Linking Yarn Together

I had started an infinity scarf with a double-crochet back in December, but had only purchased one ball of yarn. When I went for my interview last week, I made it a point to pick up a second ball at Walmart* last Saturday. Too bad each ball is $8! That means one scarf alone costs me $16 + tax, not even calculating the time to do it**.

Since I am fairly new to crocheting, I had no idea how to connect that new ball of yarn to my old one! Thank goodness it’s 2017; just go onto YouTube and you can find any information without awkwardly phoning a friend*** at odd hours of the day.

Eventually, I found a copy of tutorials that were consistently using this technique:

 

Friday after work, I gave it a go. It didn’t take the first time but it worked the second time! Woohoo! More crocheting this weekend.

*A place I have vowed not to shop at for many years, but having limited options when I drive up north, occasionally make purchases there.

**Ahhh, but it still gives me satisfaction and of course, the additional bonus of warding off mental decay …

***Old-school Google

The Downside of Being Offline: Using a Bullet Journal

I had a scare today; I thought I had lost my bullet journal, which is my personal organizer. I used it during a school meeting last night, but had no recollection of tossing it into my backpack. Thankfully, it had made its way home. I found it accidentally tucked under a vintage copy of A Clockwork Orange, which I had rescued from a pile of discarded books.

Since September, I’ve been using a #bujo planner*. I mainly use it to keep track of personal goals – weekly, monthly and annual. It’s become popular, partly because it’s therapeutic to doodle and draw, but also because it’s nice to just be offline. Yes, I still use my paid Toodledo account as digital notepad when I don’t have a pen, but pretty much everything** is in my bullet journal.

While I’ve used a variety of tools, including apps like Coach.me (formally Lift.do), to track my habits, I just felt that I needed a change when it came to writing monthly goals. I’d found that I would start fudging and editing the goals I had initially written down and delete ones I’d ignored, just to make myself feel better. It’s been working well so far and I can say that my bullet journal isn’t just a fad I’m picking up; it’s likely a tool I will be using for at least a couple of years. I enjoy drawing and laying out my new “weeklies” while listening to podcasting.

Some things will always remain online though, including net worth tracking via NetWorthIQ and fitness tracking on CodyApp.

Yet the ultimate issue with the bullet planner is that I have no back-up system. To be clear, I don’t intend logging everything on Toodledo so that I can check it off later. In my panicked state earlier this morning, I did consider how much I would be losing if I really could not find my planner.

My life wouldn’t be over. I’d likely be able to rewrite 50-70% of the active task lists that I had going on. Once monthly goals are complete, I published them on my blog. As for weekly habits, I really couldn’t care less.

And is there anything that would be so important that I’d actually forget entirely I’d have to do it?

Likely not.

So even as I did hug my planner with a sigh of relief when I uncovered it, I realized that I still don’t intend on backing it up. And that’s okay. It’d be like a piece of lost art. I would have enjoyed all the time that I’d put up with it, but I’d be willing to let it go.

*If you’re unfamiliar with bullet journals, check out this article from the Toronto Star, Bullet Journaling Will Get You Organized.

**For work, I keep a separate teacher’s lesson planner which I’d purchased (and expensed to the school board) from Staples. Keeping my work and personal life separate definitely gave me less stress; I found that I could appropriately put my energy to focus on work when I need to and have some space from it when I just want to enjoy my down time.

Crochet Night a.k.a. Giving Things Another Chance

I first attempted to crochet back in February. I didn’t have anyone to help me and only had a tiny 3.5 mm hook. I learned off a YouTube and while it was quite a struggle, it wasn’t bad for a first attempt.

Then my second attempt was even worse and I made some crappy triangle because I wasn’t checking how many stitches or whatever they’re called. So while a coworker gave me a 6.0 mm hook, I never found the initiative to buy more yarn and give it another go.

Tonight, as part of our 5-day yoga intensive, we visited a scrapbooking and craft store. The 6 of us had lots of fun (only one other person had crocheted before) and we got a lot of good laughs in. All the materials and support were given to us, including a teacher, yarn and a big fat 10.0 mm hook. After the first 45 minutes, it clicked and I actually finished a full headscarf! I’m so proud! Had so much fun!

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First Crochet Piece

Lately, I’ve been learning how to do things I hate.

Well, to be specific, I have taken on hobbies or been working on skills that I was never particularly interested in. My mom lent me her knitting needles and crochet hook and during the Infomagical Challenge a couple of weeks ago, I used this opportune time to get started. I watched a few videos off YouTube, including this one:

Initially, I was using a 3.5 mm hook that my mom had lent me. I definitely struggled in the beginning. Having light-coloured yellow yarn probably added to the difficulty. I never did keep that piece, but after attending a “stitch and bitch” at a coworker’s house last weekend, I got to borrow a 6.0 mm hook.

I decided to have another go at it. Worked on this piece late last night and this is what it looked like:

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Made some Thai curry for lunch, then spent this afternoon working on it in the afternoon sun in the living room.

Ta-da! Here is the final product!


There are a few mistakes here and there, if you look closely and I’m definitely missing a few stitches. Eventually, as it became more squarish, I decided that I’d finish it and use it as a teacup coaster at work.

Of course, I needed to review the video again just to see how to close off.

Then I realized OMIGAWD, I NEVER PUT A SINGLE CHAIN AT THE END OF EACH ROW!!!! ARGHHHH!! Ah well, no wonder the end of each row looked so messed up and seemed so odd.

Sigh.

I’ll know this for next time.