Small stuff

Let me try that again. Stuff for small ones.

This is another Welcome Home Blanket by Kirsten Hipsky. It’s such a simple classic design. A very easily memorized feather and fan motif. The first time I made it, I basically used the color scheme the designer intended. Actually I did it in 5 of the 7 recommended colors. This time I worked for a match to the baby’s bedroom, done mostly in spring green and gray. I really like the way it came out. More importantly, so did Cecelia’s mom and dad. They even honored the work by using the blanket to bring this late December baby home from the hospital.

As before, I used the yarn called for in the pattern: the Webs “house” yarn, Valley Yarn Superwash Bulky.

Here’s another look.

Toss in the wash and toss in the dryer. Easy care’s a must.

This next one really is a small stuff.

It’s Sleepy Sunday Hat, a pattern by Aimee Alexander. I knit it in Michigan’s own, Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd Wool DK. Such a nice weight for a little one. Warm enough without being weighty. Alexander’s pattern is very clear and easy to work up. In case you’re liking this one and thinking it would be great for larger heads, the pattern includes 5 sizes: baby, toddler, child, adult small, and adult large.

But it’s winter around here (even though it reached 58 degrees yesterday!) So little ones might need to be bundled a bit more. This next hat is the The Thinker, by Susan Villas Lewis.

This version is knit in Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash Solid. I made the toddler size, in terms of number of stitches. But I worked at a slightly smaller gauge. This isn’t the first time I’ve knit a Thinker. These two and these two (at the end of this post) also worked out really well. This is a Tony Tiger “GRRRRREAT!” pattern, for sure.

Flip your mitts

These are “Crazy Flip Top” mittens, by Carol Wessinger. Six colors, four stitch patterns, and about a zillion ends later and these beauties emerge. You are looking at the tops of the mittens above. And the palm side is below.

So what’s with the loop? And what’s with the buttons?

Your fingers can break free and do stuff mittens don’t typically allow. (Including getting cold, but let’s not think about that now.) The top loop fastens to the front-side button and stays put. And the button on the palm side fastens too, to keep out the cold.

Here’s a close look at the bobbles and stripes on the cuffs.

I really like the result. But these were definitely of the fiddly-knit variety. One of my Black Sheep Knitters Guild mates destashed two of these mitten kits last year, and I couldn’t resist. They were definitely priced to sell!

Fiddly knit. A zillion ends. I figured if I didn’t knit up that second kit straight away I might never do it. So, pair two emerged. The first was the Autumn Spice kit and this next one is Spring Fling.

I wasn’t too sure about that pink, but I ended up feeling very satisfied with the finished project.

A trip to the button box even turned up two sets of four vintage buttons that really completed the look.

Juvie Bald Eagle

We’re getting into the single digits here on Long Lake. And I headed into last summer’s photos to bump up the lake and tone down the knitting for this post.

This summer we saw this juvenile bald eagle a number of times and Steve got some great shots.

We are confident it’s a young bald eagle, but please let me know if you think our ID is off. Here’s another view of his (or her) not-so-national-symbol-looking self.

Bald Eagles take a long time to put their majestic on full display. Between the ages of one and four years they look so little like their parents that they’re sometimes mistaken for Golden Eagles. Their flight feathers and tail feathers are longer than their parents’ and that can make them look even larger than mom or pop.

Juveniles, also called subadults, typically have dark feathers, a dark to dirty yellow bill, with gray to slightly yellow eyes. When a bird is sexually mature, its distinctive bright yellow bill, white head, and yellow eyes appear.

We hope that this young one will make a permanent home on Long Lake.

Hatty New Year!

This is a severely hacked “Scrappy Ski Hat.” It’s a great little free pattern by Justyna Lorkowska. If you’re just returning from that link you are probably scratching your head as you ponder how different my version is.

My Scrappy is knit in two partial skeins of Shepherd’s Wool Worsted, by Stonehedge Fiber Mills. The shades are Antique Rose and Spruce. The pattern calls for changing the colors after just one pattern repeat. The thought of weaving in all those ends felt daunting, so I decided on a two-color version.

And that pompom is made with the largest sized Clover Pom-Pom Maker. Such a clever little tool. If you have one and haven’t been able to make much sense of the rather compact directions on the packaging, this is Susan B. Anderson’s great video on its operation. I feel like the extravagant pom-pom really makes this hat.

This next hat is Joan Sheridan’s “Freedom Cap.” It’s also knit in Shepherd’s Wool Worsted.

I’ve knit this before. Recently, I was at Joan’s great shop, Heritage Spinning & Weaving in Lake Orion, Michigan. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to buy an additional kit and knit this one again.

I enjoy knitting warm wool hats in yarns that are bright and cheerful. This kit definitely fits that description. (But Joan also stocks these kits in other colorways–jewel tones and grays.)

This is easy Fair Isle work, even though there are a lot of ends to work in. There are very few longer floats. I often take the measure of a hat by the crown decreases. It can’t get much better than this one,

Not every knit a knitter tackles turns out wonderfully well. I’ll save what’s off about this next one to the “reveal” at the end. This is Hanna Maciejewska’s great free pattern: Snow Bunnies. Let’s start at the crown this time.

My Snow Bunnies is knit in Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash. That pom-pom isn’t hiding an icky crown decrease. The crown is quite nice. It’s a slouch hat and the gathers are very appropriate.

So, here’s a view of the snow bunnies.

So cute. Really. I like this hat, a lot. But I made a rookie mistake and didn’t check my gauge before knitting. I knit hats for all sizes of heads, so gauge usually doesn’t really matter much. And when hats come out rather large, both Steve and I have gigantic heads. So big hats fit us well.

Every hat eventually gets its head. If you know an offensive tackle who wants to wear bunny butts and a fluffy pom-pom, let me know.

Sometimes your knitting can give you some challenges. I wasn’t quite up to this one. I couldn’t just get with the program for the crown. More on that in a bit. This is Black Brook Beanie, a new free pattern by Tammie Canavan-Soldaat. The hat is a glory of two-color linen-stitch. It’s slow going, but so so much worth the effort.

My Black Brook is knit in Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash. The pattern had one teeny hiccup in it, which the designer corrected–so if you downloaded it in its earliest days, be sure to download it again or read the errata on the Ravely pattern page. Despite the crown decreases being correctly written, a knitter needs to be able to read the knitting to keep the linen stitch colors properly lined up through the crown.

I just wasn’t up to it.

After a few tries, I gave up and just knit the entire crown in a salt and pepper “fair isle” pattern. It worked. It’s cute. But I have to call it my Black Brook Beanie Hack. Do give this pattern a try. In the original, it’s a beauty!

Happy knitterly holidays

This is Steve’s photo of the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse near Rogers City, Michigan. The friends of the lighthouse have done a great job of restoring it, inside and out. It’s our bicycle-season destination at the end of the great path that runs from Rogers City, along the shores of Lake Huron. Happy holidays!

I don’t usually mix knitting posts and “up north” posts, but tonight is a night for an exception.

Happy Hanukkah! Evelyn will look so cute celebrating in her Dreidel hat.

Yep, it’s another DMC Top This kit. These kits are finish-in-an-evening hats, with lots of wow factor for the little ones.

Pine trees don’t necessarily shout Christmas, especially if they’re knit into coasters in non-Christmas colors.

Oh, well. Even non-traditional tree coasters shout Christmas if a miniature Santa sweater is included. (No, that’s not a hand-knit.)

And how did Susan Weir’s Knitted Tomten sneak in among these non-traditional tree coasters? As explained here, he’s ferociously provokable on some rather odd points of etiquette.

These DK-weight coasters are Amy Marie Vold’s new slip stitch pattern: Tree Coasters. I knit the set my Tomten is eyeing in Drops Muscat.

They are quite addicting to knit. Here’s my Knit Picks Cotlin set, a 70% cotton, 30% linen DK weight.

Whatever’s your reason to celebrate, including hopefully the University of Michigan at the Orange Bowll, best wishes to you.