Monday, April 15, 2024

For the Bird(s)

Somehow Monday mornings are harder when you've had a long weekend -- or maybe it's just because a certain someone woke me up with his snoring at about 4:30 this morning. In any case, I'm dragging a bit, but I'm enjoying my second big cup of coffee (to which I added a splash of hazelnut syrup just because), and I'm sure I'll get moving soon enough.

It was very nice to have the extra day over the weekend. Friday was indeed a washout, so we put off our shopping trip and instead I got my usual Saturday chores done a day early. We also spent some time watching Downton Abbey; Mo recently discovered that she now enjoys watching period dramas after she got hooked on The Gilded Age with me, so she requested that we watch Downton next. She was way too young for it when it was originally on, and I haven't watched it in years, so we are enjoying starting from the beginning. We're already into Season 2 -- I'd forgotten how few episodes were in each season!

We did end up doing our shopping trip on Saturday and were very successful. The main objective was finding a dress for Mo for a school dance that's this coming Friday night, but we also have a family bat mitzvah next month. Mo found three dresses -- two party dresses and one that she's planning to wear for her middle school graduation -- and I found three as well. Two of them were on the clearance rack and on sale for amazing prices! I wasn't necessarily planning to shop for me, but what I found all fit perfectly and was too good of a deal to pass up (plus I probably needed some new dresses!).

When I wasn't cleaning or shopping this weekend, I was working on a chicken. (Yes, you read that correctly.) And it's done!

This is the ubiquitous Emotional Support Chicken that everyone seems to be knitting right now. When I bought the pattern, I originally intended to knit one for myself, and I still do, but this first one is for my nephew for his upcoming first birthday.

I know some of you were interested in some feedback on the pattern, and having now knit it, I can understand why there was some concern. Although I didn't have any trouble following it, I can think of many ways I would improve how the pattern is written. There isn't a ton of consistency; sometimes it says "Step 1, Step 2," and sometimes it says "Row 1, Row 2," so there's that. It's also not always indicated which side is the right and and which is the wrong side. And to add to all of this, there are a lot of short rows, which I know not everyone is comfortable with. But I have enough experience that I could see what needed to be done and how it was shaped, so I didn't have any issues. I do have in mind some adjustments for my next chicken, though, and I'll certainly detail my modifications when I make my own. For this initial chicken, the only change I made was to leave off the wattle. I did make it, but Mo and I both agreed that it looked awkward and was likely to get pulled off by a toddler who doesn't know his own strength.

As far as the specs go, I used all Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton Worsted that was leftover from an earlier project. I used a total of 234 yards, and I believe the colors I used are Bone, Dandelion, and Mediterranean (the tags are long gone). I used a US 7/4.5 mm needle and worked at a slightly tighter-than-specified gauge; I think I will likely use an even smaller needle for my next chicken to ensure that the fabric is tight enough. This yarn is rather robust for a worsted, plus with a cotton I didn't want to make the fabric too tight, so the called-for needle size worked well to make sure the stuffing didn't show through. And speaking of stuffing, I can see that I need to work on my stuffing technique a bit because this chicken is looking a little lumpy! One thing I did do that's not in the pattern is add some poly pellets for some weight; they're sewn up in some fabric so they don't escape and cause a potential choking hazard.

Now that the chicken is out of the way, I've turned back to my Bereket sweater, and I hope to have another FO to share with you later this week. But for now, I've got to get my work day started. Have a good start to your week!


  1. That is a great weekend - Downton Abbey viewing, successful shopping, and a lovely completed chicken! Thanks for the pattern feedback. Some of the comments make it sound like the worst pattern ever, and some don't. But I think that maybe even I could manage it!

  2. That chicken is so cute! I have knit a pattern or two from dear Bev Galeska and those instructions sound like her! LOL Happy Monday to you! Let's hope we can dry out a bit this week!

  3. I love your chicken (but I think I will skip making one - lol). Congrats on a successful shopping trip. I haven't thought of Downton in such a long time - it seems like it was ages ago, but I remember thinking there should be more episodes in a season!

  4. THAT is a GREAT chicken! It is the perfect snuggle pet.

  5. I love the chicken! I have the pattern; haven't looked at it yet, though. I don't mind fussy projects, so I very much appreciate your warning!!! And what fun to do some (successful!) shopping with Mo. (But I kind of took in a sharp breath when I read the words "middle school graduation. . . ")

  6. I just love how your hen turned out!! And smart on the dresses—when you find them and they’re perfect, buy them! Because when you NEED them, they’d likely be harder to find, right?!

  7. What a great chicken! I'm sure it will be loved for many years!

  8. That chicken came together quickly. I bet it will be quite a success with the toddler. The wattle, pulled off, could also become a choking hazard. I hope your Monday went smoothly.

  9. That is one very handsome chicken, I love it.

  10. You are tempting me to make an emotional support chicken for my maybe/yes/no/maybe/possible grandchild. Yours is delightful!

    1. It is really the most ridiculous thing but also so much fun!