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What is it about a new year that makes it feel like a clean slate? I always saw it as a deceptive trick - after all, that thing I didn't complete on December 31st must still be finished, even if the last digit of the year has changed.

But moving, into a new apartment (with fresh potential for arranging and decorating and routine-making) and a new city (bigger and with a different culture than Fayetteville, and several hours away from friends and family that were within walking distance before), has provided a rare opportunity to truly start fresh.

And start simpler. A few years ago, I made a brief attempt to knit my way through Vogue Knitting's Stitch-a-Day calendar (I think I might have made it through January...) - this year's fiber art project is (I hope) more manageable: Knit the Sky. Using three shades of Koigu (for sky) and 3 shades of Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico (for clouds) I hope to knit one round each day that represents, with reasonable accuracy, the atmospheric conditions. It will force me to look out a window at least once a day, and I feel like it could become a soothing ritual. And, at the end of the year, I'll have a scarf - no assembly required!

While I don't plan to stop completely, I'm also hoping to shift my focus a little away from the knitting and onto a couple of other areas, instead - domestic pursuits being one of them. I want to organize and decorate our apartment, so that it's a haven for Adam to come home to; I'd love to dabble in crockpot dishes more, and in cooking in general (since I'll be cooking at least a couple of meals a day for Brooklyn and I soon); I'm also going to attempt a terrarium (I have a kit, but remain dubious). I'll document all of those adventures here. Hopefully the Macgyvering and mishaps that ensue will be entertaining, and encouraging, to both me and you. :)

Writing is going to be my other main focus. I'll have the privilege of joining a few other ladies in a weekly gratitude link-up (click those links - all of them! You need more good blogs to follow), and you're more than welcome to join in, as well! We'll be counting our way to 1000 gifts (that's just 2-3 a day, for a year) and highlighting ones that stand out. Since I've already started counting, I'm excited to continue with new motivation and encouragement, and I also feel like this ties nicely in with my other projects (after all, the sky changes every day, and I'm definitely going to need a fresh start every morning if this free spirit is going to become domesticated). That begins next Thursday, so for now I'll leave you with a renewed invitation to join in, either in the comments, on Facebook, on your own blog, or just in a personal journal (although it's wonderfully encouraging, for yourself and others, to share!), and my weekly list of gifts:

85. The way people give the gift of happiness and excitement this time of year (like proposals, and upcoming-baby announcements).
86. That (usually) only one of us at a time is cranky about moving, so the other one can help them.
87. The freedom to pause in the midst of packing stress and spend time visiting family.
88. The knowledge that people are praying for us.
89. Mail forwarding.
90. The grace and strength to keep getting up multiple times in the night, every night, for months, with Brooklyn.
91. Eucalyptus/spearmint bath salt.
92. The continued functionality of my laptop, even after all the "tough love" I've shown it.
93. Multiple image-capturing devices, to document where we've been and where we're going.
94. That River Pointe is willing to let us move in a little early (that's both before the beginning of a new month, and speeding up the application process).
95. Adam packing all of the horrible fiddly things so I could miserably have a sinus infection in peace (depite what it sounds like, that is such a gift).
96. My parents opening their (gluten free, dairy free) home to us for a few days as we transition.
97. Adam's thoughtfulness in suggesting that he move all of our things down a day early so that when Brooklyn and I arrived, everything would be there.
98. My dad's generosity in getting a moving truck and taking off work to help.
99. My brother-in-law's willingness to also help, and his wife's willingness to give him up for a whole day.
100! An enjoyable roadtrip with Brooklyn, to the tune of Tenth Avenue North.
101. Tenth Avenue North. I love their music, and without them, Brooklyn wouldn't be named Brooklyn (it's an interesting story, if you ever want to hear it).
102. A conveniently (perhaps too conveniently...) located Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
103. Another year spent with the ones I love.
104. Reinstitution of Brooklyn's schedule, leading to a better night's sleep.
105. An amazing dinner prepared by my talented husband in our new kitchen.
106. Adam's sweetness in unpacking and organizing as much as possible before he starts work, so I won't have to.
107. A nap (you have no idea - or maybe you do).
108. Bathtub[s!] that are long enough for me to fit in comfortably, knees and all.

Is there any renewal going on in your life right now? Will you join us in counting (and proclaiming!) His mercies?


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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…