Thursday, December 05, 2013

Secret Santa Then and Now

The Crochet Workstation to Left of Computer Workstation.
Ready to Get Going
I  have two Secret Santa gifts to prep this year.  The large crafter's tote I designed to be a crochet sampler that mimicked a quilt which was her fiber art was meant for my sister-in-law for last year.  Her joke upon handing the box of 8 unjoined strips of 11 squares back to me, charging me with getting it back to her before next Christmas, has turned into prophecy.  I'd started it seven months earlier in June and totally miscalculated the size and missunderestimated time needed.  In the last three months last year I'd been working 10 to 20 hours a day on it.

The following picture was taken in early February this year just after I got the 8 strips joined into two panels.  The dimensions are 20 inches long by 16 inches tall by 12 inches wide.  Big enough to hold a standard sized quilt WIP and all of it's materials and tools.  What I've been working on since then is the 8 foot by 12 inches Mobius strip that will form the bottom, sides and carry strap.  It is made with 2-chain mesh and is now 9.25 inches.  Once finished and all the tails tucked on it and the panels, the chocolate brown Mobius strip will be attached along the bottom and up the inside behind the end 4x4 panels to form pockets and up and over the top where the Mobius twist will be confined inside a tube to create the handle.

The tail tucking may take longer than finishing the Mobius as there are at least two tails per square, 11 squares in 8 strips and who knows how many in the mushroom strip and joining loops and the Moibius.  You can see the Moibius folded and laying flat for measuring in the top pick.  You can see more views of the tote wrapped around this chest of drawers in It's Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas.

Seen from the right front corner.

This year I'm Secret Santa to my sister-in-law's sister-in-law.  My project for here is very small but sweet and not yet started. !!! :(   Last spring I'd made a rule for myself that I could not start anything new until I had this tote finished and later added that I could not work on any other project except bookmarks when sitting in waiting rooms.  I think maybe that was a mistake because crocheting on anything kept my yearning for the hook in my hand alive and sometimes (as the Mobius grew to unmanageable size) I couldn't work on it and the rules kept me from picking up the hook for anything else.

The Cross Project Work Kit
Sorted and Resorted

This box has been my cross project work kit since last winter.  Portable enough to take it with me from bedroom to living room to office.  It wasn't ever organized the same tho.  In fact none of those bags or the basket were in there.  The bags were always in the larger craft bag with the individual project kits holding the thread, pattern, crochet hooks and WIP.

The blue basket then as now was the core cross project kit and only when transporting between rooms would I set it in the box atop the loose pieces of several small projects or belonging to one of the larger projects awaiting their time.  The WIP were mostly bookmarks and motifs and miscellany were decorative--ribbons, beads, buttons--or mechanical--crochet hooks, elastic, string, fasteners, rubber bands, pins, needles, needle threaders,safety pins, magnifiers and the 3X visor to wear over my prescription glasses.  I'm sure it will morph into something more like that over the next week as I think of then hunt out or buy those kinds of items for the Xmas projects.

I spent hours on Wednesday and Thursday sorting out the miscellany unrelated to the Xmas projects and corralling the Xmas projects items in the box.  I prefer to have the kits on my right which is where I had stationed the stool before dinner Thursday evening in my first attempt to set up the photo shoot I needed for this post. Shortly after that my 7pm med timer went off and I needed to sort my pills out into the AM, NOON and PM cups.

It looked like my sister was still half an hour out on dinner and it was after 7.  So I asked Mom if she'd like me to read our Father Tim story while we waited for dinner.  It was our last night to read before her week-end visit with my brother's family so she was eager. I sat on the couch and pulled out my Blaze 4G which has become my primary ereader in the last month.

About half an hour later, just as my voice was starting to crack, my sister was serving Mom's tray and asking me if I was going to eat with them or in the office.  With the crochet stuff spread out far and wide I didn't think it a good idea to take pancakes with blueberry syrup in there.  Besides I'd been awake since 5am and was starting to fade.  I needed to be up at 5am again for the vid chat with Ed.

I  knew then that I'd likely not be able to do the photo shoot or prep the pics and then the post. Especially since I was taking my Melatonin, 5HTP and Metropolol with dinner.  All of which send urgent invites to the sandman.  After dinner I timestamped this post and walked away.  Was in bed by nine

Then this morning during my first attempt to set up the photo shoot I swiveled my chair into the stool, knocking off the box which landed upside down, spilling everything, including many small things out of the basket and bags.  An hour project to put back in order.  After which there was one urgent task or annoying interruption after another all morning and into the afternoon.  At some point my track-switching knack kicking in and I lost track of what I was supposed to be focused on and got productive on several other important tasks.  Just not the post that was overdue nor the ROW80 Check-in scheduled for Saturday night.

Among the sidetracks were adding, subtracting and moving around info in my Master Task List WhizFolder File, labeling, filtering, reading, replying  to and archiving emails in my inbox, after work phone call with Ed, pill sort, fixing and eating my dinner, feeding the cats,  reading and drooling over crochet patterns I will have no time to try before January, daydreaming, watching promo vids linked in emails, renewing overdue library books on my sister's card, sorting a drawer I'd gone to look for an item in, hunting through a wastebasket for something that might have fallen in it and checking one last time on some of the Cyber Monday deals (40%-80% off) going on all week on things I've wanted for a long time to make my final decision on them.

It was after midnight Friday when I finally had everything ready and started taking the pictures with my Blaze which has the best photo editor for cropping and resizing.  Getting the photos of the crochet workstation for this post and the computer workstation for Saturday night's ROW80 Check-in and prepping the photos and sending them to Google Drive where I could access them from the Aspire took over three hours. It was 4am Saturday when I finally uploaded the pics to Blogger and started writing this post.  I wasn't done before the 5:15 vid chat which was a more than 30 minute interruption and not the least bit annoying.  And my 7am Med timer went off a bit ago.

Quality Control Kitty
Inspector Bradley

Here the work kit sits on the same stool from which it fell and spilled all over the floor.  Not in the same place tho.  Before it was to the right of my right elbow and I swiveled my chair into it.  It is a bit safer here but I really need to remember to set it back on the table in front of the closet to my left or I'm likely to bump it off with my hips or coat on my way in or out of room.  Yes, I wear a coat in the house.  Especially in the wee hours when the heat pump is on night time temp ranges and it's in the 20s at night outside and the big window in here has no curtain and the vent that the warm air is pumped through creates a draft that does not feel one bit warm.  My hands are sticking out of the coat sleeves from just below the rings and ache with the cold.

It doesn't help that a while before the vid chat I'd pushed my self up out of a chair and my right wrist popped and crackled and started hurting and weakness caused many keyboard fumbles.  It could make crocheting long and steady for the next 19 days problematic if it continues.  Both my wrists have had problems since the bad fall in the dining room in mid November.

I'm all set to start crocheting while listening to audio and/or watching videos.  I'm tempted to start instead of getting some sleep first.  But I know that would be foolish.

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