Tuesday, October 17, 2017

UFO vs WiP

What turns a WiP (work in progress) into a UFO (unfinished object)?

I have this huge list (on Ravelry) of all of my current UFOs.  There are 25 items on it.  That seems excessive, but I've either frogged (ie rip it, rip it) or finished six so far this year and only added two.

My criteria for when a WiP becomes a UFO seems to be a year.   There are very few projects that I attempt that SHOULD take longer than that.  And those that do are marked "ongoing" in the list - the sock yarn scrap afghan because I add materials to it when I am down to 'leftover leftovers', and the two 'never ending' quilts.   Those are the leader/ender and the sample/orphan block quilts.  When I finish one of them, I'll just start another of the same type.

Most weekdays, I have about an hour in the evening for creative pursuit in and around  a load of laundry, a bit of housework and dinner plus prepping for the next day's lunch.  I try to settle down by 9, read a chapter of the current book, say Compline and have lights out by 9:45.   I'm up at 5 to be on the road by 6am to be at work by 7:15.

Two nights a week I have evening obligations.   Bell Choir on Wednesday, of course; then either Tuesday or Thursday (depending on what week of the month) Yarn Barn groups and Quilt Guild.   All are things I enjoy, but it does cut into my free time.

Looking at the types of projects by craft type:

It's easy to track my knitting, crochet, and spinning projects.  Ravelry has a clever sorting system where inactive projects can go into 'hibernation' and show up at the very bottom of a person's project list.   I have just one project there now - a huge lace shawl.

On the needlework front, I have always used a rotation.  A lot of my projects are complex and/or large.  I try to work on each one for a solid 10 hours before I put it away and bring out the next one.   I divide my needlework into three "types" or "slots" and have only one project of each type going at a time.  The slots are historic/vintage style, modern, and pictorial.  I also have a fourth slot for finishing/framing.   I only consider the current slot as 'active work in progress', the others are temporary UFOs.

On the sewing and quilting front, all but one of my projects are old and on the list linked above.  I am going to make my son a Quilt of Valor.  As an Iraq veteran, he deserves one and it's silly to sign him up to get a quilt from someone else when his mom is a quilter, right?  I can see that at some point I will have more than one quilt in progress.  I could easily have a quilt that I'm currently piecing, a leader/ender, a hand quilting project in the frame or hoop, and something that I'm either English Paper Piecing (EPP)/hand appliqueing/hand piecing.  It's possible that I might use a rotation like I do for needlework to keep the quilting bug under control. 

My problem occurs when I have too many projects.  I tend to be able to keep working on about three with reasonable frequency. But I also really need to get some finishes in every month so I feel like it 'ends' at some point.   Small things like hats for charity or ornaments can fill that need.

So my current WiP load looks like:
  1. Knitting - a small charity project set to be underway for Yarn Barn Knit Night - third Thursday, finish it up right after the first of the following month so as to have some "Stash Dive" yardage every month to keep my streak going (nearly three years now).  Right now, this project is socks.
  2. Knitting "Big" project - I have SO many large shawl and sweater quantities of yarn.   Right now, this is "Rosemarkie Waistcoat" (Rav link in the sidebar).   Finishing this will be a UFO off the list.  
  3. Needlework -  The one project that is in the current rotation.  I'm in the 'finish/frame' slot currently and working on getting the Hexipuff Cushion assembled.   Another off the UFO list
  4. Quilting - piecing the back for my "Scrappy Sister's Choice" so it go to the Long Arm quilter next week.   When it comes back, I'll have to square the sides and make and put on the binding and label.   This will come off the UFO list.
  5. Quilting - EPP and applique on "Aunt Lottie's Flower Garden" - another one off the UFO list
  6. Quilting - EPP Block of the Month "Lucy Boston Crosses" - SO far behind on this one.  Working on July and we'll get November next week ACK.
  7. Quilting - JC's Quilt of Valor - cutting as soon as I get the backing
Those projects plus the ongoing ones makes a work in progress load about triple where I feel that I can make good progress on all my projects.   On the other hand, I don't want to stop doing any of the crafts listed.  I need to see if finishing up one or two things and not replacing them in the list will help.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

BOOK (fiction): The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

Wow, downloaded this on my Kindle this morning and it ate my day.   Part murder mystery, part science geek novel, totally engrossing.

The protagonist, Dr. Theo Cray, is a scientist who specializes in computer modeling of biological systems.   He's in the northern Rockies doing summer research when one of his former students is killed in what might be an animal attack and might be an attack by a very clever two-legged animal.

From his interactions with the cops (to whom he is first a suspect, then a irritant civilian) to the final confrontation, the pace is fast but not rushed.   The only thing I wish is that his love interest with Jillian, a widowed waitress in the local diner, would have been a bit more developed.  Until the crisis hits, I wasn't sure she was more than a one-night stand.

Looking forward to the next book in the series (due out in March next year) and seeing if the library may have either of his other series.   (ETA:  They have his other mystery series on both download and hardback - I'm on the 'reserve' list for the first one)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Choir - in over my head???

I've been ringing for several years now, but almost always the less demanding register of the very high bells, or on the bells right around middle C that are easy to pick out in the music.

This year, Steve B (our director) assigned me to bells still at the top of the treble clef, but much more always active.  I have E6 and F6 with the associated sharps/flats.   They are slightly harder to pick out of the score and I'm struggling a bit.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

FINISHED: Silver Needle Acorns (6)

I have wanted to go to the long weekend camp that is hosted twice a year by the Silver Needle - a needlework shop in Tulsa - ever since I first heard about it.   I've been a mail order customer of theirs for decades (they opened in the mid 1980s and have been doing the camp for about 25 years now).

I just up and went for the first time last November.  I didn't know a soul.  But it was GREAT.  Nice accommodations in a lodge at a localish state park.   Wonderful meals - one by an Amish family on their farm!   And four blissful days of stitching.   There were three 'class' projects and this is the one I finished at home after the camp.    It's actually two kits - the brown ones were from a shop class, the colorful ones from the camp class.  

I will use them with a fall garland to fill the gap between Halloween decor and Thanksgiving.

Started at Silver Needle Camp November 2016, completed 8/18/2017

Pattern/Kits By Silver Needle, Tulsa, OK

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Earlier this year when I started quilting again, I went rummaging through the basement looking for boxes that I knew held fabric.   I found a BUNCH of it.   And wadded up in there were several of those one yard printed panels for various things, including an apron, holiday ornaments (Christmas and Halloween), dolls and a bear.   Most of them were/are un-started.

But this bear was all cut out and one seam of the head was in place.   Well, I was tired of seeing it on the "Works in Progress list" so  I set myself a goal of sewing one seam or doing one step every night that I didn't have a meeting of any kind.   And lo and behold, if you work on something, it gets finished!

Panel copyright Cranston Print Works/VIP Screen Print.   I didn't find a date on the remaining selvages, but it has to be from the mid 1990s given the box it was in.   Probably purchased at JoAnns or Hobby Lobby.

Friday, August 11, 2017

FINISHED: Dresden Plate Doll Quilt

Here's another recent finish from the UFO pile.   This started out as a "pattern plus" kit from the local quilt store. I did it scrappy style, using several Aunt Grace and other 30s reproduction fabrics. The outer blue border fabric is vintage.

The Dresden Plates were hand pieced over papers from "Paper Pieces" and the color choices on their pattern informed mine. Plates are hand pieced and hand appliqued and then the rest of the top was machine pieced. The sashing strips are a half inch wide finished.

Pattern is "Miniature Dresden Plate" by Paper Pieces, KY.

Top completed 4/15/2017. Machine quilted on my DSM (Domestic Sewing Machine),  a Singer Featherweight 221. Quilt completed 6/18/2017. Size is 18 x 24 inches (approx).

This will be gifted to Alexis for Christmas this year.