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.

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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.

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?

Self Introduction

I thought I’d write a quick little intro post for this blog; I’m not even sure if this blog will catch on with me or if it’ll gather dust, but I have been thinking about creating a craft-centred blog for a while!

My name is E and my main pursuit in life is art; specifically, I hope to make artwork for video games. I did work as a generalist artist from summer 2015 – early 2017, but unfortunately the company I worked for couldn’t pay wages on time, so I needed to work somewhere more stable. I also wasn’t learning as much as I wanted to, so that was another factor in my leaving. Anyway, now I work part time in a cafe and I work part time on trying to improve my artwork and develop my portfolio.

In the gaps between, I knit and craft. I don’t know why I started knitting in August 2016, I had learned when I was a teenager but didn’t get very far as I didn’t realise I had to bring the yarn in front when switching from knit to purl! Finally, when I did start learning again, a friend enlightened me, and I’ve been addicted ever since.

Recently I became more interested in learning the process from sheep fleece to finished object (and I want to try and be more self sufficient and be better for the environment), so I started spinning, and also acquired some fleece from a friend. I’m going to try and document my adventures and experiments in craft on here!

In addition to yarny things, I would love to take up sewing as well. I also have made soap in the past and hope to get back into it – so hopefully these craft will feature here too.

Anyway, I hope this will be interesting to some people! Please add me on ravelry if you like, too!