Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home Sweet Philly

After a six hour drive Simon and I arrived back in the city of brotherly love last night. Its great to be home, our evening, post unpacking, was spent eating vegetable and watching our Netflix DVD we got in the mail. We are horribly behind the times and just signed up for Netflix last week.

I have this week off and Simon and I are home today and then head out again, only this time to Gettysburg! This trip is a mini honeymoon, and I am really excited to be going back to Gettysburg. I went when I was a junior in high school with my AP history class, and absolutely loved it.

Sadly because of our trip to Gettysburg this will be my last post for the week. I might post a special Saturday Blue Betty Blog post after our return to the city so make sure to check back! Oh and if I do post there will be pictures.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blog Giveaway

Just a quick announcement to all, I am doing a giveaway with Pink Dandy Chatter! There will be two winners, One will win a Coffee House Cowl and another will win a pair of slouchy fingerless mitts knit with some of my hand dyed yarn.

If you are interested in joining the giveaway head over to the Post on Pink Dandy and get all the details!

Tomorrow Simon and I will be making the long car ride home so sadly there will be no post from Blue Betty on Monday, but On Tuesday I will have some photos of Shanty Town Christmas at our family friends home. I will also hopefully have a new project on my needles to share with everyone.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

My black Friday isn't spent waking up at the crack of dawn (I actually slept in to 11am) nor is it spend running around trying to get the best deals on electronics. I have mostly been spending the day watching the History Channel with my dad and brother, knitting and promoting my etsy sale. Pretty laid back. Lots of coffee and leftovers.

I mean I love shopping and I love a good deal, but there are somethings that i just don't think are worth doing, like getting up by 4am to get in to a sale that only lasts 5 hours. Or staying up and going to the outlet mall at midnight to get a jump on all the good sales. First off i try to buy most my gifts locally in Philly or on etsy. I like the idea of handmade gifts even if it homemade fudge or a nice bar of handmade soap. I want to be a part of that handmade community so I want to put as much back into that community.

So, if you want to support handmade, pledge to buy handmade this holiday season. Go to buyhandmade.org and pledge to buy hand made! After that go to Etsy and check out all the great artists out there. If you are looking for a toasty hand knit stocking stuffer or some fun hand dyed yarn check out my shop,

Tonight is our annual Shanty Town Christmas with our family friends. I am hoping for some great gingerbread house photos for the blog tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day!

Things are winding down here at the Family home up in up state NY. We are full of turkey and pumpkin pie and are all relaxing, like a cliche, next to the fire. Simon is playing guitar and I am working on my etsy. (Even though its a holiday I don't seem to get a day off.) All the family members have headed home and now it is time to sit back and let the tryptophan take hold.

The reason I am diligently working on my etsy is that I am preparing for a holiday sale. All of that shop knitting I did was for some fun and warm fingerless mitts that I am listing in my shop. Also with little bits and bobs of yarn I knitted up some fun hair bows. All of these plus more will be on on sale in my shop for 25% off and will be shipped for free starting today and running through to late Monday night. Also all yarn will be 10% off and I just listed some great Alpaca Silk Fingerless Mitt kits. Check my etsy or my etsy on sale to see all great items on sale! Make sure to check back tomorrow for a few surprises that I have in store!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pictures and Packing

The title of this post pretty much sums up how I've been spending my day. Editing photos and packing for my trip up to my parents.

I still have a ton of yarn photos to edit, back to picnik for more editing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Finished Projects

Simon and I had a photo shoot yesterday. This means I finally have photos of things I have finished.

This was my Oz plan ride project. It is a modular shawl. It was a lot of fun to knit and super easy you only ever had 60 sts on your needle. I finished this while I was in Australia sometime in March.

The lace Ribbon Scarf, I knit this last Thanksgiving! I never blocked it till after I got home from Oz and now its finally chilly enough to wear.

This one is a design from No Two Snowflakes. The pattern is the Katrina Ballerina Layering Lace Cardi. I knit this almost two years ago...almost...ok maybe more like a year and a half. I finished the knitting in June of 2009, but didn't sew buttons on the thing for almost 6 months.

This is one of my favorite sweaters that I knit. It is the February Lady Sweater and I knit it last January to wear on the plan to Australia. I can tell you right now that I didn't wear it at all in Oz. This sweater also had an extended stay in Oz. I couldn't fit it in my luggage so it stayed in Australia till Simon brought it back with him in August. Much like the lace ribbon scarf I am excited that the weather is perfect for this sweater.

This piece is more recent. I blogged about it in October in the post Get Knitting, where I lamented the errata in the pattern and the yardage being off and needing a solution for my lack of yarn. Well I solved that by using some black wool and silk I bought at Nangellini. The rest of the red wool was added to my sleeves and then I finished the sleeves and button band in black. I like the contrast and think it looks much nicer than using all one color.

I was especially excited about the buttons I found, gold with black in the center I think they give me sweater a very sophisticated look. I block this sweater a week ago and just sewed the buttons on Saturday. I am definatly taking this up to my family's house for Thanksgiving this week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homemade Bread

Today I put my to do list Slightly on hold. I really didn't as "learn to bake bread" was on my list of things to do. And guess what I did it! I found a great site called cookingbread.com and found a simple white bread recipe in their extensive lists of bread recipes. The one I used was the Hungarian White Bread I omitted the anise and fennel seeds. Above is my dry ingredients all ready to go waiting for my yeast to activate.

Here is my yest activating in some luk warm water.

All Mixed up and ready to rise!

This was after about an hour and a half it was double its original size. At this point in the recipe you had to "punch down" the dough and cut in half

I did exactly that and placed my two halves in loaf pans. Here I covered them and let them rise for about another hour.

They doubled in size again and puffed up. Now it was time to bake them for 50 min at 350. As the loaves baked the wonderful smell of baked bread filled my apartment. It made our place seem so warm and cozy.

50 Minuets later I had this!

Here they are out of the pans after a few minuets of cooling, I couldn't wait to slice into one and see how it turned out!

Delicious! That's how it turned out! Bread was a lot easier to make than I thought. I think the part that makes it seem hard is the yeast and waiting for the bread to rise. This was more an exercise in patients, but I can now proudly say I can Bake bread. I think this may become a weekly thing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vintage Finds Hiatus

I am going to be taking a small hiatus from Vintage Finds Friday. It is one of my favorite posts to blog about, but It is super time consuming, and for right now I need to focus my time to my etsy and my hand dying. I would like to add spinning to that list but i am out of fiber to spin for the time being.

I have even taken a week long break from knitting for me. My original plan was to knit during the day for the shop or work on a design and then in the evening work on some me knitting. So I have been a busy little knitting elf for this whole week and I feel like I've gotten a ton of things done. A lot of new items that will be photographed on Sunday and you will start to see them in my shop on Monday!
Here is my pile of progress. I will have two more pair of mitts to add to this by Sunday. Knit Knit Knit! As for the rest of my to do list I plan on buying buttons today, and my photo shoot is scheduled for Sunday!

Tomorrow has been dubbed super productive day. Here is an updated to do list for tomorrow:
1. Bake bread (That's right I'm doing it. Today is payday to I'm going to go and buy supplies and see what happens. There will be a special late Saturday edition of Blue Betty Blog because of it!)
2. Finish Shop Banner and Profile pic. (I lumped these together)
3. Finish last knit for shop. (If I keep to my knitting schedule my last project for the shop will be on my needles tonight and bound off tomorrow)
4. Dye last two hanks of alpaca silk.
5. Cut out Muslin for Jacket. (I want to sew a new jacket for thanksgiving, this is a big undertaking, so we'll see what happens, and if I actually finish it in time for thanksgiving. And by Jacket I mean blazer.)
6. Book tour in Gettysburg (The Hubby and I are going away for a few days.)

Well I am off to knit and drink coffee and then off to work...BTW this is my last day of work for two weeks!

P.S. Today is the last day of my Holiday Head Start Sale in my etsy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The To Do List

Since I have a ton of things I need to get done before Thanksgiving I have brought back my trusted to do list. Most of it has to do with my etsy shop and some of it has to do with getting ready to go up to my parents place for Thanksgiving. One or two things might be things indulgences for me. (Like starting to learn to bake bread and start knitting a new sweater or sew that blazer I want to sew.) First things first though I am planing a giant overhaul of my Etsy shop. I new Banner and pic, new items and a new out look. All of these things are going to culminate on the Thanksgiving Holiday. There will even be a sale in the shop and a giveaway on this blog.

Here is the top five things on my to do list
1. Finish Knits for the shop
2. Photo Shoot
3. Create New Banner
4. Create new Item Listings
5. Sew buttons on red sweater

So there it is my top five things for the weekend. Baking bread might be on that list too, but first things first.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Intersting Ambition

I would like to say that this week is a quiet one. But the reality is with the upcomming holidays I am mostly knitting for the shop, dying all the base that I have, trying to work on a lace pattern (although the farthest I've gotten is dying the wool and deciding I want to design a lace project), putting together items of different price points, attempting to think about Christmas, planing a short get away with Simon and deciding that I really want to learn how to make bread.

Most of this list is some what normal for me, knitting, dying, dreaming up designs. Some of this list comes with the holidays, but the weird thing is my new desire to bake homemade bread. I have a silly domesticity in me that wants to bake bread in the morning, I blame the fact that I am recently married and am nesting in a weird way. My reasoning is I'm home most of the morning and afternoon, I don't work till 3pm, I can totally learn to bake bread.

This want to bake bread just adds to my seeming domesticity. I cook, knit, sew, know how to make pie crust from scratch, I spin yarn, and now to add to the list I want to bake bread. Next thing I know I'm going to want to start canning and making jam (two things a have done in the past with the matriarchs of my family).

I feel a type of wonder doing these things, in a way I feel its keeping alive a dying art form. Who actually bakes bread any more, I know people do, but I don't know anyone who does. With the rush and bustle of today I really like the idea of making something that takes time and practice. Maybe this is why I gravitate to knitting and spinning and even sewing. I am a good knitter but it took time and practice and a lot of mistakes to become a good knitter. I still have a lot of room for improvement and have only learned a small amount of technique, but I want to improve and learn more.

So, maybe this week isn't the best week to decide to take up bread baking, but I have two weeks off starting on Saturday. I think next week I will be indulging my new found interest. But first I think its time to bring back the time honored to do list for now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Question About Lace?

I am getting better still not 100% but defiantly feeling better than I have in the past few days. I'm dying more yarn today and am dreaming of a lace project.

This is odd for me as I am not a huge lace knitter. I like to use a little bit of my lace knowledge in my garment knitting on the edge of a top or as an inlay in sweater. I also must admit that I love fields of stockenette. Some knitters find it boring, but I love just knitting and purling, its easy and looks polished with some great construction details and a little bit of personality (hence my love of a well placed lace edging or panel). I can also work on a grament in stockenette and not have to be too conscious of what I am doing.

Maybe my lace project can be just that a lace project for a non lace knitter. I must admit I've only ever knit lace from one pattern and it was the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty. As a knitter who knits lace or is interested in knitting lace what makes a good lace project?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sick Day

I've been feeling a bit under the weather lately so today is going to be a pretty low key day for me. I do have to work at 3:30, but till then my couch is calling my name. I think it's time to curl up with my knitting and a bit of A&E's Pride and Prejudice.

Just a quick plug. I have a holiday head start sale going on till Saturday. You can check out all my sale items on Etsy on Sale!

I am also thinking about a giveaway on this blog. I'm thinking a fluffy hank or two of hand dyed yarn.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holiday Head Start Sale

That's right I'm having a holiday head start sale! 20% off all Wearable knits and OOAK totes. Great gifts for loved ones. Here is a peek at what is on sale.

On Sale OOAK Recycled Tee Tote Arr Matey
On Sale OOAK Recycled Tee Tote Arr Matey

On Sale Recycled Sari Scarf

On Sale Simple Cowl

On Sale Cinnamon Heart Mitts

If you want to see all the items on sale this week you can go to my etsy on sale page and check them out!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nice Things Handmade

Nice Things Handmade is a somewhat new store in South Philly. Nice Things opened in February 2010 in the wake of other similar shops like Mew Gallery and the Curiosity Shop closing. I was really sad that Mew and Curiosity had closed their doors as they were two of my favorite shops to buy gifts from.

I heard of Nice things on my return to Philly from Oz and wasn't able to get down to East Pasyunk until recently. I met Elissa the owner at the weekly Knitting circle I go to at Nangellini. There I found out she was doing a fiber show and Nancy showed Elissa some of my hand dyed. It was a happy accident, or karma was on my side because Elissa asked me to bring some of my hand dyed to Nice Things. I was ecstatic and dropped off about ten hanks of hand dyed and some hand spun yarn yesterday!

Tomorrow is the opening at Nice Things. Their website is under construction but they have a great Facebook page with events and times listed as well as location and shop hours. I unfortunately have a gig in South Jersey tomorrow and will be unable to go, but if you are in the Philly area and are looking for something interesting I highly recommend going the Nice Things for the opening there at 6 to 10pm.

Shop Info
Nice Things Handmade
1731 East Pasyunk Ave (right across the Street from Marra's)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Drop Off

Today I drop of my yarn to the shop in South Philly for consignment. I have tagged and labeled all of the yarn that is going. There it is all piled up on my couch. I would like to one day pile all of my hand dyed and hand spun up on my couch and then snuggle into it much like the scene in the Great Gatsby with daisy and all the shirts. Although with a scene like that in our living room Simon might just have me committed.

Here is my latest hand spun. I was going to tag it and take it to the shop with the rest, but I am not ready to let it go. It may be my best hand spun to date.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Up Early

I was up extremly early this morning for about two hours. I had to work, for two hours, when i got home I went straight back to bed. On mornings like this one I love my bed and returning to it. Because of my return to my bed I got up later than usual, but it was totally worth the time spent sleeping.

I am out of some dying supplies that I didn't realize we getting low until yesterday so its of to the grocery store and then back to work. I have tomorrow off and am dropping off my newly dyed yarn to the shop in South Philly where it will be on consignment. I have also finished the cowl for the giveaway and will be working on the mitts next, although I need to dye some yarn first.

That is all for today!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I am off dying and knitting. Back soon!

By back soon I mean I will have a real post tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good Week

This is going to be a good week I can feel it. A few very good things are happening for my etsy shop. First off I have been dying yarn like crazy. I got my base yarn in on Friday. I am participating in a blog give away later in the month. I will have more details for that later. I am also considering doing a blog giveaway of my own here on Blue Betty.

The best thing and the thing I am most excited about is that I will have some of my hand dyed yarn at a shop in South Philly. I don't want to post too much because I need to work out all the details with the owner, but I am super psyched about this opportunity. I have to thank Nancy my old boss at the yarn shop for introducing me to the owner and good karma for being in Nancy's shop at the right time.

Well I am off to watch the dye pot boil!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gift Knitting

It's barely into November, Thanksgiving is still a few weeks out, and its not even close to Christmas yet, but it is "that" time of year and with "that" time of year comes the rush to knit Presents for most of my close friends and family. Along with this race to finish knitted goods also comes the strong desire of knitting for myself. (Also at this time of year try to convince Simon that he would like an knitted item.)

So my question to knitters, crocheters, or any crafter out there is what do you make for your loved ones?

What patterns do you use? Who do you knit for? Do you pick one person to knit and epic project for or try to churn out a bunch of smaller projects for all your love ones?

P.S. I still haven't decided who or what I am knitting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have ordered more base yarn and must now do what I hate, wait. I want my base yarn now!!!!

While I am waiting we are painting the apartment, well the kitchen for now, and by we I mean Simon is painting the kitchen. I would just be in the way, which is partially true.

Off to work on socks, I am on a sock knitting binge. I've already completed two pairs in about a week and a half.

P.S. Not too much time left on this weeks promotion! Buy a hank of Alpaca Silk get a free copy of Fall of the Leaf Fingerless Mitts!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


It is cold, too cold for my liking, but I better get use to it because it is going to get colder. As of right now toes are ice. It's 43F out right now which compared to what the temp will be in December isn't even that cold. There are a few things that make me feel better about said cold.
A.) I have gone on a sock knitting binge. I have completed two pairs in one week.
B.) I can wear my cashmere sweaters and be toasty. ( I love sweater weather....well....I love that I can wear sweaters)
C.) It is 35 degrees in Upstate NY and there are predictions for snow fall. I am glad I am not up there right now...although I will be there at the end of the month. It will be even colder and might have snow on the ground.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall Promotion

Today starts off my fall promotion in my Etsy Shop. When you purchase a hank of Alpaca Silk Hand dyed yarn you will receive a free copy of the Fall of the Leaf Fingerless mitts. This pattern is great for a quick knit gift and the yarn is scrumptiously soft and silky against the skin. The lace in the mitt pattern is great for semi solids and easy to remember once you get into the swing of things.

This promotion starts today and goes to November 5th.