Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Need another dose of sweetness?

Of course you do... everyone needs some sweet in their lives!

The chicks have now been with us for 4 days. We're pretty sure they are at least a week old now, if not a few days older. Check out these little darlings.

And one more still photo.

And because video is so fun... check out some more home movies. The first is general cuteness. Look at how much their wing feathers are filling in. (You'll hear S say "It's OK kitty." The cats are going crazy with us spending time in the room with the chickies... they know something's up but can't quite figure out what it is. We frequently have little paws coming under the door with them trying to explore!)

The second video shows the chicks drinking a bit better than the video in the last post... the drinking is so cute. You also get to see a bit of chick preening and, fun, you get to see how they just flop down wherever they are whenever they want to sleep.

So cute!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Introductions are in order

For quite some time now, I've thought it would be great to have chickens. I've liked the idea for a long time, inspired most recently by Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (as were lots, and lots, and lots of people, I'm sure). Last year when I mentioned it to S, he scoffed a bit at the idea. This year he thought it would be good to have chickens and I strongly agreed!

So yesterday we did a bit of research, visited our local feed store, Pomona Feed, and picked out 4 (hopefully) pullets to come live at our house.

Meet Betina, Ada, Beatrice, and Althea (from top left, down, and to the right).

(Yes we cleaned out the water trough right after we took the photo... we're new parents... we're learning the many ways chicks can dirty up their area).

Althea and Ada are the two golden yellow-brown chicks... both Buff Orpingtons. Betina and Beatrice, the two black chicks, are both Barred Rocks.

Our research shows that both breeds should be good backyard birds... docile, friendly, calm.

For now, the chicks are living in a big aluminum tub with a pine shaving floor. They'll be inside with a light bulb for heat for a few weeks. Then they'll move outside into a coop in the backyard. S is already making big plans for the coop and will build it himself.

And let me tell you, if we didn't want to have chickens for the local food -- sustainability angle of the whole thing, I would want them because they are just too darn cute! I couldn't resist showing a couple of videos. In the first one if you watch closely you can see them scratch and peck and, cutest, get a drink of water (they throw their head back to swallow ... too cute). In the second one, you can hear S and I chatting with them and watch them scurry around their little area.

I'll keep you posted as they grow... which they should do fast. We think they are somewhere around 4-8 days old right now (mostly guessing from pics). The barred rocks are a bit smaller than the orpingtons so we think they may be a bit younger. Both have started to get feathers, with the tail feathers being very tiny on the barred rocks. It's a whole new world friends ... I need to go surf the net more to learn what to expect!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Colibri Scarf

Yes, during all this non-blogging time, I have managed to do a bit of knitting. Earlier this week I cast off on a gift for a friend ... a scarf made from Katia Colibri, a thick 'n thin yarn (really it's thread with a bit of fluff in a few places). My friend was recently diagnosed with cancer and I thought a bit of a yarn hug was in order.

It's nice that with a simple garter stitch, you can still end up with something quite interesting ... all because of the yarn. I simply cast on three stitches and then knit every row. On every other row I increased a stitch on each end of the row to create the triangle shape. If I were to do it again, I might increase a bit more than this (maybe increase two rows and then knit one row without an increase) so that I would get more width across the top relative to the length from top to bottom of the point.

All in all though, a nice sweet project. I hope its recipient will enjoy it.

Colibri Scarf
(my own pattern -- see above)
1 ball Katia Colibri in a beige/gold color (color 7552A dye lot 09922)
(51% cotton, 45% acrylic, 4% polyamide)
US 13 circulars
Final size: 40” across the top; 34” from top to the bottom point of the triange when worn.
Cast on March 26, 2009
Finished: April 6, 2009

Ravelry details here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

All about Aran ... done again!

You all knew I couldn't stop working on this didn't you?

Nope... I had to keep knitting more squares. Now with 9 squares done I have a respectable small lap blanket or baby blanket and I'm ready to take a break.

I love the textures of cables.

I think they look great in this natural colored yarn ... even if it is Lion Brand.

Baby Aran Afghan
All About Aran afghan by Janet Szabo (as featured on Knitty Gritty)
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Natural Heather
(20% wool, 80% acrylic)
US 7 circulars
Cast on about September 4, 2006 (but of course the squares I knit way back then all got frogged)
Cast on for squares now actually in afghan about September 2008
Finished: March 15, 2009

Modifications: none other than to use only 9 squares and to pick my own assortment of square patterns (others are in the pattern and I did not use them)

Ravelry details here.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Bulky Cable Cardigan fini

This is my take on the Bulky Cable Cardigan.

I find that Stephanie Japel’s patterns don’t fit my body too well – they are always wide on my waist and narrow over my hips. For this sweater, I knit the pattern as written until the bottom of the body and sleeves. Instead of doing the ribbing (which would have drawn the sweater in too tightly for me at the hips), I just did a few more rows of plain garter stitch.

The sweater was still a bit large for me given my choice of yarn so I also left off the button bands. A pin to hold the cardi closed at the top is working just fine for me.

The sweater is bulky… buyer beware. It will keep me nice and toasty warm, but I do feel a bit like I have padding on. You can get a little sense of that from the pictures of the sleeves. Overall, I’m happy with the sweater though. After all, who doesn’t love a good cable?

And how 'bout one last photo so you can see the giant cables down the back?

Yep... it's been weeks since a post, but at least you got pretty pics this time!

Bulky Cable Cartigan by Stephanie Japel
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick
in 178 Cilantro (lot 62446)
US 11 circulars
Cast on October 19, 2008
Finished: March 22, 2009

Ravelry details here.