March 12, 2005


It was a scene right out of Make Way for Ducklings yesterday morning. I was driving Allegra to school, but before I could leave I had to wait while first one, then the next, and finally the next visiting rooster strutted across the driveway right in front of my car. These birds are as glossy and brightly colored as any of those porcelain chickens you see decorating a French country kitchen. But these birds have their own sense of time and timing.

I'm a night owl, not an early bird, so I just waited and watched and wondered dully: Why did the chicken cross the driveway?

Could not think of any smart answer. But I know my readers are clever people who probably have some very interesting answers to that question. I'm interested to read the comments for your replies. Why did the rooster cross the driveway? Will award a little prize for the wittiest answer posted between now and March 26, 2005 (and may it not be a blog-spammer who posts the wittiest reply!).

roosters 002.jpg

Scott, in his heart of hearts, is a gentleman farmer. He went to the feed store today and bought Chicken Scratch (smaller and more chicken-friendly than the grain we feed to the horses), and the little trough to feed it to them in, and the little watering trough that looks like a kettle that you see behind the roosters in the photo. And he got all of this set up in the dog kennel. Whatever will Lady think about sharing her kennel with chickens? I know what I think: We need laying hens, not roosters.

Speaking of roosters and French country kitchens, I am saddened to report that the last day of business for Le Petit Poulet will be tomorrow. Long-time readers of my blog will remember Le Petit Poulet as the little drive-through espresso stand not too far from my house. It's a lean-to, cozied up against a home decorating business called Three French Hens. It's two businesses run by one family, a mother and her grown children. The mom runs the Three French Hens, and her four kids (ranging in age from 25 to 18) are the baristas at Le Petit Poulet. They lost their lease last fall, due to a road widening project. The Three French Hens relocated in February to a strip mall on the Maple Valley Highway, but the espresso stand may be history. I've so enjoyed the baristas, who've been an integral part of my morning routine this past year-and-a-half, with their banter, practical jokes, and good-heartedness. In honor of their final days of business, all week I've been leaving a wacky tip alongside my regular tip: pesos, Cadbury Easter eggs, a miniature rubber chicken.... I will be sad to see them go, and hope they can set up a similar drive-through in Maple Valley, but I also know that they are up against competition from similar enterprises already located there....

shaft 002.jpg
Le Petit Poulet, in happier times. The big pots of lavender and other flowers all around the building were the work of Shira, the eldest daughter.

Knitting-wise: I am continuing to knit on the Sandness sweater, but it's not very photogenic right now. In our little corner of the US spring is definitely here, and my usual longing to be a seasonal knitter has kicked in. I've had startitis really bad, and yesterday I gave in and cast on for the Agnes sweater in Vintage Style. It's sooo pretty!

Yesterday I met with the group of Master Knitter Wannabes from Seattle Knitters Guild. You might guess that I have not touched my Level II swatches in ages. Every now and then I give myself a pep talk about getting with the program, but I've just been having too much fun with my other knitting projects. Our group has agreed to focus our attention on the argyle sock, first and foremost. Stay tuned, Dear Reader.

I leave you with this shot of this gorgeous sweater, the Mossbank, knitted by my friend Anne in Portland in just four weeks' time:


Anne writes: "My first impression of the Mossbank pattern was skepticism, as the math wasn't accurate on the body increases. However, once I did the math myself and got going, I really enjoyed the knitting. I really love being able to spit-splice the 2-ply Jamieson yarn (acquired, of course, from Two Swans Yarns), which made finishing a breeze. The pattern emerged beautifully, and the knitting went very fast. Because I wanted the knitting to be portable, I did a provisional cast on for the sleeves, and knit them from the shoulder down, reversing the chart so that the patterns would match up. Then, after I did the steeks, I picked up and knit stitches into the shoulder steek to correspond with the sleeve, and did a 3-needle bind-off on the smaller sized needles. This was very painstaking and fussy, and I did not enjoy the process, but the end result looks good, and it was nice to be able to carry the sleeve around and not the whole sweater, while knitting it. I did two color substitutions, brightening the red to Crimson, and the blue to Cobalt. The sweater is definitely brighter this way, and I am really happy with it. I was afraid that it might be too short, but on blocking the row gauge went from 32 rows/4 in to 29 rows/4 in, and I think it will be fine, now. The neck came out great, and I think the final sweater is quite lightweight and comfortable looking. I think my husband will love it. (This is a present for our 20th wedding anniversary in April.) This was my first Fair Isle knit for him, but I don't think it will be the last. Now I am looking at the Sandness that Karen is working on and thinking, Hmmm! Fair Isle is pretty addictive, because although requires attention, it is not difficult, and the results are amazing."

Posted by Karen at March 12, 2005 08:28 PM

The roosters are beautiful. Maybe they thought the driveway was a runway, and they are modeling their plumage. I think it is great that Scott is feeding them. In sadder news, sorry about your espresso place. That is a unique loss.
Thanks for posting my Mossbank stuff. Sorry the picture is slightly fuzzy. The whole thing is a secret, so I couldn't ask my husband for help, and it might be my bad photography, or the fact that I used an old camera.

Posted by: Anne at March 13, 2005 04:51 PM

The roosters crossed the driveway because they didn't know where they were going and wouldn't stop to ask directions.

They are gorgeous!

Posted by: Aarlene at March 15, 2005 12:11 AM

Clearly the roosters crossed the road so that you could better admire them in the sunny horse pasture. Then they probably forgot how to get back.

Say, I'm probably going to shop the market at TGKA at least one day... it's only about 25 minutes from my house. Want to get together for coffee or something?

Posted by: Karen at March 15, 2005 03:32 AM

Anne, give yourself some credit, girl! You managed to take the photo, managed to send it to me -- who's complaining?! Mossbank looks great. And every knitter knows the actual garment always looks better in real life....

Hey, Aarlene, thanks for finding my blog!

Karen, I'm putting "coffee or something with The Other Karen" on my calendar right now! It would be great to see you again.

Posted by: Karen at March 15, 2005 06:42 AM

The roosters crossed the driveway because they needed to get back to the house to eat some chicken noodle soup! Get it?!?!

Posted by: DD#1 at March 18, 2005 04:05 AM

The rooster crossed the driveway to read the blog.

Posted by: Scott at March 19, 2005 01:39 AM