Long Lake is finally freezing over

It’s been a warm fall. There have been cold days and nights, but not many. And the cold weather the lake area has seen has been followed by unseasonably warm days. Heck. We were kayaking in Ghost Bay on Thanksgiving afternoon, when it reached 60 degrees.

But on Sunday morning, December 9th, it was 27 degrees, winds were calm, and the lake was finally starting to freeze. Most of the way to the narrows was frozen over. On Saturday, three common mergansers were still dabbling around in the lake. But early Sunday morning  I saw them flying low over the lake, headed south. The goofballs. Leave it to the mergansers to be the last to leave a party and the last ducks to finish eating at the Long Lake buffet table.

Another Lillie’s Little Sweater

This is Lillie’s Little Sweater. Yep, another one. It’s knitted here in easy-care Plymouth Encore, a 25% wool, 75% acrylic that wears like iron and is soft enough for babes.

I shied away from this Cottage Creations pattern for quite awhile because I thought it too simple to hold my attention. My first impressions were wrong. Very wrong. You start at the sweet, mostly garter stitch hood and work your way down. There is something so satisfying about casting off without having your project piled up in pieces, awaiting your sewing and finishing work.The pattern is a simple, but not simplistic, design.This time Carol Anderson partnered with Joan DeBolt.

All Cottage Creations patterns are a luxuriously slow read. Anderson writes her patterns with good humor, good wishes, even planning a break for you at the midpoint of most patterns. She explains everything in tons of detail. And then, on the stuff that easiest to forget, she reminds you repeatedly to remember. You won’t be able to download the booklet. It will take a trip to your local yarn shop or a snail mail order to slowly bring the pattern to your door and the project to your needles. The slow way this easy pattern unfolds is part of the charm. Here’s another Lillie’s I recently knit.

Babies and Bears Cardigan, super sized

I’ve made the hooded baby version of Cottage Creations’ Babies and Bear Cardigan many times. Check it out here and here. It’s sweet, quick, and babies look super cute in it. This is Cottage Creations Babies and Bears Cardigan, super-sized. Not so sweet, not so quick, and I don’t pretend I look cute in it. But it’s a well-designed, easy-to-execute pattern. The sweater is very comfortable and I’ve already worn it a lot.

Babies and Bears is knitted here in Plymouth Yarns Coffee Beenz, a 25% wool, 75% acrylic that’s part of the Encore line. The XXL size was supposed to take 1800 yards. Mine used 1520 yards (just over 7 skeins). The only significant modification I made was to add 8 more decrease stitches just after the pick up row on the neck band, to tighten up the neckline. I don’t think that would have been necessary with a yarn that was of a more firm construction than Coffee Beenz. About two inches less sleeve length would have been better for me, but I just cuff the sleeves. And, instead of leaving any sewing for the band all around the sweater, I took a lesson from the baby version and used a 42″ circular to handle the band all as one section, mitering the corners in front.