Cherry Garcia


This is Cherry Garcia. No relation to Ben and Jerry or the real Jerry either. It’s Adrian Bizilia’s bulky-weight free cowl pattern available on Ravelry. Bizilla blogs at HelloYarn and has a number of interesting patterns, some free and some available for purchase. 100 yards of yarn and a few hours and you’ll have a quick present or a warm addition to your wardrobe.

Here’s someone modeling it. I used Järbo Garn Duo, an interesting 100% acrylic bulky put up in gigantic 200 gram skeins. I planned to make slippers out of it, and still will because there’s plenty left. But I thought I’d give the yarn a try in this first. It’s an excellent acrylic, with interesting gradient qualities.


As soon as I cast off I decided to cast on again. This version is knit in 100% Corriedale homespun.


Pileated pair


It was 16 degrees below zero and the suet feeders were empty. This pair of pileated woodpeckers landed on the trunk of one of the tall trees between the lake and our front room windows and started bobbing around. Steve imagined they were saying “get out here and fill these feeders ‘cuz we’re hungry and cold.”

He bundled up, filled the feeders, and of course these big guys are shy and so they’d flown off. But when he came back inside, the pair quickly flew back and stayed at the feeders for a good long time.

The male is the one with the red mustache on the log feeder. The female is at the paddle feeder. Pileateds have wingspans from 26 to 30 inches. The adults are 16 to 19 inches from crest to tail. We’re happy to give them some help getting through the winter.

Graham, the hat


This is Graham, an easy unisex hat from Jennifer Adams of Nutty Irishman Knits. The free pattern is downloadable on Ravelry. This one is knit in Cascade Yarn 220 Quatro, a good 4-ply marled worsted that Cascade has discontinued. The hat is quite nice on both sides. Even the nifty and nicely lined-up crown decreases look good on the inside or on the outside.

Blue_graham_topHere’s another Graham, this time worked up in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, the worsted that is one of the yarns Adams suggests. This 50% alpaca/50% wool workhorse comes in a wonderful selection of colorways.


I was traveling without stitch markers so this time, I just used a standard crown decrease–which worked well also. I started an SSK (slip, slip, knit the two together) every 16th stitch and just worked them every other round, laddering them up. It worked. But the designer’s plan for Graham works better.


When Graham came off the needles and I saw the dreaded pointy top, I went into “oh no” mode.

Blue_grahamBut that gentle pointiness is totally tamed on the head, in both my modified mode and in the pattern as written.