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Da Fun Begins Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Now for the interesting bits…

It starts in the section of a pattern called Finishing, which for some, signals great despair and wailing as sometimes that includes sewing (!) and blocking (!) and other dreaded dark corners, like the weaving in of the ends.

But this is so much fun, I think it should have its own section, although that would probably create a rift in the universe somewhere (or at least a rain of finger-wagging emails).

It is the Collar.

Long have I gazed on this cardigan as it was knit in one piece, watching the neckline, even laughing at its feeble attempt to finish itself as it rolled at the edges. All through the one-piece yoke, the separation for the Body, the Hem, the Sleeves, it mocked me knowing I would have to come back and visit it one-on-one and show it some love (at last).

And that turned out to be very easy. This year I’ve already learned a lot of new things in the knitting; some by accident, some from others, one really cool thing from a knitter in the Mondo Cable class.

But the the thing I’ve really taken a shine to is Pick-Up-and-Knit (and no, there’s no app for that).

In sweaters past, I used a crochet hook to fetch the fresh, new knit-able loops from whatever edge that was laying in wait.

Then along came the Mondo Cable series.

So far, I’ve knit three pullis, two vests, and three cardigans. All of them at some point, have an area where you need live stitches whose base are stitches already worked.

It was TIME that pulled me into this technique, plain and simple. I needed to get something done quick and without a lot of fussy fumbling back and forth where the tool gets dropped; the yarn strangles the tension finger or needs to be re-positioned over and over and over…

It simply took less time to poke the working needle through the exisiting edge stitches and made a new knittable stitch. What took me so long!!


I love it and when I was done with this Mondo Cable Cardi neckline, I was almost ready to hunt for another sweater that needed such service. (You laugh, but my friends, Chez Chic is LOADED with half-finished what-evers to the rafters. My class asked about this and a quick mental inventory on my part came up with the number: 20).

Another bonus for sheer trivial fun? I’m now Knitting right from the Cone! For those of those who’ve done this, you know what I’m talking about. Hee.

So I’m a few dozen rows away from a new weekend look?


A few posts ago, I wrote about the hem of this cardigan and gave some tips. One that was not mentioned: to tame the knitting of the hem, which can roll if knit too tightly, try using a needle size one size below the one you are using for the Body. And, do not skip blocking! It is your very fine friend…

Monday Morning Mirth April 5, 2010

  Monday Morning Mirth  

What to do with all those leftovers?
Make some Sushi, but of course…
Bonus: Build your own little world: Washington Post’s Peep’s Diorama Contest 2010
And hold your horses, there’s an App for That: iPhone Peep Show
Gotta go — gotta be there when the store opens so I can scoop up all the Leftover Chocolate!
You laugh but le nom du magasin est Godiva! What’s your favorite leftover?

I <3 Spring April 2, 2010

pfaceEven though I’m not in Paris, lately I’ve been buoyed by the same frothy feeling I get walking down its streets, that little glow around the lashes, that little tug on the heart seeing a budding branch or an ornamental laughing face appear out of nowhere.

It is Spring here in Chicago and at Chez Chic the love is all around.

It seems impossible after all this time to STILL be excited by this craft, this silly stick-rubbing routine, so ancient it makes me weep (oh, did I mention I’m a sentimental fool this time of year as well?)

Maybe it’s because the higher tech we get as a people, the almost no-tech aspect of the craft fills me with a connectedness to a past, a group memory, maybe just a longing for times that were simpler.

I love the feel of the yarn passing through my hands, making the loop to make the stitch, watching the way the simple stick pulls the fiber through its cousin loop and then joins the next.

And I watch it grow.


My black CeCe is almost at the underarm stage and it was time to put it on the mannequin and check for measure.

It was also the time to reward myself a little…

In every project, there are stages: the bottom edging, establishing a stitch pattern, finishing a section, and more.

I often take a breather after a stage is completed to play a little with what I’m making.

Here, I’ve put the stitches on a couple more “holder” circular needles to distribute the Body of the garment. Then I measured it flat (smoothing it into place with my hands to appreciate the evenness of the stitches, the look of the lace) to make sure I was matching the schematic of the pieces and could continue to the next level.

But more fun?

Pulling out the button box and digging through the trove.

Why? For this CeCe, I’ve made six buttonholes along the band.

In the original, there is one buttonhole (and one big button) at the beginning of the V-neck of the garment.

I thought it would be fun to use some smaller buttons, more buttons, to make it look and act a little different from the other 4 CeCe’s already in my cupboard.

How to do it: On Row 4 (4, 6, 6, 8, 8) from CO edge, make the first buttonhole by working the first four stitches as they appear, then the next two as [SSK, YO]. Repeat every 12 rows 5 more times.

I “dressed” my black CeCe with three different buttons — am thinking I will go with the one on the top, which has some lacy inscriptions on its face.

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