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!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

The Ugly List

For me, lists are empowering.  I didn't know this but my husband pointed it out to me, so I guess I will take him at his word.

So I have started the Ugly List.  This started in March when DD was on spring break.  I made a list of nasty or timely items I wanted to get done because they were bugging me.  I didn't take any time off while she was off, but spring break gave me a timebox to try and get things done.

I didn't get everything done - I got about 2/3 done.  That's far more than when I started the month!  Fast forward through April and I only got about 25% done in the whole month.  That's OK - stuff still got done.

Now it is the beginning of May.  Yes, a few things have carried over on the list since March.  I procrastinate; it is called the Ugly List for a reason!

Anyway, yesterday was May 1 and I got one of those old items done.  I hope to get another done today.

I like to keep the list around 20 items to feel like there's hope.  Right now May has 19 items.

Watch for Ugly List updates....

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The One Where I Get Diverticulitis...

Yep, I’ve been hit.  And it’s horrible. 

On April 10, I did a 5k at night.  It was a glorious night for a walk and although I was the absolute last to finish, I did have a great time.  That was a Friday.  Saturday was a day of icing and recovery.  But Sunday I woke up and oh my, did I ache.  So off to urgent care I went.  He was very kind, gave me my meds and off I went to rest.  But it’s taken all 10 days of the antibiotics before I have finally felt better.  I’ve lost 10 pounds in the process.  Not my idea on how to lose 10 pounds but whatever.

Very little creatively has been happening.  I haven’t had the energy. But little bits did get done, especially over Easter weekend. 


All green blocks for Grand Illusion done
All the vertical joining seams for CS
7 more DJ blocks
Finish spring flowers wall hanging
Shawl – sections 2 – 5
Sweater – body done

So maybe not so bad.  I got all of that done and it’s only the 22nd of the month.  I am busy straight through from tonightto the 26th, so maybe I can get a bit done next week before the month flips over…

Let’s see what I could do

Back for spring flowers quilt
Sandwiching spring flowers
Machine sew the 2 horizontal seams for CS

That seems about right.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Monthly Report

(As I type that post title, I realize I need to do my monthly report for work…)

Not too many posts here in March, but I can say that on the health front, I have survived the withdrawal from soda and now can walk without thinking.  I know that sounds really odd, but walking without thinking is a huge achievement!  I am moving slowly but I am moving. 

On the Dear Jane front, I misplaced the 3 blocks I had completed and that took the wind out of my sails.  Then I tried printing from the software and that hasn’t gone well either; now my laptop doesn’t recognize the printer.  This all was very discouraging. 

So I decided to work on some other sewing.  I did get the last 2 sections of Celtic Solstice made, sandwiched, quilted and trimmed.  Then I did go ahead and do all the vertical joins.  I am now sewing the strips down on the backside, as those strips cover the seams.  That handwork takes time and it’s awkward to do, but the effect is worth it.  This one will be a finish sooner rather than later.  Then next up was a spring quilt that came into my mind. 

Someone on Stashbusters indicated that a tumbler shape upside down is really a flower pot if you’d like.  That was all the inspiration that I needed.  I belong to Keepsake Quilting’s Bits & Pieces club and one month they sent over 300 die cut shapes and in different months I received lots of tumblers.  The flowers in the die cut pack were all batik, so I used my batik tumblers.  I also had another pack from the club that were 20 bright batik 10 inch squares.  I found some white in my stash and of course I had green strings….

The 10 inch squares became 20 double slice squares.  I have 6 panels that are 1 double slice square wide and 2 long and each of those has a flower pot with 3 flowers in it.  The center is 2 double slice blocks by 2 double slice blocks and it has a flower box with 5 flowers in it.  All the block work is done; all I have to do is assemble the blocks and move it forward.  And of course I’m making a mini one block version for my cube.  I hope to finish both of these within the month of April because well, it’s April!

And of course I have been knitting.

So slowly but surely it’s coming back together.  My goals for April are as follows:

2 sections of Grand Illusion quilted
All green blocks for Grand Illusion done
All handwork for joining seams done on Celtic Solstice
Blue snow blocks into a top
2 or 3 sets of split 9 patch blocks
4 mug rugs
1 DJ block per day
Finish spring flowers quilt
Finish spring flowers wall hanging
Shawl – sections 2 – 5
Slippers – done
Sweater – body done

And blog more.  Life is finally coming back to normal.  Amen.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It Really is All About Your Health

I have been trying to sew.  Really I have.  But I have been plagued by aches and pains.  Emphasis on pain.

I don't do pain well.  Now, before you say who does?, I will let you know that my mother had an insanely high pain tolerance.  This meant she never understood normal pain tolerance, let alone low pain thresholds like mine.  She made fun of you for not being able to hack it.  I have since learned that her high pain tolerance was due to her 3 pack a day cigarette habit.  She had fried every nerve ending she had and thus the synapses didn't exactly fire right.

Anyway, I don't do pain.  Aches I can tolerate but pain, no.  And the pains were in my feet.

I have spent a lot of time (and a lot of money) on therapies to figure out how to fix this problem.  Things were massively out of alignment and then muscles were tensed up and needed serious relief.  When it all got done, it was AMAZING.  I could walk without pain.  I could walk without thinking (trust me, you hurt enough, every movement becomes a conscious thought process).  Additionally a lot of other muscle groups were helped as well.

I felt great!  So I had a Coke to celebrate.

And kept having one a day for many days.

And all the pain came back.

So we figured out that's what it was.  I removed soda from my diet.  I love soda.  I mean, I really love soda, but it has to go.  It was a very rough week.  I am through the worst of it, but man it was horrible.  Additionally, I requested a few blood tests to check for various arthritis things (all are negative).

And then on Thursday, the pain became less worse.  On Friday, even less worse.  On Saturday, she worked on all the pained areas and then I could walk again.  Everything is still inflamed, but slowly I can cope.  Very slowly.

And this is why I couldn't really sew.  Many days after work I would come home and just crash.  The withdrawal from soda had me home sick for a half day.  Sadly, the pain won too many times.

And now, finally, I feel like I can sew / craft / whatever.  I was able to get my paperwork in order.  I was able to make sense of my living room.  I could say yes to a sleepover for my child.  I was able to cook for my family.  I could knit.  I could sew.

And now I am figuring out what to do this week.  I have my knitting goal sorted out for the week and then the handwork after that.  For sewing, I think I have a plan and I hope I get it done.  I am behind schedule for DJ and some other things, but I can make it up now that I feel like I have some energy.

Truly, it is your health.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March 1 - 10

OK, here goes the first 10 days of Dear Jane. 

For March 1-10, a lovely teal color with cranberry dots was chosen.  The blocks are as follows:

2 solid triangles

However, I have other goals each of the 10 days, which I call homework.  I need to complete Just One Thing (JOT) for either of the 2 Bonnie quilts I am trying to finish and for either of the 2 Blue Snow quilts I am trying to finish.  I need to make 2 Xmas gifts.  I need to make 3 Just Takes Two blocks.  I need to clean the sewing area for 15 minutes.

So far, I have done the JOT for Blue Snow, made the 2 Xmas gifts and made 3 DJ blocks.  I am not sure how much more I will get done between now and when I go to bed – LOL!

Homework will roll over until all items are completed.  The 31sts of the appropriate months are just bonus days.

I think this whole week is pretty good to get stuff done, but it will overlap the first March session and the second March session. That’s fine too; I think by the end of March I will be where I want to be.