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Singin' in the Rain

While I feel toward rain as a cat does (that is, it's great for taking naps during but I have no interest whatever in being out in it), sometimes I find an inspiration on rainy days that I don't have otherwise.

For one thing, sunlight filtered through cloud cover is perfect for taking pictures. Bright, but not harsh. The last time my beloved Fossil messenger bag got this wet, I was in Manhattan (worst place in the world to be when it rains), but through everything it's always kept my knitting and my camera dry. And Bob (official mascot of Ravelry) doesn't seem to mind getting damp occasionally. :)

A side note on dogs, this one turned up in my parents' yard a few days ago. Dad went outside to run her off (lest she try to eat the chickens) - and ended up rubbing her tummy instead (she was very persuasive). She followed him back to the house, and when I went to see if she was afraid of cameras, she posed nicely then asked to be let in. Where ever she's from, I think it's safe to say that she's well-treated and used to being a house puppy. I hope she finds her way home.

Besides my camera and my knitting, another thing that I am never without is my notebook. I use the same hardback Moleskine until it gets full, then date the spine and move on to a new one. At some point, Adam got hold of this one and wrote me a note deep within its pages, and I found it today. It was a nice brightening to what might have been an otherwise dreary day.

I get to teach Hand Held's upcoming learn-to-knit-socks class, so I've been working on a demo sock that people can look at. Not that we don't have lots of beautiful socks lying around the shop, but they are all a little intricate and more than a little intimidating. So I'm doing a plain vanilla version, with a self striping yarn.

Alternate with working on my sock this afternoon, I also did a photography project on capturing the five senses using a single object. This one is See.

Hear (certain senses are kind of difficult to capture photographically...)

Smell (I fiddled with this one for awhile, then settled on tilting the lid and focusing on the foam inside)

Taste (in hindsight, a background of coffee toned yarns might have been a more evocative choice, but I couldn't resist the lettuce green luster of a merino/silk blend)

And finally, Touch. Despite the appealing texture of the sleeve, it was a struggle not to focus on the yarn in the background.

It's still raining outside, and my Bear is home and wants to teach me how to play poker. On to another adventure!


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…