Friday, October 28, 2011

Cop Out

I want to post again today, but I don't have much to share.
The chickens are all well (we think) and we're still waiting for our first egg.
I've frogged the Nerd Wars tank top, and I'll be reknitting that (probably in round 2 of Nerd Wars!) and I've also frogged the cowl I started and I've cast on a new one with the same yarn.

I have made a wordle of the last month of posts on my blog, here it is.

Wordle: Tsuki's World
(clicky linky to see bigger)

Monday, October 24, 2011


A few days ago I posted about our new chicken run which we assembled in the garden.

On Friday we visited a nice couple who had quite a lot of chickens. They had quite a few breeds there, and they were all interested, perky and generally fun.
I wanted to have three chickens (the house could probably take four large hens, but I don't want to test that right now!) so we were considering which three breeds to go for.

The most friendly and docile chickens were the Gingernut Rangers. These are a cross breed of chicken, the product of a Rhode Island Red and a Light Sussex. They're chickens which look like chickens. The one we picked - well, she picked us. She was scratching around and pecking my wellies, and hubby picked her up easily.


We've called her Buffy, she seems to be in charge (even though she's the smaller of the three - she is also the oldest)

A close second were the light Sussex hens. They were a bit more wary of us, but the owners were able to pick up our favourite quite quickly.


This one is Willow. She's a bit nervous of the camera noise that my iPhone was making! She settled into the run quite quickly. She doesn't seem to be the brightest of the three chickens though!

Finally we were originally thinking about getting an amber star. However, while we were there I fell in love with the Maran X that they had. We think they were Maran x Rhode Island, so she should be a similar temperament to Buffy, but maybe a bit more flightly. She's a beautiful colour, grey-blue, with a black hood.


And the perfect name for this one: Faith.
I'm sorry about the picture quality of Faith, she wasn't keen on having her photo taken, and so she's a bit blurry. She's also so dark coloured that the iPhone couldn't cope with her in those light levels!

We had put fresh newspaper and sawdust down for them on Friday, which we found they had made a right mess of, so we put fresh bedding down for them today. I think this is probably because they've been cooped up (quite literally) in the coop. Now that they have the run to wander in, they shouldn't mess the coop up quite so much.

While hubby was making lunch, I took them the end and innards from the pepper we had. They went absolutely mad for it! They also loved the mealworms we gave them to encourage them out of the coop!

I'm really excited to have chickens. It's been a dream of mine for a while. Hopefully when we get a bit more used to them we might be able to consider getting some rescue hens.
First things first though, we need to build them an extra run.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Voyager Tank - Complete!

So, I submitted my Voyager Tank Top (well, sleeveless cardigan) for team unity in Nerd Wars! Yey!

Voyager Tank

Pattern: “Uffington” from the Scrumptious Collection Volume 1
Yarn: RYC Cashmerino Chunky
Needles: 6mm and 5mm (I didn’t have any 5.5mm circs)
Modifications: None!
Verdict: The pattern itself is well written, and the garment came out to the size it should have. I got the correct gauge with the yarn I was using. Everything went as it should, with just one problem:
The tank top and I are not the same shape.

It’s hard to see from these pictures, but I’ll try to explain…

Voyager Tank

The shoulders of the top are the right shape and size for me, I’m happy with the proportions here. But there is a bit of looseness on the back below the arm shaping.
I chose to knit the 12-14 size, on account of my bust (in a bra) being 37 inches – which is in the pattern’s range for that size. However, I think that rather more of the 37 inches are on the front of me than the back. I should have considered that when knitting this one, and maybe made a smaller size on the back and a larger size on the front.

The waist shaping isn’t right, but I’ll come to that in a moment…

Voyager Tank

I didn’t do such a good job of picking up for the front button bands. This means that the neckline isn’t properly square. I’m not totally sure how I would rectify it, probably needed to pick up another stitch at the top there, or leave one hanging from the rib or something.

Also, the button band and buttonhole band are pulling in way more than I would like. I think I should have picked up more stitches than I did, especially considering that I was using a needle which is 0.5mm smaller than recommended.

The next two issues are really the same issue combined. I have quite a long torso, and my natural waist is quite low. You can imagine how much fun this makes buying clothes in regular shops. Anyway, I digress.
I knitted the top as written. What I should have done is lengthened the body by between 2 and 4 inches (see where the pale orange top comes on the pic of the back, that’s really my minimum top length) and moved the waist shaping accordingly. Of course, had I done that then the circumference of the bottom ribbing might not have been several inches too wide either.

Anyway, I’m not comfortable with the top, so I will not be wearing it. This means that I have two options:
1. Find someone who is the same shape as the top and give it to them.
2. Frog the whole top (sewn in buttons, woven in ends, seams and button bands and all) and re-knit.
I’m currently thinking about re-knitting it. As a tank top rather than a cardigan!
You see, I love the square neck, the pattern up the back, the shape of the shoulders. I just don’t love the fit around the bottom part, and I’m pretty sure I can modify it in such a way that this will work.
I think that the problems I’ve had with the fit are entirely down to the shape of me, which is a shame!

Of course, having read Ysolda’s book, I should have seen this coming.

Still, knitting the whole thing only took me about three weeks which is much quicker than any of my other sweaters. I think I can reknit it in the same sort of timescales. Especially if I do a sweater version, because that will mean no button/buttonhole bands!

I can also learn from the other mistake I made while knitting this garment: slipped stitches on the edge do not help if you will be picking up stitches for a button band. On socks it’s a real help, I don’t know why it’s different for a sweater, but I found that the slipped stitches made me want to pick up a lot less stitches. Not good. But they did help with the sides which needed seaming. (That said, I might take the controversial approach of knitting it in the round, if my cable is long enough! Save on seams!)

Completed, submitted, going to be frogged.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicken Run!

At the weekend we built the chicken run.
It's from Steve Fisher Woodworking near Selby. Not the most communicative, but great quality as far as I can see!

Chicken Run

I've ordered feeders, drinkers, food, grit, treats and the like.
It's all very exciting.

We're going to view some chickens on Friday, all being well. Also near Selby. (Who knew that Selby would be the Chicken Capital of the East Riding!?) We're hoping to get three different breeds because being able to tell the difference in the eggs means we'll know if one of them is not pulling her weight unwell. I've got an idea for names for them too, but I'll share that when I'm sure that they look like their names.


On the knitting front, the buttons arrived and I finished all the knitting. I just have to weave in the ends and then sew on the buttons. Last night I didn't fancy weaving in the ends...


so I left it for this evening.
I'm not sure it's going to help.
But I can't wear it without weaving in the ends. And I can't submit it for Nerd Wars either.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Yes, I’ve been a slack blogger lately. This is largely because I’ve been concentrating on knitting for Nerd Wars, and this weekend, sorting out the chicken run!

What have I been knitting for Nerd Wars? Well, while the front and back of my “tank top” were blocking

Voyager Vest - blocking

I quickly knit a little wash cloth. It’s turned out rather smaller than I would have hoped, but it looks rather good.

Trekkie Cloth

Pattern: Baby Trekkie Wash Cloth from Wilderness Witch Knits
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton (white)
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: None!
Verdict: Pretty cool, and perfect for Nerd Wars! I don’t think this cotton is very good for wash cloths, it’s quite thin for Aran weight. It is really soft though, and would be fab for baby garments I think!

I’m anticipating finishing the “tank top” any time now, I have the two arm cuffs to knit and buttons to add and it will be done. I’ve ordered some buttons online; they should be on their way soon I hope. I’m excited to be able to wear it!
It would have been finished this weekend, but I got distracted with the chicken run, with felting some slippers for hubby, with cooking and generally faffing around!
I could use a long sleeved t-shirt to wear underneath it though. Maybe I’ll have to go shopping!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Feelin’ hot hot hot!

Well, this weekend just gone was lovely, weather wise! It’s very odd that it’s October, and in the north of England we decided to have a barbecue.

Now, if you’d told me back in September (which was both chilly and rainy) that we’d be barbecuing on the 1st October, I would have laughed at you.

But there we were.

October Barbecue??

I had a lovely morning sitting outside in the sun knitting (No, I’m not preggers, that dress just isn’t very flattering)

Cast On - Nerd Wars!

And what was I knitting?

Cast On - Nerd Wars!

My first Nerd Wars project, of course! This is going to be cool! (Well, actually I expect it to be warm, it’s knit in RYC cashsoft chunky. I love this yarn so much!)

Sadly, this means that I’ve pretty much stopped work on my other projects. I think I’ll easily get it finished in the time, so I can work on other things. I plan to do so tonight at knitting group when I will knit on super-secret-gift-for-hubby.
Of course, while hubby is around, I don’t knit on that, so it’s not progressing as quickly as I would like.