I know exactly who you could be

I’ve been on a bit of a weaving jag lately.

Annie, myself, Kirsten and Amy, Team Designing Women!

Annie, myself, Kirsten and Amy, Team Designing Women!

Some friends and I pulled together and competed in the Fleece to Shawl competitions at the Mass Sheep and Woolcraft Fair. We came in 2nd place but had a wonderful time and the shawl is so beautiful!

2014 Fleece to Shawl draft - team Designing Women2014 Fleece to Shawl draft - team Designing Women

 

We warped my little 22″ loom with Harrisville Highland in some bright stripes and spun a lovely Romney fleece from Barberic Farm during the competition – thanks to Peony the sheep for growing it.

But once I was home from the fair I just couldn’t stop weaving. I made the next 2 scarves on my daughter’s 10″ Schacht Cricket loom.

Valley Yarns BFL Fingering on a 10" Schacht Cricket with an 8-dent reedValley Yarns BFL Fingering on a 10" Schacht Cricket with an 8-dent reed

First with Valley Yarns BFL fingering. I used Sherwood Forest for the warp and most of the weft and a bit of Neptune for stripes at one end. This scarf is SO soft! I love it.

Noro Taiyo Lace and 10/2 bamboo on a 10" Schacht Cricket with an 8-dent reed

Noro Taiyo Lace and 10/2 bamboo on a 10" Schacht Cricket with an 8-dent reed

Then I went stash diving and dug out a super old, partial skein of Noro Taiyo Lace and paired it up with some 10/2 bamboo. This freaking thing – I WANT TO MAKE SO MANY MORE! It’s gauzy and soft and beautiful drape and the colors – OH the colors!

AND I might have written a book. 🙂

How to Crochet by Sara Delaney - available August 2014 from Storey Publishing

For those of you who can’t come take classes with me at WEBS you can have a volume full of ME on your bookshelves! I’ll have more details in the summer but it’s up for pre-order now.

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From the mighty to the meager things

😉 – What’s been going on, around here

I have a wikkid cold today, head full of cotton, drippy nose, blech.

Patrick says its because I don’t have to work today. Like its some sort of karmic punishment for not earning money today, nice logic huh. I like to think of it more as a Karmic “get out of jail free” card. I figure I’m bound to get sick at some point this year, why not when I have a 3 day weekend. I’d much rather be home in bed all comfy a cozy and miserable than having to get up at 5:30 in the freezing cold and go drive a bus with 45 kids for 2 hours. 

Last week was crazy. We were down to one car while the Beetle was in the shop for bits n’ pieces. I had a class to teach and parent-teacher conferences and having to bring Patrick to work after I’d finished for the morning and then go pick him up again after the girls and I had had dinner. And last Tuesday was Veteran’s Day, the girls didn’t have school but I had work so they were on the bus with me…I felt smushed – not a drop of me time. Saturday I decided was all for me. I slept late, and didn’t bother getting dressed till, like 3 HA! Then I went down to Webs where my friend Kristin had been teaching color classes and was doing a book signing.

kristins-book

I’m gonna make these 🙂

kristins-mitts-to-make

Then I headed off to Malea’s housewarming party, where we all got to needle felt coasters for her, and because I brought her a bottle of wine, I got to pick out one of her wine glasses – to keep! She’s a potter and makes some great stuff.

wine-glass

After that I got some girly time with my buddy Annie. We stopped by a housewarming for another friend, talked a bit about chickens and played a few rounds of hungry hungry hippos with the kids before she and I went to the movies. We saw The Secret Life of Bees at the Amherst Cinema – oh tear jerker, but yummy man candy , dirty, ignorant, and angry but deliciously convincingly, southern man candy. Not all that much like the book, but an OK film. Good music though.

It was a nice release, and this week has felt much more normal and better paced. Next week I’ll be in pie mode for turkey day, I’m in charge of desserts and turnips (Dad will not allow them to be cooked in his house and my BIL loves them so they get cooked up here with the pies, though not at the same time) I’ll also be putting the final touches on my 3 designs for the Twilight inspired Knits book and submitting them, then I can dive whole hog into holiday making of things.

saebs-mitred-mittens1

Oh, on Wed I craft with my buddy April and I usually make some kind of baked goody for us, this week I made apple cake. She said I should take pictures and post the recipe, so here:

apple-cake

Apple Cake – serves 8

Preheat oven to 325

6 Med apples – cored, peeled and sliced      1/2 C brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon                                         1 tbs melted butter

mix together and spead in the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan.

4 tbs melted, cooled butter                          1/2 C milk

1/2 C sugar                                                  1 C flour

1 egg                                                            1/4 tsp salt

1tsp vanilla                                                   1 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and suger, add egg and mix till light in color and thickened. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, add to sugar mix alternatly with milk/vanilla beginning and ending with the milk. Pour over the apples and bake 25- 30 mins. Enjoy!

This is whats left.

apple-cake-dregs

I’m gonna go have another cup of tea and climb in bed for a bit. Have a great weekend!

nice-hot-tea

Toots

I can read you even if my eyes are closed

😉 – but I won’t allow you to haunt me the rest of my life

So, here I sit. On this page. Stuck.

I cannot read past this page. I have, but I can’t seem to do it again. Because I know what lies beyond.

If you are reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and have not yet read The Fiery Cross

STOP

 

 

DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! – seriously, you will hate yourself and probably me too.

 

 

Yes I know every woman who reads these books falls in love with Jamie – who wouldn’t, he’s a myth. But I adore Roger, I prefer him. In my mind he’s a combo of young Graham Nash and Ben Taylor – with Ben’s voice. 

That said. I am on my second read through of the series and I can’t read past this page.

I adore Roger.

As pissed off as I was when the door at Lallybroch opened and Loaghaire was standing there I was livid and heartbroken when Roger was hanged. As much as I feel for these characters and care for them I sobbed and sobbed but it was only the second time in the series that I actually cried – the first being when Jamie falls apart in Claire’s lap after seeing pictures of Bree. I was so hurt. It took a considerable amount of reassuring myself that I could trust the author to get me to go back and continue reading – and glad I am that I did.

I know that whats going to happen isn’t on the next page, I know he still has to go talk to Herman Husband and run into Morag and get caught by William but I can’t get his hanging out of my head and I hate it! I don’t want to go read anything else but I can’t move forward with this story.

So I’ll try to read this page again (the 4th time)  tonight after the girls go to bed and see if I can keep going. I have a very full weekend with birthday parties and soccer games and other social engagements so if I don’t get to read through my blockade till Monday, I won’t be too hard on myself.

At least I know that there is still plenty of Roger beyond that page, I’ll comfort myself with that.

Toots

Lo Que Fui Es Lo Que Soy

😉 – as if you were the owner of pants to cover me

I may actually be crazy – and yes, I know I’ve said that before.

Look! Vegetarian colors!!!!! If you don’t know what I’m talking about – I’ll edumacate you, but in private

 e-mail me. ChickenBetty at Gmail dot com

I would not admit, in public, that you don’t recognize the progessive colors of Edwards eyes as he gets hungy. 

Jusy saying.

Toots

Give me the grace to hold my line

😉 – there’s nothing to waste, it’s only light

Welcome to everyone traveling over from Susan B. Anderson‘s lovely site. Click on the winking smile for my musical inspiration of the day. C’mon in! The crazy is fine.

Some days I think, “Children be damned!”, I want to pull the bus over and grab my camera and live in happy-picture-taking-land. Alas, the schools, the parents, and the company I work for, I’m sure, wouldn’t be so keen on all that. I bet the kids would be fine with it though. “Sorry kids. You’re gonna be a little late to school today. There’s a leaf over there with really cool bug damage that I just need to snap a few pics of, and OH! is that a red tailed hawk!?! Hey look at ….”

Today I saw 5 separate flocks of wild turkeys with a wide range of ages from almost grown juveniles to mere chicks – poor littles are in for a tough fall. Its pretty impressive to see that many of these birds on my little 16 mile loop when you consider that they were almost completely wiped out in New England (the last known native bird in Massachusetts was killed on Mt. Tom in 1851) and only reintroduced in 1972.

Most of my bus route is pretty rural and I drive it 4 times a day but I get to see some pretty beautiful stuff. The only bummer is that everything is SO beautiful in the dawn/early morning light that trying to go back and capture it later in the day with my camera just isn’t the same. This morning there were dozens of spiderwebs all decked out in morning dew between the power lines over Knights Pond, the turkeys, a moose – if I happen to mention how absolutely huge these creatures are, in the case that I see another one, believe me! I drive a school bus and the things head was almost even with mine! 

So, no wild turkey pics but I do have lovely new yarn to show you!! See, I’m all about the mollifying.I have 3 Twilight inspired bits on the needles/hooks right now. Two are mine and one is a test knit. This:

is for a scarf and fingerless mitt set called “Reminder and a Promise”. SO yummy, the Shibui is to die for! I want to crawl into it. And the pearl cotton was a total steal at Webs – 10 little skeins for $3.50! 280yds for less than 5 bucks. I can’t wait to get this one out of final design tweaking and really get working with it.

Thats it for today. The Hubby is off to CT to pick up a load of bricks and cinderblocks to build the arch – essentially the oven – for the new in-progress sugar shack for 2009. That’s right a REAL sugar shack, not pallets and plastic wrap anymore! And we even have a name for it. Ready?

Occasional Creek Maple

*giggle*

Toots

In the Gloaming

The Twilight socks are done! Patern ready to go.

Of course I have no finihsed pic of the socks, nor will I since I have cankles and the expansiveness of them isn’t the best way to showcase this pattern. I’ll wait till some other lovely person has worked up a pair and I’ll post their pics!

So Here you go, grab the Pdf and knit your heart out! Yeay!!

twilight-cover-socks

I’m gong to go finish the last 100 pages of Breaking Dawn *sigh*

Toots

New Moon on Monday

😉 – A smile that you can’t disguise

What a week. It has been “get it done!” central around here for the last 10 days or so, and I see no end in sight. Patrick has a post about our list of to do’s and we’re steadily chipping away, of course we keep adding to the damn thing as we go. – (check out my little orange visitor, he’s been hanging around outside my backdoor for almost a week, in a different place each day)

I’ve gotten piles done this week and I’ve had time to spend with friends – how did that happen? Hmm, maybe this list thing works.

I finished the twilight sock – I’ll be writing up the final pattern this week, I made a couple small projects – a washcloth and a crochet swiffer cover (no I’m not joking, Mom), I scrubbed the dining area – walls, floor, breakfast bar, I made curtains for 3 window and our closet which is now sans door for easier access and of course there are always projects for my classes. Phew, that’s a lot! I also managed to whip up a quick pair of earrings and post a tutorial for them.

Have I mentioned that? the tutorial thing? Hmm, well. A couple weeks back I got an e-mail asking me to be a contributor to Craft Tutorials and so far I’ve posted 2! I’m contemplating the next offering and I have several ideas swimming about in my head – I just have to settle on one. I’ll let you know each time I post for the next couple months but I expect you lot to bookmark or bloglines the site!! There is a bunch of great stuff over there and they could use the extra traffic! 🙂 So go already – enjoy!

Now I’m off to shop for a few things for Seab’s birthday. I’m making her a Mimzy bunny and a new backpack for her birthday and maybe a pigeon. Her party is next Saturday but i have almost 2 weeks till her birthday so I’ve a bit of time. I may also make Re a new bag, I try to do something for each of the girls on their sister’s birthdays.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Toots

It’s like a book elegantly bound

😉 – How I wish you could see the potential

My Mom asked my sister and I last week how it was that we became such good cooks. We both laughed and I jokingly answered that it was because I wanted to eat good food. I wasn’t trying to imply that Mom’s cooking wasn’t good. She’s a good cook. Her “throw togethers” – the crockpots full of god-knows-what that she cobbles together from the fridge and pantry – those are always DEElicious, but as Eliza and I were growing up she had a pretty limited repertoire. She would admit it. She was only 19 when I arrived and hadn’t had too much time on her own to discover food and all the wonderful (and horrible) ways that you can combine ingredients and we lived close to poverty level sometimes so a fully stocked pantry wasn’t really an option. She always did her best to put a full meal on the table and to this day a box of mac n’ cheese mixed with a can of tunafish and a cup of peas is total comfort food for me.

But her question got me to thinking about my cooking. I had Patrick laughing when I brought up one of the meals I used to make weekly when we first moved in together – Shake n’ Bake pork cutlets and diced potatoes, tossed in italian dressing and roasted with a side of frozen corn or peas. Yep, I made it every week. That same first year we were together I got my first subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. I discovered a bone deep need to make food that tasted as good as the meals on those glossy pages looked. Of course I also discovered that I would need to double my income before I could afford half the ingredients and required cookware for most of the recipes on those glossy pages – and that good looking food does not always taste as good as it looks.

I think I had been interested in food since childhood – I was designated “potato peeler”and “carrot curl maker” at my Nanny’s house until I was promoted to “salad maker/tosser” and “baking dry ingredients sifter”. I wrote before about my Betty Crocker Cookbook for Kids and I started collecting recipes when I was about 12 but I never organized them or really made any of the ones I had collected until that first year we were together.

We lived in Georgia at the time, Athens – home of UGA and the 1996 Women’s Olympic Soccer games, and a year after we moved down I took a quick homesick trip back up to Massachusetts to see my Mom and Sister. While I was there we hit the salvation army and I found these great little metal boxes that would fit 4×6 index cards. i caused a bit of a snafu at the airport when I want home because I had put them in my carry on bag and they x-ray couldn’t see inside them. I was pulled over by security and they went through my bag and pockets, I was terrified, of what I don’t know. This was in 1996 – WAY before all the crazy stuff you have to go through at airports now.

I still have these little boxes and use them all the time, they had happy little divider cards for all sorts of different categories of food. I’m contemplating a recipe clean out soon because they are so full and I’m always adding new bits and pieces. Both boxes are green and for the first few months I had a hard time remembering which box I had put what recipes in until I decided that “Light is for Lunches” and “Dark is for Desserts” I’ve never been confused since. My latest entry, in the salads section, is one of my absolute favorite things that my Mother-in-Law makes and I’ll share it with you to put in your own recipe box.

Copper Carrots or Copper Coins

2 Cups Carrots, sliced and cooked till just done and still firm 2/3 Cup Vinegar

1 Lrg Onion, chopped 1 Cup Sugar

1 Green Pepper, chopper 1/2 Cup oil

1 can Tomato Soup 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

dash of garlic salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and let marinate for 24 hours. Serve cold. I have found that using rice wine vinegar allows you to cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup without ant appreciable difference in flavor. Enjoy!

Where do you keep you recipes?

Toots

Someday love will find you

😉 –  Here we stand

Dear God! What is that thing!?!

As you wish.

It will be a shawl. Trust me it will. I know, I know. It looks like a pile of yarn slag but that’s because its all folded up since I have to keep it in my little purse to keep attaching new motifs as I complete them.

Think stacked coasters – there you go. Now think that they’re all linked in two columns and they will have additional happy little motifs worked in the in between spaces in a buttery pale yellow and a lovely little border. Now think that I should have this done by the weekend – go ahead.

Thank you, I’ll get right on that.

toots