic.

Most of the Ribby Pulli pictures were shot in front of the Double Door Lounge (with its security *garage door* in place - even at 1pm - because its a Late Night kind of place). Ariann was shot in front of my old house on Schiller, right across from Wicker Park. CeCe - in the empty fountain in the park; the Felted Bucket Hat on the corner of North & Damen Sts.

Everything was a stone's throw from the Blue Line Elevated train station.


...including this view of another take on the Ribby Pulli - a short-sleeved hooded version -
instructions also included in the pattern.


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Friday, January 19, 2007

New Threads FRIDAY!


Mondo Cable
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Noro *Silk Garden*
Color: #203
Gauge: 17 sts/22rows over 4"
Needles: #9

HA! There's nothing I like better on a cold morning than a steaming cup of Coffee!

Scratch. There's nothing I like better on a cold morning than a steaming cup of Coffee! That's better. Let's try again.

There's nothing I like better on a incredibly crisp cold morning than a steaming cup of Coffee
served up with a

[Oh. Throw in a handful of peanut M&M's and I'm gone hook, line, and sinker.]

One more thing - see the shirt under the Vest? Got it, Old Navy, pennies - waffle-knit thermal HOODIE! Olive Green. (and I got a burgundy one too!)

MODS to ze Pattern: tweaked the gauge from 1620 to 1722 for the Silk Garden yarn. Made the ribbing longer (to the first cable cross). The cable looks a lot more dimensional in person than in the picture - love that mirror-in-the-bathroom-effect and HEY! I cleaned the mirror first!

I like - it is warm, and cheerful and most of all, IT's a VEST!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  


OK, people, Chicago wants you to Get in The END ZONE and do a little funkay DANCE with us...
da Bears

in case you need some moves:

1. My Personal Move [which I'm happily sharing with you because I'm cool like that - me in the Red Dress]

2. Let the Drummers Lead Them

3. Your Neighbors' Moves

4. More is, MORE

5. Numa Numa

6. History of it ALL

7. Because you have a lot of time on your hands, just search UTUBE for *Touchdown Turnaround* (446765 results)

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Now I'm all about Tools but not all Tools.
I'm all about Tools that work for me.

And Drumroll Please...

6. Stitch Holders.


I have a whole bunch of standard metal ones that I acquired on eBay from an auction of vintage tools. I can only wonder who had these, but they filed down the pointy edge to pin-like sharpness. I use them to *baste* seams together to try things on - but I RARELY use them as stitch holders.



Here you see my favorite Stitch Holder of all - Scrap Yarn. It is simply threaded through the stitches that need to go to the sideline for awhile and knotted on the ends.


Make an Honest Yarn out of all that Acrylic in your stash!

My Ribby Shell has one the Right Front done and is waiting to jump back on the needles for the Left Front finishing...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

is it wrong to wish your team's colors were L.I.M.E.
instead of, hmmm, navy & orange??

Then it would be as easy as shooting ducks in a barrel - I'd already have one sock done and would not be tempted by this - Laura K writes: "By the way, have you seen the Bears colorway by Lorna's Laces? It's a fun self-striping blue orange combo--I saw it at Arcadia last week."

How cool is knitting a sock during the game? Well, maybe not as cool as Jodee who wrote: "I knit an orange and blue hat during the game to keep me from biting my nails!!"

I will have to call. Becasue. I. Have. NO. Willpower. And I am not afraid of being the fan who's a little bit of a wan**er if that's what it takes to get a championship trophy! If you recall, something really good happened the night I was knitting a black'n'white sock awhile back...


Meanwhile, Sock #1 of 56 St 56 Row Pair is done, washed and being admired. I have a chair across from the chair I usually sit'n'knit and it is the Gallery Chair. I find I've been draping new FOs over it when they're done so I can admire them for a spell before I put them in the sweater cupboard. (Yes, one perfect little reason to slack off housework.)

This pattern is just so easy and fun - but it disappeared from the web awhile back. Its author, the wonderful Nancy T McGLynn, gave me permission to publish it again online here on Chic Knits for you to enjoy...

CLICK HERE for the Pattern...

(good for any medium weight sock yarn that knits to a gauge of 7 sts / 10 rows per 1" - makes a Women's Size M sock)

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Friday, January 26, 2007

home of the Player

hat knitting pattern

Oh, it had to happen. There was just no way I was going to not go thrashing through the stash after that last post in search of Orange et Navy!

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Not one, but 2 skeins of Cascade 220 in the colors I was lusting after! HA! The navy is #9449 (tagged for a bucket hat); the orange, gifted to me awhile back by my favorite muse, Edie, and is Color #Unknown. It's just been biding its time because it is a luscious shade!

Mission: make a fine little hat that I can wear every day until February 5th! I have been eating, sleeping chasing da Bears on ye olde Day Job and wouldn't it be just cheerful to fly those team colors?! I figured socks would take me forever - still might do it just for luck - and would actually not be visible AT ALL to celebrate in public the way a hat can...

I give you the Player:

knit hat pattern

hat pattern

Size: Medium (fits Women's 21-22")

Yarn: 110 yds each of two colors (C1 & C2) worsted weight yarn (220 yds total - yarn held double throughout)

Gauge: 14 sts / 18 rows over 4" St st

Needles: #10.5/6.5mm 16" or 20" circular needles & Double Pts

Stripe Sequence: 6 rounds of each color 7 times.
[C1, C2, C1, C2, C1, C2, C1]


Using C1 held double, cast on 76 sts and join to knit in the round. (Yarn is held doubled throughout.)

Round 1: [K3, P1] around.

Repeat this pattern, observing your stripe counts until 4 stripe sequences are completed. Work 2 rounds with C1.

Next Round: K2TOG; [K15, place marker] repeat around.

Decrease Round: [K to within 2 sts of marker, K2TOG] repeat around.

While continuing to observe your stripe count, repeat the above DEC round every round until 5 sts are left. (Switch to Dbl. Pts when uncomfortable to continue with Circs.)

Break yarn and weave through remaining sts. Weave in all ends.


...action shots coming soon...

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Monday January 29, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

I first saw this on TV on one of my favorite shows with the expat Mr. Big now in prominent attendance...

RIPPED from the Headlines I present...

the Idiotarod 2007

a fabby Flickr Collection of this NY phenom

disclaimer - not for the finicky persnickety faint of heart

Quotable Quote: "This is yet another example of the lack of respect with which the media treats the 'craft of the speeding trolley.' "

hear, hear!

I hrt.gif NY...

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The EXCITEMENT! continues!

There's so much Bear's Fever over here that I'm starting to tilt southward in spare moments standing...

da Bears might be in Miami, practicing their Smooth Moves for Sunday's Super Bowl, but LOOK OUT Colts.

We got it covered right here...

free knitting pattern

The lovely Deb sent me this picture of the Player as worn by her DS, who is ready for da Game!

Deb writes: "My son Luke, who is almost 8, has within the last few months discovered his inner football fan, and that fan is dressed in orange and navy!

Unfortunately for us, we live in Rams country. But I grew up in Northern Illinois, so it does my heart good to see my spawn sporting Bears gear.

I thought you might like to see my version of your hat. I reversed the striping sequence because I had more orange than navy, but it still turned out great."

I'll say! ;p I was just thrilled to see this tony topper on such a handsome guy!

free knitting pattern

And here, by a snowy river bank (cold, very cold here), is the beautiful Amanda, wearing the Player!

Amanda writes: "Just wanted to let you know I finished my very own snazzy Bears hat based on your pattern. I posted a picture on my blog of me wearing it."

knitting pattern

Wearing it mighty well, I might add! It makes ME fell lucky to see these hats - I can only think what kind of VIBE the total sum of ALL the stuff people are doing here to show their spirit is sending to Miami. Are you tilting yet, Colts???

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Threads WEDNESDAY!

knitted vest pattern

Ribby Shell
Designer: Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Lorna's Laces *Sheperd Worsted* - 2.3 skeins
Color: Irving Park #205
Gauge: 20 sts/28rows over 4"
Needles: #7

Ok, I admit it. Even though one of the biggest parties in Chicago is coming up Sunday and I really don't need an excuse, I'll admit it.

I need a new outfit!

[i'll admit it - I LOVE NEW CLOTHES!]

And even though I can't Make it in I can make it quite alright in the Big Windy.

Tropical Colors? No problem...

I have no Fear!

This is my favorite-favorite-shirt, a chiffon, chartruese, semi-sheer tailored number. It has made appearances in many a Captial City, busted a move in many a night spot, dressed UP, Dressed down.

It wants to go to the Game.

Who am I to say No?

This is a size 38. I made the ribbing longer, the shell 1" shorter and the neck decreases at the same time I started the armhole decreases. I am in the process of adding these options and more sizes to this pattern - sign up HERE to be notified of Chic Knits UpDates...

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