Pileated woodpecker


We’ve had some fine bird viewing this winter. We serve a late lunch most days to pileated woodpeckers. One male, one female. You can tell, by his red mustache, that this is the male. The suet paddle feeder is their favorite lunch spot. That’s a hairy woodpecker on the log feeder and a black-capped chickadee flying in for seeds.

It was a snowy day, with high winds. The night was wicked, with rain, heavy sleet, then snow and plummeting temperatures. Maybe our food helped some make it through the tough night.

Double-knit Jiffy Bears


This sweet double-knit bear pair is the brainchild of Michigan’s-own Pat Kreiling. She’s made her pattern available as a freebie on the Knit Michigan website. In fact, Knit Michigan is also Kreiling’s brainchild. She was part of the core of knitters who first made this event happen and who keep it going. Knit Michigan is a very successful annual knitting event that raises funds to support organizations working to make life easier for breast cancer patients.

I made a few  modifications to the Jiffy Bear pattern, adding some length to the legs, deleting two rows from the arms, and shortening the head by almost half. I also turned the work once I finished knitting so that mine show smooth stockinette as their public skin, rather than reverse stockinette.

Knitted toys that will be stuffed need to be knit at a tight gauge, so that their stuffing doesn’t show through. This is doubly true of double knit, the knitting technique where you knit both sides of knitted “tubes” at the same time by slipping every other stitch. These bears are knit of worsted weight yarn, but I worked on size 6 needles. Once I finished knitting them, they looked chilly in their bear nakedness, so I decided to dress them.