Tuesday, September 30, 2014

44

Yesterday I turned 44.  At a conference.  Away from my family.  The whole conference sang me Happy Birthday, which was a lovely touch.  I can safely say everyone will remember me, which is good, because in 2 years I have to actually plan the conference.

I did some crochet during the sessions.  I made some Christmas presents.  I sat in the back and made an effort to not disturb people.  No negative comments and actually some great conversations.   I wore the 2 sweaters that I made, and a  few folks figured out that I made them.  It was a good day for crafting.

Quilting is moving along slowly.  I am working on a YBR that is huge.  I have to make the back for section 10, sandwich it, quilt it and then work on assembling the quilt.  I hope to have it done by the end of this weekend so that I can sleep under it ASAP.  Tonight was seriously the last night I could wear shorts to go get Henry.

Time to unpack...


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Enlarging the Font

Oh my, my eyes have aged.  Everything needs to go to a larger font.  Such is life.

Last week, Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame was at our guild.  I had hesitated at joining the guild, and I'm glad I did.  One of my Girl Scout friends is a former president of the guild, plus there are a few more interconnections in my life that led me to the guild.

Bonnie was wonderful.  Take the time to see her if you can.  While I have been following Bonnie for a while, there was still so much to learn and observe.  I got a lot from it.  Plus I went to Biaggi's with her for dinner, and I got to meet a few more guild people.  Totally worth the PTO.

Of course I now have 2 more UFOs!  Actually I will make lap sizes for both and donate to Relay for Life.  But first I need to finish my swap blocks for the Lady of the Lake swap.  Almost there.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Camp Loopy!!!

Yep, I am a proud camper this year!  Last year I tried and it didn't work out, but this year I was committed. 

All 3 projects are for me.  So there!

The first one is the Skoosh Shawl.  The criteria was to be inspired by a favorite book, movie, etc.  Using the line ‘never before have we clothed strangers in the garb of our people’ from Lord of the Rings, I made this shawl.  And in orange not green, because I could.  It lives at work in my cube for days when the A/C is going too strong in one building or room or another.

The second one is the Lincoln Cardi.  This one was to be about a vacation.  I was going to start it on vacation, so I was thinking something to do with either Laura Ingalls Wilder or Mount Rushmore, but oh no.  My family stepped in and said Washington DC, pandas and cherry blossoms.  OK, then.  So I hunted and found this pattern in a book called Capitol Knits and thankfully you can buy just the one pattern.  I made it in pink from a yarn by Lorna’s Laces that is named Galena, which is where General Grant is from.  Did I tell you I’m from Illinois?

The third one is Leaf Top.  This one was to be in your favorite colors, but I already did that with the Lincoln Cardi.  So this time, I took a cue from the Preppy Handbook, and went with useful (‘Useful” is used as often as “cute” in a girl’s wardrobe.).  A cream colored short sleeve sweater.   The first 30 rows were the design, so I took that one row at a time.  The rest was plain TV or car knitting and that went fast enough.

So it was a successful Camp Loopy.

And I finish just to find out about Loopy Academy.  ZOMG!

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.