Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bloggers' block

I’m finding blogging very hard right now. More so than ever before. It used to be enjoyable, I’d write about fun things I’d done or cool things I made. It’s slowly become more of a show-and-tell than anything else. For now, it may have to remain that way, simply because I have things to show and tell, and because the things in my life that aren’t crafting and chickens are not in a place where I can talk about them.

Last time I posted was 30th May, and that means there’s lots to update you on for June, because it has been a busy month.

First up, we have two new chickens!
New hens

They are called Inara (with the ginger ruff) and Kaylee (with the white ruff). They’re a breed we hadn’t met before called magpie. I think they’re very pretty.

To go with the new chickens, my dad and husband built a fence so that the five chickens can be introduced and have some more space.

Hens and new run

I love living out in the countryside, and that photo is a really nice example of why. It’s so beautiful and peaceful. I’m not sure I could go back to city life, even in a small city like York.

So, the new hens are starting to settle in. We had an escape yesterday, so we need to watch them and see how they managed that. Either they flew out, or they took a sneaky route round the shed that we need to block off (we need to do that anyway). If they flew out, the best option will be to move the house.

The good news is that they were rounded up by the neighbours (we have such nice neighbours!) and they’re perfectly fine. They were not happy about not being let out this morning though!

The day before yesterday Faith decided to eat the leaves of my potato plants. I’m pretty sure that’s not good for them, so I’ve netted those now. I was worried that Inara and Kaylee would dig up the courgettes or chard in the main garden, but they did not. I suspect it was lack of opportunity rather than lack of desire. I haven’t checked the peas – last year Faith, Buffy and Willow almost killed off the peas by eating the creeper shoots.

Here’s an up-to-date picture of the “old guard” as hubby keeps calling them.
Hens and new run

I know they look a bit scruffy and scrawny, especially Buffy (the ginger one). I think this is because they’re recovering from an infection – they had worms. Yuck. Also, there’s been a lot of feather pecking going on, so they don’t have many full feathers – most of Buffy’s are very short. I’m hopeful that when we can give them more space they’ll be less bored, and so the feather pecking will cease. All being well we’ll get them looking just as healthy as their young counterparts soon. We’re also feeding them extra at the moment, with more mealworms, more pecking blocks, and more treats. I’m hoping to give them some cottage cheese and garlic mash soon.

I’m really enjoying having the new space for them. I hope that the weather is nice this weekend so that I can spend some time outside; just watching them is so much fun!

So, what else have I been up to? Well, tournament 8 of Nerd Wars has begun, and I’m on team Browncoat once again. I’ve actually been doing quite a lot of baby knitting since my sister is expecting her first child in November. She isn’t finding out the sex until it’s born, so I’m knitting (and crocheting) gender neutral things at the moment.
Baby Sweater Booties

There’s going to be a hat to match these as well. I’m on the lookout for a ladybird patch and buttons, to make the sweater a bit less cricket-y and to finish the booties.

The baby sweater is the Seamless Baby Sweater (Ravelry link) by Sarah Stanfield. It was easy to follow and worked up nicely. My only adjustment has been to work the arms two-at-a-time, and I knitted a few less rounds on the yoke than I should have.

The bootees are Saartje’s Booties (on the right of this linked page) which I have made before. They are cute! I changed the pattern for these by adding a YO into the end of the straps for a buttonhole rather than using the yarn tails.

I’ve also made this square. I can’t tell you why just now, but hopefully later I can.


And I’ve cast on for another Clapotis.

I have been meaning to make another Clapotis for ages, and I have been meaning to make my Mum a scarf for ages. My Mum is allergic to wool, and so it had to be made of something else. This yarn is bourette silk – that’s the kind where the worms are allowed to hatch before the cocoons are harvested. It was dyed by Violet Green, one of my favourite indie dyers in the UK. These colours are amazing!

The Clapotis is part of a Newlyweds’ Clapotis-along that I’m taking part in on another Ravelry forum. The Newlyweds board is a source of much interesting information, support and general niceness. We’re also doing a swap, I have bought some nice goodies for my partner, but no yarn yet. I’m planning on getting that at Woolfest.

That’s right, we’re going to Woolfest again this year. I really like the event, it’s always interesting and there’s always lots to see and buy. I have lots of ideas of things I might like to get. Hubby will almost certainly try the ewes’ milk ice cream again!

On the 29th I’m taking part in my village’s Open Studios event. There are a number of talented artisans in the village, and hopefully hubby and I can be counted among them. I’ll be spinning in the Village hall, I don’t know if hubby will bring anything to do, or whether he’s going to leave me to it and head off to the ceramics studio, or something else! I’m very excited about it anyway.

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