Moonset in Ghost Bay

Moonset. Not yet dawn. But not quite still night. It would be so good to be sitting in Ghost Bay right this very minute, watching moonset happen.

I am in the city now. Moonset must happen from some vantage point in my city. Don’t you think? Maybe from the river’s edge, at just the exact perfect time. But I don’t live near the river. Maybe from a highrise, aimed in the right direction a few times each year. But I don’t live in a highrise either.

Long Lake. In Ghost Bay. This was August, 2011.


Hill Country Hat

Clara Parkes, of Knitters Review fame, has written a number of books. This pattern, Hill Country Hats, is from her The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving This Most Fabulous Fiber.”  It teaches everything knitters need to know about the qualities of fiber produced from all variety of sheep. It’s already known by its acronymn: KBOW.

In addition to being included in KBOW, Parkes has generously released Hill County Hats as a free pattern on her website, also accessible via Ravelry. With the advice of one of my Ravelry buddies, mine are knitted in Brown Sheep Bulky (chocolate soufle, above, and creme, below). It takes an entire 125 yard skein, knitted here with 10.5 needles.  You’ll have about a golf-ball sized leftover.

Hill Country Hat is knit from the top down. Quick and fun, this is basically a two-hour project. Parkes uses a stitch pattern she calls “Hills and Valleys” to create a hat that is cleverly sectioned off  into quarters, with a swirl at the top. My one modification was to increase the number of pattern repeats by one set on the body of the hat, to give it a bit more length. Very cute. Unisex.

I am currently working on a rather large rather boring project and these hats were the perfect interruption.


Michigan was in pieces but we’ve put it back together

All it took were some thunderstorms that kept us off the water. A few extra hands pitched in. Soon the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle was completed. In record time. No pieces missing, though there were a few desperate moments at the end until I found some of Holland’s tulips hiding out under the coffee table.

Michigan and Michiganders (yes, that’s the unfortunate name we call ourselves) are hurting a lot. We’re in a heck of a mess these days. We need to put our fine state’s pieces back together for real.

Check out this vintage northern Michigan travel video from 1949. We don’t ride around on our sand dunes wrecking up the fragile native plants anymore. And we don’t entertain visitors by chaining up our bear population. We know who picks our fruit trees clean and what a hard life they lead and we don’t pretend that it’s the local high school cheerleader squad. I watch this video, fascinated that this might really have been Michigan just three years before I was born.

Steve’s Bayfront Cap

This is another Bayfront Cap, designed by Melinda Vermeer. A purchase via Melinda’s website will take you to the very efficient Ravelry download system. At $1.99, it’s a real deal. This is the second time I’ve knit it. The first time I tried it in a multi-colored Fortisissima Calori Socka Color yarn. It was a treat to knit, as the bands unfolded. But the colors obscured the look of the nice 3 by 9 ribbing in the body of the cap. It also hid the excellently detailed crown.

So this time I wanted a nice quiet color. This Aussie Sock by Oasis Yarn in an army duds color fit the bill. It’s a twisted yarn superwash in 90% merino wool and 10% nylon. The nylon gives the fabric a nice bounce, even in a hat. I increased the number of inches of 3 by 3 rib to lengthen the cap and allow for a folded brim and extra warmth over the ears.

The teeny needles and tons of stitches made the body of the cap a bit of a slog with yarn this tame. But then you reach the beautiful crown decreases and the fun begins!