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Monday, September 27, 2004

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Mimi writes: “Was just reading your notes about weddings….what the heck is a chicken dance? I’m from Chicagoland and I’ve never heard of it…”

Because ChicKnits is HOME of all things Groovy about the MIDWEST! (People, regional PRIDE!) I present
(no drumroll necessary, but some snaps might do!):

NOT the Hokey Pokey; not the Bunny HOP!

The Chicken DANCE!

chicken.gif

Formation: One large circle centered in the middle of room.

Rules:
lst sequence — Four snaps(thumb and fingers up in air)
2nd sequence — four flaps(arms go up & down, elbows bent)
3rd sequence — four wiggles(hips and knees bend low)
4th sequence — four claps
–skip around the circle when the music changes to the slower beat, then repeat the steps above when the music changes back to the first sequence.

Now, maybe I’m part of some Low Culture Generation Gap but call me SENTIMENTAL – this dance has been done at almost every wedding I’ve been to, $$$$, no $$$, even on a boat on Lake Michigan where an Irish guy married a Puerto Rican Lady (who’s relatives pinned money all over her dress for the right to dance) and everybody CHICKENED!

GRANTED: this is NOT the lovely First Waltz of the Evening between the Newly Marrieds, but hon, after a couple of POPS! you are flappin’ your wings!

Care to DANCE! What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen at a wedding?

**********************

the SWISS are the authors of this Party Phenom

da Music: hit this and don’t blame me if it stays with you all day!

How widespread is this flap? Kids – there’s even a Chicken Dance ELMO!~


Friday, September 24, 2004

rs1.jpg

Design: Bonne Marie Burns for ChicKnits
Yarn: Phildar “Marjory” 50% Cotton/ 50% Acrylic
Color: Cream & Black
Gauge: 20sts/28 rows over 4″
Needles: #3 & #6
Type: Hand & Machine Knit with Duplicate Stitch Detailing

This little pulli is my maiden voyage on the LK-150 knitting machine I got on eBay. I also have a Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine that I leave out attached to a fabulous heavy maple IKEA table I scooped up at a sidewalk sale this summer. The LK-150 is a Mid-Gauge Machine; the Bond is a Bulky Machine.

These knitting machines are great for doing big pieces of *plain* Stockinette Stitch knitting that can be finished later by hand. I made a few garments when I got the Bond two years ago, drifted away from it, and now, with the arrival of the LK-150 am back on the machine track…

Why Machine Knit? It allows me to make the simply wonderful fitting Utility Sweaters I love to wear to work. Using a machine and high quality ingredients, I can make hard wearing, long lasting, dependable, SIMPLE garments I can’t buy off the rack.

Oh He** – I’ll tell the TRUTH! I have very loooong arms, a short waist topping a long body. I am CUSTOM all the way! I CAN’T buy off the rack unless I get a garment a couple of sizes bigger than what my body needs to meet my length requirements…

It is indeed a time saver. You can make all the sweater body pieces, minus the borders, in a weekend. Then you can hand knit the edge finishings and sew it together at your leisure.

There is a learning curve – but not too bad. If you just make all of the little projects in their included book, you will learn all the techniques you need. Mine also came with a very good video that demonstrated the techniques.

DOWNSIDE: not as user friendly as hand-knitting. AND, this is the real reason that 99.9% of the sweaters you see in the ChicKnits Galleries are completely hand knit – I love the feel and process of hand knitting. The Lap Dance, so to speak…

Machine Knitting is not MOBILE. You really have to dedicate a block of time to the project – I never leave a piece hanging from the USM but finish in one session whatever piece I’m working on to avoid gauge changes in the fabric.

You also really have to understand gauge and count rows instead of measuring to get reproducible results so your pieces match EXACTLY. GAUGE is good. GAUGE IS PARAMOUNT!

But THAT, but of course, is true whether it’s hand OR machine…

***********************************************

some Starter MK Links

What Machine Should I Get?

the Incredible Sweater Machine Group on Yahoo

Bond Knitter’s Internet Links


Thursday, September 23, 2004

jr.jpg
What’s scarier?
This picture or the STORY that follows…

For the entire last weekend here at the Chez Chic,
there has been a Palace Uprising…

Stash Palace, that is!

Over the last couple of years (cough), the Collection Splendide of yarn in the house has just grown and grown.

Take one part LYS Seasonal Sales, add another part eBay, stir lightly with a dash of Michigan Fiber Fest, blend in the fabulous room temperature MDS&W haul, etc. etc. etc. and you have something that is now about the size of the TAJ MAHAL!!!

Pardon me, while I invoke #2 of the Bad Ass School of Knitting: “Buy as much yarn (and books and needles etc.) as you want, whenever the hell you want.”

Even with EXTREME ATTENTION paid to orgainzing the entire ensemble in January,

I LOST TRACK of SOME YARN and just about drove myself crazy trying to find it. It’s like when you have an important event to go to and start ripping through your closet, trying on every outfit you own and rejecting them in a tornadic FIT! The obvious, accessible yarn is not going to work for that mighty mighty project you have broiling in your mind. YOU MUST HAVE THE MISSING YARN!

All of this, of course, happened about 10 minutes before I needed to probably just turn in for the night. My downstairs neighbors probably wished I had instead of having to listen to me toss about boxes and bags of STUFF!

AHHH! the very best storage bags, IMHO, are those zipperred plastic things blankets and comforters come in!!! TOSS ‘EM in a pile! Some have handles! Easier for the heavin’ and hoin’…

This is what I was looking for and FINALLY FOUND all alone in a box under other boxes:

This is champion CormoCross yarn I got last year at the Michigan Fiber Festival from FoxHill Farm, of Lee, MA. (YUP – they’re at Rhinebeck!)

Written on August 20, 2003: “The softness and beauty of the yarn made from this wool is almost indescribable. I wish I had Feel-Around so I could share the *Hand* of Goodness…”

And THIS is what I’m going to make.

This has to be my favorite sweater of all times! PLAIN, Well-fitted, made from outstanding ingredients, once on, unable to be taken off!!!

NOT scary at all…

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