How I got into knitting

Hello again, world! Long time no speak!

I apologise for my long absence and lack of posts but university is getting the best of me. Between the courses, the exams and the dissertation, I barely find time for any extra activities. But that’s not why I should neglect my blog (nor my social life). Don’t get me wrong, my social life isn’t my blog but funnily enough, blogging is one of my favourite ways of socialising.

However, among all the university-related activities, I did make time for a new hobby, something I’ve been meaning to try for a long time and that is… knitting! Surprising? Not so much for most of the people who know me. I often get bitten by creativity, one way or another and this time, I figured I might as well try something way out of my comfort zone!

I have to be honest, though… For some reason, I’ve always been intimidated by knitting. I used to think it’s something I could never do properly. I like creative activities in general like drawing or painting but I thought knitting was out of my league. A while back, I watched a “How to knit a scarf” video on YouTube and I was completely in awe! Not only the lady was knitting amazingly fast but she would also make different patterns. I also remember that while I was in London, my host lady (a very experienced knitter) told me that knitting is actually relaxing. I thought “Why not give it a try?”. With a little patience, I might get into it. Once I got back home, I went to the closest shop to buy three yarns (yes, three!) to start practicing. I looked up different tutorials (YouTubers, what would I do without you?) and started knitting. Once I got the basics, I started knitting and knitting until I figured I could actually make my dream scarf: a very thick and outrageously long scarf. The scarf in question took me three months to finish it. I have no excuse here. Except that I’m a beginner so I’m allowed…? 🙂

What’s quite fun about knitting is that it takes your mind off things. Needless to say it’s fulfilling because you actually create something with your own hands, something for yourself or for others. Note to all my friends: you now know what your future Christmas presents will be!

Here’s my first project: the outrageously thick and long burgundy scarf. More to come on Instagram!

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This also happens to be my first (half) selfie on Instagram. At least, no duck face is involved…

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Tags and tweets and hashtags, oh my!

I’m becoming quite a social media nut. No, honestly. When I look back in 2008, I laugh at that Facebook newbie I used to be. And quite frankly, at that time, I hesitated a lot to dive into this whole madness. I had heard many nasty stories about Facebook: people “tagging” you in embarrassing pictures, people “writing on your wall”, people sending invitations for quizzes with very creative titles (now it’s invitations for Candy Crush Saga), people spying what you do every minute of every day… YIKES, too creepy for my own social media virginity. But then – call me original – I ended up joining the herd. Purely for sociability’s sake. It was the end of high school and since everyone had Facebook, I figured it would be the only sensible way to keep in touch with everyone. Afterwards, it got useful for getting back in touch with long-lost friends.

After MSN and MySpace, Facebook was still a complete mystery to me. Sure, it was always a thrill to get notifications like “So-and-so posted on your wall”, to which I religiously replied. For sociability’s sake, remember? Facebook is fun and useful, for sure, but like all good things, you can’t have too much of it unless you want to become this nerd stripped off his social skills (and I mean social skills in real life). It’s all right, Facebook nerds, I’ve been there: endless boring nights, got nothing better to do but browsing through my news feed and trying to find myself some juicy gossip or playing *hides in shame* Farmville. Sometimes, I wonder how I’ve spent endless hours waiting for tomato crops to grow.

Eventually, after exploring different blogs, I got the idea of starting my own. It was my first pride and joy, hosted by Tumblr. Nothing too original but I liked the concept of reblogging articles, pictures or quotes that were still linked to their original source. It was my own inspiration board: I would browse through my reblogged posts like browsing through an old photo album. Now I realise it’s been ages since I visited my Tumblr and bothered to see what’s new… not very impressing for a “social media nut”, is it?

A few years later, I heard about this new thing called Twitter, which was around for a couple of years when I had discovered it. To be honest, I didn’t jump too enthusiastically on that bandwagon, simply because I didn’t get the concept. “What’s with the 140 characters?”. Twitter is not for writing a whole novel about your life. If you ever feel inspired to pour your heart out in a status, forget about Twitter. I created an account out of curiosity but it quickly got hacked so I gave up. But it wasn’t “Toodle-oo Twitter” just yet! I actually decided to give it another chance a couple of months ago. It turned out to be the best way for me to keep myself informed with the news! The advantage of those dreaded 140 characters is that you get the essential information in a few seconds. Fast-info-feeding, anyone?

Social Media

It was only a few weeks ago that I really managed to find the secret to understanding and enjoying Twitter. Well, who am I kidding? There is no secret, it’s basic common sense. With social media, you can’t afford to be shy. It’s about constantly engaging with others. If you’re afraid nobody is going to answer to your tweet or like your Instagram fabulous pic of your lunch, you’re going nowhere. How many tweets have I sent without getting any reply? But you see, the great thing is that the more you spend time engaging with people sharing the same interests as you, the more exciting it all gets! Social media might be bad for some things but when it comes to creating an online community and learning from each other, it is brilliant!

Instagram was next on my list. It’s not so much of a trend anymore but I figured I could give it a try. To be honest, I don’t use it that often and the only pictures I uploaded are… food pictures. That’s right. According to Mashable, I would be in the category “food porn”, while “ruining diets worldwide”: Sounds rather fancy and inviting, doesn’t it? Whoever came up with the term was trying too hard to make Instagram sound sexy.

The obsession continues with my Master thesis. I chose to target corporate communication and combine it with social media monitoring (more precisely, Twitter) and see whether the communication strategy is effective or not. More details after finishing my whole research! Let’s not jinx the whole thing, shall we? 😉

Becoming too obsessed with social media, do you think? No worries, I’m actually not a desperate case. Yet. Although I did add Mashable to my favourite bookmarks and shriek every time I get notified that my Klout score went up. Well, as long as I don’t add hashtags to each and every post, I’m ok I think…

I figured I wouldn’t mind being a social media consultant or account manager. It’s funny how many people don’t think of it as a real job. I happened to stumble upon this today and had a good laugh. “Social media guru” does sound presumptuous. Let’s be real. I can just imagine myself telling others about my future job, which would be like this:

Me: I run social media for [insert brand]
Friend: But what does that mean?
Me: I run the Facebook and Twitter pages for [insert brand]
Friend: So you basically tweet all day? I could do that.
Me: *Resisting the urge to punch friend in face*

(Quote found here… *sigh* It’s hard to be high-tech and all if people don’t take you seriously).

All right, so you get the idea. I could write about social media for ages. This clearly does not make me an expert. I still have a lot to learn! But hey, we all spend our lives learning. I still have to get into Pinterest and get more psyched about Google +. Baby steps but I’m getting there!

For everyone who’s too shy to jump on this bandwagon: social media doesn’t bite! 🙂 In fact, when used properly, it can *angelic music* change your life! More seriously, it can be an enriching experience! Recently on Twitter, I have followed many social media experts and travel bloggers who followed me back. In only a few days, I have learned so much from them and hopefully one day, I could also contribute with something. So, if any of you reads this, a major thank you! You have managed to turn me into a Twitter aficionada! But hey, it’s for sociability’s sake… 🙂

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London Diaries #1

All right, so, it’s been two full weeks since I came here and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it! Amazed by London too much? Yes. Annoying people with this? Maybe. Feeling guilty about it? No!

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After two weeks of being in London, I finally get out at Westminster Station and… Why, hello, Big Ben! Nice to see you again!

This second week was rather busy as I’ve had plenty of things to do at work.What I really love about this internship is that I never do the same things and of course I learn a lot of things along the way, even little tricks and tips. Also, the weather has been lovely… perhaps a little bit too much? Who said it was impossible to get a tan in London? This weather also reminds me of last year in Siena, where I was complaining at first because the air was suffocating but then I got used to it and didn’t want to leave anymore!

Apart from work, I’ve also had the chance to go out and explore the city a bit more. Last Wednesday, I met two lovely interns and we spent the evening in Southbank, having drinks and just chatting about all sorts of thing. If you’re into people-watching, then Southbank is ideal! On Friday, after work, I went for a walk from Westminster to Tottenham Court Road. I didn’t get as many pictures as I should have… maybe because I was too absorbed by everything around me! Gotta work on that…

Now, moving on to the best worthy news of all: I have finally tried Korean food! Antonia, if you happen to read this: a major thank you! 😀 Antonia is a huge fan of Korean food (well, food in general, actually) and has also created a blog about it. Basically, her aim is to try every Korean restaurant in Zone 1, in London. I say it’s a pretty fantastic idea! Wait til you see what Kimchi is all about…

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Nothing but healthy and tasty food! Now, all I want to do is run to the closest Korean restaurant and have some of this! #callmecrazy

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On my way back home from work. It’s always nice to go on the upper bus deck (yes, I’m still a kid about this) and discover new things! If you’re not brave enough to walk in London, take the bus and enjoy the view! 

You might have noticed that I’m slightly more active on Twitter and Instagram. You know these times where you forget your camera and have no choice but to take pictures with your phone? Long live Android apps for fast-sharing! 🙂

This weekend I’ve been meaning to go to Hampstead Heath, but unfortunately, the Northern Line was closed and had no way of getting there… But I still have plenty of time! 🙂  I’m planning lots of things for the next weekend (which, hopefully, won’t be this hot): visit London Sea Life, the Museum of London Docklands, maybe check out Brick Lane and explore Charlton Village (which is 10 minutes away). Somehow, Charlton makes me think of the Charleston…

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London’s fast pace makes me want to make the most of those three months even more! You don’t become a Londoner overnight, but I have a feeling I can almost get there (let’s not be modest). After all, if you’re open to everything that London has to offer, it will welcome you with open arms!

Stay tuned for more London Diaries, ladies and gents! 🙂

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