Monthly Archives: November 2015

Yippee! More Hens

I love our chickens, I really do. I love seeing them scratching around, dustbathing, perching and preening, and just generally enjoying the freedom of our field (and occasionally the field next door as well!) But there is always room for a few more. The Palace, in particular, has been looking a little depleted, now that there are only six hens in residence in a house that could hold fifteen or more.
Winter is not really a good time to buy hens, especially since we seem to be going through a particularly wet and windy period, but when I spotted on Facebook a particularly engaging quartet for sale locally I was smitten. I had to act fast as someone would snap up such beautiful looking hens,  so I contacted the seller and – to cut a long story short – we jumped in the car and drove to Barnsley.

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The hens are, as Dan described them, 100%. They are all healthy, friendly, superbly looked after, and a testament to his chicken-keeping skills. We were delighted!

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So now we have four new hens, living happily in the Palace. They are Lavender (a Cream Legbar), Marigold (a Rhode Island Red), Myrtle (a Copper Black Maran), and Daphne (a Columbian Blacktail). So far they have had to stand up to some pretty awful weather, with gale force winds and torrential rain over the weekend, but they seem to have settled in. The two more mature girls, Marigold and Myrtle, managed to go up the ladder and into the house last night when we were putting them to bed, and this morning I found they had laid us two lovely eggs in one of the nestboxes. Lavender and Daphne are not quite at the point of laying, but look like it will not be long before they do.

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So, overall, we are delighted with our new hens, and look forward to watching them scratch around, dustbathe,  perch and preen, and enjoy the freedom of the field. Once the weather improves, that is!

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The Year of Knitting Lacily: November Update

My first failure!! I am so disappointed, but I knew as I approached the end of the charts for Lila that I would not be able to complete this month’s shawl within the month and within the skein of yarn I had chosen. To the end of the charts, and before the short row shaping to create the crescent, I had used 87% of the 110g/385m in the skein (approximately 335m). I could not see that I would be able to get much further with the remaining 14g/50m (approximately ). The colourway Eirene, a lovely rich semi-solid purple plum, was especially hand-dyed for the Wharfedale Woolworks Colour Therapy Sock Yarn Club, issued in September. I doubt that Kirsty has any left over but she has agreed to dye some more for me, so I shall be able to complete the shawl before Christmas.
This picture shows the lovely lace of the edging with my addition of silver beads forming simple V shapes.

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I shall definitely be using beads again as I really like the effect, but I shall use size 6 beads next time, as the size 8 beads have a very small hole and necessitated threading on cotton before pulling onto the stitch just worked. I have checked, and the size 6s can take a 1mm crochet hook!

Although disappointing, this shawl is not going to sit in my WIP pile for ever. I shall finish it as soon as possible. Completion is merely postponed.

Technical notes
Pattern: Lila, by Gillie Parsons
Yarn: Wharfedale Woolworks Yorkshire Rose BFL, colour Eirene
Needles: Pony bamboo 4.5mm circular 100cm
Yarn remaining: to be determined
Finished dimensions: to be determined

November’s challenge
This month’s shawl is the first to be taken from a published book instead of from individual designers on Ravelry. Sock Yarn Shawls 2 by Jen Lucas contains lots of nice patterns, ranging from simple to complex, and it is difficult choosing just one to start with. I am looking forward to casting on Monarda, an overall lacy shawl with an effective leaf-like pattern. I shall be using Wharfedale Woolworks Yorkshire Rose BFL sock yarn in Mahuika, a semi-solid in rich fiery tones, issued as part of the 2015 Colour Therapy Sock Yarn Club. It is well named after the Maori fire deity.

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