Knitted Spring Hens

Knitted Hens

Happy Spring. I did end up getting the chickens done in time for the bunny to stuff a couple in Simon's and Gussy's baskets. I mentioned my intentions to do so on the 1st birthday of our five hens back in March. I knitted Fire then, and you can see she made it into some of these photos as well. She's the only one that got eyes, lucky girl!

Fire

Simon's Basket Gussy's Basket

This was August's Easter Basket. He ended up with the white hen (which we don't even have - so while sorting through his basket he said, "A white one? Huh.") and the Black Hen who we call Compsognathus.

Compsognathus

I again used my ancient acrylic yarn and didn't even put a dent in it. Oh well at least it has served some purpose. My kids love their hens. Simon ended up getting a couple of the other hens we have.

Simon's Basket

The black and white hen is Octopus Pie and the brown hen is probably Captain Dan we have two Auracanas so I suppose the brown hen could be either of them but it ended up looking more like Captain Dan than Boingy.

Octopus Pie Captain Dan Boingy and Simon

I used size 4 bamboo needles to knit the girls and cast on 16 for each of them. I knitted until I felt like it was nearly square and folded them into triangles and stitched up the sides until I had only a small opening and then stuffed them with just some poly fill. I sewed them closed and crocheted the combs with red acrylic yarn and just sewed beaks on with bright orange acrylic yarn. It was a fairly simple project that I finally finished on Easter Eve. I was cutting it close but still able to hang out and play cards with family that night...so nothing too stressful. And it felt really good to have such healthy goodies in the Easter Basket. I hate Plastic Easter Grass with a passion, I think it an awful product so I lined the baskets with some recycled shredded packaging I'd gotten in something a few days before Easter. I filled the baskets with the homemade hand-knit chickens, a flashlight, some modeling beeswax, a bird whistle, a zipper pull and a few chocolate eggs. Happy Healthy Environmentally Friendly Easter! I'm such a dork Mom.

Baskets Octopus, Comp and Mystery Knitted

Happy Knitting!

Side Project

Yarn Ball

This yarn, from Purl, arrived in hanks - as it usually does - but Mama doesn't have a ball winder...or does she...My Ball Winder

Hank

I used my husbands arms and my hands to wind my own ball. Problem solved!

So after I had a ball I started knitting a little gifty for my Sister-in-Law for her birthday. Of course I decided I ought to stick to what I'm good at so I knitted another ribbed hat. Since this yarn is pretty chunky I used size 10.5 circular needles made from bamboo. My collection of needles is growing by the project. I knitted two, purled two the whole way around. I started by casting on 68 stitches (I think). I should always write down exactly what I cast on right when I do it because it immediately exits my brain and since I already gifted the hat I can't count how many I cast on.

lexhat2

Trying it on for size. It isn't quite done yet but I love the colors of this variegated wool. It is called Sheep Number 2, made in Uruguay. It has to be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. It is 100% pure wool and it comes in 100g hanks. I got it from Purl when they had their moving sale and I'm happy that I got two hanks of it, even though this project didn't even require one whole ball of yarn. I have a little ball left over and one whole hank for Shane to hold while I wind for another project. I've become a yarn hoarder, I need to do some serious knitting to start diminishing my stash.

The Finished Product

Happy Knitting! Happy Birthday Lex!

Knitting Chickens

Chicken Birthday

Today is a special day at our house. Exactly one year ago today we went to the post office and picked up a box filled with 25 peeping chicks. We nurtured our baby chicks to 6 week old gawky weirdos in our bathroom in a refrigerator box and then moved them to their new coop outside in our backyard. We didn't keep all 25 of them, just 5. Today we are celebrating Compsognathus, Octopus Pie, Fire, Boingy and Captain Dan's first birthday. They are little egg laying machines and so much fun. In lieu of the celebration I thought I'd knit up a handful of chickens, so I got one done. I have all kinds of yucky old acrylic yarn laying around that I got for like 50 cents a skein a while back, so maybe in 10 years if I keep knitting little stuffed animals I'll have it all used up. I just have to keep creating one creature a day. My intention was to knit a chicken that resembled each chicken we have but I only got Fire (our yellow chicken) done in time for the celebration.

So I used size 4 double pointed needles, simply because I don't have just regular size 4 needles. The pattern I was sort of following was in my book Knitted Animals - which has a wide assortment of beautiful little knitted animals in it. Luckily there are three chickens to choose from. I started off with yarn that was too big though so I just went out on a limb. I worked in stockinette stitch, so knitting the entire time. I think I cast on 16 and then knitted until I thought it looked close to square. I folded the creation into a triangle and sewed the two sides together and stuffed the baby bird right from the bottom point and sewed closed.

Chicken Start

I then used another piece of this acrylic yarn and sewed it around the body to create the dip in the chicken's back. I also stitched a bit of beak on using some orange acrylic yarn (I have every color of this stuff you can imagine!).

Beak

starting to look chicken-like

Then I crocheted a bit of red acrylic yarn to create the comb. I didn't really know what I was doing, just "winged" it. It ended up looking enough like a comb that I was happy with it. Oh and I used some black yarn (the really heavy stuff - good for buttons) to make the little eyes. It by no means is a perfect bird but it made my kids happy. Maybe by Easter I'll have more to fill their little baskets. That's my goal. It is all about setting little goals for myself, that's how things get done with five chickens, two kids, a toy store and an oil business (just to mention a few things).

Making Corn Cake

Gus and Chick

Ooh we even had time to make some corn cake for breakfast for the chickens (they shared with us too). Look at that happy little knitted chicken.

Birthday Ring

Who knew a knitted chicken could lay so many eggs! Happy Birthday and Happy Knitting!

Corn Cake Eat

The Final Ribbed Hat

New Hat

At least for a bit. I will try and ease my desire to make another one. They are pretty darn fun to make, but I need to branch into something new. I'm thinking socks, mittens or toys. Knowing me I'll probably start with toys. Easter is coming so I'd like to fill baskets with knitted treasures - maybe some knitted sheep, bunnies and chickens. Fun!

Hat In Progress

This variegated yarn I fell in love with in Loopy I got a gift certificate from my good friend and used it promptly...how can a girl deny herself some yarn for free? It is Rowan Colourscape Chunky Yarn by Kaffe Fassett. It is 100% Lambswool, from England. It has to be hand washed and cannot be dried (which might be obvious). The color listed on the label is just Colourscape 0440. It was the yarn pictured in my post beside the bottle of bourbon, so I started working on this hat at Elkhorn Hot Springs. I couldn't finish until my double pointed needle collection arrived, I was using some size 10 circular needles, on loan from a friend, and didn't have the double pointed size 10 needles to finish my hat. Well they came in the mail, and upon using them for the very first time I got a sliver, kind of a drag, but I guess you get what you pay for. Luckily they are under warranty for a year so a new set is being shipped on Monday. They are U-nitt needles, just FYI. I was only using them to decrease the top of my hat - so I used them for about 1/2 hour and that was it. So that was a bit disappointing - but I did finish my hat! Oh and the pattern I used was just the same as I've been using for all of my ribbed hats, I just knit 2, purl 2 the entire way around. I can't remember how many I cast on with at the beginning, I want to say like 88? I just checked and it was 88. I might have actually done a little bit less if I had it to do over, but it fits alright. I just like hats to be nice and snug to keep my ears warm.

Top View HatSide HatTop Hat

This yarn had some variation in thickness so you can see it some holes - or what looks like some holes. I mean I'm not saying I'm a perfect little knitter heh...because I'm obviously not...but the yarn was to blame for some of the imperfections, but I think that actually gives the hat some more character, and I still love this yarn so much!

Just a few more photos and I'll sign off.

Another View HatFront View MamaFinal View

Look at that pretty color variation. Not sure who this hat is for, I thought it would be for me, we'll see...maybe someone special will get it, for now, I'll be the model. Something new and exciting to come soon.

We got our chickens a year ago for August's birthday, but they arrived two days early, so their birthday is really three days before Gus's...but for Gussy's birthday we had a coop building party, so in turn our chicken birthday is rapidly approaching. The kids already decided we are making them a special birthday cake, maybe Mama will knit something special to coincide.
Ooh and I have a whole mess of wool sock yarn on the way from Grandma Jan as a really early birthday gift. Yay!

My Boys - Ribbed Hats

Happy Knitting!

Gussy’s Hat Take 2

So I actually started another project before this one, but it isn't completed yet...since I was waiting for some double pointed needles to arrive in the mail. So you'll get to see two ribbed hats in the next couple of days.

Since August's first hat was a bit large, I decided I'd make him a hat just like Simon's only I let him choose his own colors. So he pretty much chose the same colors - just a darker blue than Simon. We used the same wool - because it is pretty near perfect. And we actually got some for a friend for her birthday because it is just so great to work with and soft and yummy. Gussy's Hat Start

So here we are in the very beginning phase. I used the same size needles - size 8 circular needles. And of course switched to double pointed needles at the end (also size 8). I knitted two colors together (as one) again, just like I did with Simon's hat. I just love the way Simon's hat turned out, I know it is warm and cozy and covers his little ears and I wanted the same for Gussy. So - why mess with success right? The wool I used was Shepherd's Wool Yarn made in Michigan. The colors Mr. August chose were Christmas Red (just like his big brother) and Cobalt Blue. Same pattern - knit 2, purl 2 all the way around. I cast on 80 stitches and the decreasing at the top was done the same way - I think? I knit 2 purled 2 until I had about 7 inches worth of hat then I decided to start decreasing. I decreased by purling my 2 purls together first and from then on just knit 2 together. I may have decreased more rapidly than I did with the first hat but it still turned out nice and tight at the top. I was debating putting a pom pom on top - but then maybe he wouldn't love his hat until the end of time.

Gussy's 2nd Hat

He told me "Kank you so much for my hat Mama" this morning at the breakfast table. Such a sweet little peach. I could eat him right up. He's been snuggling with it all day long.

Back View Ribbed Hat

Here is my sweet little peach's hat from behind. So you can sort of see the decreasing.

And just a couple more shots because I figured you couldn't get enough of what a cutie cakes he is!

August Ribbed HatAnother August

And finally I wanted to give you a taste of where my stash is at these days. Purl Soho had a sale so I got myself some new yarn, fun!

My Stash

Happy Knitting!