Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cold, Colder, Coldest

It was ten degrees below zero again last night.  The forecast is for single digits today, below zero again tonight and more of the same until the weekend.  In light of this fact, Jeff dragged the pullet cage down into the cellar and, yes, I put the chickens downstairs.  The last below zero cold spell lasted a week.  I tried to keep the coop in the mid twenties, however this entailed running a little ceramic heater non stop for several days and nights.  Disastrous to the electric bill.  So we talked about keeping the girls in the cellar instead. It was easy enough to get them down there as I scooped them off the roost.  I have no idea how I will get them back out!  They should be very cosy.  They sure are noisy!

"This is weird, brrrk brk, what are we doing in here?"

As the wind has picked up and the temperature stays frigid, it is a comfort not to have to worry about the girls.  It will probably mess up their egg laying routine.  At least it will keep them alive to lay more this spring.
Meanwhile I have been busy knitting for a baby who is due to arrive next month.  I decided to do something different and made a bear.

A jaunty bear
 I stuffed some lavender into the center of him so that the scent will help calm the little one.  The bear will be packed with this baby blanket, although I am not sure it is going to be big enough to call a blanket.  More like a throw.

An Elizabeth Zimmermann baby blanket

It is double knitted in the middle which makes it reversible, thick and warm.  It is being knit out of commercial wool.  The bear is hand spun.
I also had to spin for a couple of scarves to put on the loom.  The finished one was spun from an old roving I found in my stash.  It was mostly silk, and probably merino that had been dyed in long stretches in rainbow colors.  I split it down the middle lengthwise so that I could spin and ply the colors to keep that rainbow integrity.  Then I figured that I had to wind a bobbin, then rewind it to another in order to keep the continuity in the weaving.  It came out great but I am nervous that it is long enough. This second scarf is mostly going to be the blue with random stripes of white and other colors.

Scarves on the loom
Before the cold got so intense, my precious little old lady cat, Sukey, passed away.  Thankfully we were able to bury her.  I did not want to have to think of other alternatives, and cremation wasn't an option.  She rests in the corner of the yard reserved for pets.

Sukey, the old lady
She would have been 22, yes, Twenty Two years old in March.  She had a great life.  It is good not to have to be dealing with all the issues we have had these past few years with her advanced age, but it will be a long time 'til I stop looking over to her corner.

A bouquet to ease the pain
Annie sent me these, which certainly help on a whole lot of levels.  Especially in the dead of winter!
And  now the sun is out, the temperature has soared to minus 4---time for a cup of coffee before getting to work.  Stay warm, stay busy and Happy New Year!