Sock-tober

I’ve been seeing the title “Sock-tober” pop up in my reader a lot lately. As far as I can tell, October seems to be the month of sock knitting….

Darn, just when I went through virtually the entire month of September by knitting only socks! I’ve actually been trying to knit on my sweater as much as possible.

The reason, you see, isn’t Second Sock Syndrome (the fickle beast), but it is something almost as bad. It’s a conspiracy.

I’ve been working on the Earl Grey Socks for my dad for about a week now. And I can’t seem to make any progress. No matter how much I knit, the cuff never seems to match the desired length (2 inches for adults is my rule of thumb). I swear that it’s a conspiracy. Something is ripping back my knitting while I’m in class. I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on it.

After tonight I’ll know for sure. For the month of Sock-tober, I’m going to try to do a row on the sock every day. No promises, but that’s the goal. October is the month where it finally dawns on me that all of my Christmas knitting plans might be a little insane. I have a lot of knitting to do. Let’s consult the list:

  • Socks for Dad
  • Socks for boyfriend
  • Socks for brother
  • Sweater
  • Scarf for best friend
  • Mittens for sister

That doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re a full time student with midterms and finals coming up… That’s a lot.

But, with my Sock-tober plan in place, I’ll break this conspiracy and churn out a sock in no time. I hope.

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Just a nibble

Just a little taste, a nibble if you will, of things to come.

If you’ve been looking at my 101 Things page recently, you will have noticed that I’m now up to 33/101 things completed. Today saw the completion of two things – my G class driver’s licence, and cast on for a sweater.

I know that the knitters among you are far more interested in the sweater, but I should just mention (since someone will ask) that Ontario has the graduated licensing system, meaning that there are 3 different classes of licence. G is the highest, and that’s what I got today.

Oh, the knitting? You want to hear about that? I have no photos today, but I’m sure some will be coming along shortly. The sweater is cast on and I have one round finished. It looks so simple, sitting there on the needles… Until you notice the mismatched stitch markers that I made when I was twelve, and the dollar store row counter and needle tip covers. I informed my mother that she could get me some nice stitch markers from Etsy for Christmas, but she went on a rant about how she had to make due with spare yarn as stitch markers. I think I’m going to have to start sending her photos. Then maybe she will understand.

So I cast on my 87 stitches and did the first row of k1p1 rib. I have to do that for 21 rows, which is nice and monotonous for watching television. The rows are pretty long though, so once it gets a little bigger it won’t be as portable.

Good thing I now have FOUR projects on the needles, so I always have something to take along with me. Something must be finished before I move back to school. I’m sure the scarf will be… It’s extremely addicting to knit. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind having at least one of a pair of socks done before I get to school. Hmm…. I’m going to have to start making some choices.

Speaking of moving, the day is fast approaching. I’m taking a bunch of stuff down on September 1st, and then permanently moving in on September 4th. This is my last week of work (thank goodness) and I’ll be done on Friday.

It feels like I have a million things to do before school starts, but I can’t complain. I like to be busy. I’m picturing a couple of days before I move though, lounging at home with the sweater-in-progress. It’s supposed to be rainy too, which is perfect for making a cup of tea and knitting.

That sounds like the perfect thing to do after work.

DONE

I don’t know what to call this post, other than DONE! I started and finished so much yesterday that it’s unbelievable.

First up, since you’re all dying to know… I am now a half-marathon runner! It took us only 2.5 hours (I was estimating it would take 3) and the only times we walked was when we were drinking water. (I can’t drink and run at the same time okay!). I actually had a lot of fun. My legs didn’t start to hurt until the 14th kilometre, but by the time we reached the last two kilometres, I was having a hard time continuing. Those last two kilometres were definitely the toughest I’ve ever ran. We finished strong though – I still had enough left in me to give a little sprint to the finish.

I don’t think my legs have ever been that sore in my life!

Here’s me and the boyfriend, after finishing our half marathon!

I’m so pleased to be able to cross #1 off my list of 101 things!

Next up: the Zoomobiles. I’m pleased to announce that they were finished yesterday while driving home. I even got the ends woven in! I’m notoriously slow at weaving in ends… My purple Sampler Texture Socks are still in the finishing basket, waiting to be done.

I have photos, although I must admit that it’s very difficult to take pictures of your own feet!

And finally, I have photos of my new yarn. The washing went well, and I’ve started to knit it up into a simple roll brim hat from a pattern that I keep in my head.

Just after washing

Ready, set, dry!

It’s so pretty! I can’t wait to knit up some more of it to see the colours.

Another closeup

It really is gorgeous yarn, and the elasticity isn’t actually too hard to knit with, contrary to what I had originally guessed it would be. I guess I’m working on yet another part of the 101 list – knit something that isn’t socks!

Burnt Toast

This morning I burned my toast.

I hate burnt toast, with a passion. Burnt anything, for that matter.

My bread was dry and hard.

I ate in anyway.

Why? Why did I eat something that I clearly wasn’t going to enjoy? Why didn’t I just compost it and start over? That would be the logical solution…

I ate it because I was late. I didn’t have time to put new pieces of bread in the toaster and start over. I didn’t have time to make a cup of tea.

I realized, as I was driving to work this morning, reflecting on my burnt toast, that I wasn’t following the old saying “That which matters the most should never give what to that which matters the least”. I often try to listen to this saying, to ensure that I have time to do what matters most to me. I always make time to ride my horse, see my family and my boyfriend, and to go to school.

It also occurred to me that I spend a lot of time doing things which matter very little to me. Work is a prime example. In a roundabout way, work helps me to complete school, which is very important. But the physical act of going to work is something which matters very little to me. I have a very unfulfilling and boring job (libraries I tell you) but that’s not even the point. The point is, I know that I want to be doing something for the rest of my life in which I can feel fulfilled.

Work is a fact of life. I can’t do anything about it. But I can start to give up other things that don’t matter to me at all. I spend an inordinate amount of time checking Facebook and Twitter. I also spend a lot of time aimlessly surfing the web while at work, when I could be doing something else (like writing my book). These simple little time wasters hinder the completion of the things that I want to do in my life.

I have an awkward 2 hour break on Wednesdays, when I transfer between libraries and wait for them to open. I have a forty minute drive, then I sit in the parking lot for an hour and a half. I have been using that time to read all summer. Today, it occurred to me that although there are many books I would like to read, there are few that are holding my attention at the moment.

This morning I almost grabbed my knitting on my way out the door, but I was in a rush. I’m really wishing that I had grabbed it, since the book I’m reading is a little boring at the moment. Using these spare moments to do something I enjoy, like knitting, will allow me to complete my goals much more efficiently. That which matters the most won’t be giving way to that which matters the least, because I’ll have some knitting with me anytime I need it.

Car knitting, you will be my saviour.

And finally, tonight, after a week off, I’ll be working on the Zoomobiles. I can’t wait to get home.

Smile on me sunshine

What’s not to be happy about today? It’s Friday and the sun is shining, and I finally have the entire weekend off! Last night I received another BookCrossing package in the mail. This one contained another book on my To-Read list, and… YARN! I was shocked. It’s very cool, a multi-coloured elastic type worsted weight. I can’t wait to get to knitting it, though I don’t know what I’m going to make with it.

This will be my last post for a couple of days, since I’ll be away all weekend at my show. I haven’t talked about my horse much lately, which is fairly surprising. I’ve been really focussed on her, and we’ve been doing a lot better. She tries really hard and her training is progressing well. My biggest fear is the jumps, and that’s all in my head. My horse is amazing, she could jump four and a half feet easily. I, on the other hand, couldn’t. My fear is completely a mental issue, but I’m working on it. This weekend I’m not going to win, I’m going to train. I’ve convinced myself that I’m excited to be able to jump a new course with new jumps.

I’m starting to get really excited, even though it means late nights and early mornings, and crashing in a tent. When I return I’ll have photos, results, and a sense of achievement. Then it will be on to the next hurdle; my half marathon. T-minus 1 week!

I love having goals that I get to achieve. Makes me feel a sense of purpose in life.

Enough of my ramblings. I’ll be back in a few days, and you can expect a thoroughly disorganized, photo-heavy blog post!

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.