on knitting and healing and other stuff

One Chick, 3x Chic, and a Frog…

Posted by Janis on April 12, 2007

For Easter, my mom used to make a chick cake. This is a long time ago, when we were little, and a cut-out cake seemed quite special and even kind of magical. (The fact that the chick was standing in coconut grass with tons of jelly beans could have been a factor.) If I remember right, she got the idea from my grandma, who made one once, and Mom was not to be outdone. So for a few years there, we had a chick cake every Easter. I decided to make one this year and was distressed that I couldn’t find her original handwritten instructions, which had a very cute drawing of the finished cake. Dad and I Googled for a chick cake and were surprised that we didn’t find a very close match, except for one candidate whose directions ended by saying, “Cut cakes and assemble according to diagram. (The diagram wasn’t included with this recipe, so use your imagination!)” So we did. Here’s the chick cake 2007.chickcakefix.jpg I have reason to believe this chick looks a good deal more frantic than the ones I remember Mom making — you can’t expect knit therapy to solve everything.

My other Easter weekend feat was to complete – yes, complete! – the Knitty 3x Chic sweater I started at the end of last summer. I always get myself worked up over the seaming, but it really wasn’t too bad this time. I should get a patent to sell the seams as bulletproof fabric, though — man, you couldn’t get through those things with an AK-47! I had planned to sew the seams with a slightly lighter, similar fiber, smooth yarn, but at the last minute chickened out and used the original yarn. (This is what happens when you read all 8 or 10 sources you have on the subject in your knitting library and then just freak out from too much advice. “Always use the original yarn.” “Use a different yarn for seaming if you knit in a bulky or bumpy yarn.” What if it’s just plain cheapass yarn, huh? What then?!)3xchic.jpg

A couple of caveats for the newbie knitters out there on making your first sweater (or in my case, the third): If you think you should use cheap yarn for yourself on your first sweater, think again. I know it seems sensible on some level: This is my first big project, what if I screw it up? Or my personal favorite: This can be my learning sweater, then if it turns out OK, I’ll make it again in a really nice yarn. Ah, but knitting is kinda like taking a vacation — do you go to a new, exciting destination this time or do you return to someplace you know you already love? Tough call, friends, but I know where I’m going next… a new pattern.

The worst thing about using a petro-product yarn is that, at least in this case, by the time I had sewed it up, it was already getting a little fuzzy. ACK! All that work for fuzz?! And I am very careful about handling and storing projects, so it wasn’t me this time. I keep thinking what a really lovely sweater I’d have right now if I’d just bought some Lamb’s Pride or something — not even luxury yarn, just a good, basic animal fiber. (Of course, by the time I finished it, I had all sorts of nice yarn in the stash, but that’s another story. And a scary one, so we’ll save that for later.)

Hmm, let’s see now — one other knitting update. The frog. I spoke too soon on the bamboo scarf and the hubris fairy smacked me down. Not all the way to the cast-on, but to the part where I picked up stitches and started the long part of the scarf between the borders. It is good for the soul to sit down under bright lights and fix a mistake properly, I must say. That is how I spent my evening last night and I am much happier today for it. Don’t you love a happy ending? So do I, but I’ve got a helluva long way to go before I have one on this scarf.


5 Responses to “One Chick, 3x Chic, and a Frog…”

  1. Carissa said

    Janis—I really enjoyed reading your blogs…it was like I could hear you speaking! Nice chick cake, by-the-way…did it taste yummy? Love your Veronia

  2. Asa said

    Tee hee – a chick cake – that’s a first for me! Hope it tasted as nice as it looks.

  3. Eileen said

    Hey, Janis, I hadn’t checked your blog out for a long time. Love the pic of the chick cake! And the knitting looks suberb – Eileen

  4. winediva said

    Nice chick cake, but what kind of cake is on the inside? Filling? I must know.

    And as the kids say nowadays…Where you at? I miss your bloggy presence; even though I know NOTHING about knitting.

    ps.I think you need a myspace page. Check mine out here:

  5. Janis said

    I’m back. Wardster, dahling — myspace?! Whaddya take me for, a dang teenager? I will say, though,
    that when one of my University students was late to class “because my best friend’s boyfriend broke up with her on his myspace page and she was like, freakin’ out,” I had to laugh… OK – now I’m going to look at your myspace page. Do I have to know the secret handshake or something? xoxo

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