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19 October 2016

Chickens, Lace, and a Little Hat

Well, hot weather has returned to the farm for the past several days.  Old-timers call it Indian Summer, but I think this spell should be called Indian Scorcher.  It was almost 90°F/32°C here yesterday.  When I went outside to feed Steve, the wind was warm and moist. Rain is predicted tonight, with cooler, more seasonable temperatures to follow.  I'm ready for sweater weather!

Speaking of Steve...

...the mighty hunter continues to bring us the fruits of his labors.  Last week he brought us a chipmunk (or ground squirrel, as some call them), and last weekend, a rabbit.  I'm certain he's quite proud of himself, decimating the local wildlife so efficiently, but I do wish he'd read up on conservation a bit.

Last Saturday, we went to the local chicken swap.  It was the last chicken swap until spring, and it was booming!  To define the local vernacular, a "chicken swap" is an outdoor market where farmers can buy and sell poultry, rabbits, etc.  The one in our county began in the parking lot of our Tractor Supply store.  As it grew, larger quarters were needed, and it moved to the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart.  But it kept on growing, and now it meets in a field, donated by a farmer for the purpose.

Of course, at a chicken swap, one expects to see chickens ...



I'll bet this one is undisputed king of the roost!

English Buff Orpington -- my favorite breed!

"And then Hazel said that Mildred said ..."
...and other poultry, too.


This dove reminds me of Bette Davis!

 
There were pumpkins, mums, and farm products made by local folk -- honey, soap, baked goods, etc.

Pink pumpkins of the variety "Porcelain Doll".

 
We saw old dogs...




...young dogs...




...and kids loving on a puppy.


We saw a trailer full of piggies...


...and some folks taking home a very noisy goose.


My best photo of the day was of a girl and her rabbit.  Her smile says it all!


If you live in Kentucky and would like to find a chicken swap near you, I found this list on the Rowan Tree Roost website.  They're lots of fun, and ours has food vendors and porta-potties, too! :D

Despite the unseasonably hot weather, there are definite signs of fall, both here on the farm...



...and in the neighborhood.  There are certain trees on the road to town that I think of as my "special" trees, because they are such good heralds of the changing seasons.



I also found a big, fat woolly-worm crawling on the porch.  Appalachain lore says that woolly-worms predict the severity of the winter:  black fuzz is bad weather, brown fuzz is temperate weather.


This woolly-worm suggests that we'll have bad weather early in winter, followed by a temperate spell, and close out with more bad weather.  I've never found any scientific basis for this belief, but it's fun to look at woolly-worms and check their forecasts!  By the way, there are fall festivals celebrating this fuzzy meteorologist in Beattyville, KY and Banner Elk, NC.  Check out their websites for more woolly worm info.

Indoors, I've been a busy, busy bee!  Right now, I have one project on the blocking board, one on the needles, and another one ready to cast on.  I learned this week that my friend Mindy will welcome her second granddaughter in February!  Seems like babies come in bunches, doesn't it?  The first new project I want to show you is a little one.  After looking at my Scandinavian Snowflake Dress for a week or so, I decided that it needed a hat.  So I made one.


I used the same colors of Knit Picks's Swish DK that I used for the dress; the pattern is "Not Only Christmas Hat" by Anna Rauf, and it's free on Ravelry.  I used the smaller colorwork motif from the dress, and combined all three colors in a big, poofy pompom.

Hat and dress together.

For the past few months, I've been following the progress of an online friend in her fight against breast cancer.  Jake Finch has been blogging for several years -- with humor and honesty -- about the joys and challenges of mothering and making quilts.  She has also been sharing her journey with cancer, starting with her diagnosis in August, with the online community.  I wanted to do something for Jake, but I didn't know just what ... until I saw the Ribbon Scarf pattern by Anniken Allis (free on Ravelry).  As it turned out, I'd just ordered three skeins of Shine Sport yarn (60% cotton, 40% Modal® beech fiber) in Blush from Knit Picks.  The pattern and the yarn were, as they say, a match made in heaven.


The pattern is bordered -- ends and sides -- by a delicate lace pattern.  In the center, also worked in lace, is the iconic breast cancer awareness ribbon.  (I think you could also make this scarf in other colors, for other awareness initiatives.)

I should tell you that if you decide to make this pattern in this yarn, you will need four skeins of Shine Sport to make the pattern as written (= eight repeats of the central ribbon motif).  I chose to omit one repeat of the central motif, which still gave a blocked length of 55", because I didn't want to take the time to order another skein.  According to the Post Office's tracking website, Jake should find this in her mailbox today!

And that's about it for news from here!  Next week I should have another button-inspired project to share with you, and maybe a gift for a February baby as well.  As always, you can follow me on Facebook, and feel free to share this post with others who might enjoy it.  Thanks for stopping by -- see you next week!

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