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Today on the podcast I’m talking about rituals and routines, how I’m experiencing a summery Christmas again and the memories it’s sparking, and I also have not just one but two new Knitvent 2019 patterns to introduce this week.
Welcome to the Curious Handmade podcast. You’re listening to episode 275. This podcast is all about crafting your life with happiness and creativity.
I’m your host Helen and you can find me on Ravelry, as HellsBells, and on social media as Curious Handmade. You can also find full show notes on my website at curioushandmade.com.
Hello and welcome to the show. How has your week been? I hope it’s been good. It’s that time of year where things start getting pretty busy for most people. It’s been a bit of a funny week here as in California. The area I live in has been suffering from bush fires. There’ve been some around the Sunshine Coast where I live and also in New South Wales, which is the next state down the coast and although we are not that close to them that we’re affected by actual evacuation warnings or anything, the air has been very smoky and people we know have been affected. My cousin was evacuated from her house and so yeah, so it’s just been quite unsettling and so my thoughts and heart go out to people that have been affected by it because it’s really quite scary. So I hope you’re all safe and well and coping okay with it if you’ve been affected.
Other than that, it’s been warm and sunny here. It’s just such a head spin being on the other side of the world this time of year and so it seems pretty surreal to be in hot weather. I guess the funny thing for me is it’s bringing back all my childhood and memories from younger days. I haven’t really lived in Australia since I was about 25 so for over 20 years. So yeah, so it’s bringing back a lot of memories, but it’s from quite a while ago. So yeah, it’s a little bit strange. I am enjoying it, but I’m also enjoying photos of snow and cold weather and people wearing wooly clothes as well.
Also at this time of year, it’s time to start planning. If you’re a planner, which I now am, I think. I haven’t been much of a planner in the past, but I’m getting better and better. I am starting to enjoy the process.
So I listened to an audio book. I don’t know how I came across it. I think maybe I heard Michael Hyatt being interviewed on a business podcast I listened to. I think that was what happened and he was talking about his most recent book Free to Focus. So I don’t really know what his main thing is, but he’s kind of in the productivity area. I think he has planners in those courses for planning your most productive year ever and that kind of thing. And so I was in the mood for a bit of productivity, so I listened to the audio book actually, and it’s called Free to Focus, and I thought it sounded good because it was not so much about cramming more into your day and how to be the most efficient. The whole premise is about how to take things off your plate and do the things that you want to do the most. So sort of prioritization I suppose, and how to say no to things and how to reduce workload rather than increase it.
So that’s very much along the lines I’m thinking at the moment. So I was really interested to listen to it and it was a really good book. I picked up some really, really practical tips. A couple of the tips that I particularly liked were about having a ritual for the morning and a ritual for the evening. And this isn’t anything particularly new, but just the way he spoke about it made me think about things a little bit differently. So not just that having a morning routine and evening routine, which is not a new concept at all, but he also suggested having a start work and stop work routine. So sort of having your personal morning routine, getting ready to start work, and then another sort of ritual or routine when you start work that you do every day. So that was kind of a little bit of a new way of thinking about it. And I started thinking about other things I could make rituals for or routines for like exercising and practicing music. And I don’t know, like you could make your routine a ritual out of any habit really.
So it just got me thinking down a particular track, which was good. I haven’t really planned my rituals yet, but I’m working on them. And the other thing he had in there, which was really, really helpful or I think will be really, really helpful, is about delegating. And he talks about outsourcing tasks that aren’t your sphere of where you’re most productive. Things that are in, he calls it your drudgery zone, so things you hate doing and things you’re not very good at doing. So for me like bookkeeping and accounting falls in that area, things like that. So once you identify what you could potentially delegate, he has a whole, I guess it’s a chapter, I listened to it so I’m not really sure if it was a chapter or not, but a whole section on levels of delegation, how to delegate effectively.
And this was the best piece I’d ever heard about delegating. So I am really excited to try that out because I do have a lot of help in my business. I do outsource particular tasks, but I don’t think I do it very effectively. So I’m really keen to try out some of this stuff. And he talks about automating things as well in a slightly different way than what I’d heard before. So I would recommend it. I listened to it twice and took notes and I’m sort of hoping to implement some of it. So, so I’d really recommend it if you’re into your productivity and trying to, I don’t know, get organized then yeah, it’s called Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt.
So you might guess by my rather lengthy chat about something completely non-related to knitting that I possibly don’t have a lot of knitting to talk about this week. I haven’t managed to really do much knitting, although I am quite happy that a couple of the pieces that I’ve designed for Knitvent, which haven’t come out yet, but various family members have requested that I make them some, which doesn’t really happen very often. So I’m pretty excited about that. So I’ve been making a couple of extra samples of upcoming Knitvent designs. So that’s been kind of nice.
And this week, yesterday, two patterns were released for Knitvent. I’ve had to compress this schedule slightly this time because I didn’t start as early as I wanted to with Knitvent. Things got away from me a bit with the move and everything. So I have just started it a week later, which meant that this week I had two patterns released. So the patterns are the habitation throw and this is a super simple, but I think quite effective little throw, you can make it any size you want. I’m quite pleased with the design for this because it’s really flexible. So I have designed it for people with advent calendars.
The sample we knit, we used 10 gram mini skeins, 24 10 gram mini skeins, but you could also use your 20 gram mini skeins if that’s the size of the advent calendar you have. Or you could use leftover scraps from projects. If you’re like me, you have boxes and boxes of fingering weight leftovers. And I actually used… I selected 24 different skeins of leftovers from previous projects for the set this year. I didn’t use a purchased set I used, I made a set and my lovely sample knitter Deb knit it up for me and also took the photographs. And so they’re absolutely gorgeous.
Yeah. So it’s lots of fun. So basically you sort of increase until you’ve used about 50% of your yarn, maybe a little bit less if you don’t want to play yarn chicken, and then decrease for the other 50%. So at the square and it goes out and then back in. And so you can see from that it’s super, super flexible. You could use any weight of yarn. You could use more or less and yeah, you could just do it in one color or lots of stripes. I was quite tempted to do it more stripey, so stripe two of the advent colors together, but I wanted to keep it as a sort of an advent project for Knitvent so that if people are sort of opening one skein a day, they can add a color per day. So I stuck with that concept. But you could do stripes, you can use two colors and stripe it or, yeah, just so flexible. So I’m really pleased with how flexible it is and I hope you have lots of fun with it.
My lovely test knitter Tracy used [Hey set and 00:12:04] and I think she had, I want to say 20 or 30 gram mini skeins. She’ll have the details on her project page on Ravelry and she is Tracy, T-R-A-C-E-Y-R-R on Ravelry. If your interested in sort of seeing a different version from the sample that I knit or that Deb knit, I should say. I am knitting my own sample as well because it’s quite potato chippy. So I started quite a big swatch and I’ll continue. I’ll continue with my swatch.
And then the second pattern that was released this week is the homebody socks. These socks are in DK weight yarn and super squishy. I kind of designed them with sort of house socks, bed socks in mind, but of course you could wear them with boots or shoes and have nice cozy socks. I used Lay Family Yarn, DK yarn. This is a great option. It’s has some nylon in it so it’s good for socks and Kelly from Lay Family Yarns dyes, gorgeous colors and I use the very two-four pink color.
The socks have been written in four sizes. So I’m basically thinking a toddler, toddler size, a child. The medium is approximately a woman’s size and then a large, yeah, so lots and lots of options. They’re pretty flexible as well in terms of sort of length or you could adjust the length of cuff if you wanted to make them a bit shorter or a bit longer depending on how much yarn you have. So yeah, so two patterns this week, the habitation throw and home body socks. I hope you really love them. I’m pretty excited about them. I think they’re really fun and thank you so much for everybody joining in and posting your patterns on Ravelry. I see that there’s lots of bide shawls popping up and they’re being made up pretty quickly as was the intention. Lots of cozy, cozy shawls happening. So that’s fun to see. And if you’re posting on Instagram or social media, you can use Knitvent 2019 hashtag. I’m following the hashtag so I can see everything that you’re making.
As always, it’s not too late to join in. You can still join in with purchasing the Knitvent 2019 ebook. It is only available on Ravelry and there are still two weeks and three patterns to go.
So thanks for tuning in. I hope you have a wonderful week. I am going to make it another short episode this week. I’m still getting back into the swing of it and my best friend from university days is arriving in the morning for the weekend and we’re going to have a nice girly day tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that and I need to do a little bit of preparation.