Oh Good Morning, What a Beautiful Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! And a Happy Thursday to everyone else.

This year I feel particularly thankful that my life has taken the course that it has. Not only am I STILL lucky enough to work at WEBS but I’ve published my first book and released a Craftsy Class. My girls are growing into happy and really interesting young women and Patrick continues to be my everything. So I thought I’d celebrate the official start of the holiday season here in the States with a give-away.

I’ve been steadily adding new patterns to ChickenBetty’s Pattern Coop on Ravelry, to my Etsy Shop and to my Pattern Page on Craftsy but I’ve also been revamping a lot of my older patterns to clean up the pattern language, provide better images and make sure they match the format of my newer patterns. This means I’ve been making lots of new samples and I’m never going to use or wear all of them but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t! Want to win a pattern and a sample?!

Comment to win a copy of the pattern and a finished sample! - visit ChickenBetty.wordpress.com for more details

Comment on this post before 11:59 EST on Sunday Nov. 30th and tell me why you’re thankful this year. On Monday Dec. 1st I’ll draw two winners who will not only receive a copy of my Slap Chop! bracelet pattern BUT you’ll also receive one of the bracelets pictured above! International readers are TOTALLY eligible! Make sure you leave me some way to contact you in the comment. (psst – if you post as anonymous I won’t be able to contact you!)

I’ve had a bit of a soft spot for vintage James Taylor recently and his Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon album has been on constant repeat for me this week.

Don’t you monkey with the monkey!

๐Ÿ˜‰ – Something knocked me out the trees

Yesterday was a long day, but good. The girls and I headed out for a birthday party just as my FIL was arriving to help Patrick unload a deck’s worth of lumber (he’ll be using that to build 2009s sugar shack) and to measure all our windows, replacements are going in before winter. Yay! Our current windows date from 1959, yep – single pane heat dispensers.

So all us ladies made a 2 hour trek over to New York state for my Memaire’s 78th and my cousin Jacob’s 1st combined birthday party. Memaire was a bit surprised to be included but it was a good day hanging out with family and eatin yummy yummy food! Seriously, my Aunt Linda made this raspberry pretzel thing! I know it sounds questionable but its SO! delicious.

Saeb and I left around 5, Re stayed with my Mom – it was her turn for an overnight. After another yummy meal, this time homemade pulled pork BBQ sandwiches with fresh coleslaw corn on the cob and watermelon with my in-laws, Patrick and I headed out for, his middle bro, Kevin’s birthday party. An 80’s party. Shit, that was fun.

Many people came in costumes, we did not, there was a mix tape contest, I have no idea who won since they couldn’t find a working tape player in the house but I had more fun mining our MP3 files and burning it all onto 4 CDs so we could “tape” them!, there was 80’s candy, we brought prop beer – Pabst and Black Label(I secretly dreamed of showing up with a case of Genny Cream Ale but it can’t be found outside a keg around here. When Pat asked for it at the liquor store the girl told him that all the “cream sodas” were over in the corner. HA!) Btw I don’t recommend working on your jaywalkers outside, in the semi-dark, while talking, and swooshing away mosquitoes and beetles, I have 3 rows to tink. There was also a cardboard dance floor for when we all felt like gettin down and break dancing.

So far as I know only Kevin made an attempt, thankfully with his bike helmet on. I don’t recommend this drunk at 1 am but no one listens to the sober girl, I was DD. We were all supposed to come up with an 80’s Dj name and “tag” the dance floor.”Its Betty. Miss Knotty if you’re nasty!”

We headed back to the in-laws to sleep around 2 and the party was still going. We had a great time, ran into some old friends and had some good laughs and good beer – 80’s props not withstanding.

Today we’re laying back. The kids are playing with the neighbors grandkids, I’m…here, and Pat’s napping. I should go think about dinner. How was your weekend?

Toots

Deeper Shade of Soul…

ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

different states of doneness…

* Aureliaโ€™s Pinwheel Sweater – K ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

* Momโ€™s Kitchen Vest – K ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

* The Looney sweater – C ๐Ÿ™‚

* Twilight socks – K ;(

* Layette set for Erinย  – C ๐Ÿ™‚

Four questions;

1.) How many will I actually finish – seaming, weaving in ends and blocking included – by April 1? sadly only 2, The Looney sweater and the layette

2.) Which one do you think Iโ€™ll finish first? – Looney. Saeb needed an Easter sweater ๐Ÿ™‚

3.) How much of my time will be wasted making super yummy, time consuming desserts instead of working on yarny projects? Approx 5; one overly nutmeggy apple crisp, Buddy’s birthday cake, and rice pudding.

4.) How many new projects will I start by April 1? Only 2, The Odette fingerless mitts and the Capitain hat.

So, who got it rightest? Since there were 4 questions, I gave 25 points for each correct answer. Everybody got 25 for the dessert one. How can there be a wrong answer there? Well maybe Melissa‘s…she said, “a great deal more than I will.” Then she found a gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe, hmmmm.

With 3 out of 4 right, our prize(s) winner is Bonnie!!! of Blue Peninsula! She guessed that I would only start ONE new project, her only wrong answer – HA! Congratulations Bonnie ๐Ÿ™‚

And now for the prizes, mwahahahahahh….

pewter-yarn-coil.jpgSuper hard-to-part-with pewter, just under 100yds of fine-sport/sock weight, yarn

explosion-violet.jpgOne of my prized African Violets (a baby of course – nobody gets the Mammas)Bonnie, you may choose mauve, violet or plum colored blooms.

a-and-b.jpgOne pint of our Maple syrup, soo, so sweet this year

rowanspun.jpg4 skeins of rowanspun 4ply in a yummy, earthy green with flecks of caramel and cream. Approxย  650yds at 7sts/inch on Us 3’s

bamboo-in-charcoal.jpga frameable copy of my Bamboo in charcoal

A few of my favorite recipes plus a couple little extras that she’ll find when she opens her box. Thanks to all of you that commented and e-mailed to participate, even if was just to say that you had no idea and couldn’t guess! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would also like to send along a special thanks to Marti and Kate, former prize pack winners, who graciously kept themselves out of the running to give you good ladies better odds.

The broken one is fairy well. She has a hard time remembering that she’s injured and should be taking it easy. She sneaks her hand out of the sling every time she gets a chance, “but Mama! It doesn’t hurt!!”, and it won’t if she can be good for the next 5 weeks.ย  Saeb is nearing the end of her punishment for stealing the gum and seems to have learned a lesson, maybe. I’m off to find a new instantly viewable TV show to watch on Netflix, I devoured every episode I could of MI5 (Spooks in the UK).ย  Lurve! Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Quinn!

Toots

Cuz this is what I do, at the playground

๐Ÿ˜‰

xray_clavicle.jpg

This is what I did Tuesday night. I mean, I didn’t DO it…ugh.

Aurelia fell out of her bunkbed Tuesday night around midnight and broke her collarbone. I took her down to the ER, they treated her like a queen and we rolled back home around 3. She’s good. She’s got her arm in a sling and has an appointment with an Orthopedist tomorrow morning. She doesn’t have a clean break or a fracture, its something inbetween. We’ll know more tomorrow, meantime she’s hopped up on tylenol with Codeine and no, it does not make her sleepy, it makes her giddy. Great at bedtime ๐Ÿ˜›

(that isn’t her x-ray up there but it’s very close to what hers looked like – its the same kind of break.)

white-rat.jpg

We went to the library book sale today as kind of a treat for my poor broken one and for her sister that feels left behind by all the attention the broken one is getting. We got a pile of books for under $20, and it was all their own money and their own book choices – I steered but they chose. Before we went I told them that they were not to choose anything based on a movie or cartoon they had seen. We have so many versions of Disney princess stories that I just didn’t want to add to that pile. They did GOOD, I’m looking forward to reading most of them. My only concession was Fraggles, who can resist Fraggles.

Ah, last clue time. One of the following will be finished by midnight on the 31st and one most definitely will not be. Feel free to revise your guesses.

mkv-with-chicken.jpg

baby-sweater-for-caleb.jpg

I’m off to watch Becoming Jane, and knit of course.

Toots

Who would’ve thought that a boy like me could come to this

๐Ÿ˜‰

I. Me. Sara, has dyed yarn. And to good effect. *sigh* happiness

pewter-yarn-coil.jpg

I have those Twilight socks sitting on the burner and in order to make them what I really want them to be I needed to do this because the colors I need don’t exist in any company’s line of sock yarns. I know, I looked.

I popped in to Webs on Saturday to pick up yarn and luckily ran into Gail – the “Kangaroo Dyer” responsible for all of Webs in-house, beautiful hand-dyed yarns, the Franklin, the fun stuff she did with the Belle and the Berkshire, the Alpaca. She’s a genius. We got to talking and I mentioned that I was going to experiment with Kool-aid and she suggested food coloring.

Oh chickadees, I have food coloring! I do the cake thing, remember!?!

Gail steered me to an article on Knitty and I dove right in. I can see how this becomes an addiction, easily. Aurelia saw how much fun I was having and said I should do this a lot more. My this-will-ease-Patrick’s-mind response was, “Mama already has enough of our money invested in crafts, honey. Maybe when I use up a bit more of what I have I’ll do some more of this.” She shrugged and headed off to read her latest copy of Katie Kazoo.

yarn-to-be-dyed.jpgย  dye-pot.jpg wilton-yarn-dye.jpg

I skeined off some small amounts of yarn, 20 yds each, and dropped then into a pot containing one gallon of water plus 3/4 cups white vinegar that was just below simmering. I then mixed my food coloring into 1 cup of, just off the boil, water. I add this stuff to frosting by the toothpick dip so I was a bit cautious at first and figured I could always add more dye. the first color infusion was just a bit of orange, I got what I wanted and took one skein out to drip dry a bit. I wanted graduated colors, sort of so I figured layers of dye would keep the colors related. The second infusion was the same amount of orange and a touch of black, third was equal parts of both colors and the last was just black.

mini-skein-1.jpgย ย  3-to-go.jpg 2-to-go-mi-dye-bath.jpg

Now, I didn’t leave the skeins in until all the dye was absorbed, I checked on them every minute or so and pulled each skein when it reached a color I liked. then I tossed what was left of the original undyed skein into the pot just to see what would happen while I heat set the four mini skeins.

heat-setting-in-the-microwave.jpgย  out-to-dry.jpg this-is-what-you-do-with-the-remaining-dye-bath.jpg

I’m stoopid with happy over what came out. And good news for you! The pewter yarn- just under 100yds of fine-sport/sock weight yarn is now part of the Blogiversary prize pack!! WHEE ! So get your guesses in, only 7 days left. Your last clue is on Wednesday.

teilight-hands-yarn-2.jpg

twilight-hands-yarn.jpg

toots

Le Sacre du printemps

๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, Spring is about rebirth, right?

explosion-violet.jpg

I think I’ll start over. The past week, and yesterday in particular sucked pretty hard. I’m going to turn my face to the sun and try to grow a bit, though I think not so much as my exploding african violet here.

violet-bud.jpg

I took some time for myself last night. This is one of the things I did, hand-dyed yarn. Yum. More details and your last clue on my project progress next week.

pewter-yarn-in-hand.jpg

Have a wonderful Easter – all you that celebrate, and a beautiful Sunday if you don’t.

Toots

Boots with the fur…

๐Ÿ˜‰

I have been bad, but good too.

I was distracted by making jewelry for Annie’s birthday – forgot to take pics. She and David have a great new house and we were delighted to spend Saturday there with them and lots of other friends. At one point Annie broke out the Play-doh and all 10 kids sat, quietly absorbed for the next half hour, at least. ๐Ÿ™‚

annies-kids-with-playdoh.jpg

I knitted this – not on the list. I’m also working diligently on one that IS on the list and at least one list item is officially done.

mon-capitain.jpg

We celebrated St. Patricks day with green milk at dinner – Yankee Pot Roast – and Shamrock shakes for dessert. Sweet, green, minty, ice creamy goodness.

shamrock-shakes.jpg

Want to update you guesses? Feel free.

Tomorrow I have some distracting embroidery and a cake to decorate for my nephew’s 9th birthday then back to work with yarn.

(My kids came home singing this song – not the words, just the tune – and now my husband can’t get it out of his head and he’s driving me crazy with it)

Toots

I watched the stars as they turned to grey…

๐Ÿ˜‰

saeb-t3.jpg

I thought of this song because I heard my first morning dove of the year today.ย  I saw my first Canada goose on Friday and we’re boiling maple sap like mad around here so I guess its safe to admit that Spring is moving in. She’s still got of bunch of boxes of stuff in storage and she wants to paint the place before she hangs anything up or decides on curtains but I think she’ll be settled in soon.

saebra-tryptich.jpg

(The pics above are from one of my favorite sets of pictures of my Sabie. I made the little top she’s wearing from an old curtain I got at the Goodwill, I made Aurelia pants from the same fabric that year – called them my Sound of Music kids. Mom framed these up for my birthday this year – look at that face.)

Speaking of maple…Dudes! this shiat is sweeeeeet! Our first batches are coming out so dark! 4 gallons so far and that’s just from our first week, we only made 5 gallons all season last year. Want some? Drop me an e-mail: ChickenBetty at Gmail dot com, $9 per pint. We shipped amber goodness to Salem, Ma., North Carolina and California last year, we can get it to you fast.

We also had friends stop by yesterday to check out our whole sugar-shack set up.ย  The girls had headed off earlier in the day for a fairy hunt with April and her brood and were having such an awesome time that they totally missed Annie, David and their boys’ visit. No prob, this we’ll do again!

So, shall I give you a clue? towards the contest? You brave few souls who have already tossed in your ideas may feel free to amend them anytime between now and 3/31.

I have fallen off the ‘finish what you have already started” wagon. Phhhhhbbbbt. ;P

odette-gauntlets-up-close.jpg odette-gauntlettes-back.jpg odette-gauntletts-on.jpg

These are in the shop and this may become a sweater design, or two.

indian-pillar-swatch.jpg

toots

You run like a river, runs to the sea

ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Blogiversary passed me by – again! 5 days ago

So, a contest.ย  I have a glut of projects on my plate right now, knitting and crochet, all in different states of doneness.

* Aurelia’s Pinwheel Sweater – K

* Mom’s Kitchen Vest – K

* The Looney sweater – C

* Twilight socks – K

* Layette set for Erinย  – C

Four questions;

1.) How many will I actually finish – seaming, weaving in ends and blocking included – by April 1?

2.) Which one do you think I’ll finish first?

3.) How much of my time will be wasted making super yummy, time consuming desserts instead of working on yarny projects?

4.) How many new projects will I start by April 1?

Be creative – you know me! In the end I’ll probably let Patrick decide which of you has the most rightest answers, he’s pretty objective. I’ll try to give a few hints, maybe one per week and I’ll be keeping any finished project OFF of Ravelry till 4/1, so no cheating!

Prizes, hmmm. I have some good stuff in the stash that might enjoy a new home, as well as some sparkly goodies, maybe a few recipes, oh and maybe a Sara Delaney original art piece. HA! It’s also maple syrup time around here. You could find a pint in your prize pack ๐Ÿ™‚

Right, so no guesses yet unless you are very brave, I’ll remind you at the end of the month.

twilight-test-with-ends.jpgtwilight-test-needs-to-be-seamed.jpgtwilight-cover.jpg

Today, today I finished this. Its just a test, it will never be worn. Its all mixed up wool and acrylic yarns and it doesn’t fit and its in worsted yarn and its squeaky but, BUT I worked out my pattern and I can confidently work this up in real, good quality sock yarn now. When its done I’ll be selling the pattern, and maybe some kits! ooooooooo

twilight-test-side-1.jpgtwilight-test-side-2.jpgtwilight-test-back.jpg

Toots