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February 2016
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April 2016

March 2016

Lets take the stress out of planners

Planner month view

Planner post it idea

Planner blog post calendar

Planner blog post ideas

Planner week view

Planner expense tracker

Planner colour pens

Planner purse with pens and journal cards

(the diary entry in the second photo is Stitch and bitch, which we hold in our local pub. I'm not calling anyone a bitch, lol)

I wanted to do another planner update to dispel some of the stories I read when setting up and embarking on my planner journey and sharing a few top tips I've found along the way. Your planner must work for you and you need to be happy with how to record appointments and events. My planner is still evolving as I find bits to add that make my life easier.

A commenter on one blog planner post I read suggested using mini post it tabs to record events or appointments that may change. That way you can move them around and only write them in pen on the day or even after the event. I love this top tip!!

Blogging is not my business but I enjoy it and since returning to blogging last year I've been wanting to be a little more organised and clear about my blog content. So I went on a search for some printables to enable me to blog better. Scattered Squirrel has some great free printables and the month on a page calendar is perfect for high level blogging ideas. I've added them behind the tabbed month on two page spread. How well does March coordinate with the Carpe Diem Planner!!
Then I needed a more detailed level of planning aid and these printables from Five Sixteenths work so well. She also has calendar pages but I don't need the notes margin on the side. I don't usually make extensive notes on each blog post so a page or half page is a waste for me, however I can use a whole page for a very detailed post like this one.

It's never too late to add a page to your planner. For April I wanted to try an expense tracker. If it works it will stay, if not it will go :)

In the beginning I wasn't go to go with the coloured pens and colour co-ordinated keys etc etc. But three months in I dug out a pack of fineliners and thought I would give them a try. Because I need to have them handy I'm using a little clutch bag that my mom gave me years ago (she used to keep her old passports in it and I clearly remember it from my childhood) to keep the pens and my journal cards and stickers in. The pocket inside the front cover was getting rather full and this seemed a better plan. This year is all about the journey to a 'planner that works for me' and not about getting it right on day 1 (and getting fed up when it isn't!).

I used to worry that I have 'white space' on my planner. Sometimes a day in a week is totally blank - no plans or chores. Now I see that as a blessing as it means I have extra knitting/crochet time! How can that not be a good thing. Oh and it's a great spot to pop a sticker, lol.

One of the 'no-no's' I read about often is adding events after they happen. I guess you're not planning properly if you're always adding appointments/events after they've happened. And yes this is true, but it's not the end of the world. If you get to the end of the week and find you're filling in all the gaps with things that have already happened, then perhaps your scheduling time is not in the right place. I'm lucky to have an hour each Monday evening to myself where I can spend time working on the coming week. As well as being time I have away from home chores and work with nothing else to do, it makes sense to me to plan my week on a Monday. But that's not a rule and it doesn't matter when you plan your weeks so long as it works for YOU!

Choosing what to plan is also as flexible and adaptable as you need it to be. I don't plan my meals for the week. I have a list of meals on the notice board in the kitchen that I use to do the grocery shop and then just decide each morning what to make for that day. It's not something I need to record or want to think about too much so it's not going in my planner.

I tried to incorporate a knitting/crochet journal/planner into this one but it's not worked for me so I had to find an alternative which you can read about here. This new planner has fit into my yarn craft life perfectly!

Don't stress about content and getting it right first time. Learn to adapt and make this work for you, we all have different expectaions and needs from our planner. This is the only way I have managed to get three months of planning under my belt. And still LOVE it!

That said I am NO expert. These are my own thoughts and what things have helped me get comfortable and into good habits.

Happy planning and unless I find something fabulous to share, I probably won't do another undate until the end of the year.

Ciao xx

At last, the heel!

and a yarnalong with Ginny

Yarnalong 30 03 16

I feel like I have made little progress with my sock knitting and reading this week. I managed to hit the heel last night after what has felt like the longest time. Although I am getting quicker with the magic loop method I haven't had the urge to knit. Instead I have caught up with my magazine reading (the accumulated pile was dangerously high!) and writing out recipes (more on that later).

I'm enjoying Poisonwood Bible now that I am past the bit I always got fed up at. I feel this book will be on my yarnalong posts for a while to come yet.

Ciao xx

Project planning pages

K&C planner project dashboard

K&C planner project page blank

K&C planner project page written

The lovely Carol at PracticalPaperShop made these super cool knitting and crochet project plan pages for me yesterday. I cannot tell you how excited I am about these and how much I love this cactus collection! I'm seriously considering changing my whole planner to this theme.

I've printed these double sided and the crop marks make cutting to size easy peasy. Carol is lovely and i'm sure if you wanted these pages in one of the other collections she would help you out!

My knitting and crochet planner is back in my hand bag because I can't stop looking at the new pages, lol

Ciao xx

Slow progress

and joining the yarnalong

Yarnalong 23 03 16

This second pair of socks are progressing at a snails pace! Although there are two at once so maybe i'm being a bit harsh on them (or myself!). And i'm more used to the circular needle and TAAT, which feels so comfortable in my hands now. Practice, practice, practice!

I finished the Last Days of Rabbit Hayes at the end of last week and it was a beautiful if very sad ending. I'm not sure i'm giving anything away there, the title says it all. Moved on to Poisonwood Bible that lots of folk on the yarnalong have read just recently. I must admit to borrowing the book from a neighbour in 2009 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and not managing to get past 20 pages. This is the last try and i'm a bit further than 20 pages so it is looking up a bit but if I can't get into it, it's going back. I wonder if she remembers I have it??

Happy day!

Ciao xx

Easter egg gifts

Easter egg assortment

Easter bunny bowl

Easter egg cones

Easter bunny poop

Easter bunny poop close up

A bit of Easter egg gift inspiration today. I wanted to do something completely different this year but left it too late to buy supplies (and I needed to deliver one parcel on the weekend) so thankfully I had plenty cone shaped cellophane bags left in my stash.

We usually buy large bags of eggs and split them up. This is cost effective and gives each kid (some of them big kids) a bit more variety. It was also great to get a few crafting supplies out for the Easter bunny poop bags. I did 'Easter bunny tails' using marshmallows a few years ago (never photographed) and they went down a treat. I hope these do too!

I'm so looking forward to Easter, the break from work and the time with family.

Ciao xx

It's a learning curve

and joining Ginny for a yarnalong

Yarnalong 16 03 16

I finished my first pair of socks last Wednesday and have worn them twice since. I just love them!

And now I am a week into the second pair of socks and although this looks like i've not made much progress (maybe because I haven't in terms of measurement), I have learnt a new skill, or two. This is my first attempt at magic loop AND knitting two at a time (taat). I feel like i've jumped in the deep end with this but so far it's all good! Last night we had a village stitch and bitch in our local pub and I managed to chat while knitting and didn't make any mistakes :)

Nearing the end of The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes (by Anna McPartlin) and it's very weepy :( I'm constantly being taken back to the days we spent in hospice with my yia-yia (Greek granny). Someone is always living this reality and it's a stark reminder just how vicious a disease cancer is.


Knitting a sock or two

Socks heel turning

Socks in progress 1

Socks 1

Socks heel

Socks 2

Socks sneaky peek

I didn't see myself as a sock knitter. I had no desire to tackle double pointed needles and certainly didn't see the appeal in wearing hand made socks.

So I was pretty shocked when I spent a considerable number of hours on Ravelry looking for the perfect sock pattern. I didn't want cables or lace, just plain and simple. And the same can be said for the yarn. I wasn't keen on muddled yarn that ran the risk of pooling (?!?!?!?!?!) and self striping is fine is both socks turn out identical which I figured was probably unlikely.

Once I settled on yarn and pattern (links at the end {are not affliate}), I was quite excited to get started. I have knit on dpn's before so I knew how to get set up and was soon making great progress on sock one. The needles were thin and very sharp so it took a while to get used to the palm jabbing that was going on but I was loving it! Even the heels didn't scare me and soon I had a sock. Wow, it was comfy, and cosy, and I didn't hesitate to cast on sock two. Sock one took a week and sock two took two (??). I went through phases in that two weeks that felt like second sleeve syndrome but I loved sock one so much that I knew I needed to get sock two done.

I will admit here and now that I am a sock knitter and totally loved the process and the learning that went on. And it continues as I embark on the second pair of socks (for dear husband this time), using the magic loop, two at a time method. I'll save that story for another day!

So a few details:
I used 2.25mm bamboo dpn's. I did not want to deal with 'slippery' on top of 'very jabby' needles.
The yarn is Lang Jawoll sock yarn and comes in a great range of colours. Each {elongated} ball of yarn comes with a spool of matching reinforcement thread for the heels and toes. This is super cool!
The pattern I chose is perfect for me. I love socks with a bit of slouch and the ribbing adds a tiny bit of texture without being 'fussy'. I also love the different colours on the cuffs, heels and toes.

Lang Jawoll Sock Yarn

Emily's Favourite Socks

Happy day!

Ciao xx

Rainy days and yarnalong

with Ginny

Yarnalong 09 03 16

I am very nearly ready to start the toe of sock two. I've not knit as much this week as I would have liked, partly due to the fact that I am nearing the end of a project. For some reason I tend to hit the anchors in the final stages of a knitting (or crochet) project, and i'm not sure why! I find myself browsing Pinterest, looking at nothing in particular, rather than getting these final stitches done.

But i'm determined that I will be wearing my new socks by the weekend! Dear husband is also anxious to see his socks on the needles some time soon. Today is three weeks since I started the socks so i'm pretty happy with the length of time it's taken to make them. I'm hoping with the magic loop and two socks at once I will be a bit quicker with pair two. Although of course there will be a bit of learning time!

Still reading The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes (by Anna McPartlin) and it really is a tear-jerker! Too many late nights means only a few pages each day.

My knitting/crochet planner is now in my project basket (I kept carrying it around in my handbag just so I can stroke it every now and again!) and I am really loving it! I've printed lots more note pages to add a needle/hook inventory.

The weather in the UK is pretty grim right now and we're all waiting for the longer days of Spring and Summer. Lets hope Easter weekend is nice and not snowy as predicted!!

Until next time......Ciao xx

The perfect knitting/crochet planner

WP planner arrived

WP planner front page

WP planner tabs

WP planner tab ruler

WP planner page

WP planner list page

WP planner calendar page

Disclaimer: Links to sites I used are at the bottom of the post and are not affiliate. All opinions are my own.

My quest to find the perfect knitting/crochet journal has been a long one. I started with the My Knitting Journal which has lots of information pages (that didn't really apply as I was just doing crochet) and some project planner pages. With the addition of ball bands and yarn sample cards it swelled to bursting point and I had to tear out most of the information pages to make room. It's also quite big so didn't live in my project bag/basket and I kept forgetting to use it!
Then I tried a plain note book which I divided into sections for 'future projects, 'project pages', 'tools lists' etc, but was quickly frustrated at the confines of a bound book. 

When I started my Carpe Diem Planner journey last year I thought that I could perhaps incorporate a knitting/crochet journal but despite my best efforts I couldn't seem to make them gel. 

One day while looking though Instagram I came across a photograph from Webster's Pages. Now I see their posts as I follow them, but this one image jumped out at me and I knew their personal size planner was just what I needed. I managed to find one at for £8.00! It's a 2015 starter kit but at £8.00 I really couldn't pass it up!

I was so excited for the planner to arrive and when it did I was not dissapointed. It's very nicely presented in a sturdy box with velum cover, that made me giggle.....hello pretty planner!
Although I had planned to swap out most of the inserts that come with the planner I've decided to keep them in and see if I can use them. I wasn't sure if the divider tabs would work either but actually they're really sturdy so it makes sense to keep them too.
I had read some mixed reviews about the quality and build of the planners but Webster's must have addressed these and made some improvements as I can't really fault it. The only one negative I have is that the pages aren't punched very well so they are stuck together, but it's a minor issue and at £8.00........goodness I really can't believe I got such a great bargain!!

I couldn't find stock of the 2016 Websters diary inserts in the UK (although I will probaby try harder to find them later in the  year to have them for 2017!) so I bought a few printables from PrintablePineapple on Etsy. The month on 2 pages is great for keeping track of what i'm making and gives me an idea of completion time when I blog a finished object. I also bought the 9 in 1 listmania package and have used all except the 2 grocery lists, although I'm sure i'll make use of them at some point! I love that there are 3 different blank list formats, which I have already used to keep track of sock yarn colour combos!

Misstiina has some really cute free printable journal cards and I printed loads for this planner and my CD planner.

I'm still looking for the perfect 'project page' and if I could get my head around designing my own I would. If you're a whizz on the old PC and fancy a collaboration, please shout!

As with the Carpe Diem planner, this one will evolve and change as I make it work for me, so keep an eye out for a update later in the spring. I'm so looking forward to popping it in my project bag :)

Ciao xx




Webster's Pages

My Knitting Journal

Sock obsession

and yarnalong with Ginny

Yarnalong 02 03 2016

Sock two is progressing nicely and I do feel like i'm getting used to knitting in a small round and the pointy palm jabs from the sharpest dpn's on the planet!

After I wiggled my hand made sock clad toes under his nose dear husband asked to try it on and declared he too would like a pair, so I happily ordered more yarn. And a bit more to make me a second pair! I've also ordered a circular needle to try the magic loop method and two socks at once.

I finished Go Set a Watchman on the weekend. It was a great read but not as good as To Kill a Mockingbird which is my all time favourite book. RIP Harper Lee

I started The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin this week and it's already made me a little teary. I bought this as part of a 3 for £10 book buying spree from Amazon months (maybe a year??) ago, and somehow this one slipped to the bottom a very big reading pile. Glad i'm finally getting around to it.

Thanks, as always, yarnalongers for visiting and commenting!

Ciao xx