of chickens and sweaters

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I cast on a summer sweater for Eddie. It’s the Leksak Tunic, which I have had in my Ravelry queue for quite some time. I first saw it on Ginny’s blog when she made it for one of her little girls. I’m using a yarn that has been sitting in my stash for probably close to seven or eight years. It’s discontinued now; I originally purchased it to knit a tank top for myself from a pattern that I saw in Vogue Knitting. The tank was too tight and not very flattering, so I frogged the whole thing and put away the yarn for a better project. And so, seven or eight years later, here we are: Leksak. The yarn is a lovely cotton and linen blend with a subtle gold thread woven throughout. It’s not my style at all anymore, but I think it will look very flattering on a little girl. The yoke only took a day to knit and I am more than a third of the way done with the body portion. I do love children’s knits. They are so quick and satisfying.

Chickens! As you can see…we have some. Seven of them to be exact. Gabe and I had these grand plans to build a huge chicken coop this summer; one that could house up to 40 chickens (if we so desired). However, with Gabe working longer hours and a new baby on the way, we decided to put the coop on hold and push it back till next summer. My parents have roughly 20 chickens this year and they are producing almost 30 eggs a day! Finally, my mom had enough and said she could no longer feed over 20 chickens or store 15 dozen eggs in her fridge at a time. I suggested they let us borrow their old chicken tractor and throw a few chickens our way, which they did, gladly. I don’t know their breed, and frankly, I have almost zero fondness for birds (dirty, loud creatures that they are) but I do love fresh eggs every morning. We have had them for almost two weeks now. Once they have been here for over two weeks, we will start letting them free range and hopefully that will mean they spend more time fertilizing our pasture and less time pooping in their water container.

Did I mention that chickens are dirty?

Now, I just need to do some research and figure out how to keep them out of my raised beds.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.

wednesday yarn along (and other things)

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Joining Ginny and Nicole.

I did it.

They are complete.

Done.

Finito.

Good day to you.

It only took three months (give or take a month?) but I finally finished My Cup of Tea Socks. Never in my life has it taken me that long to finish a pair of socks, and believe me, that says a lot coming from a slow knitter. It wasn’t the pattern, it was the needle size. Size one needles! Never again.

But aren’t they just beautiful? I do wish I had a used a slightly nicer yarn. I used Knit Picks Palette, which is their go-to sock yarn. I made Gabe a pair of socks using the same yarn, and was quite happy with how they turned out, however by the time I was halfway through these socks, Gabe’s socks were already starting to pill, and even though I washed them according to the instructions, they felted slightly. The socks lost shape and two days ago, a huge hole appeared at the bottom of one foot. It was too late to rip out the My Cup of Tea sock (a whole sock!? I don’t think so) and use a different yarn at that point so I continued on, but I won’t be using that yarn again. Too bad, because I think I have six skeins of it in my stash drawer.

On to happier things, like deer! We frequently have deer on our property and while these are the best photos I’ve been able to take with my camera, it’s painfully obvious that I need a telephoto lens.

I don’t know what’s wrong with the two fawns. They seem to be loosing their fur and I can’t tell if it’s growing back. I’ve heard of young deer shedding their “baby fur” and growing new fur as they become older, but I’ve never seen anything like this before. When it first started falling out, there were these angry, red and raw looking patches all over their sides. It looked like some sort of skin fungus. They were constantly licking the raw skin. It seemed so uncomfortable and itchy. Now the redness is gone, but like I said, I can’t tell if the fur is growing back. Gabe and I fondly call them the Fungi Deer.

Also, I posted about our new raised beds a few days ago but never included any photos of the beds themselves. So…there they are. My new raised beds. Full of dirt…and no vegetables.

Baby steps.

Oh, and last but not least, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, then you would have missed my latest baby bump photo. I took that during week 36. I am 37 weeks on Thursday. I am so ready to get this baby out of me. It’s a sad day when you’re at the mercy of your three year old to pick up the spatula that you dropped off the floor.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

men at work

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Gabe built more raised beds for our garden this spring. Ironic, considering I’m supposed to be simplifying and scaling down this year in the garden because of the new baby. Still, I’m happy to have them and they look beautiful. We had dirt delivered (twenty cubic yards!) a few weeks ago and Sam and Eddie (but mostly Sam) fell in love with their “little” dirt pile. The kids spent so much time digging holes, shoveling dirt from one mound to another, and filling up and dumping wheelbarrows. Who knew that dirt could be so entertaining?

Alas, our raised beds had to be filled and the dirt pile is no more. Sniff.

Gabe finds it amusing when I take photos of him working outside. I mean…look at him. Wouldn’t you be taking photos of that? He’ll thank me when he’s old and decrepit. Correction: I’ll thank me when he’s old and decrepit. I love the face he’s making in the last photo. It’s half Burt Reynolds, half “Woman, what ARE you doing?

Our bees are thriving! The smaller, weak hive died (no surprise there) but our larger hive is so strong and lively. With the arrival of warmer weather and our apple trees in full blossom, you can’t help but hear the tiny constant hum of honey bees busy at work whenever you’re outside. Gabe thinks we’ll have honey by late summer…I can’t wait! We ordered some more bees and will start three more hives in the next few weeks, giving us a total of four hives. The bees from the strong hive seem very interested in the empty hive next to them. Perhaps they will start a new colony on their own? Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

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