Weekly Thoughts #4

This week, they’re mostly about me being paranoid about the future.

  1. Whilst making the Purse Stitch Scarf, I’ve been measuring it up using my arms and have finally reached my second shoulder. It seems as if the more I knit, the slower progress becomes… But soon I may just have a summer scarf (on time for the scorching heats of Late June!) It seems to be good practice to make a scarf that’s the same length as your height – I got this tip from the Ravelry forums – but I’m too short to make this tip work for me, so it might just have to be double the length!
  2. Returning to school has been a less than happy experience. With three of my subjects, we’ve dived straight into A2 learning. With Art, we’re even expected to have a new sketchbook ready even though a good number of us are expecting to drop it next year which would mean a wasted investment.
    (Update: All is well, we don’t have to anymore and can just spend £1 on the school ones, small enough, in A4 instead of our usual A3, to last us until the summer.)
    The Psychology Department, as ever, seem to have the right idea with giving us a summer research project to do, saying ‘even if we taught you A2 material, you’ll all forget it by September.’
    They get us. Totally. On the other hand, this project involves five-minute spoken-only-with-an-A6-card presentations and uni-style 1500 word essays (citations? References??What??), which many of us have not done before. Gulp.
  3. My Art work is being moderated. I feel like crying whenever I walk into the department now – I feel a lot of regret over the work (well, lack of) that is going on the walls for moderating this year. I think on Results Day I’m going to cover the area with my Art grade on it. I did think I had made peace with my grade and all, but until the summer, the Art ghosts are going to be kicking me in the butt. Feels as if my art teachers look at me with pity – not a good sign.
  4. Regrets.
  5. And more regrets.
  6. I’ve always wanted to try knitting baby things. I don’t know any babies to knit for so I’ve never had a reason to. This year two of my teachers are going on maternity leave so I’m taking the chance. Baby booties! Squeal!
  7. I have a few skincare posts lined up, but I think that ‘daily routine’ posts show everyone the products that work for you, and have therefore made it into the routine because they contribute to your flawless complexion. My skin isn’t exactly great right now, but it has also shown great improvement after an outbreak a couple of weeks ago. But then again, it always seems to improve right around that time of the month, so I’m going to leave it another week before figuring this out. I guess you could say I’m still getting to know my skin. So, post or no?
  8. I think I have a cold.
  9. *sneezes*
  10. Or is it hayfever?
  11. *sniffs*

Apologies for slipping with the posting this week… Clearly, I had nothing to say!

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Knitterly Updates #2: Current Project

I did a lot of swatching and Rav surfing during my revision breaks. Despite lots of theoretical calculating and mental swatching with my stash, I settled on a simple, free pattern from Purl Soho again.

This is the Purse Stitch Scarf inspired by the Open Air Wrap from Purl Soho. I’m knitting it based on a mod I saw in the comments that reverses the pattern so that it is mostly k2togs and not p2togs.

I’m using the Patons 100% cotton 4ply that I was initially going to use for the Lazy Summer Shawl, but frogged because of bad maths. Like the pattern suggests, it is also fingering weight, but I’m using 5mm needles instead of the recommended 3.75mm, because knits are generally tighter than purls. Arguably I could’ve just gone up to 4mm, but my gut told me to go bigger.

  

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Hand there for size reference.

I think this scarf will be great to throw around my neck on cooler summer/autumn evenings. Another thing is that this pattern almost flies off the needles even if I only knit half an hour a day. It’s easy enough that once you have your rhythm of k2togs and yos sorted, you can get a fair bit done in half an hour even if you normally knit at a snail’s pace like me.

In fact, I did a size check this morning and it’s 24″!! That’s longer than my arms!

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(P.S. Mom just called us kids and told me that [paraphrased] ‘now you’re just staying at home and doing nothing you should totally just clean the bathroom, your room and vacuum it too while you’re at it’ as if I don’t have two very important exams in… Three days?!?! *swears under breath*

P.P.S. I usually get so irritated when she says things like that that I do all the chores anyway to help vent out my anger, like I’ve just done now. I think my mother is onto something here.)

Knitterly Updates #1: Finished Facecloth

Due to exams I haven’t knitted as much as I would have, just picking up yarn and petting it and swatching with it occasionally. I had a small face cloth project to keep me going, though – Facecloths are my new favourite portable knitting project!

  

I didn’t think it was possible, but I think I like this cloth more than the Chinese Waves. The seed stitch is more nubbly which makes it perfect for gentle exfolation. I’ve fallen in love with using my own handknitted facecloths for my new skincare routine! At the same time, until I find a miraculously more-perfect facecloth pattern I think I’m going to end up sticking to these two patterns as they’re great for their intended purposes.

An added bonus is that whilst I expected to only have enough of this cotton for two face cloths, I just wound up the rest and it looks like I’ll have enough for a third!

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Gotta Love the Basics

I started knitting around two years and three months ago.

Since then, I have made four and 1/2 cowls, three and 3/4 hats, two lap blankets, two pairs of fingerless mitts, a poncho, one lace shawl, two lacy-design scarves, a tote, a tiny bunny rabbit, and 98% of an improvised tank top. (I think that’s everything.)

You would think that, with my exponential growth in knitting skill, something like a dishcloth would be basic, a passers-by amongst the cooler stuff. (I was so excited there that I used a maths word. Wow.)

Clearly, as these photos show, this is not the case. I absolutely love this face cloth.

SO PRETTY.

Even the back is pretty!!

   Pattern: Chinese Waves Dishcloth
Yarn: Stylecraft Classique 100% Cotton DK (un-mercerized)
Needle Size: 4mm ( US6?)
Dimensions: 8×8 inches.
I cast on 47 stitches and knit until it was the right length.

It’s really luxurious, and we all know a girl needs some luxury!

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P.S I also finished this. It’s a stuffed square specially for fiddling with. Goodness knows how much I fiddle with yarn. I squeeze it, stretch it, flatten it, roll it, fold it… and occasionally throw it at people. 

Wait, I need to frame this essay

A small achievement was made this week – I got a high score on a particular section of my Psychology Mock Paper. It was the section that I had revised most on, which is giving me signs of hope – the work I actually do is paying off. It seems like such a small thing but I want to frame this essay for display, and when I think of this glorious 8/10 on the essay question I grin like a happy bubble- it’s embarrassing but I can’t help it! (Even when I found out later that there were people who scored 10/10 on that question, nothing could shake my mood, which was surprising for me.)

To celebrate, I opened up another product from the Birthday Sweet Box – Green Tea Kit Kats! The taste is a bit heavy on white chocolate vibes but it’s very distinct. It’s a shame the bars were so small – plus I was feeling generous and gave half to Twerp.

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I haven’t done much knitting, but I have been working on a Chinese Waves Dishcloth (link to Rav page). I love the pattern, and the project itself is being stored in my fab new knitting bag from my last post.

I’m working it in when I can, but if I can barely do a dishcloth then when is Saroyawn ever going to be finished??
That aside, squishing yarn has been my calming force recently, so I am thinking of making a small toy out of a soft-ish yarn and stuffing it, making it very squishable.

Kim Ye Rim (or Lim Kim) of Togeworl is releasing a new mini-album this week, called ‘Simple Mind‘, which drops on the 27th. She released the MV for the pre-release track, ‘Awoo’. The MV channels cat vibes in very subtle, but clear ways, and a fresh and funky style. It highlights the weirder side of the cat life. Check it out!

This is my favourite study playlist on 8tracks right now- Study Your Little [Heart] Out (link to mix) by Popping Candy. Many others I have looked at feature all sorts of instrumentals but I prefer calmer playlists like this one, even if it’s only an hour and a half long. I’m in the middle of compiling my own calm playlist, so watch out for that!

To top things off, at some point this week I passed 100 likes on this blog. Whilst another small achievement, I am really very honored.
Thank you, dear readers… I hope you’ll all stick around for a long time to come!

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Better Mindset

On the night of the first day of the Art Exam (it runs over two days at AS), the exam season kind of slapped me in the face.

My attitude towards things last week was honestly kind of worrying – I had practically given up, and cried myself to sleep with paranoid thoughts of my uncertain future. But that night, I was super stressed until the exam itself ended, and I got through Double Chemistry with a more productive mindset and, after school, somehow managed to do the more focused hours of study that the Student Support Person (not a teacher) recommended I try, as opposed to 6 distracted hours. When things all go to plan I should be able to get time out before bed to shut down without technology (as in, to knit. Or Read. Whatever floats my boat that day).

Since yesterday was my first attempt at this it was difficult, and really ended up being three hours, particularly as I was interrupted to chop vegetables. But it was focused, and I actually got a bunch done. I didn’t really want to stop, actually. I knew I had so much work to do to make up for lost time.
But I shut down the computer, picked up Huntress by Malinda Lo, which I started during the Easter Holidays, and finished the last few chapters. It’s about a ‘dangerous, unheard-of journey to the city of the Fairy Queen.’ The journey itself pretty much takes up 3/4 of the book. Do I recommend it? My response is ‘meh.’ It’s a quiet read.

Back to studying – I used a free desktop application called Cold Turkey and blocked all of my distracting websites. I don’t hover much on WordPress so I don’t block it, but all of my social media and regularly-checked sites were on the list. Then I went Cold Turkey on those sites until 9, or any other specified time. It’s great. I almost cracked and went on Youtube towards the end, but of course, I couldn’t access it.

I also switched up the music I listen to as I study. 8Tracks is a great site for this as so many people post instrumental revision playlists. I steer towards the longer ones of 3+ hours. I’m currently listening to a shorter one with instrumental tracks from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Great game. Can’t play it, but my brother is Link and I’m Midna – I tell him what to do). It’s just such a shame that I can’t download the app on my old phone because you need at least Android version 4.0 to download it.

Lastly, I think I did previously mention a Young Enterprise company in my school doing custom-printed-design tote bags. I ordered mine a month ago, just before they stopped the custom orders, and they finally gave it to me today…


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I know. I produced the images myself after extensive research of my favourite knitting-related quotes/puns/stuff. Its FABULOUS. I squealed showing it off to practically everyone I walked past. If you ever want the images (quotes not mine…) for your own printed things, feel free to comment and we’ll work something out.

Expect less updates as exam season slaps us poor students around a bit more!

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Up-To-day-te (Up To Date? Today? Geddit? …That was horrendous I’m so sorry)

Tuesday was supposed to be Mom’s extra day off work, but a few weeks ago she had accidentally booked in two (really lovely, fortunately) clients and didn’t want to cancel on them, because my Mom is also lovely.
So instead, she took all three of us kids to the Nail Salon, did those two appointments and then closed early, as you do. Then we did a bit of shopping… And spent all the money that she had earned that morning, mostly on summery things like ice cream, meringues (yes, I know I said I would make some but… Nah maybe next time) and gardening things because Mom likes to do the gardening when the evenings are lighter.

Bonus: I got to take a trip to the Craft Store. I bought cotton for washcloths (Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK) (unpopular opinion: I really love cotton yarns), but I feel guilty delaying Saroyawn any longer. I’ll just throw the 1/3 completed thing around my neck again to get me in the mood, because it’s so soft.

Bonus #2: I got my nails redone.
2 coats of hot pink Cacee BFE nail lacquer (link goes to product page), chosen (over O.P.I, might I add!!) because I have a lip crayon that matches. It’s a perfect summer shade. Cacee’s BFE nail lacquers are serious contenders with O.P.I in Mom’s salon. The lacquers are super-glossy, come in so many amazing colours and last ages… although not as long as the last nail-over I had (A rosy pink from O.P.I’s no-UV gel-effect ‘Infinite Shine’ range).

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Buffed, washed, base coat, two coats of polish, and UV top coat.

 ETA: I can’t actually remember what color this was, but my bet is on Jenny after holding my fingers up to their colour chart – I will ask in a bit, but if you want a similar colour in another brand, it’s a hot pink that is borderline neon – really really bright! I’ll find out the answer today so stay tuned 🙂

Wednesday:
I’m dabbling in crochet again. I do it from time to time – one of the oldest photos on the family ipad (so, not long ago) is of a flimsy little flower from my first attempts. Right now I am using a scrap ball of bright orange cotton to single crochet a round, spiralling face cloth/mug coaster. It’s not exactly lying flat for several reasons, but oh well. One day, though…amigurumi.)

Today: I cleared out all the empty plastic bottles from my room, which may well be a plastic recycling plant for all I know… I think Dad was a bit freaked out by the sudden accumulation by the back door.
I also opened up a box of Japanese sweets from the Birthday Box: ‘EVERYBURGER’. Basically two biscuit sandwiches with a chocolate button and something that is supposed to resemble cheese… I found it funny that the chocolate had melted so the ‘burger’ was spilling out!

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You can probably tell that my days have been a bit less eventful. But hey, we’re having a BBQ tomorrow – a sure sign of summer!

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