Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

A New Direction for Me

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Dear Kay,
It all started when I was tapped to bring the cake for the Second Grade Puppet Show. This is an event right up there with your Fourth Grade Play, with all sorts of rituals including the making of puppets, the writing of the script, the cast party, and the Cake.
This year’s play is Beauty and the Beaks, the story of a bunch of beauty shop chickens who rescue a turkey who faces a future of being stuffed with chestnuts. Their solution: hide poor Lance from the farmer by dressing him up as a chicken. Like, with a skirt and a hat and the ultimate disguise, pantyhose.
The puppet show was a smash. Here’s my fella, whose role as listed in the program was “Lance After Makeover.”
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As for the Cake, the chickens in the book are fabricated out of cloth and feathers and such, so that immediately got my attention as I cast about desperately for the way to decorate the cake. We happen to own three fake chickens that usually come out around Thanksgiving time. That was 90% of the decoration: fake chickens.
Who needed clothes. Which led me pretty fast to the only way I know how to make clothing.
chickens1.jpg
Most of which was done while watching Project Runway and What Not to Wear.
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Which meant that I kind of got into knitting for these chickens maybe a little more I’d like to admit.
chickens2.jpg
To give these chickens their best look, I thought the fake chicken couture ought to draw the eye upward, toward those gorgeous chicken eyes, and away from the pear shape that so many barnyard fowl struggle with.
Accentuate the positive!
Anyway, this leaves me with an idea for a CONTEST. Stay tuned, people. In the meantime, go bone up on old episodes of Project Runway and What Not to Wear.
Love,
Ann

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. First comment! Wow! Followed a link, hit “Back,” and the page was new! Love the chickens. And the owl.

  2. Love the chicken couture! Did you intend for the sunny flowers to look like broken eggs with beautiful golden yolks??

  3. Love the chicken couture! Did you intend for the sunny flowers to look like broken eggs with beautiful golden yolks??

  4. The right outfit is SOOO important.
    Even if you are a fake chicken.

  5. Chicken couture: Pure Genius. Also, I love the creative play concept the kids came up with! Thanks for sharing!

  6. oh my ann memoties of school plays
    and puppets we were good enough
    travel to other grade schools
    so many decades ago and here you
    all are still putting on shows
    as ernie would say bless your pea picking heart
    my i did have stage fright
    awaiting the contest

  7. I hope Tina from Blue Moon Fiberarts (STR) is reading as she LOVES chickens and had us knit them for sock camp last year!

  8. Lots of bird content on the blog these days, ladies. What’s…hatching?

  9. Really…first the owl, now the Caped Chickens. I sense a trend.

  10. I love them! But the question: was there yarn fuzz in the frosting?

  11. I love those chickens and their fashionable attire. Funny, funny, funny! I also watch a lot of Project Runway, and now I’ll always think of the chickens!

  12. I love the ruffle on the chicken in the middle! I swear I’m gonna knit one of those for myself. There’s a spare ball of Rowan Kid Classic around here somewhere…

  13. congrats to ‘lance after makeover’. Looks like everything was a smashing success.
    Is there a ‘Project Henhouse’/’What not to Hatch’ contest in the works?
    :)

  14. Wow Ann, those clothes for the chickens are too fantastic! They look so warm and cozy and stylish, I’m completely amazed and mesmerized by the photo!

  15. LOVE this!

  16. To give these chickens their best look, I thought the fake chicken couture ought to draw the eye upward, toward those gorgeous chicken eyes, and away from the pear shape that so many barnyard fowl struggle with.
    Hilarious. I watch those shows too, and I had to laugh.

  17. LOVE the chicks and their outfits! People want to know: 1) where to get chicks like that; 2) patterns for chick knits.

  18. you must have been watching the avant-garde episode! I see the influence in the middle chickens collar! Defintely very Christian and Chris

  19. I think it’s time to break the news that our next book has an Avian-Crafts theme.
    Sorry, everybody. Birds R Us.
    xo Kay

  20. I am rolling on the floor – which is problematic, as I am at work.

  21. Dear Ann,
    I am worried. Yet thoroughly impressed.

  22. A chicken’s wardrobe is very important. Remember one rooster, many chicken in the henhouse.
    Great knitting.You gave me my chuckle for the day.
    Vicki

  23. What an idea! Too cute!
    (((hugs)))

  24. A contest conceived whilst contriving chicken couture? Color me concerned.

  25. LOL — You have got to be the best Mom ever!

  26. Hilarious!
    Reminds me of the time during student teaching that I had to dress puppets for a public television production of Il Trovatore.

  27. Ann = legend. that is all.

  28. I’ve taught 2nd and 3rd grade many times.. and other times I’m an art teacher. So, I do tend to do neat projects like this with my students, they love it. There’s just something about the wonderful way that children draw that just makes me smile.
    So, are we going to design turkey costumes? Wing scarfettes? Chicken pointed hats w/ earflaps?

  29. Oh, I forgot to mention that I like the outfit on the far left.. the one w/ the purples and pinks..
    Mostly, because I don’t want her to feel left out. Most seem to like the ruffled on in the middle and the chicken on the far left.. is giving the chicken in the middle an ‘uneasy eye’ and I’m quite sure that an ‘uneasy look’ from any animal is not a good sign..
    .. well, maybe it doesn’t mean too much coming from ‘not real chickens?’

  30. coolest
    cake
    ever

  31. coolest
    cake
    ever

  32. Love the chickens!

  33. So, so funny. In a slightly scary way !
    xxx

  34. We have real chickens. It is wrong of me to want to start knitting capes and ruffled collars for all of them?
    I think our rooster needs something special, too….

  35. That is the best chicken cake I have ever seen! Heehee..thanks for the chuckle.

  36. I love the chicken clothes…soon all barnyard chickens will be following this trend!

  37. Wow. Those are some well-dressed chickens. Although maybe you should have gone for the fitted jacket and a nice straight-leg jean, which would elongate the torso and show off their tiny waists?
    (Why does everybody on WNTW end up having a stealth tiny waist?)

  38. I can hear Tim now saying “Make it work, Ann, work those chickens!”
    I don’t think you got a “Wiedersein” from Heidi this time.

  39. Hilarious! Thanks for brightening my day.

  40. beauti-fowl.

  41. WHAT? No one wants to know about the taste of the cake?
    I will tell you.
    Goooood.
    And I want credit for best use of a 12 inch circular to hold on a tissue paper “hat.” And, no comments on Lance After Makeover’s fabulous surfer skirt, upcycled from a pillowcase!? That was chosen by your fella…he did have a choice and he went surfercool.
    :)
    Eggciting all around. Eggscellent use of mohair on a fake chicken.
    love,
    Your fella’s teacher

  42. Wow, I thought I had pressure with my mother-in-law reading my blog. I can’t imagine how I’d hold up with my kid’s teacher reading it! (Except they must be pretty cool to be reading knitting blogs – I take it back.)
    I bet the kids loved the chicks as much as the knitters do.

  43. So beautiful! I love the ruffles!

  44. Gives new meaning to “ruffling your feathers.”

  45. If I let my child see this, our fowl, Iris, Niky, Fiona and Robert (a girl) will soon be required to dress this way every day. I think Chick Knits will take on a whole new meaning…Patterns? If you post one, I swear I will take a picture of one of our live chickens wearing it.

  46. Can’t wait for the contest!
    I have chickens, and I’m not afraid to use them.

  47. thanks derya baykal

  48. I am also a wee bit scared at the idea of a contest related somehow to a cake with fake chickens in knitted clothes…can life get any more bizarro? You can bet you favorite sock yarn that I will be back to read about it, though!!!!

  49. Those chickens are stylin’! Though they are also kind of creepy because they remind me of the Skeksis from Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal”.
    http://www.fanboy.com/images/dark-crystal-skeksis2.jpg

  50. I vote for these fantastically outfitted chickens to become prototypes for the newest baloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,that’s the hard (boiled) truth!
    Another home run, Ann–no fowls (deliciously intended pun).
    Thanks for the whimsie!!!!!
    LoveDiane

  51. thanks, ann,
    perfect antitdote of my angst about super tuesday. in my hen collection is one made from a recycled sweater. maybe i’ll dress her up and have her in the booth with me for guidance.
    we like this over here at a little red hen and appreciate your homage to the best metaphor for women.
    yours, naomi

  52. Hey, a friend of mine was on What Not To Wear. It was a hoot. She had a great time. I haven’t seen her since the makeover, but she says she’s keeping it up. The only part that didn’t work out — riding a bike in SF while wearing heels just didn’t cut it.

  53. Chicken couture! I love it! Esp the part about emphasizing the good bits. They certainly look confident and sexy!