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18 of 52….Saturday Shenanigans

Yesterday began, as my Saturdays do, with quilty goodness. I started sewing strips to squares for the back of the last quilt I showed you. I got about half way done. I also took a few minutes to sketch out my basic plan, lest I forget what I’m doing.  It’s not exactly a beautiful picture, and probably not clear to anyone but me, but I understand it, and it’s safely tucked under the ironing pad so I can reference it later.  When I get to the machine again, I’ll need to cut more strips.  I can usually squeeze that type of thing in during week nights, so when next Saturday rolls around, I should be able to just sit down and sew.

Next on the project list was gardening.  The last of my indoor starts went in the dirt, including the okra you see on the right.  The peas were directly seeded three weeks ago, but they are so pretty, I thought they needed to be memorialized. We’ve got two 4×3 contained beds, a 4×4 plot in the corner of the house, a random mound in the back yard, a patch over the septic tank, and multiple containers, in addition to the two fenced gardens that we haven’t done anything with this year. One of my housemates is a plant genius, and she keeps me from disaster by reminding me of things I haven’t considered.  We are fans of the green and growing things!

This year, I’ve separated the squashes from the tomatoes, peppers, okra and cucumbers, since they overgrew and starved those things of sunlight last year.  I’ve planted the squash only with trellised beans this season, and we’ll see what happens.

I also did a bit of knitting on the Third Fourth Doctor Scarf, and I’m creeping up on halfway done.  Of course, now that Sarah lives in North Carolina again, she’ll have little practical use for a huge woolen scarf, but the point of Fourth Doctor Scarves has never been practicality, now has it?  But I tell you what, once I finish this scarf I’ll be looking for something to knit that isn’t mile after mile of garter stitch.

We ended the evening with Iron Man and popcorn for those that could have it.  I’ve started on a quest to watch the Marvel Universe movies in story order.  My track record for watching media is not stellar, but I keep trying, because I like to know what’s going on in conversations and memes.  True confession: until last night, I didn’t know who Tony Stark was.  Sigh.  Yeah, I pretty much live under a pop culture rock.

 

Here’s a gratuitous picture of my dog being a dog, because he makes me happy with his dogness!

16 of 52….First exception

Or, How I Came To Find Myself In My Local Quilt Store In Spite Of “Not Needing Any Fabric.”  Yeah, even after asked my partner to help hold me accountable.  Because I also created an exception clause.  If I need fabric to complete a project that I’m using current stash for, I am allowed to buy fabric.  So I did.  Buy fabric I mean.  But only 2.5 yards to create sashing and borders for these blocks I cut out yesterday and today from Fabric Fair goodness .

These are going to be the center of the back for the top I showed you over the weekend, and I hope to start sewing after I get home today.  And yes, I will need MORE fabric.  I’ve accounted for about 56 x 75 inches, give or take 10 inches on each dimension, and I have to get to 88 x 88 plus enough extra to load it onto a longarm for quilting.

On third thought, there might not be much sewing.  I have a LOT of strips to cut, and I need to decide if I want them 1.5 inches or 2 inches before I start.

14 of 52….I finished it!

Sewed the last few seams on this queen-sized top this morning.  It’s for Daughter Number Three in fabric she selected and a pattern she approved.

 

I had to stand on the upstairs balcony to get the picture, because huge! I’m planning to do some piecing on the back, and here are the leftovers I’ll start with.  It joins the stack of finished tops, so I’ve scheduled a long arm quilting lesson for the first weekend of June, which should give me time to get the back together.

After the sewing, I decided to assess the state of the stash I swore not to accumulate. Now, have some mercy, because some of the stuff in these pictures has been in my possession for over 20 years. But some of it, more than half of it, has been purchased since March. Here are the quilty bits (and a few chunks that might be large enough for other purposes):

Yeah, the pic cut off on the right, the camera can only capture so much, and I stood on a chair to get what I got.  I think that table is 2×4 feet.

Here is the yardage that will become clothing and/or backing:

Yesterday, when I said I would not need more fabric until next year’s Fabric Fair, I didn’t realize how serious I was!  I think I will hold off on any purchases not needed to complete something I’ve started with what you see here.  And yes, there are two complete planned tops on the table, along with a slew of random possibilities.

If you’ll excuse me now, I need to go clear off my bed and my idea space.

P.S.  I’ve changed the name of the the category “cass knits” to “cass makes things,” because I do way more than knit these days.  The slug will stay the same so that all the links continue to work.  Carry on!

8 of 52

In which I freely admit to skipping a week because I was reorganizing my room pursuant to the removal of a huge corner cabinet and that was more important than letting you know there was minimal progress on my other goals.  I’ve been finishing that reorganization and cleaning this week, so there still hasn’t been much progress.

But I am getting back on track:  I knit yesterday and brought that third scarf to 1/5 done.  I still aim for a March finish.  I also unearthed the February books and will get back to them after I publish this post and make the chicken salad for this week’s lunches.  I read extra in January, so I am still good for the year, but I am sure Sarah is waiting on my March selection, which I cannot in good conscience give her until I finish her February book.  But heads up, it will be A Wrinkle in Time, so I can see the movie with the book fresh in my head.

Speaking of movies, I saw Black Panther last weekend. It was entertaining, but I was unimpressed with the sociological message behind it. Or maybe the lack of same. There were vibrant Black characters, which I was glad to see, but viewed through my social work lens the conflict between the “good and peaceful” king and his “violent and bad” challenger just didn’t work. It tasted like a rehashing of the argument about whether marginalized peoples should protest quietly/peacefully or angrily/forcefully. The crisp, grammatical English spoken by the king juxtaposed against the more sloppy enunciation of the challenger was also frustrating.  It may be my own white ignorance, but I think the movie played to stereotypes of some white folk’s ideas of acceptable Blackness versus unacceptable Blackness. UGH! You can do better, Hollywood.  You need to do better.  Show us more strong Black characters without the Uncle Tom’s Cabin overlay.  The little scene after the credits started did a bit to alleviate my concerns, but how many people saw that? Our family was almost alone in the theater when that happened, but we never leave until the lights come up–most people scurry as soon as the credits start.

Yeah, I know that’s a controversial thing I said up there. Hate if you gotta hate, but keep it civil.

The other thing I spent time mulling this week was Aristotle’s quote: It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. I was am troubled by how many people I know who cannot do this. Won’t do this. Whichever, effect is the same.

In other entertainment news, we have new soundbars, one in my room and one in the living room.  They improve the television and music experience 167%. As the CNET review for the Vizio SB3621n-E8 said, “Just buy this.”

6 of 52

In which we say TaDa!

Now, I realize this one is not quite as impressive, being a mere 8.5 feet, but here is my Fourth Doctor Scarf. Go me.

I’m a bit ahead of my knitting schedule, so I need to figure out what is going to happen next. Now, I’m a list maker by nature, and a social worker by profession. I know that I know that I know that what gets measured gets attained. With that in mind, I made this hobby tracking page for my BuJo in December:

You will see I had to cross out “weekend” because we had an area-wide snow day this week and I used it to knit. Also, I’m in a different relational space now and some of my weekends will be filled with fun stuff that doesn’t include crafting of any kind. (The boxes, empty and with dots, just indicate the 10th such action, so I don’t have to count by ones over and over.)

So here’s the deal, I can’t decide if I want to think of the year in quarters or sixths. Finishing my scarf so early in February brings this to the fore because it affects how I allocate my remaining craft days in February and possibly into March. So naturally, I’m talking it out on the blog.

Sixths makes it easier to track the one ofs, but quarters is best for everything else. I’m leaning toward quarters, and will probably take a couple days to consider this while I catch up on my reading. I know the chart says I’m ahead on that, but the book on my right which hasn’t been touched for four days assures me otherwise.

I’m guessing I’ll knit during the week and do other projects on the weekend for a couple of weeks. Well three weeks if we include next weekend which is one of the “fun stuff that doesn’t include crafting” I previously mentioned. Yeah, okay. By quarters. Take a couple of evenings to read, pick up the last Fourth Doctor Scarf midweek, and do a different hobby the weekend of the 24th. Thanks guys, you’ve been very helpful. I knew I could count on you!

5 of 52

In which we confess the things we aren’t giving a fuck about, but later

Does this look vaguely familiar? It should. This is a mini Fourth Doctor scarf, suitably sized for my five foot frame. It is going a bit quicker than the last one, being approximately half the size. I’m a hair over half way done with it.

Guys. I am bored with garter stitch. And these are not even colors I particularly like. But I am fangirling hard, and I NEED this scarf in my life, because reasons. Therefore, I am knitting on. There’s one more left after mine, and I am just gonna grit my teeth and plow through.

Here are the books I am reading. I broke my unannounced reading rule of one book at a time, because February got here before I finished Anansi Boys, and so I needed to start Sarah’s Cousins Book Club selection in a timely manner. I’m two chapters into both, and you can see from the post’s tag line that I am taking the material to heart already.

Now then, a discussion of things I now find worthy and unworthy of my personal fucks. I know you can’t wait to read this part. HA!

So, near the end of December, I decided that I wanted to do the following things on a daily basis in 2018:

  • Create things
  • Express appreciation to others
  • Haiku
  • Make music
  • Read
  • Write stories from my days

I even made myself a handy-dandy year long tracker for each item in my bullet journal.

Here’s what I notice I give a fuck about, because I do them at least five of seven days: Create, Express appreciation, Haiku, Read. I do not make music or write prose. I want to be a writer and musician, but I am not willing to consistently put my energy into these things. Perhaps because they aren’t concrete goals like knit 12 items and read 12 books. Perhaps because I have limited resources of time and find other things more enjoyable. Perhaps because I could do these things, but it would require running through my evenings with a timer in my hand and not interacting with my family and this is unacceptable to me. Maybe after my tangible creativity goals for the year are met. Maybe not. Maybe what I am getting around to on a regular basis is an accurate representation of what is actually important to me. And that’s okay. I can practice giving and not giving fucks any way that increases my personal life satisfaction.

4 of 52

In Which We Vow To Knit Smarter As you can see, I finished the first Fourth Doctor Scarf. I promise the recipient isn’t always as grumpy as he appears here. There have been a few shake-ups this week, and we’re all kinda trying to roll with the punches. You’ll note that I’m keeping my face out of this blog post. Here’s a picture of the giant scarf roll. This is a picture of the other side, and the proof that I need to knit smarter. That, my friends, is 104 ends that need weaving in. And you can’t even see the ones in the work itself where the yarn ball ran out in the middle of a stripe. Oi! Here’s 18 feet of jumbled up finished scarf. There’s really no way to get a picture of the whole thing laid out. I started a new book, third for the year; and picked my in-between project. I’ll be working on this until February 1st: I’ll start it tomorrow and may or may not get it finished by Wednesday night. Knitting will recommence Thursday. There was also working, a bit of cooking, and plenty of wine drinking. And that, dear reader, is your weekly update. One day ahead of schedule. Go me!

3 of 52

We’ll call this one “The Nope Edition.” Nope, I didn’t finish the Fourth Doctor Scarf, though I only have 72 rows to go. Nope, I didn’t finish Illusions, though another 20 minutes should do it. I did go to Frederick today, where I picked up another copy of Illusions for a friend, and this delightful yarn.

It’s wound into cakes and ready to become Edison by Lynn Di Cristina, and I can cast on as soon as I quit typing.