Bakewell Woolgathering & World of Wool

Hi all!

It’s been a long time, and I have been meaning to write for a while…

A mini recap since my last post – I finished ankle socks for my sister, started socks for my mum (then frogged a whole sock and re knit it in a different yarn), finished my HHF socks, finished spinning F is for Fidelio (from Countess Ablaze) and kept going on the Farmhouse Cardigan – it’s getting there! Also I learned how to start socks from the toe up, which was on my list of things I wanted to learn.

My current projects are: still Farmhouse Cardigan in Shetland aran weight home dyed yarn, Treccia hat in Garthenor Shetland yarn, some Monkey Socks in Rusty Ferret yarn, my mum’s socks (waiting to be fitted), and lastly my granny stripe blanket, which has grown quite a lot lately!

But anyway, I just wanted to write a little bit about Bakewell Woolgathering and my trip to World of Wool.

Last weekend was Bakewell Woolgathering; it’s not too far from where I live so C graciously drove us down there to have a gander at some yarn and other bits. I haven’t bought yarn it what feels like ages – apart from a treat of a skein of Voolenvine Yarns a while back – so I wanted at least to go have a look, and be around likeminded people!

It was bigger than I expected it to be – I thought it might be quite a small local style event but Bakewell Agricultural Business Centre is actually quite large, with a decent cafe tacked on too.

I wanted mainly to check out Hilltop Cloud‘s stall, I have been following Katie for a while and really like what she produces (I also love Barber Black Sheep – both of these sellers are from Wales… and I also miss Wales). It was really nice to see her stand and the variety of braids and other bits she offered. This time I didn’t buy from her, although I plan to order online from her in the future. I am feeling a lot like I need to make purposeful purchases rather than just buying because I want to own something from this or that stall. The time will come when I will make a Welsh yarnie order 🙂

I was impressed by the other stalls, there were some extremely tempting merino/nylon/stellina hanks in vibrant autumnal colours, some exciting fleeces and other bits and pieces. There was even a stall which sold mostly handspun yarn – which left me wondering, how did this person manage to spin such a large volume of yarn? Perhaps she only did one show a year or there were multiple spinners involved there. It did get me fantasising about having my own stall someday.

New drop spindle and suri alpaca fleece (spun raw as advised by the seller)

I came away with a 22g drop spindle and 200g of suri alpaca, a new to me fibre. I think I bought the alpaca fleece, which was incredibly soft and a beautiful colour, from Alpaca Yarns and the spindle from Nancy’s Graceful Fibres, although I’m not 100% as I wasn’t super familiar with most of the sellers there. I left happy, even if I was yearning a bit for some brightly coloured yarns too. I know I have stash to knit up!


Chickens hanging out near our airbnb

This weekend we went to stay near the Northeast edge of the Peak District for a restful weekend. Lucky for me, our airbnb also happened to be 20-30 minutes from World of Wool, a Huddersfield-based fibre seller, among other things. We drove to their warehouse, which also functions as a shop (including a cafe), to have a look. It was a bit weird entering and I did feel a bit like an intruder since it’s primarily a warehouse serving online customers, but staff were friendly and helpful, and it was actually ok for me to be there after all. Just writing this in case anyone else wants to take a trip there and is unsure too.

They had all their fibres and yarns in boxes on shelves so I spent a while going round and having a look/feel. I got a chance to see what all the different fibres felt like, which was nice; ones that I hadn’t touched before like cashmere, alpaca, pineapple fibre, etc. and breeds of wool I hadn’t really worked with yet. I picked up a merino/baby camel blend, some shetland, BFL and then botany lap waste (which I think is unidentified plant fibre, it was super soft though so I wanted to give it a spin). The way it works as well is that you can take as much as you want, it doesn’t have to be per 100g, so I maybe only took about 50g of the merino/camel, 50g lap waste, and 60g of the BFL/shetland combined, plus 1 shetland moorit batt. All this came to only £10, which was nice!

I do recommend making a trip there if you are able to and want to get hold of some fibres you haven’t yet given a go. I didn’t get everything I wanted; I thought about buying seacell as I really love working with that fibre, but like I have said previously, I need to work through my stash. Maybe next time!

They had a huge range but a few things I didn’t see where some specific breeds of sheep of interest to me; cormo (but this seems to be primarily an American fibre?), targhee (again, american) and Hebridean. I do have a small amount of cormo and targhee to work from, and someday I would like to try out Hebridean (or at least knit with it, see Daughter of a Shepherd’s yarns). There are a range of other more uncommon sheep breeds to explore, but for now I’m satisfied and have a lot to work through!

Dark cormo, prepped by hand – literally just by hand-pulling the locks as my carders are in storage!

Today since getting back from holiday I have already spun and plied the merino/camel fibre, and I hope to do the same with reasonable speed for the other fibres I picked up. I’m thinking for all these natural coloured bits of fibre I’m picking up, I could spin them all to roughly DK weight and then use them for colour-work in some way – perhaps mittens or as accents against some dark Hebridean yarn on a colour-work yoke. I feel like my exploration of other fibres is a step towards having a biodegradable, more sustainable wardrobe, woop!

We’ll see what I can do. Anyway, the continuous stash dashing is progressing well despite this month’s slight swell in supplies. I actually finished a pair of socks and a hat this weekend, along with the significant progress on my Farmhouse Cardigan. Once I can complete the cardigan, I think I will have a good amount of momentum to continue with. Fingers crossed! I hope you all are well. If you have any thoughts on Bakewell Woolgathering, fibre from World of Wool, or anything like that, please let me know!

Rcently handspun yarn
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Swelter

Whew…

Summer has been hectic and oh so hot. We don’t have air conditioning in our house, like a lot of UK houses (at least a lot of UK houses not owned by rich people…?), and our upstairs computer room is regularly hitting 33+ celsius. I’m finding it really hard to focus! Outside of being a knitter/maker, I also paint and make 3D models. I’ve got a commission I’m working on but I haven’t done any this week due to being tired out from work (not being able to sleep at night because it’s so hot) and because it’s so hot that I feel I can do only a little at a time. I’m sure if I forced myself I could get it done, but would it be the best it could be? My client is very understanding though 🙂

I thought I’d pop by this Friday evening with a brief list update of things that have been going on and projects on the go 🙂

  1. I finished my sister’s ankle socks!
  2. I’ve almost finished the Hedgehog Fibres green socks that I started when I was teaching my friend to knit.
  3. I made my first project bag and it wasn’t too bad… I’ve also cut out the pieces for a second, half size bag.
  4. I started the second F is for Fidelio bobbin! Fibre from Countess Ablaze, my LYS ❤
  5. Progress continues on the Farmhouse Cardigan. I’ve almost finished the ribbing on the bottom hem of the body. Not a ton of progress but that’s ok, as I’m focusing on eliminating some of my smaller sock projects 🙂
  6. I’ll probably cast on some vanilla socks for my mum next, although I should really give vanilla socks a break, because they end up being the ONLY thing I produce…
  7. After a soak and a bit of time drying flat out in the sun, my Featherweight Cardigan is all done! Soaking and kinda-blocking really smoothed out a lot of the less well tensioned areas of this project. I twisted stitches when I picked them up by accident on the sleeves, I got ladders in them due to using DPNs on laceweight (something I’m not used to but probably would be fine with if I had more practice – but I will be using magic loop for sleeves from now on)… I just had wobbly tension in general throughout, not being used to laceweight yarn on 4mm needles. I’m so glad it all worked out fine! I was expecting to get a sorta-ugly cardigan that I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing outside… Need to take project photos of it in its glory. Would knit again for sure!

Thanks and take care in the heat!

Mini stash dashing update

Hi all,

I have a bunch of stuff I want to do today (Sunday), so I thought I’d just write a mini update of projects.

  1. My parents came over for the weekend and my mum was kind enough to help me rip back my normal bind off on the collar of my cardigan (MANY stitches – laceweight!), and then we both worked on casting off with a stretchier finish. I then sorted the ends out and gave it a soak, it’s now drying in the sun, laid flat!
  2. My parents also brought my spinning wheel up with them so I did a bunch of spinning too – it’s so fast compared to spindling! Not that spindling isn’t lovely too. But I’ve almost finished spinning up the first bobbin of some Countess Ablaze fibre from my stash – colourway is F is for Fidelio. I do enjoy Countess Ablaze’s fibre blends and recommend checking them out.
  3. I also was reunited with my sewing machine! AND my fabric purchase which I thought had possibly been lost in the mail was rescued – it had turned up at our old house and C picked it up when he went back to Wales on a day trip. I’m hoping to use the fabric and the machine to attempt some project bags as a reintroduction to sewing. Then … I bought a Merchant and Mills pattern last night for the Factory Dress which I want to attempt.
  4. RE other projects, when my family was down, I got my sister to try on the 1 sock I had in progress for and then knitted the remainder up to the correct length. I’ve started the second sock but I think I’ve just been knitting too much over other projects and am not drawn to it right now. It could also be that I’m just bored of vanilla socks, without having any commute or travel time at the moment.
  5. I finished both sleeves of my Farmhouse Cardigan – using my hand dyed yarn, picture in previous blog post – and started on the body of the cardi while binge watching Glow. More to come!
  6. My mum seemed to enjoy hand winding yarn balls – I don’t have a swift and ball winder – so I was very happy to let her wind up a few balls for future projects!
  7. C has decided he’s going to crochet so he’s trying at the moment!

That’s all for my super quick update, I’m going to draw a bit more and maybe do a bit of my 3D commission, then I’ll be downstairs, possibly spinning or starting on project bags.

Pictures to come!

Elysia

Low Key Stash Dashing

Hi friends,

Stash dash is currently in full force – a summer stash defeating make-along by the knit girls. I haven’t necessarily been participating, but I have been aware of it happening, seeing podcasters share their makes for it (particularly on Stranded Podcast!).

I’m sort of doing a little low key stash dash of my own – without the meterage counting and so on; I’m just trying to work my way through old projects and deep stash yarns/fibres, to make way for my newer projects.

My main focus this weekend (ok, it’s only Friday, but I worked extra hours the past 2 weeks to have it off) has been to spin through some mini batts which I bought at a local makers’ fair. To be honest, I did not enjoy working with these batts. They were mystery fibre content, or at least it wasn’t noted in any way by the seller. It was not a nice feeling spinning them and there were lots of tangles, clumps, nepps and very short staple bits in there. Anyway. I’ve managed to spin them all up into singles and I can get back to spinning things that feel nice in my hands again! At some point I have to ply the growing pile of hand wound singles balls on the craft counter…

Apart from that, a friend from Norway (living in HK, moving to Nanking soon!) came down to visit and she asked if I would teach her to knit socks. She’d only knit a scarf really and a hat in primary school so I brought not only the sock-making bits but a hat I’d already cast on. This was to get her used to knitting in the round, knitting and purling and holding the needles, etc. It worked out very well. That could partially be down to her being a good and enthusiastic student. Anyway, we got her started on socks on DPNs. I would have been tempted to teach her to use magic loop (or 9″ circs if she preferred) but I didn’t have any circulars spare to give.

Side note: I used the hat to give myself more practice doing the picking knitting technique! As in – holding the yarn in the left hand. I’m getting there with it although am still not as fast as when I do my go-to flicking technique (see very pink knits flicking technique video on youtube for a good example).

I finished off the hat within a day or so and have just turned the heel of the sock I was working on when I demonstrated for her. The sock is knit in Hedgehog Fibres sock, which I believe is 90% merino 10% nylon. It’s deep stash, I bought it for £14/100g x2 from a lovely lady on instagram as she had a mini destash. I didn’t end up using it for anything really for ages. I did make my 2nd ever pair of socks from them a long time ago, but the needles I had were still too thick (budget needles from charity shop, didn’t know what size they were but they were bigger than 2.5mm) and so the fabric created didn’t make the ideal sock material. This time I am knitting a tight gauge on 2.25mm needles and they’re looking a lot better. People have said HHF sock is splitty and I have to agree, although now that I’m working at a more ideal gauge (imo) and with a bit more experience in knitting, I think despite this it does create a lovely fabric and the splitting isn’t really a problem at least for vanilla socks.

Lastly, can’t remember if I mentioned; I think I did; I started knitting up the 7 skeins of shetland that I hand dyed last year (I think it was last year?). I’m making the farmhouse cardigan pattern by Amy Christoffers, which has a bunch of new to me stuff (namely the pockets and how the sleeves are done). I have to say I’m a bit nervous about it, not sure how it’s all going to work out or if I’ll make countless mistakes and be unable to finish, but I’ll give it a go and go slowly. First up is sleeve knitting anyway, which is pretty gentle for me.

I thought I’d finish with a small update on my previous post – aiming for frugality/budgeting and increased productivity.

Frugality: this worked out I think – despite having some incoming expenses I managed to save money by only having packed lunches at work, and me and C barely had any takeaways or meals out this month. Most of my money goes on food to be honest. I did buy three skeins of yarn to treat myself but that’s all. It’s pay day today and I managed to reach today with a reasonable amount remaining from my previous wages, woohoo!

Productivity: This past work week I was struggling a bit to do anything useful after work, as I was doing over time and was leaving work later as my friend from work who gives me a lift early in the morning has gone on holiday to Turkey. The week before as well was a bit difficult as C had to work late on several nights so I was on food and washing up duty every night…

Today since I’m off I’ve managed to complete my chores and daily tasks. I need to get on with some art and a 3D modelling commission now though. I’m going to continue watching war and peace (bbc version 1970s) while attempting to paint – although it’s too hot so I’ll prob end up standing up and spinning since that way it’s cooler.

Thanks for reading my little update! I hope everyone is well.

Reining it in

Since I found out that I’d got the new job I have been in a sort of moderate ‘treat yo self’ mode. I was lucky that on leaving my supermarket job I managed to pick up a small annual bonus. I had been tempted to take the plunge and buy a PS4 (I’ve not had a proper console since the PS1!) but I held back out of being cautious and reluctant to spend so much. I did buy a bunch of yarn and fibre though, and impulse bought a couple of pin badges… and admittedly ate more luxuriously than before.

It’s been three weeks since I started the new job. I’m still kind of in this mode. My excuse is probably that I’ve been really tired out by getting back into full time work… the takeaway habit is continuing and the impulse to buy cute pin badges lingers!

I do think it’s time to rein it in a bit now though. At least until my first pay day. There’s a ton of expenses coming up – promised visits to my sister, uni friends and high school friends, and more. I also found a Japanese class to sign up to but it’s £550 for two semesters.

Why am I writing about this in my craft blog? Well, I stretch the definition of this blog a bit now, I think. It’s a bit more of a personal endeavour, and I’m pretty invested in topics such as saving money and trying not to consume too much.

On top of this, not only have I been indulging a bit too much money wise, but I have also been somewhat less productive in terms of my projects and studies. I think this can be chalked down to tiredness again, but also social obligations this summer and the previous disruptions of moving house and changing jobs. I still have a bunch of social weekend events planned (they were a long time coming so I want to go through with them) but I will try to limit and space them out a little bit more. I want to claw back a bit of self control now that things are settling down.

I have a great friend whom I met online and her motivation, self discipline, productivity and progress in her chosen study… is always inspiring to me. And now she regales me with tales of someone she knows who is even more amazingly self disciplined and prolific! This has definitely given me food for thought.

So my two goals for the summer – since summer starts officially (?) in a few days – I want to be a bit more frugal and get back into budgeting, and I want to get back into and possibly surpass my usual level of productivity through a bit more self discipline and time management.

They’re not concrete/tangible type goals though so they may be a little slippery to achieve, but I will try my best. It’ll have to wait tonight though as I’m stuck in a car heading back from a BBQ. I won’t be back til just before 10pm and I have to wake up at 5.15am tomorrow for work!

As an aside, I won’t be regulating my knitting and crafting time in this way as these things are my more spontaneous and non-pressured pursuits. I don’t know if I mentioned in previous posts but I do art and I study Japanese as my main ‘educational’/vocational pursuits, so those will be the main things I’ll focus my planning on.

Are you also interested in topics like productivity? Do you have any goals or particular methods you use?

Thank you for reading and good luck to anyone else who is on this kind of journey.

Wiped out!

Hi all!

It’s been two weeks since my last post; and yes, I started my new job. It’s been good, much better than retail or working in a cafe (my job before the supermarket). I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy having evenings free again and am loving being able to arrange weekend activities.

The work itself is challenging. We have a month of training. Our task involves searching for information on companies through websites and annual filings from the companies. We work through the documents and decipher the information, putting it into Excel into a more organised file.

There are a lot of little bits of the procedure to remember; how to input information, how to interpret the sometimes convoluted documents, making judgement calls on certain things (they say this will become a lot easier when we have more experience).

Anyway, job aside, I’ve been pretty tired out and busy with other little bits. I have managed to get knitting and spinning in, finishing a couple of mini skeins of fibre bought from the local artisan market. I finished a pair of socks and have almost finished knitting my first pair of socks on 9 inch circular knitting needles. I have to say, I’m finding knitting on them really slow for some reason.

I also learned to knit using magic loop – not sure if I mentioned this previously – I had avoided it for ages because it looked kind of tangly, but it actually feels natural and really good to use this technique. I’m so glad I got round to learning it! I’m going to use it as much as I can.

I also finally cast on the aran weight shetland yarn that I dyed with acid dyes way back, possibly last year. I have no business casting on new items but I’m also glad to have it on the needles finally instead of having the aran yarn languishing in my stash. I’m actually not sure the colourway is to my taste anymore; as I previously mentioned I have been moving away from the blue-ish purples and pastels and moving towards a kind of grubby pinks and naturals kind of aesthetics. But I’ll make it, and see how I feel, and maybe my mum will get a nice present in the end…

That’s all I’ll write for now but I’ll try to include some photos soon!

Thanks for reading.

If anyone out there is struggling to find a job, stay strong! Job hunting can be really draining but I hope that you get a job that you like someday soon.

Incoming

I figured it’s a good time to write a blog post today. I’m incredibly tired; I worked on bread department today, starting at 6am (so woke up at 4.30am). I’m currently struggling to keep my eyes open before it’s time to make dinner. Might even have a sneaky nap.

It’s been a week or so. I haven’t yet started my job but it is fast approaching. I have to work right up til this Sunday and then I have the Monday bank holiday to prepare, then on Tuesday I start.

(I took a nap after those two paragraphs and now it’s Thursday!)

I have three more days left at the supermarket, starting tomorrow. I’m looking forward to not having to wear a uniform again, to not finishing late, to not working the full weekend… and I have my fingers crossed that I will fit in well in my new job.

On the craft front, I received a skein from Fine Fish Yarns based in Ireland, bought for myself as a little pay day treat last month.

https://finefishyarns.mysimplestore.com

How could I not be taken in by those colours and by the colour way name ‘twilight grimoire’? I love the word grimoire and stuff associated with witches and occult and strange lovecraftian things.

I’m looking forward to knitting with it. It’s a single skein so to be honest it’ll probably be a pair of comfy socks worn with some big black cardigan and mauve or muted dress/other ensemble.

In the past few months my tastes in style and colour have jumped all over the place. When I first discovered indie dyed yarn I was all about the crazy neons. I still am, but now I’m appreciating natural shades (including undyed breed specific yarns) and more subtle colourings. I can definitely appreciate a good neon and I love pastels but I’m being drawn in by moody subdued colours. I’m not sure which of these schemes suit me best and I don’t want to own a ton of clothes to support a me that operates in several different colour schemes! My plan for the wardrobe is to deal with staples first.

I digress. Anyway, brief note; yes this yarn contains nylon again. And is super wash. I talk about avoiding it a few times in previous posts and I’m still interested in doing that, but it seems I’m a real sucker for indie dyed yarns which are very often on these sorts of bases. I won’t punish myself for it. I will keep trying though!

Anyway, that’s all for now as I better get back onto my to do list. I’m also knitting up a second vanilla sock. Thanks for reading!

Jobs, creations, shop, whatnot

I’m writing to you from my parents’ house in Essex today.

Job update

The company I mentioned previously got back to me! I will be starting my new job on 29th May and am looking forward to it. Until then there is the task of resignation and organising what happens to my pension and all of that too. I will tackle those things once I return from my parents’ house.

Also, the reason I came back here was for a careers advice meeting in London. Prior to this I had filled in multiple surveys and completed tests. I had my 2+ hour meeting on Wednesday. It was useful, and involved answering a lot of questions and being presented with several career suggestions. It was overwhelming in a way (not in a bad way) and I don’t think I can remember all of the advice and suggestions given. Luckily they follow up with a written report later on so I will deal with that more once that comes through… before making any decisions and so forth.

Knitting update

I’m plugging away, trying to finish my sock wips. Although I admit to casting on a new vanilla sock due to the fact I was going to be flying home for my career advice meeting. The vanilla sock is progressing quickly though and I love these types of projects for their portability and simplicity as a travel activity.

The Michele Wang hat  (Treccia) took a back seat due to being busy, but luckily I was able to use my parents’ printer to print the chart out, so it should be easier to work on without having to stare at the computer screen for chart instructions.

Craft update

I finished a bit of freelance work and was paid very quickly (which I love). I put half into our house account and treated myself with the other half. I ordered some fabric and sewing supplies! I have been wanting to get back into sewing for years but have resisted due to time, not having the tools or financial resources. Unfortunately, PayPal changed my delivery address while ordering to our previous house! So we will see if things arrive smoothly (due to mail direct) or if somehow I end up losing £30+ of fabric. Fingers crossed!

Shop thoughts 

The ‘smol shop’; a casual low pressure shop space for all my made things. I mainly create small drawings on nice paper, but also want to include my handspun and other things that I can create. For example, I am still quite interested in dyeing yarn; which I did get done but had to take a break from due to finances! I didn’t have the capital to invest in more yarn and I will probably try to knit more stash before working on it. Also the sewing; this is a thing that is going to happen, I’m going to low key practice this and if it gets good I will think about selling stuff (as I end up thinking about with all of my creative pursuits). I really don’t want to pressure myself too much as I know it will make me hesitant and fearful. I want to approach it with a ‘see how it goes’ mindset. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Update & a sprinkle of knitting

Hi!

I didn’t realise that I didn’t mention knitting in my last post – the first personal only post! And today I might be continuing that trend. Thought I’d write a little update. I was originally planning on not posting that previous post until later on, but I accidentally posted and just left it there anyway.

Later on the day I posted – or was it the next day – I heard back from the company. They said they were going to make me a formal offer soon for a job but had to first get it approved. So I’m currently waiting to hear when things go through. They said it’s pretty much always fine yet I still have a small bit of anxiety that things might fall through. I’ll celebrate properly and tell people about the job more once it’s all sorted. I’m just eager to begin!

For a long time, basically since I left my games artist job in Jan 2017, I avoided writing about work situations since I was wondering if it would affect my job hunting prospects. I feel as though I might be more free to write whatever I feel like once I settle into the next job.

More updates soon!

I promise a small bit of knitting talk… so project updates:

  • Hat for my sister – Finished! 2×2 rib, no pattern, but followed a blog post for crown decreases. I made it from Hedgehog Fibres aran weight merino in Fool’s Gold and Genie, left over yarn from a hat I made previously for myself. It felt good to knit up old stash for a gift! I also knitted a coaster afterwards so I could have a nice memento of such a colourful yarn.
  • Treccia – I treated myself to the Treccia hat pattern by Michele Wang. I bought 2 skeins of fingering weight shetland yarn from Garthenor when I went to EYF2018. I started knitting the hat last night and it has been pleasantly challenging from the get-go. I’ve finished the ribbing and am just getting into the cabling.
  • Socks – Socks everywhere! I have many socks on the needles. 1 pair of ankle socks for my sister, from leftover sock blank yarn; 1 pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks for a friend as they’re a bit small for me and I have enough socks already; 1 pair of basically vanilla socks with contrasting HT&Cs; 1 pair of Monkey Socks which I started to learn and get used to the magic loop technique – which I LOVE!
  • Featherweight Cardigan – argh. I did all the knitting for this cardigan finally while we were waiting to move into our new home. But then I cast off with the incorrect method and at some point I have to rip back my cast off and re do it!
  • Penguono – getting frogged!

What a time to be free!

This is gonna be a long one, and the first part might not seem entirely uplifting to read, but I’m going to try and write anyway, and hopefully there’ll be some ‘wholesome’ optimism sprinkled in in intervals!

I’m not entirely free, but today is a pretty free day for me. I’m off work, home alone, and I can’t leave the house because I’m waiting for 2 deliveries and the food delivery.

I also had a 2nd interview with a company yesterday for a full time, mon-fri office job. I yearn for it, not because I want to work in an office doing officey things… but because – I don’t know if this is a thing – but it’s been enough years after university that now most of my friends have escaped shift work and seem to be settling into places, working mon-fri jobs and doing stuff on the weekends. So with me, working shifts and having tues-thurs off, I can’t do anything with my friends without using up holiday. My parents also want to visit on weekends ideally.

In Jan 2017 I had to quit what was for a good amount of time my dream job. This is because they stopped paying us on time and didn’t really give us indications of when they would pay. I couldn’t really afford to live like that, and my art coworkers had also already left, so I felt like I also wouldn’t be learning as much as I could.

I took a leap going back into hospitality with a poorly paid, 6 day a week yet somehow ~16 hour a week cafe job. It was a very busy job, but it did help me to survive a bit longer on a very low budget. I managed in June 2017 to get 30 hours a week at the local supermarket, which was a less stressful job. Until they started losing staff on our team and not replacing them! But it sufficed.

I tried to work on my art while applying to a range of local and non-local jobs. With local jobs, despite being qualified for all I applied to, I only got one interview and wasn’t successful. I should’ve asked for feedback but I forgot! I could have been unsuccessful in all my applications from having a bad CV or cover letter, who knows?

In the non-local jobs, I got an interview in Manchester but that day the trains broke from the heavy snow and I couldn’t attend. I had a skype interview but I couldn’t hear the man’s questions because he wasn’t wearing headphones so there was a ton of feedback. I didn’t get the job.

Anyway, now I’ve moved to Manchester this April 2018 and I have been applying to some jobs. I had an interview with a company for an admin-ish job using some language. They said I was unsuccessful/unsuitable but kindly allowed me to have a second interview, which I had yesterday. I’m now sitting at home, unable to go do stuff outside, trying not to worry about whether or not I will get this job. I’m really hoping for some good news job-wise after having almost a year and a half (not including the time at my old job where I had no money) of not so great experiences.

If I don’t get this, I will definitely ask for feedback. I will also try and make sure my CV is improved for next time. If I don’t get this, I will go to the other interview I have booked on Friday for another admin job – it’s going to be difficult getting there as there isn’t really much public transport though. If I don’t get this, I will find and apply for more jobs. If I’m still at the supermarket in June I will use my modest yet definitely appreciated June bonus to treat myself and C somehow.

I’m going to try and appreciate my current part time life.

  • I have more time off to work on art
  • I have more time off to be able to cook meals
  • I can keep up with my Japanese study fairly well
  • I get a discount at the supermarket
  • I can go into town tues-thurs when banks and post offices are open
  • I can still mostly afford to live
  • I can look back at my time working regular hours and appreciate them, something I took for granted after experiencing it for 1.5 years
  • I can spend time writing meditative posts like this one
  • I remember how to live frugally and work from a budget

I can use days like today, where I’m stuck indoors, to work on things I’ve been putting off for ages. Things like:

  • Finally putting together the painting process video that’s just been sitting in my computer unfinished
  • Finishing incomplete paintings
  • Updating blogs
  • Finishing knitting projects (like the hat for my sister that just needs decreases)
  • Finishing up spinning
  • Catching up with podcasts
  • Listening to e-books – finishing up Vulcan’s Hammer
  • Organising my life and my computer files
  • Making the video for my Japanese teacher that she really needs for her presentation (I have been putting this off for ages!)
  • Reading some news in Japanese
  • Winding yarn into balls (gasp – maybe I can get a ball winder and swift with my bonus?!)
  • Maybe finally updating my art social media with a better background and profile picture (haha… I’ve been putting this off forever)
  • Hoovering (shudder)
  • Rewriting my holiday forms for work