I’m working on a new book!

With all the hullabaloo of Fiber School (which was incredible–amazing group!) and hitting my first deadline and the new chickens and the new dog, I almost forgot to mention: I’m working on a new book with Wiley!

I am VERY excited about this book. I’m also really excited about Wiley. Communication and feedback have been excellent, even from before we had a contract. And I have my own editor–something I didn’t really have on my first book. (Staffing changes kept shuffling me to new people, and in the end, I kind of ended up in limbo, without a dedicated editor–a rough place to be for a first book.) And she’s great to work with, thoughtful and smart and enthusiastic, so Yay!

It’s also incredibly thrilling to be working on a knitting book when I actually know what the fuck I’m doing. So far I love all of my patterns, and I look forward to every new one.

The only downside to this whole thing is the brutal deadlines it involves. Between Fiber School and the new dog, I’m cranking out more than a pattern a week to make up for it. Luckily, I’ve already worked out the broad strokes of everything, so I’m not coming up with the ideas out of the blue–just the nuts & bolts–but that’s still a hell of a lot of knitting, especially whilst housebreaking a dog. And the way I knit (knit, frog, repeat), and with my ambitions to make diversions and variations of every fracking pattern (which I am suppressing to prevent madness/hand failure), I typically at least double my knitting.

New dog, so bony still:

He was starving when he showed up the night before Fiber School. We started feeding him but had no place to put him, so he kept running around town until he got hurt. Then Rachel drove him down to the emergency vet/Humane Society dropoff and he spent a few days in doggy jail, giving his original owners a last chance to find him. The we adopted him, chipped him, and now we’re trying to acclimate him to his new home and dampen his interest in the chickens and sheep (he’s fine with the cats) and fatten him up so we can get him fixed and vaccinated and on heartworm/flea & tick stuff. I don’t want to stress his system with a bunch of chemicals until he’s back up to a normal body weight.

He was afraid to come inside at first, but he’s adjusting nicely. As he gets healthier, he’s quickly becoming more energetic, so I suspect I may be taking up running to keep him stable and non-destructive inside. He definitely wants to be an outside dog, but knowing he’s a runner (a motivated dog would have no trouble escaping our fence, especially with Randy from the City and the elelectric guy coming and going to check the meters) and not yet sure how he’ll react to the livestock once he’s healthy and robust–well, he’s going to be an inside dog with long walks for at least a couple weeks. I hope to transition to letting him out in the fenced back as much as he wants and inside at night once he knows this is his home and he’s adjusted and current with his shots and outside meds (rabies, heartworm, flea/tick–we get plenty of wildlife on our property).

The housebreaking’s going well. We’re crate-training him.

The other new addition, the new chicks, have been moved outside. I had major repairs to the hoop house, which got blown around and dashed to the ground last summer. (BTW, this is not something that gets blown around lightly. IN its previous 2 years, it got blown a few feet once. It’s heavy. Even with a flat dolly in back and mower wheels installed on the front–making it a 6-wheeled vehicle– I could barely drag it back into place. Now it’s in a pretty sheltered spot, and I attached 4 cinderblocks to add to the weight, so we should be good for most contingencies.) The don’t quite get the roosting thing. Their first few nights, they crammed themselves into the holes in the cinderblocks instead of using their roost, and I had to transfer the groggy but outraged beasts to their roosts after dark, since their chosen spot was also the most exposed, and they’re still way too small to be rubbing it in predators’ faces like that.

Once they’re bigger, we’ll let them range with the other chickens and hopefully by winter, everyone will be back to the coop and I can kit out the hoophouse for a greenhouse again.

New Chickens, about 6 weeks and happy to be outside

New home

I love how they pile up in a clump

All of the animals are still waiting on names. I’m leaning toward Joan/Peggy/Betty for the chickens, but I want to make sure they’re all girls and that I’ve called which is which appropriately. Due to their timing, I’ve had much less contact with this batch, so they’re a little more wild and strange to me.

We haven’t found out the dog’s name yet, which is making training a pain. We think we know it, but it’s hard to know for sure until the dog knows he’s home. This one seems like he was on his own for a long time, and he’s not yet quite who he’ll be. Anyway, we’re going to have to decide this week, or he’s going to think his name is Good Boy.

  • Rachel says:

    Silly! His name is Waffles!

  • Eva says:

    LOL about Rachel’s comment :)

    Congrats on the new book!!! So exciting!

    I thought the dog looked like a Vagabond, but that’s a bit long isn’t it, if you have to yell it to get his attention. Then I thought to look for the celtic word for traveler, but it is even longer… and then I came across the word Shelta which is a language spoken by travelling communities especially in Ireland. It sounds like a great dog name… you can really shout it from the bottom of your heart if needed :) I don’t know why the irish/celtic though…

    Okay, off to bed (it’s late over here :))

    Cheers, Eva

  • Nikol says:

    Rachel, I’m surprised at you.

    Don’t mow my lawn.

  • Kay says:

    Odie, short for Odysseus, who had suffered hardships before coming home. But really he looks like a Henry. Good looking dog. You might not break a pointer from being birdy…it’s so part of their personality
    BTW, love your site, patterns, stories.

  • Kaylee says:

    Oh, it’s a German Shorthaired Pointer! I’ve had two, they’re great dogs, but very energetic. My female pointer, Tesser, always wants to attack chickens.

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