Monday, March 27, 2017

Knit wits

I've heard Bill Murray (as John Winger) say this line so many times in "Stripes" that I can repeat it verbatim: "Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear, and when I do, it's usually something unusual."

Well, how about, "Chickens dig me, because I make sweaters for them"?

Here's the deal: Some ladies at Fuller Village, a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts, got the word that wintertime is tough on chickens.

Not as tough as Colonel Sanders is on them, but still.

Some kinds of chickens lose their plumage and molt new feathers in the cold months, and some chickens who just moved here from the tropics get the chilblains something awful between Autumn and Spring.   

Nearby the senior home is an estate called the Mary M.B. Wakefield Charitable Trust, and there's quite the coopful there. Nursing home resident and knitter supreme Nancy Kearns said that once her squad heard about the chilly chickens, they needled each other into action (think about it.)

"I don't think in my wildest dreams I ever thought anybody made sweaters for chickens," said Barbara Widmayer, 76, who's been knitting since the age of 15. She knitted a sweater for "Prince Peep," a rooster from Malaysia.

"There's so much going on these days that's kind of contentious in the world," Ms Widmayer said. "It was actually very calming to me to work on this."

Libby Kaplan, also 76, said she used to be afraid of birds, but making sweaters for them put those fears to rest. 

Image result for fuller village chicken sweater
This lady looks just like Clara Edwards
 from the Andy Griffith Show
"One person I heard say there were more important things to do in this world. 'Make things for people that need it.' I think animals need to be warm, too, and I'm so glad we did it," Ms Kaplan said.

There must be something to this Chicken Cardigan Craze: Erica Max, a spokesperson for the estate, says the chickens are laying more eggs since they started bundling up.  

Doing this has helped some of the formerly hard-boiled ladies at the Village come out of their shells, and now they are scrambling to outfit every hen with a pullover they can pull over easy. And I hear they recently welcomed the first male member of their knitting circle: General Tso!

Did anyone consider just going to LL Bean and getting the chickens those vests lined with duck down?

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