Overwhelmed

23 Jul

Starting back to school is getting closer and it’s bringing on anxiety. Although I work all summer long, it’s at a very relaxed pace – an hour or two a day. This time of year, I start wishing it was 3-4 hours so I would feel like I am sitting better walking into the classroom. Now, I still have 3 weeks left, but there is a lot to do. So, today I start by making lists and kicking out the tasks one by one. I won’t feel so overwhelmed if I just buckle down and put my nose to the grindstone!

I spent the past two days at a conference / workshop on cybersecurity. It was good. Like all conferences, the sessions are hit and miss. Even though the conference was in Illinois, it took 2 hours to drive there in “city” traffic, so I booked a hotel room and stayed one night. What to do in a hotel room by yourself? Watch Forest Gump on Netflix and knit.

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I don’t like the socks that I had started so I brought the bag of leftover sock yarn with the intention of starting another pair of monster socks. Instead, I came across this pattern for making mitered squares and joining them as you go. The squares are slightly over 2″ so I don’t see this as a project that will ever get finished into a real blanket! But it was busy hotel room work. Very mindless and enjoyable. And, as you can see, I have over 20 squares with no repeats. I know I have at least another half dozen more yarns to add before I will have to repeat any! I make a lot of scarves and socks! No matter how many of these odds and ends projects I tackle, that bag of leftover yarn never seems to get smaller…

Two Day Quilt

19 Jul

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Yay! Finished! T-shirt quilts are pretty simple and quick, but if you have two sewists chatting up a storm and working on the same quilt, the process speeds along at warp speed. The final quilt fits a twin XL bed measuring 67 X 92. The label is amateurish, but it’s done and sewn on and can be replaced if necessary in the future. DJ has already told me numerous times that he likes it and has thanked us for our efforts.

Gosh, that was so much fun. I should load another quilt on my long arm and finish another project! Keep the finishes going!

Knitted Footies

17 Jul

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Yup, I started another pair of socks. These are ankle height “Footies”. I am not crazy about the yarn – it twists up while knitting, I don’t love the texture or the pattern. Then why am I using it? Cuz I have it in my stash and for some reason I only have 1 ball so that’s not enough to make a full pair of socks but is enough to make these short ones. I’m going to a conference early next week and I need a project to keep me busy at night in the hotel. These will work plus I’ll probably bring something else to start just in case.

Today we start DJ’s quilt. I’m ready…

So Much To Do

16 Jul

…and so little time.

I finished my scarf.

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I took the picture on the outside patio table so it shows the actual color. It’s a nice teal color unlike any other scarf I currently have. It’s soaking in the sink right now and I’ll block it today.

What’s next? Well, I have to stop my current piecing project of shoo-fly blocks to whip up an emergency project. This is how I get UFOs by the way! The emergency project is DJ’s dorm quilt! We’ve decided to do at shirt quilt. By “we” I mean my sister and I. She is coming down for a quick retreat at my house and we are going to get it kicked out in 2 days. Yep – piecing and quilting and binding. A finished quilt in two days! We’ve done it before, we work well under pressure evidently. Here is the design.

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I think I need another gray and another blue shirt right now. I’m doing laundry and trying to find the ones that he has identified.

So today brings: cleaning the basement sewing room in anticipation of my sister coming here; possibly prepping the shirts with the interfacing; doing more prep for him to leave. That last bit involves buying stuff for his dorm room, getting his final transcripts released from his old school, getting him an ATM card. Those kinds of things.

Sewing

14 Jul

I have been sewing just a wee little bit and as a result I’ve made progress on the shoo-fly blocks.

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Now, you might see some changes from the previous posts. My original idea was to have mostly 6″ blocks with some 12″ ones thrown in randomly. Well… I got tired of piecing 6″ blocks. You get no where fast with small blocks, know what I mean? So now the plan is to have 12″ blocks with 6″ blocks as sashing!

I can see from the picture that I need more medium value blocks and I need to move around some of the darker ones. Overall, it’s progressing. Since I’ve sworn off lap quilts (heaven knows, I have enough of those!), I think one more row and column will make this a nice sized bed quilt before borders.

No Pictures Today

13 Jul

No pictures today – just a lot of miscellaneous thoughts.

We spent yesterday at the Illinois Math and Science Academy. It was orientation day. We got a lot of our questions answered about campus life and academics. One thing that was pressing on my mind was drugs. Apparently a couple of kids from our area have gone to IMSA in the past and have come home with a drug problem. The had a 30 minute Q&A about the discipline policy. The very first time you are caught with any drug or alcohol it’s a 10-day suspension and a hearing to determine if you’ll be let back in. Last year, they had less than 10 of those for a student body of 600. Now, was it worse in the part? I don’t know. They don’t do random drug testing like my son’s current school. I may be naive, but DJ doesn’t currently have the disposition for drug use. He’s not worried about fitting in with the “cool kids”. His current friends sat home are not drinkers. THIS area has a terrible teen alcohol problem. We have parents who are partiers raising kids who follow their footsteps.

Second, will DJ fit in socially and academically? As I looked around the room, there were a lot of boys who looked similar to DJ. Smart, geeky, introverts. So I think he will find friends there.

Third, what about the boarding? That talk really eased my mind. Each “wing” has 24 boys – 8 from each class (sophomore, junior, senior). A Residential Counselor (RC) is an adult who lives in the wing 24/7. We met the RCs and asked a lot of questions. They also have two counselors. The counselors and RCs talked about how they help the kids fit in, deal with stress, and look for signs of depression, anxiety, etc.

What’s holding me back from embracing this school? My fears. The unknown. I’m a “safe” person who doesn’t take many risks. So I’m afraid if DJ takes this risk and of fails, it will be a setback for him in many ways. That’s what we talk about the most with him. It’s okay to come back to his home school if things don’t work out. It’s not a failure. It just wasn’t meant to be for you at this point in your life. But DJ? He’s 100% for this. He wasn’t with us during the orientation. They broke the kids away from the parents and had a separate set of sessions for them. They had sample classes taught by the actual teachers. He LOVED the history and English teachers (go figure – in a math and science school DJ loves the other subjects!). Being a teacher, I can appreciate the different teaching style the employ at IMSA. It’s not for everyone but it’s similar to they way DJ has learned his whole life.

The bottom line (if you’ve read this far) is that I’m 95% sure that this is where he will go next year. Scary? You betcha. But I think it’s a good move for him. I think….

I Lied

10 Jul

I had every intention of putting my knitting away for the rest of the summer. But when I brought the yarn bag downstairs, I saw this other bag of teal yarn and I made the mistake of taking it out and petting it. It’s so soft! 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon. It jumped right out of the bag and on to my needles – I swear!

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And a scarf was born. The pattern is simple and addicting. It’s called Pimpelliese. I like the construction and the finished look a lot. And so,mill work on this scarf a while….

What about sewing? Maybe today I’ll get downstairs and make a few more blocks. I just haven’t had the sewing bug lately.

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