Sunday 25 January 2015

Knitting needles at the ready please!

Hello friends
As you know last year I sent out a request for knitted squares and the
response was amazing, I am so grateful.  The blankets are still being made up,
I'm enjoying it in this cold weather - makes evenings very cosy.
For now, I probably have enough squares to be working with but I've realised
there are many keen knitters out there so I have another plan for you....
(aka Knitted Hen Jackets)
There was an article in the Daily Mail recently highlighting a charity called Raystede
who at least twice a year rescue ex egg laying hens that would otherwise be sent to
slaughter at just 72 weeks old, incredibly sad.
Some of the birds are missing feathers and need to be kept warm in this
cold weather and there is a special pattern to knit hen jackets -
now fondly known as 'Chickinis'!
I got in touch with Raystede and they are keen for us to help, apparently
December's rescue went very well, with over 260 birds being saved and
brought to Raystede - hurrah!
The pattern can be downloaded from their website -
 (if you experience any problems viewing it just drop me an email and
I can forward it to you in PDF format).

For those of you who are going to give this a go, please note:
Mum has knitted the pattern up and we think there is a tiny error - 
the first row after you increase for tabs should say:
Cast on 10 sts at beginning of next row, k14, k to last 4sts, k4

Also of course, if you are able to rehome any chickens -
please call Raystede on 01825 840252 or email

If you are not a knitter but would like to help the chickens and other rescued animals
while they recuperate and find a new home, 
you can make a gift to the animals at

All knitted hen jackets can be sent to:

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare
The Broyle
East Sussex

Growing up we had chickens and bantams in our garden, once they stopped laying
they remained our family pets.  They were pretty clever hens, at Easter somehow
they managed to lay Cadbury Crème Eggs - well, I was only about 6 at the time
so I believed it for sure!

Thank you for all your kind comments yesterday, the tiny flowers used on my card
are from Homespun (sadly a retired Spellbinders die set but I love it!)

Mrs B also asked after the boys - they are fine.
Mitchell is going to be 21 next Saturday - no idea how that happened because I'm only 21!
We have a fun day in London planned so there will definitely be photos.

Elliott is doing great, he is still on lots of medication and daily injections but
we are all very used to that now.  He is taller than me and definitely
growing into a fine young man.  Thankfully he still helps out and he's just designed
my new watermark featured on yesterday's card.  Geeks are handy!

As always sending out huge thanks to you all, I know lots of you will want
to help with knitting 'chickinis' - I have the best blog followers!
Take care friends.


Chris said...

Good morning Christine,
I often wondered where Cream Eggs came from haha. It's nice to hear that the boys are OK. What a lovely idea for the chickens, I wish I could knit, sadly I can only crochet. I may look at the website and see if there is a pattern that I could follow. Have a nice day.
Chris xx

Jean Z said...

Hi Christine, I cannot knit but it's a great idea. love Jean Z xxx

Sandra Biggs said...

Hi Christine
What a fab idea. I have just yesterday come across a bag of little balls of wool and was wondering what to do with them. I might just have to give the pattern ago.
So pleased the boy are doing well.
Take care.

PharmacyMichele said...

Lovely idea for knitters, sadly that's not me. Nice to hear your update on the boys.


ros hodgkins said...

Hello, I really enjoyed yesterday's blog hop, such a varied style of crafters who all compliment Spellbinders. Unfortunately I couldn't get to message the German lady as I coulnt find the message tab. Glad to hear your boys are doing well. X Ros

Mrs B said...

Hi Christine. You have reminded me that I still haven't finished my square!
It is awful how so many hens get slaughtered so young isn't it. The 'Chickinis' may look rather strange but they do a great job of protecting the poor hens until their new feathers grow. I hope you don't mind me adding that they do still lay, just not as much, for anyone thinking of getting some.
How clever your hens were when you were younger, fancy them laying Cadbury Creme Eggs! (It's lovely how the little things like this that our parents did for us, and we now do for our children, are never forgotten isn't it : ))
Thank you for the update on the boys, it is so good to hear they are both well. Can't believe that Mitchell is going to be 21!!! Where have the years gone? Elliott must be delighted to be taller than you now, fantastic news : )
I hope you have a good day and enjoy your roast if you are having one. Take care.

Sarah said...

What a wonderful idea. Sadly, there are thousands upon thousands of caged hens that suffer this way, (most of which don't get the chance to be rehomed) so it's fantastic that those that are "saved" get a chance to live a long and happy life. I shall be getting the needles out and continue to buy local free range eggs!!

Lucycat said...

Hi Christine,
What a great idea knitting for these poor chickens,they must have had such a sad little life,I am sure lots of us like to knit I hope all the little balls of wool we get left with can be put to a great cause.
Really pleased the boys are doing well,I am sure you will have a great day in London for Mitchell's 21 St.
I hope you have a good day. Take care. x.

Stamping Bubbles said...

Good morning Christine
Loving the chicken jumper idea. I have just finished my last project and was wondering what to do next. This is a perfect idea for using up all your leftover bits of yarn. I will download the pattern and give one ago.
I really enjoyed the blog hop yesterday. It's a shame that the die set has been discontinued. I will keep my eye out though. Sometimes you can find dies in the most unusual places.
Glad the boys are doing well. It is true you don't look a year over 21 yourself!
Enjoy your Sunday.

marg said...

Hello Christine
I have never thought about those poor chickens when they stop laying!
Poor things such sad lives!
So pleased the boys are doing well I hope your day out goes well!
Take care
Love Marg

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous little jacket idea. Wish I could knit to help but sadly being a left hander no one had the patience to teach me lol. Glad the boys are doing well. Sounds like you have a great day planned for Mitchell's birthday 21 wow time flies. Have a fab Sunsay xx

lydia jordan said...

Morning Christine,
What a wonderful idea, sorry I don't knit. Pleased to hear the boys are doing well and your big boy will turn 21, my youngest daughter will be 50 this year, help, where have all of those years gone.
Have a lovely Sunday

hazel young said...

Lovely Charity Christine, such a shame the creme eggs have changed their recipe. Glad to hear the boys are ok. I know how you feel my eldest was 21 and youngest 18 last year, wow those years have flown. Have a good weekend xx hazel

Unknown said...

Great idea for the chickens Christine, though my imagination of over 200 of them all in different colours would make for an extraordinary flock! I was wondering about the flower too, but I have cherry blossom and other small flowers so I think I could substitute something.
Good news about Mitchell's birthday - you just think how it might feel when your 'baby' turns 50, which is what mine did a couple of weeks ago!

Unknown said...

Oh, poor chickens. You should try to get a picture of a flock of them with their wooly jumpers on.
Glad the boys are doing well. Enjoy the birthday treat.
Janice W

Janice said...

What a great winter warmer for the chickens, brilliant idea. I'm sure the charity will be inundated now Christine!
I'm also pleased to hear your boys are doing well.....Mitchell 21 - woohoo!
Enjoy your day
Janice x

JJ said...

Wow, congratulations to all you knitters out there, Don't those Chickinis look cute!

Lovely seeing Bella cuddling up to you on the settee lol!

Happy 21st to Mitchell and glad Elliot is doing well.

Take care

Love & Hugs

Jacquie J xxx

SusanP, Kent said...

Sorry I'm not a knitter Christine, but I know many of your followers are and will be happy to have a go.
I noticed Cream Eggs in the shops before Christmas and now I've seen hot cross buns in some supermarkets. I believe in planning ahead, but that's just ridiculous.
So pleased to hear that 'the boys' are well. I'm still 25 but my sons are 32 and 35 how's that then?

Patricia Howarth said...

Hi Christine, A lovely Blog read today, I'm so glad that this charity can help these poor hens, and the model looks fabulous in her sweet knit.
So glad the boys are doing well.
Lots of love from Patricia xx

Carole Z said...

Well you know me & my hens Christine! I can't knit for toffee, but I did make some fabric ones once for a hen rescue charity & lat work as I work for a charity, we held card drives for the RAF, I am at the moment thinking about doing the same as you for a hen rescue...great minds huh! Hugs Carole Z xx

Sandra said...

Oh Christine those poor we chickens, I will definitely go and download that pattern, it looks fairly straight forward, but could make such a difference to those poor wee chickens! Why people buy battery farm eggs I will never know!
It always makes me smile that no matter how many new flower dies, big or small, you have ALWAYS had this as your go to die for flowers, certainly over the years I have been with you on your blog journey.
It surprised me as the flower is such a tiny element of that die set, but boy what an impact!
Sandra xxxxx

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