Wolkig Trio

Sometimes designs just grab hold and I want to knit something in multiples to see how they’ll work up. Wolkig (cloudy in German) is Martina Behm’s free one-line pattern and it had that effect for me. No joke. One line.

First I knit this one, in Dream in Color Jilly:Oops. That’s Wolkig wrong-side out. Here it is right-side out:

That’s part of the charm of this fingering weight cowl.

I decided to stop mine short of the 21 inches Behm suggests. Mine is about15 inches and is soft enough and scrunchy enough that it doesn’t look like some kind of Queen Victoria wooly neck-brace.

This next one is also about 15 inches tall, knit in Thede, one of Rhichard Devrieze’s fingering weight speckled yarns. It’s 80 percent merino, 20% nylon, and would typically be used for socks. But I like the way it turned out in Wolkig.

My Thede Wolkig bunches more easily than the Jilly one.

I kind of just couldn’t stop at two. Here’s Wolkig in Mirasol’s Khusku. Khuska is an interesting combination of 40% bamboo, 40% wool, 20% nylon. Right side out:

Wrong side out:

Glass Head declares it very soft. She wonders why I’ve never knit anything in bamboo before. Who knew it would feel so excellently soft?

Brrrrrr….

Less than three weeks ago, we were shedding jackets paddling up to Ghost Bay in our kayaks. And on Friday, November 10th, this! Our weather station said it was 12 degrees just before dawn. Official reports put it at 8.

On Saturday, Long Lake played host to a raft of Buffleheads, both male and female. They were bobbing up and down like crazy, no doubt trying to bulk up for the rest of their migration south. These tiny, big-headed ducks pass through in spring and fall–with the occasional itinerant individuals at other times. The males have that big white bonnet on the sides and back of their head. The females have the smaller, white side-patches on their heads. We don’t typically see this many in one group.

And then? And then, first came one lone Canada Goose paddling around the bay in front of our cottage in the north end of the lake just beyond the narrows. Maybe a scout? We hoped not. Next there were three. And then, this.

They aren’t coming ashore, yet, even though they may look like they are thinking about it. Maybe our adirondack sentinels and the beginning of our snow fence will keep them at bay. In bay, rather. “These aren’t the lawns you’re looking for…move along.”

Calorimetry time, again

A chill hits the air and I often start thinking of knitting headbands. And Kathryn Schoendorf’s Calorimetry, a free pattern available on Knitty, including via Ravelry, is definitely my favorite knit of this sort. These two are knit in Plymouth Yarn Boku. I know, off the head they look a little lip-like. Just ignore that because when worn they’re just cute. One 99-yard skein of Boku, a few hours of knitting, a foray into your old-button stash and you’ve got a great gift–for you or for others.

Here’s how Calorimetry looks buttoned up minus glasshead.

 I had some Queensland Collection Brisbane left after knitting up a Colonel Talbot scarf. Brisbane is a definite Aran weight, so this Calorimetry is almost a beanie. It would be great for the messy-bun or pony-tail crowd.

I think it’s nifty the way the colors worked out. It reminds me of photos of far away galaxies.

Sometimes I do think that I knit mostly to keep my eyeballs entertained. Very lively colorways often capture my attention. So I decided to try a Calorimetry in a very tame color. Here it is knit in the WEBS housebrand Valley Yarn Amherst. The yarn was on sale. 100% merino. I bought one 99 yard skein to take it for a test drive. Very nice yarn. Great little pattern!

Baby’s bed buddy

Evelyn came to visit her grandmother. Grandmother Me. Evelyn is two. Evelyn’s parents were comfortable with her still sleeping in her Guava. Well, she doesn’t sleep in an actual guava. She sleeps in a Lotus when she visits. OK. She sleeps in a Guava Family Lotus. It’s a…a…fancy Pack ‘n Play. It seemed sturdier to me, when I purchased it for her brother. It has served well for visits.

Anyway, Evelyn’s favorite stuffie is not something handmade. It’s a doll. Sort of an odd doll, actually. She goes by the name of “Baby” or “Baby Doll” or sometimes “Doll Baby.” Whatever you do, do not even think of separating Evelyn from Baby.

The Guava Lotus looked a little empty for a just-turned two year old. I thought Baby might like a pillow and a blanket. So I knit them. The blanket is actually Dishcloth Diva Deb  Buckingham’s pattern, Neutrals. Baby’s Neutrals is hot pink though. It suits her better. And the pillow is just a two motif, folded-in-half Neutrals.

I had a little extra time waiting for the young ones and their parents to arrive, so I added a teddy bear for Baby to sleep with. This one is a teeny version of Lesley Anne Price’s fine pattern, “The Bears.” I knit him with leftover sock yarn, Quaere Fibre‘s sportweight, in the Spring Flowers colorway. You just never know when those little bits of leftovers can come in handy. I knitted Teeny on size one needles. One leg is the width of a U.S. dime. So, very very teeny.

Baby only seems to have eyes for Evelyn. Baby ignored her new bedding and toy. But Evelyn was quite taken with this little set. She mostly kept them in her Guava Lotus. During Evelyn and her family’s week-long visit, I regularly found Teeny tucked under his blankie. Teeny couldn’t quite get the hang of the pillow thing, but all told this grandmother declares her knitting effort a success.

Late October waterfowl

These female Mallards moved off from a group of about 50 female Mallards that have been sunning themselves on the skinny beach near the cut-through at the island in the lower lake. The big group is making a bit of Long Lake history. A group like this hasn’t been seen at least in the dozen years we’ve been on the lake. The group sits, splashes about, dabbles around, and just generally does all things duck all day long. Very weird. It seems like they should have someplace to go by now.

These three seemed to be practicing their yoga asanas. When the females are in the water that cobalt blue patch isn’t seen. Nice of this individual to stretch enough to give us a good view.

Mallards are very vocal ducks, especially the females. In fact, they are one of very few ducks that actually quack.

The adult Loons left the lake in September, early September we believe. And we’ve decided not to worry, but there seems to be only one adolescent loon left on the lake. The sibs hung out together, for the most part, in the first weeks after mom and pop flew south. But now we see only one. One of the chicks was a bit smaller and we’re hopeful this one is just playing it smart, bulking up for the long flight south.

On October 14th, this adolescent approached our kayaks within about 15 feet. Steve took his photo. We paddled into Ghost Bay and this guy paddled in too, calmly floating near us, diving, and then resurfacing close by. We’ve not heard any vocalization. I guess when there’s no one to talk to, a loon just keeps their own counsel.

We will worry if this guy isn’t headed south in the next 2-3 weeks.

Common Mergansers are back on the lake. As with the Mallards, we are seeing only females. We’ve been seeing them in small groups swimming in the shallows. They dive and come up with mostly major sloppy stuff spilling out of their bills. Or they come up empty. For no reason we can discern, they are prone to episodes of water scooting.They flap their wings, flap their feet, rise up just a few inches off the water, and scoot ten or fifteen feet. They are the slapstick comedians of the waterfowl world.

This trio of females was a real surprise. They are Surf Scoters. They aren’t rare. But we’ve never seen them on Long Lake. From a distance, we thought they were American Black Ducks. But then those two white patches on the sides of their heads caught our attention. And then we noticed their spectacular large bills. A Surf Scoter’s scientific name is Melanitta Perspicullata, which basically means Black (duck) Spectacular. Someday I hope to meet a male Surf Scoter. His bill is even more bulbous than the female’s. And, instead of dull gray, his bill is white, yellow, and red, set off by a white forehead outlined in black. Now that’s spectacular!