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Who’s the Blonde Chicken?

Hi! I'm Tara and I'm the Blonde Chicken behind all this yarn! You can read more about how I got this silly nickname here or come learn about crafting a business here.

Get love. Yarn Love

Love notes when there's fresh yarn

5th Annual Month of Love Contest + Yarn Extravanganza

Happy Month of Love!

I can’t even believe it, but this is the 5th year we’ve celebrated January 14th-February 14th as the Month of Love!

What’s Month of Love?

And a short version: 

1. Every weekday I’ll spin + offer ONE yarn inspired by a famous couple or pairing, to the Yarn Love Note subscribers (get on the list here) – from tomorrow until V-day.

2. YOU can decide what I spin! Suggest a couple AND a color, in the comments below.

3. If I spin a yarn you suggested, you get 50% off a skein of yarn (you pick which yarn you want!)

 

What’s new this year: instead of offering the yarns on my site, they’re going to straight to your inbox via Yarn Love Notes*. To follow along, sign up here.

 

The past 4 years have been amazing…

Year 1 (before this website even existed!)
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4

 

What couple do you think I should spin this month?

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The most wonderful time

For first-time (or adventurous) dyers, the most wonderful time of the year…is this week!
I might have a small addiction

Easter Egg dyes, a great way to experiment with food-safe, non-toxic dyes, are on sale…everywhere!

Rainbow Stripe - handspun yarn
Even if you haven’t dyed before, or you think it might be complicated, Easter egg dyes are really the foolproof way to go. I promise, you can’t mess it up.

To get started, check out  video that walks you through all the steps:

If you’re ready to get going and are about to bolt out the door to snatch up the last boxes of dyes, here’s a quick shopping list:

  • A box of easter egg dyes
  • White or apple cider vinegar
  • White yarn or wool (any animal fiber will work, but NOT plant-fibers (cotton, soy, bamboo, banana))

easter egg roving

Some tips on buying Easter egg dyes:

  • Don’t pay more than a dollar for a box of 5-6 colors. Really. If your store is charging more than a dollar, come back in two days.
  • Don’t bother with the sparkly dyes. Or the stickers, wax crayons, etc. All you’re going to need is the little dye tablets.
  • That said, check the box to see what colors are included! If you want brights, you can’t go wrong with the basics. But the “neon” kit produces great colors, too (like the hot pink in this yarn). The “camo” is ok, if you’re into dark greens and browns (not for me!).
  • Speaking of browns, don’t believe them. Every time I’ve dyed with brown, not matter WHAT I did, it split into purple and gray. Very weird.
  • When you get your stash home, split ’em up by color. I use mason jars (and I attach a small fluff of wool with the color, so I can tell the orange from the yellow) and it saves tons of time.

Sorting by color

I’ve gotta tell you, I mean to post this reminder EVERY year, and I always forget until after my local stores are sold out of packets.

Here’s hoping you get to the store in time!

I’d love to hear your own experiences with Easter Egg yarn-dyeing, share them (or your questions) in the comments!

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Desperate for yarn?

Since closing my online shop (to focus exclusively on yarn shops + Yarn Mail + writing the BOOK), I’ve gotten a steady stream of emails asking “Where’s the yarn?

Well, the yarn is here. And here.

And now, inspired by the amaaazing reply I got when I suggested it yesterday, there’ll be ONE yarn exclusively available via Yarn Love Notes.
Each month, inspired by your input, I’ll spin a Yarn Love Note exclusive and send you a picture. You’ll have a week to decide if you want to buy it or not. At the end of the week I’ll spin everyone’s skein and send it out. Simple + straightforward.

The Yarn Love Note-getters were soooo excited about this possibility, that I went ahead and spun up a yarn for them last night.

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 A sneak peek at the Yarn Love yarn

To get the Yarn Love Note (and a chance to buy the above yarn),

Sign up here for Yarn Love Notes

* indicates required





 

Of course, if you want a yarn entirely inspired by your likes and dislikes, and you want to get it every month, Monthly Yarn Mail is for you.

 

Either way, I hope this sates your thirst for yarn!

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Betiko round-up

Finally! The long-awaited conclusion of the Betiko knitalong!

I made mine out of my handspun:

betiko

And I completely love it:

Betiko makes me happy

Betiko border

Gullyer also made hers with my handspun:
Betiko Watermelon
How cute is she?
Betiko Watermelon
(Ravelry project details here)

 

Kelli made hers with some deliciously stripey Lisa Souza:

(Ravelry project info here)

Kristine made hers with handdyed yarn, and I love the way the color shifts.

(Ravelry project details here)

Even though the knitalong ended a few months ago, it’s just now getting to be cool enough for me to wear my Betiko…and I can’t wait!

 

Did you make a Betiko?

What are you making to keep you warm this winter?

 


You might have noticed – thanks to happy yarn shop owners and booming orders – I’m not selling through an online shop anymore. You can get yarn, every month, in the mail (spun JUST for you) with Magnficent Monthly Yarn Mail. Or email me (taraATblondechicken.com) about your local yarn shop and I’ll reach out them!

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Introducing: Colorful People

Havi Handspun yarn

My world is filled with colorful people.

Destuckifying teachers who talk to ducks.
Amaze-balls wordsmiths.
Colorful dyers.

Alex handspun yarn

These people inspire my writings and inspire my spinning.

This week (and maybe longer?) I’m spinning yarns inspired by specific people: Colorful People.

Merecedes handspun yarn

Who inspires you?

Share the colors that would represent yourself or a friend and if I spin it, I’ll name the yarn after you.

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Warning: all yarn must go!

We’ll get back to our Betiko updates next week (are you done? I’m almost done!), but I wanted to pop in and let you know that I’m going to close the shop on Thursday, to get ready to move (I hopehopehope to be moving this Friday or Saturday).

When the shop reopens (in a week or two?), there will be ALL new yarns.


None of the handspun yarns will be available again (I’m packing them up no Thursday and sending them to yarn shops), so if any of them have caught your eye, now’s the time!

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Betiko-ing

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Hey knit-along-ers!
How’s your Betiko coming?

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I am absolutely, completely smitten with mine (out of my handspun!)

up close with Betiko
Except…

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Can you see my mistake?
Yeah, those yarnovers were supposed to be creating wedges…but I created a spine…

But That’s ok! When I realized it, I just started wedging and all is well.

How’s yours coming?

Don’t forget that you can share your progress on Ravelry or Facebook.

Oh, and if you’re still on the fence about getting a Betiko Bundle, here’s your warning: Monday’s the last day to get one!
The two-color kits are nearly sold out, so hop on over there.

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Let the Betiko begin!

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That’s right!
It’s time to get your needles, your yarn (this kit, if you want) and your pattern and cast on!
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I was a bit impatient and cast on two days ago, but haven’t had much time to knit.
daily photo 54: Betiko + my knitting buddy

Are you knitting Betiko? Are you joining the knitalong on Ravelry?

Share your progress, stories and questions!

PS. Don’t forget you can get all the yarn you need right here.

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Betiko Bundle + Knitalong

2 months ago, sitting in a yarn shop, I feel in love.
With a shawl.
Betiko.

I wanted to cast on thisminute.

But I wanted to knit it out of my handspun.

Specifically, this color, which I’ve been squirreling away:

(spin a skein for the Boutique, then a little for myself)

And then I started thinking….
I love knitalongs.
I know you love kits…

 

So I had to wait.

Wait until I could whip up a yarn+ knitalong combo.
And….here it is!

Betiko Bundles!

All the yarn you need to knit a Betiko shawl.

The 2-color kits are almost sold out! I only have one left of the following:

Citrus

Ocean

Or you can knit a solid Betiko  in one of these 3 colors:

Blue


Pink


Tangerine

The details:

In the two-color kits you’ll get one 130-yard skein of yarn in each color (that’s a total of 260 yards), enough to knit a small version of  Betiko.

In the single color bundles, you have your choice between a Small Bundle (260 yards) or a Jumbo Bundle (400 yards).

You can, of course, use any yarn from the Boutique in the shawl, but by buying the Bundle you save $10 on the Small  and $24 on the Jumbo.

(Of course, you can use this yarn for anything you like!)

 

To get your Bundle: pick your color, then your size, then click Buy Now.

Color + Size

 

Shipping is $5, USPS Priority for domestic orders and First Class for international orders.

Knitalong!

Whether you buy one of these bundles or you use yarn you already have, you are welcome to join the knitalong.
The unofficial start date is 2/22 and if you order by Saturday, I’ll have your yarn to you by then.

Please note! The bundle doesn’t include the pattern, you buy that from Lee right here!

 

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Bones + Booth, Month of Love Day 14

This is it! The last day of the Month of Love!
Thanks for playing along!

Booth + Bones yar

Suggested by Genesneaky who said:

I would love something for Booth & Brennan from Bones (Bold colors for Booth, like red in his Cocky belt buckle or the American flag and something elegant and simple for Brennan like creams (bones!) blacks, grays or perhaps the navy of the jumpsuit when things are messy)

Booth and Bones handspun yarn

I went with black for Booth’s FBI-standard black suit and white for Bones (duh!), with a streak of red (for blood, Booth’s belt, the love they feel?).

I also like the symbolism of black + white:
it embodies Bones’ worldview: Right vs. Wrong. Science + Fact.
Then there’s that blip of red (love, passion) that defies all reason and messes with her black + white world.

Bones

100 yards

Bulky Weight
Recommended Needle Size: US 9-13, 6.0-10.0mm
Recommended hook: M–13 and up, 9mm and up

Sold out!
Still craving yarn? Check out the Boutique!

Confession: after spinning this yarn (and watching hours of old episodes), I finally decided to check out the books that inspired it…and read the first one in a single Saturday.

And grabbed the next one on Sunday…

Bones TV show inspired yarn

It’s the end of the Month of Love, but don’t cry!
You can find all the Month of Love Yarns here and even more in the Boutique.

On Wednesday I’m going to announce a new knit-along and kits to go with it. See you then!

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