Just Knitting

Many people think that when I am knitting I’m just sitting quietly, indulging my particular hobby. What they don’t know is how much time and effort and science and math goes into everything I make.

Every material is different and reacts differently with its surroundings. Wool is warm and springy, and you can choose between hand-washable and machine-washable. Silk is luscious and strong. Cotton keeps you cool, but can also be a workhorse in dishcloths. Linen stands the test of time.

And it’s not just the materials that make up the yarn, but the structure of the yarn itself. Yarn can be thick or thin, tightly spun or roving or somewhere in between. Also, colours!

Now we come to the tools we use to work with yarn: straight needles or circular or double point. Round, square, hexagonal. Wood, glass, metal, bamboo. Each works differently with yarn and will yield a different end product.

Not to mention the skill involved. When you spend a significant part of your life practicing one particular activity you are bound to become an expert at some point. Some knitters choose to be an expert on lace, or cables, or stranded knitting. Some are really good at socks or dishcloths or pom-poms.

And let’s talk about socks for a second: socks are a marvel of ingenuity. They fit a foot! Have you ever looked at feet? They are the oddest shaped things. What about gloves? They have these towers rising up from a central section. And sweaters keep you warm while allowing you freedom of movement.

See, what people don’t understand is that people who write knitting patterns are architects. They are super smart and talented and the world does not give them enough credit.

So when I’m sitting in the corner working on my sock I’m not just knitting. I’m building yarn buildings!

Finished and Functional

I have a glass water bottle that I use at work. It is my small effort to save the planet and stay hydrated. It originally came with a rubbery cover that unfortunately tended to trap debris and general nastiness. This did not seem healthy or sanitary, so I took it off and knit a water bottle cozie for it instead.

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Shown with my bullet journal and my very first scarf

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Unexpected star

Yarn: unknown worsted weight, probably acrylic

Pattern: My own

One Lovely Blog

Thank you Erin and Sky for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! I am honoured that you take the time to read my blog regularly and that you think it is worthy of an award.

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The rules are as follows:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Display the award in your post about the award.
  4. List seven facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and comment on one of their posts to let them know you have nominated them.

Seven Facts about Me:

  1. I would rather bake than cook (but I can do both).
  2. I don’t like coffee, but it isn’t for lack of trying.
  3. Reading is my first love. I love to read even more than I love to knit (blogging about knitting is somehow more exciting than blogging about reading).
  4. Right now I am reading Persuasion by Jane Austen for the umpteenth time.
  5. My Myers-Briggs personality type is INFP.
  6. Green is my favourite colour.
  7. I prefer using British spellings of words – like “colour,” “honour,” and “favourite.”

The rules ask you to nominate 15 blogs to keep the award going. I’m going to nominate 5:

  1. The Twisted Yarn: Crochet and knitting with lots of laughs
  2. Judy’s Chickens: “A tomato plant in every garden and a twenty-quart saucepan in every kitchen”
  3. The Dreamstress: Historical costuming in New Zealand, of all places
  4. The Tiny Life: the Tiny House Movement
  5. Tin Can Knits: Knitting designers with lots of knitterly eye candy

How to Write a Blog Post

If you are reading this you probably either have a blog already or are thinking about starting one. I started this blog over  5 years ago, but it’s only been in the last few months that I finally started blogging consistently. I decided to compile a few tips for other bloggers based on what I have learned from my own blog.

  1. A good blog post is essentially an essay. Now I don’t mean that your blog post has to be boring. And it doesn’t have to have an introduction paragraph, 3 (or more) supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph like you were taught in school. Of course, if you want to use this format go for it! It’s a great method that is taught in schools for a reason. When I say that a blog post is an essay I mean that it is a collection of ideas about a specific subject. It may include research or links to other websites. It takes time to write well, so don’t expect to just slap a few sentences on a page and have a successful blog.
  2. Writing a blog post tends to be easier when your content is more or less unified around a single theme. That way your readers know what to expect, and your possible blog post ideas are limited (most people find it easier to brainstorm when they have limits to work within). My blog’s theme (at least recently) has been about knitting: What I’ve knit, the yarn I’ve bought, patterns I’ve used or want to use. Now that doesn’t mean that I never post about anything that isn’t related to knitting. A blog is also a story of things that happen in your life –  you might post about a vacation you went on, or the funny thing your friend did, or anything that strikes your fancy. But try to make sure that the majority of your posts are about the same kind of thing and that that thing interests you enough to keep writing about it.
  3. Consistency is key. If the number of views your blog gets matters to you at all, you will want to post regularly. This doesn’t mean you have to post every day. My goal for my blog is to post 3 times a week. Some bloggers post only once a week. Some bloggers post several times a week, but the number of posts is different each week. Once people find your blog and decide they want to keep reading they want to know how often they should visit so they don’t miss any content.
  4. Proofread everything. More than once. Every time you make a change. There is little that annoys me more than misspelled words and bad grammar. With word processing software as advanced and readily available as it is, no one should ever misspell a word ever again. Taking 2 minutes to reread what you’ve read gives you a chance to reflect on the quality of what you’ve written and to change any glaring mistakes.

If you follow these suggestions I’ve given the quality of your blog posts will improve (or start out great! Yay!). Of course there will always be exceptions to the rules. Some people never write about the same thing twice. Sometimes I “write” a blog post that only contains a picture (hey, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?). Some bloggers post only once in a blue moon. Some never proofread (and it is almost always evident). But my favourite bloggers to read tend to follow these steps I’ve outlined for you. Good luck, and happy blogging.

Faster than a speeding bullet

I took the plunge. I was tired of being plagued by things I wanted to remember, but ended up forgetting until an inopportune time, which started the cycle again. I have started Bullet Journaling.

I first heard about bullet journaling several months ago. The idea of it interested me, but I didn’t take the time to actually learn how to do it. Then, a few days ago I thought about it again and decided now was the time to see what it was actually about. I went to the Bullet Journal website and checked out some other blogs and tutorials, and then I went straight to the store and bought a notebook and started setting my journal up. I’m pretty excited about how this could change my life. I already feel more organized. I have a place to keep track of things I need to do (which causes more productivity) and habits I want to track (or start…). Plus I have a place (and a reason) to doodle. Which is super fun.

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One of the beauties of the Bullet Journal system is that you can use any notebook you want. I chose a floppy leather journal in a style that I’ve always wanted.WP_20160116_002

My title page has a doodle of the year, as well as a key to the symbols I’m planning to use (and room to add more).WP_20160116_003

The future log is a general overview of the months ahead. I’ve added important dates like birthdays and auditions. WP_20160116_004

My monthly log is a more in-depth view of the current month where I’ve listed appointments and future reminders (more than 1-2 days ahead).WP_20160116_005

Here you see my daily log. It’s different every day as different things come up. I write down my to-do list as it comes to me throughout the day. At the bottom you can see a habit tracker I started to help me keep on track. WP_20160116_006

I’ll let you know as time goes on how I like it.