Fox hunting

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We didn’t see this red fox pounce on anything. It was moving very very fast across the ice, setting out from the east side of the big part of the lake just after the narrows. Once across the lake, the fox moved along the shoreline, stopping every once in awhile to stand still looking into the brush on the edge of the lake.

Even at this distance, its foxiness is apparent. But we also watched through binoculars for a good long while. This was a big fox, with a beautiful bushy tail.

Other news from the lake. This was our snowman three weeks ago.  Here he is today, on March 31st. The lake is still completely frozen over. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Canada Geese will decide Long Lake is not a hospitable enough place this year to nest and will raise up their dozens of goslings someplace else. Fat chance, I’m afraid.

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Winter’s Rhythm capelet

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done any mosaic knitting. This was a fun reintroduction to the technique. The slipped stitches are through the center section of the capelet and the knits and purls in the bottom section echo the mosaic section. It’s Kelly Jensen’s Winter’s Rhythm, available on her website or on Ravelry.

My tame denim blue and natural brown version is worked up in worsted weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The yarn is a soft blend of 50% Peruvian Highland wool and 50% alpaca. Seventy-two colorways are available, in solids, natural heathers and dyed heathers. I only lightly steamed mine, but may still wet-block it to wrestle a few unruly sections into place.

Check out Jensen’s pattern, in bright turquoise and fire engine red, for a more bold use of color. I’m very pleased with mine. Lately I’ve enjoyed knitting and wearing different styles of “sort of” shawls–ones that don’t need pinning or precise shoulder placement. So, keyhole shawls, tied shawls, and now my first capelet.

Here’s a closer look at some of the details:

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More Calorimetry

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rosie_caliThis easy, quick knit finds a home every time I bind off. It’s Kathryn Schoendorf’s Calorimetry, a free Knitty pattern, available here.  For me, one skein of Plymouth Yarn’s worsted weight Boku knits up the entire wide headband on a US size 7 needle, with a small ball to spare.

I find making these little things totally delightful. Some day, maybe soon, I should make one for myself. The red/gold/green quickly found a home and so did this jeweltone one:

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Click on the thumbnails to check out this pattern in various yarns I’ve knit with. Well, mostly it’s various colorways of Boku, but there’s not a one that isn’t cute as a bug’s ear.

Embers cowl

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This is Embers Cowl, a Madelinetosh pattern not attributed to anyone. I’ve knit it in Madelinetosh Sport, as the pattern calls for. It’s my new favorite cowl. The pattern comes in two widths and this is the smaller of the two. But I decided to cut off the cowl at 12 inches rather than the 18 that the pattern called for. Even at 12 inches there’s easily enough fabric to pull the cowl up and use it as a combo cowl and headscarf. No need to knit a stovepipe.

Other than shortening the cowl, I followed the pattern exactly. When changing colors, it worked best to simply drape the yarn up between the rows without twisting. The twist was working its way to the public side and that would not do.

Madelinetosh sport weight is wonderful yarn–and this coming from someone who hasn’t been much of a fan of some of the rest of the yarns. It is a somewhat beefy sport weight, which I like. The colors are amazing. And the feel of this cowl is wonderful–soft with excellent drape.

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Knitwise Design’s Castle Hat

newcastle5Linda at Knitwise Design has come up with a cool Castle Hat, sized for adults and kids. It’s such a fun knit. I’ve just finished listening to all the Harry Potter books on my iPad. Amazing how fast you knit this while Harry, Hermione and Ron are being chased by Death Eaters and he who cannot be named.  Anyway, I was listening to the Order of the Phoenix, thinking about Hogwarts and knitting this Castle Hat. “Try it, you’ll like it.” The pattern is available on Ravelry and you can read more about it here.

All you need to know is how to follow a chart, with knits, purls and a little bit of bobbling. Mine is the large size and took 2.6 ounces (74 grams) of worsted weight Berroco Comfort. Comfort can be splitty yarn, but it has great stitch definition in this pattern and is worth fussing with for the wool adverse.

The crown decreases are interesting, with a very nice placement of purl stitches and a cute I-Cord topknot.

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The pattern suggests using Plymouth worsted merino superwash.  Knitwise Design’s pattern photos are reprinted here, with permission. The live models show off this hat so much better than my trusty glass head.

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