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ALBY new for Late Fall 2013

Chic Knits ALBY
Because it’s October, autumn has been waxing and waning in a most delightful way. Deceptively sunny days pair with ever more chilly nights.

If you live in a old house, there might be a “friendly” draft around every corner; I seem to notice these making the early a.m. coffee (in the dark), standing in the kitchen, rubbing my bare arms.

Then again there’s that gap – that little pesky area where your jacket or top meets the neckline – just enough of a chilly poke to be unfriendly.

I needed some “applied science” in a big way in my day – and there’s nothing that says functional can’t be Pretty…

New for Late Fall 2013: ALBY – our modern take on a classic accessory.

This smaller-scaled cresent-shaped shawl works for you as a transition piece to bridge the seasons inside or outdoors, as a shoulder warmer or a sassy neckerchief.

The Alby Shawl is a great on-the-go small project and makes an impeccable gift using fingering weight yarn…

We’re pleased to invite you to pick up your needles and cast-on!

Chic Knits ALBY KAL

WHERE: Chic Knits Ravelry Group – click here for KAL info

Start Date: October 27, 2013
End Date: November 30, 2013

Join us for some colorful fun (and prizes!)…
Chic Knits ALBY KAL

Click here for more info about the ALBY pattern…

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Clara Parkes, the Yarn Whisperer October 17, 2013

Last year about this time, stakes were pulled up in my life with a velocity and purpose like no other in my memory.

There was sorting, packing, distributing, searching, flying and a million other “ings” that happened in such quick succession, it was the most head spinning of blurs.

Lock stock and barrel, myself, my stuff and the studio fell head first into an adventure.

“We” moved 2,119.3 miles cross-country from the Midwest to Portland.


Land of Jusrassic-sized trees, hilly misty morning neighborhoods, real pine scented air – something so different than the concrete metropolis I’d been traveling it was like I fell through the Stargate into a distant planet.

The last few months have been such a path of discovery, it’s still blurring my vision at times – kind of a boomerang resettling into the routines of life and studio (all while driving a Maserati at 1000 miles an hour).

Chic Knits Knit BlogBut even though I still can’t find a lot of stuff I thought I packed, other lovely lovely things are becoming part of the new establishment – think about all the things you do (and take for granted) and you’ll know what I mean – like where does one now shop? Eat? Play?

Ah. For someone whose mind wanders the printed page for life and pleasure, this just might be a mecca.

Chic Knits Clara ParkesI found Powell’s Books early on, right after I found myself with a bumper crop of spinach growing in the backyard raised beds and needed a fine recipe for some yummy Saag Paneer – discovering in the mystical stacks a wonderful 20 year old tiny Indian cook book written by husband and wife chefs.

But this week some other kind of magic came to Powell’s – way up in the Pearl section on the 3rd floor – where they have a section for Authors…

Here, gracing us with a reading from her new volume – The Yarn Whisperer – was none other than Clara Parkes!

Chic Knits Knitting Blog

Now Clara is quite special and lots of PDX knitters joined in the fun – almost everywhere I looked there was clicking and smiling and yarn and friends of Clara’s Knitter’s Review site and wonderful books on yarn & wool.

Reading from a new chapter, Clara shared with us a more personal view of how her passion and love of fiber has imbued her life – and its common thread with all of us who’ve been touched by the same kind of love for making.

It’s hard for me to imagine a life without knitting. For most of us, it reaches back into spaces before we ever picked up the needles – our grandma’s and great grandma’s and great-great-great-great grandma’s voices are in us and singing every time we touch the yarn.

Now, we are the choir and love to sing together, all the more fun with such a lovely maestro!

Chic Knits Knitting Blog

Chic Knits Knit Blog

It wasn’t until later, when I stretched out with a nice cup of tea and some fresh-baked bread, that I found my song in the Yarn Whisperer: Chapter 3 – A Good Steek.

Here is a story of life change – how she and her family moved from the East Coast to Texas then San Francisco – then how she moved back again to the beginning.

It’s about how the fabric of our life can change so dramatically, by choice instead, if only we can master the tools and embrace the possible detours, the work and the evolution of one’s world.


Today in Portland, I think I’ve steeked~!


…Don’t miss Clara Parkes reading The Yarn Whisperer here:

October 17 at 6:30pm – Nashville, TN
Parnassus Books (with support from beloved Nashville yarn shop Bliss Yarns)
3900 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14

October 19 from 9am-5pm – Rhinebeck, NY
New York Sheep & Wool Festival (with books provided by Merritt Books)
Dutchess County Fairgrounds

October 24 at 7pm – Portland, ME
Homecoming party! Longfellow Books
One Monument Way

October 29 at 7pm – Toronto, Ontario
A Good Read
341 Roncesvalles Avenue

Stay tuned, there may be more!

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Metamorphosis October 3, 2013

This is the time of the year I think I love the best…

Gone is the scorching light, the kind of heat most of us hide from and in its place: cool breeze, fresh…

And all over the place, special seasonal outdoor fun is kicking up – my favorite being the ones that are all about the fiber…

Last weekend, I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby; at the same time there was a wonderful event in Michigan – Northern Michigan Lamb & Wool Festival (over by West Branch) and there’s fun percolating all over soon to come (Rhinebeck, anyone?)

But needless to say, working it outside whether you’re attending or showing can be really challenging especially in the really unpredictable weather at this time of the year.

My best friend? A sweater, a sweater with a hood. :)

Last weekend I went digging in the wardrobe and picked out my Cassidy to go to Canby.

But I’ve been working on something else that is just a little more adventurous.

To reward myself for getting some especially buggaboo work done, I pulled out the dyepot, in hopes of resurrecting this:

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You don’t even have to look closely to see what is w.r.o.n.g. with this cardi – a TWIST style knit from taupe Cotton-Ease yarn.

Not sure what I was thinking but I’m pretty sure the lighting in my old house must’ve been super bad!

Can you see the different dye lots all over the landscape on this thing? Really impossibly ridiculous!

If I recall (and it’s been awhile, one of the downfalls of having a super stash), I was so excited by Sale Yarn that I soldiered on to the end when it just might’ve been smarter to just not go there at all.

But there it was. And I just wasn’t going out of the house wearing it even though, as far as the knitting went, it was Gorgeous.

Chic Knits Knitting BlogDYEPOT TO THE RESCUE: Procion MX fiber reactive dye – Black (one bottle) & Navy (1/2 bottle); 3 cups salt; 1/4 cup soda ash AND, and this is important because this is a cotton blend yarn: HEAT.

I kept the whole thing on an almost simmer throughout the process. Total time on the stove was 1.5 hours start to finish.

And here is what I got for all that trouble (besides the one black thumb I got when I almost dropped the whole soggy mess on the floor while adding the soda ash):

Chic Knits Twist Knitting Pattern

I’m so happy I could dance!

Join me in celebrating this “urban renewal” with a little sale – for the next 48 hours, take 25% off the TWIST pattern – just enter the code twist25 in the Ravelry cart (area’s at the bottom) and VOILA! …expired on Oct 6, 2013…

[TWIST is a very wearable, classic design and includes both Hood & Collar instructions, all in a quick aran gauge. Leave off the sleeves for a really sweet vest!]

Now what’s left to do?

Why, take it out for a spin, but of course… {Don’t forget your scarf and some Doc greasy’s – perfect for the rain!]

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