Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This morning's sky. Lovely. And a promise. No review today, unless you consider a recap of the last few weeks of my life a review. I guess technically that is a review. But let's pretend it's not.
First, the knitting. I finished some things, or added to some things underway.This is a collection of baby socks that I occasionally pick up when I am at odds or unsure of what to begin next. They are made from the leftovers of socks I've knitted previously. I've decided to start taking pictures of them when there's a bunch and add it to the ongoing project I keep tabs on at Ravelry.
Just before Rhinebeck I decided to knit myself something for the predicted cold out of the qiviut I bought last year.I decided on Ice Queen from Knitty, and I adore it!The beads sit there like water droplets. The pattern is simple and worked up fast, making it a supreme gift idea (hmmm...and Webs has all that Misti Alpaca Lace in the warehouse, and beads right next door).
I also knit up a pair of Sweet Fern Mitts from The Knitter's Book of Wool.There is some errata in the first printing of this book,, so be sure to check here if you decide to knit a pair. The yarn is Foxfire Fiber Cormo Silk Alpaca. The color I use here is not available on the website, but the yarn is just amazing in any color! Luscious. I adore them, regardless, and recommend you give them a knit. Fast and warm and seasonally perfect! I also knitted a hat that more or less matches by using a 2:2 rib and Clara's cable pattern.I also finished two pair of socks, both in STR Heavyweight, one for Gene and one for Selina (who-is-engaged-to-our-oldest-kid-hallelujah)Selina's are Blue Brick Wall.Gene's are a mill end I grabbed at Sock Summit.
By far the biggest news around here involves my birds, their future, energy independence and our future, and the answer I get to give from now on when someone says "So you live on a farm?" Up until now I've always said "No, not really." That's about the change. Bee hives and 30+ birds with plans to breed them, plus a barn that should be up by Thanksgiving makes me think that it's time to call ourselves a farm. If everything goes according to plan, please God, next spring or summer we will cover the roof of the new barn with solar panels, so that not only our water is heated by the sun, but our computers, fridge, dvd player, etc are all powered by the sun as well. I think I've said here before that this is a fond lifelong dream, to transition from fossil fuel to sun or wind. The farm is a dream as well. I always thought a farm was in my future, I just lost hope for a while. For now, there will be chickens, and lots of them. Out of the birds we grew this spring, we carefully selected four boys to continue on and help us breed up a bigger flock come next year of both layers and meat birds. I'll introduce them to you now - they have no names yet, only personalities:FIrst, The Bully. A Cuckoo Maran who has only one real wife, but given his size will be allowed to help me build meat birds from some of the other hens. He's got an attitude, and goes after other cockerels.
Next is The Wimp. He's a Blue Jersey Giant, although more Splash in appearance. He's only got one true mate as well, but we'll mix him with some of the bigger hens for meat birds as well. He's the boy the Maran goes after the most often, and he screams like a girl when he's caught.
Then there's The Jock. A Black Dorking cockerel, also with only one real wife. He's smart as a whip, fast on his feet, predator saavy at a young age. He never sits still.And last but not least, The One Who Slides By. I am not sure why. I can't figure out if the other boys don't know he's a boy or what, but somehow he manages to not get into fights, not mix it up with the other boys. He's a Black Australorp and he's got a bunch of wives.
My eternal thanks to Sandhill Preservation who have once again outdone themselves with these birds. Although I've been largely unmoved by the Rhode Island Reds - and this is due in large part to a deep RIR bias I developed in the first year of our chicken growing adventure - all of the other breeds that came in our box have proven to be amazing. I feel so good about these birds. If you're thinking about chickens and live in a place where you can grow out cockerels, I can't recommend Sandhill enough. Al their chicks are straight run, which means boys and girls. I believe a rooster is good for hens, and everyone who has birds should, if they possibly can, have a boy around the place. I also think chicken sexing (yes, there is such a thing) is pretty inhumane, and not something I personally choose to support. I'd rather grow them out, make my choices, and put the boys I am not keeping in my freezer. It feels better to me that my boys are used for something, not just killed at hatch for having the wrong chromosome. Anyway...
Come spring we'll play mix and match, breed up some "true" chicks from the three who've only got one wife a piece, and some "mixed" chicks for meat. We are now, in my heart, officially a poultry farm. The state won't believe that until we do a lot of paperwork and sell $1,000 worth of eggs and honey. I can wait. It's enough to have it in my heart. It makes me so happy, so very happy to see this coming to fruition.
Now, don't tell Mr. Wonderful, but I have another little plan in mind. Just a small thing, really. Not a big deal. I thought a couple of these, maybe 2 of these and one of these to watch over them. This may take more time. But no worries. I can be patient. If I can wait 42 years for a farm and 34 for solar, I can wait a couple more for sheep!


booksNyarn said...

You ARE a farm! Just because you don't have a bunch of paperwork, you have the soul of one. All your work is pretty amazing.

Can I grow up to be you? ;)

socks and said...

You're a farm in my book. Hope Mr. Wonderful goes along with the sheep and llama plans. I think it's a great idea. One of the alpaca farms here has a guard llama and love it. Great to hear about barn plans. Alice (from SS09)

tina said...

woman, you are a knitting machine. A knitting Mrs. Old McDonald machine. As always you make me smile..............

Deb said...

What a gorgeous sunrise! You definitely are "farm" in my book.