Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Update

So....I haven't fallen off the planet.  As I predicted, it's just way more difficult to carve out a little blogging time now that the kids are both at home during the day.  Add to that that in the past 2 weeks we've put about 400 miles on the car driving the kids to and from summer camp (they attended the same camp, but went during two different sessions) and I've painted 5 different areas of my house, and you can see how things have gotten really busy really fast!

Still, I'm happy that I'm ticking off some of the things I put on my list of summer goals at the beginning of June!

Let me refresh your are the lists:

As for this summer, I have 4 knitting goals:
1) Knit a couple patterns from other designers
2) Finish up the two secret test knits & get those patterns finalized
3) Finish the Craftsy classes I am part of the way through
4) Work on reformatting my older patterns that actually sell to my new layout

And 4 personal goals:
1) Make time to do some fun stuff with the kids
2) Paint the hallway and the banged-up white trim (and bug Jason until he gets the bathroom ceiling painted)
3) Continue to exercise (which I'm really good about during the school year, but really bad about once the kids are home for the summer and it's really hot outside)
4) Get our cat + furniture situation sorted out (I've been trying to train our cats to use their scratching posts instead of our furniture for 4 years now, and I've failed's time to get the cats declawed, then replace the shredded furniture)

I haven't started working on Goals 1, 3 & 4 of the Knitting list yet, but I do have both test-knits currently running and they are going well.  I wish I could find more people interested in test-knitting the larger sizes (like size 45" chest and up), but I am happy about the testers who have signed up and have been loving the project photos I've seen so far.  It never fails to thrill me when I see pictures of things people make out of a pattern I've written.  The testers of my winter pullover have given me a collection of great suggestions, so I'll have some editing & clarifying to do, as well as inserting an illustration, but I've been happy to see that there wasn't much in the way of errors in the pattern once I sent it to testers.  I always get to breathe a big sign of relief once a few testers have made it through a pattern and don't report any numbers being off!

The summer test knit is just getting underway, so I haven't gotten a lot of feedback yet.  Both of these patterns have sections that are charted, so I actually really enjoyed producing those charts.  I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a lace wrap that will be almost entirely charted.  The charting software I settled on (Stitch Mastery) wasn't cheap, but it's been pretty easy to learn to use and, so far, it has been able to do everything I've needed it to do, so I'm very happy with it.  

Anyway, back to the goals.  

Personal list:

#1: The kids have actually been having almost non-stop fun so far this summer.  A week of camp for each kid (and a week home alone with mom for the kid not at camp), tennis classes for my son, summer "open gym" gymnastics for my daughter, walks to the candy shop, a weekend together at grandma & grandpa's house without mom & dad there....they have not been bored!  But I do want to do more fun stuff with them once I'm done with all the house projects.  I don't think it'll take me more than 1 more week to finish up though, so by July, I'll be free of the big house projects!

#2: I'm 5/6ths done.  Our "paint the hallway and trim" project turned into "paint the trim of 9 doorways,  paint the hallway, repair the paint in the foyer, paint 2 walls of the kitchen, paint the entire master bathroom, paint one wall of the master bedroom, and paint the back entryway.  All the extra projects are due to having a plaster repairman fix a bunch of wall cracks that were coming from the corners of 6 different doorways.  It wouldn't have been such a big deal if I had leftover paint that still matched ANY of the walls that were repaired.  But I didn't, so it's been quite a production.  Anyway, I'm completely done with everything except the back entryway.  As a bonus, I also updated the decorations in the hallway, foyer & kitchen.  Most of it was from 15 years ago when we moved into this house, so I enjoyed getting to pick out a couple new mirrors, pieces of art & picture frames that I filled with updated photos.  

#3: I've been an epic fail at organized exercise, but I figure that washing walls, sanding walls and painting is at least more "exercise" than it is "being lazy".   Plus, there have been a few epic shopping trips with lots of walking associated with the big house project.  So I'm not feeling too bad about this goal.  I'll be a little more organized about it once I'm done starting my day with 3-4 hours of painting work!

#4: The cat situation is still under close watch.  Every time I think "Ok, it's time to call the vet and get the cats declawed", the cats start using their scratching posts more and the couches less.  I hate the idea of declawing the cats, but they are 5 years old now (so I wonder how likely it is that we'll be able to train them to stop scratching furniture now if we've been failures at it for the past 5 years), and our upholstered furniture is destroyed.  Like really, really scratched up.  I've been saving for a year to buy a couple new couches & chairs, but I don't want to do it before I a) know I can trust the cats not to destroy the new stuff, or b) the cats are declawed.  Anyhoo...working on this goal, but it's slooooow going!

So that's about it from here for now.

Oh, you want a knitting update?

How about a picture of my KAL sweater?
All reinforced and ready to cut......

And after the steek was cut...

Now it's all ready for the finishing work.  Deadline is June 30th....think I'll make it??

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