Happy knitterly holidays

This is Steve’s photo of the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse near Rogers City, Michigan. The friends of the lighthouse have done a great job of restoring it, inside and out. It’s our bicycle-season destination at the end of the great path that runs from Rogers City, along the shores of Lake Huron. Happy holidays!

I don’t usually mix knitting posts and “up north” posts, but tonight is a night for an exception.

Happy Hanukkah! Evelyn will look so cute celebrating in her Dreidel hat.

Yep, it’s another DMC Top This kit. These kits are finish-in-an-evening hats, with lots of wow factor for the little ones.

Pine trees don’t necessarily shout Christmas, especially if they’re knit into coasters in non-Christmas colors.

Oh, well. Even non-traditional tree coasters shout Christmas if a miniature Santa sweater is included. (No, that’s not a hand-knit.)

And how did Susan Weir’s Knitted Tomten sneak in among these non-traditional tree coasters? As explained here, he’s ferociously provokable on some rather odd points of etiquette.

These DK-weight coasters are Amy Marie Vold’s new slip stitch pattern: Tree Coasters. I knit the set my Tomten is eyeing in Drops Muscat.

They are quite addicting to knit. Here’s my Knit Picks Cotlin set, a 70% cotton, 30% linen DK weight.

Whatever’s your reason to celebrate, including hopefully the University of Michigan at the Orange Bowll, best wishes to you.

No cold feet here


These are the super-cozy “Toba Slippers,” designed by Jane Richmond. I knit mine in the now-discontinued Knit Picks Full Circle, a bulky weight wool. This was a stash-busting project. Since I didn’t have enough dark brown, I changed colors at the cuff. That worked out fairly well, but knitting it all in one color would have eliminated the need to tame the color-changing row.

I believe that one time, eons ago, I used a Turkish cast-on for a pair of toe-up socks. Richmond’s directions on that cast-on are clear, complete with a video link if a knitter needs it. It worked out very well.

Except for the first round after the cast-on, the directions assume you’re using magic loop instead of double-points. It isn’t hard to figure out what’s up, but there are directions for placement of 4 stitch markers that don’t work for double-points. And some of the directions are in relation to those markers. I just put a pin each place where a marker was meant to indicate a decrease. That worked.

These next slippers are an old favorite: Nola’s Slippers. This free pattern is available through Ravelry and direct from the Seaman’s Church Institute’s Christmas at Sea site.


This is just such an excellent easy pattern. I often make a few modifications, including lengthening the ribbing section so it can be cuffed back. The pattern calls for using a worsted weight doubled. That works well. But I had some skeins of Jamieson’s Shetland Marl, a bulky weight, and so I didn’t need to double the yarn.

Here’s a close look.



These are knit flat on circular needles to make it easier to pick up the stitches. The pattern calls for binding off and then sewing a seam along the sole, heel and cuff. I prefer to work a three needle bind-off on the sole. It does add a bit of bulk on the inside seam. So if yours will be worn by tenderfoots, best just to sew the seam.

In case you think the only colors I’ve been knitting lately are earthy ones, these next slippers could not be accused of being earthy-toned.


Continuing the stash-busting effort, these are Kris Basta’s Better Dorm Boots. Basta has a whole series of Better Dorm Boots. These are the most plain version, with simple ribbing.

Mine are knit in left-over bits of Plymouth Encore. My plan was to make one pair with a contrasting cuff and another pair with a contrasting sole.


Well. It turned out to be one of those best-laid plans gone adrift things. I even managed to get my half-and-half row on the outside instead of on the inside of the slipper. I was positive I had enough green for those soles.

There is something very satisfying in using up left-overs.

My family will be visiting over the holidays and these will all be added to my “pick-your-knitted gifts” library ladder. This year the ladder is spilling over to just about every flat surface in the living room. There are hats, scarves, hats, mittens, hats, slippers, hats, washcloths and hats to choose from.

Finally, the first ice forms


Here’s Long Lake earlier this first week of December. A bit of snow and not one bit of ice. Not one bit. We could have been out kayaking to Ghost Bay if we wanted to take cold-weather precautions. The latest in the year we’ve been on the water was one Thanksgiving.

But this morning, December 9th, the ice is finally starting to form on the lake’s edges. It’s good to see.