Which Stitch Markers Are Best

When I first took up crochet I didn't have any stitch markers, I didn't even know stitch markers existed. It wasn't long before I knew about them and I learnt the value of using stitch markers, aka stitch savers. That first frustrating experience of when a project accidentally unravels because there's nothing holding onto the stitch to stop it coming undone or your crochet circle grows in ways it isn't supposed to and the worth of this tiny tool became obvious very quickly. But there are so many styles of stitch marker to choose from, locking, circle, coil-less, plastic, safety pins, thread, 3D printed... does it really make a difference which one you use? Is it just how pretty they are? I walk you through a dozen different stitch markers from items you have lying around your home to the fancy artisan styles. I share with you what features to look for and those that don't really hold up to the task.

Maintenance Monthly

In keeping with the changes to the blog I'm going to try something new, committing to a Monday monthly blog post.... *gasp* me, actually keep to a regular writing schedule??? Well, I'm going to give it a go. I'm calling it Maintenance Monthly, because realistically I can manage one post a month with a dedicated topic, but weekly? Nope, not realistic. Just to illustrate, I started writing this post last Monday....umm, yeah. Initially I thought it would be great to link up with the 'Monday Blog' bonanza on G+ but then the reality of my actually sticking to a weekly commitment of  that magnitude made me reconsider. I mean you want to see other posts in between right?

So why Maintenance Monday Monthly?

Well, for a while now Monday has been cleaning day so I can start the week with a clean slate so to speak (well, umm, hopefully a clean kitchen and laundry). Monday has been my big decluttering and reorganising day too, not exclusive to Monday but I find it helps to START the week clean as it inspires me to continue the week that way rather then having the house backslide into an overwhelming crazy mess.

And this is when I find all those little house maintenance jobs that need doing (and I've been ignoring), like tightening the screw for the cupboard door handle and emptying the lint catcher in the washing machine.

By the end of the week I've forgotten that I actually did some really great useful stuff that, once done, actually helps with sewing and crafting - you know because when I pre-wash fabric it's not getting covered in lint because I haven't emptied the lint catcher to catch it, if that makes sense?

And by the end of the month all I see is the maintenance jobs that didn't get done and it seems hopeless that they ever will.

So I'm going to share with you my maintenance tasks and hopefully this will inspire me to go and fix some things that need to be maintained so I can blog about them. I also hope that by keeping a record of the maintenance tasks I do I will have a greater appreciation for what a difference they make and how many of them do actually get done. And if I put a post up each month then after a year I'll have a good idea of what needs maintaining every year.

Some of the maintenance tasks I plan to cover in Maintenance Monthly posts include maintaining my:

  • digital sewing machine
  • vintage sewing machine
  • overlocker (serger)
  • sewing equipment, including shears
  • sewing area
  • storage space
  • ironing equipment
  • general household stuff
  • sanity

So I'm going to start with this week (because I need to start somewhere), we had family visiting, they didn't stay in our house but our days were pretty full catching up with them and I didn't really expect to get much done. However I managed to:

  • Make the bed each day;
  • Sweep the kitchen and lounge and dining area every day (Nony's good influence);
  • Declutter and dust the light table which was covered in lace related projects and equipment (because I was asked for a photo of my lace pillows);
  • Walk the dogs and put their walking gear away; 
  • Keep on top of the laundry, even when the cat decided to leave a hairball on the bed the day after I'd washed the bedding and it had to washed all over again (and emptied the lint filters);
  • Cleaned the dishes every day and put them away;
  • Scan the fridge door for expired items, disposed of a few out-of-date items, some straws, an empty bag and one of those plastic thingys that keep bread bags close. I then washed one of the trays, and washed another tray the next day, but I didn't get any more done because I forgot about it until I re-read this;
  • Start putting out items for the bulk verge collection which  is scheduled for the end of this month;
  • Locate more stuff to put out for collection;
  • Got some more of the weeding done that was starting to engulf the garden;
  • Trimmed the bamboo back that was scraping against our bedroom window and keeping me awake at night but I kept forgetting about doing until bed time, when it would keep me awake;
  • Re-organised the chest freezer so I could actually find what I was looking for;
  • Wrote the first Maintenance Monday Monthly post;
  • And maybe some other stuff that I've forgotten about, but seeing as I've forgotten I guess it doesn't count. 
So why am I telling you all of this? That's not maintenance stuff that's just standard household chores.

Well, because they're not standard if, like me, you subscribe to the 'life's too short for housework' school of thinking. But if I hadn't done them, right now I would be cleaning instead of writing this and planing my next project. And then tomorrow I would be writing this and then the week would be half gone before it had even started and then I would feel like I was playing catch up for the rest of the month. So I am finally figuring out that maintaining my household chores means I will have more time for creative pursuits - not less. What a revelation! What? You thought I'd already figured that out when I wrote how clutter is stealing my craft time. Umm, no. I'm a slow learner when it comes to these things. BTW if you were wondering, I filled that empty draw with clutter photo paper that needed a home.

I also noticed that my shower taps need new washers, that cobwebs have gathered dust pretty much everywhere, that I enjoy having my floors free(er) of pet fur and sweeping every day makes a much bigger difference then I thought it would, and that now my sewing room is worse then the house instead of the other way around.

I don't feel so overwhelmed by the state of my living areas and that's really nice. I DO feel rather overwhelmed about the state of my sewing room which has been largely neglected during winter and with winter coming to an end and warmer weather starting up I will be more inclined to sort it out and spend more time in there.