Sunday, December 22, 2013

Almost done

All the presents that needed mailing have gone out, including the one with dry ice.  That's a whole 'nother saga but I don't want the recipient to know about it yet.  One present yet to finish knitting (we are not discussing wrapping).  Had some tea and energy and just boogied along until I got to end of the instructions last night to find it said, "Using a flat seam, join sole and back seams." arghhhhhh

I hate seams.  I am no good at seams.  They look lousy when I do them.  As a result I design without them or use live stitch kitchener grafting instead.   However this is a pattern I chose for Fondle This 2014 so I wanted to test it out and what better way than to use some of Jim's chunky handspun and make a nice present.  The pattern is Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura.

What's eerie is that Debbie, at Knit Knite, was working on a pair.  There must be hundreds of slipper patterns on Ravelry, yet we both chose the same one. Great minds.  vbg    I was so pleased to see how hers were turning out.  That spurred me on to finishing, wrapping and mailing the big knitted present so I actually could.

I wrote an email to my Knit Knite group bemoaning the fact that Ruth was no longer with us to do my seams up for me.  Becki suggested lots of chocolate but I don't think there is enoough.  Woe is me.  Ruth made extra money finishing knitted garments for folks and always  did any seams I needed doing. I was verily spoiled.  Now that she has passed I guess I either have to learn how or completely avoid them.  My preference is avoidance.

So while I was in the avoidance mode I decided that I would start the next slipper with a provisional cast on so I could kitchener it together at the end [and here I was just going to follow along and not do any changing.  Sheesh. I must be constitutionally not able to do that.] Kitchenering seems way easier.  Those ideas led me to thinking about picking up the cast-on stitches and kitchenering it anyway instead of flat seaming.  So I got out some US 4's (slippers are done on US9's) and picked up edge stitches, lots of edge stitches.
And this morning, with a fresh mind, I slowly worked the picked up stitches off the two small needles, realizing as I went along that a provisional would have been way faster and easier but that this cobbled method was infinitely better than my seaming.
One done, one to go folks!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Saga Part III

We got a call on Monday from a driver for New England Motor Freight (NEMF) telling us that they put our replacement stove on his truck but that particular truck did not have a lift gate.  Manually downloading a 375 pound item was not feasible.  While he was on the phone I checked about whether or not he had received instructions to deliver the stove down to our basement level.  Nope.  Just curbside delivery and he would be back probably the next morning to drop the stove.

So my next move was to call Colina at Home Depot Resolution and tell her that NEMF had not gotten the delivery memo.  I also checked with NEMF dispatch in Binghamton and she said she had to get those instructions from the manufacturer.  Just in case, the next morning we had our wonderful roofing guys out anyway to remove the beautiful but nonfunctional #^$#^%^$ so called pellet stove. Alas no call came so we called dispatch around 11.  Sherry said the driver was having snow problems and would be here about 1:30.
1:30 came and went and we knew our guys were busy later in the afternoon so resigned ourselves to spending big bucks on propane for another day.  About 3pm the driver called saying he could not get up our hill.  He had tried 3 times to no avail and would try again on Friday.  arghhhhhhh  Friday it's supposed to rain.  Our road will be an icy bobsled run.   So I called Jim to let him know and Jim called dispatch and the driver.  Seems they sent him out in a 53 foot semi that has problems with steep hills but only upwards.  Jim told him how to go around through Spencer and then Langford Creek Road to the top of Tupper and down.
About 4 he arrived in his huge semi, but again by himself.  Jim helped him lug the stove onto a dolly and down our driveway to park overnight behind my car.
Alas, another day on propane.  This is getting mighty expensive.  I called Colina to let her know the guy refused to bring the stove down and that we had hired a couple of guys for the next day to do that for us.  She said she had given delivery instructions but for whatever reason they were not forwarded.  She immediately said she would give us a very nice credit on my Home Depot card to offset this latest expense.  All told we have received quite a bit in Home Depot credit.  So even though this has been a major pain and Jim has spent an enormous amount of his time trying to fix the old stove instead of doing shop work we are coming out OK.

Morning Report:  The new pellet stove worked all night with no problems.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Amazing, after all these years

I've always avoided sleeves on sweaters.  Well not always, as I do make sweaters, but the sleeves are the worst part for me.  I don't care if the sweater is top down, or bottom up or steeked, the sleeves are the fiddliest parts and are about a third of the knitting too.  This may be why I tend toward short sleeved cardis and sweaters, especially with a top down one as once you move the sleeve stitches to waste yarn there is very little left to do on them.

I really dislike sewing them onto an armhole opening so usually do them in the round once the body of the sweater is completed.  This necessitates lifting the entire sweater and twisting it all around about every 20 stitches so that it doesn't become tangled and hard to knit. Think about it, *knit 20 stitches, lift the entire sweater, do not get it on the table, twist it all while hanging onto the sleeve end and not getting the yarn tangled, then put it down again, avoiding the coffee/tea cup*, knit 20 stitches....and repeat ad infinitum between the asterisks.  I find myself avoiding this part big time,  which really messes with Holiday Knitting deadlines.

So there I was grousing at the fact that I soon had to do this with sleeve #2 when I finally decreased the first sleeve to the cuff area and switched to 2 circs.  I think in the past I may have used dpns as the revelation seemed new to me, not something I forgot.  So I am busy ribbing and noticed that all I need do is turn the sleeve first one way, then the other when I pick up the second set of circs.  Delightfully I needn't lift the entire sweater. I did that several times until it finally dawned on me that I could do the entire sleeve on 2 circs and avoid all that sweater lifting and twisting.

This old dog just learned a new trick!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Two Sagas, Part II

Part II is the ROOF - first installment

Saturday night we heard a loud crashing on the roof.  Looked outside but didn't see anything unusual so decided it was ice letting loose and crashing down to the next roof level as we have several levels of rooves.  In the morning this is what I found when I opened my closet door.

aiyyyyyyyyyyyy and this is what the roof looks like.

We called State Farm and within 2 hours a guy from Service Master was here.  Meanwhile Joanne helped me to empty most of the closet in preparation. Once he was here we decided that a tarp would not last the winter as metal rooves are notoriously difficult to nail things to so he took down all the shelves and insulation and put up heavy plastic to funnel the melted snow into what he called a bucket.

Alas, I am realizing just how much 'stuff' one can pile into a closet as it is now all over the bedroom.

On Wednesday the adjuster came and spent quite a bit of time looking over the damage, although because of the ice and snow he did not go up to the roof.  We all agreed that a patch of some kind was needed ASAP or more damage would occur when it rained or in a snowstorm.  BTW he also gave us a very nice check even after our $1000 deductible was taken out.  Jim called some guys and they are due today.
Well the guys got here and said that this was the third roof this week they were working on.  Alas it is so cold nothing is sticking so our idea of using Black Jack and a patch would not work.  Jim is buying the metal panel this weekend and the guys will be back Monday to actually replace the panel.  Of course we are having a snow storm this weekend so the 'bucket' may get rather filled but there is light at the end of this tunnel too.
This picture is sideways for some reason but shows the part of the tree still standing and the snow coming down.  Don't know how I did the animation and the snow is sideways too.  :^)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Two Sagas. Part I

I haven't written in months.  Life just got in the way I guess.
I'm not going to try to fill in the gaps, just get going.

Saga I the Pellet Stove
Last year our 8 year old pellet stove started smoking and bit the dust.  We decided that it worked really well for 6 years and to get a new one remembering that they don't last forever.  We researched and chose a US Stove that seemed to have more modern features like an internal ash pan and a circuit board that controlled the feed and air.  We bought it in July on purpose.  We wanted to be ahead of the game.  Get the stove installed before the fall rains and winter snows.  Get pellets into the basement in the same time frame.  We did all that and felt good.

Then fall came and the heating season started in October.  Nothing serious, just night time heating. We'd put in one 40# bag of pellets and let the stove work through them on low.  It heated the house very well and we felt good.

Then November came and with it more cold.  The first time we called customer service was 11/5 as the motor stopped working. Jim was very good about trying to fix it but it took a lot of his time and was frustrating.  By that afternoon the stove company decided they would send us a new auger motor.  They refused to ship it expedited unless we paid $89.  Instead we paid for 6 days of propane usage.
Then Jim had a lot of problems installing the motor as it is located someplace a monkey might be able to reach.  Plus the pin kept shearing.  By now it was 11/12 and I was over this but Jim continued to talk with many Customer Service reps.  I wanted them to replace the whole stove but Jim is more laid back than I.  I did not feel good.

Well he called 6 times on 11/13 and they decided it was the micro switch and needed resetting.
That worked until 11/25 when the auger stopped feeding.  But that was a holiday so we had another 4 days of propane usage. He made 2 more calls on 12/2, the one on 12/3, then another on 12/4.  The thing worked sort of until 12/9. On 12/10 Jim said he had finally had it.  I blew up.  How long did he wait  before doing anything serious?  Why hadn't he yet spoken to a manager?  Why did he wait over a  month yet had not yet even asked for a replacement stove?

Meanwhile I had written a review on the Home Depot web site but just then got a rejection email saying that review should not discuss customer service.  That Home Depot should be contacted if there was a problem like that.  OK I thought, let's put it in their hands.

I called Customer Service and was really listed to.  Joyce asked me if I would agree to be on hold for 5 minutes while she contacted Customer Resolution.  She came back telling me they had picked out another stove for us and if we agreed with their choice to call Colina and let her know..  They would replace the US Stove with this one and deliver it to us.  We looked over the choices and agreed.  When I next spoke to Colina we talked about the problems we had and the fact that we used a whole lot of propane as well.  She not only sent the stove to be delivered right to where it will be installed, but also gave us a $450 credit on our Home Depot card plus an eGift card for $75 for more pellets. We both felt good.

We've concluded that since no one at Home Depot wanted proof of our problems that this was not the first time they had heard complaints about this stove.   Sure enough, the reviews from this fall are horrible and if we had waited we would never have purchased anything from US Stove.
We need to live with the existing malfunctioning one for another week and then the new one should be here.  Oh yes, and once it is here and installed we call Home Depot again and they will have someone come take out the old one and junk it.
 Soon the house will be toasty instead of 62 degrees and we will feel very good and warm.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Friend Ruth

I can't remember when Ruth and I met, nor where, but it seems like we knew each other forever.  We spun and knit and joked.  We made pillow cases at her house one holiday season to give out as presents.  We shared our love for animals, food, the environment and politics.  She always came over to help do inventory in late July or early August or would just come sit and knit with me on the shop deck for a couple of sunny hours.

Ruth often modeled for my original designs and was my best test knitter.

In 2007 above, modeling the Distaff Basket and early October 2012 below modeling We Shawl.

She was also an enthusiastic teacher and demonstrator of fiber arts.
Showing simple weaving, Roc Day 1/2009
Teaching spindling at one of my Open Houses, July 2009

As an active member of our Spinning guild, Ruth was on the Roc Day committee and fully participated in guild programs.
 2nd from right, 2010
modeling the monster squash we were trying to guess the weight of, fall 2011.

She was an original member, with Carole L and me, of our weekly Knit Knite which started at Wegmans then moved to its current incarnation at Panera's.  Ruth taught most of the Nurse's Aides in our county through a program at Oak Hill Nursing Home.  She loved dressing up on Holidays for the nursing home festivities and often brought her guitar in to sing alongs.  The is the last picture I have of her (Oct 31, 2012 at Knit Knite) before she had her first seizure in December.

Ruth spent December, 2012 through late July, 2013 striving to get ahead of her brain cancer, and for a while she did, but it was an aggressive tumor and by June she was losing ground.  Ruth entered Hospicare in August where they took amazingly loving care of her.  On the 31st she was resting so peacefully we knew it was a matter of days before she left us. She passed to another plane on Wednesday morning, September 4, 2013.  She will be sorely missed by not only me but her family and all the friends she lovingly touched over the years.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Emergency Knitting

I spent a lovely morning yesterday interviewing stitch patterns for a new design I am brewing. It's a 2 color piece but I haven't yet made up my mind as to its look.  Definitely with fingering yarns and not difficult, but it still has to be interesting enough to keep the boredom away yet allow for social knitting. Cafe au lait but not skinny sugar free decaf latte.

   These are in the running for stitch pattern winners.
Obviously the curled up one will not make it.  Jim likes the blue and red sample.  I thought I liked the grey and sea green one but it might be too fussy.  Well.......then I realized it was 11:30am and I still hadn't sent out Thursday's Newsletter so got myself up to the shop and started that several hour procedure.

A little after noon Jim called me to say he thought I should take him to the Emergency Room. HUH?  Well his pulse was erratic and he has a history of atrial flutter. OK immediate change of gears!!!!
I shut down the computer and started to get myself ready.  Finished getting dressed, well I was dressed but not for public consumption.  Then I asked Jim if he had called his cardio dr. No. So while he answered a zillion questions I got my iPad  and cell into my purse then started collecting enough knitting to get me through the day.  One never knows how long one will be in the Emergency Room.
Last time they admitted him and he was in ICU for a week.  We kinda knew it wouldn't be like that this time as we know what causes his flutter.  Sleep Apnea.

Into my Michelle knitting bag I threw the two almost complete socks I have been working on and off for the last 6 months as car knitting.  Plus a little dress I started for a darling little girl and just in case I finished both socks, some yarn to start my sister a pair.  That felt like enough to get me through the day.

Around 1pm, I let him off at the Emergency Room door and went to park the car.  By the time I got back into the Room he had already had an electrocardiogram.  From our cardio experiences there Cayuga Medical has a very good Emergency Room.  Then they moved him into a much more 'decorated' room with carts and charts and tubes and bells and whistles and beeps.  The NP really listened to both Jim and me as to history and Jim's allergies to certain meds.  His heart rate was fluctuating between 90 and 145 but his blood pressure was good and so were his other signs.  Of course they took blood and gave him an Xray.  The Dr in the Room said all those looked fine but we would wait for the cardio Dr on call.  They gave him some intravenous meds and fluids meanwhile to see if his heart would reconcile itself.  Well, it did moderate his pulse and lower it but there was still fibrillation. Yep, no flutter, real atrial fibrillation. The Dr on call turned out to be Dr Swisher whom Jim really likes so that was a good thing.

Meanwhile Jim was very thirsty and rather hungry as he hadn't even had breakfast.  At one point he was allowed to suck on 3 ice chips but nothing else.  Turns out if he had eaten anything they would need to wait 8 hours to do a cardiac inversion and that looked more and more possible with each half hour.  Then we had shift change which seems to slow everything down for an hour.
The new RN's were great, very motherly, efficient and also listened well besides being very upbeat.

Meanwhile I tried to write the newsletter with my iPad.  Got only so far and then the screen kept freezing.  I called ConstantContact and was told that I needed a special app plus would need to kinda start over with a new app template to use that app.  "OK.  Let the work end of the day go." I told myself.  "Just be there for Jim and knit."

Somewhere around 5:30 Dr Swisher made the decision.  They gave Jim the forget everything drugs and shooed me out.  I went to the cafe to have a snack, having not eaten lunch in all the excitement.  About an hour later Dr Swisher came out to tell me all went exceedingly well as one very small jolt righted his heart rate.  We now only had to wait for the drugs to wear off and for them to make sure his pressure stayed stable.  Long story short, we got out of there about 7:30.

AND the best news is: Jim is cleared to paddle in the DragonBoat races tomorrow.

As for all that knitting.  This is what I accomplished.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Crochet Hook Beading

Never string another bead for a knitting project again.

I love beads.  Well I seem to love glitz, which is why I add angelina to most of my Pixie Batts and favor yarn with stellina.  I also find ways to add beads to most of my patterns in one way or another.

At vendings when I tell folks that they can add the beads one at a time, exactly where they are called for, people get rather happy and want to use this method.  After all stringing 100 or 500 or even 1000 beads is tedious at best and feels like the string weighs 6 pounds instead of a few ounces.  Also moving those beads up and down the yarn actually begins to wear on the thread as well.

So first off put your beads into an open container.  The container can have a lid but leave it open for now.  Also acquire a steel US 9-12 crochet hook.  

Skewer a bead.

Snag the next stitch (the one that is to be beaded) with the hook.

Pull the loop through the bead being careful not to split the yarn.

Now replace that beaded loop back onto the left needle and knit or purl as directed.

That all folks!  Simple, easy and convenient.  
The only thing you might want to do is slide the bead up the stitch a bit once it is knit.  
Really now, even those of you who have stayed away from beaded items can add some glitz in your projects too.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are"  Anonymous

Basel left us on April 8.  It has taken me this long to be able to write anything about him.  I miss him terribly.  He lived to be 13.5 years which is approx 4.5 years longer than the vet predicted.  That part is marvelous so I don't begrudge him leaving at all.  I just miss his wonderful loving presence in my life.

He went quietly over a couple of days.  Actually once we realized his body was shutting down, we called in the traveling vet to see if she agreed.  She did and so gave him the needed shots so he could pass peacefully into doggie heaven.

Basel came to us as a rescue out of a guy's apartment.  He had 2 broken legs from a car accident that had not been dealt with so the poor guy dragged himself around for that length of time until a couple of women broke into this guy's apartment and removed the 6 month old rottie.  We found a vet that would do the surgery for cost. What a happy puppy!  It was predicted that he could never jump or run but he overcame it all. He actually levitated into the back of my Pilot until he was about 9, then he used a ramp.  Basel loved all creatures and slept with the bunnies and some of our cats.  He especially enjoyed being a shop dog and greeting all customers.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

More Zentangles

I just love doing these little drawings.  So relaxing and satisfying.  No real set up, easy to start and sets my day up beautifully.

A set with some new and old tangles.  The one on the lower left reminds me of a wasp nest.

Learned a new one, Purk, this morning.

But my fav of the last week is this Poke Root metamorphosis.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bulky EarFlap Hat

A FREE pattern as promised. (with thanks to Cathy C.)

Bulky EarFlap Hat for many sizes

This pattern works great for those of you who have leftovers that seem too small in yardage to make something by themselves but still too much to throw away.  The blue (CC) in this hat is hand spun and the grey is natural alpaca/wool (MC) I had sitting around.

A rolled brim, warm earflap hat with braided ties.  Looks great on everyone.
Easy to Intermediate Level Knitting. 
Sizes: 9-12mo (Toddler, Child, Small, Medium, Large)
Fits heads 16”(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) around.
Hat Measurements 15(16.75, 18, 18.75, 20, 21)”
Needles: US 10 / 3.73mm 16” circs plus dpns for ear flaps and crown of hat & baby size.  Or size to make gauge.
Gauge: 3 st/in in st st.  Row gauge not needed as we use inches for lengths.
Notions: Stitch markers
Yarn: Approx 30-55 yds of Main Color (depending on size being worked) of bulky yarn. Contrasting Color will be 35-70yds of bulky.

Ear Flaps
Make two the same.  These will convex curve so that they fit nicely over ears.

Using US 10 dpns cast on 2(3, 3, 2, 3, 3) stitches in CC.
Most rows begin with slip 1 purlwise and end with k thru back loop.

Row 1 (RS): ktbl, k to last st, ktbl
Row 2 WS : sl1p, pbf, purl to last 2st, pbf, ktbl
Row 3 (RS): sl1p,kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, ktbl
Cont with rows 2 & 3 until you have 8(9, 11, 12, 13, 14) sts
Work even in stockinette until flap measures 2(2.25, 2.75, 3, 3.25, 3.5)”
    Remember to start each row with sl1 purlwise and end with ktbl.

Hold these 2 cuties on their dpns for a bit later.

Hat Body
Note - If making hat without earflaps – cast on total number of stitches and ignore ear-flap instructions.
1.    With circular needle, and MC cast on using a long-tail stretchy method or a larger needle, 45(50, 54, 56, 60, 63) stitches. Join without twisting and place a Beginning Of Round marker at this point.
2.    Knit around for 3 rounds making a curled edge.

Attaching the earflaps
On the next round, knit 4(5, 5, 6, 7, 7) sts then:
1.    Place one earflap on its dpn behind the circular needle – right side of flap to wrong side of hat both right sides face you as the knitter.
2.    Working in stockinette stitch - work a stitch from each needle together as you would with 1 stitch. (This is similar to working 2 stitches together – EXCEPT each stitch is on a different needle.) You will be joining the hat body to the earflap without increasing any stitches.
3.    Knit another 21(22, 22, 20, 20, 21) sts and then attach the second flap in the same way as the first.  Complete the round.
4.    Work one round in purl using CC. Do not cut off CC. Twist up BOR, pulling taut, until needed.

      Hat sides
Striping Pattern 1: 2 rounds MC, 2 rounds CC, 1 round MC, 2 rounds CC starting just above the purl round then again just before the purl round* near the crown.

Knit around for ~3(3.25, 3.75, 4.25, 4.75, 5) total inches from the garter ridge or desired length before crown decrease.
·       Measure your 7 round striping.  Subtract this number from the total inches for your size. 
At that point work another striping set as follows:
Striping Pattern 2: 2 rounds CC, 1 round MC, 2 rounds CC, 2 rounds MC.
Purl 1 round in CC.

Can be worked all in MC or concentric circle colors as follows:
*2 rounds MC, 2 rounds CC*  making concentric circles
Round 1 – *K 3(3, 4, 5, 8, 7), sl 1 as to purl, k1, pass slipped st over k st* - Repeat from * to * to complete round.
Round 2 and all even rows: Knit even - no dec.
Round 3 - *K 2(2, 3, 4, 7, 6), sl 1, k1, pass slipped st over k st*.
Round 5 - *K 1(1, 2, 3, 6, 5), sl 1, k1, psso*.
Change to dpns when sts become hard to move around the needle.
Round 7 - *K 0(0, 1, 2, 5, 4), sl 1, k1, psso*.
·       Baby and toddler finish as below.
Round 9 - *K –(-, 0, 1, 4, 3), sl 1, psso*.
·       Child finish as below.
·       Medium – knit one more round even then finish as below.
    Rounds 11 - *K –(-, -, 0, 3, 2), sl 1, psso*.
·       Small finish as below
o   For medium continue until *k1, sl1, psso*
o   For large continue until *k0, sl1, psso*
§  Finish as below.

Cut yarn 6 - 7 inches from end of last round, thread an embroidery needle and pull through all remaining stitches twice around – pull taut and then to inside of hat. Knot and weave yarn end in to secure the stitches.

Add Pompom, button or tassel as desired to center crown.

Measure out, in both colors, four lengths of yarn each measuring about a yard or meter.   Put a length of each color together and thread between stitches a couple rows up and to the right of center from bottom of one earflap.  Pull through until ends meet each other.  Do this again with another 2 but place it to the left of center. Place the hat on something that will hold it secure and braid the yarns (not tightly) until you have 12 – 15” of cording, incorporating the beginning tail into the braid as far as it will go. Make a knot near the end of this braid then cut the remaining yarn to 2-3 inches long. 
Do the same with the remaining yarn on the other earflap.

Weave in yarn ends and block on a balloon or overturned mixing bowl.

© Susan Sarabasha  3/13   For personal use only.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


    For the past few years I've been doing more designing of patterns than artwork.  It channels my creativity in more practical ways and is very satisfying.  However I do like to draw, but have been so dissatisfied with my drawings of late I just about stopped.  I mostly did illustration, realism and scientific illustration as I never understood abstract drawing.

During this time I've looked at many 'how to' books but they are all for beginners and seemed too basic for what was needed which was refresher stuff.  Then about a month ago I happened upon Zentangles.
  • (BTW apple and google are not playing nice with each other.  I am writing this blog thru FireFox as somehow, with the last few Safari/OS 10.x updates, the URL link function no longer works on blogspot for me. AAMOF other tools sometimes don't work either.)
I researched it well and decided to download the One Zentangle a Day book onto my Kindle app on my iPad.  It was/is exactly what I have been wanting.  One exercise a day is all that is required, maybe taking a half hour, meditative, non representational yet eductational in terms of light, dark and shading.  I already have all the pens and pencils so it was a relatively easy thing to start doing.
Making the time for myself each morning is the hard part.

The student is slowly worked through exercises and then combination drawings as we go along.  It's meant to be a 6 week course, but since I am sometimes only doing one exercise a day and not the entire chapter my progress is slower.  Actually, I like the fact that it will take more time.

We practice shapes individually.

Then put them together as directed.

Here's a more recent mix.  Again part of the plan.  It's all about texture, light, dark, shading and deliberate shapes making the whole look 3 dimensional but not of anything truly real.

And this morning I made my very first, on my own, Zentangle,
 using only tangles I have so far learned.  
A sheepy! 
Although I will admit that I started out thinking it might be a bunny but went with the flow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Iknitarod Frenzy

I really should have written this at least a week or two ago but got so caught up in the Iditarod, Fantasy Iditarod and Iknitarod that I hardly did any work and mostly did knitting and moderating for 10 days.

Each year we follow this amazing race across Alaska.  Even though I taught it in my classes this was one of the few school related things I kept doing after retiring from middle school.

I also do a special colorway each year commemorating the race.
There's fiber too.

During the race, on Ravelry, those of us in the Iknitarod choose something challenging to spin &/or knit.  This year I chose to knit a sweater for

My challenge was to complete the Scrap Shawl Collared Sweater, and if time, a matching hat.  I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, bulky and some hand dyed hand spun I just happened to have in my burgeoning stash.

ready to split for the front and back

shawl collar in process.  Very different construction than I am used to but it worked great.

On to the sleeves.

Sleeves done and 2 ear flaps.

Basel was not pleased.  I finished my challenge in a little over 9 days, on the same day that about 25 mushers came under the burled arch in Nome.
I am in process of writing out this hat pattern and will offer it for free very soon.