Archive for August, 2015

Hank the Heron has won. Victory was declared last night after he ate the one single fish and frog left in the pond.

Yes, this is a picture of Hank. An environmental conservationist he is not. .


I am literally exhausted trying to save the pond. He’s won. There is nothing left; a pond with no life in it. I had a perfect little ecosystem going in it before he arrived.

Did I mention that Great Blue Herons are federally protected birds? Not that I was thinking of giving him the Jimmy Hoffa treatment.

There is a woman in Brooklyn in New York City who has a very small pond stocked with rather expensive fish. She has a heron hanging around too and it’s eaten all her fish. A heron in New York City.

The world is filled with heron stories. Unfortunately, these birds do not migrate. Once they set up an area, and Hank has set up his area, they stay.

I am returning to my knitting, now. I feel a need to get a grip on things. And as I knit I am going to try to forget all about Hank and our summer long battle.


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Hi everyone,

I’ve had a few requests for the measurements and sizes for a knit sweater for a 4 year old. A few words about pattern sizes when it comes to children. If you think a baby grows fast, children grow equally as quick. Like babies, they are most likely to grow faster lengthwise than widthwise. Hence, the sweater that is suddenly to short in the arms and overall length. But children also broaden out more quickly than babies. All this growing seems to happen in spurts. So if I am making a sweater for a child I tend to err on the side of a 1/2 inch longer and wider on measurements rather than smaller if I want to get at least two years wear out of it.

That said, below is the schematic for a 4 year old requested by Claudine. The schematic is for a drop shoulder sweater, a shape that will still work at this age. Missing from the schematic is the front neck depth. A good neck depth is about 1.5″ (4) cm. We don’t want close fitting at the neck unless it is a turtleneck.

4 year old schematic

The numbers representing the width of the garment are for half the garment only. To get the total circumference multiply the number by two.

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This week’s knitting and crochet images board is here. Lots of color and ways to work with it in both crochet and knitting. I hope you find some inspiration to experiment with your own creations.

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The blanket I’m knitting for dad was sailing along nicely until yesterday when I realized I ordered the wrong color of extra yarn. Things came to a screeching halt and I do mean screeching. The Skipper and the Yarn Rascal quickly exited the house and went for a long walk. I had hoped to finish half the blanket while waiting for yarn for the second half to arrive from backorder. Now I need to return the wrong color by mail and wait for them to get it, process it and send me the right color. It’s hell not having a yarn store nearby.

In the meanwhile I am finishing the second sock of the Ode to Monet socks. I think I am going to write up the pattern and post it for free on Ravelry. It’s such a simple, nubby texture that works great with the Two Grey Dogs Yarn.

In other news, Sammy the snake has been missing for quiet sometime now. In his place is Hank the Great Blue Heron. Salpal of What I’m Up To Today suggested that maybe Hank ate Sammy. I know Hank is doing a whale of a job eating every fish in our pond, but does a Great Blue Heron also eat snakes?

A few statistic about Hank. He is taller than me. His wingspan is greater than mine. He is very intelligent. He is very territorial. He is very stubborn. The first action I took was to read up on Great Blues to see how one keeps a bird who feels he owns your pond out of said pond. I could have saved hours of reading if I had just listened to the first article I read which basically said, “Kiss your fish goodbye.”

Other ideas to deter the Great Blue One are: Buy a heron statue and move it around the pond during the day. A heron won’t go near another heron’s territory. Problem: where do I find a heron statue and do I really want to spend my day moving it around the pond so that it looks real to Hank? Having met Hank close up, we could feel each other breathing, I felt he would see through the old heron statue trick.

Another idea suggested to get plastic floating alligator heads and place them randomly in the pond. Herons apparently won’t go near an alligator’s domain. Problem: do I really want to see floating alligator heads plastic or otherwise in my pond? The second half of the same article suggested if the fake alligator heads didn’t work, buy a real alligator. I could see all kinds of problems with that advice and nixed the idea immediately.

The next words of wisdom sounded workable. The article said that herons will not step over anything that is 3 feet (0.91 meters) high. It suggested to run a string around the outside of the pond 3 feet from the ground and viola(!) heron problem solved. I had string, but didn’t have the stakes. So I improvised. I took three lawn chairs and a wheelbarrow and placed them around the pond. I tipped the wheelbarrow so its handles were straight up in the air and stuck one of The Skipper’s shirts on it. A very makeshift scare crow but I thought it would work. Then I ran the string exactly three feet from the ground around all the objects. I stepped back and looked at my work. The pond looked quite different, like people who lost their minds lived here.

I hadn’t even made it back to the barn yet when you-know-who flew in. I stood still and gloated. Hank completely ignored the wheelbarrow scare crow and walked sedately to the pond. He came in contact with the string, stopped, took two steps back (my gloating was reaching a crescendo) then ducked under the string and waded serenely into the pond. Did I need to print the article out for him so he could read it and find out what he was supposed to do?

I charged down the hill screaming and waving my hands, which Hank found distasteful, and calmly took flight gracefully landing in a tall tree in my neighbor’s yard. I, on the other hand, with a full head of steam couldn’t fully stop myself before I ran into the string and slid into the pond taking chairs and wheelbarrow with me whereupon I met Snappy. A junior snapping turtle (another little fish eater) was in the pond. Snappy seemed to focus on my fingers. I scrambled out of the pond as fast as any 59 year old woman could who was mired in muck and silt and some kind of clinging plant, whiled being attacked by a snapping turtle. Dripping wet, very muddy, removing plant life from my hair with all ten fingers, I walked toward the house. I turned, just before walking up the steps to the door, and pointed at Hank who was still peacefully sitting in my neighbor’s tree. “Game on”, I said.

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This week’s images are here. The highlight of the whole lot is the crocheted portrait of James Dean. Please, do take a look.

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