Fishing on Long Lake


Jeff is one very serious fisherman. Here he is on Long Lake, near his favorite pike spot. Last October, Jeff caught a 38 inch pike near here. A few days ago, Jeff caught a 33 inch pike at the same spot.

Shelly, Jeff (and Julie’s) Great Dane, is also one very serious fisherdog. This is no “I bet when you go fishin’ you keep on a wishin’ the fish don’t bite at ‘yur line” look. Shelly is pure concentration and loving every minute out on the water.

Here’s how the American Kennel Club describes Shelly’s breed:

The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive.

Shelly is a Great Dane with a great loud bark. We tried to capture that bark for you, and as soon as Steve put the microphone near Shelly she went silent. This dignified dog does not bark for show.

What a great day to be fishing!

Headband season

It’s fall. Cold ears season approaches. We’ve had mornings near forty degrees, so cold ears season may already be upon us. A good time to think about headbands.


This one is Katya Frankel’s Dryad Headband, knit here in Madelinetosh Tosh Sport on size 3 needles. Dryad needed only 81 yards of yarn. Despite the easy-knit look, I found it difficult to manage the increases at the midpoint of the first section. That neat, pretty line of stitches cutting through the center almost got the better of me. Somehow the double decrease at that midpoint, which is supposed to start one stitch before a marked stitch, kept slyly moving around on me. A wiggly midpoint horizontal would not have looked cool.

But I mastered it:


Dryad is a pattern originally included in Interweave Knits, Accessories 2011 magazine. It’s available for download on Frankel’s website and on Ravelry.

This one is another critter altogether. No minimalism here.


This is Bonnie Dean’s Arielle, a pattern available for download on Ravelry that I knit while it was still in its freebie stage. I had some leftover Super Bulky Cascade Lana Grande from a blanket project and this looked like it would fit the bill. And it sort of did. It’s designed for a loop closure. My gauge was off a tad, and a tad was all it took. I added a toggle style button and fasten it by poking the button through the fabric. Not ideal. But it works. Size 13 needles. Finished in the time it took my cup of coffee to cool.

This next headband is a rarity: a pattern I figured out (sort of) on my own. I’m working on a major blanket project designed by Martin Storey for Rowan. Rowan ran a mystery knit-a-long over the summer tied to their Pure Wool yarn. I was not ready to commit to such a major project until I saw the completed pattern and knew I liked it. Here it is, by the way. It’s beautiful! This is the 7th square (of 8): French Plait.


That’s just a tease. Eventually the finished blanket will put in an appearance here. But, meanwhile, on the subject of headbands, a young neighbor of mine asked if I could knit her one. She is definitely the knitworthy type. She and I looked at dozens of headbands on Ravelry and none of them were quite what she was looking for. She wanted it fairly narrow. And she wanted cables. But, as I understood it, she wanted neat well-behaved cables rather than messy ones.

Storey’s square features three 8-stitch cables. I cast on 16 stitches, on size 8 needles, and knit the first four and the last four stitches. In the middle, I worked Storey’s simple cable.


I knit a 16 inch strip and then sewed the ends together. A provisional cast-on would have been even better, but I didn’t think of it.

It was quite the hit with my 12-year old neighbor. I’m calling it Joley’s headband. I knit mine in a discontinued Classic Elite yarn, Tapestry, a 75% wool, 25% mohair worsted. Any worsted weight will do.

Peaceful times on Long Lake


Mid-September on Long Lake. Lots of docks are already out. For many, Labor Day and back to school call a halt to lake activities. The Dog Day afternoons of August do seem far behind us. It was 37 degrees near dawn on Sunday morning.

These quiet times are often some of the best days of the year to be out on the water. Tubing and jet skis are rarely seen. But this can be the prime time for kayaks, the occasional pontoon, and even a paddle board for the wet-suit equipped.

The adult loons have left for their wintering grounds. Our lake’s adolescent chick will be here for at least another month. The chick is flapping its wings and seems to be trying to figure out how to take-off. We haven’t seen any flight yet, though.

Recently we’ve seen eagles, blue herons, and even a three foot long pike moving lazily in the shallows of Ghost Bay. In the lower lake, three river otters put on quite a playful show one afternoon. A doe is regularly bringing her two fawns onto our property. They seem to be enjoying our bumper crop of acorns. We’ve watched an adult pileated woodpecker feeding what must be a young offspring.

And the sunsets. My, the sunsets. We’ve had show-stopper reds and oranges, for sure. But the subtle grays and yellows, those are the calming ones that currently command our full attention.

Young at Heart Hat


This is a new Knitwise Design hat pattern, Young at Heart, shown here in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solid. The pattern is set out in 4 sizes, for heads ranging from 18 inches (a toddler) to 24 inches (a pumpkin-headed adult).

Linda has been exploring an interesting slip stitch technique lately, first with the sock pattern, Flora and Stella, sporting slip stitch blossoms and stars on a striped background. And now we have the slip stitch hearts on this sweet hat.

I was so struck with this fun technique that I quickly made a second hat, reversing the colors.


And you likely already spotted the cute heart topper.

yello_hearthat_topI had an extra incentive to knit two hats. Here’s one half of a set of twins who were gifted with these. They are perfect for twins who want to show off they’re twins, but not identical.


If you can’t say something nice…

some advise to not say anything at all.


Let’s see. The feather and fan type stitch was really fun to work. The construction was interesting and a friend and I laughed ourselves silly trying to figure out how this jigsaw puzzle knit fit together. Best laugh we’ve shared in a long time. The yarn, Sirdar Americana, a DK weight in 60% cotton, 40% acrylic, is really quite a nice summer weight yarn.

This is Sirdar’s “Lace Waistcoat” from their Americana booklet #441. I have already gotten some use out of it, on chilly mornings when just a bit of a wrap is all I need. I wear my waistcoat in the house. Where folks won’t see me.

The front of waistcoat is tolerable. The back? Well, that’s another story.


It’s a large. I’m a large. My gauge was spot on correct. But this back? Not good. I’m short, at 5′ 3″. The model on the cover wearing the cute cowboy hat must be an Amazon or maybe a basketball player. I can’t really think of anything to salvage it. I could run a gathering stitch where the lace starts, but I don’t think what my waistcoat needs is a bit of a butt flare.

It was quite a slog to knit. And I needed one ball more than the pattern called for, by the way.