New Year Resolutions, Bullet Journaling and Other Updates

This post was originally titled “Oops, I haven’t posted in 5 months”, but I figured my 3 readers didn’t really need me to tell them that. Instead, I’m going to focus on some new things going on in my life.

New Years Resolutions (in February)

I usually don’t make any resolutions because I don’t ever stick to them, but this year I really wanted to renew my previously lackluster commitment to running. Using a Couch To 5k program, my goal is to run three times a week and sign up for a 5k in the spring. So far, I’m doing surprisingly well. Even though I should be on Week 6 now, I’ve been repeating the Week 5, Workout 1 routine a few times over until I felt comfortable enough to move up to Week 5, Workout 2; 5:1 has 5:00 running intervals and 5:2 has 8:00 running intervals. I feel great, I look great (kind of) and I’m so proud of my progress. Helping me along my fitness journey is Soylent, and I really do believe that this drink is the reason why I’ve been able to get this far in the program.

My second resolution was to blog once a week. Well, we see how that’s been going. The truth is, I think about blogging all the time, but I never feel like anything I have to say is relevent or interesting. That being said, I think I am going to change my blog a little bit soon to make it more about my life and hobbies, as opposed to just focused on knitting. The problem is that I can’t think of a blog name to replace Perfect Purl. I’m open to suggestions.

Some of the things I would like to start blogging about include book reviews, coffee and bullet journaling. Which leads me to…

Bullet Journaling!

I’m really excited about this. If you’ve ever read my blog before, you probably know that I’m a fan of the Erin Condren Life Planner and planning in general. I’ve been stalking following some bullet journalers on Instagram for months, and finally I decided to try it out myself. I didn’t think I would like it. Boy, was I wrong. I love it. Eric and I have been trying it out together, and we both really enjoy it so far.

In Closing

I’m going to do my best to start blogging weekly. My posts will probably be about an assortment of things and I don’t know if I can stay motivated to do it.

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Mandatory “Is it fall yet?” post, and also relevant things

It’s a beautiful day here in Indy. It’s warm with a nice cool breeze, and the sun is out. I drove with the windows down. I wore a green dress. I bought a pumpkin chai. Is it fall now? But really, my wedding is next month, and I’m starting to freak out. Where has this year even gone?

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It’s hiding with the Q-Tips, Ma.

So I came across an interesting pattern the other day. I’ve been on the quest of a lifetime (or at the very least, the quest of a few good years) to find cables like this:

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I stopped in my local knitting shop and asked if the employees could point me in the right direction. I ended up with this pattern, for a hat. Not really what I wanted, but I’m like, eh I’ll give it a try. So I’ve got this print out, I’ve got my needles and some hella cool yarn, and I cast on and join in the round…. Except wait! This hat is worked flat! What? I’ve never, ever seen a hat worked flat. And I’ve also yet to find a reason as to why this is worked flat. Did Patons just not want to frighten people? Cables and working in the round, oh no!

Anyway, here’s my progress on this freaking-weird pattern so far:

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If anyone has an idea as to how to make cables like the ones above, I would really appreciate it.

Time Tracking and How I Use My ECLP

Since I haven’t been working, I noticed something strange: I couldn’t figure out what the heck I was spending my time on! I had a sneaking suspicion that I was playing more video games that I would admit to myself. So, for the month of July, I decided to use the awesome app/website Hours to track what I was doing. Honestly I didn’t really expect myself to stay with it all month, but I surprised myself. And you know what? I kind of love it.

Since I’m a pretty boring person, my main activities can be broken down into three categories: Gaming, Knitting and Reading. Note that the Gaming categoriesScreen Shot 2016-08-04 at 3.36.57 PM only including PC/Handheld games, not mobile games (boy would I be in trouble if it did). The Hours website and app are so awesome. You can have multiple “tasks” in categories, so I can see how long it took me to read Stephen King’s It, for intance. Or, on a less productive day, how many hours I wasted playing Civ V.

Every week in my planner I keep track of what I’m reading, listening to, knitting and watching. I used my ECLP month view to write down my totals for each hobby/category at the end of every day. Then at the end of the month I can see how much time I wasted spent on every activity. It’s really not a perfect system, since I sometimes forget to start/stop categories. And one problem I have with the Hours system is that they don’t allow two timers to be run simultaneously. I solved this problem by only tracking the main activity I was doing at the time. So if I was knitting while waiting on my friends to take their turns in Civ V, I only tracked Civ V. I think this really skewed my knitting time, since I finished an entire freaking cowl in the time I was waiting for them, but it works.

Does anyone have some planner decorating tips they can share?

Updates on a Busy Life

After vowing to post more frequently I haven’t. What a surprise. I guess once a month is more often than once every six months. But hey, a lot has been going on. We moved to Indy. I knitted a thing. That’s a lot, right?

So yeah, Indianapolis. It’s nothing like when I lived in Phoenix, but I missed the city life. Indy is strange because it has a city feel and a country feel at the same time. We are driving down a road next to huge buildings, then a mile later we are in a corn field. I don’t dislike it. I could do with a little less corn, though.

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Kennedy loves the new house

One thing I like about being here is that there is always somewhere to go. In Evansville, everything was closed between 6 and 8 pm. You weren’t supposed to go to parks and trails after sunset. But here, downtown is well lit. It probably goes without saying that Pokemon Go is taking over downtown Indy. I love it. I think I’ll make friends soon.

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Kennedy met a twin at the canal!

I’ve been knitting a lot lately, too. I bought a cowl pattern like two years ago that I loved – it was actually the first pattern I ever spent money on. I started the cowl then promptly lost track of the project. Lately I had the urge to finish it but I couldn’t find the bag I stuck it in with all the moving. Any excuse to buy more yarn, amiright? Of course, shortly after I started the new cowl I found the old one! After finishing up the second one I started, I dragged the old one out again. They’ve got different feels and I can’t decide which one I like more.

Any knitters in the Indy area need a new friend? Cause I’m free all the time.

WIP Wednesday: Elijah Update

I finally finished the head correctly! It looks pretty good considering I’ve never stuffed anything before. I wish I had stuffed it a little fuller, though.

I got a little farther and started the body, but I think I started it too far forward and it looks a little off center. I’m hoping it looks alright after the ears are added on. I’ll post more pictures in my next update!

Knitting Problems and Other Stuff

 

Hot damn I’ve been gone a while! I’m not working right now so I think I’ll try to blog like twice a week. If anything interesting happens, that is.

Did anyone else preorder their Erin Condren Life Planner this month? I got one last year and I loved it. I upgraded to the rose gold spiral binding because rose gold. It will match my rose gold iPhone and Apple Watch. I definitely don’t spoil myself at all!

Last year I got the new (at the time) horizontal layout. I really regretted it even though I’ve only ever used horizontal layout planners in the past. So this year I got the vertical layout! I feel like that’s one of the features that makes ECLP special. Does anyone make their own stickers? I’ve been wanting to do that for a while but I can’t figure out what kind of sticker paper I need to buy!

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I got this one. Except it doesn’t say AB CORTES. Is that even a name?

Unfortunately my Spring and Summer so far have held very little knitting. I’m trying to make up for it by actually paying for a pattern and make an amigurumi for the first time. I bought this really cute pattern I found on Ravelry (as always!) but I’m still stuck on the head. I’ve had to frog it over five times and I’m starting to get depressed with it. I just can’t seem to end up with the correct number of stitches after the first row of decreases. I swear I’m paying really close attention to the pattern. I’m about to start it again – and hopefully for the last time. I’ll track my progress on here. It’ll give me something to blog about for once.

Yarn Dyeing Adventures

I accidentally went a really long time without posting anything. Oops.

I’ve been wanting to try dyeing my own yarn for a really long time, and I finally decided to take the dive last week and get the supplies. Thus Saturday night, my yarn dyeing adventure began.

My first problem is that the bare yarn I ordered did not come in a nice neat skein like literally every tutorial I read online. It wasn’t the first time that I’ve had to re-skein my own yarn, but it was definitely the most challenging. It took nearly 6 hours to undo the knot that had somehow been created from the time I unboxed the yarn to the time I was ready to dye it. In the mean time I grabbed another skein and threw it in the vinegar bath. I couldn’t really find much in the way of “Hey, you should use this much dye!”, so I decided to grab an unmeasured scoop of some of my Wilton’s gel and mix it in. I didn’t really know what I was doing (obviously) but the many tutorials of Pintrest promised that it was really hard to screw this up, so I wasn’t too worried.

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I have to say, I’m really happy with the results! There was pretty much no technique at all involved with this skein but I love the way it turned out. I decided to turn my first skein of hand dyed yarn into a hat and I’m so so so happy with it.

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After I finally untangled the first mess of yarn, I decided to try making a multicolor skein. In the spirit of upcoming Valentine’s Day I wanted to try pink and purple. Since I’ve only got red, yellow and blue food coloring I had to try and make my own purple. It didn’t turn how I wanted, but I don’t hate it. Now I’m second guessing my color choice because I honestly have no idea who is going to want a pink and purple item of any kind!

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Does anyone else dye their own yarn and have any suggestions? I really want to learn some cool techniques!