Wonderful Wallaby

This is the Wonderful Wallaby. Carol A. Anderson, of Cottage Creations, designed it and knitters galore have knitted it. The pattern booklet is Cottage Creations W03, not available as a download. It is well worth the effort to locate it at your local yarn shop or favorite internet shop.

Nearly 3000 Ravelers have posted finished projects on their project page. When Ravelers take to patterns in droves, you can trust it’s a keeper.

Mine is knitted in left-overs from another Cottage Creations project: a full sized Rambling Rows afghan. I ran out of oddments and ended up leaving the hood off and knitted a garter stitch collar instead. It’s a cozy sweater, with a built-in handwarmer. When you buy the booklet you will have the pattern for a Wallaby in almost all the sizes people come in, from size 2 Toddler to 48″ chest. Try the Wonderful Wallaby when you have time.  Bet you can’t make just one!

Harrisville: Alcona County

The light was perfect on a breezy November Day. This is the view from where the road ends at Lake Huron, in Harrisville. Harrisville is the County seat of Alcona County.

As of the 2010 census, 493 people lived in Harrisville. So, a very small town, in a remote section of Northeastern Michigan. A fine example of what the “sunrise side” offers: big water, tall trees, and a neighborly feel.

Philosopher’s Wool Garden Patch Cardigan

Occasionally I knit sweaters and this was one of my better efforts. It’s Garden Patch by Anne Bourgeois of Philosopher’s Wool. It’s supposed to be a “good design for a first Fair Isle sweater.” I’m not sure it’s where I’d start with Fair Isle, but it is is somewhat straightforward. The yarn is a heavy Aran weight, a weight most would see as a bulky. It needs up quickly and that would keep an inexperienced Fair Isle knitter moving forward.

Philosopher’s Wool is yarn that’s close to the sheep. There’s so much lanolin in the wool that you feel like you’ve creamed your hands after you knit with it. And the wonderful smell of the wool is strong. I love it!

This sweater was the first and only time I steeked. First, you knit the body of the sweater in the round. Then you sew two strong seams about an inch apart down the middle from top to bottom. Then cut the tube between the two seams before picking up stitches to work the button bands. It’s not for the faint of heart. I cheated. I took my knitted tube to a tailor with a good commercial machine and hovered while he sewed the seams. I held my breath while he sliced into my knitting. As everyone in the know knows, the process works really well. (Especially when the tailor only charges you $5.00.)

And, of course, whenever this sweater is worn, what’s the first thing people say? “I really like the buttons…where did you find the buttons?”

Bay(front) watch cap

Bayfront Cap, by Melinda VerMeer, gets my 2011 award for best crown decreases. The hat looks great on all size heads and fits well. You will get it off your needles and be sure that it won’t fit anyone, but it stretches to fit even the pumpkin heads among us. It’s such a fun knit, and has been so well-received, that this is the third one I’ve made in the last few months.

The pattern is available on Ravelry for $2.99. It is so so worth it. This Bayfront is knitted in Oasis Yarn’s Aussie Sock, in the cherry tomato colorway. 90% merino, 10% nylon.

Casting on 168 stitches and knitting a cap in fingering weight yarn would not have been my cup ‘o tea in years past. Quick knits are still fun, but so are slower knits. If we like to knit, just doing it is the pleasure. A knitter doesn’t always have to be in a hurry.

Look who’s taking a swim

You have to look closely. It’s not a log. It’s not a a dog. It’s a white-tail deer, taking a swim late in October, when Long Lake was already very cold. An internet search (do deer swim) reveals what apparently everyone but me already knew, confirmed by many youtube videos. Yes, deer swim. They are quite expert at a “dog paddle” stroke. Hard to imagine how those long spindly legs work for swimming, but deer have been clocked swimming ten miles per hour. Apparently they typically take to the water to escape predators. Some believe they set out in search of better grazing, but I’m skeptical of that.