Tuesday, July 28, 2015

24 Goals: Finished

Last year for my 24th birthday I came up with 24 goals that I wanted to accomplish by my next birthday. Now that my golden birthday year has come to an end, it's time to evaluate my success. On my half birthday in January, I did a quick run through of the status of my goals at the time, but now that I've turned yet another year older, here's my final assessment.

1. Run another marathon and ultra marathon.
Okay, so I didn't run a marathon or any race longer than that during this birthday year. I actually only ran two 10 mile races- one road and one trail. That being said though, I have run a lot more than I have at any other point in my life, which I suppose was the real underlying goal here. I did however run the San Francisco Marathon this past weekend, just two days shy of my birthday! 

2. Blog at least 5 times each month. 
I've easily accomplished this. This past year I've been so much better sharing recent news and projects on my blog, and I'm so happy about that. Initially, I needed to constantly remind myself of this goal in an effort to blog more. But now, thinking about blog topics is frequently on my mind and it's no longer a huge effort to get something ready enough to hit the "publish" button. 

3. Sew every month.
I'm not quite sure that I sewed every month, but I have sewn a lot more (especially garments) this past year! I even worked up the courage to sew with knits which is huge for me. My handmade wardrobe is slowly growing, but growing it is!

4. Use up the majority of my stashed fabric (so I can buy more, of course) ;)
While I have been sewing a lot more, especially lately, I still have a ton of stashed fabric. I don't see myself needing to go fabric shopping for awhile. In fact, Lauren and I agreed to continue working through our respective stashes, and if we make large dents, then we can go on a Christmas fabric shopping spree at our favorite fabric store in San Francisco this Winter!

5. Knit and finish at least one project. (I must get back into knitting!)
I remember coming up with this goal and having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. Last year I was at the point where I didn't want to knit because everything I attempted wasn't working out. Luckily though, I needed to knit Marissa's birthday present. It turned out that I loved knitting that cowl so much that I couldn't stop knitting. Besides Marissa's cowl, I also knit: a cowl for Lauren; another cowl; and a shawl for myself. I even joined my first knit along and am currently knitting my first sweater. There's been so much knitting progress for me this past birthday year!
6. Mail at least one letter each month.
I sent a letter to someone most months. There were a few months where I just completely forgot. I do love receiving snail mail though, so sending random letters (and ones with real purposes too) is something I want to do forever.

7. Take lots of pictures with my big camera as a way of exploring my "neighborhood". 
I've gotten a little better at using my big camera more often, but there's still much more potential waiting to be had with this goal. I crave pictures with people in them, and now that I've moved across the country away from my family, taking people pictures with just Lauren and me can get a little redundant.

8. Finish my Summer Sampler cross stitch pattern.
I finished my first cross stitch pattern in February and have been anxiously awaiting this trip to California to stock on more supplies for the next samplers. I still need to get my Summer Sampler framed, but that will have to wait a bit longer. It took awhile for me to get into cross stitching, but once I found my groove, it was hard to stop. I find cross stitching so relaxing, but I can understand how it's a nuance for others.

9. Read at least one book per month.
Check! With the help of my local libraries and insanely inexpensive books on Amazon, I've easily been able to read more this past birthday year than I think I've ever done in this time frame in my entire life. I even compiled a list of books to read, and I'm almost completely through it.

10. Sew at least two dresses, and actually wear them.
I did, I did! I haven't taken photos of them yet, but I managed to squeak out a striped woven tunic and a knit dress right before heading out to California a few weeks ago. I've worn both of them twice so far and like them enough to keep them. But even more important, I figured out what changes I need to make so that I love my finished dresses next time.

11. Try at least one new food item each month.
I'll be honest, I really cared about this goal at first. But then after a few weeks, it wasn't something I wanted to strive for anymore. So no, I most likely didn't follow through with this plan, although I wasn't really keeping track either. I did find myself needing to eat lots of garlic scapes though, so there's always that.

12. Read through all of the magazines I own to clear up some much needed space.
I didn't even get halfway through my stack of magazines. It was pretty ridiculous how many I had. Last Summer I was trying to read two magazines a day to tackle this goal, but when it was time to move to Philadelphia, I tossed whatever I had left and called this task done.
13. Catch up on all of the birthday presents I owe people.
I caught up on all of the birthday presents I owe people. In my mind there were so many presents I needed to still make and gift, but in reality, I actually only had to knit cowls for Lauren and Marissa. Once I got my knitting mojo back, this was easy.

14. Run under an eight minute mile.
I haven't actually timed myself on a mile run. I bet I can accomplish this, but I haven't tried. 

15. Go through and clean up my room at my parents' house.
I mentioned this briefly before, but I tried pretty hard to tackle this while I was home for the holidays this past December. But, I soon realized this was never going to happen since my room has basically become a storage space for random family items and furniture. I did try though.

16. Create an art/gallery wall.
I was really excited about this one. I have all my frames and tons of ideas in my mind. But, I haven't managed to fill all my frames yet. I wanted to wait to hang art up until all of the frames are filled, so my wall doesn't have anything to show of my progress so far. I did create two pieces for my wall though: one out of paint chips, and an ode to my home state, California.

17. Keep plants alive.
I was doing great keeping several house plants alive while living in Sacramento. But when I moved, my plants had to stay back in California with Leti. I believe they're still alive though. Lauren and I also grew tomatoes and helped a lot with Leti's home garden. Once we moved to Philadelphia, I bought two new house plants and they're still both thriving.

18. Have at least one vegetable every night for dinner.
Like trying a new food item every month, this quickly became something I no longer want to try for. I'll be honest, I don't eat at least one vegetable every night for dinner. That being said though, I've been eating a lot healthier than I have in a really long time, and that's the most important thing.

19. Set a monthly budget and stick to it.
When I moved to Philadelphia I knew this task would become very important. I set a budget and I've been able to stick with it every month, expect December. I only went over by a few dollars, and it was because I needed to buy Christmas presents for other people. All of the other months I "saved" money, so I was okay with over-spending a little bit once.

20. Weed through my belongings and donate items I no longer need.
With a big move comes lots of donations. Last Summer in preparation for my big move, I purged a lot of clothing items (the big hoarded culprit!). I still have a ton of clothes in California, and my closest in Philadelphia could use a good clear out too.

21. Get a hair cut!
I love getting my hair cut, but I hate it at the same time. I love how lightweight my hair feels afterwards, but I've only ever had one professional hair cut that I really loved. It usually takes a few weeks post cut for me to like my hair again. So, I always put off getting a hair cut until I can no longer live with unruly hair. Speaking of, it's about time for another hair cut soon!

22. Make sure I get my daily 10,000 steps, but not make it a chore.
I definitely haven't gotten 10,000 steps everyday. But, I did make this one of my New Year's resolutions and have been marking off the days when I am successful. I usually reach my step goal six days out of the week, Friday easily being the hardest.

23. Try a new physical activity, like yoga.
I tried both yoga and zumba. Initially, I liked zumba a lot and would go several times a week. During the Winter though, I started having hip issues which were exasperated during zumba classes. So, I stopped going to zumba and started going to yoga a lot more often. It helped that Lauren worked at the gym. This gave me a reason to want to work out more, so it was easy to go to fitness classes. Now that Lauren no longer works there, I don't go to the gym nearly as much and haven't been to yoga in over a week. I should start going again when I get back to Philadelphia because it is a great way to get some stretching in. 

24. Ride my bike often, while I have the opportunity.
I don't think I rode my bike at all this entire year, which is a bummer. I like going on casual bike rides but never made the time to do it.  

Although I definitely didn't accomplish everything I set out to do this past year, these goals made me think about how I choose to spend my time and what's truly important to me. I'm still formulating ideas for my next birthday challenge, and I'm excited to try something different for this new year.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Best Friend Friday No. 40: Franklin Fountain

On Saturday, July 11 Lauren and I treated ourselves to the best vegan ice cream in the world. Okay, so "in the world" may be a stretch as we haven't tried every single place that offers vegan ice cream (but hey, there's a bucket list item!), but this ice cream is by far the best vegan version we've had in our lives.

Back in May, we made a random visit to Franklin Fountain on our way home from a craft fair. Ever since then, we've both been dreaming of those delicious flavors. In the months that have passed since then, we hadn't come up with a good enough reason as to why we needed to go back. But, after discovering that the oldest continually-running candy shop is located right next door, we had to go back. My brother's birthday is coming up, and I honestly thought he would enjoy Philadelphia-made goodies. So on our way to the candy shop, we made a little pit stop and treated ourselves as well. If there was anything to celebrate, it would be that we had just finished our last double-digit training run for our upcoming marathon earlier that morning. If that's not a good reason to seek out ice cream, I don't know what is!

Halfway to Franklin Fountain, the subway came to a sudden halt as it became "out of service". Everyone was forced to exit the train and wait for the next one. We had no idea how long this would take, as the train we were formerly on hadn't moved, preventing a new train to come and pick us up. All was okay though, we thought. We would wait patiently for the next train without complaining, just happy knowing that we would soon find ourselves overjoyed with ice cream. However, after several minutes had passed, there was a terrible smell that neither of us could stand. It was making us both feel sick, so we decided to just exit the subway station and make the long trek to Franklin Fountain by foot. This meant walking fifteen blocks (after having run 12 miles). Despite the heat, it was all worth it.
Franklin Fountain has dozens of flavors- dairy, sugar-free, non-dairy, and vegan ones. Last time we stuck to the officially labeled "vegan" flavors as we didn't know exactly what hindered the "non-dairy" ones from being "vegan". This time Lauren asked, and we figured out that all of the "non-dairy" flavors are made with only vegan ingredients, however they aren't made in a vegan kitchen. Considering most times we go out to eat our food isn't prepared in a vegan kitchen, the "non-dairy" options immediately became additional vegan choices for us.

As far as the vegan options go, there seems to always be at least one sorbet option. This time they offered mango and raspberry sorbets. Their non-dairy flavors were chocolate and vanilla, while the vegan options were strawberry and blueberry. All of the non-dairy and vegan choices are coconut based. I giddily selected chocolate, and Lauren opted for a mix of vanilla and blueberry. As always, we tried each others selections, and we both decided that while we enjoyed all three flavors, our favorite by far was the chocolate. We agreed that it tasted exactly like a Wendy's frosty. It was that good!
Afterwards, we walked next door to Shane Confectionery to pick out a few birthday treats for Nate. We filled up a box of assorted chocolates for him, and also picked out a fancy Liberty Bell lollipop. The colorful salt water taffies looked so cheerful, so we had to get those for him as well. Then we couldn't stop eying the fudge, so I chose the oreo-topped one to give to Nate. Hopefully he likes them!

We had been eagerly awaiting this little expedition for a few weeks now. As soon as Marissa, Heather, and Leti arrive in November, this will be one of the first places we'll throw their way. I'm hoping they love this old-fashioned ice cream parlor just as much as we do, which will give us even more reasons to get our share of vegan ice cream!

And with our bellies stuffed with ice cream, Lauren and I are flying home to California this afternoon to spend four nice, relaxing weeks with our families...and to run the San Francisco Marathon!

Friday, July 10, 2015

My First Knit Linden

This top may look a little familiar; I wore it while sharing my Melodia shawl and my tubular stockinette cowl. It's my second Linden I've made, and I love the pattern even more than I did before. For this one, I decided to go with knit fabric to see how I'd like this combination.

I sewed up my regular Grainline size (4), and it ended up fitting perfectly. I typically like to wear looser tops, and using a knit, I was able to achieve this desired fit. 

After sewing my first Linden, I knew I needed to make a few adjustments in order have more professionally finished seams. For all of the bindings (neck, cuffs, and bottom hem), I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance to ensure that I would have plenty of fabric to zig-zag together and then securely top stitch down. This easy change was a great solution. In the future, I'll probably add an extra inch to the width of the neck binding pattern piece to allow for this alteration. I may also add a 1/2 inch to the length of the neck binding as well, as I had to stretch the binding more than usual.
Unlike my first Linden, this time I made sure to have ample fabric to tack down with top stitching. I love how much more finished it makes my garment look. However, the neck and bottom hem bands became pretty wave-y after top stitching. I think the tension on my machine was too tight, causing the fabric to pull too much. Next time I'll change the tension on my machine during this step to see if that helps.

I chose this particular fabric mainly for its color and the simple fact that it's a knit. After sewing and ironing it a lot, I realize that the polyester content is too high for my liking. I'll definitely still wear this top a lot, but now I know which fabrics not to buy.
I love the Linden pattern, but I still need to work on perfecting it for my personal situation. This fit is spot on, but wanting finished seams without owning a serger can be tricky. I'm willing to keep trying though because this is the best fitting, quickly sewn, relaxed top I've made yet.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tubular Stockinette Cowl

Back in April, Loop hosted their 10th Anniversary Celebration and commemorated it by offering 10% off everything in store. Although I really didn't need anymore yarn (I am trying to use up my stash!), I can't pass up a sale. Plus, I love looking at all of the pretty, colorful skeins! As always, I made Lauren tag along with me; it's not like I had to drag her or anything.

I still hadn't learned my lesson from my previous yarn purchases. I showed up without any real plan as to what I wanted. This has messed me up in the past, which is why I now have dozens of single skeins of yarn. Don't get me wrong, they're beautiful and I love the colors and texture. However, I justified my shopping impulses by declaring, "Oh, I'll make a cowl out of this". Needless to say, those "plans" never came to fruition. If they had I would be swimming in dozens of brightly colored cowls, which still wouldn't make these random buys okay either. Basically, I came to Loop with this same game plan, or lack thereof.

After walking around the store several times and admiring everything, I finally realized that I could come up with a real plan right there in the store. Copying Lauren, I scrolled through my Ravelry queue on my phone in an attempt to find something I wanted to knit so that I could purchase yarn specifically for that project. I selected this circle scarf, but after further examination, I realized that it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I adore the simplicity of the stockinette stitches, but wanted to make it into a reversible cowl. I went ahead and bought yarn according to the suggested yardage of the Fino Circle Scarf with a good idea in mind of how I wanted to alter the pattern.

I made my way around the shop again, this time with a true purpose. I wanted fingering weight yarn in a neutral, yet still exciting color. I found the perfect yarn in Loop's sale section, and it felt like fate since I'd been wanting to try Spud & Chloe. I was debating between a dull brown and a burnt orange. After consulting Lauren, I quickly agreed with her and opted for the latter colorway. Yes, buying several skeins of a boring color of yarn is more expensive and not as exciting as picking out a single skein of brightly colored variegated yarn. But, at least I know it will actually be used and worn.
I decided to stick with the basic concept of the Fino Circle Scarf pattern, endless stockinette stitches. It took some frogging, but on my second attempt, I cast on 200 stitches via the provisional cast on, and knit in the round for 530 rows (thank goodness for row counters). This created the perfect sized cowl that I can comfortably wrap around my neck twice. Once I knit to my desired length, I blocked my super long tube of yarn, and then kitchener stitched it together. For added texture and detail, I added two twists in the cowl. I had a few issues using the kitchener stitch- the first time I completely missed a stitch, the second time two of my stitches were very loose and left large holes. But, I was able to macgyver my yarn and create a wonderful, simple cowl which will get plenty of wear come late Fall and Winter!
Start Date: April 23, 2015
Finish Date: June 15, 2015

Yarn Used: Spud & Chloe Fine 3.75 skeins used (approx. 930 yards)
Colorway: Orangutan
Needles: Size 2 Boye circular needles on an 8-inch ChiaoGoo cable

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

WIP Wednesday

I haven't been knitting as much this week as I normally do. Instead, I fired up my sewing machine and finished a few projects that have been on my to-do list for quite some time. However, I couldn't go too long without spending time with some precious yarn.
On the 4th of July, I spent over five hours sitting on a blanket in a baseball field, listening to a very long outdoor concert just to watch the fireworks at the end. You can bet I brought knitting with me to keep me entertained. Unfortunately, there was on and off rain which meant that I kept needing to putting my knitting away so it wouldn't get wet. Despite this, I managed to knit about ten rows on my Laylow shawl. The following day I went to my LYS and knit two more repeats (each repeat is six rows) at the KAL meet up. I actually finished the entire main section, but decided to continue working that same pattern until I run out of yarn. I tend to like larger shawls and I figured I mind as well use all of the yarn instead of saving a small bit that would most likely never get used. I can probably squeak out several more repeats with the remaining yarn, and then it's onto the border! I had hoped to have this shawl completely done by the end of this week, but that's definitely not going to happen. I'll be taking this with me when I travel to California on Monday and it will be my plane project!
This past week also marked the beginning of July, meaning the Home & Away Woolful KAL officially started. With plans to knit the Boothbay sweater, I eagerly started gauge swatching on July 1 only to realize that I would have to make two more swatches. I finally came very close to the correct gauge on my third attempt and hope to cast on tonight. This sweater will also be coming to California with me and will get a lot more attention once I finish Laylow.

I've been loving sharing my knitting works in progress via Ginny's yarn along. It makes me motivated to knit even more!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gray Fleece Linden

This past Fall Lauren surprised me and bought me a copy of the Linden sweatshirt just as a fun, random present. We quickly went fabric shopping with this pattern in mind. I picked up two fabrics specifically for the Linden pattern, one of them being this black and white (essentially gray) fleece. I had a few unfinished projects collecting dust on my shelves that I needed to complete before starting anything new. This took me a few months to accomplish, but as soon as I could, I cut right into this fleece, super excited to try my hand at the ever-popular Linden!

I actually cut my fabric out months ago, but it wasn't until recently when I became excited about sewing again. May was approaching and I really wanted to participate in Me Made May this year. Also, Lauren was eager to sew, which made me want to as well. Lauren had made a Linden before and kept telling me how easy and quick of a project it was. I doubted her a bit, but I still had high hopes of finishing it in a relatively short amount of time. After reading through the instructions and sewing the first two seams, I realized how correct Lauren was. She wasn't exaggerating when she said how quickly this sweatshirt basically sews itself up. After the first couple of seams, I essentially had a wearable top. Although I still had a decent amount of work to do, this really boosted my confidence and encouraged me to stick with this project.
I had all of the cuffs and bindings added to my bodice piece within a week of stop-and-go sewing. In actuality, the whole process only took me a few hours. However, my Linden sat uncompleted with the seams unfinished for two weeks because I was unsure exactly how I wanted to do this. In a perfect world I would own a serger and this wouldn't be a problem. In a semi-perfect world I would've used a larger seam allowance to either top stitch the seams down, or zig-zag them together for a more finished look. Needless to say, I don't live in either of those worlds. In reality, my sleeve cuffs, neck and bottom bindings aren't perfect. I was trying to adhere to a 1/4 inch seam allowance for my first time using this binding technique. At times this went very smoothly, but in more areas than not, I was a little shaky. In the end I decided to call this first Linden my very-wearable muslin. I just cut down the seam allowances to the shortest one so that they would be even throughout the garment. Since there wasn't much fabric left to work with at this point, I didn't finish the edges. I'm hoping the fabric won't fray (it shouldn't, it's fleece), but even if it does I know I'll still wear this piece a lot.
I sewed up a size 4 without any alterations, and this size fits me perfectly. There's plenty of ease to make this a comfortable, casual top to wear. Yet the Linden is still fitted just enough to make it appear more stylish than a normal sweatshirt, without losing any of that comfort.

Unfortunately I didn't finish my Linden until the end of Spring, so I don't expect to get much use out of it till later in the year. Hopefully by that time though, I'll have sewn up a slew of other Lindens and my closest will just be one huge Linden party!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Best Friend Friday No. 39: XFINITY Live

For the past week or so, Lauren and I have been enjoying watching the Women's World Cup soccer games. Since we don't have cable, we've been able to live stream the games online and we were content with that. However, as we were watching the semi-final match, the game kept cutting out and then eventually we lost connection completely. We really wanted to watch the entire final since USA was playing, but didn't want to deal with any issues of the game cutting out or not working entirely. We knew that we needed to find somewhere else, with cable, so that we could watch the soccer final uninterrupted.

Lauren found several places hosting viewing parties for the game, all of them being bars or pubs. Neither of us fancy those scenes, but we wanted to watch the game so badly so we decided to give it a try. Yesterday, July 5 we found ourselves at XFINITY Live, mainly for their giant 32 foot television screen. I didn't really know what to expect, but I kept reminding myself that as long as I could watch the game, everything else would be okay.
XFINITY Live is located in the vicinity of all of Philadelphia's sporting arenas. I've never been to that area before, but after going there yesterday, I realized how easily accessible it is via public transportation.

Who knew that people make reservations for these type of events? Certainly, not me. All of the seats and booths in the bar area were already filled by the time we got there, but luckily we were able to still be seated towards the rear of the dining/bar complex. We still had a pretty good view of the huge television screen, so it worked out. There were dozens of people who weren't able to snag a seat anywhere and had to stand the entire time, so we lucked out.
Before going, we briefly looked up their menu online to make sure there was something that we'd be able to order. We decided to share the veggie pizza (sans cheese and mushrooms) and a side of fries. The pizza wasn't bad (the dough was really good), and the fries were amazing! I realize that most people don't seek out bars for their quality of food, but to each their own, right?

Obviously we were more than thrilled with the outcome of the game, although witnessing a more evenly matched final would've probably been a lot more exciting, yet a lot more nerve wracking. Regardless though, I'm glad both of us went out of our comfort zones so that we were able to do something we really wanted. Thankfully my best friend and I have pretty similar interests and almost always want to do the same things. Thanks for this great idea, Lauren!

Friday, July 3, 2015

07.15 Goals

In an effort to be more productive and accomplish my goals during my 24th year of life, I've decided to post a "to-do list" of sorts at the beginning of each month. At the end of the month I'll go back over my list and talk about what I was able to conquer and note the tasks I have yet to tackle.
1. Read a book.
2. Ride my bike!
3. Use my big camera a lot while I'm in California to capture "people pictures".
4. Go through all of my clothes back home.
5. Take a day trip to somewhere fun.
6. Make lots of progress on my knit sweater.
7. Set up my new iPod.
8. Tie Dye.
9. Make something with beads.
10. Make two dresses.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

06.15 Goals Roundup

1. Read a book: I read Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, and her by Christa Parravani. Both are memoirs that deal with serious issues; Dunham's about herself, and Parravani's about both herself and her sister. Even though both are interesting reads, they're completely different. Not that Kind of Girl is more comical and written in a light, "learn from my mistakes" type tone. The issues discussed are ones that most people seldom talk about, but it was nice to read someone speaking so openly and honestly about any and all topics. On the other hand, her is a lot more serious as it dives into the issues of how people cope in response to tragedy and the resulting consequences. I'd recommend both memoirs for different reasons. Not that Kind of Girl is essentially a memoir full of short stories, whereas her reads more like a novel.

2. Finish my art/gallery wall: I really wish I could say I finished this, but I didn't. This was one of my big yearlong goals for my 24th birthday, and since my birthday is in less than a month I was hoping to have my art wall complete by the end of June. I did manage to fill one more frame though with my handmade California print. However, I still have four more frames to fill before I can begin to hang everything up.

3. Figure out my exact plans for my first knit sweater: I'm super excited about this goal! My yearning to knit a sweater became even more dire when Lauren and I made plans to go to Rhinebeck this fall. And since we'll be attending this weekend full of yarn goodness, I of course need a handmade knit sweater to fit in. I'll be using Patons yarn in Mercury that I bought several years ago to knit Boothbay from Home & Away. This is also a fun way to knit down my yarn stash. The timing for this sweater is perfect too. Woolful recently announced their upcoming Home & Away KAL which started July 1.

4. Sew at least three wearable garments: Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make three garments. I did however make almost two that I'm proud of. I sewed a knit Linden and am so close to completing my first knit Plantain Tee that I'll be sharing here soon. I had plans for two other garments but never made time to make these a reality.

5. Go for a bike ride: I had big (okay, not that huge) plans to rent bikes from Indego and ride through Philadelphia with Lauren. But, Lauren wouldn't let us ride bikes without helmets. I almost bought a helmet just to go on a single bike ride, but realized how silly that seemed. I have a perfectly good helmet at home in California and I'll be flying there this month. It makes a lot more sense to just bring my helmet back to Philadelphia with me instead of buying a new one since I know it won't be used that often.

6. Finish Marissa's present for her upcoming birthday: While I didn't finish her present yet, I did make a lot of progress on it. Luckily, I still have several more months before I need it ready to gift.

7. Walk/run 10,000 steps every day: So, so close. I reached my step goal every day but three Fridays. The first Friday that I missed was so hot and humid outside that I refused to leave my apartment the entire day.  Fridays are the hardest days to reach my step goal because Saturdays I go on early morning long runs. I feel like I should truly rest my body, especially my legs, the day before instead of going on hour-long walks. I'll have to start planning Friday outings to make sure I leave my apartment on those blazing hot days in an effort to get my steps!

8. Wake up earlier to go running first thing in the morning: I wish I could say I wake up super early every day of the week, go running, then start my day. But the truth is, I really only wake up super early (for me) on Saturdays. I've been waking up between 4-5 AM to make sure I finish my long runs (anywhere between 12-21 miles) before it gets too hot. Although I would like to get into the habit of waking up earlier during the weekdays as well, I'm calling this goal a win in my book as Saturday runs are the most important days to get an early start.

9. Start doing yoga again: I've recently been going to yoga at least once a week. Although it makes my legs sore to later run, I know that the little strength I'm gaining during yoga does help. I think it's important to mix things up every once in awhile to keep things interesting.

10. Reorganize my cut out sewing patterns: This was by far the easiest task. A few months ago I hung up a Command Strips hook to hang up my cut out sewing patterns. Almost all of my patterns are pdf print outs, so I didn't mind punching holes through each piece and securing all pieces of one pattern together with yarn. I then hung up each pattern set on the hook, making everything easily accessible. However, several weeks ago my hook fell off of the wall because I had too much weight on it, and I never hung it back up out of pure laziness. Seeing this mocking me on my list of goals for the month, I finally attached a new command strip to the back of the hook and rehung everything. It took less than a day, but made a huge difference in tidying up the room.

Score for June: 5 out of 10.

I started making these monthly goals to help me accomplish my 24th birthday feat where I carved out 24 separate goals for myself to complete in a year. Since July 24th marks the end of this challenge, my July goals will be the final goals list.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

WIP Wednesday

First off, happy July! It's my birthday month and there are so many good things in store throughout these next few weeks that I've been looking forward to for so long.
Getting back to knitting, I spent the first half of the week solely knitting my Color Affection shawl. I finished the first little section of the pattern, and am so excited to have added the second color!
The latter part of the week was spent working on my Laylow shawl for Loop's KAL. The KAL doesn't actually end till July 26, so technically I still have plenty of time left to finish it. However, since I'll be traveling during the last two weeks of that time period, I really would like to have Laylow completely done before I leave for my trip, but now I'm realizing that's it's a pretty lofty goal. I've been diligently working on this shawl for the last three days in the hope of being able to start the final border this coming Sunday. However, I want to make this shawl as big as possible and will most likely add additional repeats to the pattern until I run out of yarn. I feel like I still have a lot of my main color of yarn to work through, so I don't know that I'll actually be able to start the border by this weekend.

I also went through my yarn stash this week. I pulled out the yarn I'll most likely be using for Loop's next KAL, and yarn for my first ever sweater that will hopefully accompany me to Rhinebeck this fall! I've never loved knitting as much as I do now, and have so many plans for future projects that just thinking about all knitting related things makes me so giddy! I'm linking up with Ginny's YAL again this week!