Tuesday, February 1, 2005

There's a certain time of year that anyone who lives in this latitude might dread. The days are grey and short (but getting gradually longer). The temperatures are too low to want to do much besides linger longer than one should over the hot coffee, poaching its warmth and stimulation. One is in desperate need of Vitamin KAL!!! Let it begin!

hosted by the fabulous Alison...

Somewhere on the Wardrobe Timeline in my head, I decided that I was going to try and make most of my clothes. I've been going through my galleries (some of which mysteriously disappeared due to coding phglem) and it appears, for awhile this was indeed the case!

Hoodies Galore! Simple Cardis and MORE!

The more in this case is the Holiday Sweater. For some reason, I was magnetized to the fact that I HAD to have a new garment for Christmas. For Valentine's Day. For My Birthday (what, a birthday can't be a National Holiday?). Easter. Fourth of July. SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!

Great anxiety usually chased these creations towards a deadline, taking the wind from beneath my cheerful sails. I indeed gained a sweater, but alas, lost my thrill.

The Ghosts of Holiday Sweaters Past include:

Thanksgiving 2001

Christmas 2001

My Birthday 2003

These sweaters are worn as much as possible - all within the last week in fact - and continue to amuse and delight.

Others are not so gainfully employed. Observe:


Now, this sweater is so wrong on so many levels that it makes my head spin!

In January of 2002, I made some resolutions - these were actually more like proclamations - but meant to empower all the same!

ChicKnits 2K2 ForReal Resolution #1
Feels Hinky
Looks Hinky

ChicKnits 2K2 ForReal Resolution #2
"NEVER be afraid to rip out a mistake or even a whole project!!!

If it feels hinky & it looks hinky, it is hinky and a few minutes of your time will send it back onto the runway."

This sweater does not fit me, never has, and is a tremendous WASTE OF YARN!

So in honor of the incredible mediocrity of that project, I offer you this new proclamation:

ChicKnits 2K5 ForReal Resolution #1:
"If it ain't Bitchin' Undo that Stitchin'!"

Let the fix begin...

Comments (21)

Thursday, February 3, 2005





Over the last couple of years, I've found 3 Naughty Knitting Things that really amuse me. These things all have one thing in common: they let you do something you would usually avoid at all costs to your garmet.

3 Naughty Knitting Things:

Felting (where you get to SHRINK the bejesus out of a sweater ON PURPOSE)
Steeking (where you actually get to take a sharp instrument and CUT the garment)
Frogging (where you RIP the sucker right back to its roots)

Now, granted #3 is RADICAL. It is time consuming. It is Post-Production, or post-pro, as we like to say in the video trade.

This is the only activity of the above which de-evolves the sweater back to its main ingredients. And THAT is ususally what you are lusting after.


If I want the yarn, I have to rip out the sweater.

The sweaters above were the latest RIPfest activity I wallowed in. I wanted that Rowan Magpie Tweed! It was not going to sit on the shelf MOCKING me for my poor choice of pattern/execution - this yarn, for the first sweater pattern I picked was just WRONG.

So, off with its thread, so to speak and now I have a Wearable Cardi to play in for the rest of the Winter (did I mention, here in the Midwest, Phil the Ground Hog sez it's 6 weeks MORE!).

I feel the same way about the yarn in this sweater, the sweater I'm playing with for Alison's Knitalong

It is NORO! It is, quoting the Yarn Market's blurb: Luxury! Cashmere and Silk blend yarn from Noro of Japan. 40% Silk, 30% Lambswool, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon yarn. ...

I've never owned a non-vintage cashmere sweater - used to have a bunch I grifted out of thrift stores in the day...

But here it is, cashmere, silk, Mocking Me from the Sweater Cabinet, daring me to RESCUE its fabulous little Damson Plum ass...

So, while watching "The Girl with the Pearl Earring", the RIPfest began.

First, it was imperative that I get the furry neckline off the body of the sweater. This is, besides taking the bold step to rip the thing to begin with, the most challenging part of the task. WHY?

You have to FIND the yarn ends you wove into the garment where you seamed or added collars/button bands. I have a really sharp pair of surgical scissors I use to go fishing with; they can prod and poke and un-tie really well. Luckily, it was easy to find where I'd connected the ends of the fur yarn to the Noro - they left a bumpy little knot.

After teasing the knot apart with my scissor point, I *un-wove* the last row of body yarn knitting from the collar. I really wanted to preserve all the CASHMERE I could.

This is time consuming - you go stitch by stitch and just *follow the bread crumbs* back to the next seam. But it is really worth it if you can't just undo a cast-off or cut the offending piece right off the garment.

... to be continued - read the Notes here.

Comments (21)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

all good fun fur goes to heaven and pouts...

Off with Its Thread Part III:

Even though the Midwestern Weather this time of year is enough to drive one either to sleep or drink, for me, it is the best excuse I've ever had to just KNIT ALL THE TIME... Why bother trippin' over the grey skies and dreary temps when one can just FixIT?
hosted by the fabulous Alison...

"The Girl With the Pearl Earring" was such a dramatically slow flick, I was able to completely un-ravel my old project in record time while *watching* it. After I wound the yarn with my ball winder (like this), I skeined it with my swift (like this), then washed it. Here's what I ended up with.


Hmmm... What's that I spy on the Left? Although I ADORE this Noro Cash Iroha yarn, it is rather subdued by itself. This subtlety is what drove me to submit it to the tragedy of the Fun Fur collar on the original piece. I used GGH Fee - the funniest of all - not only is it furry, it has little sparkles throughout. I love it so, I could not bear to give it the heave ho and it is now living, for the time being, as a postElizabeathan collar on my Hat Mannequinn...

Back to that pile of yarn - the texture of the Iroha is really smoothe and shiny, in a rustic kind of way. I know, this doesn't make total sense, but the yarn has a 40% silk content and even though the twist of the yarn is simple, the silk gives it glow. I wanted to contrast the subdued but shiny color with something dramatic and VOILA! the lovely pink yarn joined the mix.

It is lightweight Reynolds Candide in color # 153 - I used it doubled for a sweet little band along the front of a sweet little cardi...


This cardi is a modifed version of the Sitcom Chic Cardi. I changed the gauge and made it in pieces. I also scooped the neckline more because I didn't have enough yarn to make the original pattern. The Candide is a basic wool spun yarn - it has a flat, no luster appearance and adds a *felted* texture to the smoothness of the Iroha. Yum - Ménage à Doux - just in time for Valentine's Day...

... to be continued - read the Notes here.

Comments (2)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

When you live in a building with other people, certain rules apply. When the baby on 1st is having a primal teething howldown at 3am, you seek solace by diving head first into the living room couch and countinue counting zzzzzzzzzzs. Your alpha waves don't even break stride. They're busy making up for the deficit that occured at 12:30am when your gi-tar playin' neighbor on 3 came in from his weekly buddy jam session and has decided to continue the vibe for awhile.

You went to bed at 10:30pm and are now up at 6:30am like a tiny little atomic clock, even though it probably isn't in your own best interests.

TEMPTING, the thought of doing a few loads of laundry (they're always THERE like the smile on the Cheshire Cat, waiting for you when you walk by) because using water in the middle of the night is one of the LOUDEST things you can do. Yeah! Somehow in the trip from the water main in the middle of the street, the jetstream picks up about a thousand wailing surfers and when you open the faucets, aloha, RAVE!

Just flushing the toilet a few times would be karmic payback enough but alas, you know better than most what goes around comes around and you choose instead, to Pick'n'Dust, while listening to Marie Ishad's KnitCast on your iPod. Coming from a family where every second born person inherits the special Pack Rat DNA, you don't stand a chance and those little piles of STUFF grow casually on their own until they are everywhere. You are a Pyramid Piler. No nasty chaotic mess on the floors for you; you, being in denial just stack like-shaped like-materialed things on each other. All over the joint. And it NEEDS to be put AWAY...

Most of it is irrelevant crap but you, in your ever-lovin' pea-pickin' heart just KNOW that maybe, just maybe, it's gonna come in handy LATER...

and HEY, baby, later is TODAY...

Like almost all of my Holiday Deadlined Projects, the Ménage à Doux cardi, slated for a Valentine's Day debut, missed by a mile!

It is almost finished, though, and lays post-pressing on the dining room table. I am tempted to get some cork board, paint it white and mount it on the wall for awhile because I just like LOOKIN' at it.

Sylvia writes: "I have a wool knitted garmet that I need to frog completely....once I do that, what do you do to yarn to be it back in natural state?"

Here's my favorite links that show better pictorially what I missed in my Rippit Saga:

+-- Alison's Excellent Ripping Adventure
+-- Andrade's Ode to Thriftstore Goodness
+-- Ashley, the Neauveau Recycler, who in case you're not ready for all that, sells her *harvested* goodies on eBay (I can't find her ID). I love just reading recycled yarn auctions (yes, I am a loser) - somehow the mental drama of a *Yarn Rescue* is just too good to miss...

What's next for the little Ménage à Doux ()? Thrilling Neckline Decisions!

The best is yet to come, and won't that be fine
You think you've seen the sun, but you ain't seen it shine
Wait till the warm-up is underway
Wait till you see that sunshine day

...read the FixIT notes here

Comments (6)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

hosted by the fabulous Alison...

hmmm.... This missed it's Valentine's date -
will it show up for the OSCARS!? You Betcha...
It's all sewn up
but it still needs a neck(?)...

If you are like many Chicagoans, you are playing "Can You Outguess Ebert" right now. It's Oscar week and our papers and airwaves are full of it.

And especially full of it is Roger himself! We love him; we hate him (although we might just have even more pointed feelings for one Richard Roeper, his partner - eeeUehh!) We resist the impulse to read his Movie reviews until that day finally comes when you're about ready to go to the MegaPlex and have NO IDEA what's out there because, these days, it seems like Holly-Wood is spittin' 'em out like watermelon seeds at an August picnic.

I love the Oscars! It is another one of those quintessentially American moments of Sincere Insincerity that we do so well. The Drama! The Fashion! The Emotion! And, greater than it all, because, boys and girls, this is Capitalism at its finest, the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

And it is everywhere! The Oscars I mean - seen by billions (?) worldwide, we get to rub out shoulders for one night with the glitterati without even leaving the living room! I'll be pulling my false eyelashes out of the mothballs for the event and dolling it up to the max! Hooray for Hollywood!

ANd hooray for Ebert! For the first time in my personal history, I AGREE with him ALL THE WAY! OUUUFff.........

What does THAT mean...

1. Sure signs Blogging is OVER: the telecast's producer keeps an Oscar Blog for our pleasure

2. Your ScoreCard - really- a PDF Ballot!

3. Enjoy the SuperStars Evolution of Style at the Oscars over the Years

4. Just how big is BIG BUCKS after the Oscars?

Comments (5)

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Ménage à Doux Cardi

The FIX is FO!

hosted by the fabulous Alison...

Running out from Backstage at the OSCARS (yes, it attended the *screening* and drank some, ahem, champagne), the little cardi that could!

I have barely taken this off since I finished the little ribbon garnish on Friday then wore it all weekend. I want a few hundred more out of this yarn! The Softness! The Color Depth & Shine! The Lux...

Ménage à Doux
Design: ChicKnits
Yarn: Noro "Cash Iroha" & Reynolds "Candide"
Color: #82 Plum & #153 Magenta
Gauge: 19sts/24 rows over 4"
Needles: #7 & #8
Type: Hand Knit

While Upstairs was a Lady, Downstairs was getting ready for work (whilst fondling some new stash for courage in the face of 2degree wind chill factors)...

Below Stairs? My favorite undergarment, a deep turquoise lace La Perla fancy with ribboned straps. Shoot - if I have to wear a Parka because it's still 20 degrees, I'm going to PARTY underneath...

...read the entire FixIT Notes HERE

Comments (24)

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