Monday, March 29, 2021

The End -- of March!! Whaaaatt???

Three months into 2021 I'm wondering what the heck happens to time as you get older.  It seems to telescope, or zoom past.  Zooming used to mean going fast, now it's meetings where you only worry about the state of your hair and what kind of top you put on, and you're wearing pj bottoms or fuzzy slippers!

ZZZZZZZZZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!

And another month has disappeared.  What have I accomplished?

Finish it February is over.  I managed to finish a couple of old stinker projects.  A sweater I don't even remember casting on; a cowl I started at least three years ago; a pair of socks that only requires the closure of the toes.  What I didn't manage was to figure out why I ever stopped knitting on these items in the first place.

I have decided I need some fiber therapy.  I'm tired of people and meetings.  Well not ALL people, just a few select people.

I recently had an encounter that was very upsetting.  Someone with whom I work did something they shouldn't have which made extra work for me, and I was angry.  I encountered said person not intending to speak to them, but they spotted me and started justifying and explaining.  I said "I can't talk about this now, I'm still too upset."  This person just ignored that statement and continued their diatribe.  I said again "I don't want to talk now".  Same result.  

I should have walked away.  I deeply regret not walking away, because I spoke up, listing several reasons why I was upset about what had happened.  The other person was smiling and nodding like you do when someone else is talking, but obviously not listening because immediately after I stopped talking they went back to more of the same stuff as if I hadn't spoken.

I finally just turned and left the room, which is what I had intended to do in the first place.

Later I received an apology in email in which this person said they were sorry they were not 'communicating well'.

COMMUNICATION:  NOUN
the imparting or exchanging of information or news.
  the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.


Obviously I believe communication is a joint venture, where two or more people exchange information or ideas.  Each listens to the other.  Obviously I was the person not communicating well because the things I said didn't penetrate into the conciousness of the other person.


CONCIOUS:  ADJECTIVE
aware of and responding to one's surroundings; awake.

 

The apology was long and wordy and ended with a classic passive-aggressive statement that was probably intended to make me feel guilty over the anguish I had caused the person by being upset.  But instead it made me even more upset.  I lost a couple hours of sleep and thought of all sorts of things I could have said if the conversation had continued.

However!!  I didn't say any of them.  I responded to the email saying that the particular martyrdom offered up was not required, but that in future the proper thing to do would be to blah-blah-blah for the protection of all parties involved and let's leave it at that.  Phrased very diplomatically and omitting all emotion.

After that I resolved to try to learn not to react or say things that might momentarily feel good but don't solve the issue.  And to limit the interactions with this person to only the very necessary.  The apology offered is basically worthless because the person completely missed the point, and hasn't enough respect for me to listen when I speak.  The thing they're sorry for is that they've been seen to be wrong and someone other than me knows it.

Ah, Reader, it's sad for me to realize that some people just have to be avoided in order to retain sanity!  Is it Pandemic Behavior, or is this something that this person has always done and I just can't tolerate it any longer?  I retreat from this type of behavior, it's exhausting to deal with and I don't want to do it any more.

Can I just stay in my house forever, and not deal with difficult people?

Sadly, no.






So I'm spending some time with my knitting projects and trying to avoid stinky people with bad personalities for a while.  Wish me luck!


Knit on...


 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Finish It February

 A YouTube channel that I watch regularly is hosted by a woman in Minnesota named Roxanne Richardson.  She is a Certified Master Hand Knitter, and a techie and teacher.  

One of the January videos was about the month she calls "Finish It February".  I loved the concept!  If you have UFOs (unfinished objects) you take the month of FEbruary and try to finish them off.  Out go the UFOs, in come FOs, or things you can actually USE.  

What a concept!

She hosts a group on Ravelry.com and invites people to discuss and post their UFO/FOs in February.  Not being brave enough to do that, and be shown up, I posted mine to Facebook.

I picked out several things that I wanted to complete at the end of January. Ugh, January, can any month be more depressing in Wisconsin, and then the whole post-election thing!!  But onward we go, and things got calmer.

First up, some socks.  I knit top down, four double pointed needles, one at a time.  I had two pairs in process, one regular and one yoga socks (no heels or toes).

The yoga socks were easy, since the heels and toes take the most time.  I think I actually had those done before the end of January.


These are now finished, that loose end and other ends have been woven in, and I love wearing them around the house.

The other pair has slid itself to the end of the line, I have both toes and heels done, but the toes need to be finished off with the Kitchener stitch, and ends woven in.  Make Up March??  LOL!


Next came two cowls.  One was started in like late 2018 or early 2019, the other more recently.  Last to start was first to be finished.  This was knit with a free pattern from two balls of Chroma from Knit Picks.  I love red!



You can get a different look by twisting one color or another around to the front.  I don't remember the pattern name and I can't locate it right now.  It was a Knit-Along on Ravelry I think.

The other cowl is the Toolbox Cowl.  It's a paid for pattern.  It is specifically designed to feature several mini skeins in various colors.  I think you're supposed to do seven or eight, and I might do that for a second one, but I stopped after I had used each color that I had one time.  Two times would have made this too tall for my short neck.

I love this yarn, it's called CoBaSi, for Cotton-Bamboo-Silk.  It's not fuzzy, but it is warm and colorful.  See for yourself:




All the ends are woven in and it's blocked and ready for wearing.

The last thing on my list was a gray UFO that was on the 8 year plan.  I'm not even sure when I started it, but it was a while ago, at least one house before this one!  The yarn is a crinkly 90% acrylic 10% wool that I bought ages before I started the project.  It was probably cheap because I wasn't a yarn snob when I bought it.  But it was a pretty shade of gray, dark and charcoally.  

The pattern is called Allegra from either Lion Brand or another yarn company and it was free for downloading.  It's knit side to side.  The pattern shows it being shorter than it turned out, and I didn't do that purposely.  I think I knit a gauge swatch but maybe not!  Who can remember that long ago?

Anyway, all done but the blocking now.  Although whether blocking makes any difference with that much acrylic content who can tell?  But finished is better than perfect!




Not to worry, I haven't run out of UFOs!  But it's nice to have these done.

On other notes, I got a mammogram this week, and a first dose of the Covid vaccine.  Take care of yourself, because if you don't, who is going to do it for you?  It's important, especially these days.

Knit on...




Wednesday, January 6, 2021

If You Can't Say Anything Nice...

My mom used to say "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".  

I wish some public figures would learn that!  I know that's an impossibility, but a girl can dream, can't she?  LOL!

I think MOST of the people on TV these days hold more with 'if you can't say anything nice, come sit next to me".

Now that 2020 is over and people are looking toward making New Year's Resolutions, I've been thinking about the effect 2020 had, and what we can look forward to in 2021.  Did you know most resolutions are forgotten by February?


Right now, just more of the same old - same old stuff.  As the engineers I worked with used to say, Same S**T, Different Day.  Truth.  It's going to take a while before things go back to anywhere near what used to be normal.

Normal? 

I hope not!  I hope we learned some things, and make some permanent changes.  Make America great again??  Ha ha!  I hope we can make America SMARTER.  Make America be nice again, read again, be sensible again.  If only!

Wishful thinking again?

If you're one of those who makes resolutions or chooses a word for the year, here are a few random thoughts of mine.  Remember, these and $5 will get you a coffee at Starbucks...

The word I'm sick to death of is unprecendented.  

[ˌənˈpresədən(t)əd]  ADJECTIVE

  1. never done or known before.
    "the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence"
    synonyms:
    unparalleled · unequaled · unmatched · unrivaled · without parallel · without equal · extraordinary · uncommon · out of the ordinary · unusual · outstanding · striking · exceptional · prodigious · abnormal · singular · remarkable · unique · anomalous · atypical ·
  2. As you can see, there are approximately 20 synonyms but how many of them did you hear on the nightly news??  Don't get me started on the vocabulary of today's news people!!


The word I tried to use in 2020 was FINISH.  I wanted to finish projects in a reasonable time.  I wanted to finish up my UFOs, I tried to be better at this, and I only really achieved anything like a reasonable finish rate in November.  Maybe the holidays were a good motivation.  Maybe I work better with a deadline.

Focus.  I like that word a lot.  2020 was a hard year for me with regard to personal focus.  I learned that if I don't make lists and set deadlines, I slide way down the focus meter.  I said to myself too many times, I can do that tomorrow.  Then I spent today doing not a lot of anything productive.  Hence the Covid 10 - that's pounds I gained from sitting on the couch eating M&Ms.  😒
  1. I hereby resolve to continue to reach out to my people in 2021 like I did in 2020.

  2. Well, I didn't do a great job at that, so maybe my resolution should be to do it better.  With being homebound for so much of the year, we learned, each in our own way, which of our relationships were most important to us.  Did we get closer to our significant other or wish to smother them with a pillow at night?  Just KIDDING! But you get my drift... who was it that we ached to see, and to whom did we send texts or make phone calls most often?  Those are our significant others.  May we cherish them in 2021 even better than we did in the past.


  3. And what didn't you miss?  I found that I can live without actually going into the grocery store.  I am perfectly happy to send my hubby with lists 95% of the time.  It's only when he spends $17 on an organic whole chicken that I regret not going myself.  Because he would NEVER think to comparison shop nor call me from the store.  And he'd rather buy an organic chicken than disappoint me by coming home without one.  I think I like that about him most of the time.


  4. And guess what, it was actually no better (or worse) tasting than the $6.60 non-organic one I bought this week!

  5. I don't miss shopping for other things, first because, well, Amazon.  And secondly because I don't need anything else.  Really.  I learned that this year.  The different between need and want was always an intellectual thing.  This year I learned what it really is.  I need nothing that I don't already have.  A nice home, warm clothes, food to eat, a great family, a church home, Jesus in my heart.  Everything else is, as they say, gravy.

  6. So here's to 2021.  May it be everything you want it to be, but be careful what you wish for:  you might just get it!

  7. Keep calm and carry on...

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Quilting, or How I Bit The Bullet

 I self-define as a piecer, not a quilter.  Let's be honest, I think I KNOW how to do it, heck I've even taken a few classes.  But it's not really my thing.  I always tell people that I quilt by checkbook.  And I'm not sorry.

People outside the quilting world often think that 'quilting' is the whole thing from buying the fabric to having a finished quilt.  To them I probably look like a 'quilter'.  I start with fabric and end with a quilt.  But I prefer to think of myself in the purest terms as a piecer.  I so love the process of choosing pattern and fabric, cutting the parts and sewing them together.

Then, I'm done.  Literally.  I have a tub of tops to prove my point.  

Now being a piecer has its drawbacks... dollars for one.  You normally have to pay someone to do your quilting for you, unless you can barter or trade for it.  So each quilt sent to a long-armer ends up costing somewhere from $75 to $100 and up as they get bigger.

Of course they are very worth it.  They come back looking fantastic!  The woman who is doing my quilts these days has a real flair for matching her pantograms to my fabric choices.  She is a jewel!

But I have done some small items.  This table runner I made for my son was a Quilt-As-You-Go project, all straight lines.  I can handle that.


But recently I have been making a real effort to get some of my UFOs finished without spending a ton of money.  Honestly, some of the early ones are not works of art, not long-arm worthy.

So it doesn't matter if the quilting is expertly done, right?  As long as they hold together.  They'd be good practice, and my sewing machine comes equipped with at least two different types of quilting feet.  OK, so I decided to give it a try.



This holiday table runner was purchased two years ago at least.  The fabric is gorgeous, and it could not have been easier to make.  A friend and I bought them together on the same shopping trip and hers has been done (and expertly so) for probably the whole two years.  So I got brave and jumped in.  I did a decent job in the center panel, quilting on the lines of the leaves and swirls.  The next two borders got really wonky figure eights.  Whatever.  The outside border got loops.  I figured it was going to be hard to see against the print.

OK, bound and done.


Next was this family quilt.  My sewing family decided to do a block exchange.  Aunty Sunny wanted a Christmas Quilt.  She started it.  She made the Christmas tree with instructions from our Friday Night Sewing sisters.  Everyone made twelve blocks of the same type and we swapped.  We were short on people so cousin Shelly and I each made two blocks, and got two quilts.  That was a while ago, because two of my cousins who participated have since passed away.  I decided to layer and quilt this one myself.

There are lots of blocks that have buttons or trims on them.  Santa has a pompom on his hat, and his beard and mustache are fringy.   I made the top left block and the bottom center block.  My theme was wreaths.  My quilting leaves something to be desired.  Hopefully I'll improve on quilt number 2.


This quilt was made from scraps left over from other projects.  To me it looks kind of Dr. Seuss-ish.  My daughter's father-in-law agreed.  Maybe he'd like it!  

My quilting is actually improving... at least it feels a little more comfortable, and my shoulders are not attempting to disengage from my arms!  So there might be light at the end of the tunnel.  Or is that the train!!??

Three UFOs finished in December.  Wow!  I amazed even myself.  I also bound Woven Ribbons, which was quilted by Lynn about a year ago.  Can I count that as four??  LOL!  I need all the credit I can get.

Quilt on...


Saturday, December 26, 2020

And Then...

Some days.  I just can't even.  I must have Covid Brain...

Do you feel like that sometimes?  There are days when I get up and think I have so much ambition and I'm going to get so many things done today, and then suddenly it's 4 p.m. and what did I do today?  Nothing.  Good heavens, it seems like the whole YEAR has gone that way!

Squirrel!!

Today for example.  I was going to go down to the sewing room and do some machine embroidery.  I put scallop shells onto linen napkins for baptisms at my church.  I have a stack ready to go.  I have thread and stabilizer.  The design is loaded up.

Instead, after I combed my hair (I really need to schedule a haircut!) and made the bed and took some antacid because breakfast didn't agree with me, I sat down at my desk and started cruising Amazon.  For what, I asked myself?  I don't need a thing.  Well, just let's check out any new books that may have come out since Wednesday... squirrel!

So I decided that I needed to figure out just what I DID finish this year, or at least since Covid made us all stay home more.

First, I made a few shop samples.  This was just a top, someone else quilted it.  There's a kit you can buy, at least there was before Christmas...



This table runner I pieced, quilted and bound.  Granted, the quilting is pretty basic, diagonal lines.


I also knitted a few things, finished completely!  The first big one was Miss E's Harry Styles sweater.


Then I finished a Wave of Change for a gift.  Sadly, no pic of the finished sweater...


This was a UFO that had languished for ages.  Finally finished both of the sleeves and I'm done.


This is a second Wave of Change, modified for stripes.  Again, sadly, no photo of the finished sweater, but it was gifted on Christmas Eve.


The same young man who got the striped WOC sweater got this quilt.   I actually quilted this one too,
with a wavy pattern and swirls.  My shoulders ached for days after doing this on my home machine!


Next thing I found a photo of was this pile of pillow cases.  It's what you do when you have 24 inches of fabric left over.

I completed two quilt tops for the preschool at church and passed them along to our quilter for finishing.  They were auctioned off as a fundraiser for the school.



This was a fun project, I actually did two of them.  Three strands of worsted held together, and crochet with a BIG hook for about three days and you get a basket to store your extra yarn in, or whatever have you.  They fold flat when empty.

I also did a blue top called Traffic Jam, it's a Pat Sloan free project on her website.  I donated this top to our church guild, but I'm so loving these blocks that I have enough for a red top and nearly enough for a green one!

I also knitted about a dozen kitchen dish clothes...


AND I finished this Camaro sweater, which was going to be for me but ended up gifted to Miss A, who liked it a lot.  No pic of the finished sweater yet.  Maybe she'll model it for me.


And masks...


OK, so not such a lost year after all.  Hmmm, I'm inspired to go down to the sewing room again!

Sew on...


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Just When You Think You Know Anything...

So today (Wednesday, December 23) I'll be hopefully getting the last of the Christmas deliveries.

I read somewhere, who can remember, that there was going to be a problem getting quilt batting due to Covid caused shortages and shipping delays.  Our guild at church uses these rolls for all our quilts, and we generally go through two rolls a year.

I decided I'd better start looking to get another one on order, since rumor had it that the wait could be up to three months.

On Monday, I went on line to search rolled batting.  I found a roll of what we usually get on the Walmart website, and placed my order.  Delivery date?  

Wednesday.  December 23.  2020.

Oh my!  Well, I hope there's a spot in my garage to store it so it can sit until I can deliver it to church.  Having it delivered to the church building on December 23 was just not an option, because, well Christmas.  Services are being held on Friday and Sunday with the expected increased numbers in attendance of people who only attend at this time, and Live Nativity taking place on Friday afternoon.

Go figure.

Well, the good news is, there doesn't appear to be a batting shortage after all!

Sew on...



Friday, December 11, 2020

Covid and Other Things


Knock on wood, I haven't gotten Covid 19 or tested positive.   I haven't even been tested.   



It doesn't hurt that I don't go much of anywhere.  Seriously, I don't even go to the mailbox!  Well, I'm not allowed to go to the mailbox because if I went to the mailbox, I might SEE the mail before the Inspector General sees it.  Not that we get good mail in the mailbox anymore.

I get my packages delivered to the porch.  Packages don't need to be inspected, LOL!  The IG sometimes brings them in and puts them on the table.

But the mail, that's a different story.  He'll scan each envelope or card or advertising piece and then sort them.  Yours, mine, yours, yours. MOST of what we get is junk.

I get the ones that say Occupant along with the ones that say Susan and the ones that say Arthur and Susan, so I don't know why they need inspecting.  He gets like one item per month.  Just sayin'...

He goes to the grocery store with lists I make.  I go about once every six or eight weeks, just to see if I can still find things.

And we go to church.  It's very socially distanced, almost everyone wears masks, it's good.  Sometimes I run the slides so we sit in the AV booth.

People I know have been exposed to Covid and not gotten it, but a few have gotten it.  My cousin (in her 80s) got it and passed away due to the complications she also had.  A friend of mine went to the hospital for completely unrelated things and while she was there her son brought Covid home to her husband who had dementia and her husband died of it.  Imagine the grief.  You can't.  She's in rehab now and hasn't been home since he passed away.

Several people I know have gotten it from their grandchildren.  Kids are exposed the most, I think.  Both sides of my family have had kids sent home to quarantine because someone at school tested positive.

Every disaster movie ever filmed started with the government ignoring some science.  Ah well, soon we'll be able to get a vaccine.  Am I the only person who shudders every time they show needles going into arms on TV??  UGH!!

Decoration is happening today.  The Inspector General brought all the boxes in from the garage, and set up the tree.  He stopped for a break.  I wonder if he thinks he's done??  LOL!

Happy holidays, and only two more weeks to Christmas!

Rock on...