Sometime in the afternoon, I betook myself out to tackle the re-gaining of the brooder coop--because yes, we have another 50 birds on the way. The spiders (evil creatures!) had taken over and I, procrastinating Presbyterian that I am (a number of you will catch the "Virginia" reference there), I had never squared off with the messy bedding all over the ground in said brooder coop. I fully intended when I moved the chicks from the coop to the tractors to come back the next day with a rake and a shovel and clean up the damp, manure laden corn-cob chunk bedding. Well.....that was how long ago???
I took a scoop shovel, a hoe, and the potato fork and scraped the now-hardened and partly composted bedding off the top soil. I filled up a couple of five-gallon buckets with the stuff and hauled out to the compost heap (next to the compost bins).
On top of that, I killed spiders...and more spiders. They were all over and in the galvanized water trough we use as a brooder. After killing spiders, I pulled the thing out of the coop and hosed it down until I was happy that it no longer had any spiders wriggling their nasty little legs on it and, more importantly for the soon to be arriving chicks, that the previous batch's dirt had been knocked out of it and washed away.
I threw away a lovely stack of feed sacks--which would have been fine except that they were now damp--and who knows how many spiders had taken up residence within the dark, cozy recesses of the bags! (Upon further observation...I think Daddy removed them from the trash can...)
I put all the feed and water trays, the jars, and sundry other chick-related items into a five-gallon bucket, carried it up to the house, and filled it full of water. Said items are still soaking, but it is my full, resolute intention to go wash them as soon as I complete this blog post.
I thought I'd step around into the orchard and have a pear before I went in...and ended up with a collection of fallen, bruised, in some cases partially-insect-consumed pears--which I immediately set about "working".
All in all, I would claim a productive day yesterday.
Today, not so much--but then again, I haven't exactly been "doing nothing"; it may just seem to an outside observer that I have been dawdling.
You see, I have been sitting in much the same position for a portion of the day working on one single project. I promised a friend of mine (who'll know who he is if he reads this) a pair of socks--more specifically, a pair of kilt hose.
Well, like that good procrastinating Presby I mentioned earlier I have yet to purchase the wool for these kilt hose...however, Mama brought home five skeins of Paton's wool that she picked up at the Goodwill yesterday for a buck apiece (steal!) (Paton's is my favorite yarn to work with, the wool being nice and soft.) Two skeins were cream, one black, one deep purple, and one light gray. I was planning on at least starting a trial pair for myself first before making the gift pair...so this was perfect. My friend and I have nearly the same-sized legs/feet (in fact, only two of the measurements are different!), so I'm using the exact same pattern for both. There really is a good reason for me to make myself a trial sock first; it's not just because I'm selfish and I have been longing to make a pair of knee socks anyway.
You see, I designed the pattern...
And...I have never done that before.
Then I got his measurements...and reworked my previous pattern (for me) to make it match up with his measurements better.
I believe I actually did that twice. Still with no yarn.
Well, when Mama brought home the afore praised yarn yesterday, I decided I'd start on a pair of those socks--for me--to work out the boogers. I figured, since I do not assume that two skeins will work (it takes three to make two pairs of normal socks), that I would make the cuffs, heels, and toes of black with the main "body" of the sock in cream. If necessary, I can even have miss-matched socks.
So....I sat down this morning, did a few last minutes calculations and reminder equations and started knitting. I was planning on a knit 6, purl 6 basket weave for the cuff pattern--but figured out on the first row that that wasn't going to work. Well 4 K, 4 P wasn't going to cut it either (I accidentally had two less stitches than I planned on, but didn't figure it quick enough--not that it mattered, as you will see); K 5, P 5, on the other hand did.
After three rows, I really got to looking at it and decided that you could put that on one of those creatures that Hannibal led across the alps...
So...I ripped it all out and started over from square one.
I decided that it I had better make a new gauge. You see, the gauge I was working from before I had used the other kind of yarn (I love this Wool is the brand, but I don't love it the way I do Patons) and, I think my size 4 needles--even though I'm using 3's. Yeah, smart...I know.
Well, the long and the short of that is that the difference was one single, measly stitch. But that made ALL the difference!
I reworked the equations again...and cast on the stitches.
Now, doesn't that look less elephant sized?
Well, sure! I always did kind of like that messy job, so I heaved to.
Now I need to go feed cats and chickens...and I wonder what we're supposed to be doing for supper?