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!

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.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

A Pair of Dice

And musings on the number 13.

I’ve gone ahead and started a Dear Jane. And I don’t want to do the whole Trip Around the World thing. And I
want to reuse fabrics. And I don’t randomize well on my own.

So I decided I would do 5 blocks and 2 triangles every 10 days. (And also cut 2 solid triangles to go between.)
That is what I hoped to get out of each cut of fabric. However, how does one pick the blocks? I decided that a
roll of the dice will do. But there are 37 blocks that the dice will never hit: All the A blocks, all the M blocks and all of the remaining 13 blocks down the right side. So every 10 days, I will do the next block in the A row, roll for 4 random blocks and 2 random triangles and off I go. (Now that I think about it, the 4 13 triangles won’t get rolled either, but whatever.) (Wait, when I get to the 13th triangle I’m making, I will just do one. Problem solved.)

My 30’s fabric selection is eclectic. I have some charm packs, some 6 inch squares from a swap and some
half yards as I like them. And a whole bunch of pink yardage because I love it. So of course how do I use it all
and randomize it all? 

I of course overthink this. Here we go:

I will alternate between yardage and coordinated charms every 10 days. Right now I am using a lovely teal
blue. The lovely color wheel tells me that orange would be the compliment, so that is what I will use from the
charms. I can’t cut solid triangles from the charms so that does concern me, but I will think of something. 

And so I will proceed this way. I will also allow myself 2 half yard cuts of fabric each month from Boline’s, which is extremely affordable. Like $10 will buy those 2 cuts. And they are in town. And the owner belongs to the guild.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Quilting with Tile

It has been a comedy of errors.  If we don't laugh, we'll cry.

On Saturday Feb 7, as Renee and I were being handed our breakfast in the McD's drive-thru, ice came off the roof and hit my back window.

And then window popped.

What was that?

Seriously the whole window crackled and popped.

Then the very next day our range shorted out (yes, we have an electric range) and it died.

The car is fixed and I need to call back their insurance company.  A new range was ordered online (Really, you don't need to see it to buy it - it's a range.  Either it cooks or it doesn't.  When I bought the house I didn't get a say in the range it came with.) and we scheduled out the delivery date to tomorrow, February 16.  Somehow Renee is not excited that a range is arriving for her 14th birthday on her day off.

But you all know where this is going.  I have no backsplash and the walls are trashed from cooking.  So I said that if the range is out, then we should just put in the backsplash.  And paint.  And paint the powder room.  So the proverbial $400 repair turns into a $5000 upgrade.  It's really not that bad - about $1500 when all is said and done.

As I write this, I am clearing the living room floor for a path so the range can be installed and we are almost done grouting.  It will need to cure for a week before I can seal but it looks amazing.  The bathroom is primed.

But there has been no quilting.  The Loopy Ewe did contact me about my bolt of Kona Snow and it's winging its way to me.  I have been knitting my Loopy Academy stripes assignment so that has been something....

Off to clean.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dear Jane

Oh yeah, did I mention that I am starting a Dear Jane?  Well, I am.  A group of quilters from my guild has started a group and since I am relatively new to the guild, I think it's a good way to meet some people.

My Jane is fighting a different war - the war of the Great Depression.  I am using my small 30's stash for this effort.  I have slowly started collecting 30's fabrics recently.  The story...

My sister's former next door neighbor had an old family quilt that was clamshells.  The shells were beginning to shred and the neighbor wished to piece in some replacement shells.  The fabrics were clearly 30's.  So my sister and I got on the website for the Fat Quarter Shop and Kim picked out a nickel charm pack of 20's and another of 30's.  

A few years pass and the 2 charm packs make their way back to me.  I am not sure if the neighbor gave up or what, but they were basically intact.  I made a lovely 60" square baby quilt for the GS camp director who has lovingly taken care of my girl at camp for years.  And while I was making that quilt, I realized I was falling in love with 30's fabrics.

So when I shop hop or see a swap on my Yahoo groups that is 30's fabrics, I go ahead and participate.  It's a great way to build a variety of stash in small quantities.  With the exception of one fabric that I bought the rest of the bolt of (yes, it's pink - move along), my 30's stash fits in a shoebox.  My most recent Bits 'n Pieces shipment from Keepsake Quilting had 6 2.5" 30's strips in there.  And a newer quilt shop here in town has quite the 30's selection, so I am set.

The background will be Kona Snow.  We were debating at our first DJ meeting how much background one needs and our 'expert' (she's been to the DJ retreat and met Brenda and all of that) said that she's heard varying amounts based on piecing methods.  Buy the bolt was the most common recommendation.

Thankfully TLE sells Kona as well.  When they get their next bolts in, they are saving me one and will ship it to me.  So I can't start my DJ yet, but soon.  

I have the book and the rulers.  I ordered the stand alone EQ software and it arrived yesterday.  I need some more grey aurifil.  I am nearly ready.

My numbers = 0, 0, 0, 0.

At Last a Plan

When last we left our heroine...

Anyway, I ended up cleaning the yarn nook in my room.  I reorganized all of my needles that I could get my hands on.  I have lots of needles but now it takes no time to figure out what I do or do not have.  Last step is to post inventory on this computer so I can order online without having to move (yes I am that lazy).

When I did that I also inventoried all my yarn.  I have only 10 UFOs and 1 bag of repairs.  I have lots of yarn though, at least in my opinion (I have 100 times more fabric).  I put all the sock yarn in one bag.  I then just sort of put all the other yarn into another bag and all the acrylic crap in the laundry basket.  I really have a handle on what I have.

Then yesterday The Loopy Ewe (TLE), they released the class requirements for the second semester of freshman year.  This semester is all about techniques.  I am going with stripes for my first assignment and I am doing a sweater called Nothing but Stripes!  However, since I am the size I am that is a lot of yarn.  Never fear, I am just using TLE's house brand for fingering weight.  I am making mine in eggplant and oyster, a deep purple and a light grey.

(I cannot confirm or deny that there may have been some last call shopping, including some lovely light blue laceweight...)

So that is the assignment.  From the UFO list, I will work on my Irish sweater.  From the sock bag, I will break into my Mrs. Crosby that I got for Camp Loopy and make a test pair of the Simple Skyp socks.  Once these 3 items are done, I can then order yarn and cast on for the next TLE assignment.  This way I reduce UFOs, keep current with purchases and start to reduce stash.  Although this purchase may have added to stash just a wee least all purchases have projects attached to them in my queue, not just random 'that is pretty' purchases.

On the fabric side of things, I am ordering a bolf of Kona Snow from TLE for my Dear Jane.  Plus I made a list for this anticipated snowy weekend of quilty things to do.  I broke it down into pretty small steps so I can see progress.  If i get as far as I want, I will have 2 things at the hand stitching stage, which would be wonderful!

It's good to plan the work.  Time to work the plan!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Power of Handwork

I have been off for a while and I have tried to figure out why.  I started off the year well enough; I took a ton of time around the holidays to actively and extensively craft.  I knit, I crocheted, I sewed, I quilted.  I got a lot done.  2 lap quilts, a pair of sox and a pair of mittens.  I then had a retreat a week later and I did a ton more sewing.  I mean I was in a groove.

And then I stopped.  There was a few weeks (OK the year has only had like 4 weeks) where the busy snuck on me.  One week was supposed to be super busy in one respect and it ended up being weird in another way.  The first set of crayz was postponed by a week and so there was no downtime.

And then I had to sew for a charity event.  That meant I had to go to the sewing room and do stuff.  What a big help.

So I was able to jump start things on the sewing front, but I didn't really have any sort of long term plan or anything.  It was a lot of Just One Thing, which is progress.

But I have stalled out everywhere else.  I can't get a handle on my house.  Or my paperwork (and it tax season).  Or my clothing.  Or anything.  Like seriously anything.  I was functioning in my critical mode:  clean clothes and food on the table are mandatory; everything else is optional.

I can't handle it.  I want more done.  I want more from my house.  It can be done.  I want to start having friends over and in the past year I have expanded / rotated my group of friends and I'd like to invite them over.  One friend now has a baby and I'd like her to have him over (he is a cutie).  I need to make a list.  I need to plan the work and work the plan and make the other 2 accountable.  They will do stuff if they know what stuff.  (I've given up the whole isn't it obvious argument - not worth my blood pressure.)

Anyway, back to handwork.  I haven't had anything to hand stitch at all for like 3 weeks.  I am stumbling around lost.  Seriously.  I'm at a loss.

This week I figured out this is why I am stalling out.  I am desperately waiting for the Loopy Ewe's second semester at Loopy Academy to begin.  The assignments haven't even been handed out.  However, I can wait no longer.  I have taken drastic measures.

I am cleaning my room in order to inventory my yarn so that I may find some handwork to do.

Yep, that is what I am doing.  I have taken a break to eat dinner and write this post.  Now I need to go back to going through the yarn and watching TIVO'd episodes of Project Runway.

Who knew handwork was the key?  Well the yarn harlot of course...

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2015 begins

Yes, I've been offline for a month.  Yes, I need to get back to it.