Peerie Flooers Heid

What to call this, without being a total toot-your-own-horn. The bees’ knees. The cat’s meow. The greatest thing since sliced bread. All toot-your-own-horns so I’ll just call it what it is: Kate Davies Peerie Flooers hat pattern from her book Millarrochy Heids. I didn’t buy the entire book. The patterns are individually downloadable on Ravelry and I purchased only Peerie Flooers.  I’d bought a Blackberry Ridge fingering weight yarn pack kitted for Peerie Flooers at the Minnesota Knitters Guild 2019 Yarn Over event. I was game to try it but I wasn’t sure I’d be likely to knit more of the 15 fingering weight fair isle hats included in Davies’s book.

The yarn. The colors. The pattern. It all came together and I ended up with this.

“Heid” is Scots for hats. And I’ve assumed that peerie flooers means small flowers because it sounds like that’s what it would be and it felt like I was knitting little flowers.

I’m a sucker for a great crown decrease section. This one may be among the best I’ve been able to pull off.  Usually when I post about knitting hats I include a whole selection of them. That’s because I knit a lot of hats. But I decided this heid needed a post all its own.

Yowza and one thing leading to another

I’ve only rarely knit with Miss Babs. It always seemed like a lot of buck for the bang. But this set of 100% merino DK weight Yowza really captured me. And so did Boxes and Towers by Kirsten Kapur.

I am basically speechless, OK wordless, about how much I like this wrap.

I can’t get enough of looking at it and petting it.

I made very few modifications to the pattern. It calls for the knitter to cut the yarn and reattach the next color on each piece of the towers and boxes. Speaking of “yowza,” why would I do that and be left with all those ends to weave in? I didn’t cut the yarn except where new colors were needed in a new section. I carried the unused yarn up the side of the piece. It worked fine, including when I needed to pick up stitches along the side where the yarns twisted. When picking up stitches, I made sure to catch the float between the stitches, not merely the yarn being twisted along the edge. I was also careful to twist the yarn the same way each time, bringing the yarn I was using under the yarn I wasn’t using. I don’t know how necessary that was in this piece but I’m obsessive about such things. And I kept it loose and didn’t tighten up the yarn being carried.

The only other modification I made to the pattern was to increase the width of the edging a bit. I purled one round, knit one round, purled one round, and then worked the Icelandic bind-off–instead of picking up the stitches and immediately binding off. I did a yarn over at each side of the corner stitch on each of the three edge rounds.

Here’s another look at Boxes and Towers.

Yowza was wonderful to work with. No knots. No globby sections. The dye creates some heathering in the colorways, but there were no white blotches of undyed yarn. I’d use it again in a heartbeat. I liked working with it so much that I was determined to knit up every yard of it I could. Boxes and Towers required me to purchase six skeins of 200 yards each. The wrap used up about 800 yards. I needed to put that last 400 yards or so to good use. I had 28 grams left of Oakmoss (the green), Haydrick (the gold), Earthenware (the light burnt orange), and Slot Canyon (the light rosy shade). I had 20 grams left of Polished Stone (the gray), and 32 left of Sealpoint (the beige)–so, a total of 164 grams, about 400 yards.

I am really liking how my leftovers turned out.

Both the hat and the cowl are tincanknits knits from their “Mad Colours” book. The patterns are also downloadable on Ravelry. I just wanted to mention the book because I love to spell colors the wrong way, just like the Canadians and Brits. Just kidding. Live and let spell. The cowl is Undertone and the hat is the triangle version of their Prism hat.

I bet you spotted my little cheat–that spicey orange in the ribbing and alternating rows of the cowl. Yep, that’s not Yowza. It’s another oddment from my stash. It’s String Theory merino DK in the Rose Madder colorway. It really anchored the pieces, I think. It also left me enough Yowza to make an extravagant pompom.

Here’s another angle on the pompom, since knitters know that we knit in an era when you can work up some pretty elaborate hats and the first thing people say is…all together now…”I love the pompom.” Here’s another look at the pompom. It is a pretty good one.

Here’s a closer look at Undertone. It’s a quick, fun knit, with lots of potential for interesting color play.

Hoodies but not knitted ones

More than 15 years on Hillman’s Long Lake and we’ve never seen Hooded Mergansers before this week. Common Mergansers? Sometimes we’ve been up to our eyeballs in them. But Hoodies? Never before.

First one couple showed up. Then, the next day, this!

This group of 10 was just part of the tribe. At one point we counted 54 Hoodies in our little bay.

We are fairly confident that the duck that seems to be leading the parade is a female Common Merganser. That will give you a sense of how the Hooded Mergansers are rather dainty as ducks go. Hoodies are about 16 inches long with a 24 inch wingspan. The Common type are 21-27 inches long with a wingspan of closer to 34 inches. The duck in the lead doesn’t have the typical female Common Merganser hairdo, but she looks right (for that) otherwise, including for her size. That, plus we see very few Common Goldeneyes, they are comparably sized to the Hoodies, and her bill doesn’t look right for a Goldeneye.

Hooded MergansersLophodytes cucullatus. These are ducks whose young make the leap from their cavity nest to the ground when they are one day old. Their leap can be up to a 50 foot drop down to a forest floor. Then they waddle over to their mom who’s been calling to them as she waits in a nearby pond. Definitely a leap of faith for the tiny day-old fluff balls. Also some rather nonchalant parenting.  Still, it works. Mostly one supposes.

Hoodies have specially adapted eyes that help them find prey under water. They have an extra eyelid, a “nictitating membrane.” It’s transparent and helps protect their eyes the same way a pair of goggles helps humans see under water.

Here’s another look at a few of the Hoodies who visited Long Lake around November 13th and 14th.

The Hoodies attracted the attention of Long Lake’s Bald Eagles too. We watched as an adult and an immature eagle dove into the water looking for lunch. We saw five unsuccessful attacks in two different sequences. There were major splashes. And each time the Bald Eagles came up empty-handed. Empty-footed, rather. We know that the Bald Eagles need to eat. But we were rooting for the Hoodies.

Cozies for feet (and legs)

Mighty handsome legs, don’t you think? These tiny tiny leg warmers, baby sized, are tincanknits tic tac toes. Try to say that tongue twister fast three times. Tincanknit tic tac toes. Tincanknit tic tac toes. Tincanknit tic tac toes. Actually, not as difficult as I thought.

Here’s a closer look, off leg. As with the rest of tincanknit’s patterns, the pattern is sized from baby to adult. What an excellent idea. Newborn Georgia’s leg warmers–which could also serve as arm warmers–are knit in Kollage Yarns Sock-a-licious. It is, or rather was since it’s been discontinued, 70% merino wool, 20% nylon, and 10% silk.

I’ve never worn leg warmers. And I’ve never been a ballerina either. But I gather that ballerina status is not required to wear leg warmers.

Now we move to a cozy that’s less cute but more useful. These are Kris Basta’s Better Dorm Boots for Men.  This Ravelry freebie is meant to be knit in bulky weight (or worsted weight doubled) and results in a workhorse of a foot cozy.

My version of Better Dorm Boots is knit in Plymouth Yarn Chunky to assure that they are machine washable and dryable. The 25% wool helps warm the feet and the 75% acrylic makes sure they’re easy care. 120 grams of chunky is all it took to knit the largest size.

Bob’s feet are enjoying them.

These next handsome socks are knit from Churchmouse Yarn and Teas’ Basic Sock pattern. If you’ve not knit socks before, this pattern–in all its delightful wordiness–is an excellent place to start. I knit mine, well Steve’s, in a yarn he really likes: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight. This is a sport weight, which make for a firm warm sock when knit on a size 1.5 US needle.

Here are Steve’s feet enjoying a nice nap. The true shades of this colorway are the deep purple and blue shown above on my white backdrop. But I couldn’t resist showing off what a nice fit they turned out to be.

I didn’t want to forget about kids’ feet. These are Mine. They’re actually Isaac’s. But the pattern is Mine by Faye Kennington.

Mine are meant to be knit in a super bulky weight. I tried knitting them in Sirdar Bigga, a super bulky, but my gauge was way off. The slippers would had to have been donated to a basketball player. I downsized to a bulky weight and then my gauge was way off in the other direction. These turned out to be 8 inches long. I knit them in Valley Yarns’ Berkshire Bulky. 85% wool and 15% alpaca so, once they’re washed and thrown in the dryer, they’ll be looking for something closer to a toddler’s feet.

But they were a fun knit. It would have been better, I think, if I’d started my two-color look at the start of the garter stitch rather than just after the cable section. The pick up of stitches isn’t as neat as it should be (and would have been) if I’d changed the color just on the sole section.

Would you possibly like another look at those tincanknits’ leg warmers? My Ravatar insisted on trying on the leg warmers and she’s asking to be featured on the blog in full-body view. She’s also been begging me to knit a pair of tic tac toes just for her. She says her spot on top of my knitting corner bookcase next to glass head gets really chilly sometimes.

Fall at the lake is hat weather’s start

Long  Lake has been spectacular lately. This was the view one day this week about an hour after sunrise. The weather is crisp. OK, the weather’s pretty cold. It reminds that winter isn’t far away.

Time for hats. This purple one is Claudia Eisenkolb’s Not Cabled. I knit mine in Berrocco Ultra Wool, a worsted weight superwash that is a new favorite of mine. Not Cabled just looks like it uses cables. The illusion is achieved by merely working knit and purl stitches.

In this view you get a better sense that this isn’t cabling.

And, as always with hats I like to knit, the decreases successfully continue enough of the pattern to create an attractive crown.

This sunny hat is Lion Brand’s Seed Rib Hat. The pattern calls for  a DK weight. I used Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool DK. My sense is that this hat will be a hit in my holiday choose-your-gift basket.

OK. People will likely say “I like the pompom” and overlook that the crown decreases nicely continue (and properly dispose of) the pattern stitch. But as knitters we will be pleased by what’s under the pompom, a series of organized crown decreases.

Given the death of Classic Elite and its yarns, this next hat might be called “Ode to Classic Elite Fresco.” But it’s actually Susan Mills no-nonsense Fresco Simply Slouchy Hat available now, via Ravelry, as a freebie.

Such a sweet and simple thing. And knit up in sportweight Fresco, it’s kitten-soft.

Next up is Joji Locatelli’s free pattern Rafa’s Hat. I decided to knit mine in a skein of Worsted Merino Superwash Hand-dyed, a Plymouth yarn that I’ve had in my stash for a good long while. Speckled yarns don’t entice me much anymore. But I think this pattern works well in this yarn.

A very simple crown decrease. And it works!

And finally, an oldie-goodie, knit in Berroco Comfort to satisfy the wool-adverse.

It’s the delightfully named School Colors Hat AC-53. It’s a Fiber Trends pattern by Betsy Lee McCarthy, available direct from the Fiber Trends website and on Ravelry. This hat has a trick up its sleeve to create the double roll. The trick is all about the rolling and not much about the knitting. I’ve knit many of these and posted about them on my blog. I get questions about how to form the double roll. The answer is to finish knitting and then just do exactly what the pattern says. Exactly. Without any overthinking. The double roll will happen. This pattern was released back in 1492 and, no, you haven’t discovered that the roll doesn’t work.

The crown knits up neatly even though Comfort shows the decreases more than I think ideal.