BLOG : December 2001

ChicKnits presents

Curiously Wrong
just a few favorite American anomalies you can leave at the door on New Year's Eve

Michael Jackson

Kid & Pamela

all Prada boy models

P. Diddy

Red Bull & Vodka

Britney & Justin

Kate Moss


Leo DiCaprio

the Vanity Fair issue with half-naked Tom "Icky" Cruise on the cover...

Popstars 1, 2, whatever

Tommy Hilfiger

Victoria's Secret TV Specials

Pop-up Windows

Whitney Houston

Dawson & whoever



Martha Stewart & Bryant Gumbel


Curiously Strong
come on in...

Russell Crowe

Boys Who Knit





Patchouli Oil

Cast of Ocean's 11

Harry Potter


Viggo Morgenston (sp.)

Brad & Jen(?!)

Plate of Shrimp



Missy Elliot

Keith Richards


Cast of Sex in the City

Tony Soprano

The Badda Bing Dancers dressed as the Rockettes

Destiny's Child

Mariah escorted by 3 Marines

Jack Black

John Cusak

Nick & Lisa Marie

Cast of Mad TV

Mango / J Lo

December 25, 2001

found in the snow by my chimney...

December 24, 2001

December 23, 2001

95% Finished / 5% UFO under a Tree with No Star...

If it's staring me in the face, I can visualize how it might look when it's done. There are 18 rows to go on the turtleneck and then the seams.

I hate this sweater. I love this sweater! I am going to go now and get all prettied up and go to a party.

When I come back, I hope I'll have had enough Holiday Cheer to face the music and finish this beauty...

December 22, 2001

Celtic Cable Pullover: 36 rows!!!

December 20, 2001

DISCLAIMER: Working outside in freezing temperatures for prolonged periods of time will reduce your brain to rubber...

One of my friends (the same one who pointed out to me the fact that I dozed off on Thanksgiving with my mouth open) kindly brought to my attention the reason for the plugs being at the top of the Little Tree. Said tree has not been used in TWO years. Last Xmas, she recalled that I hung a huge wreath above the mantle and put all the ornaments on the wreath, then spotlighted it with one of those oooky 60's lighted color wheels from Urban Outfitters. (Blech!)

Two years ago, I had a bright electric STAR atop my tree and of course, it needed power. Hence the position of the outlets.

This appears to be true, I am sad to say... (HOW I hate it when she's right!)

The dilemma now is: Where oh where is my little star. Oh where oh where COULD it be?

I moved last year and there are many boxes down in the storage locker in the basement that in my moving/packing frenzy I marked not. This star is not with the rest of the Xmas decorations. Perhaps in my mad rush to pack up the holiday, I gave it a special place of honor in another unrelated box. Like a box of ..... uhmmm ...... BOOKS? No, obviously too harsh.

UHHHmmmmm ...... ODDs & Ends? No, too logical.

And, since I would do anything to avoid laundry, housecleaning and finishing the gift wrapping, I think I will willfully take the next two hours to find the STAR.

Then, I promise, I'll do the dishes...

Celtic Cable Cardigan: 78% Done / 22% UFO

December 19, 2001

Even though I'm hurling down the UFO Holiday Highway at ballistic speeds, I am slowly being washed clean by Christmas Spirit.

Chicago has had no snow - it's raining, in fact - but I can see my breath when I leave the house. I go to work pretty early and it's still dark. People on my street have been leaving their Xmas lights on all night. There's a lot of flags everywhere, too.

What else could I do but fish out the little 3 ft. tree from my storage space and fire 'er up! I conveniently left 2 strands of lights on it from last year hoping to bypass that heinous wrapping of wire (I always get gaps). I must have had too much eggnog when I thought that one up because I still had to un-wrap re-wrap because the plugs were almost all the way at the top of the tree! What the...

Since I put Little Tree on a 3 ft plaster fake Corinthian column, the electrical connection was 5 ft in the air. Not up to anybody's code I know.

My favorite two ornaments are a 1" high glass monkey that is royal blue with a smiling yellow face. The other is a black velvet skunk with a furry tail. He is about 1.5" and smiling a happy skunk smile.

Although it took me a looong time to get any Xmas spirit this year, I love looking at the lit Little Tree while I am finishing some last minute gifts.

Still trying to finish the Celtic Cable pullover: is it 75% done or 25% unfinished?

December 16, 2001

One of the greatest comforts to me in the last few months has been knitting. Many folks across the country have turned to their craft to reach out to our fellow man, some in huge ways, others in smaller grassroots ways.

Recently the knitting group I hang with on Tuesday nights (Stitch 'n Bitch Chicago) decided to show our HUGE appreciation and regard for some of the firefighters from Chicago who traveled to NY for the disaster relief efforts. When we decided to start this project, lots of ideas were exchanged. I wrote this on 9-19-2001:

" These guys are the great unsung heroes of our neighborhood, both local and national. In the spirit of these times, we've decided to make some quilts for the firehouses of the men who went so unselfishly to give of their hearts and hands. The service, generosity and love that these men have for the public is unequaled anywhere by anyone."

"I have had the privilege to be be present during many of their efforts and am filled with the utmost respect for their unselfish actions. Last Tuesday brought us to our knees in many ways. If our group could make some small comfort for those who were able to stand and deliver in this time of challenge and pain it would be a wonderful thing indeed."

"I ran this idea past several firefighters I know and they were thrilled! Any appreciative gesture is so rare for these guys that they were just beaming thinking about it! The general consensus is that a quilt would be well used in the common room of any firehouse. We're going to make 12x12" squares in Red, White, and Blue yarn in various designs."

Last night, we started sewing the strips together. Everyone chose their own stitch patterns and it was suprisingly beautiful how the diversity in the colors and textures all bonded together into a fabulous whole! Even my slightly wacky fire hydrant block just melted into the others.

We're hoping to be finished by Xmas - I join with all the rest of you out there in being proud of our country, leaders and heroes in these challenging times...

December 15, 2001

Santa Claus is coming to town...

December 13, 2001

Is the glass half empty or is the glass half full? Is your sweater half finished or just a UFO?

I am very superstitious. Somewhere the idea landed in my head that all projects started in a particular year MUST be finished by New Year's Eve of that year. OR: watch your knitting karma slam into a serious downward spiral. For someone like me who just has to juggle about 5 projects at a time (short attention span, remember?)I have now entered the danger zone.

Year 2000 - 100%. (Maybe I was just carried along by the momentum of the real start of the millenium.) This year, unless plagues of Santa's elves land on the premises, something is going to go begging. People, we're talking gifts vs. personal clothing items of huge fashion importance. Which would you go for?

I blame my mother (after thousands of dollars of professional conseling of course) because she was a real slave of fashion in her youth. You cannot find a picture of her nuclear family without her in the foreground wearing the latest, one shoulder and foot forward, posing like she's in some fashion spread of YM.

However, she is also the most generous person I know. She even makes a tin of cookies for my co-workers at Xmas, which totally relieves me of the obligatory holday snack contribution. She is such a good baker, I cruise on her goodwill for at least two weeks, before my associates come back to earth and start dissing me like they normally do.

I DID finish the BIGGIE Scarf I was working on for a family member. I am giving my sister a handknitted sweater I made in the late summer. I have a hat planned, ready to go...

But, what about the UFO's? (Unfinished Objects) IS that sweater/jacket 30% done or 70% incomplete? I am knitting like mad everywhere I go - my fellow bus riders have started cheering me along. (I did lie and say the s/j was a gift...)

How about the Celtic Cable Pullover I wanted to wear with a burgundy beaded skirt to a party in the week between Xmas and New Year's. 40% or 60%????

Today is the 13th - uhhmm - it's now down to the 12 days of Xmas as well. I think I'm done for...

December 9, 2001

Oooh La La!!! What's a Holiday ChicKnit without a little fur?!

Up until today, I was having a hard time getting in a party holiday mood. Everything was a little flat. Like that half consumed goblet of champagne with no bubbles but lots of lipstick on the edge of the glass that you find the day after...

But now, I am just percolating Xmas spirit! And today I can't blame the coffee. All I needed was one little outfit to push me into the fray, one look that said, "Mister, the mistletoe's THAT way..."

Yes, I've finished the fur collared, slightly tight black zippered cardigan...

It took less than 15 minutes to sew the collar on the body of the thing and not only was it easy, it matched up in size! I've been designing from scratch almost all the things I've been making the last few months and this is always a miracle to me.

The next miracle will be finding a cheap black leather skirt at the mall. I already have the boots. Wish me luck.

December 6, 2001

the Memento Cable...

December 4, 2001

Memento, un momento, please will someone tell me what this movie is all about?

I gave a party for adults awhile back and one friend brought her son. He was the only child at this party and in his infinite boredom, took my pre-loaded CD cartridge (it loads 5 at a time) out of the machine and shoved it in upside down, toasting the WHOLE player.

So I saved up and got a DVD player for music and MOVIES MOVIES MOVIES. TOo cool to run the audio through the stereo and see my old TV produce a Fabulous picture. Who Knew?

So now I can KNIT KNIT KNIT while wallowing in Hollywood's finest and just not have to listen to Heather Thirty-something one row behind me have an argument on her cell with her boyfriend in the cineplex. [What is it with people and their cells?! I was going to work the other day and a woman was BREAKING UP with her boyfriend on a SRO bus during AM rush hour. In Chicago, this is just the HEIGHT of rudeness because in the AM (and PM) no one is really awake and the last thing you want to hear is some bogus one-way conversation between two dot bombers heading for the tech ghetto on this route.]

So I have saved myself from one brutal cultural aberration and landed smack dab in the middle of another: You simply cannot knit and watch this movie, Memento. If you look away for three seconds to flip your needles and start another row, you have missed at least three clues that will now cause your head to needlessly spin around like Linda Blair on a bad day. And since you just got this hardware, when you try to go back and rewind you find out there is no rewind just re-chapters unless you want to painfully go back FRAME-by-FRAME. [Maybe I'm just missing something really obvious here but that's what happened to me.]

But, I think it's a GREAT movie anyways! This Guy Pearce is just about perfect in the part of Leonard. I'm not even annoyed when he goes into B/W flashback sequence monologues about some guy named Sammy that he's obsessed with. (Now tell me true, Leonard is Sammy, right?)

It seems perfectly natural to try and knit a most complicated Celtic cable pattern while watching the ultimate flashback movie because before you know it you have to frog the last twelve rows because you are hopelessly out of synch with the pattern and have now created a personal hellish flashback of your very own. Knit, re-knit. Knit, re-knit.

Memo on Memento: stick to that garter stitch scarf...

December 1, 2001

I am in love with big yarn!

After months and months of dissing the Biggie craze, I have been bit by the bug.

While you won't catch me in a Biggie Sweater (just can't get down with the extra pounds) but you are sure to see me in some Biggie Accessories.

Like scarves and hats and cowls...

I started my binge yesterday using something by GGH called Tricklore that I bought at the end of the season last year with no idea of what it would turn into. Using size 13 needles, I made a cap in a couple of hours.

It was so cute! But then I went and steamed it and it got huge! I don't know why!!!

The washing machine was working away on a load of jeans about two feet from my ironing board and I just panicked and threw it in the washer.

Ten minutes later I was almost unable to find it because it was so far under the load, but I fished it out and it was just a little felted. I pressed it flat on the kitchen counter and am I a lucky dog or what but it was the right size! (I apologize for all of the exclamation points but this was a tragedy averted and I am just ecstatic!!!)

Once again I've been saved by felting! And the hat will probably be warmer because now it's denser, although that really wasn't the look I was going after.

Guess I'll have to just keep on gorging...

Um, pistachio anyone?

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Finishing up a couple of projects then I'll start my ENGINES!

Jenny G
Jenny S

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Currently Knitting

1. Coppertone (AKA WavyBulb) (83%)
Pattern: Vogue Knitting
Fall 2002
Designer: Shirley Paden
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa 501
Color: Magenta
Gauge: 22sts/30rows over 4"
Needles: #6

2. Fern (23%)
Design: Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara
Color: Kiwi
Gauge: 22sts/30rows over 4"
Needles: #3 & #6

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