18 for 2018 February review

So I meant to post this before I headed back from NZ, but I was just so busy having fun that it didn’t happen! Then came 40+ hours of travelling. Let’s not talk about that. So now I’m back on UK soil let’s have a look at my 18 for 2018 goals

 

1 New blog followed per week – 4/4 (yearly total 9/9)

Done, done, done! Mainly crochet, but I’ve also found some amazing Zentangle blogs.

 

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month – 2/2 (4/4)

Still going with Tunisian crochet! This time I learned the purl stitch and how to Tunisian in the round, finally making use of that double-ended hook!

 

3 Instagram posts per week – 12/12 (26/26)

I’m actually surprised I managed to meet this one, considering I posted very little when I was in NZ.  But meet it I did so onwards and upwards!

 

4 Exercise sessions per week – 16/16 (32/34)

It seemed rather optimistic packing my running gear, but I actually went for a run while I was away! There was also LOTS of walking so I’ve had a pretty active month 🙂

 

5 Blog posts written per week – 20/20 (39/40)

A confession for this one: for the first couple of weeks of February I only wrote two or three posts. The other 14-15 were zentangle posts that I wrote during my looooong stopovers in Sydney/Melbourne airport.  So I met my goal, but it didn’t really help with building a habit.

 

6 Patterns written up – 0.5/6 (0.5/6)

I was hoping to work on this during a stopover, but sadly it didn’t happen.

 

7 Rooms in my flat sorted – 0.5/7 (0.5/7)

Still plugging away at my box room, and I also had a sort out of my books and DVDs.

 

8 Minutes of writing per day

Getting better at tracking this one, but still not perfect.

 

9 pm bed time – 7/28 (31/59)

Yeah, not even a little bit. For 6 days of this month I was so busy crossing time zones I had no idea when 9pm even was. Then for half the month I was staying with a family friend and they do not sleep early. So no.

 

10% of wages saved – 0/10

Well.

After having paid quite a bit of money to get to NZ, the clutch died on my car. Then the following week my MOT was due, and you bet that hunk of junk didn’t pass first time.  And then I was on holiday, where you have to spend money to get places and do things.

So my saving for February is a big nada.

But, this has helped me realise how privileged I am. I know there are many, many people in the world who can’t even afford tickets to New Zealand, and here I was able to buy the tickets, fix and MOT my car, and still have some spending money left over. Even though I’m not ‘rich’ by Western standards, I know I’m one of the very lucky few in this world who hardly ever have to worry about being able to afford the basic necessities.  I need to remember and appreciate that more often.

 

11 Items listed in my shop – 0/11

Nah.

 

12 Hand-written letters – 3/12

I managed to get one written before I left for hols, and I sent a couple from my travels!

 

13 New recipes tried – 3/13

Things have been tight money-wise this month, so I haven’t been able to go and buy specific ingredients for new recipes. Hopefully next month will be a lot less expensive and I’ll be able to shop for what I want instead of whatever the supermarket has reduced.

 

14 Meet ups with friends – 3/14

I’ve been out for drinks with a friend, and oh yeah I flew to New Zealand for a wedding!

 

15 Birthdays on time – 4/15

My brother’s card arrived bang on his birthday, I’m so proud!

This is usually the point in the year when I give up on being on time for people’s birthdays because I’ve already missed so many (a lot of my loved ones were Winter babies!), but this year I’m feeling good and I’m determined to keep up with this.

 

16 Christmas cards made – 0/16

Still none so far.

 

17 Birthday cards made – 2/17

The only birthday this month was my brother’s, which I bought a card for, so nothing new to add on this one.

 

18 Items decluttered – 1/18

It hurt me to do it, but I’ve thrown away my old pair of converse trainers. There were holes in the soles, frayed ends on the laces, and my right little toe poked out of the side where the canvas had worn away.  I should have binned them a long time ago, but I do so love my converse.

Next up will be taking out the books and DVDs I no longer want.

 

Lesson learned this month: international travel can interrupt the best-planned goals, but that’s totally okay.  Also, always have a stash of money ready for when the car goes wrong. Again.

I need to pull my finger out and get on track with more of these in March. Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: Tunisian Purl Stitch

I learned quite a few Tunisian stitches last weekend, but I’m going to share this one first because it solves the curling problem!

I give you the Tunisian Purl Stitch! *cue Hallelujah Chorus*

It’s basically the same as doing the simple stitch, but you start off with the yarn in front of the hook rather than behind it.

The only awkward part I’ve found is that my first attempts were super tight so when I came to use them on the next round I couldn’t get the hook through. One solution (shown in this here video) is to hold on to the yarn with your thumb while you yarn over, which keeps it from pulling up tight.

(Side note: I never knew people said TOO-NEE-SHUN. I always say TYOO-NIZ-EE-UN.)

The magic is that just one row of this purl stitch at the start of my work stopped the curling entirely!

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See, this is the start of my sleeve. You can see the bumps on the front, that’s the purl row, and the rest of the cuff is simple stitch, and it’s not curling at all.

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I’m assuming (but haven’t actually tested) that a piece made entirely of purl stitch would curl the other way, and it’s the balance between the two directions that keeps it straight. But making something entirely out of purl stitch seems silly to me when simple stitch is less fiddly, so I’m going to purl one or two rows at the start of my Tunisian pieces and then carry on as normal with other stitches.

I’m so excited about fixing the curling problem! Is that weird? Is anyone else as happy about it? Please let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx