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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The future log is a general overview of the months ahead. I’ve added important dates like birthdays and auditions.
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).
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.
While I was with my family over Christmas I took my two younger sisters out to a pottery painting place. I figured we could make fun memories and beautiful things to remind us of each other and the time we had together.
My sister the artist painted this. I am in awe of her skill. She has been diligently practicing and getting better and better. By the way, this was painted free-hand from a picture.
My sister the knitter, like me, does not enjoy coffee. So she painted a tea mug instead (the inside is brown, so I think it looks very hot-chocolatey).
Once upon a time a very wee girl lived with her mommy and daddy and her big brother. Christmas was just around the corner, so the daddy took his son and daughter Christmas shopping for their mommy. They went from store to store until they had all found the perfect gifts for her. Now the daddy gave his son and daughter strict instructions not to tell their mother what they had bought her for Christmas – the gifts were supposed to be a surprise, after all.
So when they got home the mommy with a mischievous twinkle in her eye asked her wee daughter, “Bethany*, what did you get me for Christmas?”
You must understand at this point that Bethany was a mostly obedient child. So she answered her mother not by telling her what the present was, but by saying, “I can’t tell you, but it doesn’t have a doggy on it!”
“BETHANY!!!” burst her brother, “You weren’t supposed to tell her!!!”
“But I didn’t tell her that it was a teapot with a kitty on it!”
*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.
Ok, so now that I’ve talked about how Christmas is not about stuff, here are some of the things I received from friends and family. It was a good Christmas.
My mom gave me a gift card so I could buy exactly what yarn I wanted.
Also, this, which she picked out for me. My mother knows me well. Thank you, mom.
My littlest sister, whom I taught how to knit, came full circle by knitting me a hat. The best part – she needed help to finish it, so I was given an unfinished project. My knitterly heart was ecstatic!
My sister the artist made me an Evenstar pendent based on the Lord of the Rings.
A good friend gave me this. I am so excited to add it to my tree.
This is from my lovely boss at the music studio: Thank you for a wonderful year of teaching!
And the Piece de Resistance: Look what my wonderful boyfriend gave me! He picked it out himself and I love it so much! ❤ ❤