Monday, 22 September 2014

Saturday - Reclaimed!

Let me tell you about my Saturday. All of last week, I worked so hard to be able to have Saturday off, to reclaim my time and it worked! By Friday 2.45pm, I was done with all my homework for Monday and sat down to knit and work on patterns. I was able to not only write and turn the heel of the sock, but write and work the gusset as well. After placing the heel turn off-centre once or twice, (okay, three times, don't judge me, it was Friday night, my stitches were in party mode, dancing all over the place), it was all smooth sailing.

Saturday morning I had to prepare something for the job I get paid for, otherwise known as work- work. By 11am, I was done and ready to tackle my mental list of things to do for my micro business. I have been craving a day like this for the past 20 days, that is ever since my semester began.

With a cup of tea at my side, I sat down and began filling in the blank spaces in the sock pattern. Once I had filled in everything I could, I decided to spend some time investigating knitting fonts, since I really need one for charting this pattern. I looked high and low on the interwebs, most free fonts weren't for commercial use and the once that were simply didn't speak to me.

StitchMastery came to mind. A font collection and full on editor, I remembered hearing good things off in the past. I also recalled why I had never looked much further into it. The font collection is 100DKK, the editor 600DKK. For comparison our weekly grocery budget is 600DKK feeding two adults. This is a lo-o-o-ot of money for me. I asked around on Twitter and was told, it was the best money ever spent on a design tool by someone I fully trust, when it comes to these kind of things.

Thankfully, there is a demo version of the programme, which lets you experience how intuitively it works and the group on Ravelry is filled to the brim with info. Cathy, the maker of the programme, provides very quick feedback to any questions, even on a Saturday.

The remaining part of the day was spent playing around with the programme and knitting on the shawl and the sock.

This editor, I think I'm in love. I've already asked for the full version for my birthday. I charted the pattern repeat for the sock in no time. I believe you can even have it give you the written instructions from the chart and vice versa, although I haven't tried it yet, since I'm still on the demo version.

Do you have any experience using StitchMastery or any similar editor or knitting fonts?

Friday, 19 September 2014

Reclaiming Time

We all have 24 hours in a day, so how come some people appear to have 36 and others just 12? I've decided I need to reclaim a bunch of my time, if I want to juggle being a full time student, working a job, having a micro business, blogging, being a loving partner and oh, do I need to mention sleeping well? Cue my question to all of you for tips on how to do it all.

Now that I have an idea of what my weekly schedule is looking like for school, I need to carve out time to do the other things I'm passionate about. This means I'll have to fight the urge to cuddle up to my man every night in front of the TV. Instead I need to spend most of that time getting things done.

Would you judge me, if I told you I have some wonderful feedback on one of the patterns, I have in testing, that I still have to get around to implementing? I just haven't had the brain space to sit down and work on something important like that. If, however, I want to work on my micro business during my semesters, I need to find that brain space.

Believe me, I have considered using the semesters to work on knitting up new patterns only and leaving the majority of the pattern writing, testing and adjusting to vacations. I'm still undecided on this point.

Having a fairly anal personality, I do well with schedules, planning and checklists. I might even venture so far as to say I thrive with them. So I'm sitting down to re-evaluate every hour of my week. The aim is to find 30 min here and an hour there to work on the things, that so far has been put on the back burner.

Do you need to reclaim your time? Join me and we'll do it together. I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Waves of love

The waves are gently and slowly rolling in, on the shawl that is. My last ferry trip was anything but gentle. We headed home Friday and surprised my parent's with a small gathering for their 40th wedding anniversary. It's slightly insane to think of all the years they've stuck together through thick and thin. We had a wonderful time celebrating their love with close friends and family Saturday night and early Sunday morning I went home to go to work right away. I don't think I knitted a single stitch this weekend nor did I have the time to do a blogpost Monday.

Studying is still eating up most of my time, leaving me very tired by dinner time and ready for bed around 9pm. I find it difficult to carve out time for pattern writing, since I need to be on my A game, when I'm working on the patterns. I have, however, started to get a feel for the homework load, how long it takes to complete and when I need to do it. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a tiny bit ahead soon and then maybe have the weekends off, so I can work on pattern writing one day during the weekend.

Thankfully, the shawl still feels like a warm embrace. I have 8 waves done so far and still a long way to go, but I don't mind. Knitting a shawl where you decrease is my favourite kind of shawl knitting. Starting at the point makes the work grow fast at the beginning, but then you meet those seemingly endless rows. With this shawl, once you've conquered the cast on it's smooth sailing and every so many rows you get to cast of a nice amount of stitches.

If you happen to know how I can *do it all*, then please let me know. Until I figure that out, I'll have to stick to doing the most important things first and sadly, knitting isn't one of them right now. But don't worry, I'm sneaking in a row here and there and every stitch counts.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Spinning the ocean

With the ocean on my mind, I had to pick this lovely Malabrigo Nube as my next spinning project. I'd really like to design something with the finished yarn for the collection

The colours are absolutely my mum's colours, so if I could gift the FO to her it would be great! So um, if your reading this*, what would you like? If your reading this and you're not my mum, I'd still love to hear your suggestions. I'm thinking shawl...

Well, since I only have 113g. shawl may be an overstatement, maybe a kerchief of some sort? The colours are absolutely lovely. I'm spinning them so they'll blend and barber-pole once plied and because my mum likes 2-ply and this will likely be something for her, a 2-ply it will be. 

It will probably be a while before I finish this project, since I'm surprisingly busy at the moment. New semester, new job  and so much studying and things to do... It really east away my crafting time and energy. Anyway, here is the very beginning of the first single. The colours just really reminds me of the ocean on a calm day where you can see all the colours of the various depths. Beautiful, right?

* I have a suspicion, that my mum mostly looks at the pictures, now I'll  no for sure soon, right?!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cruise Control Knitting

Sometimes all you need from knitting is comfort. So much is happening this week, that all I can stand to knit is something, where I can just hit the cruise control button and see my fingers do the work.

Luckily, I have such a project on the needles. It has required a few trips to the frog pond, but it's now at a stage, where I can just sit down and knit. There's hardly anything to it once you've memorised the pattern. I can knit it on the train, at night and when I need to turn my brain off for a while.

I'm at the stage with this design, where I just have to knit, knit, knit and I love it. I'm hoping that when it gets released some day, hopefully in a collection, you'll enjoy the cruise control knitting just as much as I do.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Be still...

This post contains christian thoughts and crafty goodness, 
consider yourself forewarned. 

It wasn't really until I began studying theology, that I discovered my love for the Psalms. In Danish and English, I just never made the connection to them, that I feel with so many other parts of the Bible. It all clicked, however, when I read my first Psalm in Hebrew. That changed my view of them completely and I now read and cherish them with all of my heart.

It seems there is a Psalm for every feeling and every day of my life. This past weekend, as I've been under the weather I've been meditating on a small part of a verse.

Be still and know that I am God. 
Ps 46:10

Knitting provides plenty of occasions to meditate on our faith. When you need to take a trip to the frogging pond, then be still and know that God is perfect, and there is a reason you are not. When an idea strikes you and you just have to cast on, then be still and know that God is your creator, with infinitely more passion for you than you feel for your new project. When you see the finished work you've been labouring over for hundreds or maybe thousands of hours, then be still and know that your joy is nothing compared to the joy you bring to your Maker. 

Oftentimes I fill the silence when knitting with music, podcasts or maybe TV shows. Sometimes, what we really need is to be still and just repeat a verse or maybe an entire Psalm to ourselves as we knit.

Give it a try! Let each stitch represent a word. This works best if you are knitting something fairly simple. If you are knitting something with repeats in it, I would suggest to use a phrase with the same amount of words, i.e. Be still and know that I am God, would work well for an 8 stitch repeat.

If you would rather have some music to listen to, then I urge you to listen to quite, soft tunes. The songs from Taizé work well in my personal experience and the Psalms themselves of course.

I thought I would leave you with one of my favourite psalms in Hebrew. While you may not understand a word of it, I hope you will understand the feeling it has given not only me, but countless generations before me.      

Friday, 5 September 2014

Our garden comes home.

 When we were home on the island this summer we got a few pots from a flea market for almost nothing. They were filled with soil, watered and a cutting of a few herbs were placed in them. Each cutting was only allowed to keep a few big leaves to provide it with energy. Then we placed them in the shade and watered them every day.

My mum graciously took over the daily task of watering them when we left and now my in-laws have brought them to us. Only one of the original cuttings didn't root, so my mum stuck a new cutting in and it seems to have taken well.

The cuttings, before thinning off the leaves 

It's wonderful to have our own organic herbs straight from my parents' garden. While we were home I dried a bunch of herbs as well and we have been enjoying them while we have been waiting not so patiently for our pots to get here.

I suffer from a condition aptly named barnheart by Jenna of Cold Antler Farm. I try to do anything from scratch, even designing knitting patterns is a part of this condition for me. While we're stuck in a flat, I'm trying to make the most of it and even though I've had a number of herb gardens before, this one makes my heart sing in a different way. It just feels right all the way through.

Do you have a barnheart and how about an herb garden?