Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ragnar is off to Valhalla

Rhode Island Red Rooster

I went out to the coop yesterday morning to open the windows, check for eggs, the usual. Well not so usual. Ragnar was on the floor, not moving. I assumed he was dead. I picked him up, he was wet and barely breathing and hardly opened his eyes when I moved him. Not a good sign. I put him in a box, moved him into the barn under the heat lamp and hoped he was just cold.

I made him a larger, more comfortable box but after checking him out and trying to give him some water and vitamins I knew it was only going to have one outcome. I did my best to make him comfortable, gave him tiny bits of water through out the day and once it warmed up outside took him out to feel the sun and breathe some fresh air for the last time.

Ragnar died some time around 6 yesterday evening. He was fine the day before and then...not. Thats how to goes I supposed. It's just a part of having animals. The worst part. I'm not entirely sure what happened. There is evidence of a fight, being sick, no mites though, I have been franticly searching the internet for the magical answer to jump out at me.

This sucks. So far the kids haven't asked and I honestly am not sure what I would tell them. We live on a farm and as we care for more animals some are going to die, it's just how it is. Now we go through the what went wrong, would could I have done better. The flock is going to have some adjusting to do, their pecking order is all off kilter. Faux-Roo is going to have to step up and be the H.B.I.C (Head Bird In Charge).

For us, it's hard to lose an animals, it'd definitely not like as if the dog had died. There will be no tears on my part (I don't think so anyways), I do feel badly though. In a few days there will a whole new crisis to deal with I'm sure. Perhaps it's too soon to joke, but I said to Scribs yesterday "This had better not be an omen for things to come on Vikings."

Rooster Rhode Island Red

So it goes.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Anders sweater for Simon

Guys, can I tell you how happy I am with this sweater? This is by far the best item I have made to date. I'm usually too lazy to go back and fix my mistakes unless they're huge. Not this time, no no. It's like I'm a grown up or something. I made this sweater for our friend Jef's squishy new baby, Simon. It should be delivered today, so it's safe to share.

Baby Sweater

This pattern was really easy to follow, the fair isle was fun and it was a quick knit. I made a 3 month size, I not sure that the sizing in the pattern in right as other on Ravelry have mentioned. Guess what, babies grow. Quickly! I nixed the vikkle braid on the wrist cuffs and bottom ribbing. I couldn't get the stitches tight enough, the row follow always looked like a sloppy fishing next. After 3 or 4 tries I quit. I know when I'm beat! As I mentioned in my WIP post, I had never done a vikkle braid and used the video below to figure it out.

Here she is, in all her glory! The

front or back sweater

It doesn't matter which side is the front or the back, the pattern doesn't specify, but I would put the buttons on the front. Speaking of buttons, that's the only part of the sweater I'm not 100% happy with. The spacing of the holes is a little off. Can you tell? Did you notice before I pointed it out? I should have noticed before I contiued but such is life. I noticed when I put the buttons on, the only way to fix it would have been to rip the whole the back to almost the starting. No thanks!

baby knit sweater

Here's the video again for the vikkle braid, it sure is pretty when it's done right.

top down

Wool of the Andes in Marina

I used size 5 and 6 needles, Knitpicks wool of the andes in Marina (which is MUCH greener in person. No matter the lighting or photo editing I just couldn't get the color right, see the above photo? Just a wee bit different) and dove heather with 18mm wood buttons. I had no idea what size of buttons I'd need, so I had to make an educated guess. Surprisingly, I didn't find that anyone else had listed button size on Ravelry. I asked a few people too!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baby dress for Rosie

Now that I have finally finished the knits for Rosie, and they should arrive today, I can share them!
I made this Eli dress a while ago, I make it with knitpicks wool of the Andes in everglade heather and used needles. Again, I neglect to make note of the size. Good work, non-thinker.
This little dress seemed to have taken forever. So long that I managed to post to WIP Wednesday about it. Here they are 1 and 2

I'm really happy with the final results, next time perhaps I will mimic the leaves at the top to the bottom as well. I hope Rosie gets a lot of wear out of it, and her parents don't kill me for sending wool. It really isn't that much of a pain, both of my kids wore wool as teeny-babies. We lived in California so it was only a handful of times.

I'm nearly finished my Anders sweater for another baby, buttons get here Friday. Rosie's things should be delivered a little bit later today!

Baby knits!

Confession: I'm terrible at getting things made on time. I'm pretty sure every baby has been born before I got their knits finished and some times before I even started. So it goes, when it's time for me to sit down and knit very often I'm too tired. I fell asleep on the couch the other day at 8pm, most days I'm ready for bed at 5. pm. Before making dinner. 
Anyways let's get on to the knitty-gritty. See what I did there? Anyways.

baby hat

I wanted to make a vintage-style TFL beanie without getting too busy. Making a baby beanie in worsted makes for a quick knit and not a lot of room to get fancy. I made a swatch in sport cuz that's what I had around, the swatch turned out great. Once it came to doing the real thing it was a disaster! I don't even remember how many times I had to redo the intarsia, maybe 5 times before I gave up. I ended up just doing double-stitch. Double-stitch isn't my favorite technique but it works when nothing else will. Let me tell you, it was a mess! My tension was out of control! Too tight, too loose, wonky-donkey mess. That's what happens when I'm too tired to pay attention to what I'm doing. And here it is.

Baby hat

I used Purl Soho's Classic cuffed hat pattern and Knit Picks wool of the Andes in Noble Heather and Silver. I think I used size 5 needles, but I'm a scatter-brain and didn't write it down. Whoops!
I did 16 rounds of green, and 10 stitches high per letter. I, of course, used my graphic paper pad to plan out the letters and did almost a full swatch. For the swatch I knit 3 rounds in grey before started the tests for the letters and knit until 2 or 3 rounds from finishing to make sure the spacing was ok. If it wasn't for a baby, I'd add a pompom.  I learned my lesson with babies and pompoms. (hint - they chew the pompoms and it get gross really fast!)

I'm really happy with the color combo, sometimes it's hard to tell when ordering online. I'd definitely would use Noble heather and silver together again. The top picture is the most true to life colors, it'd a bit difficult to get photos of accurate colors without natural light, and there is no natural light at 5 am. Let's give an around of applause to my lovely model, Zip-lock bag full of air in the top photo.

baby toque

baby toque

I hope you like it, little-bitty baby! I already know your parentals will be all about it. Up next is part two of little bitty Rosie's baby knits. Isn't Rosie such a beautiful name? 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Photo Friday

misty morning

Ah, fall. (ah, like a sigh of relief, not AHHH ZOMBIES).
Bring on the misty mornings, chilly nights and pumpkin everything.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wip Wednesday Anders sweater

Wip wednesday

WIP Wednesday

I've started my last baby project! I'm told the mom to be is in labor, Simon is here! and as usual I'm late. Oh well, what can you do! I'm working on Andres sweater. My goodness it's too darling.
Ive learned a new technique! It's a sideways stitch that I kind of love. It's called (the? a? I'm not sure) Vikkle braid.

Anders sweater

Anders Sweater Wip

Isn't it pretty! I just couldn't figure it out from the directions, so I took to Ravelry (blogger autocorrect Rav. to Rev about 10 times before I could get it to stay.) and found a link to this video. Thank you fellow Raveler!

I'm using wool of the Andes in marina and size 5 needles. The color is much greener in person, I can't for the life of me get a true to life photo of the color in artificial light and unfortunately there's no sun at 6 am. I just started and re-started this week after messing up the braid.  Thus far it's going really quickly. We'll see if I can keep up this momentum. I have a few more rows, and one button hole left before knitting in the round, I have a feeling until I get to the fair-isle, I'll blow through it. I do need to get buttons for the front but thats easy peasy.

Anders Sweater

Every time I write 'Wip' I sing 'Push it' in my head. Yup, I'm that dork! What are you working on?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wild life around Scribs farm

We have an incredibly diverse bunch of animals we share our land with. We have seen a handful of coyotes, a giant possum and a GIANT Beaver. That's right, a beaver. In the field.
Here's just a few.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cost per dozen eggs for the month of August

cost dozen eggs raising chickens

Isn't that bowl great? It's my favorite! Possibly my favorite thing from my grandparent's house, other than my Nana's knitting needles.

Our girls started laying at the end of July. August was our first full month of laying eggs. I wasn't really sure how quickly or slowly they'd start producing. We definitely had a few shell-less and soft shelled eggs, I think in totally we ended up throwing away (into the compost) less than a dozen. It think it's safe to say that all the girls are laying, except maybe on of the ducks. We only get 1 duck egg daily. There may be a few nests out there that we haven't discovered yet.

free range nest

I've been eating eggs for lunch almost everyday. So far I'm not sick of them, we'll see what happens. The kids (surprisingly) love hard boiled eggs! They ask for them a few times per week. Sounds good to me, easy lunch! Once a week we have eggs for dinner, I've got to say I'm a big fan of frittatas. I'd never had one until I started making them, who knew they were so easy! I'm going to have a egg recipe round-up in October. Let me tell you, I could eat eggs Benedict every day!

Here's the break down.
234 eggs
19.5 dozen
7.5 eggs per day on average. The most we got in a day was 17 (the day I found a nest) or 11. The least was 3 when the girls were just getting started.

Here's the cost break down for the month

  • $4.20 on shavings, we had some left over from July, I picked up a small packages from Tractor Supply Company that was enough to clean the coop twice.
  • $8.49 for Sweet PDZ this will last us for months. I sprinkle it in and around the coop, it's technically for horses but works quite well to help keep the chicken stink down.
  • $28.90 for 50lbs of our regular feed. That lasts us about a month. We needed to pick up more Saturday but when we lost power everything turned into a cluster! 
  • $6.00 for 10 lbs of feed from TSC I picked up this week. Our feed store is only open Thursday and Saturday. This week we will pick up another 50 lbs and shavings for September.

Total cost: $47.59
Cost per dozen: $2.44 that's cheaper than the grocery store and the eggs haven't been sitting around for 90 days.

free range chickens

I neglected to add the initial cost of getting the girls, the first 4ish months of their care and building the coop, all the start up cost would make a dozen eggs cost around $100 each but that all depends on what kind of coop, where you get the chicks from kind of starter or layer feed and so on. The start up costs are like anything else, it's as much or as little as you make it.

I can't wait to see how many we get in September! What are you favorite egg recipes? I'll try anything and everything!