Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Get that Man a Hat! and Maybe a New Jacket

This is in response to all the comments I got the other day about this post. You guys must be getting to me. Last night I got home and Mark (as he is sometimes known as) aka the Farmer was standing there in the kitchen in one of his old plaid shirts, albeit a nice plaid J. Crew shirt, a gift from my sister Jenn. I said to him “So where have you been?” Yes, he had a clean shirt on and he had been to the bank. I have gotten so used to him wearing that old and very stained Carhart insulated jumpsuit and jacket that I don’t even notice the shear tatteredness of it any more. I thought about getting him a new one for Christmas but since money was tight and I wanted to buy Julia some cute new clothes, I decided against it. After all, it just would have gotten stained (lamb poopy, after-birth, sileage, etc.) and trashed in a day. Not even the best stain remover can compete (not to say I try too hard). Maybe next year, I’ll feel more flushed with cash and buy him a new jumpsuit. But at least he is warm.

That said, I have also tried to make him wear handknit hats. I knit him a rather nice multi-colored one last year and he wore it a bit and then left it somewhere so it rotted into the ground in a pile of manure. I found it not long ago and gave up. As for the gloves, if they aren’t leather and insulated, they don’t last. Manure and sileage are nasty things. So I give up there also. It's hard to dress The Farmer in handknits - unless it's for dress-up. He does have one aran sweater that he wears for special occassions.

Truth be told, when he needs a hat on the tractor, he wears the most disgusting acrylic bright orange hat so the hunters don’t shoot him. I have commented to him in the past about the ugliness of the thing but I gave up there too. Evidently the fluorescent orange hat is nice and loose and comfortable. Thank goodness most people around here don’t know what The Farmer’s Wife does!

There's been some fun stuff I've been alerted to by internet friends. Here's an amazing crop circle made of sheep! Thanks Diane. My guess is that there was food involved. Here's a photo of my Farmer with a grain bucket nearly being swept off his feet by the sheep. He is experimenting with feeding dried corn to the mama ewes (instead of the grain pellets he sometimes feeds). The cost of grain has skyrocketed and this is a little more economical. For a few days, they wouldn't eat it but now, it's a mad rush to put down the corn and move before they knock him over.

This rooster is too cute! I suggested to Storey, my publisher, that perhaps they should introduce a line of knitted farm animal patterns. After all, they are the leading publisher of books for country living, farmers and farmer wannabees. Check it out!


Luni said...

Your farmer looks fine, and certainly falls in with most hard-working men I know or have known--their clothes are utilitarian, and they don't wear hats much. I'm envious that he puts on a clean shirt to go to the bank. I try to enforce that rule, but without much success. :)
Love the sheep circle; they look so white, tho--is that just English sheep that are clean looking?

Kathleen C. said...

I have to admit I didn't even think of that. I thought he just looked like a farmer. Certainly he looks like the farmers I see all around me here in the Shenandoah Valley.
Actually, to be completely honest... I also thought he looked like an extremely and unusually attractive farmer.

Katie said...

In response to the person who wanted to know if English sheep are always so white I can answer yes! All the rain we get keeps them lovely and clean.

knittingiris said...

It's wood glue, stains and finishes, and sawdust around here, and the wash doesn't get separated into the typical whites and colors of detergent commercials. The only two categories here are "His" and "Ours".
Besides, whites aren't allowed around here, either, as they're impossible to keep clean. If they do sneak their way in, they don't stay white for more than an hour or so!

Diane H K in Greenfield! said...

See, I'm not the only one who thought Mark looked GQ in that picture! He's handsome in real life, too.

Anyway, I feed the sheep a mixture of crimped corn, rolled oats, and rolled barley. It's called COB, short for corn, oats and barley. I buy the separate bags of each item at Bernardston Feed and mix them together myself in huge bins. It's MUCH cheaper than pelleted grain. Mark might be interested in that.

I give COB to the llamas as well. Everyone gets some in September/October to encourage wool growth (I'm doing fiber sheep, so it's a good time to add some length to the staple), and then in late December through January to get them through the cold snap. I find it helps the elder ewes in particular--gives them a good boost during the cold snaps.

Jolene said...

It's comforting to hear that Your Farmer won't/can't wear handknits either. I bought my Farmer black Arctic Extreme Carhartts for Christmas 2 years ago and before the year was out I was patching various tears & burn holes. I will advise you against replacing your Farmer's Carhartts with black. The traditional tan/brown is MUCH better at hiding dirt than the black. Oh well. As long as they're warm.

See you in Minnesota!

Theresa said...

The rooster reminded me of a stuffed rooster stationed on a mailbox on Route 138 right up the rode from the University ofRhode Island. Back in the 80's, this decorated and well-dressed rooster sat on the "old woman's" mailbox everyday. She would dress the rooster for the appropriate seson or holiday. I was back at URI this summer after 20+ years and the rooster is now gone.... But I still have the memories.


Dianne said...

Carharts are so stiff when you first get them. I always hate it when it is time for replacements.
It takes some washing and wearing to get them broken in just right.

Christine said...

Gee, my husband never wears sweaters - we're in Massachusetts too. And he is wearing his same acrylic hat that he got in college - over 25 years ago.

sahara said...

Oh my, where have I been?! I'm here at work, searching for something else, and came across your blog. It's fabulous! I'm going to subscribe and read it in full when I get home. It's inspirational. And Mora is just adorable! Oops, gotta get back to work.