Sept. 2015 Knitting Weekend

Usually twice per year I go to a knitting retreat at a local state park that is sponsored by my favorite LYS. I always have a blast seeing what my knitting friends are working on, taking classes offered, and generally taking a break from the everyday routine. I’m writing this post the evening I returned home from the most recent one.

This time around, the classes being taught were for a brioche cowl and a knitted pumpkin that used German short rows. I decided not to make the cowl, but sat in on the class to pick up any tips on the technique that I might be able to use later. (I’ve never done brioche knitting, but there are some recent patterns out that have caught my eye.) I did take the class on the German short rows, and I’m so glad I did because I needed the technique in my knitting life. (I’ve avoided many patterns with short rows because the particular technique used didn’t click for me, and I didn’t know how to substitute a different one.)

I try to set some sort of knitting goal for the weekend, since I usually get a fair amount of time to dedicate without household interruptions. This weekend I wanted to finish the other dishcloth I was knitting (the one I started after finishing one for the retreat activity), not spend money at the market (I’m not in need of any particular yarns/supplies), and possibly work on one of my other projects-in-progress. How did I do?

I finished the dishcloth before I left to head home. I know I made a mistake near the end, but I got tired of trying to find it. I fudged a solution so I could get it done.

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I bought a Zauberball because Zauberball. Usually orange isn’t my first pick of colors, but this spoke to me.

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I pulled out my blanket square a few times, but I didn’t work on any of the other projects I took. A couple of them were taken out to be looked at, but not a stitch was knitted (or purled).

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I started the pumpkin in the short rows class and got 7 of the 8 sections completed on Saturday. I knitted the last section, stuffed it, and put on the finishing touches at home over the next couple of days.

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Of course we always get a “goodie” bag when we arrive on Friday evening, plus we had a dishcloth/washcloth exchange activity. Those added one ball of yarn with pattern and a cute kitty dishcloth to my acquisitions.

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We also have a “Secret Project” to work on Sunday morning–which I finished.

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All in all, I made out pretty well. Once I decided on the yarn (almost as soon as I got there), I tried to stay out of the market to avoid further temptation. And while I browsed Ravelry for project ideas for the new yarn, I didn’t actually purchase or cast on anything else new. I have some ideas of what I want to make with it, but not a definite pattern yet. I had a really great time (as I usually do), and the weekend went way too fast (as it usually does). Now to wait and save up for the next one in April! 😀

In the meantime, someone was very happy to have me home again.

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Planning Needs

I have had a lot of planner unrest in the past few months. Just when I think I’ve stumbled on a particular layout that I like, I start feeling like it doesn’t work. Honestly, I’m tired of wanting to change everything as soon as I draw it out in my Bullet Journal. So I started a list of things I need/like in my planning system to help me narrow things down.

*Monthly Calendar: I’ve tried the original Bullet Journal style list more than once, and it just doesn’t quite work for me. I need more structure. I like having a grid calendar, but I feel cramped by the space at times. Maybe a modified version of the list is worth trying.

*Bill Tracker: It helps me to know when things are due, and if they are paid (either scheduled online or a check in the mail). This can be included with a list or grid calendar, as long as it’s somewhere.

*Chore List: Without some sort of record, I lose track of the last time I washed the sheets or vacuumed or swept the stairs. I stay on top of housework better with a clear list of what needs done. I may go back to one I used a couple of months ago.

*Weekly View: This one I’m currently debating. I think I’ve been getting bogged down in the current week’s task list because I don’t refer to the monthly page to remind myself of the longer term tasks.

*Multiple Tasks Lists: Having a “maybe/someday” list has really helped me the past couple of months. I don’t feel guilty changing my mind on those things. My monthly list has been serving as a “do it, but there’s not an immediate deadline” list, which is fine, except for all the migrating I end up doing as a result of it being out of sight/out of mind. (See previous section.) I’m not sure of the best way to deal with this.

*Budget Tracker: I need to see numbers on paper to help discipline my spending. This needs to be sectioned off from other lists for clarity.

*Healthy Routine Tracker: I’ve been way more consistent with healthy habits since I’ve had boxes to fill in to show my progress.

*Future Planning: I’ve got a spread for this currently, but it could use a makeover. Maybe it’s just that I’m through part of it, and it’s looking a bit messy? I just feel like it could use improvement. I’ll be on the lookout for new ideas here.

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With the above list in mind, I’ve been rethinking what setup I’m going to use for October. (I got too eager to set it up early, but thanks to Frixion pens, I was able to erase the weekly spreads I’ll be ditching.) I’ve cut back on looking at “planner p0rn” the last few days in an effort to focus on what I need instead of bouncing around the “ooh shiny!” of everyone else’s setup.

Plan With Me #1

See how I plan for the week…

I’ve already drawn out my spreads for this month including dates, so all I have to do is fill in the specifics. Appointments and other known events/”must dos” get filled into the day spaces on the left.

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Next I write in my household chores and any tasks I want to get done for the week. If I have anything that didn’t get done the week before, I highlight it and put it at the top of the list (anything with stars beside it has gotten skipped more than once). I also star any non-chore tasks that were migrated from the previous week, and highlight any that are high priority.

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I use the page divided up for each day as extra space for notes, or sometimes as a journal of sorts (like a daily log). If the mood strikes me, I’ll doodle in the space I don’t use. (Those spaces get left blank for now.)

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That’s all there is to it. Of course I’m still experimenting, so all of the above is subject to change.

Thanks for reading!

Intended Schedule

Being a new blogger (and out of the habit of writing), I imagine it will take me a little while to get the hang of things. I don’t plan to post content daily. I have some ideas of the types of content I’d like to share, it’s just a matter of getting in the habit of writing. For the time being, I’m going to aim for two posts per week. I decided not to restrict myself to one topic here intentionally.

Anyway, I thought I’d put that out there so readers know what to expect. I’ll definitely give a heads-up if this changes.

What I’m Working On…

One of my main hobbies is knitting. I taught myself how to knit when I was in high school, fell out of the habit during college, but picked it back up after I finished college. I used to be a monogamous knitter, but after discovering Ravelry a few years ago, I find myself with multiple projects in progress at once. Currently I have 4 projects on the needles–here’s a peek at them!

I’ll start with the “oldest” project first. I’ve been working on this blanket out of leftover sock yarns since January 2013. I started it as part of a stash busting knitalong. Some of the delays were due to running low on leftover yarn, but other times I just needed to work on something else for a while. I will finish it. Eventually.

Caramel likes to supervise my knitting
Caramel likes to supervise my knitting

The next-oldest project I have in progress is a Doctor Who-inspired scarf for Andrew (started in May 2014). It’s in fine weight yarn and charted, so takes a bit more focus than I can dedicate some days. I really do need to get this finished up. It will be gorgeous and impressive when it’s done.

More supervision...lol
More supervision…lol

My next project is more recently started–only a couple months ago. I’d hoped to knit a(nother) pair of socks for my mom for Christmas last year, but failed to finish (or even start) them by that time. My solution was to wrap the yarn and attach an “I O U” for a pair of socks. I’ve got these most of the way to the heel (working toe up), so if I get into it I should be able to finish them fairly quickly.

I've made a lot of progress on these since this photo
I’ve made a lot of progress on these since this photo

The most recently started project is a dishcloth for an exchange at the weekend knitting retreat I have in a couple of weeks. This should be a fast knit.

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I hope to post an update in a week or so…but we’ll have to see how my knitting mojo is. 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

Bullet Journal(?)/Planner Setup

I thought I’d start out off with an overview of my current setup for my planner. I’ve experimented with Bullet Journaling off and on for a couple of years, but last November I purchased a notebook and began using the system in earnest. I’ve fallen out of the habit a couple of times since then, but I always go back to writing things down.

Anyway, I began with the traditional Bullet Journal setup, with the addition of the “calendex” hack I found. This was OK, except when I needed to write down a reminder to do something in a few days–a problem many people have found with the Bullet Journal system. I kept trying to make it work, but I needed something different.

In May, I began experimenting with layouts I found from other bloggers. I’m still experimenting… I’ve tried a couple of monthly calendar layouts, including one that flips out and can be viewed once I’ve turned the page. I think I’ve decided that while handy, this was just too bulky for me to have to add in every month. On top of that, the grid boxes end up too small to write too much in and be useful. I’ve also tried a few weekly layouts, some of which worked better than others. Daily pages are hit and miss for me as I don’t usually need a full page for a day, and I hate wasting space if I’ve already drawn a layout in my journal.

Here is the breakdown of what I’m using for the month of September (click photos to view the larger version):

The left-hand page of my monthly spread is essentially original Bullet Journal style. I’ve added a couple of columns of grid so I can track my daily routine and cleaning. I also divided off a column to write in where I have bills due.

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I used washi to add in a monthly foldout I created on MS Word. It’s a simple month grid (set up DIY Fish style) and notes.

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On the backside of the foldout I’ve drawn in the “normal” weekly routine for Andrew and me, and a spending log for the month.

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The right-hand page of my monthly spread is adapted with inspiration from Tiny Ray of Sunshine. I put my meal ideas in a column on the left, then the rest of the page is divided into a monthly to do list and a “maybe” list.

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My next page is a layout for the week. The area divided off for each day gets my appointments and “must do” tasks. The column on the right is for tasks that need done this week, but aren’t day-specific. It’s set up DIY Fish style to line up with the monthly calendar.

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The page opposite the weekly layout is divided up and folded in half to have additional space for each day.

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The other pages I’m currently using are set up as collections. I use the index in the front that is part of the Bullet Journal system, but I’ve added an A-Z “system” so I can tab or flag frequently used pages in a way that I can easily find what I’m looking for (this came from Giftie Etcetera).

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Thanks for reading!

First Post

Hello everyone!

I’m new to the blogging scene, so…a little bit about me.

My name is Erin, and I live in West Virginia in the US. I’m 28 years old, and currently live with my boyfriend (Andrew) of over 3 years and our 2 year-old adopted rescue cat (Caramel). They may or may not make appearances in my future posts. Scratch that, Caramel will most likely be making appearances here because she inserts herself into everything I do…

I work an 8-5, M-F job in a small-ish cubicle farm. I enjoy my job, but I’m trying to keep an open mind for the future.

I want to write here about planning and my hobbies (which are several). I know I join a large community of planning bloggers, but I’m hoping to add to the discussion with a slightly different perspective. As I’ve looked around for different planning tips, I’ve discovered several interesting blogs to follow, but I’ve also noticed a distinct lack of planning blogs that aren’t from parents or from people who work for themselves (with often irregular schedules). While I’ve found many useful ideas, I feel like there is a gap for people like me who work regular hours and don’t have any offspring. I’m hoping that I can do a little something to help fill in that gap, and contribute to this community.

Thanks for reading!