Today the Department of Awesomely Good Deeds salutes Nicola Congdon and her mother Ann who live in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where they care for about 60 chickens, half of whom are former battery hens. Battery chickens live their whole lives in vast rows of small cages, which renders them unable to acclimate to normal outdoor weather conditions. When the weather grows cold, the retired hens lack the proper feathers to keep them warm. Nicola’s novel solution to this chilly dilemma was to start knitting little woolly sweaters for her hens. She’s been knitting chicken jumpers for the last six months and says her hens have really taken to them, standing perfectly still for her while she puts the sweaters on.
“It’s important to make people aware of the poor conditions the hens live in and the fact that they have no feathers when they are retired. The tank tops are also something really different that provide some fun for the chickens. They keep them warm and makes the chickens easy to identify.”
Once the news got out about their handmade chicken warmers, Nicola and Ann began receiving lots of sweater requests from fellow hen-keepers in their area and as far away as Canada. Rather than sell the chicken jumpers for profit, the Congdons are requesting donations be made to Project Primrose, a UK charity benefitting an AIDS orphanage located in Duncan Village, South Africa.
I made this awesome rug with some scrap yarn, rope/twine, and an old t-shirt! I really love how it turned out. I originally tried to follow the tutorial from Free People, here, but after many failed attempts to cut a perfect circle from cardboard that was big enough I gave up. I stumbled across this tutorial from Flax & Twine, a blog which features a lot of finger knitting projects. I kind of put the two tutorials together to create this!
I used the hula hoop and old t-shirt as the base for the rug. Instead of using finger knitted yarn, I used rope and other types of yarn and ribbon as featured by Free People.
My dinosaur jumper
I’m really pleased by the way this turned out. It was really afraid that it would be too small, and while it is close fitting I am able to get it on and off! Plus the seams and the neck turned out okay so overall a success :D
I’m really proud of this, though. It took about two months to make, and the colorwork got really annoying at points, but I managed it, and it makes me really happy.