Apparently, knocking, twirling, and breathing will only get you so far (see Testing…testing? if you have no idea what I mean by that) since the technological forces allowed that for exactly ONE blog post before reasserting themselves. So off to the computer shop I went and am now the proud owner of a fresh keyboard (wherein the problem lay) and am up and running again.
(Deep Breath) Let us begin again.
Let me assure you, I have not been idle while the computer was in ICU. Things both homesteading and knitting were begun or accomplished.
Let’s start with homesteading this week, just for fun.
This past weekend was coop cleaning day.
This, of course, is the day that the old bedding is removed, spread over the gardening spot to nourish the soil for the next planting, and fresh bedding is put in.
We also did some rethinking of how we stored our chicken feed since the mice have now discovered this feast. We happened to have an old kitchen trash can, so we took the sack of feed and slid it into that plastic container to give a double layer (no pun intended) protection of the bag itself and the outer container. We also moved it away from any walls or nearby objects since they have proven quite capable of climbing on anything in the vicinity that will help them reach that grain.
I’ve always liked the idea of free-range chickens. But with our proximity to a very busy highway, I had decided that we would all have to be content with a very large fenced area that gave them plenty of foraging area. The fencing I used could be occasionally rearranged once the current spot was becoming overworked. However. My very independent ladies have different ideas about that. Suffice it to say, they are free-range whether I want them to be or not. I think it was the introduction of fresh blood into the flock this Spring since they were less inclined/successful at escaping before that. If you don’t believe me, you should check out Birds of a Feather, that will verify my story.
I have considered getting a rooster because they are good at keeping the flock corralled if they are inclined to wander. I’m not super close OR super far from neighbors, so I don’t know yet whether that is a good idea. One benefit I have from being their primary source of food is that whenever I make an appearance the ones who have gotten outside the fencing will come running to see if I am bringing them something. I look like the Pied Piper (if the plague were chickens rather than rats) as they follow me around the yard. The other day, three had gone to the front of the house, too close to the road for my comfort, so as I continued walking on my way to set up an evening campfire I shouted “Chick, chick!! Chick, chick!!” They all picked up their feathers and came running. Seeing that, I laughed and said, “Who needs a rooster!?” That being said. Maybe. Someday. I’ll let you know.
Also related to homesteading, I made a very happy discovery yesterday. Right around the corner from us, about 4 blocks away, is a developing farm store called The Rooted Barrel. They offer seasonal plants and flowers and have a really nice setup. I’ve been aware of it for some time, but never stopped in. Yesterday, on a whim, we pulled in to check it out. It was a good call. I’m all eager in my desire to live a more homesteady life, but there are large gaps in my knowledge that I would like to fill. One is decidedly the gardening aspect. I feel it is definitely something I can become good at, but I am not yet knowledgeable or confident in this area. The owner was very friendly and helpful, he has double majors related to gardening and landscape design and has studied in the US, Italy, and Germany to add to his knowledge and skill. After he closed for the day yesterday, he came over and walked with me and we talked about my ideas. We talked about what would work, what wouldn’t work, and what could work with some adjustment.
I feel a lot better about achieving some of the goals I have and making the most of what I already have. This was a great thing. If this wasn’t enough, I found out that the local association of beekeepers meets regularly at their farm store. I have wanted to get some bees for a long time and am really hoping to get started with a hive or two of my own this coming Spring. So you can imagine my delight in finding such a resource so close to home. In fact, their next meeting will be this week so I will be there and try really hard to not frighten everyone with my excitement.
Knitting, knitting, always knitting.
I don’t normally take commissions with my knitting. As my readers are aware, knitting is my therapy. So adding a deadline somewhat diminishes the relaxation I normally find with my knitting. But recently, a friend discovered that I am a keen knitter and asked me to make him a Halloween scarf. He really loves the Jack O’Lantern motif and the traditional orange and black. So after a little research, I purchased the CreaWelten booklet on Ravelry that includes 14 Halloween related charts. The booklet is originally intended for washcloths but is adaptable, of course.
After consulting with Skyler, we chose the designs he wanted and I worked out a pattern. I am doing this in double knit so the completed scarf will be reversible.
My husband and I took a short road trip recently so naturally, this was a perfect project for the road. Here is a pic from the start of our trip:
After completing the two designs for this side, I am now just working away at a length of solid color. After I have knit 31 inches of the solid colors, I will begin the two designs again for a symmetrical design.
This isn’t hard, but since double knitting is literally two times the number of stitches, it takes some time. Every day I spend some time on this. Once in a while, I will take a break to knit my current pair of socks, but I try to put in some time each day. My goal, of course, although it is really self-imposed, is to have this completed before Halloween.
Here is my progress as of today.
It has not been without its issues, but I feel I am making good progress with it and am hopeful I will meet my goal.
Since I have been unable to write for weeks, I now feel I have so much more I could write about today. However, I have already gone longer than I typically do so I will save some of the other projects, thoughts, and ideas for future posts.
I do have a final question though. It has been my tradition in October to find some delightfully spooky book to read that month. I DON’T like to read the ones that will keep me awake, but I really enjoy a good scare. I’ve read some of the classics, Dracula, Poe, Lovecraft. Last year I read the Harry Potter series for the first time (!). Not precisely scary, but seasonally appropriate.
Today is October 1 and I haven’t yet settled on a title. So I need to get on it. I’d love to hear some suggestions, if anyone has them, for a good book to read this month.
To continued peace with the forces of technology,