Saturday, July 11, 2015

The 4th

This 4th, my friends, was a rough one. 

We did nothing.  It’s OK.  I live in a town that DOES NOT HAVE a parade.  The first 36 years of my life I have lived in a town with a  parade.  It is what you do.  Seriously it is what you do.  How do these people cope?

Anyway, my memories of the 4th are fun.  There are a lot of Dad / Grandpa memories. He would go in and drive a shift at midnight and come home at 6am and I'd let him in (my room was closest to the front door). He would nap on the couch while we got ready and then we would go to the parade in Hinsdale and see relatives. Lastly there was a family reunion in the afternoon.

(No amount of my mother's dysfunction can stop these from being good memories and I assure you she really had a hard time with the 4th. Loud noises and her did not mix well. Add in visiting in-laws and you get the idea.  That women was seriously full of hatred and no one quite knows why.)

As an adult, all that changed was that the party moved to Kim's. We still watched the parade, albeit in Brookfield, and Dad wasn't driving any more. But we still loved and enjoyed that day.  Kim lived for years on the parade route; that is the way to go!  She currently lives around the corner from it, so viewing at her house is still pretty darn awesome.

Last year we were traveling for the 4th, so it didn’t have time to sink in.  This year it did.  This was the 4th of grief, as odd as that may sound.  I just could not get into it.  I went and bought flag shirts, I made cole slaw and burgers.  But I had no desire to see fireworks or leave my home.  Not this year.

Next year, the 4th is a Monday, which is always a drag.  However, it should be better.  I will remember to get shirts a bit earlier.  I will plan a parade event.  I will make sure there’s ice cream for viewing fireworks.  And I will leave my house.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer Goals for Quilting

Of course I'd love for them to be all done and that is the ultimate goal, but let's see where I can get between now and let's say 07/17, my dad's birthday.

Piece some block sets

Blue split 9 patch
Baby Bugs II quilt - Batik Weed Whacker
Mini Roman Stripe

Sandwich and quilt

Spring Flowers
Grand Illusion - 1 section
(Bonus - quilt one heart on Feb quilt)

Finish Tops, Prep Backings and Bindings

Blue Xmas
Orca Bay

Done Done

Girl baby quilt for Ted
Xmas gifties

That would give me 2 that are all done and 2 that are quilted.  If these 10 are the only things I work on for the rest of this year, that wouldn't be a bad thing.  :-)

Still Recovering

This weekend was the first one since May that I have been home.  This means I've been gone for quite some time.  I have been cooking up a storm, going through CSA stuff (namely eggs) and saving money by eating in.  Travel is fun, but it is not cheap.

I did finally catch up on sleep.  The 3 days I did work this week were kind of a blur, as I had 800 emails waiting for me.  I was able to narrow that down to about 265 that needed my attention and I am going through those more slowly, topic by topic.  It will all come together.  I am very happy that this week is a 4 day work week as well.

I did have a finish in the quilty realm.  I was like #3 on the queen's list, so I was due for one.

Celtic Solstice was a Bonnie Hunter Quiltville mystery in 2013.  Bonnie starts her mystery on Black Friday and it runs through the New Year, which for many of us provides a focal point of sanity and escape during what many of us call the silly season.  This one is 11 by 129 and busts 20.72 yards of stash.  Yes, it is very large.  And it's now on my bed.  It also has a few errors in it but if you can't find them, I'm not telling.  I have 5 quilts in mind for my bed and this one is #2.  

I have a lot of other quilty projects underway and Ted has commissioned me to make a baby quilt for a co-worker.  (FYI only Kim and Ted are allowed to commission me.  Don't get any ideas.)  Right now, I am all about enjoying the process.  Each of the items I have on my list are things I am looking forward to working on.  Nothing is drudgery.

Here's the list:

Girl baby quilt for Ted
Grand Illusion 
Blue Xmas
Xmas gifties
Blue split 9 patch
Spring Flowers
Orca Bay
Baby Bugs II quilt
Mini Roman Stripe

That's 10 different things.  Some are seriously just an idea, like that first one.  I have no idea what to do.  I was at a quilter's estate sale on Friday and I scored a backing, so there's a start.  Some are small and have great senses of accomplishment when completed.  Some are very detailed, like the mini Roman stripe, and if I get one set of 10 blocks done, it's a victory.  We are calling this micro-progress "Just One Thing" in the Stashbusters world.  

Knitting wise, I totally flunked out of Loopy Academy second semester Freshman year.  I plan to double up next semester to get back on track.  Pictures of the epic failures and their replacement projects will happen as the semester evolves.

Right now we are in Camp Loopy.  I need to finish up the June project.  I'm on the toe of one sock and need to do the foot and toe of the other.  Tight, but doable if I focus.

The garden loved the rain but it needs weeding.  

And I think that's it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I am finally home from all 3 trips.  The last trip just about broke me.  We got caught in multi-HOUR layovers on the interstate on the way to the airport and on the way home.  I need a little lie-down to recover.

More later.  I have lots....

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Las Vegas Knitting

I couldn't knit on the flight out or the flight back.  We took Southwest but our boarding group was C and so we were last on the plane.  This meant that we had center seats between strangers.  On the way out, we were separated by 10 rows.  On the way back we were in the same row on different sides of the aisle and the people who each had the aisle seats were co-workers so they chatted and understood us chatting over them.  My sister was my guest on this trip; we have family in Las Vegas.  My aunt was crying she was so happy to see us.

Anyway, I did a lot of knitting for Camp Loopy at the conference.  Insurance accounting is not as critical as say, a medical conference, so I can multitask.  I mean, I can listen to Peyton Manning talk for an hour and get 7 rows on the chart done.  Can't think of a better way to pass the time.

This is where the sox were at the end of the conference.  I am pleased.  This also meant I took 10 dpn through airport security twice and lived to tell about it.

Tonight my daughter and I drive up to take an early flight out of O'Hare in the morning to Puerto Rico.  We are going as a group with many students in the district for a Spanish language excursion.  I hope to do the heels, which are in navy, on the flight down.  I already told Renee that I get the aisle and she takes the middle and no one will get hurt.

In quilty news, I am #8 on the queen's list and I have a king to bind.  I hope people take their time so I can get it bound in time.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

On the road again

Yep, I am.

Work conference - Las Vegas - June 6 - June 10 (Where I am writing this post from Mandalay Bay!)

Puerto Rico - June 12 through June 16

Savannah, GA - June 19 through June 22

None of these trips fly from where I live; all fly from Chicago, which means a lot of overnights up there.  It's OK, but it just means I'm on the road all the time.

Knitting for Camp Loopy is getting me through.

Peace out.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I May Have Figured It Out

I'm knitting away for Loopy Academy.  This semester's homework is due at the end of the month and I have one done, one needing felting and one that is still on the needles.  The problem is, the one still on the needles fits my girth but not my height.

This leaves me with a quandary.  I am not sure what to do.  And then it dawned on me.  I will just reknit it once I figure out how to get it shaped right.  Please note this one took no less than 12 skeins of fingering yarn, which means this was miles and miles of boring stockinette.  Miles and miles.

This does make me nuts about patterns.  Just because I am a 2XL or 3 XL does not mean that I am really tall.  I am really round.  Frankly I am the shape of BB-8, the new Star Wars droid (and my total infatuation).  I am round and have a round head.

However, I love this pattern.  Seriously love it.  To the point of thinking through the error of the length of it and turning it into a cardigan for spring.  So when I realized I could just reknit the current pullover, I felt better.  I can't wear the thing until like October anyway.

So the goal this time will be to make a swatch with the stripes in the order I think they should go and to fake out a button band on the sides of the swatch to see if that idea will work.  I am not making the cardigan out of just two color like I am the pullover.  I actually have stashed a ton of cotton in a myriad of fun colors, usually 2 50g balls of each color.  For 2 colors I accidently bought duplicates, so I have 4 50g balls of some stuff.  So this thing will have some wacky striping to it.  And frankly I think my wardrobe could use it.

After the stripe order is determined, then I will figure out the whole shorter length thing.  I think I need the 3XL width and an XL length.  I may even go short sleeve, ending right above the elbow. , but that decision can wait.

But first, I need to finish this semester's homework.  Especially since I just ordered for Camp Loopy!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Summer is here

I can officially state that summer has arrived.  How do I know?  Let me count the ways…

1.     It’s Mother’s Day weekend, which is in Illinois the official time to plan the garden.
2.     I have tomato plants from a co-worker already and my plant starts from the farmer are due to be picked up early next week.
3.     There is a tractor in my subdivision planting crops.
4.     The weather is crazy and I have already had 2 migraines this week.

Number 4 is the reason I hate summer with a blinding passion.  I am thankful for migraine meds that work within 2 hours, but still, summer is torture for me.  I keep practicing better living through chemistry.  And I eat a lot of Jimmy John’s!

Meanwhile on the quilty front, my guild had its year end Salad Supper Thursday night.  The word salad can be interpreted very loosely, with anything from garden salad to chicken salad to taco salad.  The food was, as expected, fantastic!  Our guild runs formally during the school year, which has its benefits.  The summer time holds sew-in days once each month which I will partake in this summer.  I’m trying to meet more people.  I’m also trying really hard not to volunteer.  I need to take a volunteering break.

The other update on the quilty front relates to Dear Jane.  My bee (small group / whatever) met last week and if we turned in D-13 to one member, she would get our D-13 blocks signed by Brenda herself at a retreat coming up!  So you bet I have done one square!  Additionally, another member provided a worksheet that divided all 169 blocks into techniques and ease of construction.  I chatted with a girlfriend of mine in the bee and we’ve decided that maybe it’s best to just work the list in logical progression.  Start with the very easiest block and work our way through it.  The only glitch I have is that I don’t have all the fabrics that I need.  So I guess there’s a little stash enhancement. 

I need to clean up my lower level / basement this weekend for 2 other reasons so I guess I’ll inventory my DJ fabrics and make a list.  Shopping, what a hardship!