Join me as I share my crafty journey with you. I continue to expand my repertoire of hobbies. I knit, sew, crochet, bead and probably most importantly am a lover of science fiction. Occasionally I even pick up a book. I play Nerd Wars for Team Stargate Command which consumes most of my time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Knit Crochet Blog Week Day 7

Crafting Balance
     I'm a knitter.  Its what I was taught and what I enjoy.  I prefer the look of knitting and I find it easier.  I do, however, know the basics of crochet.  I just shared a project yesterday that had a crochet lace portion to it.  I have to admit, I really enjoyed that.  For now, since I'm new to fibre crafting I think I'll stick to knitting primarily.  I love that I can crochet, there are certain things where it really is superior.  Tea towel toppers are much easier to crochet.  Edgings work better in crochet.  I have a really great pot holder pattern that is single crochet.(I'll link it)  It gets crocheted "in the round" so the pot holder winds up double thick with a nifty diagonal pattern.  I think both crafts have their uses and I don't understand the crochet haters.  As I said, I prefer the look of knitting for garments and such, but crocheted lace is beautiful.  Eventually I hope to tackle some more crochet projects.  I found I like the look of mixing knitting and crochet.  Its probably because the Elf Cobblers are fresh in my mind, but I'm really pleased with the way they came out.  That's all really. 
     I want to clean up my WIPs in the month between T4 and T5.  I wish I could have finished Dream Shrug since I started it in May of last year.  I hate to have projects sit for an entire year.  I may finish it, just so it stops taunting me.  I hope to do a dissertation next tourney so I need to start searching for a suitable 3 month project for me.  Right now I'm leaning toward socks.  I've never done them so I figure it'll take a bit to get over the learning curve.  I also am really bad at making the second part of a pair, so it could very well take me 3 months to finish two socks.  I also don't want to go too big first time out, since I want to finish the vast majority of the challenges each round.  I'd like to beat my record from this tourney.  I have a pile of dishcloths that need to be seamed and have ends woven in.  There is also of course that poor poor mitten that needs a few rows on the thumb.  I'll have to take pictures of the WIP pile and update when I get everything finished.
That's it for Knit Crochet Blog Week, its been fun!  Happy crafting!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Knit Crochet Blog Week Day Six

Skill set
     I've been knitting as an adult for about two years now.  I've come a long way since those first few projects.  I've learned many techniques, but I still have a long way to go.  I find that I work myself up too much before I try something new.  I always find the new technique easier than I think its going to be.  Knitting in the round made no sense to me.  Then I got the correct length needles.  I couldn't even spell Kitchener Stitch, now I've got it memorized.  I waited forever before I tried cables.  Cables rock!  I "don't" crochet.  I just finished a project that was a third crochet.  (More on that later)  The only thing I've tried and miserably failed at was double knitting.  When I say failed, I mean my finished project looks like crap.  I did, however, finish, and I now know what I'm doing.  So I guess that's not a failure.  So, to make things easier for all of us here's a list of the things I want to learn/master.
-Double Knitting
-Socks!  (There is a deadline on this one 12/21/12, its a long story and it involves the Zombie Apocalypse)
-Color work, stranded knitting and I think its called Swiss Darning, where you follow over existing stitches with a different color.
-Real lace knitting, shawls or wraps with small needles (I have a small needle phobia)
-Knitted Ami, not sure if my little Red Blood Cell counts.
-Sweaters, I tend to do smaller projects so I want to do some more time consuming ones.
-Crochet, I was intending to keep focusing on knitting but I found out I do enjoy crochet.
-Finishing, its what makes an item look handmade not homemade, as they say.
-Traveling cables, the Celtic ones

     The list could go on, and of course it does.  My queue on Ravlery is getting longer and longer.  I have given up on keeping it short.  I have many years ahead of me to make everything I want to twice.  So more on the crochet.  I learned Half Double Crochet (HDC) and the Puff stitch.  I think my puff stitches were too small.  I was using a two ply baby llama (you know the one if you've read my blog before), its very splitty for crochet.  I kept grabbing only one of the plys with my hook, or bringing parts of another stitch with me.  So when I do this pattern again, I'll use a four ply.  The pattern was Elf Clobber (link at bottom).  The pattern was a bit vague for my liking but with the help of YouTube I muddled through.  The second cuff looks better because I had figured out what I was supposed to be doing in the crochet part.  It still isn't correct, since I crocheted through all the back loops (yarn splitty problem).  But, I really like them.  I used Queensland Collection Soft Mohair for the purple knitted section.  I checked today.  I got that yarn more than a year ago, April 11 2011.  I love it!  I'm really glad I used it for these.  I was going to use both skeins for a scarf, but these cuffs used up really close to half of one skein.  They are much smaller than I thought they were.

     I got some really good pictures today.  Who would have thought that natural day light makes that big of a difference.  This is a bit off topic but I posted three challenges for Nerd Wars today.  The RBC and the IgG Antibodies were for the Noob challenge.  I've showed you those.  I also posted these Elf Cobbler cuffs for the Follow the Leader challenge. I also posted Bella's Mittens.

The cable on Bella's Mittens was a new one for me.  It really stands out, its why I made them in the first place.  These were super fun to do.  I think they'll be pretty warm too.  I used them for the Battle of the Bards challenge.
  That one shows the cable off a little better.  There is very little time left here in April, so I'm not going to be melting the cube.  I'm really hoping to get one more project done before Monday.  Wish me luck. 
I also got kind of an artsy pic today, I think its really cool.  Happy crafting!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Knit Crochet Blog Week Day Five

And now for something completely different...

     I sit here, unfinished.  I'm not sure when I came into existence.  I just became.  I have a spine and a limb.  (Part of one at least)  She made most of me in one day.  Then I sat, with a hole, where my thumb should be.  She found more building material somewhere and started my limb.  Then that was it.  She waved a square black totem above me that flashed bright light.  Then I sat with the tools still in my limb.  I was moved a few times, farther and farther away.  Now I'm in the dark.  Alone.  Well, not completely alone.  There are two others near me, but they don't talk the way I do.  I cant understand them.  I do know I'm second.  I have a mate, but I don't know where he is.  I think I hear him sometimes, but he's far away.  He's in one of the places She goes to often.  There is another similar to me here.  He arrived last night.  He is from the same building material as me, but he's not my mate.  I don't understand why I've been here so long.  If she has more material, why is She making more, not like me?  Why hasn't she finished me yet?  Am I wrong in some way?  Have I been forgotten?  I don't want to be in the dark anymore.

     Its my poor cursed second Hermoine Mitten.  As soon as Nerd Wars is done, or I finish the Elf Cobbler cuffs, which ever happens first.  This mitten will be finished and joined with her mate.  Its bugging me, can you tell?  Also I need my US5s back for my socks.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Knit Crochet Blog Week Day Four

Crafting for the Seasons

     I don't know if I've been knitting long enough to track my trends.  So far I seem to start winter projects in the winter, but not actually finish them til spring.  I do make dishcloths year round and the majority of them right before Christmas, as that's when the demand is.  This year, I have planned some projects actually taking the season into account.  I have the yarn to make Amiga.  (See link at bottom of page)  Amiga is a warm weather sweater. 

     I've picked up Berroco Pure Pima which is a DK weight pima cotton.  The pattern calls for US 8s, so the fabric will be light and airy.  I'm especially looking forward to this project, for a couple reasons.  One, I want something light I can keep with me at work.  The lab tends to be warm in the summer, especially around the larger analyzers (the Vistas).  So I usually wear light T-shirts.  Once I go on break though I get chilly, so I want to have a light weight something to wrap up in.  I would do a shawl, but break time is eating time and I'm afraid I'd run it through my food all the time.  Lets face it, my dinner ends up in my lap more than in my mouth so something fitted is kind of a must.  With all that being said, I still do alot of cold weather knitting all summer.  I live in central New York, so summer is a relative term.  Its really just different levels of winter.  This year has been beyond strange.  We really didn't have winter so when "spring" arrived in February I actually got really depressed.  I love snow for two reasons.  I knit and we snowmobile.  This spring has been goofy too.  The weather has been going from 80-90s one week to mid 30s-40s the next.  No exaggeration.  It hit 90 last week.  When I came home this evening it was 37.  I actually regretted not having my cowl in my work bag.  I guess the short answer is I knit what I want when I want without regard to the current weather situation.  At this point I have room to store my items so its not a big deal for me to make a wool scarf in August and stash it somewhere for November (around here its been known to snow in October)
Happy crafting!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Knit Crochet Blog Week Day Three

My Knitting Hero(s)

     First and foremost is Jared Flood.  His designs are magnificent and the pattern write ups are excellent.  I learned how to do jogless stripes thanks to Turn a Square.  He only has a few patterns that are free, so I've only made two Jared Flood items so far.  However, since the other designs are so great I'm more than willing to pay for them.

Here's my Turn a Square.  Its a really great way to utilize a self striping yarn such as Noro.  I only used about half a skein each of the Noro Silk Garden and the Berroco Vintage.  I'm saving the left overs for another one. 
Here's my Noro Striped Scarf.  Again, alternating the stripes is a terrific way to show off self striping yarns.  Both of these items are mine.  I love me some Noro, and its pricey.  Most people I know aren't willing to spend forty dollars in yarn alone and then pay for someone to make it too.

     These two patterns are the tip of the iceberg for Brooklyn Tweed designs.  I have several more patterns in my Ravelry queue.  I really would like to tackle Koolhas sometime soon. 

     Another person I tend to stalk admire is Meg, the brains behind Twisted Fibre Arts.  (TwistedMeg on Rav)  I haven't had the chance to knit with anything yet (32 bucks a skein...) but the colors are A M A Z I N G.  One of the base yarns is called Catnip.  Catnip!  You know the saying you had me at hello, well Meg had me at Catnip.  I'm absolutely dying to try some Twisted.  (Hint hint my birthday is in August)

     Of course when I start talking about knitting hero's, I have to go back to the reasons I started knitting in the first place.  Obviously my Mom.  She taught me way back when I was 10 or 12ish.  I knit a couple dishcloths and a scarf and that was it for me.  Guess the scarf did me in.  (It still exists, I need to find this thing for posterity)  I dabbled poorly with crochet after that.  It was about two years ago that I started knitting as an adult.  My paternal grandmother still knits and crochets, shes into her 80s now.  She made dishcloths for all us girls for Christmas.  I sat mine under the tree and saw it everyday for a month or so.  Finally one day I said to myself.  "I can do that" and proceeded to go to the craft department at Walmart and pick up some yarn and needles.  I had to call my mother, of course at Walmart, to make sure I was getting the right stuff.  I remembered it had to be "special" cotton.  I even remember the two colors I got.  Peaches and Cream Light Blue and Potpourri.  This was back when it was still Elmore Pisgah P&C.  (I say back when, like its been years since Spinright bought them out...)  I've had a long family history of knitters and crocheters.  Both grandmothers, my maternal grandmother stopped though quite a few years ago.  My great-grandmothers.  Lena, my paternal grandmothers mother, made me lots of wonderful things.  She lived into her ninety's and crafted right up to the end.  I had the privilege of knowing her well.  I will always treasure the items she made me.  Unfortunately I don't know more of my extended family.  I have copious amounts of great aunts and uncles.  I know I must have more relatives who craft.  I do have an aunt, my moms sister in law, who knits so the two of us craft at family gatherings.  I'm hoping to inspire some other aunts and cousins this way.  

     Ravelry in general also inspires me.  The support and camaraderie is amazing.  I'm so glad I found it.  I probably would have abandoned knitting my now without it.  With Ravelry comes everything else.  The groups, the forums and of course I have to mention Nerd Wars.  I've never been much for sports or competitions before.  I'm a klutz and a geek, so I don't usually fit in very well.  (Not like knitting is helping with that either, but whatever)  Nerd Wars is competitive without being competitive.  Its fun and engaging and, yes, I let it stress me out, but not in a bad way.  When I say, on I have to get this, this and that done.  Its more of, I should/I want to get all these things done.  I know, though, that in the end, its no big deal.  Its just for fun, and bragging rights.  So speaking of Nerd Wars there are some cuffs I have to get done.

Below are the links to the patterns mentioned and a link to Twisted Fibre Arts.  Even if you dont knit.  Check out Twisted, just for the colors!  Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Knit Crochet blog Week Day 2


     Today I bring to you Direct Antiglobulin Testing (DAT).  This is a pretty simple immunohematology test performed in certain circumstances.  Some Blood Banks still include them with all crossmatches, but that's really an outdated practice.  So, players in this test are of course the red blood cell (RBC) and IgG Antibodies.  The DAT detects RBC's that are bound with IgG Antibodies.  One drop of the patients RBC's are placed into a glass test tube.  They are then washed 3 to 4 times with normal saline.  (Yes, quite literally washed, okay more like rinsed since there's no soap involved)  One drop of Anti-human globulin is added.  The tube is then centrifuged for 15 seconds and then "read".  (Using a mirror we re-suspend the cell button and visually observe the presence or absence of agglutination [clumping]).  If agglutination is observed the test is positive.  If negative a drop of Coombs Check cells are added.  The tube is centrifuged again for 15 sec. and then read again.  Agglutination must be observed at this point or the test is invalid.  So, say I've just gotten a positive DAT, what does that mean?  Well, here's the thing...  A DAT is a nonspecific test.  It can mean alot of things.  Other tests and some vital patient information must be taken into account.  If this patient is a newborn, the most likely cause is that some of the mothers cells have gotten into the babies blood stream and the babies immune system is attacking moms cells.  If this is an adult with a negative antibody screen, its most likely drug induced.  For our purposes in Blood Bank, we run DAT's when a Transfusion Reaction is reported and when we have positive Antibody Screens (not with every one)  A positive DAT along with a positive ASN and several (or all) positive panel cells usually indicates a Warm Auto-Antibody or a Cold Auto-Antibody.  Warm Autos are far more common.  So, what does a warm auto mean.  It means the patients red cells have been sensitised to their own immune system and this reaction is taking place at 37 degrees C (body temp).  Warm autos are generally seen in Hemolytic Anemia.  So as far a Blood Bank is concerned what does a positive DAT mean for us?  (Not, give it to Sal to work up)  It means there is other testing we cant' perform based on the nature of our testing practices and there is alot of testing we will have to perform in order to provide crossmatch compatible blood.  (Actually it does mean give it to Sal to work up.)  Essentially we have to revert back to another style of testing all together.  Most labs now use gel testing in blood bank.  There are a couple automated platforms now that use MTS gel technology.  Gel is in layman's terms, a multiphase microwell system that streamlines antiglobulin testing.  (As in, does everything we used to do in tube, faster and with less specimen.)  Washing is not necessary in gel and results are consistent, reproducible and now automated.  With a positive DAT, since there is no washing with gel, all testing done in gel will be positive because the patients cells are already sensitized to themselves.  (Washing the cells cleans away the access antibody so only IgG bound to the patients cells are tested.)  We use LISS technique when the DAT is positive)  LISS itself stands for Low Ionic Strength Solution.  There is an incubation step and lots of washing involved.  This allows us to work around the problem.  Patients with Warm autos give us headaches in the Blood Bank, they aren't necessarily difficult, the work ups are tedious and take extra time.  We, are of course, are always on the clock so this always becomes a problem with unstable or critical admissions.  Okay, I'm getting far too in depth for most of you!  Anyone still awake?  

     So this whole thing is supposed to be about pictures right, right.  This is all really vague unless you've had some immunology classes, so I've made some visual aids. 

   Red Blood Cell

  IgG Antibody

Here is the RBC with some IgG bound to the surface (note safety pin as bond) and some free floating IgG from the plasma.
       Here is the RBC after the washing step, the free floating IgG has been removed and the bound IgG is all that remains
Antihuman Globulin has now been added.  In this instance the Antihuman globulin is not binding to the IgG bound to the RBC, so the DAT is negative.

Antihuman Globulin has been added and it has bound to the IgG bound to the RBC, so this DAT is positive.

     I hope the visual aids have made the DAT slightly clearer.  (Yea, clear as mud)  I want to dedicate this post to National Laboratory Professionals Week, which is also this week.  I also want to hail all my colleagues both past and present.  We very rarely get appreciated for all the work we do.  I don't have the statistics in front of me but its something like lab work makes up 70% of a patients chart.  Over 70 billion lab tests are run each year.  The lab plays a very crucial role in the diagnosis and care of patients, but no doctor will ever admit that, in this day in age, without a lab he/she wouldn't be able to adequately care for said patients.  Alright stepping off the soap box and putting my white coat back on...  Happy Lab Week and Happy Crafting!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Knit Crochet Blog Week Day One

     Color is today's topic.  For me color is probably the most important thing.  Followed by fibre then price, wash ability/practicality and last of course project allocation.  Of course if I actually have a project picked and I'm getting yarn for it, the order is somewhat different.  Color is still first, then fibre and price.  I find, if I'm making a project that is a duplication of a knit item from a movie for example, I like to stay true to the original color.  Take my two Hermione projects, the hat and the poor cursed mittens that still aren't done.  I stuck to the original light gray.  For Bella's Mittens, I went with my all time favorite color, blue, and I have to admit, I'm not feeling the color.  That may have to do with the acrylicness of the yarn.  (Which actually makes them a good sell item.)  Since I am enjoying the knitting, I may get myself some nice dark gray alpaca and knit them again for me.

     So back to color in general.  I like almost all colors, except red.  Bright red that is, I do like darker, maroon or maple red, if you will.  Not sure where my aversion to red came from but there it is.  I tend to buy yarns that are on the darker end of the spectrum, greens, blues and purples.  But, I do enjoy yellow and orange for happy summer items and of course dishcloths.  For me, dishcloths should be obnoxious, they're dishcloths!  This applies to pot holders and trivets as well.  Cleaning is a chore, and cooking falls in that category sometimes too, so bright happy colors in my kitchen are a must.  As far as garments are concerned I usually go for more subdued tones, and solids for the most part.  Scarves tend to be the exception and mittens too.  My favorite ever scarf is the Dragon Stitch Scarf.  I don't wear it often since its Noro and a tad scratchy, but I love it and will always keep it around.  
I love the colors in this scarf.  I think my favorite transition is that golden yellow into the lavender.  It makes me think of my Mom's bearded irises.  When I was back home, with a yard, I did alot of gardening.  Flowers always played an important role in my life.  Its one of the things I miss the most, and therefore one of the biggest reasons I'm looking forward to getting a house someday.  The second is having rabbits again, but that's a whole different subject.

     I have noticed, that since I took up knitting twoish years ago, I have been migrating toward purples more and more.  I'm not sure why, I have always liked purple, but now its starting to overpower my love of blue.  Well, thats it for me.  Happy crafting.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

One Week to Go

     We're in the last week of T4.  I am soooo far behind.  I still have not posted anything.  I have one challenge mostly done.  I need to weave in some ends, my least favorite task.  Its related to work and National Laboratory Professionals Week is next week, so I'm planning on posting it then.  Next week is also knit/crochet blog week apparently.  One of my team members mentioned it.  So one, I joined another group on Ravelry and two, I'll be blogging alot more next week, hopefully.  So other than my measly one challenge, what have I been doing with my time.  Working!  The summer craziness has already begun.  Between surgeries and vacations, someone is gone for the next few months, which means mandatory overtime.  I cant complain too much, since more $ = less bills and hopefully some will be left over for me to buy yarn with.

     Okay so I haven't been just working.  I finally started Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault.  Ya know those iconic long ones with the cable down the back of the hand, Twilight.  I know the craze has gone past by now, but they are a really great knit Twilight notwithstanding.  I am determined to actually finish a pair of something within a months time.  Its hard.  I'm on the second one now.  Each time I pick it up I say to myself "I've done this!"...  Which segues nicely into my team tie in for these suckers (no pun intended, har har)  Our TUP this round is "Window of Opportunity", only the best Stargate episode ever.  Everyone (several planets actually) get stuck in a time loop, when an Ancient device on another planet is activated.  Jack and Teal'c are the only ones who know its a loop.  Everyone else forgets what happened previously when a new loop begins.  So, in one of the first loops, in the briefing room when Carter starts in on her spiel about a coronal mass ejection on P3X bla bla bla Jack exclaims, "We've done this!" and tosses down the report file.  There is some great Daniel snarky rebuttal "We do this every day", so on and so forth.  I wont spoil the rest.  Seriously great episode.  But the point for me is this is what I'm feeling right now with these mittens.  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving them.  The yarn is this really great blue, its chunky so the knitting is rather quick.  The fabric is dense and warm, the cable is truly the selling point.  I just finished one and now I'm doing it all over again.  Hopefully since the thumbs are gusseted once I get to that part it wont be so bad since that will be slightly different from the left mitten.  I did get some pictures with me cell phone and I haven't figured our how to get the pictures off of this one yet.  I haven't gotten pictures of my other project yet either...  

     I was just about to confess that I don't have pictures for you, but how could I not, that would be horrible.  I got more yarn since my last post.  So:
      The two on top are Ella Rae Classic, just plain wool, I'm going to felt it!  The five hanks of greenish yarn are Berroco Pure Pima, for Amiga.  That is not actually the true color.  Its closer to a teal and its shiny.  The two blue skeins are becoming Bella's Mittens.  They are Cascade Pacific Chunky, which I thought was appropriate.  So that's it for now.  I will be posting the guts of the Noob challenge here because it will be very in depth.  I'm going to teach you about Direct Coombs Antibody Testing!  Exciting!  Happy crafting.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Round 2!

     So much for keeping up with things.  March was a busy month.  So to rehash projects.  I did a mug cozy for Jonas Quinn.  I've been wanting to tackle a cozy and they are really great ways to practice various cables.  I did my first braided cable with this one.
This little baby hangs out at work, reminding my co-workers of what a dork I am.  My second project was a "set" of balls for Jack to juggle with.  In real life two of the three are cat toys.  As in I stuffed them with catnip.

These were made from left overs of the very first Red Heart Super Saver my brother got me when I took up knitting again.  I'm not sure how I learned on this stuff and found a passion for it.  This pattern however is great.  I learned several new skills including provisional cast on.  I did mine with a crochet hook.  I decided to get a little creative and pay homage to one of my most favorite actors for my third project.  John Billingsley played Dr. Phlox on ST: ENT.  He also had a guest role as Simon Coombs in one of the best SG1 episodes ever, "The Other Guys".  So I used Actor Allusion for the trope challenge and made Coombs some "Red Shirt" Jaffa chain mail so he would know exactly where he stands on the expandability scale.
The pattern is Baby Sophisticate.  It would have looked a bit more like Jaffa chain mail if I had left off the collar, but its so stinkin' cute.  I really hate the color red, so this one doesn't appeal to me all that much.  I'm sure however some one will love it (hopefully).  My fourth project was my favorite for this round.  I used the Mochi Plus I've been saving for a while.  I made this for the Differences Matter challenge.  I used Team 1-Up for my inspiration and chose my husbands favorite franchise, Mass Effect.  (Well, I should say his favorite until ME3, the ending completely negated the other two games, we blame EA).  My unifying matter was sand which is solid and can be found on Mars, Earth and Abydos.

The lace motif was actually quite simple.  I think the yarn was a bit too busy for a lace pattern, but its such great yarn for these kinds of things.  I love Mochi.  I have a cowl and a scarf out of it and I can attest, there is nothing better when its going to be warn against the skin.  Now for my last project (yes that's only five so no cube meltage this round) I made a dishcloth "that reminded me of the 70's" for the Klimt challenge. 
A Ball Band in Fiesta and Sunburst, the two most awesome Elmore-Pisgah colors ever!!  Klimt used a lot of bright colors in many of his paintings.  Usually he balanced those brights with some more subdued tones as well.  I skipped right over the subdued tones and went vibrant all the way.  I figure if you have to clean, it might as well be fun and perhaps a little crazy. 
     Round 3 has started and I'm almost done with the first part of my first project.  It's going to be job related and I'll be long winded for that one.
     In personal news, my father celebrated his birthday on Friday March 30th.  I got back home to see him and the rest of my family over the weekend.  The hubs had to work so I ventured alone.  Well not totally alone.  I took my female and eldest Pookie with me.  It was a girls weekend if you will and we had fun.  Pookie is a calico and much happier in a single cat situation.  So I make an attempt to treat her to a single cat situation when I can.  I did some grilling on Saturday, really my first.  It actually turned out really good.  I did hash marks on the steak and everything.  Thank you Food Network!  I had fun but I wish weekends were more than two days.  I had things I wanted to do here too, but I ran out of time.  Now my focus is one R3 and figuring out what to do for the challenges.  I have some knitting I want to do for myself as well.  So far I'm having some trouble jamming it into the challenges.  I guess I need to think outside the box a bit farther.  TTFN

FYI:  The cowl and the baby sweater are for sale.  If interested I can provide more details (as in price)