Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chickens like yarn....

The sun came out. It has been a long time so I sat stunned, what of the many 'wait till there's a shiny yellow ball in the sky to do this' things to do first. Then, I remembered my responsibilities! Yeah - for real, this was a good one! I had an order for sock yarn and lace in my new colourway (Tia Dalma) to photograph and get ready to ship. So, out to the yard to take some pics of the colors (how do you like them?)tia dalma they are a bit darker than the photo shows but that's not my story so I'll ignore the slightly anal dye critic on my shoulder and move on. So, here I am, basking in the sun (wearing a sweater and tam, of course, because it is NOVEMBER IN MAINE) taking pics of this yarn and some of my 'stash' yarn. Hmm. two hands, one basket, three clutches of yarn....what to do? Well, I can't very well set the dear customer's yarn on the grass, but surely I can set my own there and the yarn police will not swoop down on me and peck my eyeballs out for blatant ungrateful behavior with yarn. Shirley, you were wrong. I set my beloved yarn down for just a mini-second to put the lace in the basket and hold the sock Tia Dalma carefully to my breast. BWWWOOOCK!

Every year I vow to 'clean' the garden. What can I say, I am a lazy bum. After a three month stint of trying to grow sun-loving things in a volitile and frigid ground, being eaten alive by blood-sucking vermin, crying over failures, cursing successes after countless afternoons spent chopping, rinsing, canning a multitude of green beans and whatever else survived the weed attack of July - I practically run from the garden after frost and try to forget it. Slowly, it dies away, looking sadly pathetic until, in a moment of weak thinking, I devise a grand plan. Set the chickens free and THEY will clean it up (golem, I know you like the back of my hand) Yess, they will do it. This goes well for about a week, wherein the fat hens are busy picking every seed and fruit left in the garden. THEN, they get bold...and start knocking on the door with their beaks practically demanding a snack. I need to put them up but that is a night-time job because they are impossible to catch except for when they are sleeping. Unfortunately, it has rained every freaking night for an eternity. One hen heard me loading the wood stove this morning and began pecking on the door...the nerve! The yarn? Oh, yeah. Well, for the millisecond that it sat on the ground, some bossy feathered hag approached from behind (their little legs are so quiet!) and grabbed one of my skeins (thanks to the 'good' fairy who reasoned I better not leave someone else's yarn on my yard) and began trying to haul it away in her beak. Why did I get a degree in journalism? So that I could, at this moment, panic like a girl, get all worked up, drop my camera on the ground, run inside clutching the dear tia dalma yarns and return to the yard with a broom and demand MY yarn back! Gee, with all that going on, no wonder I didn't think to snap a picture of the dreaded beasty-beaked yarn-stealer! I hope to have more tia dalma posted on the farm blog but, with a 12 lb bird in the freezer begging to be stuffed and tormented, and 10 chickens needing to be frightened into submission, this could take a while.

Alas, I got myself under control in time to remember that I haven't showed you Thing 1's first finished object for xmas - the Isletta sweater form Berrocco, only I knit it in my single-spun Cotswold instead. Oh, and I followed the pattern only to the yoke and then lost it so I had to make up the rest. The front (still needing the brass flowered buttons sewn on)....thing 1 front and then there's the back. I had to sneak outside and hang it on a tree so the quick-witted little beast wouldn't see it. Sure enough, a chicken broke into a run when she saw me and headed my way. I narrowly escaped. Note to self: tonight, we hunt chicken!thing 1