November Goals – The Finish Line

At the beginning of last month, I shared my November Goals. It’s now the beginning of December and time to share where I got up to.

Goal 1: November Challenge

Each month my Apple Watch tells me the challenge for the month – sometimes it’s really easy and I can get through it quickly and other times it’s that bit harder. This month’s goal is to close the Exercise Ring 13 times. As I’m cycling a lot each week, it shouldn’t be too hard to complete but I guess we will see. I will also be trying to close all 3 circles as well. (If you’re not sure about the circles there are videos on YouTube, this one from Cult of Mac is interesting).

I DID IT! My exercise goal is set at 410 kcal so that’s probably not that much and could do with being a little higher maybe. But even then completing it 13 times still feels like a win!

Goal 2: NaNoWriMo

Let’s do this thing! Back in 2017, Chris and I had a whole discussion about me writing a book. We were talking about goals and things we wanted to achieve and writing a book was something I said. It was a little crazy and I’m still not sure it’s that sane! But I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo again, bringing a previous draft with me in the hope that I can actually hit that word count this year. I guess we’ll see if I actually make it. I’m sure the writing group I’ve been attending will be checking in on me to make sure I’m still going!

This one didn’t happen. I think if you’re trying to do it around taking care of your kids you need to be disciplined and make sure you write as much as you can once they are in bed or something like that. I’m not deterred thought I think I will get some more planning time in between now and next November and properly work on my book. It might never see the light of day but it’ll be there on my hard drive lol.

Goal 3: Ride 75km in November

I wrote this one down as 70km, then looked at the tracking on my watch/phone and realised that in October (25 days of being in Copenhagen), I’d already hit 68.17km. So as long as I tracked it all adding another 7km shouldn’t be too hard.

Well, I did it! So my goal was 75km but when I did my Check-In post I realised that I was already on 60km and it was the 19th. I did a rough calculation in my head between the trips I expected to do and was going to smash that 75km and reach maybe even 100km. When I checked on the 30th November, I was at 112.96km and considered just getting the bike out to do a lap of the block or something like that so I could get that little bit more to hit 113 instead. It definitely helped that we went for a bike ride as a family which was just under 13km before I then did another 10km bike ride into the centre and back!

Goal 4: Finished Shawlography MKAL

Like so many other people, I cast on the MKAL from West Knits but haven’t always been speedy enough to get through a Clue per week. I’m currently still on Clue 2 but there are more straightforward knit/purl short rows to come so hopefully I can get through those bits before I slow down again for my first attempt at Brioche. (to me Brioche is yummy French bread not knitting lol).

This got put on pause. Between moving apartment and also

Goal 5: Reduce my Currently Reading

My currently reading list on Goodreads keeps growing even though I’ve either finished or completely stopped reading some of the books. Now some of them are physical books and are back in the UK, but the ones that I can clear I will try to and hopefully, that will reduce the list. It’s currently at 22 and that’s even with me reading some that I really won’t go back to.

This is the list as it stands (where I know it’s definitely a physical book that I don’t have access to I will put it in Italics with an * at the beginning. (You will notice a theme… I read lots, but mostly light stuff that I can pick up around the boys or at bedtime. I am about to start also reading Podcast with Impact by Anna Parker-Naples which is more of a work thing but still very interesting).

The list hasn’t shrunk – if anything it’s grown oops! But it’s okay there’s still time – I’ll try and knock one maybe two of them off by the end of the month.

Completed in November

  • Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson
  • The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline Roberts

Also finished in November but not on this list

  • The Boat House Pretty Beach by Polly Babbington
  • Summer Weddings at Pretty Beach by Polly Babbington
  • Winter at Pretty Beach by Polly Babbington
  • Snow Falls Over Sunnybrook by Rosie Green
  • Welcome to Seabury by Beth Rain

Deleted from the List

Physical Book

  • *The Highland Falcon Thief by M. G. Leonard
  • *The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
  • *Ordinary Mum, Extraordinary Mission
  • *From Blah to Awe by Jenna Lucado-Bishop (I started this *years* ago and for some reason still not finished it)

Currently Reading (According to Goodreads)

  • Falling for Your Best Friend’s Girl – Emma St. Clair
  • Perfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs
  • My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack
  • The Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts
  • Women Rise up by Katey Zeh
  • Runaway Sumer by Ruth Saberton
  • Escape for the Summer by Ruth Saberton
  • Looking for Lucy by Julie Houston (I’m sure I have already finished this one but Goodreads say it’s still in progress…)
  • The One Saving Grace by Julie Houston (Same with this one)
  • No Cure for Love by Jean Fullerton
  • Sleigh Ride
  • An Event to Remember or Forget
  • Happiness for Humans by P. Z. Reizin
  • Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
  • Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
  • Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

So having finished those 7 books this month, I’m now on 39 out of 40 when it comes to my Goodreads Challenge Goal for 2021. That’s an easy one to complete I think.

Did you set any goals for November? How did it go? Come back for my December goals which should be live later this week.

Chocolate Orange Cover – Christmas Pudding

Maybe you saw yesterday’s knit and decided it wasn’t for you – but how about a Christmas Pudding instead?

Christmas Pudding

Materials

  • Brown, Green and Red DK Yarn (I like Stylecraft Special DK in Brown (Mocha or Walnut), Green (Bottle or Green) and Red (Lipstick)
  • 4mm Knitting Needles
  • Needle (for sewing in ends)
Knitted Christmas Pudding

Pattern – Christmas Pudding

Using Brown:

  • Cast on 43 sts
  • Row 1: S1 *k1, p1, repeat from * to the last 2 sts, k2
  • Row 2: S1, *p1, k1, repeat from * to the end
  • Rows 3 to 12: Repeat last 2 rows 5 times more.

Change to White

  • Rows 13 to 18: Knit 6 rows.
  • Row 19: S1, knit to end.
  • Row 20: S1, purl to last st, K1
  • Row 21 and 24: repeat last 2 rows twice.
  • Row 25: *k2tog, repeat from * to last st, K1.
  • Row 26: p2tog to end
  • Cut yarn. Leave a tail long enough to pass through the remaining stitches. Once you’ve sewn the tail through the stitches, remove the needle and pull tight. Use the remainder of the tail to sew up the edges to create a Pull it tight, fold in half so, leaving a tail long enough to

Pattern – Holly (Makes 2 leaves joined together)

Using green

  • Cast on 1 sts
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: Knit 3 times into the same stitch (3 sts)
  • Row 3: kfb, k1, kfb (5 sts)
  • Row 4: Cast off 1 stitch, k3 (4 sts)
  • Row 5: Cast off 1 stitch, k2 (3 sts)
  • Row 6: kfb, k1, kfb (5 sts)
  • Row 7: Cast off 1 stitch, k3 (4 sts)
  • Row 8: Cast off 1 stitch, k3 (3 sts)
  • Row 9: s1, k2tog, psso (1 sts)
  • Row 10: k3 into same stitch (3 sts)
  • Row 11: kfb, k1 kfb (5 sts)
  • Row 12: Cast off 1 stitch, k3 (4 sts)
  • Row 13: Cast off 1 stitch, k2 (3 sts)
  • Row 14: kfb, k1, kfb (5 sts)
  • Row 15: Cast off 1 stitch, k3 (4 sts)
  • Row 16: Cast off 1 stitch, k2 (3 sts)
  • Row 17: s1, k2tog, psso (1 sts)
  • Fasten off.

Pattern – Berry

Using red:

  • Cast on 3 stitches
  • Row 1: kfb in every stitch (6 sts)
  • Row 2: Purl
  • Row 3: Knit
  • Row 4: p2tog in each stitch (6 sts)
  • Cast off
  • Tie cast on and cast off tails together (This pulls the berry together into almost a circle)
  • Sew leaves and berry on to the top.

Chocolate Orange Cover – Santa Hat

Last Christmas I had great fun creating little knitted covers/cosies for Chocolate Oranges. Here’s the pattern for the Santa Hat.

Santa Hat

Materials

  • White and Red (I’ve used Stylecraft Special in Lipstick (Red) and White.
  • 4mm Knitting Needles
  • Wool Needle (for sewing in ends and sewing up)
Knitted Santa Hat

Pattern

Using White:

  • Cast on 43 sts
  • Rows 1-8: Knit

Change to Red:

  • Rows 9-20: Complete 12 rows in stocking stitch.

To shape the top:

  • Row 21: *k5, k2tog, repeat from * to last st, k1 (37 sts)
  • Row 22 (and even rows): s1, purl to last stitch, k1 (31 sts)
  • Row 23: *k4, k2tog, repeat from * to last st, k1 (25 sts)
  • Row 25: *k3, k2tog, repeat from * to last st, k1 (19 sts)
  • Row 27: *k2, k2tog, repeat from * to last st, k1 (13 sts)
  • Row 29: *k2tog, repeat from * to last st, k1 (7 sts)
  • Cut off yarn, leaving a tail – thread the tail through the remaining 7sts, and tight. Sew up the side seam, using the matching colour for each section.

November Goals – Check-in

At the beginning of the month, I shared my November Goals. I decided it was time to check-in and share where I’m up to.

Goal 1: November Challenge

Each month my Apple Watch tells me the challenge for the month – sometimes it’s really easy and I can get through it quickly and other times it’s that bit harder. This month’s goal is to close the Exercise Ring 13 times. As I’m cycling a lot each week, it shouldn’t be too hard to complete but I guess we will see. I will also be trying to close all 3 circles as well. (If you’re not sure about the circles there are videos on YouTube, this one from Cult of Mac is interesting).

Well, we are 18 days into the month and I’ve managed to close my Exercise Ring 11 times. sofar. There have been days where we haven’t left the apartment or I’ve forgotten to charge or take my watch with me! On one occasion I had my watch with me and realised halfway to our destination that I hadn’t started the tracking or like today I left my watch on charge at home! Oops!

Goal 2: NaNoWriMo

Let’s do this thing! Back in 2017, Chris and I had a whole discussion about me writing a book. We were talking about goals and things we wanted to achieve and writing a book was something I said. It was a little crazy and I’m still not sure it’s that sane! But I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo again, bringing a previous draft with me in the hope that I can actually hit that word count this year. I guess we’ll see if I actually make it. I’m sure the writing group I’ve been attending will be checking in on me to make sure I’m still going!

This was always going to be one of those goals that would be a real challenge. I’d intended to try and buckle down and focus but between one thing and another, it got away from me. I’m just over a quarter of the way through and just over halfway through the month – definitely need more writing time and am not sure I’m going to gain it.

Goal 3: Ride 75km in November

I wrote this one down as 70km, then looked at the tracking on my watch/phone and realised that in October (25 days of being in Copenhagen), I’d already hit 68.17km. So as long as I tracked it all adding another 7km shouldn’t be too hard.

On the 6th November, I added the comment to my original post that I was already on 31.95km. According to my Fitness app on my phone, it’s the 19th and I’m on 60.39km. So that’s just under 15 to go in 12 days. Church on Sunday is around 10km there and back. Maybe I need to raise the goal?

Goal 4: Finished Shawlography MKAL

Like so many other people, I cast on the MKAL from West Knits but haven’t always been speedy enough to get through a Clue per week. I’m currently still on Clue 2 but there are more straightforward knit/purl short rows to come so hopefully I can get through those bits before I slow down again for my first attempt at Brioche. (to me Brioche is yummy French bread not knitting lol).

This is another that’s been put on pause. I’ve been working on other projects along the way so it’s been put away again. I think I will try and finish Clue 2 by the end of the month, I can always come back to it after I’ve sorted out Christmas presents (and another two time-sensitive projects that are in progress).

Goal 5: Reduce my Currently Reading

My currently reading list on Goodreads keeps growing even though I’ve either finished or completely stopped reading some of the books. Now some of them are physical books and are back in the UK, but the ones that I can clear I will try to and hopefully, that will reduce the list. It’s currently at 22 and that’s even with me reading some that I really won’t go back to.

This is the list as it stands (where I know it’s definitely a physical book that I don’t have access to I will put it in Italics with an * at the beginning. (You will notice a theme… I read lots, but mostly light stuff that I can pick up around the boys or at bedtime. I am about to start also reading Podcast with Impact by Anna Parker-Naples which is more of a work thing but still very interesting).

The list hasn’t shrunk – if anything it’s grown oops! But it’s okay there’s still time – I’ll try and knock one maybe two of them off by the end of the month.

Currently Reading (According to Goodreads)

  • *The Highland Falcon Theief by M. G. Leonard
  • Falling for Your Best Friend’s Girl – Emma St. Clair
  • Perfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs
  • My Christmas Number One by Leonie Mack
  • Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson
  • *The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
  • The Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts
  • The Cosy Teashop in the Castle by Caroline Roberts
  • Women Rise up by Katey Zeh
  • Runaway Sumer by Ruth Saberton
  • Escape for the Summer by Ruth Saberton
  • Looking for Lucy by Julie Houston (I’m sure I have already finished this one but Goodreads say it’s still in progress…)
  • The One Saving Grace by Julie Houston (Same with this one)
  • No Cure for Love by Jean Fullerton
  • *Ordinary Mum, Extraordinary Mission
  • Sleigh Ride
  • An Event to Remember or Forget
  • Happiness for Humans by P. Z. Reizin
  • Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
  • Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
  • Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni
  • *From Blah to Awe by Jenna Lucado-Bishop (I started this *years* ago and for some reason still not finished it)

Goodreads also tells me that I’ve read 32 out of 40 books in 2021. So can I clear 8 books from my Currently Reading and tick them off my Reading Challenge this year too? I guess we’ll see.

Have you set any goals for November? How are they going? Are you any closer, to achieving the things you set out to do? I’d love to see them if you’ve shared them online.

Recently Off The Needles: Joy Cowl

Between making new friends and having a bit more time to crochet and knit, I decided that I’d make some of my Christmas presents. This is the first one. It’s the Joy Cowl by The Pigeon’s Nest. I purchased just the pattern but Rebecca also does a kit which can be purchased here. (It’s also available in other colours too! I quite like the Americana one!)

This is the picture from Rebecca’s website/pattern. I chose to do my version in two different shades of blue rather than pink. Rebecca’s pattern also calls for Stylecraft Special but I used Amigo from Hobbii (This is the closest I’ve found to Stylecraft Special so far – without having to order from the UK or elsewhere in Europe).

The great thing about these Granny Squares is that for me they grew quite quickly. I miscounted on 2-3 of them and ended up with 13 white “clusters” instead of 12. Of course, I didn’t realise until I got to the grey outer edge! Oops! Lots of frogging was needed there but was able to reuse the same yarn and finish those squares.

This is the second or third pattern I’ve done written by Rebecca and they are so clear and easy to follow which is great. I did find with this one that my tension is on the small side compared to Rebecca’s. If I did it again I’d try with a 5mm hook maybe instead of a 4mm. In this instance, I did an extra 6 squares to make it that bit longer and that definitely worked better. Rebecca and I did chat about this as I’ve been giving her an update of where I’m up to. 3 squares (one column) may have been enough but to keep the pattern in place I did two columns (6 squares).

Are you making any of your Christmas presents? Do you have any projects currently on your needles or hook?

You can see other projects I’ve done here.