Monday, August 17, 2009


Hello, anyone there? Wouldn't blame you if you weren't. I've kind of let Chickenheads Knit "rest" for awhile. Between my other blog, writing weekly movie reviews for a local paper, my regular day job, and actually meeting every week with the real life Chickenheads, I just got busy.

But I saw this link today and thought it was worth sharing for anyone who likes quirky knitting projects.
A mommy pig and her suckling piglets.
Oh so cute - and kinda wrong too.
If only my friends would stop having babies. I might actually have time to knit something so totally useless but fun.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lakers lose.

This week's Chickenheads session had it all - competition, international intrigue, performance art, and even audience participation. Gotta love Tuesday nights.

It was the third game of the NBA finals that night, between the Lakers and some other team. I only know this much information because Obamette is apparently very interested. She is the mother of two teenage boys and the wife of one husband, all of whom are sports nuts. What choice does she have but to care?

But God bless her, she still agreed to come to knitting night - as long as she could watch the game. So we set her up in the corner, oddly angled right in front of the big screen TV, while the rest of us knitted and gabbed. We would occasionally get a jolt from the corner of the room when she would release a loud "Yessss!" or "Where's the foul???!!!" (I was happy to find out as we were all leaving that the Lakers lost. Sorry Obamette, but I just hate Kobe.)

As entertaining as Obamette's spectatorship was, I was excited to hear all about Rugby's recent trip to Ireland. She had missed the last two weeks while traveling with her husband throughout the country and visiting with his family. It sounds like it was a terrific trip, complete with hurling - both the Irish sport and head-in-toilet varieties.

Then Big Sis attempted to explain the plot of David Lynch's "Eraserhead" to the group. Let's just say she had to stand up in the center of the room in order to more effectively portray the characters and their quirks. This was easily more bizarre and hysterical than the movie itself. In fact, it was the only conversation of the night that got Obamette to turn away from the game to see what the hell was going on. It was awesome.

Finally, CertainT surveyed the group to get ideas for what song she and her son should dance to at his October wedding. This was towards the end of the night after several beers, yummy meat calzones (thanks Bubbles!) and huge slices of an absurdly tasty ice cream cake I bought at Trader Joe's for only $8. Needless to say, the suggestions got more ridiculous by the second. I offered The Police's "Every Breath You Take" - but only if CertainT wants to scare the hell out of her newly acquired daughter-in-law.

I'm sorry to say that I can't for the life of me remember the other song suggestions that were so funny. So I'm asking my Chickenheads to comment here and share (CertainT - you can figure out how to do this!).

And any of you other honorary Chickenheads out there, feel free to throw in your two cents. It would be good to hear from you!

Bock, bock.

p.s. Oh yeah, we knitted too. Well, everyone except our disappointed Laker fan.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bock Bock Birthday

After two weeks of no Chickenheads (for me), it felt good to get back to the group last night. Although Rugby was missing - still on her vacation in Ireland, poor thing -- it was a festive evening as we celebrated Miss Sunshine's birthday. She is turning a full 26 years old, so needless to say the rest of us felt terribly sad for her elderly status.

During the first year of the Chickenhead's existence, birthdays were a big deal. I think we were all so excited to be a part of this group and wanted to show appreciation to everyone when their special day came. This involved a huge balloon, a cake and a present from the group, usually knitting related. It was a fun year and we all got the royal treatment. But once the last birthday was celebrated we all quietly agreed that we can tone it down for the future. I mean, this economy is hurting everyone and we can celebrate each other without forking over $20/each every few weeks.

So we celebrated Miss Sunshine with a nice big balloon and tasty grocery store cupcakes and even found a lone candle for her to blow out, while wearing a birthday tiara of course.

The rest of the night was nice and mellow, with Bubbles doing her normal rounds of helping the lesser skilled knitters. She helped get me back on track with my ear flap hat and taught CertainT how to increase.

The girls also made plans to get together at Obamette's house Sunday night to watch the Tony Awards. I opted to pass on that extravaganza as there is only so much hysteria over Broadway shows and performers I've never heard of that I can take (as I wrote about here). But I wish them all a wonderful evening of Big Apple entertainment.

Til next week, Bock Bock.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's a Group Effort

I think I better prepare for some Chickenhead withdrawals.

I had to miss last week because of an appointment and I'll miss this week too since I am out of town visiting a friend and her beautiful baby girl. I've only got a few more weeks of medical leave left and, since I'm feeling pretty mobile these days (I had major orthopedic surgery in March if you didn't know), I thought I'd get a visit in before life gets hectic again.

One of the best things about knowing how to knit is how much more enjoyable airplane trips become. I mean, I spend most of my days trying to find a few hours of uninterrupted time to focus on my project and nothing else. What better place than a few thousand feet up in the air? No phones, no email and, if you act unapproachable enough (I can), nobody trying to talk to you.

However, there is one kind of person that will almost always talk to you when you are knitting in public. And those I don't mind because they remind me to be proud of my new skill and grateful for my group of Chickenheads who made sure I stuck around to learn it. I'm sure you have encountered these people hundreds of times yourself. They are the ones who come up to you and say, "Ohhhh, wow, you're knitting. I wish I could do that. I tried to do it but I just couldn't figure it out and gave up after a few tries."

To which I always respond, "You know, it's not as hard as you think. But the main reason I stuck with it is because I have a knitting group that meets every week, with plenty of talent to help me through the rough spots. If I tried to learn on my own I would have given up pretty quickly too."

And I did. My very crafty friend tried to teach me many years ago. I got the hang of it after awhile, but the second she got on a plane and went home, I forgot everything and shoved the needles and yarn she gave me into a basket where they stayed untouched for years. And guess who I am visiting right now? That's right...that very same crafty friend. Which is why I proudly packed two of my knitting projects in my suitcase.

Today it was the flight attendant who approached with that familiar tone of longing for the hobby that passed her by. She was clearly tired from a long day and making her way down the aisle collecting trash before our final decent. When she saw the soft mohair yarn wrapped around my needles (this is the recovery blanket I've blogged about before), she stopped and stared for a few seconds before she shared her story of knitting failure.

We only had a few seconds before she had to keep moving but I made sure to tell her why I stuck with it - my Chickenheads. I'd like to think she walked down that aisle toward the back of the plane making a mental list of the women she would ask to be the founding members of her knitting group.

Bock, bock.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Borrow or Buy?

Knitting night got off to a wonderful start this week when Obamette presented me with a yellow rose of friendship. I was a little confused at first. She approached me with such a grateful countenance that I thought, "Wow, she really must have liked the pizza I brought last week."

But no, she was thanking me for some advice I gave her the week before when she presented the group with a personal problem in need of an immediate solution. Apparently the advice I offered was the winning strategy and she was so relieved and happy that she felt the need to thank me.

Of course, she's the one that made it all fall into place. But still, it's nice to have a little confirmation that maybe I've learned a thing or two over the years that can help someone else.

This pleasant exchange was also further confirmation that our weekly knitting night has become a lot more than just a bunch of chicks gabbing. We all help each other through our various life events. I think they call that "friendship."

Let's see....what else happened this week?

Babies, babies, babies.

Yet another friend of mine is knocked up -- a bit of a shocker to everyone, including her -- so I need to pick another baby pattern and have it completed before the shower in August.

Rugby, who has knit an entire Babies R Us full of items, suggested an adorable hooded baby carrying bag that is in a new book of baby patterns she just bought. She passed the book around and, although I fell in love with the baby bag, I opted instead to take on the bathrobe. It just felt more like something my friend would like (and didn't involve a zipper or buttons). I think I'm going for a pastel purple or blue with a lime green edging. Cute for a baby boy!

When the book got to CertainT's lap she exclaimed, "You bought this!?" When Rugby answered in the affirmative, CertainT delivered a little lecture on borrowing knitting books from the library rather than wasting money buying them. Rugby countered saying that so many of her friends are having babies, it just made sense to buy it. Plus, it is an absolutely beautiful book (and Rugby hopes to be knitting for her own spawn at some point down the line).

Just like her nickname implies, CertainT was unconvinced and remained certain that borrowing pattern books from the library is the only way to go.

For me, I don't do either. I can barely handle the flood of free patterns on sites like Ravelry, Knitty and KnitPicks (feel free to share any other resources you know of!). Plus, I can always borrow the books from my generous Chickenheads. The only books I've invested in so far are Stitch & Bitch (of course) and the wonderful Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, which I've already used enough times to make it worth what I spent. Throw in a few stitch bibles and I consider myself loaded up with projects until perhaps 2012.

What side are you guys on?

Bock, bock.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hormones, Knitting and "Unmentionables"

I swear I need to bring a tape recorder to knitting night if I want to capture the range of topics we cover in three hours. Since last week was our first meeting as a "full henhouse" in our normal roost (CertainT's house), we were bursting at the seams with blogworthy content. But when I got home, my mind a little buzzed and in overdrive from seeing my girls again, it was all a jumble. So I attempted to brainstorm a list of the topics that stood out the most.

Honestly, the list stands alone. So here it is - with relevant links added.

1. The difficulty of casting on with double pointed needles (related to the ear flap hat I decided to start that night, which was passed around to three different chickenheads until someone - Bubbles - was successful in getting it started for me).

2. Anal bleaching - Yes, there is such a thing. One of the 'heads saw a show with Margaret Cho who has apparently had this inane cosmetic procedure. I refused to believe this actually exists until CertainT brought out the laptop (note: CertainT is notoriously anti-computer so the fact that this was the topic that motivated her to break out the computer in the middle of knitting night is humorous enough:-) and pulled up an online video of the actual procedure. I didn't get up and walk around the room to watch it. But not because I wasn't curious - it's just these damn crutches make it too much of a pain in the, ugh, ass. I am all little too creeped out to link to the video here (I opted for the sanitized Wikipedia link above) for fear of attracting fetishists to this site. So if you you really want to know, I'm sure you can figure it out yourself.

3. Hormones - I don't think this subject has ever NOT come up during knitting night. Probably has something to do with the number of hot flash sufferers in the group.

4. Strawberry beer - Bubbles brought some kind of strawberry infused beer. I tried it (in fact, I took my percoset with it!) but wasn't a fan. But hey, worth a taste.

5. Testosterone - Apparently, injections of it can make some women extremely horny. Others, not so much.

6. Increase in shoe size after having a baby - Each of the three 'heads who have given birth all went up at least 1 shoe size during - and forever after - their pregancy. One more reason to hit the 'snooze' button on my maternal alarm clock? I'm already a size 9 for goodness sake!

Let's see what my pain pill-riddled brain chooses to remember from this week's group!

Bock, bock.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sock It To Me

As much as I'd like to think the Chickenheads couldn't possibly exist without me, they can - though I like to think it's not quite as much fun.

For the past three weeks I've been down and out, having had some major orthopedic surgery at the end of March. For the first week I was in the hospital, then 30 miles away at my mom's while I recovered. After two weeks I had a clear enough head to cast on my recovery blanket project, but quickly got stuck. Normally, getting stuck is no biggie since you can always wait til the following Tuesday night when one of the Chicks will help you. But my isolated situation made it more like a concrete-walled dead end. So I put the knitting aside and focused on my Barack Obama audio book instead (a worthy substitute I must say).

I finally came home last week and last night the Chickenheads were kind enough to relocate knitting night from CertainT's house to mine, relegating my poor boyfriend to the office downstairs in a failed attempt to drown out the bock, bocking.It was wonderful to have the group back together, though I will say I haven't been used to that much chitchat having been in near isolation during most of my recovery. But I suspect I will ease back in to the high energy level of the group as my own energy begins to return.

Clearly, some sort of sock fever has taken over the Chickenheads - a virus I have yet to catch. Rugby is insane about socks. When she is not knitting baby blankets for her pregnant friends, you can guarantee you will find her knitting up another adorable pair of socks. And Bubbles is now equally obsessed - dying her own sock yarn and acquiring sock books like they're going out of style. This is the book they are all obsessed with at the moment, and there are some tempting patterns in it for sure.

But for some reason I can't seem to get excited about knitting socks. I have had a half-knit pair on circulars sitting in my basket for months and I keep avoiding them. This, after an initial sock disaster that left me cursing socks for all eternity, which only inspired Bubbles to buy me some better sock yarn (she insists the yarn is why I had such a hard time) housed in a plastic contraption that keeps the balls of yarn from tangling up while you knit two socks at a time on double circulars.

As touched as I was (am) by Bubbles' fighting spirit, I still feel defeated by them. Perhaps I will change my mind - someday, when I run out of everything else. Or when I see Rugby's next cute pair and finally decide I have to have them for myself.

In the meantime, it's good to be back.
Bock, bock.