Polka Dot Sheep hats


This is Polka Dot Sheep designer Aimee Anderson’s newest hat pattern: Maeve’s Hat. I was part of Alexander’s test knit on Ravelry. The pattern hasn’t yet been added to her website, but it’s available for download on Ravelry.

When you check out the pattern you’ll notice I modified it some. Everywhere there’s one of those beefy bobbles, Anderson’s pattern has a bead. In the test-knit phase, bobbles were an alternative in the pattern. The beaded version is elegant. My version is, well, not elegant. Mine is funky and fun.

This is a fingering weight pattern. I didn’t want puny bobbles, so I knit one, purled one, three times into the stitch, to create six from one. Then I turned and knit back on those six stitches, turned and purled those six stitches, then passed each of the 5 stitches, in turn, over the one nearest the right needle tip. In the body of the hat, I placed a bobble at each spot where the pattern called for a bead. In that first set of bobbles near that sweet picot edge, I spaced the bobbles four stitches apart.

Here’s another view, with a bit of the pentagon-shaped crown showing.


Ah, what’s that yarn? It’s Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin (80% merino, 20% nylon) left over from my kayak shrug I knit a few years back. I was saving it for a special project and decided the time had come.

This next hat is Evelyn’s. The pattern, though, is Margot’s Hat. And again it’s a Polka Dot Sheep pattern by Alexander.


The pattern calls for DK weight, but the DK I had on hand didn’t want to get to gauge. So I knit it instead in Malabrigo Rios, a worsted weight.


Alexander’s patterns are very attentive to small details. In this hat, it’s the way the picot edge is created and how the earflaps are tucked in place. My only modification was to use I-cord ties instead of twisty cord ties.

Of course, little ones look very sweet in pastels. But, I enjoy seeing them in earth tones.

Alexander’s two daughters are Maeve and Margot. Now they each have a hat pattern named after them. Both my creations will end up in Evelyn’s collection.

Michigan Crazy


This Wurm is Crazy. That’s Katherina Nopp’s wildy popular Wurm hat pattern (mine is Wurm # 11,992 on Ravelry) and Stonehedge Fiber’s Crazy f/k/a Crazy Mill Ends. Nopp writes that Wurm has 3 special features: you can wear it with whatever kind of hair, it’s unisex, and it keeps ears extra warm. There are zillions of cool Wurms walking around on warm heads all over the world. The pattern was originally written in German and it’s been translated into English, French, Italian, and Finnish.

Of some interest on the extra warm ears part? That’s not one-by-one rib you’re looking at. It’s stockinette folded inward at a garter stitch turning ridge.

Here’s a better look at the top.


Stonehedge Fibers says that Crazy is made from mill ends of Shepherd’s Wool and that it’s 100% merino. It’s considered a DK weight.

I used a different skein of Crazy, but actually they are all different, for another Chinle Cowl. This cowl, by Stephannie Tallent of Sunset Cat Designs, is a personal favorite. I’ve knit it four times in the past year and still don’t have one to call my own.

The work went from this:


To this:


My glass head finds it very cozy.


Mittens from the mitten state


This pair of mittens is Anne Bosch’s Wisconsin Warmer Mittens. The pattern’s available on the Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mills site or on Ravelry. I knit my pair on the shrimpy side because they were made for a pair of favorite local shrimps, my 3rd grade neighbor-twin set.These mittens are knit in Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in the antique rose colorway, with blue spruce highlights.

This is a very straightforward pattern. No right mitten left mitten fussiness. And, best of all, a nice rounded mitten and thumb top. I know that hands sort of come to a point because, obviously, our middle fingers are the tallest ones we have. But I just don’t favor pointy mittens.

Here’s another pair in the same Shepherd’s Wool, this time in antique rose and garnet.


This pattern is Mittens For All, by Jodi Lewanda, a free RedHeart pattern. It’s a super easy knit, just like the Wisconsin Winter Warmers, but somehow that pointy top and thumb just don’t sit as well with me.

My favorite neighborhood twins often make the point that they are not identical twins. When they came over to try on their mittens, both pair of mittens fit both well. When they left, they were each wearing one mitten from each set. So, not identical twins, but twins for sure.

“Gather ye…


…seeds while ye may.” With apologies to 17th century poet Robert Herrick, rosebuds aren’t interesting our resident bold chipmunk. He’s busy collecting all the seeds and nuts he can given the impending assault of winter.

In fact, he’s stuffing his cheek pouches to bursting. It’s a wonder Chip doesn’t just tip over from being so top-heavy.


This year’s amazingly prolific crop of acorns is fattening this guy for winter. And inflating his cheek pouches.


He refuses to be deterred even by cameras in close proximity.

Chip’s been living in the drainpipe off the back of the house–the one that has a final length of plastic piping.  Some predator nibbled away at it, probably thinking he’d make a tasty bit. We replaced that plastic length with aluminum. So Chip now has a nice new home for his winter hibernation. That wasn’t exactly the plan, though.

Chipmunks are in the genus Tamias. Wikipedia says that’s Greek for “treasurer,” “steward,” or “housekeeper.” It refers to this critter’s role in plant dispersal through their habit of collecting and storing food for winter use.

It’s November on Long Lake. The woodpile is stacked and the snowblower is ready. The cold is coming.


Turkish Bedsocks


Last week it was Bosnian slippers. This week it’s “Turkish Bedsocks,” the very popular Churchmouse Yarns and Teas Pattern. As their slogan says “Bring a little churchmouse home.” Well, not literally. And the company logo prefers to capitalize Churchmouse. OK. No more wordplay. Turkish Bedsocks is a seriously good pattern. And it’s great fun to knit.

The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn in one of my all-time favorite known-by-its acronym yarns, KPPPM (Koigu Painter’s Pallette Premium Merino). The little secret about KPPPM is that, I’m sorry Koigu, it isn’t really a fingering weight. It’s more sport weight in my view. And lots of others agree. My Turkish Bedsocks are knit in Quaere Fibre Sportweight Self-Striping Merino, a superwash.

A lot of the versions of Turkish Bedsocks are rather staid. But mine are more to my liking. I look at my feet and smile. And if you met my feet in person you would find that’s quite a feat.


I’d no sooner finished one pair when other lept onto my needles. These are knit in Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine, a DK weight.


A bit more dignified, but not much.

My only modifications for these two pair were to lengthen the main body of the slipper to 30 rather than 24 rounds. The unusual construction requires mattress-stitching the heel wrap to the heel flap. So you do have a seam. I have no problem with that. There are modifications available on Ravelry project pages if you’d rather do a short row heel. But with my self-patterning yarn, I love the way the various directions of the yarn all collide at the heel end.


My size 8.5 feet fit into these quite nicely. At the moment they are aimed for my holiday pick-your-gift basket. But I’m thinking I need to keep one pair for me.