Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Pee-wee Herman: the early years

"No way Billy, it can't really make you go blind! Can it?"

(We here at Chickenlips want to apologize for that caption. We're very, very sorry, and it will never happen again.)

Help A Friend Help Others This Holiday Season

On a serious note, my friend Christine, aka Flutter of Fluttercrafts, is doing something special for the holiday season. She is an online bell ringer for the Salvation Army. Check it out! Click here and help fill her red kettle.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Caffeine: my drug of choice

My Secret Pal sent me a Starbucks card, which I received the day we left for our trip. I enjoyed a beverage while shopping in Spokane. Thank you, Secret Pal!


Honey, I'm home

Greetings to one and all. The holiday season is now upon us with a vengeance! Got home yesterday from our Thanksgiving visit to Jason's family in Spokane. I'm blessed with a great mother-in-law, Lou, whom it was a pleasure to help with the dinner, and sister-in-law, Darla, both of whom I consider to be among the best friends I've ever had. Behind me in this photo is a memorial garden for Jason's brother Jonathan, Darla's husband, who passed away eight years ago. We miss him always.

But why, you may wonder, is Chickenlips not only having a rare moment of courage in posting her own photo, but twizzling about dancing in 35-degree weather?

Because as soon as I put the turkey in the oven, I glanced out the window, and saw the first snow of the season.

And that always makes me dance!

I Said Come On Over Baby, Whole Lotta Knittin' Goin' On

"We ain't fakin'/Whole lotta shakin' goin' on." (insert 4-letter word to make the rhyme work with the line above.) But I shit you not, I completed this pair of handwarmers for Darla over the weekend, using the fabulous 127 Print. I could buy a couple of bags of the stuff--in every colorway--I love it that much!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


A quickie before getting on the road

I love surfing blogs, and when someone posts a yummy recipe on their blog, it's even better! So I'd like to share one of my favorite recipes. My neighbor Zainab is from Pakistan, and she gave me an informal cooking lesson. This, and a vegetable recipe which I'll share when I get back, is what she showed me how to make.

Kadhai Chicken

(In India, a kadhai is a pan similar to a wok. A 6-qt. Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid will work just fine.)

3 chicken breast halves, with rib bones attached, skin removed
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
About 1 or 2 teaspoons minced or grated fresh ginger root
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves (at least several tablespoons)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cumin (if desired)
Pinch of turmeric (if desired)
Paprika to taste (if desired)

The spices and amounts listed are only a guide; adjust to your taste. The dish will get heat from the jalapeno, so you may want to be conservative with the spices at first.

Cut each chicken piece in half so you have 6 pieces. In Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown quickly on all sides. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno. Saute briefly. Stir in tomatoes and spices. If the dish looks dry, a small amount of water may be added if you wish. Adjust heat so mixture simmers gently, then cover and cook on medium-low for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is done. The pan juices should be a rich, fragrant gravy—if the dish has excess moisture, raise heat and simmer uncovered a few minutes to boil off moisture. Remove from heat, add cilantro, and cover pan to steam and blend flavors for a few minutes. Serve chicken and sauce with hot, steamed basmati rice.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Someone please feed this poor woman

I mean, she so hongry she's about to eat a carnation!

I hope I didn't offend anyone with yesterday's tirade about O.J. I'm delighted that there was enough outcry to make the soulless ghouls who run corporate media realize that they just can't do this--give someone an avenue to discuss THE FACT THAT HE MURDERED TWO PEOPLE as something hypothetical WHEN WE ALL KNOW HE DAMN WELL DID IT!!

*ahem* Excuse me. My final word on the subject: he is one person who desperately needs to shut his mouth and go away forever and be quiet.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, all. May your holiday be filled with peace, love, good food...and knitting!

(Note: Chickenlips is making the semi-annual trek to Eastern Washington to visit the in-laws. Will return on 11/27.)

Monday, November 20, 2006


Look! Patriotic knitting!

Completed and ready to ship: one helmetliner for a U.S. soldier, modeled by my trusty wig form, Edith Head. Thank you Kerry, for raising this challenge to SP9 participants--it's well worth the effort, and actually an easy and fun knit. I was able to finish it in a weekend, and this being the home of "Chickenlips," that's significant!

I Hate O.J.


"If I Did It." Come on! How stupid does he think we are? Y'know, I don't often stray from my favorite topic, knitting, and unlike other knit bloggers whom I enjoy reading, such as Marilyn, I prefer not to cuss on my blog. The way I figure it, if I'm going to drop F-bombs, they'll be the verbal kind as opposed to the written. But seriously, O.J. Simpson-- fuck you.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Sometimes it's gotta be about me

Anybody recall that late '70's jazz/rock record by Chuck Mangione, "Feels So Good"? To me, that song felt like, I dunno, a frosty margarita on a hot summer day or something. A Maui breeze with a hint of jasmine. Flutter's the poet, not me! Unfortunately, the radio stations played that record into the ground. But trust me, bad segue notwithstanding, this Lavold Angora does, in fact, feel so good.

As much as I love knitting for others, this is a dream project just for me. I've been saving it for a long time, but this week I broke ground on Salt Peanuts. Reading ahead in the pattern, it looks like I'll have to call in the NASA geeks when I get to the collar--it's that precision-joining-in-the-middle-and-having-all-your-ducks-in-a-row business that is inevitably my undoing. But I'm nearly done with the waist shaping for the back, and the color and incredible texture makes this a piece that practically knits itself. Or so it seems. Keep it right here; this is one of those projects that calls for progress reports.

Handwarmers of gorgeous Koigu

I absolutely could not wait to make something with the Koigu that my Secret Pal sent me, and given the fact that glaciers move faster than I can knit a pair of socks, I doubled the Koigu and made this pair of mitts. They feel just right--toasty warm without being too thick--and I have plenty left over to do baby hats!

I've Accepted the Challenge

This is my first Secret Pal exchange, and our lovely hostess has challenged us participants to knit helmet liners for the troops. Shame-based, startitis knitter that I am, I've got too much on the ol' needles to commit to more than one helmet liner--but this being my blog, I must take this opportunity to wax political.

I detest the war in Iraq.

I was a college student in 2003 when our military invaded that country, and did what I could to encourage student protest--I put up posters parodying Bush, Rummy, and Tony Blair among others, which were largely ignored and then taken down. Thank God I graduated soon after, because the College of Arts and Sciences seemed full of spoiled rich kids who didn't bat an eye when our country declared senseless, unjustified war based on outright lies, but when the wrestling coach was fired they turned out in force on the quad to demonstrate their outrage! (You know who you are. Hope you're flipping burgers somewhere now. Take that.)

I marched in the Portland Peace March last spring, and demanded the immediate removal of U.S. troops from Iraq. I've written my congressman and senator expressing the same demand. I do not support this war.

But I am also a parent, and cannot ignore the fact that because someone else's child volunteered to serve in the armed forces, my child does not have to. For that reason alone, to honor the sacrifice someone I don't know has chosen to make, I'll gladly knit something for a soldier. And while I'm not issuing my own challenge, I do hope any knitters reading this post will consider joining this effort.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Scary eyebrow dude is back

Inconsiderate bastard--still stinking up his handknit mohair sweaters.

That reminds me of a funny line I just heard: "Not all men are annoying. Some are dead."

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Knit happened

Completed: another pair of fingerless mitties. Oh, I've got a long way to go before I'm done making hand warmers for everyone for the winter, but this pair is for one of my favorite co-workers.

Only one is shown; honest, I made 2, and the other one is different. It must be a tic or something, the way I darn in ends and immediately reach for the camera, but the mate is actually not as interesting as this one. I used Berroco Foliage, which has the random stripe pattern and is a wool/ackrylic blend. I've got another unused ball of it left-- perhaps I'll do a quick hat.

Here are the Opal sox which I began on Sept. 23, the day of Oregon Flock & Fiber.

This is the fourth pair of sox I've completed in 2006. I know I should congratulate myself, but I have umpteen balls and skeins of groovy sock yarn which I've purchased in same calendar year, and they're looking at me accusingly.

Which brings me to:

I've Been Naughty

Oh, so naughty.

Went shopping at the Mill Ends Store yesterday. Yay, sushi fabric!! It's intended for a tote bag. My sewing ability is such that "Sewing for Dummies" might be too challenging for me, and I've already purchased other tote bag fabric which has been sitting untouched on my dining room table for the past couple of months. But am I gonna let that stop me? Naa! I also bought a pattern board, so I can cut the fabric without using a pattern, and I'm going to navigate on either the instructions from the first Stitch n' Bitch book or "Tote Bags 101" from Super Eggplant, a wing, a prayer, several deep breaths, and a grande mocha from Starbucks.

Oh yeah, there's some yarn there too. Suri Alpaca for a cabled scarf, and 10 hanks (too lazy to display them all) of this New Zealand wool for a sweater for Jason.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It's (almost) Wayback Wednesday

Now you can have that lobotomy, and still be stylin'!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Shopping day

...for gifts to send to my Secret Pal in England. This embroidered pouch is what I've got so far. Not pictured is a small desk calendar called "Wisdom of the East" with an inspirational quote for each day. The front of the box features probably the most famous of the 19th century woodblock prints from Japan, that of the fishing boat being swallowed by the tsunami wave. I also found a lovely card with the same print.

The bulk of today will be spent hunting down other pressies. I'm going to New Seasons after some scented soaps and Dagoba chocolate (note to self: try Dagoba chocolate before sending. I'm sure it's great, but one must do a personal taste test. I'm sure you understand.) Then, since she needs something in which to keep her circs, I'll head to Craft Warehouse (not to be confused with Crap Warehouse) for a Clover embroidered circular case. Also some cute buttons, if I can find some, to add to the goodie pile.

The past few weeks have been Party Central, what with the birthdays and all. Since Michelle's birthday and mine are only six days apart, we got both our names on the cake last Saturday night at the family dinner.

From JaCiva's bakery in SE Portland. It was every bit as scrumptious as it looks. But alas, the parties are over, figuratively as well as literally. I've had a weight problem since Michelle was born, but since a hysterectomy in '04 and quitting smoking in January of this year, it's quite out of control. I saw a dietitian last week, and am now sucking down as much water as I can stand, starting first thing in the morning and continuing until evening. Since it's impossible to change everything at once, we decided to start with zero-calorie fluids and eating out less often. (I indeed have become the take-out queen since I've been working full time.) So, Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice are my new best buds.

Roseanne has never been one of my favorites, but I watched her HBO special last night. One thing she said which struck me: "Half the world is starving and the other half is trying to lose weight." It does help a new dieter keep perspective.

Knitting-related content: I'm on the homestretch with the Pismo Hat. In my mini-warehouse of stash yarn, I've also got enough Lavold Angora to knit a cardigan called "Salt Peanuts" (where do they get these names!?) from an Interweave Knits of a couple of years ago. I'm eager to finish up some smaller stuff on needles so I can tackle the cardi.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


The celebrations continue

I'm feeling rather unfocused tonight, but since I uploaded a bunch of pics, writing a blog entry seemed like the right thing to do. I'll start off with the knitting. Here is a WIP of something called a Pismo Hat. I'm using leftover Baby Cashmerino, but as is often the case with my stash knitting, I needed to pick up another ball of the soft pink.

Since I'm not a hat gal, this will join several other items in the bin of accessory and gift FO's. I'm hoping to be in fine shape by Christmas. And while we're on the subject of hats, this looks enticing. I've got some lovely Koigu in variegated pink, and also the two skeins of gorgeous lavender-blue that my Secret Pal sent me. I've been saving the pink Koigu since I scored it last Feb. at Stitches West, but seeing as how I've completed only 2.6 pairs of socks all year, it's probably a good idea to switch gears and use the fine-gauge yarns in quicker, more instant-gratification projects.

Remember this?

Today I finally got to present this outfit to the child for whom it was made. She turned 4 on 10/26, which was coincidentally my birthday. So we have this 1st decan of Scorpio synergy going. The little girl is the daughter of a friend who works at the LYS where I once worked. But the great news is that both garments actually fit the little girl really well! The sweater has some room to grow, or to layer. She and her mother were pleased, as was I. Smiles all around.

And since I'm in the mood to check in on old projects, here's a progress report on my blankie. It's my take on the Log Cabin Moderne, knit in Cashmerino Astrakhan.

A terrible photo--the top is a plum purple and the right middle section is a chocolate brown. Interesting juxtaposition of shades which I wish came through in the photography. Hardly worth the effort, because it took about 10 tries to upload. I've got more to blog about, but I've reached the end of my patience with Blogger, at least for tonight. Being at the mercy of POS software, I'll try for another blog entry tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Oo-wee, oo-wee baby

Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?

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