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The yarn bombing wasn't the only graffiti that happened at the Block Street Block Party - the kids had a grand time creating murals in front of The Mustache (pausing occasionally to gather inspiration from a nearby break dancer).

Another art form was a hand-carved wood block for printing at the Himalayan Mountain Shop. I cannot imagine trying to carve anything, much less words, much less words in Tibetan, backwards into a block of wood. This translates into a Buddhist prayer of compassion - I need to learn the patience and dedication to my own belief necessary to be willing to put this much effort and time into an expression of it!

Between the stalls, the stages and the passersby, the occasional yarn bomb showed its cheerful face. I liked how this one skewed gracefully around the pole, the curving diagonals contrasting with the stark vertical texture of the pole.

Another example of beautiful knitting: a collaborative blanket. My beloved knitters overwhelmed me with this masterpiece at a Handheld Thursday evening knit night/baby party. I love the character created by panels each made by a unique individual, along with the thoughtfulness in the efforts to consider not only the individuality of the maker but also the taste of the made-for in each design. Little Bee will get lots of use out of this for years to come.

Mum and I also collaborated (she started it - it was entirely her idea) on a Felted Vessel project. This was the first class I ever taught at Handheld (I'd been working there for about a month and they were short an instructor for an event. Joy sat me down and taught me how to use double-pointed needles to knit a woolly bowl in the round, sent me to the bathroom to hand felt it - then had me teach the class the next day) and one of Mum's favorite projects to make, so we both had a stash of them already made up.

[photo by Keith Caudle]

The Four-Legged Bird liked them enough to stock them in their adorable shop, and Little Red Hen Handknits came to be (hopefully). I hope that other people enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed making them - and either way, it's a venture we've been threatening to try for many years (the mother/daughter cottage craft business, not necessarily the bowls, specifically) and I'm glad we finally have. It will be an adventure, no matter the outcome.

Independently, I ended up unexpectedly designing a pair of gloves last week (desperation begets innovation, and my steering wheel gets very hot in the sun). I was already stopping by Handheld for yarn (yes, I work there two days a week, and yes, sometimes I go in on my days off) and a new cotton/linen blend had just come in in a color that caught my eye, so Heat Wave became the solution to my problem. I've been actually using them, and they work quite well.

Artosphere is coming along nicely, but since I can't photoshoot it until post baby (the shirt I have that goes with it doesn't exactly fit right now) I haven't quite finished it. I did finish an experiment named Dash of Spice, but that's another one that won't be shot until post baby, as it requires a wee model (also, I don't entirely trust the source I pulled my theoretical numbers from so I'd like to be certain that it will fit an actual Small Human). Let's hope Little Bee doesn't mind being adorable for a camera. :)


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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…