Rainbow Vera in her raingear


Recently I’ve been on an Annita Wilschut knitting frenzy. I’ve knit Joris, Karel, Jacobus and Saar, and Vera. Mostly I’ve knit in Quaere Fibre Self-Striping Sportweight Superwash–a wonderful yarn, including for stuffed buddy projects.

Here’s my entire Wilschut gang, including Rainbow Vera decked out in her raingear.annita_gang

Vera’s clothes, a separate Wilschut pattern, are very detailed. Apparently Vera is a bit fussy about how her clothes fit. You knit linings, pockets, and even some short row shaping.



That teeny raincoat even needed blocking to assure that its seams laid properly and that the garter stitch band didn’t curl. There are three small yarn over buttonholes knit into the band. But Vera is headed to a little one and so right now buttons are not a good idea.

Vera is especially pleased with her hat.


She thinks the color shows off her stripes quite nicely and even tones down her red nose a tad.


She isn’t sure why she’s got both a hood on her raincoat and a hat, but she’s not complaining. I told her that the hood could come in handy in a major downpour.

Vera pleaded with me not to show her naked, but I told her knitters and readers would want to see her pretty rainbow skin. I did agree that I’d not put her butt on display, though.



Teenage Northern Pike


She, probably a she, was hiding in plain view. This Northern Pike was about 15 inches long and didn’t quite have the hang of the hiding and pouncing thing, which is the way pike forage for food. Still, she blended in quite nicely. That’s sunshine reflecting off the pike, but younger fish like this one do tend to have more yellow coloration than their elders and it’s arranged almost in stripes.

Ms. “Snotrocket”–an uncouth (but apt) nickname derived from the slimy mucous layer on a pike’s skin–sat still for several minutes in about 18 inches of water while we paddled about.

Steve took this photo with an underwater camera a few weeks ago. The weeds in Ghost Bay were still acting like it was winter. They were all huddled on the bottom of the bay. That didn’t leave much cover for a pike.

Where’s a young pike to find safety waiting for brunch this time of year? An osprey or an eagle could have snatched her easily. And, on that brunch thing, pike prefer to eat food that is one-third to one-half their size. Impressive.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

sapsucker1_lowres The Orioles are back in town, so we’ve hung out the orange. But the Orioles are busy eating the hummers’ food. And now the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are eating the Orioles’ food. What the heck!

This is a male, with the more yellow belly than his partner and that nice red neck patch and top patch. The female has a white throat, but still has a red top patch.  Apparently the pair has a young one. As my brother Tom pointed out to me, the juvenile has no developed red patches. It must have been hungry because it stayed feeding at the orange for ten-minute stretches. We began to think maybe the orange had fermented and the bird was intoxicated. It even continued eating when we moved within a few feet of the feeder.

Here’s the juvenile–clearly better camouflaged than mom and pop..

sapsucker2_lowres Ah yes, every Baby Boomers’ introduction to the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: Jackie Gleason’s The Honeymooners.

Bc6C9dQIAAEpvFz Ed Norton: As I live and breathe, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. * * *  got to make an entry in my bird book here. I just seen a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Bird seen: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Place where seen: Central Park. Only one thing that bothers me, they’re not supposed to be within 3000 miles of here.

Ralph Kramden: Well how do you know it’s a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker? Don’t forget, last week you saw a robin with a wishbone in its mouth and you said it was a chicken hawk.

Ed Norton: Nonetheless, I’m sure it’s a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Ralph Kramden: Why are you sure it’s a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker?

Ed Norton: What else could it be? It’s got a yellow belly and it was suckin’ sap.

Ralph Kramden: I don’t know why a man of your age watches birds.

Ed Norton: Why shouldn’t I watch them, they watch me, don’t they?

Ralph Kramden: The only bird that watches you, Norton, is a woodpecker.




I’ve got an already-identified thing for knitting bunnies. In fact, one of my early bunnies recently surfaced and put in an appearance on the blog. Isaac’s baby bunny was a recent addition to the bunny hutch.

This is Karel, Dutch knit designer Annita Wilschut’s enhancement of the knitted bunny kingdom. Wilschut’s patterns are available on her blog and on Ravelry. My Karel is knit in an extravagant luxury yarn for a critter: Cricket, by Anzula. Cricket is DK weight, 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. Perfect for socks and for small rabbits. Karel’s overalls, which are included in his pattern, are knit in Quaere Fibre self-striping sportweight.

The details on Wilschut’s patterns are wonderful. Not just the obligatory bunny tail hole. (But isn’t it a cute one?) She is a master of short row placement. This gives just the needed shaping for rounded bellies and for butts that let the animals sit upright. And, as with all her patterns, when you finish the knitting there’s no parts to sew together.