Finally!

Woohoo! I’ve finally made some progress on those Sampler Texture Socks! They aren’t finished, but still…

Last night I finished the purple yarn and switched to the pink. I can’t believe how long it lasted – I thought for sure I would have run out long ago. I only have about 25 more rows of the chart to do before I’m onto the toe decreases… Then done!

I’m excited that I’ve actually got some of my mojo back.

Now if I could just regain my readers… No views since last Sunday.

Hmm. Maybe I can lure you in with some photos on this fine Canada Day weekend. I’m going to see the fireworks down at the beach with the boyfriend tonight. It should be great, since it’s such a gorgeous day!

In other news, I’m wearing a dress today. Now, to most of you, this seems like not a big deal. But if you knew me well, you would understand that I have an aversion to anything girly. But I am at work today, in the NON-AIRCONDITIONED library. It’s like 35 degrees (Celsius) out there people. And I can’t wear shorts… Mine are all way too short to be deemed work appropriate.

Ah well. Tomorrow I’m working at the ice cream store, scooping ice cream. At least it’s airconditioned. And I can wear shorts there.

Who wears short-shorts? I wear short-shorts!

Back at it

So I’ve been trying my hardest to get those SIPs done. I curse those Sampler Texture Socks. Never again will I knit them, never again. I knit and knit and knit… And nothing happens. They barely grow. To say it’s depressing is an understatement.

I still haven’t run out of the purple yarn though! I’m down to a ball the size of a quarter now, but I still have some left. Hopefully I will switch to the pink tonight and then I’ll know that some progress has been made…

In other news, I’ve been working on my writing a lot. I’ve done seven chapters on one of my stories! It’s probably not my best writing, and my story is definitely going in a few different directions, but it’s working out well so far. I can’t wait to get to the editing stage (is it weird that I like to edit?).

Sorry for the lack of postings lately guys, I’ll try to get something with photos up soon. I’ve been so busy with my horse and work that I haven’t had a spare moment to take some pictures (or get any knitting done)!

 

Struggling

Okay, I admit it. I’m struggling to finish anything these days.

Knitting just doesn’t seem to be on my radar as important. I mean, it’s summer time. I sit outside and read books, and spend very little time in front of the television (which is where I do the bulk of my knitting).

I promised myself not to post until I had some photos of the finished Sampler Texture Socks to finish. And yet, here I am, lacking finished socks.

I’ve lost my mojo! I need some more instant gratification projects… Baby hats, here I come.

But, I did manage to get the gussets done on those Sampler Texture Socks. Instead of picking up 11 stitches per side, as I did on the first sock, I managed to pick up 17. Obviously, the gusset decreases took way longer, but I like that the joins are more “solid”. You know what I mean?

Typical me. Changing patterns.

I’m off to find some inspiration. And maybe make another blog. About horses this time.

If socks could talk

If socks could talk… They would agree with my pets, that it is too hot to function outside, and we should really all be sleeping.

Jinx

Bond, our black lab

If socks could talk, they would be annoyed with me for ignoring them.

If socks could talk, they would urge me to sit on my patio with a cold drink, and get to finishing them.

If socks could talk, they would remind me that their patterns are in a library book, and I have now had that book for nearly nine weeks.

If socks could talk, they would remind me exactly how many projects I have finished since moving home (1).

If socks could talk, they would tell me that I was a bad knitter.

If socks could talk, they would inform me that using the name “thetravellingsock” is actually false advertising, because I never travel.

If socks could talk, they would remind me that when I do travel, I usually have to drive, hence they are left at home.

If socks could talk, they would lament the end of hockey season, and hours of uninterrupted knitting time.

If socks could talk, they would insist that I free them of their prison, the knitting bag.

If socks could talk, they would remind me that opening a store on Etsy is an awful idea, when I can’t even finish two pairs of socks.

If socks could talk, they would insist that I forget about the rest of the stash, and what I want to knit with it.

If socks could talk, they would inform me that my blog readers have yet to see a finished project on here.

If socks could talk, they would be right.

Catch up

So I’ve noticed significantly less viewers on this blog… Probably since I’m an awful blogger and I never have any good pictures for you guys!

But here I am to fix that…

As promised, weekend photos!

This sunset was on Sunday night, just after the rain stopped. You can’t tell from the trees, but if you look in the lower left corner, you can see the lake from my house (its a twenty minute drive, but we are high enough that we can see it).

There it is again… You can kind of see the rain sparkling on the corn in the field, but only sort of. Unfortunately, photos don’t do it justice.

As mentioned, there was a tractor pull. Those wristbands are worth their weight in gold… The red one cost $10, and the yellow cost $15! I thought they were totally overpriced, but I’m sure some of the money went to supporting the village, so I can’t complain too much. It the closest village to me.

Now. Onto the knitting. Here we go:

Taken with my phone as I was running out the door, so it’s not the best quality… But that is the Eye of Partridge Heel Flap! Conquered. Yes.

Both of those photos are awful, I’ll have to make sure that I use an actual camera when they’re finished and I take photos. The colour difference is shocking, but that’s all from a difference in light. In person, I think they look more like the first photo.

And here are the socks, wanting to go outside in the heat and be finished. It was 30 degrees Celsius out this morning (which is 86 degrees Fahrenheit for my American readers) at 7 am. 7 am!! It’s only going to get hotter!

My sock progress is extremely slow. These ones should be finished this weekend though… I have a long car trip ahead of me, in which I’m not driving (perfect!). Socks, you will be conquered…

Rainy Day Sunday

Apparently I’m awful at posting on the weekends.

So this was yesterday… It threatened rain all day long, and the heavens finally opened around dinner time. The grass will grow again! Hurray!

I’ll have more photos of the weekend up tomorrow. Here it is in a list.

1. There was a tractor pull. You know you’re from the country when the closest village has a tractor pull (who can pull a certain weight the furthest, basically), with a beer tent and a band. I had a great time!

2. I have conquered the Eye of Partridge Heel Flap. And it looks perfect this time. I’m just a nob and I don’t read directions properly.

3. My dad and I have been painting jump poles… Trying to spruce up the jumps my coach brought over. They look great so far. Domino has been doing much better over her little jumps too. Even my dad noticed a difference! It’s so exciting!

4. I haven’t started training for my half marathon yet…. It’s on July 29…. Uh oh.

5. The writing just continues to flow out of me. It’s crazy. I have to stop myself from continuing to start new stories though; it’s a disease.

6. I read a great book this weekend. The author is also the author of The Pioneer Woman blog. The book that I read was called “The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels”, and for those of you who prefer not to scroll through her blog, the author’s name is Ree Drummond. The book documents her love story; how she (the city girl) fell in love with a cowboy. It was so well written and engaging that I couldn’t put it down. Read it. Seriously.

7. It makes me want to write about my own love story… Or at least use it in my own stories. I mean, its suitably dramatic.

All this love stuff has got my head in the clouds. Time to come back to earth and put in some work on that novel.

Do you have a great love story? I’d love to read about it in the comments.

Goals

Sorry for the crazy post yesterday… Sometimes I just get crazy happy and my thoughts go in all directions.

As you may have surmised, I’m a goal setter. I always have been. Recently, however, I’ve stepped it up a notch. In January I made some yearly goals. I typed them up and printed them out, then hung them up on the walls of my room for the world to see. Since they were so public, it seemed even more important to complete them.

There were many goals, and since I don’t have them right in front of me, I can’t tell you all of them, but the ones I do remember go something like this:

1. By April 2012, qualify for Pony Club National Quiz at the A/B level (that’s the highest level, and I would have to finish in the top four competitors to make Nationals, for those of you who don’t know).

2. By April 2012, obtain an 80% academic average.

3. By June 2012, run a cumulative total of 250 kilometers (started counting in January).

4. By August 2012, jump a 3’3″ course with Domino.

5. By August 2012, jump a small course with Felix.

Let me tell you how these goals went/are going. #1, make National Quiz for Pony Club, has happily been completed. I worked really hard, and studied for it a lot, and I made it! I was so happy when I got to take that goal off of the wall. #2, however, did not go as planned. I worked extremely hard this past semester in school, and going into exams I had a 79.9% average. I had over 83% in all of my classes except chemistry, which I was in danger of failing (I had a 57%… And I do not fail things. I take school very seriously). After exams, my average was only a 72%. To say I was dissappointed was an understatement. However, this failure only served to motivate me further. I can’t wait to go back to school in the fall and prove that I can do it.

Domino last year, jumping a cross country fence that’s around 2’3″.

Goal 3 was also uncompleted… I did well at the start of the year, but I think I’ve only run around 130 kilometres in total since January. My motivation just fell off. More about that later. Goals 4 & 5 are still in progress. I think I can do #5 with no problems, but #4 seems a bit lofty at this point. In all fairness to myself, when I made them, I thought it was going to be a challenge, but doable. I have reassessed, and I don’t think that 3’3″ is attainable this year.

Here’s Felix jumping for the second time ever. This definitely shows promise for Goal #5.

So I figured that I would make goals for the year, then reassess & make new goals only once per year. I’ve found that this doesn’t work… My priorities change, and there’s always new things popping up that I want to complete. I’ve decided to play it by ear; make new goals when I feel the need to. I’m also going to continue making them more and more public. I found a great tip somewhere to make your goals into your passwords for websites… Though I have yet to try it, this seems like a great way to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

So I made some new goals yesterday. Here they are:

1. I achieve my D2 Riding Level with Pony Club on July 2, 2012. (For those of you that don’t know, that’s just a certification that you can ride and compete at a certain level)

2. I run a half marathon on July 29, 2012.

3. I write the first draft of a novel by August 31, 2012.

4. I acheive 350 hours of riding on Domino by September 1, 2012. (I count my hours through the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horseback Riding Program, where they give you rewards for riding for a certain number of hours).

5. I send in a draft of my novel to a publisher by December 31, 2012.

6. I achieve a 80% average by December 23, 2012.

So. Those are my short term goals for the time being. They are all attainable. For my Pony Club testing levels (#1), I have to jump 2’6″, which I know Domino is capable of. I have some novels on the go, and my boyfriend and I are running the half marathon together, so I know that he will help to motivate me. I’ve already got 295 hours of riding in on Domino so far, and I’m ready to work hard this semester for my average.

I’m a goal setter. It helps me to do the things I want in life. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be running a half marathon for a few years… It was a long term goal. That’s what happens when you have a boyfriend who dares you to do things.

Notice that I don’t set goals about knitting; knitting is a hobby for me, something that’s relaxing. I like to keep it that way, so I’m free to work on whatever I feel like, with no deadlines (except Christmas, of course).

What are your goals? What are your goal setting methods, and how do you motivate yourself to get them done? Leave a note in the comments; I love to hear what is important in your life.

A Thursday List

1. OMG I’ve been surfing the blog-sphere and I’ve found something amazing. I kind of want to try it. Kind of. I found it from a post on the lululemon blog, which then linked me to the real blog that they featured in the post (confused yet?). The blog is called 12 Months of Lent and its all about goal setting… With a twist. The writer picks something she’s always wanted to try/do/improve, and dedicates a month to it. Some of her challenges are fun, some are not. I’ve been reading through the blog and it’s addicting!

2. Writing: I’ve got 3 chapters done on each book I’ve been working on. I discovered that if I sit down at the computer and think about writing a chapter instead of writing a book, the words come to me a lot better. I also print each chapter after I finish it, so I can watch the pages physically stack up. It’s like watching your knitting grow; I just can’t wait to keep writing so I can watch it get bigger! Inspiration comes in the strangest forms!

I had this quote on my wall in sticky notes all year. Read it. Live it. (And for me, that means write it.)

3. Happiness. I’ve definitely had a great life. I would say a fantastic life. I’ve been given lots of opportunities, and my family is very close. That said, I’ve definitely had a battle with happiness. Over the past year, I’ve come to terms with an event that occurred thirteen years ago. It was traumatizing, and it was a huge struggle to overcome it. That’s why I’m going to write a series of essays or a book or an article or SOMETHING to celebrate my “getting over” this event. I’m really proud of myself, but I would love to share my experiences so people in similar situations realize that they always have somewhere to turn. I don’t know how/where I’ll publish it, if I even do, I just think that happiness is so undervalued and yet so necessary. And I want people to be able to overcome whatever is holding them back… Can you tell that this is still a very nebulous idea in my head?

4. Knitting. What’s knitting? Oh yeah, that thing that this blog is supposed to be about… Right…

5. My sister. I’ve mentioned offhandedly a few times how my little sister is severely disabled. She had surgery in April to repair hip dysplasia (dogs get it often… it’s similar to dislocation but I’m a little fuzzy on the exact details). Since she has limited walking ability in the first place, we were concerned that she would never be able to walk again. Yesterday, with the help of her walker, she made it the entire length of my house! It made me smile so much, I thought I would share.

I don’t live here (just erase the mountain and then its about accurate), but the weather is the same where I’m from. Get outside people, the sunshine will make you smile.

6. In light of #1, there are so many things I want to accomplish this month! I’m going to make a goal list for the summer, right now. But I want to try making someone smile each day. I want to write at least 50 words every single day. I want to train for my half marathon. It’s all too much. Time for some prioritizing.

Peace & love.

The best laid plans

I am a planner. Hardcore. All the time.

I am not a doer. I have never been a doer, and there are very few times when I actually carry out my elaborate plans.

(I sound like an evil genius. I promise that all of my plans are made with the best intentions)

Plan 1: Knit 4×4 squares of all of the random yarn scraps I have and sew them all into a blanket. Result: Knit 36 squares, including weaving in ends. Sew 24 of them together. Decide it looks awful and squares are boring. Rip back all of it. Left with a bunch of tiny balls of yarn.

Plan 2: Stop spending money, particularly on things I don’t need or already have. Result: Go to the yarn store and buy 5 balls of yarn (including one ball that was $12), hunt yarn store websites & decide that an order over $50 is reasonable because it means I get free shipping.

Plan 3: Knit up the entire stash so there is nothing left. Result: I’ve done pretty well on this one. I didn’t buy yarn for a year. But I did buy yarn recently, and I immediately discarded all of my other planned projects as boring, and started knitting the new stuff.

Plan 4: Organize all of the knitting needles in my house. Result: Go through all of them, see if I have pairs (or sets of DPNs), then throw them all back into the same box. Basically just a waste of an hour, since they ended up exactly where they started, and I wasn’t the wiser. Needle rolls? Still unmade. Haven’t even looked for a pattern.

Plan 5: Organize all of my stash yarn into project bags, with the proper needles and pattern in there (which means doing gauge for all of them in advance), and take out ONE project as I need it. Result: Yarn with colours that go well together (usually my leftover bits of skeins and such) in ziplocs. Discover that all patterns need the same needles, which I only have one set of. Patterns remain un-printed. Also, have 2 projects on the go plus the weaving in on one other one.

Plan 6: Separate bag for separate project. Easy for travelling, just grab it and go. Result: One bag, with random yarn, needles, & pattern books shoved on top. Can’t locate plethora of knitting bags. Most current project on top. Or, current projects strew all over coffee tables, much to the chagrin of my mother.

This time will be different though. This time I have a plan. After I finish the current SIPs (both Sampler Texture Socks & Zoomobile Socks), I will go deep into the stash and see if I can locate some yarn for Christmas presents. This year, the budget is going to be tight, with my horse hopefully moving to school with me. I want to get a head start on the Christmas knitting this year, although I’m kind of looking forward to the end of the year rush, with 5 projects on the needles. I didn’t do Christmas knitting last year and boy did I miss it. Therefore…

Plan 7: Knit from the stash for Christmas starting now, thereby saving money and getting a head start. Result: We will see….

Let’s go to the zoo!

1. Knitting progress: Sampler Texture Socks: only one more section of that stupid chart to go before I’m onto the #%$@&^$ Eye of Partridge heel flap. I really think it’s going to work out this time. I really do. Think positive.

2. Last night, the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup. For those of you who aren’t Canadian, you won’t understand the fascination with watching a team that I don’t normally cheer for… It’s a Canadian thing. We watch a lot of hockey. That’s just how it goes. So, with hockey season officially over, I’m going to have to start renting movies. I mean, I watch hockey, and I knit. That’s how it is, from September until June. 

3. Horses: I got a new coach (as I mentioned a little while ago) and she’s fabulous. But she says no more showing for this year, at least not at the level I had planned on. This sucks. For anyone who plays sports, this is like practising and practising and never getting to play the game. I mean, I get why. My horse isn’t far enough along in her training to show successfully at that level. But still. 

4. Zoo pictures! (I have to stop making lists… each number is a paragraph).

   

Peacock… all fluffed up!

Grizzly bear

Giraffe… I loved them

Hippos… The boyfriend’s favourite!

This warthog was all tuckered out.

The new polar bear cub, born in January.

This is the mother polar bear, angry to have been separated from her cub.

Penguins, enjoying the water on a hot day.

Zebra… My favourite!

This is us touching sting rays. They loved to be petted. We also got to touch some sharks!

All in all, an excellent trip to the Toronto Zoo. If you haven’t been… Get there. Giant Pandas are coming in 2013. I think I may have to go back to see them.