My March Girl

Larkspur's Birthday-2712

Early last December, I placed an order for chicks. We’ve never ordered chicks so early before, but Larkspur had mentioned wanting her own flock and I thought that would make a perfect birthday gift for her. Her favorite chicken from our current flock was a mostly black Easter Egger (sadly lost to a predator last year) which led her to have a slight preference for black chickens. So when I went searching I stuck to all black breeds. I settled on black copper marans because of their deep chocolate colored eggs, and the fact that they seem special in general. I knew I was taking a risk choosing the breed and surprising Larkspur, so I was a little bit nervous. A couple of weeks later, she announced a desire for a flock of black copper marans at which point I began to feel a little bit proud of myself. Larkspur started stalking the My Pet Chicken website in January, making comments about the fact that the black copper marans were going to sell out. I played it cool, even after she started panicking at the fact that they had indeed sold out (for the year, at this point!). “I don’t know what to tell you, Sweetie.” I wasn’t about to tell her that I had everything covered, and had ordered chicks for her March birthday back in December.

There was no way to time things exactly perfectly, her birthday being on a Sunday this year, so the chicks arrived the week before her birthday. In addition to Larkspur’s chicks, I had ordered some for our family flock as well, which made sense because I was already paying for shipping. The box of chicks rode in Larkspur’s lap on the way home from the post office, and she begged me to tell her if any of them were black copper marans. Not until we arrived home with the box of chicks did I cave and tell her that yes, she was the owner of six black copper maran hens, and one rooster. Sadly, three days in, one of her chicks died, but the others are a week old now and doing well. Never have I been so anxious over a group of chicks! The one that died had me in fits of anxiety (it became clear about day two that it wasn’t super well). I gave her sugar water on the hour all day and even got up a couple of times in the night to care for her. Some chicks just don’t make it though, and I think she was just destined to be one of them. Thankfully, Larkspur took it pretty well and we are moving on with her flock of six.

Lark turned eleven on Saturday, which I can hardly believe, of course. Because it seems that we all suffer from this collective denial that our babies will continue to have birthdays every single year, growing up far more quickly than we expect. Per her request I braved sewing her a birthday dress for the first time in years. I made the Oliver + S Garden Party Dress in fabric that she chose herself. I worked on it all week long, an hour here, and an hour there. It must have taken me about six. But I think I could do it much more quickly next time. I hope there will be more sewing in my future. It would definitely make my girls happy. Lark really loves her dress, which of course makes me happy!

The chicks were her main gift this year, but I did buy her a feather field guide that she has been wanting for a long time along with a vintage apron and embroidered pillowcase I came across at a local shop. I took a photo of the inside of the field guide to show you how neat it is, if you are interested in feathers, of course. Larkspur collects feathers she finds outdoors and likes to try and figure out what species of birds they came from.

I failed to gather eleven candles to put in the banana pudding that Lark requests every year, so she ended up with two large beeswax tapers for her 11. It worked! Birthday success all around for my sweet girl.

p.s. After obsessing over yarn colors for weeks, I cast on for a Find Your Fade shawl. Details on my yarn and colors are in my Ravelry notes. Choosing the colors nearly drove me crazy, but now that I am actually knitting I can say it was totally worth it!

p.p.s. I shared one of those photos of Silas and Job on Instagram last week or so…I had to save them from Wattles, our rooster. They really didn’t need saving, just thought they did. And I don’t make the best savior, because I’m probably more afraid of him than they are. I have rooster phobia and can’t seem to conquer it! Luckily, we all survived that day, even Job’s monkey.

Jams for Bea and Other Distractions

I haven’t really sewed in ages.  When my girls were younger I sewed them lots of dresses, and mostly enjoyed doing so.  But in the years since my little boys were born I have found sewing to be too much trouble.  I don’t have a space to keep things out and handy, lest they be destroyed (by my little boys) and it is just so much easier to pick up a knitting project.

But lately I’ve been kind of antsy, wanting some faster gratification.  I am less and less mobile and not being able to do housework is making me a little crazy.  I need to do something that feels productive!  And Beatrix needs shorts.  Shorts are pretty easy, and I have a good bit of fabric stashed away from my sewing days.  I pulled out my copy of Carefree Sewing for Girls, because it has an easy pattern for making pants or shorts.  It didn’t take long to sew a couple of pairs for Bea last week.  Jonny was quick to point out that what I made are not actually shorts, but “jams.”  Just like the ones his grandma used to make for him when he was a kid.  Yeah, I guess he’s right.  I totally remember jams, though mine were store bought.  At any rate, while our memory of jams is that they were dorky, ours weren’t made from linen blends.  Linen blend jams are surely quite stylish.  At any rate, Beatrix likes them.

I’m still distracting myself with yarn dyeing, though that process is slower.  Right now, it is looking like I will have a shop update next week.  Wednesday, I think.  I did a huge outdoor indigo vat last weekend, my best yet.  I feel like I learned a lot, and I am really happy with how my skeins turned out.

New for this update, I will have a handful of sets of fingering weight mini-skeins.  I used all plant based or natural dyes and created a pastel rainbow.  These sets are really cute!  Jonny is also promising to finish up some more bird shawl pins.  We’ll see!

I am hoping to do more sewing in the coming weeks.  I bought the Dottie Angel Child’s dress pattern, planning to make one for Bea, and maybe Larkspur too if I can size it up a bit.  Larkspur is also requesting a skirt.  I made this one years ago, and think I will try that pattern again.  I have turned my bedside desk into a little sewing spot, and that is working well for me.  We recently moved the little boys out of our bedroom (!!!!!) and now I can actually have some privacy and quiet after they go to bed at night.  It feels like such a luxury and not one I am accustomed to!  Not for long, or course.  Though I am actually looking forward to sharing my bedroom with a baby again, so that will be just fine as well.