Oh, Nature . . . Why Must Thou Be So Slithery

It’s going to take a LOT of knitting to get past this evening’s adventure. My amygdala (reference this post) is now set to high alert for about the next five years. When I went to collect eggs just before dusk, I opened the hen house door to find not one but two (two?!!) snakes in the chickens’ nest box. Big, fat, really long snakes. My first thought when I opened the door was, “how did the water hose get in the chicken coop?” About one zillionth of a nanosecond later, I revised my assessment and freaked the hell out.

Now, in my own defense, I’d like to say that there have been a number of challenges since we’ve moved to the mountain, and I’ve risen to the occasion every single time. I’ve managed black widow spiders, gigantic hornets’ nests, the idea of a local bear, and quite a few other things. But the snakes (with an “s”! TWO snakes!) . . . let me just say that I can still feel them crawling up the back of my neck. It’s clear to me that back at the dawn of everything when the frog brain was in its heyday, my people were on very bad terms with the snakes because I am clearly hardwired to lose my mind when I see (two of!!) them.

So anyway . . . I think my husband felt the seismic jolt of my freak out from inside the house because somehow he was instantly there, and he managed the situation. Thank heavens. Here’s one of the snakes after it was ejected from the chicken coop. 


Now, I can see how you might be thinking, “That guy doesn’t look so bad. The face actually seems kind of sweet.” Do not be fooled by the sweet expression, my friends. That snake and its compatriot were out to kill us all. I am certain of it.

Moving on . . . What I had intended to tell you right away was that Eudora is doing much better! She’s back to being her normal curious, active chicken self. She’ll be on antibiotics for a few more days to hopefully stem any infection that could arise, but that’s it. Here she is looking for bugs with her sister:


I’m immensely relieved. She’s such an amazing chicken girl.

In other news I’m starting to get excited about this year’s Tour de Fleece. I’ve been testing out my wheels and thinking about what I want to accomplish. This is some of the Shetland Wool Top from Hello Yarn that I used to knit the pillow cover I blogged about a few weeks ago. I’m spinning it on my Louet Victoria.


When I got this fiber last year, the plan was to spin a sweater quantity of yarn and make a cardigan. As it turned out, though, my spinning wasn’t as consistent as I’d hoped, and there was no way I was going to get a regular gauge with the yarn. Once I realized that, I put the project aside. Having picked it back up over the last couple of days, I’m feeling like the result is fairly even, but who knows. It’s too late for the yarn to become anything sweater-like now because I’ve already turned part of it into a pillow cover. I’ll probably just enjoy spinning the rest for fun. 

That experience has got me thinking, though. I’m wondering if my goal for this year’s Tour should be to practice spinning a consistent worsted-spun yarn. Last year, I spent the Tour trying out a bunch of different things—different fibers, different spinning techniques, spindle spinning, wheel spinning, all kinds of variations . . . It was a lot of fun and definitely kept the three weeks of Tour spinning interesting. Lately, though, I’m feeling seriously anxious to knit something wearable with my handspun, and for that I’ve got to be able to produce a consistent yarn. I sat down with my Ladybug today with this in mind, and here’s what I came up with:


I’ve got several weeks to think about it, but I’m warming up to the idea of focusing on worsted spinning with consistency as my specific goal. I’d like to know that I can aim for a particular weight of worsted-spun yarn and produce it in quantity.

Next stop . . . Ravelry. Maybe seeing what everyone else’s plans are will give me some more ideas.



  1. So there is the death knell on the concept of having chickens. There are no nice husbands around here to take care of snakes and I will TOTALLY wig out so, no, thank you, I will just stay in the basement with my fiber and my cat and avoid even thinking about snakes.<>

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