Not your typical hellcat biker chic and
Li'l Deb would say "that's not a bad thing!"

October 10, 2007

Autumn + Motorcyle Riding = Cashmere

Autumn is probably one of the best seasons for motorcycle riding in New England. The mountains and valleys burst-in-your-face with breath-taking foliage that is 100% pure Mother Nature magic and better then a "Kodak Moment."

The open air freedom of motorcycle riding is thrilling and I always wear protective gear to reduce exposure to the elements, road debris, UFOs and insects. It is amazing how much a big bug in the forehead hurts! Discomfort could actually cause the unmentionable so I do not move until I am satisfied with my gear. Any delay is minimal and will only enchance the ride - so I just give the road captain a big grin when the pack starts to gr-rumble.

The saddle bag always includes "protective gear" for my long hair. Knots and tangles from wind damage are not pretty and always require a trip to the salon. Imagine trying to detangle a skein of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze that was -tragically- tumbled in the dryer.

My stylist (influenced by Jose Eber who announced many years ago on national television that shoulder length hair was the the longest acceptable length for women over a certain age), lectured me passionately on hair breakage from wind, sun and cheap ponytail holders... until I humbly left his salon with a sensitive scalp, sleek but slightly shorter hair and $90 less in the fanny pack.

During warm weather months French braids, bandanas and my Native American leather ties minimize damage and keep my hair out of my eyes. When temps drop warm headwear is essential. Helmets keep your head dry but I've never met a helmet that kept my hair away from my eyes, minimized wind damage or kept my forehead, neck and ears warm.

With no time to knit up a nice light weight and custom cashmere hat imagine my delight when while browsing at Helium (an exceptional shoe store in Hanover, NH), I was shown this in all its cashmere cuteness:


The tag reads Another "one-of-a-kind 'e ko logic original" Handmade in Troy, NY from recycled garments containing 90 - 100% cashmere.

A very chic hat for cool weather motorcycle riding and geniusly designed. Traditional cool weather hats never provide room at the crown for my long hair and this hat is open at the top! It protects my hair from wind and keeps me warm. Bad hair problems solved!

I can wear my hair up in "Beehive" fashion (when riding) and let my hair down through the top (at the rally).

Clip On

Clip Off

This hat is soft, comfortable, stylish and warm! I love knitting with cashmere but this handmade one-of-a-kind hat by Ekologic is instant gratification.

Thank you Helium!

If you tour the open roads of New Hampshire's White Mountains and Vermont's Green Mountains keep in mind that temperatures can change from warm-fuzzy to frrfrigid as quickly as you round a turn. Dress in layers, and the layer next to your skin should have moisture wicking properties to keep you warm and dry! Look out for moose, bear, wet leaves, apples and loose gravel too.

P.S. I did the math and unless men are excluded, I'm thinking Jose is of that certain age where long hair is not acceptable ...

October 8, 2007

Autumn Leaves - Falling Rain

Stone walls and color, Woodstock, Vermont

October 7, 2007

Brown - The New Back in Black?

With no objections (it seems) brown has temporarily displaced the position of black, at least in the fashion industry. I'm constantly hearing the phrase "brown is the new black."

What if the music industry suggested ACDC remix Back in Black to Back in Brown, what if the movie industry suggested that Gary Oldman is the New Steve McQueen-Burt Lancaster-Gary Cooper-Gene Kelly-Kirk Douglas-Gregory Peck? Is that taking suggestions a little too far?

[Answer: Yes to the first suggestion, of course NO to the second]

My first grade teacher, very scary Mrs. Starey, would never allow brown to be black. She would declare it all in the name of a nonsensical marketing strategy. She would never be convinced that a complex consumer need is being fulfilled.

The last pair of footwear I purchased remotely close to brown was a pair of Frye cowgirl-like boots in the mid 80s. With brass toe plates and 3" wood stacked heels one could not help but strut a bit. Color: "saddle" with matching "saddle" bag.

The bag is still being used, despite many moons of riding, road debris, oil leaks, Shalimar spills, rain, snow, fancy dancing, two stepping, grass stains, pig roasts and just your above average biker stuff. In fact I am thinking about having it dyed black and adding some nickle studs!

The boots: in some subcultures are still in fashion, but I keep them locked in a trunk in a bolted closet because woo-wee if they could talk......

With the exception of a very sexy pair of navy stilettos from Paris and stylish red stilettos from Italy, black is and always will be "the new black" for me. Then again, these captured my attention while displayed in Helium's window. I imagined Maid Marian wearing these as she rode through the glen.

These are the New That!

I didn't know brown could be so devilishly divine. From Manas, Brand Design. Made in Italy using hand-made processes and with hand tinted leathers.

Happy trails....

August 14, 2007

An Endless Summer = Hot Halter Top

An oldie but a goodie from Phildar Famille Printemps Ete 2004.

The knitting pattern is "Debardeur 4b" (aka 'Kate'). I have wanted this pattern for ev VER and I finally found it. It will be a favorite biker chick knit top. Very cool. Sexy without revealing and will provide freedom of movement in the arm area. Ssssssizzling.

August 10, 2007

De-Stashing Knitting Yarn & BikerChick Wear

I am listing two items for sale. I cannot get my PayPal button to work with this, so I will email buyer(s) a PayPal invoice. Email bikerchicknits[] if you have questions or would like to purchase either of these two items. Remove the brackets [ ] from my email address as they are entered to eliminate spam, or post a message.

For Sale: 3 Skeins Jaeger 4 Ply 100% Pure Silk Yarn
Retailed: $29 each skein
My Price: $60 (you save $27)
Color: Light pink
Yards: 208
US Needle: 3
Shipping: $4.65 US First Class with Insurance

Jaeger stopped producing this beautiful luxury yarn, so soft and beautiful. I bought an entire pack and only need 7 skeins for a Vintage Knits camisole. This yarn is very hard to come by! I am selling 3 skeins of same lot, with ball bands. Would make a wonderful gift for a knitter who loves luxury yarn.
SOLD! Thank you.

August 5, 2007

Biker Brownies in a Box - YumYum Eat'em Up!

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Taking time out from knitting for an occasional partay, always requires a little baking. With beer and brownies being almost instantly consumed, I bake brownies. I freeze them before they are packed in the saddle bag for riding.

I bake most things from scratch but have always preferred brownies from a packaged mix. Generic brownie mixes are my favorite but I always add a little something special during or after baking.

Follow recipe on the box and before baking
  • add 1/2 tsp of 100% pure vanilla, or 1/4 tsp of almond oil
  • add 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, walnuts, mixed nuts, almonds, raisins, chocolate chips, or tiny marshmallows (if you add several ingredients make sure the total equals a 1/2 cup)

Instant Icing - after baking and out of the oven

  • let brownies cool 15-20 minutes
  • depending on the size of the brownie pan used, add 3 or more chocolate bars of your choice to the top (size example: about 60 gr or the .75+/- single size)
  • let chocolate soften on the warm brownies (5-8 minutes)
  • take a stainless steel tablespoon, barely touching the softened chocolate, with one steady motion and without lifting the spoon until you have reached the end, gently drag the spoon back and forth (if you lift the spoon before reaching the end the thin top layer will pull up - but really it's okay if that happens because you can add toppings over the icing.)
  • add your favorite topping: shredded coconut, walnuts, almonds, sprinkles...
  • if they have to travel you might want to freeze them, thaw to cut otherwise the chocolate icing will crack

Yum Yum Eat 'em Up!

August 4, 2007

Bad To The Skull & Crossbones

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WhoHoo!! Youth's Skull and Crossbones Hat: Buh-Bubba-BBBad

  • The underside of the brim and the skull and crossbones were knitted in white and the rest in black. Less than a full skein of each color was used.

  • My daughter knit this and suggests only the skull and crossbones be knitted in white and black for everything else, but it will take more than one skein of black (two should do it).

  • The skull and crossbones design was taken from a few different free patterns and modified.

Debbie Bliss cotton/angora: 1 skein white, 1 skein black
US size 8 needles (Addi 16" and Brittany dpn).
Youth size, about a 18" circumference.

...Happy trails...

July 21, 2007

Jaeger Siena+$52 = Vintage Bolero

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Progress Report:
  • I love Jaeger Siena, I read it is being discontinued. The stitch definition is beautiful. My knitting looks flawless (which of course it isn't).

  • 8 skeins and a long sleeve pattern makes for a heavy garment.

  • The knitting instructions were poorly written. What was I misundertanding or were there errors? I wrote to yesterknits hoping my questions would be answered by "them" or Sarah Dallas. No one responded (my spam folder was checked). I searched online for help and came across one review from a knitter who wrote that she found errors in most of the patterns, there was no one to contact for corrections and shedid not suggest the book for beginners.

  • I frogged the lower front sides a couple of times each (both sides mind you!) and used common sense to get me through to the next step.

  • Funny! I dreaded the thought of knitting 50 inches or so of 1x1 rib and then having to hand sew it around the entire boloero. Guess what! It was the best part of the project. The rib made the garment very special and that is what vintage knits are all about.

Vintage Long Sleeved "Biker Chick" Bolero

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I have always had a fondness for vintage clothing and textiles. So when I came across "Vintage Knits" I settled right down on the book store's floor to have a look. I counted 8 garments I must knit and they all have their own distinctive style.

My first choice was the vintage long sleeve bolero (for a gift) and the second project will be the camisole in Jaeger's 100% pure silk 4 ply. Unfortunately the bolero pattern uses a now discontinued yarn, but a suggested substitute was Jaeger's Siena 100% mercerized cotton. Now that I have knit it up, I suggest a blend.

This stylish bolero will add some warmth to those cool summer nights out on the road.

In the saddle bag: One copy of Vintage Knits and 8 skeins of Jaeger Siena in Black.

Jaeger Siena
100% Mercerized Cotton
Approx. 153 yds/50g
Weight: Fingering
Gauge: 7 sts/1in
Needle: Addi Turbo US 3

I actually started to keep track of the number of stitches....staggering....half way through the project I decided I did not want to know!

Biker Babe Flames Hat

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July 19, 2007

Try To Set The Night On Fire

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Progress Report:
  • It took a few rows of knitting before I got the Fair Isle knitting groove on.
  • I somehow managed to carry the yarn a little too tight in the center rows which made even blocking impossible.
  • Instead of knitting with cut lengths of yarn wrapped around an intarsia bobbin I knit with full skeins (if I frog the entire piece I want full yardage).

July 18, 2007

Cotton Classic+$32 = A Burning Flame

Inspiration for my Fair Isle knitting project came from my fondness for flames and years of motorcycle swap meets and bike events where attitude and style was as much in the bike as the biker. Bikes flaunting bright, flashy airbrushed flames has always grabbed my attention. 

The one constant thought for my blog was that my banner had to be flames. Searching through my personal collection of graphs, decals, patches, photographs and sketches I created my banner flame chart, but then a friend showed me a small photograph of a vintage motorcycle tank depicting flames that he found (free) on the internet.  The flames were small and had been generated into a chart (unfortunately he didn't have any info and nothing popped up in my search).

Using this photo-chart as further inspiration I made my flames smaller in my banner chart and reduced my colors from 7 to 5. I was ready to buy yarn.  I used Tahki Stacy Cotton Classic for one long  "flaming" guitar strap so that was the obvious choice for yarn. The colorways are vibrant and 100% Mercerized Cotton, Gauge 6/5 sts @ 108 yds.

The Elegant Ewe in Concord NH had exactly what I needed in colors and the mercerized cotton had the hint of sheen I was looking for. The one staff member on duty that morning was kind, patient and helpful.

In the Saddle Bag: 5 Skeins of TSC Cotton Classic and a pair of very cool hand made black leather bag handles.

*Fair Isle knitting: