I’ve finished my January Gansey sweater by Oliveknits. It took me longer than the 8 weeks that the Knit A Long ran but I’m OK with that.
Marie Green is the woman behind Oliveknits. She is a knitwear designer with lots of sweater designs under her belt. She currently is touring the country doing talks and book signing forSeamless Sweaters in Two Weeks. I was lucky enough to get a spot during her stop here in Williamsburg.
Garden prepping is in full swing here. My husband Chuck has started his seedlings. We moved some existing plants, planted last year from the front gardens, into different gardens in our backyard to protect them from deer. If I had realized the deer would be a problem I would’ve done more research when we started revamping last year. And of course, the chickens are doing their part turning over all beds in prep for planting.
Other Garden Prepping
We dug out flowers from neighbors who were looking to thin or remove perennials. Then planted them into our gardens In addition, we have reworked some of the garden beds from last year. We made some larger and added another new bed. We are trying to make the beds curved in such a way as to accommodate our riding lawnmowers ability to navigate with ease.
Today I’ll be introducing you to Agnes the Ameraucana. I’d like to tell you about her as an individual chicken. You will learn a bit about her personality, appearance, and eggs.
I spend quite a bit of time observing and interacting with my chickens. It was important to me from the very beginning that my chickens were comfortable being handled and around people. I felt this was important for both their health and safety.
Agnes the Ameraucana
Ameraucana was my number one chicken breed request. Ameraucanas are usually friendly, they lay blue eggs and are a medium size at 4-5lbs.
But who is Agnes the Ameraucana? To start, Agnes was the very first chicken I chose. We got her and all our current chickens at Jamestown Feed & Seed. She was brown with darker stripes, she was running around in the pen with the other chicks, she was very active. Agnes was one of two Ameraucanas we picked up on March 23rd, 2017.
When I picked these chicks I purposely chose two very different colors. I was new to chickens and wasn’t sure how a chick would look compared to the adult, fully feathered, chicken. I wanted to see how each color chick changed as it grew. Jamestown Feed & Seed only had two colors available, there are eight colors in the Ameraucana breed.
If you are interested in some early blog posts on our chickens be sure to see this post and this post.
Agnes as an Indivual
Agnes the Americauna is as advertised very friendly, she always checks to find out if I brought treats and is one of the first to take food from my hands. However, as soon as the food hits the ground she prefers to peck it from there. This is probably why she is so busy, always looking for bugs and any other food she can find.
Agnes is a bit of a loner. She tends to find a spot a bit off from the others to get her scratch in the mornings. She also will often be on her own when free ranging. Agnes likes to find spots under bushes or along the back flower bed to forage for bugs and tasty plants when free-ranging.
Though Agnes is always ready to come running to me when I come out of the house she is the last to arrive as she is farther off in her foraging. She doesn’t want to miss the guaranteed snacks I might be offering.
I often give them Grubblies or mealworms and Chicken Chew from my hands to encourage friendliness. Often they get kitchen scraps and fresh sprouts as well. And I want them to come to me when I call for safety reasons, too.
My favorite Feature
I love Agnes’ little cheeks. She has what I think are referred to as Muffs. Tufts id feathers on either side of her beak giving the appearance of chubby cheeks. Makes me want to pinch her sweet little cheeks like a Grandma.
The feathers on this sweet little hen are a beautiful mix of browns, many of the feathers have a golden center that almost sparkle in the sunlight.
Ameraucanas are bred to have the blue egg gene. I was especially excited to have blue eggs in our egg basket. I have three blue egg layers, Agnes is one of them, the other are Kittie and Louise.
What I didn’t anticipate was that Agnes, our oldest chicken, would be the very last to start laying eggs. She absolutely was. In fact, she Introducing her very first egg on Christmas Day! Her eggs tend to be a medium size egg, just slightly smaller than the other two blue eggs I get from Kittie and Louise. Her eggs also tend to be smoother almost shiny compared to the other two.
How we named our Chickens
As I’m introducing you to our chickens I thought you’d want to know how we decided to name our chickens.
The chicks were named in alphabetical order as they came to our home. Not all the chicks came on the same day but rather spread out over a few weeks. Therefore, you know Agnes the Ameraucana was the very first chicken simply by her name!
As I planned and researched in preparation to get chickens I decided we would refer to them as The Ladies. I wanted to verbally separate them from the dogs who we refer to as The Girls all the time. Going along with the Ladies idea I felt that old fashioned names would suit them very nicely. You might say they all have “Old Ladies” names.
Agnes the Ameraucana Pin It for later
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Agnes. Should I do a full series of chicken introductions? Let me know in the comments. Have any questions?
Quite a few years ago I worked up a bunch of little knit hats. I had so many people ask me for the pattern for them. I quickly wrote down what I did. Periodically people still ask me for the pattern. I decided it was time to write out a proper pattern, originally I had posted this on my blog in 2008.
This pattern doesn’t take much yarn, any leftover sock yarn works great. It’s fun to take an hour or so to knit one of these wee hats up for a Barbie or other loved toys and make a child very happy. I knit this hat for my nephew’s little dog when he was here visiting from MIchigan.
You can easily find my pattern via Ravelry here if you should like to add it to your library, queue it or add it to your project page. It’s also at the bottom of this post.
Knitting gussets are not something new to me. I have knit 100’s of pair of socks with gussets. Also, knitting sweaters are not new to me. However, I’ve never knit gussets on a sweater. Therefore, I will be focusing on the gussets I just worked for a sweater.
I’ve been plugging along on my January Gansey sweater from the Olive Knits Knit-A-Long for a couple of months. You can read more about my sweater here. This pattern has three sets of gussets. The first set is in the underarm portion, where the body meets the sleeve. The second set is on the shoulder working up to the neck. The third is paired on the sleeve section paired with the first pair, these work together.
Why do I want a gusset anyway? A Gusset, which is a weird word if you ask me, is an expanse of fabric intended to relieve stress in a tight fitting area of your clothing. Such as the heel of a sock or the underarm of a shirt.
When knitting gussets you typically create a triangle by increasing or decreasing your stitches. This triangle gives you the extra stretch you need for both comfort and movement.