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FOs and WIPs

Or, to translate for the nonKnitters, Finished Objects and Works in Progress. :)

The quick linen side-project, complete. Fresh Faced is a washcloth - I love how the nubbly yarn and the twisted stitch pattern work together to make a gorgeous texture (that's also gently exfoliating :)

I've been working on Frisco Trail for awhile (a pox upon the allure of sockweight cardis - they're so nice, and then I don't remember why I don't like sweaters until I'm too far into it to turn back). I finished it on Spring's first 80 degree day, but this being Arkansas and all I think it's supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow so I'll be able to wear it then. At least the warmer weather made for a pleasant photo shoot...

People keep asking me what all I've knitted for Little Bee, and up to this point my honest answer has been "just a pair of duckie booties." I don't knit Other People's Patterns very often anymore (it's easier to justify the purchase of yarn if it's for a pattern I'll be able to sell) and I am my own model most of the time not so much because I couldn't probably find someone (much prettier and much better at modeling) who would be willing to do it, but because I have an iffy grasp on theoretical numbers and I need a live subject to hold my WIP up against to see if it will fit --- I realize that there are charts and standards and that's great, and I use them when I'm making something that comes in multiple sizes, but my original is always measured against an actual person (aka, me). So it's not that I don't want to knit for Little Bee - it's that I need to be able to see and measure Little Bee in order to knit for him/her.

Hats, however, are something that I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on, so I made Little Sprout. The prototype became a gift for a friend who's due in a couple of weeks, but I didn't get a picture of it, and I needed an excuse to make a green one anyway. ;)

It was so much fun that even after making two, I got yarn to make a couple more (also as gifts). I've been trying to cultivate habits of generosity and gratitude... I feel like those two things go hand in hand. Gratitude isn't something I've ever been good at expressing (I was incredibly entitled as a child, and by the time I outgrew it I had already established a habit of Not Being Grateful that is rather difficult to break) but it occurred to me that if I wanted to teach gratitude and generosity to a Small Person, the task would probably be made easier if I was already modeling both of those qualities.

So I've been trying to write thank-you notes as soon as I have something to thank someone for (which has been a lot recently - everyone's been so sweet and generous with helping us get ready for Little Bee), and then pushing that a step further to not only express gratitude but also to be more giving.

I'm a Maker by nature - I show love through touch, and that can be a hug or it can be something that I've created with my own hands (eg: knitting.) That's probably why I'm resistant to production work and don't do a whole lot of commission knitting (what's that Beatles song? Can't buy me love?) and don't really give knitted gifts often. But I'm trying to change that, and what better place to start than baby hats? Remaking my habits is going to be a process, but it's a good process and more than worth it in the long run.

Another process is a nonknitting blogging project I've been sporadically working on for over a year - it's evolved quite a bit, but Study/Stitch/Sip still holds true to its original intention (sparked by reading Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life) - to keep me accountable in my daily reading, and to make me not just skim over a passage but to think about it, as well, and to share those thoughts with others, both believers and nonbelievers. The (surprising, to me) fact that 63 people follow it also makes me think more carefully about what I write, since I don't want to mislead anyone. It's been an enjoyable project, and it's nice too to be able to go back and see how a particular passage effected me - I'm hoping to keep it up, even post-baby.

After I finish the hats, the next project in my queue is a tote bag design, and a wrap skirt (I think) - we'll see how it goes!


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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…