Cooler By the Lake

January 26, 2013 | My Jottings

I put my knitting away all last summer and fall, and now since the weather is so cold it seems like the right time to take it out again. I’m still a total beginner, and have not ventured beyond making scarves. I hope to try something more complicated from a pattern someday, but for now I guess making my sixth or seventh scarf is just fine.

In the evenings after dinner Michael likes for me to watch television with him, so we’ve been enjoying a few BBC series lately, and a movie or two. I’ve been picking up my knitting then, and it feels like I’m being a bit productive instead of being a couch potato.

Some of the things we’ve been watching are this version of Dickens’ Little Dorrit, which I loved. It took us a while to get into it and really like it, but it was worth persevering through. We’re also watching the series “All Creatures Great and Small” again, and it gives us the itch to go to England. Sometimes I actually think we should try a second trip and other times I’m not so sure. But watching anything in Yorkshire makes me think we might.

My friend Diane texted me recently and told us to watch the movie Bernie with Jack Black. We watched it Thursday. It’s a true story and I’m still thinking about it. Have any of you watched Lars and the Real Girl? That was another one Diane told me about, and when Michael and I sat down to watch, at first I wasn’t sure I would care for it. But I ended up being so touched by it, and have recommended it to several people. Very quirky though! And last night we watched 84 Charing Cross Road and I liked it. Michael thought it was a little boring, but I thought it was worth watching. What have you seen recently that you would recommend?

Anyway, here’s the scarf I’m knitting.

The yarn is from the yarn company my daughter started and eventually sold, Three Irish Girls, and the colorway is “Cooler By the Lake.” A while back our city was visited by the King and Queen of Norway, and in honor of their arrival Sharon designed several colorways that represent notable parts of our city. The yarn was presented to the King and Queen, and then Sharon made it available later as limited editions. This yarn was dyed to look like a prominent tourist attraction in our harbor, the William A. Irvin ore boat and surroundings.

See the rusty/brownish color of the ship’s hull? And the gorgeous blue sky? And if you look you can see another of our landmarks, the gray Aerial Bridge right behind the ship to the left of the smokestack. Sharon combined these colors to make this colorway, and I think it’s unique and lovely.

I think it has a masculine look to it, but I won’t hesitate to wear this scarf if I end up keeping it for myself. Here’s another peek at the yarn that shows a bit more of the gray:

And the phrase “cooler by the Lake” is one heard a lot around here. Lake Superior has a tempering effect on the weather in Northeastern Minnesota, usually making the temps cooler by the Lake in the summertime, and a bit warmer in the winter.

If you would like to see the other colorways Sharon designed for the royals, you can click here to see photos.

Do you work on anything creative or crafty in the winter time? If so, what is it? If you would like to send me a photo of your project/s I’ll post it here too.

Have a blessed weekend…


  1. Kay in Cornwall says:

    I didn’t realize you were a knitter, Julie! I’m not very good at knitting, just plain & pearl and casting on/off. But I CAN make dishcloths! 🙂 I’m not at all creative,but maybe now, I should think about making a scarf …
    I really love ’84 Charing Cross Road’ – such a gentle film. Recently I watched ‘The Duchess’ starring Keira Knightly about Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. I felt so sorry for her. Also, do you watch the ‘Midsomer Murders’ series? I love it because it’s full of stunning locations, eccentric characters and ingenious murders.
    Alan and I love the Herriot books and programmes. And of course we live in Doc Martin country, so we think it would be a very good idea if you and Michael made a trip to England again. No doubt about it! 🙂
    Love to you and Michael xxoo

  2. Just Julie says:

    Kay, we watch Midsomer Murders all the time…we just reached the episodes where Sgt Troy is gone and we miss him. I agree about the locations and characters! And it’s hard to wait for the next season of Doc Martin…the only thing that could be better would be a visit to Cornwall! Xxoo

  3. Linda says:

    I am in LOVE Sharon’s beautiful colored yarn creations and the way she artfully displays and explains the inspiration behind the colors. I crocheted many years ago but have always wanted to learn to knit…my mom tried to teach me but I just couldn’t get it. I was so inspired by Sharon’s offer to make blankets for the families of the Sandy Hook elem. school tragedy that I took up a knitting class last month offered free at our County library. I am determined to send her several squares…almost done my first one and hope to finish it in tomorrow’s class. Afraid, however, she’ll have all the blankets made & sent before I get one done! These may be the only thing I knit as I’ve been finding it a bit challenging as I’m left handed and remember now why my mother had such a hard time teaching me.
    Also….I love the British/Aussi movies too! My mom is from Australia and we always had exposure to them growing up. Just put “All Creatures Great & Small” in my Netflix cue….I tried to read the book a while ago but just couldn’t hang in there. Have you seen the Catherine Cookson Anthologies? I liked them all very much. How about “Bleak House”? Good one! But I think one of my favorite movies of all was “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont”. My husband does NOT like Brit movies…but occasionally I can rope him in if I “translate” 🙂
    Warm hugs to you dear Julie…

  4. Just Julie says:

    Hi Linda, Your comments are always so nice to read – thank you for the time you take. I think Sharon would still be so happy to have whatever you make – and she’ll be touched that you actually took up knitting again in order to give to this project!

    You may have already searched online, but I found several slow videos teaching left handed knitting – here’s one:

    About “All Creatures Great and Small” – if you didn’t care for the book I’m not sure you’ll love the show like Michael and I do, but I’d actually try the books again when you can. I can’t put them down and am in awe of the writing, the humor, how heart warming each chapter is.

    I have never heard of the Catherine Cookson Anthologies and can’t wait to look them up after posting this response to you – thank you Linda! We LOVED “Bleak House” — “shake me up Judy!” still makes us laugh. And will look up the Mrs. Palfrey one too.

    Warm hugs back to you, dearest Linda. xxoo

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