Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Sundrop Critter: Vicuna

The newest critter to the Sundrop zoo is Val the Vicuna (also spelled vicugna).  (The "n" in vicuna is the Spanish letter en-yay but I can't find a symbol for it on Blogger.) Vicunas are the smallest member of the camelid family, weighing about 150 pounds when full grown.  They are native to South America where they live wild in the higher alpine regions of the Andes Mountains.  Their coats come in a variety of shades of brown, with white bellies and inner legs, and a white "bib" of hair that is longer than that on most of the body.  Some have legs that are all light in color, especially the lower half of the leg.  And most have white muzzles and white throats.  Some have other white markings on the face or on their sides.  I chose to simplify this pattern and focused on the most important attributes.  (Maybe someday I'll design a more realistic version.)  They also have long, dark eyelashes - the kind we girls envy!

Vicuna fleece makes some of the finest and warmest yarn in the world and is therefore very high-priced, making the vicuna susceptible to poaching.  In the 1970's, their numbers were so low that the vicuna was listed as an endangered species.  Efforts through local people and several organizations worldwide curbed the poaching enough that the vicuna population has grown and is no longer considered endangered.  Organized round-ups are conducted every few years to shear the fleece.  It is then sold, with most of the profits going back to the local communities.

This pattern is free through May 31, 2017 on my website:

Coloring B - perhaps a little more true to nature

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Viruses! Yuck!

Several nasty viruses were going around my area this winter.  I thought I had managed to escape them all, but one of the nastier ones got me near the end of March.  People who had suffered through it before me said that it lasted three weeks and had a horrible way of rebounding if you tried to do too much too soon.  They were right.

I'm over the worst of it now, but the rebounding effect seems to be quite strong so I'm taking my time getting back to work, doing just a little each day.  I have most of April's blocks done, it's just a matter of finishing up the details and doing all the computer work that comes after.  So don't give up on me!  They are coming, with May's blocks hot on their trail!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Sundrop Critter: Umbrellabird

I'm a few days late getting the new Sundrop critter up on my website.  Besides the usual internet issues, my mom has been in the hospital for a week so I'm a tad behind on things.  Anyways, Ula and Ulysses, the Sundrop Umbrellabirds, are now ready to greet you.

There are three species of umbrellabirds and they all live in the rain forests of Central and South America.  They have a crest on top of their heads that resembles an umbrella.  If I lived in a rain forest, I'd want a handy umbrella atop my head, too!  Two of the three species are totally black, so I chose the third species, the Bare-Necked Umbrellabird, as my model because this species has a bright red wattle.  The Long-Wattled and Amazonian species have black wattles.  Like the name implies, the Long-Wattled Umbrellabird has a very long wattle, almost as long as its body.

One interesting fact about the bare-necked umbrellabird is that it migrates vertically.  During the warmer months, it lives in high, mountainous elevations.  During the colder months, it moves down to lower elevations.

I may be guilty of exaggerating the crest just a tiny bit to make it look more umbrella-like.
The pattern is free on my web site until April 15.