The big 2-8

Yesterday was my birthday. I still don’t know how I feel inching closer and closer to 30. I guess part of me is ok with it, but there is also a part of me that feels like I haven’t really accomplished a whole lot in the 10 years since I graduated high school.
The last couple weeks, while this feeling loomed over me, I’ve been thinking hard about setting some goals, big and small. I feel like I need something to guide me along the way so that when I do hit 30, I don’t feel regret or remorse for what I could (or should) have done. I’m not going to share all these goals and dreams here, but along the way I might share a few, or share how progress is going towards certain goals.
I am going to try to blog more, as sharing pictures and information about my goals and progress will help me to stay on track better.
One of my goals is better health. Last summer I got back on track with healthy eating and working out and I had really amazing progress for the first 3 weeks, then I slowly started to drift back into my old ways and progress stopped and regression happened. Next week I am starting a new workout program, JNL Fusion. After my third baby, I found Jennifer Nicole Lee on YouTube. She put out these short but deadly workouts and following those I saw fantastic results, even with a crappy diet full of fast food and lacking in fruits and vegetables. So when I saw she had a DVD workout series out, I snapped it up. I’m actually really looking forward to it, because while they were tough, her workouts were still fun and super effective. While I won’t be following any specific eating plan, I am going to cut out as much processed food as I can and just try to eat as clean and healthy as I can. I also have about 4 months worth of Shakeology powder hanging around my house, so I will be starting to incorporate those back into my daily life.
I’m also trying to severely limit the amount of yarn I buy this year. As in, technically, I’ve only ordered two skeins of yarn this whole year (and I ordered them as a birthday present to myself.) That’s not to say I won’t have new yarn coming in, but I really want to shudder thinking about how much yarn I acquired last year. I could probably yarn craft the next two years before I ran out of yarn, maybe even 3. I signed up for a yarn club before the new year started, but I paid for it then too and I’m trying to not feel bad about that. Instead, I’m using that to help calm any other yarn purchases as I WILL receive one skein of yarn each month until the club is over. I also had the good fortune of winning some free yarn on Instagram, which was amazing for someone who is having new yarn withdrawals.

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As far as actual projects go, I’m doing well there. I crocheted up two cute Amigurumi for my niece and nephews second birthdays (with yarn from my stash.)

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I crocheted my fiancé a funny Valentine’s gift on a quick break from reading for my University english class

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I don’t have pictures of everyone, but at the start of the year I forced myself to find every unfinished project I had from 2014 and work diligently to finish them finally. Well when they were all found and counted, I had 38 projects that weren’t done. There’s been some finishing, some frogging and some progress made on larger scale projects and I can say, quite proudly, that I’m now down to 24 unfinished projects from 2014. This week I’ve been working on a knit bath mat I started in the summer, and a crochet butterfly prayer shawl that I sadly started in December.

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I’m moving the stitch markers each week, just so I can actually see the progress made each week. Both are just repeating the same thing over and over, so without that marker of where I started it seems like no progress has been made. Yesterday, being my birthday, I allowed myself to cast on a new project (that isn’t being made as a gift) and I’m extremely in love with it!

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It’s called The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People and its a free download on Ravelry. I didn’t know that was what I was going to cast on until the morning when I was browsing my Ravelry queue and saw it, then I browsed the finished projects and there was one in there that instantly made me think it would be adorable in this yarn. The yarn is Cushy Sock base (75% Superwash merino, 25% nylon) in the colourway Rainbow Acid Rain by iKNITiatives on Etsy. I remember her posting two skeins of neon looking yarn on Instagram one day and I told her I would buy them both as soon as they were listed. I love the, both, but I had no clue what I was going to use this particular skein on. It’s working up so pretty though, and I think I will really love this shawl.
As for school, I hadn’t informed the blog world, but I am in full time university getting my Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Accounting. It’s going, there has been a lot of illness in the house this winter with flu, fever and even pneumonia, so I’ve definitely fallen behind in that. I am determined to get back on track though and that is my priority in any time of the day that I am being allowed to pay attention to my computer and not my not-so-independent toddler. I have 6 classes right now, 2 of which I will be done by the end of March for sure, 2 that I’m having to take extensions out on because the weeks of sickness and lack of sleep kept me from getting enough done, and 2 that I just started in February.
That’s really it for now, just a kind of all over update since its been forever since I blogged last. I hope to share some more progress and a bit about my goals as we go on.

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Wednesday WIP’s

This past week I made progress on 2 of my WIP’s from last week. I also started 2 new projects. There is one project in particular that I didn’t work on last week that I need to make some serious progress on in the next 2 weeks, so I’m hoping to be able to get in some good time with it.

Previous Works

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1. Bath Mat (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, “Off White”)
*Got some more rows put onto this one, it’s officially half done now. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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2. Christmas Lovies (Knit Picks Brava Worsted)
*Last week I showed you 2 that I had finished up. A red and white one, and a green and white one. This week I managed to get one with all the colours and started another red and white one.

New Works

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1. Summer Library Bag (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, “Crown Jewels Ombré”)

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2. Cairbre Cardigan (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, “Oak Moss” and “Teacup”)

The plan for this week is to finish off both of my 2 new projects as they are for a competition on Ravelry called Nerd Wars. I also need to do some major work on the Batman Blanket that I showed in my post last week. I’d like to get the bath mat to at least 75% done and to pick up the Kitten Poker socks again and make a little bit of progress on them. I haven’t touched them since my needle broke and I had to try to save what I could of the one sock. I’m hoping we will be brave and give them another go.

Wednesday WIP’s

Every Wednesday I’m going to share my current works in progress. I’m hoping that taking pictures of them every week will help me to see my progress on things that are taking longer, where seeing progress on a daily basis is tough (like losing weight or growing your hair out!)

I will only share the things I’ve actually worked on at some point since the previous Wednesday when I photographed them. If it doesn’t appear it’s because I didn’t make time for it.

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1. Bath mat. (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Off-White. Deep stash, 2012)

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2. Lovey’s. (For my Etsy shop/Craft fairs this fall and early winter.)

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3. Kitten Poker Socks. (Knit Picks Stroll, Cork. Stashed 2013.)

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4. Mrs. Bakery Bear. (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Lake Ice Heather. Stashed 2013.)

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5. Batman Blanket. (Knit Picks Brava, assorted colours. Bought for project 2014.)

So those are the 5 projects I’ve been working on the last week. Hopefully by this time next week I will have some more done on them, maybe even some completed! Yay!

Stash Enhanced

I’ve been working to “stash down” my yarn, so why would I be enhancing?! Simply put I needed some springy colours and a couple weights of yarn that I didn’t have.
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See? Springy colours.

I also finally broke down and bought myself a ball winder. I have skeins of yarn that need to be wound. I wound one by hand and that was enough. I’ve been avoiding using the yarn because I don’t want to have to hand wind a ball! I also wanted to wind some of my other yarn that comes wound in what is supposed to be centre pull balls that just end up in a big knot. I also get really sick of using the outside yarn and having to stop every few minutes to unwind more to use.
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So I’ve spent lots of today winding balls to prepare for some super crocheting time where I don’t have to waste time! I can’t wait.

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I got a pair of sock blockers with my order too, so I’m hoping to finish up the pair of socks I’d been working on at some point in the near future. And then do a new pair. And maybe another!

That’s my stash enhancing for the week, now to work on using it up.

March Goals!

I’ve decided that in order to have any semblance of a plan of attack, I should have a list of goals each month. Then at the end of each month, I can go back and look and see how much of what I wanted to do actually got accomplished and where I didn’t necessarily flourish.
My first goal of the month is to sit down tonight and get my last couple listings wrote up so that I can say I officially opened my Etsy shop on March 1st!
I have a list of UFO’s that I need to complete, all in various stages of “doneness.” 1. Horse hat 2. Gumball Hat 3. Herringbone Neck Warmer 4. Scarf for homeless.
I have a list of new items I need to make for my Etsy store, I went through this morning to see what items I needed to order yarn for and I have placed that order so I can get those items dealt with. This includes some Amigurumi work, baby booties, leg warmers and some fun neck accessories.
I have 4 items that I would like to cast/hook on this month that are personal projects. Knitabulls is hosting a stitch surfer sock KAL in March. Technically I haven’t finished my first pair of socks, but I think with all the help and her tutorials that I may just be able to do it. I love the way they look and have been dying to own a pair. This is my lofty goal…so I’m hoping to get them cast on and off, but we will see once I browse the tutorial videos. I also would like to hook up another couple dishcloths to add to my gifting dishcloth stash. The last thing I’d like to cast on this month for myself is the Hanois Cowl on Ravelry. I ordered a very pretty skein of hand dyed yarn from my friends shop on Etsy, ChaoticYarns. I think it will look great in this cowl and there should be enough yardage left to also make myself a pair of fingerless gloves or wristers to match.
I would like to actually get some sewing in this month! I need some project bags and have had the fabric to make them for months now, so it’s time to buckle down and get at them. I also need a new hook and needle roll, so it would be wonderful to be able to stitch those up too.
I got the linen and embroidery threads to do my Once Upon a Time Sampler last week. This morning I woke up to have the March square in my inbox, so my plan for March is to finish both the March and February squares so in April I can work on January and Aprils. I have some of the “framework” stitches in, but I think I will try to work on the frame section that goes with whatever square I’m currently working on. I will be framing this and gifting it to my daughters for Christmas as their combined Christmas gift, so very excited to see how it turns out and to make progress on it!
I am going to try to exercise 3 days a week this month, plus start a morning “get energized and stretched out for the day” routine. I need to clear the treadmill off before the end of the weekend because my first run will be Monday.
Along with exercising my body, I have a goal to read 2 books this month. One a self help style book, called “The Success Principals” by Jack Canfield. I have it on Kobo so I can read from my phone or iPad. I also want to read “Bossy Pants” by Tina Fey. I bought it in paperback well over a year ago and haven’t stopped to make the time to read it yet.
So, those are my main goals this month. Being able to accomplish them will require me to be more vigilant in other areas of my life, like house keeping and meal planning. But I think it will all work out, and I am going to work hard to make it all work out. Stick with me, and watch my journey through March unfold!

This Week in Stitches

I haven’t really had a ton of time in the last little while to do a bunch of crafting. I’ve been busy trying to clean and organize the house and get caught up on a bunch of housework so that I can spend time doing crafts! Yay! Here’s a quick look at things I managed to work on this week.
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A custom order knight hat with removable face mask. I have seen some of these floating around on different sites but being the difficult person I am, I had to struggle through and make my own pattern. The Mohawk on top and the face mask both were done with yarn held double to make it a bit more stiff.
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I made this set of amigurumi owls as a custom order as well. Again, I made the pattern up as I went. Having never made an owl before (I’ve only made amigurumi monsters) I was a little terrified. I am very happy with the outcome and heard they were a hit with the recipient.
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The start of a newborn owl hat to match a set of booties that I had already completed and are awaiting me to sew on buttons. The hat needs it’s owl face and then the set will be ready to be photographed and sent off to the person gifting it.
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The pictures above are of my old yarn stash. This is stuff I bought when I first started, most of which isn’t quite the quality of yarn I would use to make items to sell. However, this stash still needs to be used, so I’ve determined this year I will try and work my way through it as much as I possibly can. I went through and decided that I will be making scarves for the less fortunate out of a good majority of it. This year a few people in my town got together and knit scarves for the homeless in our area. I wasn’t able to work any up, because I was overwhelmed with life, but they will be doing it next year as well. They will be accepting donations all year long, so I figure I might as well start. I think this year they managed to have 70 scarves or so and apparently they were all claimed within 2 hours. With all the stash yarn I have that I need to use, I’m aiming to be able to make at least 20 scarves myself. They will mostly be garter or simple patterns as this is going to be my distracted knitting or things I can quickly put down if kids need my help. But I may be able to try out new stitch patterns and techniques as we go!
I also have some that I set aside because it’s variegated and aimed more at kids. This is going to get knit up into newborn and preemie baby hats and I will drop them off at the local hospital. It feels amazing to have a purpose for these skeins of yarn that would otherwise go unused by me. I wouldn’t be able to just toss them either though, as I’d feel guilty I had wasted money on all this yarn.
Now, as for the cotton, well that is going to be made into kitchen accessories and gifted to adults as needed. It’s not a nice enough cotton to get away with using it for anything but kitchen goods or facial scrubs/reusable makeup remover pads.
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The first of what I hope to be many scarves for the homeless and less fortunate. Because everyone deserves to be warm!
In other news, the baby is sick right now, he has a cold and is teething like crazy. It’s kind of aggravating because he’s a pretty clingy baby to begin with and when he’s sick he becomes even more so. He did get a good nap in in his swing this afternoon for an hour and a half, so that was nice.
I almost have the house back in order. I’ve been busy trying to get it to a point where if I do about 45 mins of work a day it will stay clean. Leave me more time to work on orders and work on ready to ship stuff for Etsy. I am horrible with time management so it’s one of the things I’m working on this year. I know in my head that it makes more sense to spend half an hour a day working on dishes and laundry or sweeping than spending all weekend doing it, but knowing and doing are two completely different things!
I’ve also been on a bit of a hiatus from buying yarn. Self imposed because otherwise I’d drown myself in it. I haven’t bought any yarn this year so far. I’ve given myself very strict rules for when I do have to place an order for supplies to continue creating custom orders and supplying my Etsy store with cute handmade goods. I haven’t had to place that first order yet though. When I do have to place it it is going to be a test of all kinds of willpower. We will cross that bridge when we finally get there. But, since it’s Valentine’s I should probably get busy figuring out what’s going on for supper and this evening.
Enjoy your weekend crafters 🙂

Weekly WIP’s

While tidying my living room last night I realized that I have things on needles and hooks in basically every corner of the room. I have decided to show you pictures of where my projects currently are in hopes that it will kick my butt into gear! I don’t want to be in the same spots next week, and I would like a few of these to become finished objects of course.

1) Christmas dishcloth:
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I started this with great intentions and had left it by my arm chair so I could work on it when my little Rémi fell asleep. Worked wonderfully until I decided that the love seat was a better spot to sit while feeding him! Then it was no longer in a convenient spot and haven’t worked on it since.
2) Chevron & Feather Scarf:
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I set this aside purposely but I do really want to finish it. The reason I set it aside was because the thinner yarn is also more slippery and so it’s hard to work on when the baby falls asleep on me as I found I kept dropping stitches.
3) Infinity Circle Scarf:
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This needs to be frogged and restarted unfortunately. The gauge is more off than I thought and I just can’t leave it.
4) Sunshine Blanket:
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This is a blanket for my little guy. I got it to this point and then it became too large to work on without bugging him.
5) Giraffe Hat:
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All I have left to do on this hat is another horn and both ears and it will be done!
6) Basic Baby Hat:
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This is the first not square or rectangle knitting project, and my first use of double pointed needles. I wanted to learn on something smaller and mindless. I’m quite enjoying it.

I’m hoping that by this time next week I have at least 4 of these projects done. I am trying very hard not to cast/chain anything else on, but there is never any guarantee!