Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Wayback Wednesday, and Real Knitting

Willya just look at this guy?

Here somebody went to the trouble to knit him a spiffy mohair cardigan, and you know he's gonna get burn holes in it.


(Pic was taken from a 1961 Bernat Mohair book.)

La ChicKami, she is done

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. I Heart Bonne Marie of ChicKnits (in a non-gay way, I mean.) Her patterns are sized for my bod, the built-in finishing is Fabulous--when the garment is done, it's done, and it looks great. No fussin' with crocheting armholes and such. I'm not ready to model my own knitting, so I've draped the item over my wing recliner, which is the nicest piece of furniture I'm on my way to owning. (Bought it 90-days-same-as-cash, and I made a payment this week.) Oi!

Thank you, BMB, you are one heckuva designer. You rock!

Monday, September 25, 2006


Erm, let's try this again

Let's see if Blogger will cooperate today. Here's more stash enhancement, the fiber equivalent of something as essential as gasoline-powered socks:

And this next pic comes with a warning: If you're dieting, stop reading this blog right now and go here. I don't want any backlash for offering GDD on my blog (that's Gratuitous Dessert Displays, for the uninitiated.)

This is a Black Forest cake from Beaverton Bakery, pic taken moments before we consumed mass quantities of it. Saturday was DH's 47th birthday, and even though I purchased him some new luggage (he's a frequent business traveler and his suitcases get beaten to crap,) and cooked him a prime rib dinner with all the fixings that day, I still managed to nip over to OFFF for a couple of hours of woolly bliss.

I saw on Lucia's blog that a knitting blog contest was held, I wasn't in the running, and all I can say is, Waaah! Maybe Chickenlips will make her mark in the coming year. As you know, I wanna blog with the big girls, and I. Love. Comments!! Since the Koigu Haiku contest ended, I've been feeling as though readership has dropped off...so I wonder if anyone's looking. Let me know if the Wayback Wednesday posts are even mildly entertaining, otherwise I'll discontinue. That's not a threat, just that it isn't worth it to fire up my decrepit old scanner for just my amusement. And I've got a goodie lined up for this week.

Keep those virtual cards and letters coming. We (meaning all my "multiples," of course) appreciate it!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I had to go OFFF

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival, down in Canby. My first time--I'm a 2nd year veteran of Black Sheep Gathering--and I loved it. I'm not a spinner, so I can't address it from the standpoint of abundant unspun fiber, but there was plenty of yarn to be had. The first vendor I discovered selling that knitter's crack, Opal, I bought a skein and a set of stainless steel dpn's. The vibe was somehow more inspiring to me than BSG has been. I'm not sure how; all I know is that the combination of sitting outside in fabulous late-summer sunshine, the general upbeat mood of the attendees and the twinkling of Celtic harps gave me the impulse to break out my purchases and immediately begin casting on for a sock.

I did accomplish something major tonight: the completion of a labor-intensive project. The ChicKami, knit in Rowan Calmer, just awaits blocking. Pic to follow when it's nice and fluffy.


The pic may be boring, but what you're looking at is the start I made this past week on my Log Cabin Moderne blanket. Cashmerino Astrakhan--the feel alone of the stuff is going to rock my Addis all the way through. The chocolate is the color on deck, for the next block.

Payday came a day early last week, so I stopped by my LYS ISO Bliss Cashmerino Aran for fingerless mitts for my MIL and niece. (Damn--three acronyms in one sentence. Still with me?)Mom's need to be washable, because she'll be wearing them while riding and caring for her horses, and niece's just need to be orange. To give her a break from the screamin' pumpkin shade she's been wearing for the past year, I chose something paler but which will hopefully fit the bill. Despite the crappy photography, I think the magenta-plum undertone of the darker color still comes through.

*sigh* Well, Blogger decided to quit uploading photos, so I'll have to save that and other goodies for next time...and dang! it's after midnight. Even though it was all too brief, it was nonetheless a satisfying weekend. Hope it was as pleasant for you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Back when a peanut farmer was in the White House

This week's installment of Wayback Wednesday (ok, I know it's not Wednesday, but everybody's gone to bed on the East Coast and so will see this tomorrow,) comes from a 1977 issue of Mon Tricot:

Ah, 1977. I can hear the strains of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album...smell the aroma of Oklahoma ditch weed...

Which the creator of this...this...thingy must surely have been smoking. (Was stoned enough, I imagine, to not notice, or at least mind, the squeaking of the ackrylic yarn on the needles!)

OK, that's enough of me dissing products of the Me Decade. Now it's your turn.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Madcap Manhattan weekend

Well, not exactly, but it maybe piqued your interest, no? That's a line from the Woody Allen film The Purple Rose of Cairo, and I absolutely love to say it. I work it in whenever possible.

This weekend was the first time I attended the "Hacks" golf tournament. It's held around Sept. 19th of every year, at Hangman Valley Golf Course in Spokane, in memory of my brothers-in-law Jonathan and David. I don't golf, but my dear friend Darla (Jonathan's widow) and her daughter--my niece--were playing for the first time. I made these for Darla's clubs:

I ran out of time before I could make the cover for her 4-iron, but she was pleased nonetheless. The pattern was from the first issue of "Knit It," a publication of knit and crochet items using mostly el cheapo yarns, but I liked it the best of all the golf club cover patterns I'd perused.

Skirt Outfit From Hell

This goes against my cardinal rule of not posting endless pics of WIP's or FO's, but I had to put the skirt next to the sweater for size-and-perspective comparison. I whipped up this pullover using a double strand of Encore--it went together in a knitter's nanosecond (less than a week,) but it's freakin' HUGE:

*sigh* So the kid will be able to wear both pieces, just not at the same time. But hey, I'm not even done with the outfit! Check out Nagano Sakura from Knitty--made in the same yarn as the skirt, it'll pull the colors together and make the flowery thang that little girls love.

What can I say, it's in the queue.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Announcing...Wayback Wednesdays!

A new feature at Chickenlips--the retro knitting pic of the week.

I scanned this from a 1976 baby and toddler book titled "All My Children." No doubt it was inspired by the hit soap of the same name. Back when Susan Lucci was just beginning to hone her bee-yotch chops.

I'm torn between the "look ma, no arms!" cuteness factor and the dorkiness of the color scheme. The pom-pom though, that's what really does me in.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Somebody please do an intervention

I've been reeeally bad this past week. No, seriously. I've bought so much craft crap in the space of a week that I'm scaring myself.

What? Of course I'm gonna show ya. Then you can judge for yourself if Chickenlips is out of control:

And these are just the books. I usually buy two hardcover knitting books per year. These were purchased about 3 days apart.

I love the honesty and positive voice within the covers of Big Girl Knits. Although I haven't yet picked out a project, it's given me ideas for using some of the formidable stash I've amassed (other than giving it away as contest prizes!) and the patterns are real, meaning that they get quite detailed with shaping calculation. And that's a good thing. Case in point: my yet-to-be-used Christmas gift from last year, 16 skeins of Lavold Angora in Robin Red. I'd also bought a Lavold pattern collection book, and have been dithering for months on end about which sweater to make myself. However, only the men's go up to a 50" chest...sigh. Like the Japanese considering the possibility of allowing a woman to accede to the throne, before the royal baby boy was born this past week, I considered knitting myself a man's sweater. Only now (sound Hallelujah Chorus) I don't have to!

Wasn't that neat how I worked a current world event into this post?

Book 2: the solution to my sweater-to-go-with-the-little-skirt issue. The knits are cute but not babyish, and work up super-fast. I'm doing a simple raglan pullover with a double strand of Encore, which has made a sizable dent in the 10-ball bag I purchased last winter. Should be done within a day or two, then I'll whip up some knit flowers to tack on, and I might just have something.

OK, now on to the yarn.

My boss is a knitter. Mostly she's been making the Ann Norling little fruit hats for her friends' children, but she's graduated to the FT felt clogs. She got stuck and I, being her guru, helped her through a tricky part. But in the process, I got nostalgic about felting, so...

My camera does horrible things to color. It's actually "Clematis," a non-plummy purple.

Did Chickenlips stop there? Hell, no! "Destashing," what's that?!

Pie-in-the-sky knitter, that's what I must be. This was calling to me from the shelf of my LYS, convincing me that I could knit a pair of hiking socks for the mister by Christmas.

Yeah, that's it.

Damn camera. The yarn is a melange (that word always sounded vaguely kinky to me) of green, brown & gray. In natural light, it is 100% purple-free.

Craft Crap Other than Yarn, or There's A First Time for Everything

Now we're getting into a gray area. First, yesterday's visit to a little slice of heaven right here on earth, the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. I'm of the mind that one can never have enough hot pads, hence these handmade beauties:

Because this post will be extremely memory-sucking, I won't bother to upload the pic of the backs of these exquisite gems: they are merely the same fabric as the outer part. I think my MIL might like these, if I can bring myself to part with them.

And one more hare-brained scheme:

Many thanks to Super Eggplant for her "Tote Bags 101" tutorial. It buoyed my confidence to the point where I actually believed I could make one. Haven't started yet, obviously, but I did have a good time picking out the fabric--a quilting cotton from Craft Warehouse--and a piece of remnant rayon the color of French chocolate silk pie (!) for the lining, from Josephine's.

Now if I could just get S.E. to sew the dang thing for me.

Wish I could say I ended my shopping spree here, but there is still more. However, that'll have to wait. It's almost midnight, and I've spent (read: pissed away) my evening reading blogs, photographing all you see here, and blogging. I've still got one last sleeve to make, dammit!

Gawd knows I love those comments, but I already know without anybody having to tell me that when they throw the net over me, I'll be raving about what needle size I would have used to get that gauge, and so forth. The syringe full of moose tranquilizer will take effect, and I'll....trail off...

Friday, September 08, 2006


An oldie but goodie

(blowing away dust)
From deep in the vaults at Chickenlips, comes an original design by moi. Click here for the pattern. (You can see pics by clicking here and here.)

A year ago, I was frantically knitting tiny and small dog sweaters, churning them out as fast as I could, in hopes of making a tax-free fortune at the doggie boutiques. I even had the opportunity to sell them on consignment...unfortunately, I saw very little cash. Turns out that the really hot item was, and maybe still is, sweaters for larger dogs. I did make a few of those on consignment and special order, and had fun with it. Fortunately for me, and my yarn budget, I got a regular (non-knitting) job in February of this year, thus bringing my not-so-illustrious doggie sweater designer career to a screeching halt.

Anyway, although I wouldn't dream of trying to sell this design because I reproduced a copyrighted logo, it's damned cute and deserves to see the light of day, as it were. My little doggy, Buster, still wears the one I made for him. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


And the Koigu goes to...

Sharon's dilemma:
Haiku are all good. Which one
will win the Koigu?

First of all, thanks to everyone who submitted haiku. Ranging from the droll to the ethereal to the outright solicitous, all are delightfully clever, and I had a tough time selecting just one winner. The haiku I received via email, I've posted in the comments, so they can all be read and enjoyed.

Now let's get to it. Here's the second runner-up:

Chicken lips chilly?
Two pointy sticks and a string:
Koigu nose warmer
-from Judy

First runner-up:

"honey, stop crying"
doesn't he get it? handspun
socks in the dryer
-from Lynn

And the winner:

Bury me in yarn.
Balls, skeins, hanks...oh, the pleasure;
I can die happy.
-from Rebecca

Congratulations, Rebecca! As soon as I have your mailing address, I'll send the Koigu right out to you.

Y' know, I enjoyed this contest so much that I'd like to do another one, maybe next month so there will still be time to make holiday gifts. What the hey, we could give captions a try, it ought to be a hoot. Watch this space for details--I try to blog at least once a week. I'll also announce a contest on Yahoo Portland SnB.

Thanks again to all who participated--we here at Chickenlips appreciate your readership!

Productive Labor Day Weekend

In terms of finishing projects, that is. The "Really Cool" Socks are done, washed, dried, and put away in my Rubbermaid bin of gifts waiting to be given. I began those on the weekend of Black Sheep Gathering, so they took about 2.5 months to complete.

*sigh* See why I need to destash?

This is also finished:

This came from a Patons Beehive booklet of children's patterns from the early 1960's--love those retro pattern books, I've got a '61 Bernat Mohair book with a cardigan-wearing guy smoking a cigarette! Maybe we could use that for our caption contest. The skirt is a 5 x 2 wide-rib, knit in Araucania Nature Wool (2 hanks for a size 6, which is pretty teeny,) and on size 5 needles. The elastic casing is a slipstitch which creates the knit fabric on both sides, making it easier to finish--no knitting a turning row, then having to stitch it down. It was nice to be able to just sew the side seams, run the elastic thru, tack it together, and badda-bing, be back on the street.

The intended recipient is a very special little girl--the daughter of a knitting buddy--who has the same birthday as me. Late October, 1st decan of Scorpio, that would be. The child is turning 4, which means that on the day she was born, I was visiting Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima and then going to Miyajima to try to forget about the A-bomb.

Of course, what's a skirt without a sweater to go with it? Determined as I am to continue destashing, rather than run out and buy yet more yarn, I cast on for a little girl's cardigan in Vogue Vintage Knits, using Silky Wool. To be honest, I'm not loving it, for the following reasons: a) the yarn seems too fine-gauge. Even knitting it on size 3 needles for the ribbing, I'm getting too much space between and within the stitches; and 2) it just doesn't have the "feel" I expect for the ribbing of a child's cardi. So, I'm going to scrap the whole vintage-cardigan thing--I hate doing buttonholes anyway!

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