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Norwich, United Kingdom
I'm Susan and I live in a small village north of Norwich, UK. My main hobbies are reading, gardening, spinning and knitting, though not necessarily in that order....

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Not been on here for a while

Its been a while since I last updated my blog, so thought I would bring things up to date.

January 2012 my dream came true, after a 30 year wait I finally went to the Maldives

Once getting home it was straight back to planting seeds and sorting out my polytunnel.  I've already filled it and need more space!

And now the new chicks are hatching, so it must be spring.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Knitted Chicken Jackets - an update

I haven't been on my blog for a while but have noticed that a lot of the "hits" are from people looking for the Knitted Chicken Jackets.

The link on my original post now takes you to a "fleece" jacket with instructions further down the page for a different knitted jacket.  Here is the link again

If however you would like to knit one of the "original" jackets as shown in the original post, and below, then here is a copy of the Laughing Hens Pattern.  I downloaded this from and hope that Laughing Hens ( won't object.



Laughing Hens Pattern
Battery Chicken Jacket


Basic Chux Tux



k:    knit

p:    purl

k2tog:    knit two stitches together

tbl:    through back of loop

st:    stitch

rt:    right


Use up your odds and ends of wool. It probably takes about one ball in total and about six hours to knit

Using size 3.25mm-4mm needles and double knitting wool.

Cast on 100 stitches.


Work 20 rows k1p1 rib.

Start decreasing, right side of work is facing you.

Keep the continuity of the rib pattern throughout.


Rib4, k2togtbl, rib26, k2togtbl, rib31, k2tog, rib27, k2tog, rib4 (96st)

3 rows rib maintaining pattern.

Rib4, k2togtbl, rib25, k2togtbl, rib29, k2tog, rib26, k2tog, rib4 (92st)

3 rows rib

Rib4, k2togtbl, rib24, k2togtbl, rib27, k2tog, rib25, k2tog, rib4 (88st)

3 rows rib

Rib4, k2togtbl, rib23, k2togtbl, rib25, k2tog, rib24, k2tog, rib4 (84st)

3 rows rib


Continue decreasing but only in the centre of the work

Rib28, k2togtbl, rib23, k2tog, rib29 (82st)

3 rows rib

Rib28, k2togtbl, rib21, k2tog, rib29 (80st)

3 rows rib

Rib28, k2togtbl, rib19, k2tog, rib29 (78st)

1 row rib

Rib28, k2togtbl, rib17, k2tog, rib29 (76st)

1row rib

Rib28, k2togtbl, rib15, k2tog, rib29 (74st)

1 row rib

Continue decreasing like this until:

Rib 28, k2tog tbl, p1, k2tog, rib29 (60st)

1 row rib

Rib28, slip next st onto rt needle k2tog, pass slipped st back over to cast it off, rib29,


Continue without further shaping, k1p1 rib for 15 rows

Cast off loosely, in rib, in slightly smaller needles if possible.



Adjustable neck fastening.

Cast on 11sts

k1p1 moss stitch for 5 rows


6th row (working button hole)

work 6 st in moss st, cast off the last st worked (on the rt needle slip the 5th st worked over the 6th st)

work 1 st from left needle, pass the 5th st over the 6th st as before

work 1 st from left needle, pass the 5th st over the 6th st

moss st 3 remaining st.

(4st, gap for button hole, 4st)


7th row

moss st 3 st

next st, work into front but do not cast off needle, pass wool to back of work, and make second st into

the back, do not cast off, bring wool to front, and work third st into front, do not cast off, wool to

back, work fourth st into back of original st.


With 7 st on rt needle now release it from the left needle

work remaining 4 st from left needle in moss st (11st)


k1p1 moss st for 5 rows

repeat 6th row

repeat 7th row

k1p1 moss st for 5 rows

repeat 6th row

repeat 7th row

k1 p1 moss st for 2 rows

next row k2tog tbl, moss st 7, k2tog (9st)

next row k2tog tbl, moss st 5, k2tog (7st)

cast off in moss st


To make up

The wide end of the body shape is the tail end, the narrower end is the head end.

On main body of Chux Tux, sew together the first 20 rows of rib (at the wider end of the shape) only, to form a short tube, but leave open the rest of the garment.

Attach the cast on edge of the neck fastening to the side of the tux at the top.

Sew a button on the other side.



Deluxe Chux Tux

Make the basic Chux Tux and add the "Warming Flap".


Warming Flap

Cast on 25 st.

k1 p1 moss stitch, until work measures 14 cm

Next row, keeping continuity of moss st pattern

moss st 4, k2tog tbl, moss st to last 6 st , k2tog, moss st to end (23st)

next row, moss st

continue decreasing in this way (one decrease row, one moss st row) until 11 st remain

next two rows moss st

now work 6th and 7th row of adjustable neck fastening

moss st 5 rows

work 6th and 7th row of adjustable neck fastening

moss st 5 rows

cast off in moss st


To make up

Sew bottom (cast on edge) of Warming Flap to the cast on edge of the Tux placing

it centerally over the short back seam.


The Warming Flap adjusts and does up using the same

button that secures the neck fastening.


Fitting Instructions


These are fitting instructions from Brigitte who designed the jacket:


One person holds the chicken at ground level,with both hands wrapped around her body restraining her wings. The second person faces the chicken and gathers the Tux up (as if it were a sock or a leg of a pair of tights) and puts the Chux-Tux over the chicken's head and over the first person's hands, so that it is well down her body but in front of her legs.  The first person, with the second person's assistance, then gently manoeuvres one wing at a time, though the opening so that both wings are outside the Tux.  It is very important that whilst you are handling the chicken's wings and she feels your grip loosen to free the wing, that she does not flap and try to escape at this point, as she would easily be injured.


Once the wings are out, the second person adjusts the fastening to a comfortable fit. Carefully release the chicken. and observe her to make sure all is well.  To take the Tux off, simply undo the button and slide the Tux off the back of the chicken, so as not to ruffle her feathers, making sure that her legs are not caught in the garment.  Again, this is best done by two people.


I think that if the 'Chux-Tux' is used as soon as the chicken is rescued, she may get used to it. Queenie did not enjoy her new look and her companions were also alarmed. Although my design has exceeded my expectations I have taken it off Queenie and I keep all the chickens warm with the infra red lamp, she is clever enough to stay in the shed most of the time and only ventures out for short periods.  Mo, one of her companions, had even fewer feathers than Queenie,  when they arrived,  and now you would not recognise her , she looks almost normal, so I am sure that  Queenie will be fine very shortly. 


After I had knitted the Basic Chux Tux  I understood how the design could be adapted to produce the 'Deluxe Chux Tux'  with the added back warming feature .  A few of the rescued battery chickens have very few feathers indeed and are unkindly referred to as 'oven readies', they seem to have left only the larger flight feathers on the wings and a few stubbly tail feathers so as well as having a bare chest and bottom they also have a bare back and they dither and shiver in the cold,  wearing what is left of their wings curled around their poor scrawny bodies.  These chickens need the extra protection of the Deluxe version.  When fitting the Deluxe version, simply button the Warming Flap down after the wings have been eased out, using the same button that holds the neck fastening. At first sight, the Warming Flap may appear too short but when in place, it adapts to the shape of the chicken's back.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

July - in pictures - bantams, flowers and a bit of everything

My little Pekin, now almost fully grown
With her "hubby" Barrie and some of the new lads

I thought it was meant to be my swing seat!

And her 3 eggs - she started laying on 31st July. Compared to a normal bantam egg (top right) and small chicken egg, they are tiny!

A riot of colour

RSPB Reserve at Snettisham
Low flying geese

Rough seas at Salthouse, Norfolk.

I'm still waiting for the luck to kick in......

Pots by the back door

And finally my little stall.