Monday, September 01, 2014

Far Too Long

Oh my it has been far too long.  Here’s where I stand:

The Lost Year, as I have called it, is over.  The grief year is not; but the Lost Year is.  When the beginning of August rolled around, things just felt better.  Things that had been frustrating me have now started to provide enjoyment again.  Decisions I had made during the Lost Year about my time commitments to other things and such now came to light and under the scrutiny of the light, still make sense as wise decisions.  I am pleased. 

I have decided to step down my activities for some of the volunteering I do.  I lead a lot when I volunteer and I am just tired.  I need to either be a worker bee or not even be a bee.  Someone asked me to volunteer for something in a few weeks and they seriously want is 2 hours of my time (3 with commute).  I can do that.  But meetings and planning and wrangling events and people?  I’m done.  I am succession planning many of those things so I don’t leave people high and dry.  For one effort, I am the past president, so I rotate off.  For another, I am in my third year of a three year term that ends basically in October.  For the other 2 volunteering things I do, they are both through work and for both I do some sort of committee / leadership work, but it’s not so bad. 

I am glad to be stepping down; my girl is in 8th grade and next year will bring all sorts of things.  Heck, 8th grade is bringing all sorts of things.

Knitting continues.  Look for a post all about knitting and what I did this summer.  I am through all my Camp Loopy projects.  Yay!  I am on my 9th project for this year, which puts me about 2 weeks ahead of the pace.  I have projects 10, 11, 12 and even 13 bagged up and ready to go.  I feel so accomplished!

Quilting remains stalled.  It took a full 2+ months to get my machine back.  It’s hard when your dealer is far away.  However she is a fantastic dealer.  I have done some finishes this summer, mostly on new projects.  So the UFO number remains stalled as well.  I am OK with that.  Look for a post on all the finishes. 

The bigger question I am asking myself as we are in this lovely 3 day weekend (and 4 days for my kid – isn’t she lucky?) is how to enjoy and quilt away the last third of the year.  I have redone my 4 Fab 4’s, as I was done with 7 of the projects in the last 4 Fab 4’s.  I have decided that to start, this is how I will proceed.  Remember I break time into 2 weeks per calendar week, Monday through Thursday for 1 week and Friday through Sunday as the other week.  Trust me, it makes sense.  I also do stuff my pay period – that’s a longer list that gets allocated into the little weeks I set up for myself.

Week of August 29 – September 1 (Labor Day falls into this week):

Cut and sew at least 3 sets of 12 blocks for LOTL swap.
Prepare  / cut fabric for Bonnie Hunter Workshops next weekend.

By the 09/11 paycheck.  This gets me moving on at least one quilt in each of the Fab 4’s.

Finish one section of the YBR.
Join 2 sections of the YBR.
Finish LOTL swap blocks.
Make sense of Christmas fabs and cut for both Christmas quilts.
Dig out Advent Calendar and finish making date pockets.

Stay tuned for more…




Saturday, June 07, 2014

Plugging Along

It's summer.  Finally.  I judge it not by the weather but by when I no longer need to wake Renee up for school.  For us, that first day was last Tuesday.  Amen.

I am nearing the end of my year of being on hold.  It all started with Erick's wedding party last July and it will end August 1, when a chapter in a different part of my life will close.  Literally it will be one year and about 4 days or so.  As a disclaimer, Dad died in January and I have all of 2014 to handle grief, so I don't declare it all done and over with but I feel like I can move forward.  Kim is feeling the same way too.

So for this week I made a list of things to get done.  Not all of them will be and that is OK but I am now ready and garnering the energy to tend to my house.  It's bad.  Clutter and paperwork everywhere.  I need to deep clean and purge and we seriously need to paint and decorate.  This is the longest we've stayed in a house and we have no desire to move.  So we need to get on this.

I have also committed to my health and I am starting with a chiropractor.  I know some people are suspicious of their work, but I just view them as another type of specialist.  As I figured, I ache all the time because things are out of whack.  So now that's taking up 3 days per week after work.

OK back to crafty things.  I am working on my Camp Loopy project.  I am halfway through by row count and I just joined the second ball.  I'm supposed to use 4.  However, each RS row has increases by 4 stitches so the rows I'm doing now are using a ton more yarn.  I may also make it a bit bigger because I am a larger person.  I finished the red socks.  I made the mandala.  Yarn projects are going well.  (Finishing and blocks, not so well.)                  

Quilting is at a standstill.  I took the machine to the doctor today and it will be at least a week and the doctor is 2 hours each way.  I am not sure how quickly get it picked up.  That's OK.  Nothing is urgent.  I am thinking of cleaning up the area thoroughly.  I am cutting up the scraps that are out (why put them away?) into 1.75" thimbles (the tiniest little ruler thing OMG), 1.5" x 2.5" mini bricks and 2.5" squares.  I want to cut with abandon with my Baby Go cutter!

I need to rethink my 4 Fab 4's.  (Yes, I have 4 going.  Do not judge.)  7 or 8 are done, leaving half of them to go.  I want to see what I am eager to sew and I will let myself go in that direction.  I am looking forward to that time, whenever it happens.  It might not be until August.  I have only 1 deadline item between now and then.

Meanwhile, I have a few really old machines, including a Singer 99, to get into working order.  I'm scared to plug them into my electrical despite everything looking fine.  I have decided to use a power strip until I can have the plugs redone to 3 prong ones.  If I can get these old machines working that would be wonderful.  All 3 old machines are in cabinets.

So that's how it's going.  Plugging along.  And life is good.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Still. Cannot. Stop. Knitting.

Yes it's true, I cannot stop knitting.  I am enjoying it so!

Today is the start of the first challenge for Camp Loopy.  I am making a shawl that is very simple and very bright.  I want it to stay at work for those times that the building folks cannot regulate the building temp correctly.  This happens more than you know.  And if I got back to the ITS building, that place is a meat locker year-round.

I have also set a yarn challenge for myself for this year.  I want to finish 12 items this year, so about 1 per month.  I have a manageable stash right now and I'd actually like it to reduce by half, if not more.

So here are the first 3 finishes.  I'm very excited!

These are handmitts for a girlfriend on her birthday.  Renee is modeling them.  Yarn is The Loopy Ewe's solid series in barn red.  Pattern is Kujeillen.


These are my handmitts, which are larger in diameter because I'm a larger person.  Yarn is The Loopy Ewe's Loopy Legends series in Tamra's Day Brightener.  How can you go wrong with a yarn called Tamra's Day Brightener?!?!?!  Same pattern, but I put a braided cable in my pattern section.


And here are some socks. Same yarn.  Pattern is Basic Ribbed Socks.


In the queue for June:

More socks in that red yarn up there.  I finished them today but the sock blockers are in use.
A mandala for Attic24.
Camp Loopy June project.

That would get me to 6 projects completed in the first 6 months of the year, which makes me right on track.  So yay!

(And yes, there has been some quilting going on too...)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cannot. Stop. Knitting.

I just can't stop.  It's like there's 20+ years of pent up knitting going on.  I'm not going to argue with it; I am making things that come in pairs, so if this makes sure both items get made, I'm good with that.

Anyway I've made one pair of fingerless mitts from the Tamra's Day Brightener yarn and now I am on the second sock.  Something that small and portable is so easy to knit on during lost / found time.  For example while waiting for pasta water to boil, I can get 5 needles knit - not quite 2 rounds.  Today we are heading north to celebrate a birthday and Mother's Day, so I will refrain from knitting until I am in the car.  And since the pattern, which is free on Ravelry, is a PDF, I was able to download it to my phone and open it with my Kindle app, which means it's with me all the time and I didn't have to print it.  Technology is amazing.

I've decided to buy another set of size 1 dpns, so I can cast on both socks (or mitts) at once and work the same section on both.  I like that idea better.  With a Hobby Lobby coupon, it's a cheap investment.

I also did a lot (whoo boy a lot) of online shopping this weekend.  I went ahead and ordered yarn and a needle for Camp Loopy's first project, which is June.  The second project is July and I hope I can make that while on the vacation I have yet to plan.  The third is August and that month is hard but I am determined to find a way.  My goal was to make 12 yarn projects this year.  I have 2 done.  #3 is in progress and #4 is queued up. the Camp Loopy order had yarn for 3 projects in it, so that will get me to 7.  I have a worsted weight acrylic afghan started (actually 2 of them - different patterns) and I hope to knock at least one out this year.

My yarn stash is about 2 laundry baskets and I'd like it down to one, so that is the goal.

Other online shopping included Market Day (last order that has to last me through the summer), Essential Bodywear (they had a sale), (stupid Oxford comma) and Penzey's Spices.  And an order and Amazon for coffee.  It was a lot of money spent in a really short period of time but I'm good for a while.

No sewing.  Haven't had the strong urge to go back, but hopefully this week.  Gotta get 2 girl quilts done in as many weeks.  Plus I have to finish up my YBR, which I have stalled out on.  Not big deal; it will all get done.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Just Like Cycle 3...

...I'm stalling out.  It's not a problem; just a bit of of a break on the YBR.  The machine started to skip stitches so I stopped one night.  Then I started knitting a sock and became obsessed with that.  So I haven't gone back to sewing.

Tonight I had to pick up my plant starts from the local farming family.  So we planted some of them tonight and will plant more tomorrow and the rest of this week.  Sewing can keep for a bit.

I decided on the sisters quilts I need to make for friends who have just welcomed their second daughter.  Someone on Stashbusters mentioned Irish Chains and a double Irish Chain will be the right size for the baby and a triple will be fine for the big sister.  The big sister's will have purple running through the chain and the baby will have pink.  Purple will work for the older girl, as it is the same color I made her baby quilt.  That her parents absconded with and hang in their bedroom.

It was good to plant.  It is the week of Mother's Day so the exposure is lower for loss.  I don't have any tomatoes that overwintered, so I guess I will have to buy some.  Damn.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Blitzing, Still Blitzing

I got a little wrapped ion making the goal that I forgot to have fun.  So I took a step back and decided that if I still didn't get it done by May 3, it will be OK.  So I started having fun.

So I came home today after working choicetime and started quilting section 1.  I am kind of all over the map with what is done, but as of this morning, 4 sections were quilted, 3 more were at the flimsy stage and 3 more needed to be sewn together.

I watched Episode III of Star Wars and quilted the 5th piece, which was #1, the upper left hand corner.  I then started to piece #3, the upper right hand corner.  And the movie was done.

Tonight I hope to finish #3 during Episode IV, all the way to the quilting.

The plan is to finish up the sections this weekend and starting on Tuesday I will start trimming the sections and getting the quilt together.  Hopefully by this time next week, I will be hand sewing binding.  I've decided that the Reign eps in my tivo will be my hand binding entertainment.

I also started a pair of socks.  And Ted comes home soon.  Amen.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Blitzing Days 3, 4 and 5

So yeah, on Wednesday, which was Day 3 of the Blitz, I had an industry dinner.  I did take about 30 minutes before going and quilted on section 6.  I was so proud of myself.  I made progress, even on a busy day.

Pride goeth before a fall.

I left the dinner feeling horrible.  I tried to throw up when I got home, not once but twice and couldn't because a horrible cough was choking off my windpipe.  I had a fever.  It was bad.

And it was bad on Thursday.  I worked a total of 1 hour from home from my bed.  ("Kathleen has joined the call.  No, I am not sharing my PC, as I am not near one."  Dude, I'm lying in bed on my cell phone.)

On Friday, it was worse.  My temp kept rising and the congestion was progressing.  Each day, I had emailed work very early in the morning with my meeting schedule, my thoughts and how I thought things could play out.  I have 2 primary backups and in a pinch my boss can fill in.  On Thursday, one backup got it done.  She ROCKED.  On Friday, due to serious problems on the project, I was asked to join various meetings via conference call.

Forget it.  I got dressed and went in for 4 hours.  It took every ounce of energy I had, but it was a judicious use of time.  One of the meetings was with my VP.  How can you say no?  Anyway, the project remains stalled and so we made plans to work the weekend.

Yeah, we need a file to review and the file hasn't been generated.  Yup, still at home.

So the point is, no sewing has happened the last 3 days.  If I can sew, I should be at work.  I couldn't do either.

Today is Day 6.  The fever has broken and I am off to the Walgreens for the Rxs that the doctor assures me will make me human again.