Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stash to Treasure: Creamy Möbius

I've always gotten cold easily.  My hands are usually cold, and my arms chill quickly.  If Dandelionslayer had known how frigid my toes can be, he might have gotten cold feet himself.  I wear socks and slippers all winter, and I've never had any use for three-quarter-sleeved sweaters. 

In the past couple of years, I've developed another reaction to chilly weather.  When I am cold, my shoulder muscles tense up severely.  This can happen even when my extremeties don't mind the temperature yet.  It hurts to be cold.

Considering the problem, I wondered, is that why old ladies wear shawls?  And is that what I have to do when I go out?  I started looking for patterns, and found an alternative:

The Möbius.  Remember the Mobius strip, a surface with only one side, one edge, and all sorts of odd mathematical properties?  Well, I followed this pattern to crochet one.  It might be more mathematically convincing if I had made it from only one length of yarn.  But from a destashing point of view, it was quite satisfying to use up three leftover hanks.  Even if they don't quite match.  It really does help to have an extra layer over my shoulders during windy evening soccer games.  I don't have to tie it, or figure out how to hold it closed.

I think I'll wait a little longer to wear shawls, until sometime after I succumb to wearing bifocals.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Project Management

"You should always have three quilts: one on the cutting table, one on the quilting frame, and one in your head."

Thus advised the sweet old ladies who taught me to quilt. I find that it applies not only to quilts, but to all the projects I do. And I always seem to get the most excited about the next project, the one in my head.

For example, I've been working on Halloween costumes. These were mainly designed by the boys, and have been easy, and satisfying. One challenging part remains, and I should be trying to solve it. But during the costume construction, we've been struck by inspiration for a birthday gift for Scoot. It'll be really cool. I can't do it yet. While I wait for a supply to arrive, I should be working on another gift that I already started for him. It's mostly done. It will be easy to complete. Oh, and there's another quick one that's not so interesting, but necessary. But now I'm getting excited about a Christmas project. It's time, isn't it, to start on Christmas projects? How many shipping days are left?

Some people I know rarely move beyond the planning stage. I do like to finish my projects, but the satisfaction of finishing one is inextricably mingled with the anticipation of beginning the next.

How about you? Do you focus on one thing at a time, scatter your attention among different works in progress, or keep lining up more plans as you go?

I won't even mention the quilt in my head. It can't be next yet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"This must be Thursday . . . "

"I never could get the hang of Thursdays," lamented Arthur Dent, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  I have to agree.  Thursdays are pretty chaotic around here.  The boys' schools run on different schedules on Thursdays.  Every week I have to make notes in my planner to be sure that I drop off, pick up, and receive the boys at the right times.  Then there's a piano lesson, a soccer practice, dinner in a couple of shifts, and everyone goes to Scouts.  Thursdays are a mess.

But maybe D2 has a solution.  His kindergarten teacher has provided him with various memory-enhancing songs, including one about the days of the week.  He insists that it goes like this:

"Sun-day, Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday,
Seven days a week."

I've tried to tell him that this doesn't add up, but I cannot convince him.  D2 doesn't believe in Thursdays.

Sounds good to me.  Too bad my den-leading partner wouldn't appreciate disbelief in Thursdays as an excuse to skip Cub Scouts.

Which day is busiest for you?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sleigh Bells Ring

I've received an early Christmas gift this year. 

My story, "Foreign Exchange," has been given the Publisher's Choice award in LDS Publisher's 2011 Christmas Story Contest!

Love and encouragement from family and friends are more wonderful gifts, which helped make this surprise possible.  Thank you!