Why I will never knit for chickens

Every fall, there is an outbreak of people sharing pictures and stories about some misguided lunatic who knits for her chickens. Sometimes they’re little capes, sometimes a kind of sweater-vest. And then, because I am a knitter who has chickens, many of my dear friends share these stories with me. They share them with warmth and affection, with kind thoughtfulness. So I have to restrain myself from responding the way I want to. At least in writing. In reality, I shriek in offended frustration.  

Knitting is something I do because I love creating beautiful and useful items. I love making socks for my wife to wear, because I know she enjoys the feel of them and showing them off to her friends. I live knitting a baby hat for a new mama, to share her joy. Knitting creates fabric, a stitch at a time, slowly and magically transforming yarn into lush squishy warmth. 

Chickens are wonderful creatures. They are fun to watch, they lay yummy eggs, and they are even themselves delicious. They live outside because they make a nasty mess everywhere they go. They have an amazing layer of feathers that keeps them warm. Humans have been using feathers to make some of our warmest, best insulated garments and coverlets for hundreds of years. 

I am never going to knit for chickens. I find the idea insulting. Why would I spend time creating beautiful hand-stitched sweaters for livestock that are perfectly capable of staying warm on their own? And if I wanted to create a garment for a chicken for some incomprehensible reason, I would buy some fleece fabric on sale at a fabric store and sew something that would be quicker, easier, and more washable. I don’t even knit for our dogs, and one of them sleeps in my  bed every night. 

I will never knit for chickens. Ever. 


The tree

Our plan was to get our tree from the Christmas tree farm across the street. Of course. But when we pulled into the driveway, we saw the “Sold Out” sign. The other tree farm, a few miles away, was closed, too. And it just wouldn’t be right to get a tree at Home Depot, shipped from Canada, when we live in the woods. So, back home we went, grabbed a couple of saws and a sled, and tromped into our woods.

A tree that grows in the woods will never be perfectly shaped and full like the ones you can buy. Those are planted in straight rows, in the open, with lots of room, and they’re pruned into shape as they grow.

We brought back the trimmings, too.

It looks good in our new home.

It’s so tall I couldn’t reach the top to put the lights on.

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Good Yule, Hauskaa Joulua!



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Are you tired of these pictures yet? I’m not. I’m entranced by this place, every day.
I love Saturdays because I get to take the dogs out after sunrise. So, we took a little walk around the yard instead of just standing around in the “dog pen,” the fenced area on the slope in front of the house.

This is the dog-walking maneuver I like to call the Troika.

Isn’t it magical? Can you stand it? I can’t.

The chickens would like to move out of the FEMA coop into their chicken palace. And they would like the snow to melt. That is all.

Blue light

How can I express the heart-clutching beauty of the blue dawn light on the snow here on our mountain?

We are so surrounded by it, here in this house.

I think I must have been longing for this place my whole life, if you go by how utterly at home and at peace I find myself here.