Cottage Creations’ Babies and Bears Sweater


Possibly this is a tad over the top colorful for a teeny one, but I still like it. Mine is sized for a six month old. And when the baby outgrows it, then it will fit some teddy bear or other stuffed buddy just fine. It’s Cottage Creations’ Babies and Bears Sweater. Not downloadable (yet) but if you can’t find the pattern booklet at your local yarn shop the good folks at Cottage Creations will now snail mail it to you.

This is knit in Opal 8-fach X-large, by Zwerger Garn, a worsted weight in 75% wool/25% nylon. The yarn has been in my stash for a few years and I’m not finding it on the Opal website anymore, though this is pretty close.

Here’s a look at the back.


My heavily patterned yarn is overwhelming the guernsey detailing on the front and back. Here’s one I knitted in a solid color that shows the detailing better. The pattern booklet includes instructions for a simple fair isle detail in the front and back panel. That’s totally sweet too.

The Babies and Bears cardigan is constructed in one piece. Off the needles, sew on the buttons, and baby will be snug as a bug in a rug (and cute as a bug’s ear).


Sea Gull Point, near Rogers City


This is Sea Gull Point, a spot close to the great Huron Sunrise bike trail that includes an easy path though the woods, and along Lake Huron, ending at the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse. We often head to Sea Gull Point before or after biking to the lighthouse.

We weren’t doing any biking on March 21st when this photo was taken. The ice flows all along the shoreline, including at Sea Gull Point, were impressive.

This flock of Common Goldeneyes seemed quite comfortable in the frigid water. The mix of males and females were doing the “bottoms up” thing, searching for–whatever it is that might pass for lunch, we assume. Crustaceans are apparently what keeps them fueled this time of year. There didn’t seem to be much eating going on, though.

We took a pass on going for a swim.

We’ve also often enjoyed eating lunch at this spot. But not today. Steve braved the elements to capture the duck photo. I sat in the car, cozy, and let my iPhone capture the picnic table while I pondered the end of this rough winter.

If you’re biking the trail, Seagull Point is a good place to visit for another reason. There’s a portable toilet at the site.


Loop London’s Mignon


There is a new little one headed into our family fairly soon. By all reports, she’s a she. So loads of little she-knitting has been going on.

This is Loop, London‘s Mignon pattern. It’s available for download on Ravelry. I’m sure it’s for sale in the shop also. And if the shop’s on-line presentation is any indication, and its wonderful book JuJu’s Loops, by JuJu Vail and Susan Cropper, if I ever get to London I may just skip the crown jewels and head straight to Loops.

These widening cables are just the cat’s meow!

My Mignon (the French word for “small, pretty, dainty”) is knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, a sport weight. I thought the colorway might just be a bit dull and traditional. Instead, it turned out classic, with a vintage feel, great for a summer baby.

I even found the perfect vintage button in my family’s button box. That box is a mix of buttons from my grandmother and my mother. And I’ve supplemented it for many decades.


My only modifications were to knit the sleeves in the round instead of flat and to add a few rows to the bottom ribbing on the main body of the sweater and the sleeves.


As the weather turns…more hats


I typically proceed through the world hatless. It takes super cold weather or knowing I’ll be out in the cold for prolonged periods before I wear a hat. But still hats are among my favorite things to knit. You only need to make one. And gauge isn’t super important because I always have access to some some head of the right size. Twenty below this winter in Michigan has even managed to improve my personal attitude toward wearing hats.

This is “Totallee Slouchee” by Jo-Anne Klim, of KBJ Designs. The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry. The hat uses an interesting, easy, slipped-rib brim. Slouch seems to be a currently popular style and this hat slouches nicely.

My Slouchee is knit in my new favorite self-striping DK weight yarn: Merino Extrafine Color 120 by Schachenmayr Original,  I used the London Mix colorway. The yarn had no knots or color breaks in the two skeins I used. I’ve since found some knots in another colorway I used for a project, but these two skeins were perfect. One of the cool things about this yarn? The skein has a slotted band with the proper end to pull taped and easily accessible. No more yarn barf!


This next hat is Amy van de Laar’s “Paper Planes” from her Paper Hats series. The hat features a ring of classic paper airplanes as seen from above, outlined with twisted stitches that make for nice crisp edges. Well, honestly, you have to let your imagination roam a bit to see that. Still, it’s an interesting design.



The pattern and the entire series of origami-inspired hats are available for purchase on Ravelry. This was a fun knit. I used String Theory Caper Sock. Caper Sock is an 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon mix that worked up beautifully in this pattern. I’d have been a tad more pleased with this toddler-sized hat if I had increased the length to the crown decreases by an inch or two.

This next one is Alicia Plummer’s “Rainy Tuesday.” The large-size version, which mine is, maintains the raindrops motif around the entire hat. It’s an appealing stylish hat. The challenges the pattern presents are all surmountable, with a bit of experience and a bit ‘o help from your Ravelry-mates.


My Rainy Tuesday is knit in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. Great yarn with excellent stitch definition.

Here’s a few more views of Plummer’s Hat.


Rainy_Tuesday2The instruction for taming those pointy crown decreases was to block aggressively. I haven’t tried that yet, but it’s a tall order. I’m prepared to declare it a design feature.

Rib-it Frog Hat


Here’s a sweet thing. Both the wide-eyed little one and her Rib-it Frog Hat from Knitwise Design. The frog is formed of traveling cables and its eyes, of course, are nice big bobbles. This is Linda’s pattern photo, knit up in Plymouth Encore in the green gremlin colorway.

Here’s my version, knit in Berroco Vintage:


The hat  is all one-by-one ribbing, except for the stockinette rectangle that frames Kermie. This is an incredibly quick knit. My version, the small, used only 43 grams of worsted weight yarn (and 9 grams for the oversized pompom).

The ribbing is nicely maintained through the crown decreases.

ribbit_topIf you’ve a budding herpetologist in your clan, or even a fully grown one (the pattern includes an adult medium size), this should be just the ticket.