Saturday, September 19, 2015

Camp Loopy 2015 - Or What I Did This Summer

So it's been awhile but I am back.  Let's talk about Camp Loopy, which is part of What I Did This Summer.  ;-)

The theme was Safari.  The first month, June, was to be something you'd see on safari, if I recall.  I was watching my Tivo'd episodes of the Amazing Race and they were on safari and one of the challenges was to go to find elephants.  So using that as my guide, I found a pattern on Ravelry with elephants.

Without further ado, here are the Elephant Sox.

The above is the completed photo.  I actually wear navy pants and purple sweaters / shirts a lot, so this winter, they will be lovely.

June was a month of travel for me.  Here are the sox at the end of the IASA national conference in Las Vegas.  My sister and I went and we went early so we could have some long visits with our aunt Susie and our cousin Laura.  Totally worth it.  The conference keynote speakers were Peyton Manning, Condi Rice and the daughter of Alan Funt of Candid Camera.

Once I returned from Las Vegas, I was then off to Puerto Rico with Renee for an immersion trip.  A great trip.  Good kids, good parents, good guide and a good time.  Well paced and nicely done.  The above photo was taken on a catamaran.  We headed out to 2 places to snorkel and swim.  Not much knitting was done because rum punch was involved....

There is also a fantastic story about how our boat was parked between two other party boats (we had kids so we were tame.  The party boats were all adults - not so tame) and the winds drove us into one of those boats.  Our first mate Dolly (a lovely young woman) got us through that and then flipped off the other boat's captain.  I commented that action needed no translation and she replied that he was her ex.  Enough said.

This day was the last day I knit the sox in PR.  It is being held in this photo by our lovely tour director Melani and we are at El Morro, the oldest fort in the New World.  Lots of history here.

PR was beautiful and I would love to go back as a family.  Pro tip: invest in a 5 star hotel.

The third trip saw no sox knitting, but we went to The Birthplace, which any girl scout can tell you is Savannah, GA.  That trip was super hot and I heard so much about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I bought the book for my Kindle and started reading it right then and there.  I also found The Frayed Knot yarn shop and made a contribution to the local economy.  I think I would love Savannah in the winter.

The second month, July, had a challenge of a pattern found in the wild - on your travels and serendipity.  I had started to read the Yarn Harlot's blog from the beginning and I chose her snowdrop shawl.  People at work asked to see it and so the pic is on a cube wall.  Random, but effective.  Yes, I like pink.  Move along...

There was no travel in July.  I was gone nearly 3 weeks in June and while I had adventures, one thing we did learn is that we like to have Ted with when we travel.  Vegas was different because it was Kim and she had never been to Vegas to see Aunt Susie and that was totally worth it.  But when Renee and I travelled in June on the other two trips, we realized that Ted needs to be there...

On to August.  August's challenge was to make something amazing.  Well, I am here to tell you I feel that this item will look amazing on me.  So there!

I have given up on buttons and now use cardigan clips.

I haven't worn this sweater yet but the weather has turned so bring on fall.

Another thing that happened in August was a significant change for me at work.  I have been in my present position for 8 years.  I do project work for the Controllers division at my work.  I love what I do.  I've already done what I want to professionally so I decided when I moved here I would only do accounting that I loved.  

Anyway, another department in Controllers (there are 14 departments) lost one supervisor to her posting to another area and the second one was pregnant.  The decision was made to add a supervisor in on a temporary basis to get through.  My project before my current one was implementing their new system so I know the product, the people and the process.  Long story short, everyone cleared it with everyone else before I was talked to.

Of course I took it.  It has been a while since I supervised people but they are a good group, which is wonderful.  It was to be a temporary position, but the new mama has chosen to stay home.  So I guess it's permanent.  Since I plan to be at my current employer for the next 20+ years, I need to have some mobility.

And that is how I spent my summer.

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!