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Some Things Old, Some Things New

Seven weeks old - almost two whole months! It doesn't seem like it should be almost August - it feels like summer just started yesterday, but all weekend there was a parade of students, parents, siblings and friends (accompanied by trailers and SUVs) marching up and down the steps of our building. In a college town, it's the new neighbors time of year --- and I'm hoping we don't get another 5am Blender User. :)

Brooklyn has gotten exponentially more aware. She likes to lay on her play mat and deliberately kick things (without looking at them), and she's begun to watch what I'm doing. We were at my parents' house one day last week and I was eating fresh kale chips; she reached for them, then emphatically spat out her pacifier, clasped her hands under her chin (that's how she indicates that she wants to eat), and opened her mouth expectantly. It was so cute and hopeful that I felt bad telling her she couldn't have kale chips until she has teeth. She's also started eyeing me disapprovingly when I take her picture.

As much as I love the Moby wrap, it's also presented me with somewhat of a fashion quandary. Too-loose tops bunch uncomfortably, collars and wide neck openings interact weirdly where the wrap crosses my shoulders, and heels and flipflops are out because I can't see my feet and I tend to trip on things. So lately it's been mostly tank tops and plain Tshirts (screen printing is lost under the bundle of baby, and even if it was visible no one can get past Brooklyn's adorability :) with cute shoes and an attempt at baby-friendly accessorizing to mix it up (the best baby-friendly accessory I've found was a pink silicone necklace from Terra Tots - she enjoys holding it, and it's nice to know that it's not going to hurt her, nor her it). I'm still working on a safe (for them) way to reincorporate knits.

There's been a cool breeze in the evenings of late that makes being outside a delight, and I spotted some Queen Anne's Lace on one of our walks a few days ago. While it's not my favorite flower, I still love them because one of my first memories is of the discovery that there was a carrot growing under it. It was when my family lived in Colorado, so I was about two - but the amazing concept of a vegetable disguised as a flower was sufficiently striking that it stuck. Not amazing enough to get me to eat it, but still pretty amazing.

My Mum (and Dad, too, but I spent more time around Mum) was good about sharing things like that with me. We grew things (to eat, or just for the prettiness of it), we went on walks and identified birds and picked up leaves to make rubbings of, we did lots of interesting art projects --- and that's something I want to do with Brooklyn. I found this book at Nightbird Books - about half of it jogged my memory (how could I have forgotten bubble printing?) and the rest is wonderfully new (flyswatter painting? yes, please!) I love art projects - they're good for hand/eye coordination, they're often also science, and above all else, it's an opportunity to create beauty.

The past week has been rather busy and hasn't presented many chances to create, but I did manage a cable repeat on Brooklyn's legwarmers and I'm nearly up to the waist on the linen tank top - hopefully it will be finished in time to wear it this season.

January has never struck me as a good time for change and resolutions - to me, end cap displays of school supplies and the hope of cooler weather to come has always brought the inspiration for a fresh start. New ideas, new habits, new goals --- my mental spring cleaning comes at the end of summer.


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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…