Watch caps

This is a simple watch cap based on a wonderful pattern posted on the Madison Wisconsin Knitters Guild website. It is Janet Johnson Stevens’s Mistaken Rib Cap. Well, it’s almost her cap. Taking the lead from a Raveler known as Sidhex3’s, I first knitted in 2-2 rib for 2.5 inches to form the cuff. The original pattern launches the knitter into Mistaken Rib immediately. That’s an interesting way to work it, but I’ve made many of these and always found that this pattern stitch has a hard time folding neatly over on itself. The knit 2, purl 2 ribbing creates a more defined cuff. This cap is going to live in Georgia soon, so it’s knitted in Lion Brand’s Cotton-Ease. Easy care 50% cotton 50% acrylic, in worsted weight, with lots of colors to choose from.

Again, Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. This time it’s an even easier pattern. It’s Lila P. Chin’s pattern included in Vogue Knitting’s On The Go series, Caps & Hats (not to be confused with hats and caps). There is almost no easier pattern. A knit 2, purl 2 rib, knitted in the round, with very straightforward crown decreases. Taking nothing away from Chin, this hat has many close cousins. But this version is a very useful pattern when you want to work something up that is simple and quick.

Ghost Bay 2011

Some time this past winter or early spring, a big blow must have come through Ghost Bay. Three good-sized cedars tipped over. Cedars mostly sit on the very edges of the Bay, giving the deer some good winter salads. Deer stand on the ice and trim the overhanging cedar branches as neatly as a professional landscaper might. But cedar roots here do not run deep. And as the cedars grow taller their foothold gets more and more precarious. Every tree in the Bay is precious and we are saddened to see this trio give up the ghost.

Meanwhile on the lake bottom, in the shallow edges of the Bay, life is winning. When this photo was taken, the blue gills were guarding their nests from marauding who knows what.  When I quietly pass by in my kayak, they seem to stare me down. This nest wasn’t being guarded when Steve snapped a photo. If you are wondering about all the debris, the bluegills are not “feathering” their nest with clean pebbles or sticks.  The fish disturb the silt in the hollowed-out nest and then the bottom comes into clear view. We think the bluegill are good recyclers too, because these seem to be the same hollow places the bass used as nests.

It is summer now. Lots of creepy crawly stuff is enjoying the exposed cedar root slabs.  And baby bluegill are all through the grasses of Ghost Bay.

When knitting gives you lemons…

…knitters make fibery lemonade.

This is Steven West’s Herbivore. Lots of knitters have great success with the pattern. It is clearly written. My yarn was Crazy Zauberball by Schoppel-Woole.  Great yarn. Good pattern. It just didn’t work for me. It didn’t hold my interest and so I ended up with a few errant yarn overs, which didn’t bother me enough to try to do something about them. On the yarn over front, this is not actually as messy as this photo makes it look. Herbivore’s side “wings” are curling and won’t block out. In my hands, an unsatisfying knit.

I was thinking Herbivore might be a babushka for a small human.  Sort of like this:

But small humans don’t tend to have high tolerance for having their heads wrapped in wool tied under their sensitive chinny chin chins.

And then, it came to me. Poodie. Poodie is a knitted sock monkey and a voracious reader. But he’s kind of impoverished when it comes to clothing. He has a hat, which he’s not wearing here because it’s 99 degrees today. And he has a little bow tie. But he has no other clothes. So, meet Poodie modeling Herbie, his shawlette. Poodie obviously has good taste in knitwear and isn’t afraid to make a fashion statement.


I’ve just knit four trilobites into a hat.

It is Hannah Ingals’s clever pattern, available free in the Summer, 2009 issue of Knitty. Hannah was impressed with fossils studied by the paleontologist she lives with. So she reproduced them in stitches.

You can follow Hannah’s continued knitting adventures here. My recent version of her Trilobite hat is knit in Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted.


Here it is worked up in Michigan’s own Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Shepherd’s Wool.

Windschief Cap

I’m doing the knitting cozy hats when it’s 92 degrees and humid again. It’s actually rather sensible. Knitting a hat is a very compact project.  Perfect for warm weather knitting, except that you’ll have to wait months to wear it or gift it. In fact, it’s so hot that you won’t even want to try it on. That’s when yarn-for-brains glass heads come in handy.

This is another Steven West design: Windschief. It can be knitted as a hat, as here (worked up in a local hand-dyed washable wool).  Or leave off the top shaping, return to 1-1 twisted rib, and you have a nifty cowl. As here. Quick. Easy. And the twisted rib carried through the body of the hat (and cowl) adds just enough to keep the knitting interesting.