Just keep me where the light is

;) – It’s wanting more

Sometimes I feel really lucky! Today is one of those days. I don’t have much to show you on my own crocheting front, I have 3 commissioned projects and they just aren’t for the public yet, but what I can show you is pretty awesome.

A couple years ago I ran a knitting group at the local Barnes & Noble. While there I met a lovely woman named Bonnie. She is a fantastic knitter, designer and artist. She took a chance on learning crochet with me 2 years ago and she is now also fabulous at that! Check out her latest project,  study in patience and skill:

The pattern is Ethel from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans

Through Bonnie I got to follow the adventures of her sister Betsey another fabulous crocheter and designer who is embarking on her knitting journey. Betsey has a wonderful pattern in the Berroco #297 SockStar pattern booklet – The Olney St. Scarf

So, the lucky part. If I hadn’t met Bonnie, and through her found Betsey, I wouldn’t have commented on Betsey post about their trip to Habu and I wouldn’t have won this fabulous brooch that Betsey has made.

It is gorgeous and I can’t wait to wear it. Thank you so much Betsey!

Toots

(I said please)

;) -No matter which way you stay

I noticed yesterday that the forsythia are almost gone around here and the lilacs are about to start popping out and I was lamenting the loss of all the  beautiful eye-popping yellow when I remembered that I have a way to hang onto it all year long and I’d like to share that with you. So, I put together a little tutorial for you based on the pin that I made my Mom last year for Mother’s Day.

you’ll need:

fine gauge floral wire cut into 7″ lengths

beads – I chose a citron green, glass bead in a teardrop shape

polymer clay in yellow and green – rolled into 1/4″ balls

scissors

brown floral tape

a pin back

First I picked some forsythia as inspiration

Then I threaded the beads onto the wire to the middle point and then folded the wire in half to hold the bead in place. I made about 20 of these.

Once the wires and beads were ready I softened and rolled my clay into balls about 1/4 inch in size. The green balls I flattened between my fingers into leaf shapes, the yellow balls were threaded onto the wires.

The yellow clay was snugged right up to the bead and then very gently pinched into a bell shape.

The a very sharp pair of scissors was used to cut the bell into roughly even quarters – uneven seems more natural in the finished product.

Very carefully pinch each section to lengthen and thin it out a bit. Then curl the edges, you can pinch them to thin them out even more and make them a bit ruffly.

slide one of your leaves onto the wire and pinch that into place around the base of the flower. You may want to scratch a few vein-like lines into the leaf before you tread it onto the wire.

Work each flower roughly the same way. Make some larger and keep some closer to a bud-like stage. Now you should bake according to the package on the clay that you are using.

Once they are all baked an cooled you will want to wrap each flower with brown floral tape, starting right up at the base of the flower. Once all the flowers are individually wrapped you can start to put them together. Stagger the flowers beginning with the smallest blooms and working towards the largest, wrap once or twice with the tape and add the next flower, repeating until you have wrapped them all together

Once all the blooms are wrapped together you’ll want to bend and wiggle the wire a bit to give it a more natural look – super straight wire does not look organic :)

Add a pinback to the back side of your branch with your floral tape or some epoxy so you can wear your masterpiece.

Send me pix if you make one and I’ll post them on this here blog  – ChickenBetty – at – gmail – dot – com

toots,

Sara

Like strung-out old stars

;) – We know how it felt

Last October I was able to work at my first Stitches show for Webs, it was Stitches East in Hartford, CT and though it was an incredibly busy 2 days ( we won’t talk about the 10:30 fire alarm induced evacuation of my hotel, in the rain,  and the climb back up 24 flights of stairs) I had a wonderful time and I made some important contacts in the few quick jaunts that I had around the market.  The top of the list was meeting Bobbie Matela from Coats & Clark, I have to thank Kristin Nicholas for the intro!!!

Bobbie and I talked for a bit,  swapped contact info and I went back to work. I dropped her an e-mail that week, she replied that she had looked at some of my stuff online and might contact me in the future. Well, she did and I can finally start showing you what I’ve been doing!

My first pattern with C&C – Texting Gloves – and its free!

See that fancy professional photograph! Those are my gloves!!!! Look:

my hand, my keyboard, my design!

Here’s my original project, and the pattern link on Ravelry. Not that you’ll need these right now in the northern hemisphere but those of you on the southern half of the planet, headed into fall/winter should take advantage :)

I jumped right out of my chair when I saw them listed on Ravelry last night – and scared the crap out of Patrick when I did. So go forth, crochet fingertipless gloves for your cold weather texting convenience. Yay!

Toots

And it’s going to be a day

;) – And you will wake

On Sunday afternoon we headed to my Sister’s house for dinner. They live up in the Berkshire hills on a great piece of property.  Somewhere in the mid 1900’s the State Rte that they live on was re-routed. An old section of that highway has become the street they live on. After dinner we decided to go for a walk. There are the crumbled ruins of an old mill,  the two-storey stone foundation and LOTS of rusting bits of metal, old wagon frames, springs, bolts and random scraps of metal lying just under the leaf litter. My Mom found an old bicycle frame and my sister found and old cafe chair. While we were over by the mill my sister, who had hefted her shovel along, started digging up the pretty little clusters of green leaves. Actually these little plants were the impetus for the walk.  Ramps, people! Delicious, awesome,  wild leeks. She also unearthed some wild ginger. (It all got chopped up and added to Monday nights dinner – Peanut Chicken never tasted SO good!)

As we were heading back to the house my brother-in-law mentioned that he thought there was an old sugar shack on the property across the street from them. Boy was there.

Sometime pre-1970’s this sugar shack caught fire and burned, so the story goes. The thing that was absolutely killing my husband was that there didn’t seem to be ANY burn damage to the actual evaporator. The wooden elements of the evaporator only showed age related weather damage. This beautiful piece, of very expensive sugar making equipment, was just left out in the elements to rot. Its so sad. We found rusted out  collecting buckets, old syrup cans, bottles, and various other equipment.

Alright chickadees, its a beautiful day today in New England, I’m going outside to hang some laundry and contemplate my future garden plot. If you have a holiday to celebrate this weekend I hope it is all you need it to be. I might have some crochet to show you next week.  Maybe :)

Toots

With blacklisted friends and tupperware kin

;) – and some souvenirs

Last weekend was pretty busy. On Saturday I taught a crochet charts class, my first 7 hour workshop. I out a lot of work into prepping for this one and I’m happy to say that my students did really well and we were able to get through everything that we needed to and stuff that I had just hoped to get to.

I’m fairly certain that most of the students walked away with the ability to not only read charts but to plot their own from a written pattern. I’ll look forward to teaching this one again. By the time I got home I was foot sore and brain tired so Saturday evening is a blur. I think there was food and I think there was knitting/crochet, I know I was plied with brandy, the only thing I am sure of is that I made it to bed at some point because that’s where I woke up the next day.

On Sunday morning we hosted our first, and only so far, Occasional Creek maple breakfast. Our friends/cousins, Eric and Kari came up to enjoy some of our syrup and to finish their month long tour of local sugarhouses.  Kari has a fabulous new book out: The Handmade Marketplace.

She’s going to be at the Etsy labs in New York tonight. If you’re in the area stop by or you can check the whole thing out online. Selling your stuff online? Trying to make a living at it? Take the time to check her out, SO MUCH knowledge! (Rue I’m looking at you!)

In the middle of Sunday I picked up the needles and worked a bit on a class project, from a class that I finished weeks ago. I took my dear friend Annie’s Nordic Lights Capelet class. We made the poncho on the cover of Wrap Style

For the first class I just grabbed a bunch of yarn in colors that I liked when they were all piled together. Turns out I don’t like them so much when you knit them together.

So I tried again. Much better colors. And this is just the swatch!

My girls have the day off of school tomorrow so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’ll get a chance to tell you about the second half of our Sunday, it included wild edibles, the awesome reclaiming power of nature and more maple.

Toots