Friday, January 13, 2017

Middle...


When I'm trying to remember something, I imagine my mind as a cluttered attic, full of stacks of unlabeled and practically identical boxes. So I open them at random, trying to find something recognizable that might have been packed away with it. Oh, look, here's that Within Temptation album! I got that about a week before I heard that sermon, so those notes must be somewhere nearby.

Given any sort of block of solitude, I try to sort through the boxes, repacking important things more carefully and throwing out junk and disused or worn items (er, ideas). That's what I've been doing for the past few months, and for a long chunk of that I've been in the middle of a particularly nasty layer. The kind of boxes that have been stacked in the back of some manky old shed for who-knows-how-long, and have just as much dirt and bugs and mouse nests in them as anything else - except, because this is a figurative attic, these were full of depression and lostness and anger and internal suppression, which are much more insidious and harder to exterminate.

Just going through them has had a negative effect - like I've become a conduit through which everything must pass on its way out. But yesterday, I unpacked that last of those boxes, and found in it the incident that tipped into the mess to start with: a hat. It was the sort of green that I love, my first cabled project, and because it was square across the top, it created ears when worn. Now it exists only in my memory, because just after getting it back from an art show it had been a part of, I wore it on an outing with friends, and one of them (who did not deserve the weight I gave to their words) mocked it. I never wore it again, and ended up giving it away not long afterwards.

But that marked the first time that I ever sacrificed something I cared for deeply for the sake of someone else - sadly, it was not the last. Once I'd established the habit, it became harder and harder to break, until I didn't even realize I was doing it any more. Now, I realize that love requires sacrifice - but not this kind of sacrifice. Because it's one thing to wash away muddy selfishness, and entirely another to break up the foundation poured into your very heart, the one with God's own handprints in it, and throw it away piece by piece, simply because someone else doesn't like your floorplan. Their opinion doesn't matter - only His does.

So I cast on for another hat - just a simple version of the long-lost green - as a reminder that what God has placed in the middle of me is for His glory, and is not intended to be given to anyone but Him.

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers, internet wide, gather to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by Kate Motaung from Heading Home, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

52 Lists: the soundtrack of your life

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of the soundtrack of my life right now


Before you contact me, concerned about some of my choices, please know that this is simply the playlist I've had on repeat lately, and not necessarily an accurate playlist of my actual life.


1. Scarborough Fair/Canticle - Simon and Garfunkle
2. Haul Away Joe - Kodaline
3. Fight Song/Amazing Grace - The Piano Guys
4; The Parting Glass - Peter Hollens
5. The Last Goodbye - Billy Boyd
6. Beethoven's 5 Secrets - The Piano Guys
7. Into the West - Peter Hollens
8. Song of the Lonely Mountain - Neil Finn
9. Code Name Vivaldi - The Piano Guys
10. Extreme Ways - Moby

Thursday, January 5, 2017

(More Than) One Word


Twenty seventeen. Crazy. The past year has been filled with adventures, expected and un, and flew by (as per usual). The last week of it we spent in Fayetteville, visiting family for Christmas, so that has contributed to my thoroughly mucked-up sense of time.





Gifts were given and received, people were visited, there was good food and shenanigans of all sorts... and I am glad to be home (because it is possible to both enjoy something and also be glad that it's over).


Now we're back and I have a long list of Things To Do, because it's a new month and a new year. Thank you notes, for starters. I got lots of tools (cookbook, utensils and cookware, hard-to-find ingredients...) to aid me in my quest to conquer a new recipe every month that my Bear is gone, which I am grateful for and looking forward to using.



both necklaces by Bella Vita Jewelry

After adventure as my word-of-the-year for 2016, pacific chose me for this year (yes, yes, 52 Lists wanted to know my goals and resolutions for the coming year, but that's not really my thing). I'm curious to see how it will manifest - I'm currently processing through it with a new design (coming soon!), but I think part of it will entail exploring my own depths and boundaries, and also grace and humility. As immediate practice for the last mentioned, I've got a giant project that will take up most of January - that I can't talk about and that won't have my name on it once it's finished. I'm excited to do it - but it will be interesting to process that excitement in a way that's not verbal or photographic, since those are my go-tos.

In the mean time, do you have a word for the year?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

52 Lists: your favorite characters

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of my favorite characters from books, movies, etc

Clockwise from top left: Bilbo Baggins, Tintin, Sherlock
This list was surprisingly difficult - I found that I tend to prefer the way the characters interact as a group, as opposed to favoring specific ones

1. Sherlock Holmes (the book version, as well as the BBC/Benedict Cumberbatch version, and also Robert Downey Jr's portrayal)
2. Hermione Granger. Because Harry would have died in the first book without her - and the solution to most problems can truly be found at the library.
3. Bilbo Baggins - a fellow introvert
4. Anne Shirley (the book version - I love the whole Anne of Green Gables series, for her spunk and imagination)
5. Tintin - as a child, I aspired to be Tintin when I grew up; a journalist who had all sorts of adventures in pursuit of a story
6. Mina Harker. The most sensical character in all of Dracula (the quietly capable book version, not any of the movie versions I've seen)
7. Edmund Pevensie - I know, I know, everyone likes Lucy (and Peter), but really, he's the character that I relate to the most in The Chronicles of Narnia
8. Jo March - the other sisters in Little Women all annoy me in turn, but Jo I understand

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

52 Lists: the happiest moments of your life so far

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.


A list of the happiest moments of my life so far


1. Coming from Darkness to Light - the greatest gift of all, to be loved by Love Himself


2. Summer dream-job at Vogue Knitting in New York City - my goal from the point I learned to knit, but not something I ever expected to actually happen


3. Marrying this guy!


4. June 2013 (and many moments since) - this sweet fairy. She's bright and curious, learning and growing and becoming more her own person every day.


5. And two years ago today, meeting this guy, earlier than expected, but (against all predictions) completely healthy and happy. "God is good," little hedgehog. He really is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

52 Lists: most memorable moments of your year

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of the most memorable moments of my year


January: A rare movie date night with my Bear - so grateful for reliable babysitters!


February: Watching my one year old further develop his little personality (it's so hard to believe that he's almost two now!)


March: Writing two patterns for Ewe Ewe yarns, and Brooklyn and Tobin modeling the sweaters for me.


April: House hunting, and our last month at the apartment.


May: Getting moved and settled into our first house.


June: Going to Dallas for my/Brooklyn's birthdays, and riding the train downtown to the aquarium.


July: Spending a weekend on Mount Magazine at a marriage retreat with my Bear (and Tobin, because nursing baby).


August: Settling into new rhythms and routines, and making our home homier.


September: Exploring our neighborhood more, finding parks and libraries nearby.


October: Spending a few days hiking just-us-two for our anniversary.


November: The outpouring of love and support from family and our church community.


December: Just seeing the little people that Brooklyn and Tobin are becoming.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Knit and Reknit


Because of grace, we can have joy.  I knitted Grace-filled during a study of Ephesians - grace is what stood out to me from it. Then we (and by that I mean the women's ministry and the sermon series at our church) have been going through Philippians, with a focus on joy. So it just seemed right to do a remix. Joyful is Grace-filled in every way, except I used a different yarn - instead of using two strands of the same sockweight, I alternated a smooth sock yarn (Dream in Color Jilly) with a mohair/silk blend (Neighborhood Fiber Co Loft). It's amazing what a difference it made in the final piece! It's also significantly lighter (which I find to be a delightful continuance of my metaphor). As a side note, I am having a grand time being my own photographer. 


Another remix: Live Long and Prosper, a variation on Love Out Loud. I eliminated the stripes and flipped the heart chart upside down to create Star Fleet insignia, and had a grand time doing it. (If you would like your own tiny Wesley Crusher, or other nerd character, check out Lumpy Buttons' Etsy shop and prepare to want everything.)


Unless I remember someone I've forgotten (which is entirely within the realm of possibility) my Christmas knitting is complete. Next week I'm planning to work on wrapping and prepping gifts, to have it all off my conscience as soon as possible so I can just enjoy the season. Oh, and plan a birthday party for Tobin.


But for the next few days, at least, I'm just going to blissfully circle along on my Project Peace cowl, and continue to be grateful that I bought the yarn that I really wanted, because alpaca makes me happy.