A day in the life of a thesis writing university student.

*Eat, write, knit, repeat from *. My days are easy to sum up at the moment and since the only knitting I'm doing is secret knitting, I though I'd do something different and share a day in my life as a thesis writing university student. 

As I still have the remainders of a horrible flu in my body, I'm sleeping in without an alarm, resulting in some late mornings. Today I woke up at 9am to the sound of the church bell. The first thing I do every morning is to grab my phone and read my Bible portions for the day.   


Once I got that done I got out of bed and fixed breakfast and had a chat with my parents, whom I'm visiting at the moment. 
Not long after finishing a non-picturesque breakfast, I grabbed my laptop and started writing on the last analysis needed for my thesis. By now the church was sounding 10am and I was off to a good start. 

No hero is complete without his trusty sidekick and when it comes to thesis writing I seem to have two: food and knitting. By 11am I was feeling peckish and grabbed a midmorning snack. My mum had fixed a batch of bread for our up-coming wedding, and had 1 bun left over from the circle. It was delicious and just what I needed to get a little more writing done.   


When I inevitably fell into a writing rut, I decided it was time for a shower and as I returned from it, all refreshed and relaxed, my mum was fixing lunch. There really is something to be said for having all your meals prepared by someone else when your trying to write an important paper.


After lunch I managed to include an important point in my paper that I had no clue where to place up to that point. A look on the thermometer revealed that it was really all to warm outside to be working inside, so I grabbed my laptop and the needed papers and headed outside.
It wasn't long, however, before it felt like it was time for a knitting break. 


Ahh, look at all that sunshine... Unfortunately secret knitting does not get a paper written and I was determined to finish the analysis today, so I returned to the screen (thank you technology for screens you can actually see outside in the sun nowadays). 


Some more eating of snacks and some more knitting was involved. I even finished one secret knit and cast on another and by 4pm I had a finished analysis and just under half of my conclusion written. Not bad for a days work. What does a typical day in your life look like at the moment?



9 Random Thoughts on Moving from a Tiny Apartment.



#1
We will have a KITCHEN! Oh the joys of no longer having an oven in our livingroom, or worse our bedroom, as they are the same room... We will have a proper stove and cabinets and counter space, not a lot, but significantly more than now. Our Kenwood Major can even get its own corner, no more having to hold onto the shelving unit when using it.

#2
We will have a BEDROOM. Imagine being sick and only having one room to be in all day long. Imagine one person wanting to sleep and the other wanting to watch a movie. Imagine trying to write an important paper and your partner being desperate to fill the air, not his ears, with music singing in his beautiful voice, but annoying you beyond believe. A bedroom means a place to really rest. My man can sleep in while I can get up and move around without the fear of waking up a cranky man. I can go to bed early and my man enjoy his evening without the fear of waking up a cranky lady.

#3
I will have an OFFICE. Okay, not entirely true, but I will have a corner of the bedroom filled with all my books and my desk. A place to work separate from everything else that is going on in our home. A door to close and not open until I'm ready to go out into the world again. I may need a Do Not Disturb sign.

#4
We will have WINDOWS. Fear not, we have windows now. They take up almost one entire wall in our tiny studio. But we live at the ground level, so we have the curtains drawn all day long. Who wants strangers to be able to see just what TV, computers, oven etc. you have when they stroll by. Don't tempt the weak souls. What I'm most excited about concerning the windows is that we won't need any blinds except in the bedroom...

#5
We will get BLACK-OUT CURTAINS in the bedroom. The bliss of actually going to bed in a cold and dark room. Enough said.

#6
We will have PLANTS. Along the lines of #4 we haven't been able to keep plants alive very well during the past 5-6 years. They simple don't get enough light. That will change when we move and I'm already dreaming of herbs in the kitchen and succulents everywhere else.

#7
We will have a proper LIVINGROOM. The space should be big enough to have a dinning table and a couch and tv fit comfortably into the same room. We can finally entertain people more and we can finally have a place for people to sleep when they come to visit from far away.

#8
There will be SPACE between things. Everything is slightly crammed now as we have a lot of things, but in the new place we will actually want a few more pieces of furniture and there should still be space between our belongings.

#9
We will get to DECORATE. Even thought it is a rented apartment, we will get to decorate it. We will be able to create a calming bedroom, a beautiful livingroom and a kitchen that invites to you to cook delicious and nourishing meals. Most importantly, those rooms will all be separated by walls and doors.

These are a few of the random thoughts that keep popping up in my head and make me smile.
Which part of your home do you love the most and why?


Engagement rings and other excuses

Life is changing rapidly at the moment and with all that change blogging has proofed difficult. The one yarn related thing that has been happening is a secret, ironic isn't it, in the year of full disclosure. I had so many plans for this year, but God had different plans - much better plans.

I haven't blogged since March. One excuse is that on April Fool's day in the middle of the LYS my mum works for, my man got down on one knee and proposed to me. We are now trying to plan a wedding in just a few short months and will tie the knot on July 4th 2015.


I'm so excited to be engaged, after being with this man for 7 years, there is nothing I'd rather do than marry him. 

But I'm getting way ahead of myself here. You see, 4 days ago we were offered a one bedroom rented flat. Since then we've seen it, signed the contract and paid the deposit. I've lived in the studio we call home since May 2009. Now, in May of 2015, I'll leave. My man has lived here for 4 or 5 years too. For some reason people seem to think we are rockstars for pulling that off. That many years together on 28m2 and the only place you can 'escape' to is the bathroom? Truth be told, we've hardly ever had to 'escape'. 

Now, in just over a month, we'll be moving to a place twice the size of our current flat. With an actual bedroom and kitchen! In just over 2,5 months we'll be married as well. But again, with the getting ahead of myself. 

In between the move and the wedding I have two big exams. For my oral exam on June 24th, I have to first write a synopsis, the topic will be given on May 26th and we only have a few days to write that. Then on June 1st my BA thesis is due. 

Oh and there's more. Much more, that I can't or won't tell you at this point. Not everything is meant to go on the internet. 

All this has lead to a lot of debate in my head concerning blogging. Should I stop? Should I just post when I actually have something yarn related to share with you? How about a year from now - where do I see this blog then? The answer to all those questions is I don't know

I love the community of blogging. I love reading your comments and getting to know you just a tiny bit better every now and then. I love the creative outlet writing is and I wouldn't want to be without that. But if this blog is going to survive and I really want it too, then it may have to go through as many changes as I am. These past two months have seen more life changes for me, than the past 4 years put together. 

In a quiet moment I'll have a talk with my fiancé (that is so odd to type) about this blog. He almost always knows what questions to ask and when to just listen and frankly, that may be all I need to figure out what the future, at least the near future, of this blog entails. 

For now, thanks for stopping by and thank you for being part of my community. 


Knit Crush: Rena Varsakis

Rena Varsakis is the woman behind The Red Fox and Gown. I Love the quirkiness of her patterns.
Would you wear a fox hat?


As always, all pictures in this post are borrowed with permission from their respective Ravelry project pages, by clicking their name, you'll be taken right to them.   















Planning a shoot and fighting an urge...



Easter brings with it the opportunity to go home and that means a chance to do a photoshoot. I'm still terribly undecided on the issue of single patterns or a cohesive e-book for the collection I'm currently working on. At the moment I'm leaning towards e-book, so I'm planning the photoshoot accordingly. If the weather allows it we will be able to shoot 4 patterns during easter, hopefully in one day. That is, if I finish knitting the sample of the 4th pattern.

I'm surprised by how much I enjoy designing sock patterns and I'm currently knitting on sock #2 on my second sock design. It's coming along well, but there's still half a sock left and easter is sneaking up on us.

It's also with regards to this sock that I continue to fight the urge to just start the testing fase already! It's so easy to get impatient and just want it all done, NOW! I dream of the day where I'll be able to manage having several patterns in testing, but alas now is just not that day yet.

What plans do you have for easter?

Glimpses of a sock


Today I want to share with you a glimpse of a sock design I'm working on. It's ready for testing, but I've learned the hard way not to have more than one test knit on the go during the semester, because something is bound to be up with both patterns at the same time and also I have a group of wonderful testers and they can only knit so much for me at a time. (Btw, if you want to join in, you can!)



100% Rye by Shannon Stronger - a Review



Sourdoug is a passion of mine and rye is a grain, I eat almost daily, so when I found out that a woman I admire was coming out with a new cookbook called 100% Rye, I had to get a copy and tell you all about it. Shannon Stonger and her husband Steward graciously provided a free copy for me to review, but although I will send them a grateful though every time I bake from this book, it did not influence my review.

About the author
Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, cookbook author, and fermented-food enthusiast. She is the author of three books: Simple Food for Winter, Simple Food for Spring, and 100% Rye. She also chronicles her family's off-grid journey at nourishingdays.com.  

About the book
First off, let me tell you about my overall impression of this book. It rocks. There, that's it. You want more..?

What do you think about when you hear about 100% rye baked goods? If you have no familiarity with rye you may just think " how exciting", but if you've ever had a rye bread go Wrong (yes, with a capital letter), then you may be slightly on edge, at the same time chances are that you've also had rye breads done right and know what glorious baked goods they are.

Shannon uses traditional ingredients in her baking, much in tune with Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, which happens to be one of my favourite cookbooks, so I'm slightly bias from the get-go.
For me, sourdough is something I preach. If you ever get me talking about baking, it will not be long before I offer you some sourdough. If you have no idea what a sourdough is, here is (some of) Shannon's explanation:

"At its most basic, a sourdough starter is simply a slurry of water and flour that contains a living colony of bacteria, yeast, acids, and other microorganisms we probably don’t even know about." p 16 

Shannon also shares a good deal of her personal story with her reader which leaves me with a feeling that anyone can make these recipes work for them. Just listen to one of her musings on rye:

"I found that rye flour has a window of hydration in which it works best. Too dry and it becomes a lead brick. Too moist and overworked and it becomes gummy and shapeless. Working with this fact, and not against it, was a sort of breakthrough I had when I began developing recipes for my family." p 8

This book gently takes you by the hand and guides you through the motions, even if you have never used rye or sourdough before. Shannon deals with the many questions that surround rye and sourdough, problems that may occur and ways to adapt the recipes to your comfort level. All this is spruced up with rustic, handdrawn illustrations that makes the book both authentic and charming as well as mouthwatering colour photos of the baked goods.

Finally, any cookbook that lists carrots this way is bound to win my heart:

"2 cups (tightly packed) freshly grated carrots (none of that pre-shredded, dried out nonsense) " p 78

Sadly, I've yet to try any of the recipes due to time constrains, but I'm positive they are delicious and will recommend this book to anyone and everyone interested in baking with rye and sourdough.
First on my list of recipes I want to try ASAP is this delicious goodness that I'll leave you with as a teaser: