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Jane Austen Knits . . . and so do I

Posted 12/7/2011 6:58am by Andrea.

Jane Austen. The mere mention of her name sends some bibliophiles swooning.

I am a fan, but not a take-a-trek-to-Bath, festival-going, dress-up-in-period-costume kind of fan. Just a regular, everyday kind of fan.

But Interweave magazine recently came out with a magazine called Jane Austen Knits and now my head is swimming with all things Jane.

I've taken out every adaptation of every Jane Austen movie that our library system has. Same with the audio books so I can knit and listen to her stories at the same time. I fear I am turning into a certified Jane fan -- or maybe a certifiable fan.

I seriously looked at these on the Jane Austen Centre's website. Somebody stop me.

The patterns in Jane Austen Knits are not something I would normally knit. I like most of them, but they are delicate and refined -- two words that do not normally describe my knitting.

My knitting is usually described as chunky and functional. Bulky yarns. Not lacey yarns. Easy patterns. Not hard patterns.

But I am expanding my horizons. "As God as my witness, they're not going to lick me." I'm going to knit some of these patterns. (Different author, different time period, but anytime you have the opportunity to throw in a Gone with the Wind quote, you've got to take it!)

The patterns are divided into themes: Country, Manor, Garden & Town. I will knit one from each section. Now remember, I am the world's slowest knitter, so this might take some time. But I will keep you updated.

Run, don't walk 'cause it's selling fast, to your nearest bookstore to get a copy of this magazine and start knitting. If you make something from one of the patterns, send me a picture and we'll post it here.

My hope is that Interweave will do a whole series of author-knit books. I personally would love a Laura Ingalls Wilder Knits. Or maybe a Lucy Maud Montgomery Knits.

But for now, Jane and I will spend the winter knitting together.

(all knitting photos are from Jane Austen Knits 2011)

Tags: Knitting

Farm Fresh Eggs

heritage breed chicken eggs

How do your eggs measure up?

Purchasing grocery store eggs is a complicated thing. There are lots of decisions to make. White, brown, organic, cage-free, free range. What does it all mean? Isn't an egg just an egg?

The answer is no. Not all eggs are created equal.

First, let's talk color. The color of the shell does not determine the nutritional value of the egg. Different breeds of chickens lay different color eggs. We sell a mix of blue, green, dark brown, brown, pinkish and white eggs from a variety of heritage breed chickens. The nutritional content of the eggs comes from the chicken's diet and has no relation to shell color.

The best way to buy fresh, nutrient-dense eggs is directly from a farmer who allows the chickens access to pasture and a more natural, varied diet, including bugs, worms and fresh vegetables, in addition to regular portions of chicken feed.

If you can't buy from a local farmer, this will help you decipher the labels you'll find on eggs sold in grocery stores:

Certified Organic: Eggs from chickens which have been fed an organic, vegetable diet. The use of antibiotics and cages is forbidden. However, debeaking and forced molting are still allowed. The chickens must have access to the outdoors, but there are no regulations on if this is on pasture or just a fenced, outdoor hard surface pen.

Free Range: Chickens are allowed access to the outdoors. It does not mean they spend their days outside. They may or may not. There are no regulations on the time or size of their outdoor range. Flocks raised in warehouses or hoop houses with access to dirt or concrete floors, with an occasional trip outdoors, can be considered free range.

Certified Humane: Uncaged birds with access to perches, nesting boxes and an area for dust baths. There are strict limits on the number of birds per square foot. They may or may not have access to the outdoors. Forced molting is not allowed. Beak trimming to reduce fighting is acceptable, but debeaking is not.

We sell our eggs at the farm on a first-come, first-served basis for $3.50/dozen. We think once you've eaten one of our eggs, you'll never buy a supermarket egg again.

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