måndag 6 oktober 2014

Well, unplanned blogg hiatus

Hi readers! (If I acctually have any reappearing ones, I don't know - tell me in the comments if you subscribe)

I fell into a depression this spring, and up until now I've been struggling. Now I have drugs that work and two psychiatrists that are awesome and super competent so I'm on the right track.

I've been using the DIYfish MTN inserts this summer/early fall and I completely love them! The MTN, for me, feels more relaxed and less stressful than a Filofax - it's more minimalist, it's "cleaner" and I don't feel disappointed when there are scratches and spots on it. So awesome. It works very well with my cognitive behavioural therapy as well since there are checklists and serveral different views so I can get a very nice overview. Cognitive behavioural therapy when used for depression is about activation and baby steps, so I track when I do normal things that are not done when I'm in a depressive state - like doing the dishes, getting up, go outside etc. - as well as my medicine intake.

Next week I'll start a chemistry and a calculus course. I wasn't happy with my education, I had no motivation and didn't feel any connection at all with my programme, so I'm rebooting. I'll do something that I love, for real, and not only feel is doable. Next term I'll take another maths course and a physics course, and next fall I'm torn between either start a molecular biology programme or a digital security/forensics programme. We'll see :)

When it comes to knitting, I've begun two projects, one is a secret gift project which is truly awesome and one is a kraken cowl. The secret project is a birthday gift for my room mate who is currently abroad so I fortunately don't have to sneak around with it. It is also the first pattern that I modify so we'll see how that works out. The kraken cowl is a double knitted one in cascade 220, it's going to be so warm! I really like the pattern and the cascade yarns are of course so awesome. It's black and turqouse, the colour name is pacific (heathers-range).

I'm thinking about posting twice a week, one post on planners and my MTN and one about my knitting. We'll see :)


söndag 2 mars 2014

Ooops! Accidental gifts!

Since I am a master of procrastination, I just had to browse Etsy for some knitting related things. I found a seller, Crimson Orchid Designs, who makes stitch markers and row counting bracelets, and they are wonderful! I could not help myself, I just had to buy some - the worst part is that I have to wait about two weeks or so for them, since she is located in Canada...
(I am a bad blogger and did not ask for permission to share her pictures, all credits go to Crimson Orchid Designs.. I hope I got some karma back since I took the liberty to "watermark" them...)

This is a row counting bracelet, and I bought it for myself. I love the colour combination. I would also love a green and black version with a very neon-y green. I do not know yet how they are supposed to work, but I think one of the colours represent single digits and the other tens, and you slip that ring, farthest to the left, over the beads as you knit. It says you can count up to 99 with it, so... Probably? We will see. (Unfortunately, for everyone jealous out there, I got the last one, but the other bracelets she have are beautiful as well, go and have a look!)

These stitch markers are also for myself, I am a big Harry Potter-fan -the whole idea of the deathly hallows is marvelous and I love house Ravenclaw. Crimson Orchid was very kind and did, not only, change the charm to a silver one by request, she will also change the wire on the markers to silver as well! Yay :3 I did not even think of that when I ordered it, but she tossed me an email asking if I would like that. I mean. Of course. Silver is awesome.

This is a whole set of stitch markers of different sizes and a matching counter-bracelet. I will give this to my mother for a late birthday present. She very much loves turquoise and other ocean blue nuances, as well as browns and brass or copper colours so these will fit her perfectly! She loves knitting just as much as I do and has spoiled me with awesome, hand dyed yarn the last couple of weeks so this is the least I can do :) The beads are airbrushed and I got the last of them! Crimson Orchid Designs has more sets of varying colours that are great as well.

What do you buy when you just got your paycheck and need to procrastinate serious business? Comments below are appreciated :D

Disclaimer: I paid for these products out of my own pocket and they make me happy. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post. I am not that popular of a blogger yet, lol.

söndag 23 februari 2014

That overwhelming feeling you get...

... when you reorganize your planner setup.

I am currently writing my Bachelor and I have had an immense planner fail the last couple of months. I do not thrive without a schedule where I am accountable for my actions often. My department have the best plan for a thesis course I have ever seen with plenty of deadlines, and we discuss each other's texts in a group (we are about ten people writing for the same supervisor and we studied together last term so we know each other very well) which is great. However, the deadlines are biweekly or less so I lose momentum. I am so overwhelmed, I have a lot on my plate all the time and I feel stressed because I need my planner to work for me and it does not!

My last planner related post was about changing from Dodopad to Filofax week per view. Nope. Did not work. (That sucked. I hate the standard week per view! Hate it!) So, what I have done is that I have gone back to the Dodopad, but I have added some things to get a better overview and to be able to plan my days in detail, because that is what I have needed for a long time. I got inspired by Joshua LaPorte's video on his weekly review process and I have printed a week's worth of Limetreefruits' daily planning pages (as you may know, I am a big fan of her work) for detailed planning and her monthly pages for a better overview. I really, really, really want to buy her 2014 planner pack! Cannot afford it at the moment though, but I am sorta' planning to buy an a5 Filofax original in green around the end of June (for my birthday) so I will hopefully be able to buy it then.

 Well, then. (Ignore the rugged edges of the monthly view, I cut all of them at once with scissors, k?) I decided to keep the Dodopad anyway, because I feel that it is a good weekly view and the set times are in the focus. I have colour coded them according to class throughout and everything else is in black Frixion because my work hours and so on is not necessarily set in stone. The day per page ones are Frixion only, too, because I do not have a lot of colour ink in my printer ;) I do not really need to archive my DPP either, they are just for time management and not much else.

What I stole from Joshua is that he only have a weeks worth or so of day per page, so he is forcing himself, literally, to review them when he puts in new ones - in my setup, these are the day per page ones. When I lack motivation, energy and focus, a super detailed plan is great, no excuses! I have been struggling with my weekly review ever since I realized that it does not do anything else than benefit me. Well, I will see if this works, I think so :)

I am a little excited to see how this desk-product will work in the field, so to speak. The risk is that I will be overwhelmed since there are three (!) different views, but I think I have it covered anyway. The monthly view is for at-a-glance of the important stuff, you can move everything else around. It is supposed to be a notification, sort of "hey, something important happens here, plan around it!". The weekly is the agenda for the classes and tickler for upcoming day planning, and the day per page is where the real time management happens.

Messy? Maybe.. We will see :) What do you think? Any tips and tricks you want to share?

(All of the above is my opinions, I did not receive any compensation for featuring above products)

lördag 8 februari 2014

January 12in12 for 2014 - Chuck!

My goal for this year is to make twelve adult-sized cardigans or pullovers, roughly one per month. I decided to start with Chuck by Andi Satterlund, a cropped pullover with cables on the front and stockinette on the back. When I first saw the pattern on Ravelry I was so over-the-moon in love with it, the pictures sort of have a preppy fifties-look to them and it was just lovely!
The pattern called for the Cascade 220-yarn and I actually found a retailer in Sweden who carries Cascade, Garnkorgen. It is not very common for Swedish retailers to carry American brands since we have a surprisingly large yarn industry in Scandinavia - Drops Design for example. At first I was set on using a cherry red colour for my Chuck, but when I saw the colour Ireland (in the heathers range) I changed my mind. I love green, and the moss colour is just lovely. In hindsight I think I should have gone with the cherry red colour, but that is a reason to make another one, isn't it? I think this colour would have been cuter on the cardigan Marion.

Still working on the left sleeve here, and I have yet to make the neckline
Pattern wise, I really liked it. It was easy to follow (I consider myself to be an advanced newbie) and you didn't have to think about stuff for too long - idiot proof ;). I have just made one sweater before and it was a raglan style (hate that sweater, the yarn is awful) so the construction of making the shoulder part first on each side and then cast on and pick up stitches was interesting. I managed to screw up the sizing, I went M on the front and S on the back - which, incidentally, is what my body actually craves - and that messed up the decreasing quite a lot, now I have wing flaps under the arms... You can't see it if you don't look though, and most people don't stare into other people's armpits so I think I'll be alright.

This is the length of the finished sleeves. Love <3
I managed to get different stitch counts on the arms too and that was weird. One of the sleeves has thus one lesser decrease than the other. Not a big deal either, you can't tell the difference if you don't inspect it - another thing people generally don't do. Unless you're a knitting nerd. And then it doesn't matter, I think. Knitting nerds appreciate the time and effort that goes in to a piece.
I got the neck lining odd too, I think I have around ten fewer stitches that I was supposed to have so the ribbing is a bit stretched. I don't mind though, I think it looks fine anyway :)

One thing that I've realized during this project is how different my gauge is on circular and straights. I have mostly done things in the round since I prefer knit st over purls, like most knitters I guess. Thankfully I have interchangeable rounds so I can just go down a size on the left needle and then it'll look much better. Honestly, interchangeable needles are the best! (Pic is on my Instagram, @hecathe)

I had planned on doing a red chuck for February, but my wallet is grumpy so I'm stuck with my small stash for now. I've made a pair of thick socks as well as handwarmers for a friend of mine who is permanently cold. We work as archive assistants and from next week we will have to work inside the archive where there's not even 16 degrees Celcius (damn cold in Farenheit) so to keep her from dying of hypothermia or something I clean out my stash. Yesterday evening I cast on a pair of toe-up socks for my self too. Pics will be posted on my Instagram, @hecathe.

Knit long and prosper!

onsdag 1 januari 2014

Anti-procrastination Wednesday!

Happy new year everybody! The later half of 2013 was a bad six months for me, but now I think I have everything needed to begin treading the path to good times again.

As far as new year's resolutions, I do not really believe in them... However, you can say that I have four goals for this year - the first is to reboot my Flylady routines, more on that below, the second is to make 12 adult sized sweaters/cardigans in 12 months, and the third is to continue to evaluate and improve on my organizational (let us call them) deficiencies. I will hold myself accountable here and on twitter (follow me @askatla). (The last one is of a more private nature, but I can say that a lot of it consists of journalling and I may mention it sometimes.)

As you may see from the title of this post, it is anti-procrastination Wednesday, and Wednesdays are the days when I will review my Flylady-progress and it may evolve to be some sort of goal setting review later on. If you are not familiar with Flylady you can check it out here, and the heart of it is to hit a lick at a snake every day by establishing good routines to streamline your day and encourage yourself. It is mostly geared towards stay-at-home-moms, I am neither, but you can use it to keep track of any ADDesque problems - like forgetting to hoover for a month because you think I can do that later. Everyday...

The first thing you are encouraged to do as a new Flybaby/rookie is to follow the 31 baby steps. They are the foundation of the routine building, and they are awesome for anyone who has been following the Flylady "program" a long time but fallen of the wagon (like me...). Day number one in the 31 baby steps is to Shine the Sink. Just washing the dishes (unless there are mountains of it), clean and polish it. Not too hard. Hard for me. I would rather just knit all day - but it has to be done and I can only count on myself to do it. Therefore, my will be done. To keep myself a little more motivated I cannot knit until the tasks has been done, and I get a star in my filo afterwards!

I will explain my 12 projects in 12 months on Friday and the time management/filofax/my week will be on Sunday. Cheerio!