Walkover Wrap

For Noreen

This is Walkover Wrap, designed by talented Canadian designer, Ash Kearns. Her patterns are available on her website and on Ravelry. This wrap is a very simple knit, for sure. Basically, you knit a rectangle with a buttonhole.

It has a bit of the unexpected going on with that buttonhole, though. One buttonhole, three buttons. That’s definitely a new one for me. I actually didn’t realize it when I purchased the pattern. It’s knitter’s choice about whether you wear the wrap asymmetrically or evenly. I find the look I’m enjoying most is asymmetrical, as here.

The wrap is knit in the yarn the pattern called for: Berroco’s Lustra, a 50% wool, 50% tencel concoction. I’d tried to work Lustra up in a few other patterns and it proved very ill-behaved and I gave up. So I searched for a pattern that called for the yarn and that’s what let me to Walkover Wrap.

The good points of Lustra are that it has a wonderful shimmer and it’s warm but quite lightweight. The colorways are varied and beautiful. I used Seine (3181), a great blue with deeper blue-black highlights.

The bad points of Lustra are that it is nasty splitty yarn that occasionally snaps for no apparent reason. The final gift to me was that it snapped while I was binding off very very gently. Lustra has a mind of its own and also kinks up after you work with it. Kearns suggests a 15 minute bath in wool wash, and it needed every minute of that to relax.

But, if you can get through the hassle of working with Lustra, the finished garment feels great and looks great too. And Kearns’s pattern is wonderful–you could always use a different worsted weight.

For Noreen

Nectar guzzlers


This is MIchigan’s only hummingbird. Well, not the only one literally, of course. This is a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Pretty, teeny, and every centimeter feisty. Yesterday a female was sitting on a perch daintily sipping our nectar. A male arrived and she tolerated him. With Michigan so slow to warm this year, and the late bloom of our flowers, they’ve been after anything red. One dive-bombed our red and white cooler while the hatch of the car was open. Another ventured into the garage to check out another red piece of plastic.

Here’s one of the males. They aren’t seen as often at our feeders.


While I was still marveling that the pair wasn’t doing any aerial dueling, a second female arrived on the scene.The female-first-on-the-scene did the hummingbird equivalent of a battle between rival gang members. She sprung up from the feeder perch and began to go at the other female in long, low, u-shaped swoops. During one of the swoops she must have actually struck her rival because the second female sat on the deck rail–unheard of–for a few minutes as if shaking off the effects. She flew off and the female-in-charge returned to her evening meal.

Baltimore Orioles are preferring the hummingbird feeder to the navel orange we’ve halved and hung on a feeder pole. They’ve picked at the orange but are apparently preferring the sweet liquid this weekend.

The Orioles approach cautiously.


They settle on the perch, spilling some nectar from the feeder when it’s filled.


Then they sort of do the bird equivalent of a forward bend and drink. But in between sips, it’s like their head is on a swivel. I think they are on the watch for the female hummers, who seem to have no sense of their size relative to other birds.




This is Leftie, by Martina Behm. I knit my Leftie in Cheshire Cat, a Frabjous Fibers Merino 4-ply fingering weight. The other 2822 Ravelers who’ve knit Leftie and posted it on their project pages and I are in agreement that this is a doozy of a clever pattern.


The only modification I made was to skip wrapping on the short-row leaves. And, obviously, if there’s no wrapping going on while you’re turning, there’s no picking up and knitting into those wraps that aren’t there. Thanks, Dot, for that great suggestion! I’d not have thought of it on my own.

My first attempts on the leaves were a tad on the sloppy side. I started over and without the wrapping and picking up, my leaves behaved well and look great. Wraps really aren’t needed in garter stitch short rows. You won’t notice the teeny little holes.

Garter stitch is one of a knitter’s more forgiving stitches. Maybe that’s part of the reason why it’s the first stitch we learn.


Lunch on Long Lake


Yum.  A nice big pike for lunch. We think this Bald Eagle likely caught it earlier, ate part of it, and then came back for more. By then the Turkey Vultures had been working on it.


At one point, five vultures were tearing away at what was left. When the eagle came back, they flew up to a nearby tree and watched until the eagle again had its fill and flew off.


Celia’s Blankie supersized


Celia’s Blankie is a simple stylish baby blanket pattern by Carol Anderson, of Cottage Creations. Carol is well known for her chatty style in writing patterns. Lots of details are given. You feel as if she’s sitting in the room guiding you along. I like that. Her booklets can sometimes be hard to find in local yarn shops. But now the patterns are available through her website. Great move, Carol!

In my first Celia’s Blankie, I made it basically toddler-sized. This one almost covers a queen-sized mattress. It was designed as a stash buster. There’s almost 3400 yards of wool knit into this garter stitch blanket. The red and blue are Paton’s Classic Wool and the yellow, oh my that bright yellow, is Plymouth Galway worsted. Two no-nonsense, workhorses. Never mind how I managed to stash so much of these yarns, but it all had something to do with a sale.


It’s 9 mitered squares wide and 11 squares long, with a 14 row garter stitch border all around. I’d be fibbing if I told you it was a quick knit.

It will be warm. It will cheer up a room. And it reminds me of all the fun my son used to have playing with his Legos.