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In the Quiet of the World

I've been rereading 7 this month, trying to write a few posts ahead for 31 Days in October (because the whole point of 7 is that it's a mutiny against excess, and worrying about trying to write a blog post every day while battling our spotty internet and attending to Brooklyn seems excessive to me), and I'm currently on the chapter about stress. It's gotten me thinking about Sabbath, and peace, and rest, and quiet.

(The square cube on top of my iced vanilla mocha is a handmade marshmallow - I savored nibbles between sips)

Part of what makes Autumn so appealing to me is its invitation to rest with walks outside and cups of tea and sitting socially around campfires. Inside and out alike become more congenial as warm sun lures you outside during the day and cool air makes blankets indoors a cozy evening prospect, and it feels like there's less noise in general.

It's also a knittier time of year - the concept of working with fuzzy fibers is more appealing, as is the idea of wearing the completed item. I finished up Beorn's Bees just in time for cooler weather - and my nerd heart is delighted by the chance to publish it today, on Bilbo's birthday, since it was inspired by his adventures in The Hobbit. I had a lot of fun with this design, despite it being a huge experiment in knitting physics (I was nervous as I bound off, wondering if it would work) but I'm looking forward to consistently cooler days so I can wear it (it was a little warm for it the day of our photoshoot).

Also today is Adam's birthday. We spent the weekend in Fayetteville, celebrating with family, and enjoying the opportunity to spend an afternoon at the park reading, talking, walking, and sipping coffee together while Brooklyn ignored my parents in favor of carrying things around their living room (which is her current favorite activity).

A season of comfort deserves cozy food. I've been dabbling with baked layers lately, and my current favorite is this gluten-free Layered Pasta Bake.

Prepare one package of the pasta of your choice (I used Kroger's store brand gluten-free penne). While your pasta is cooking, brown 1 pound of ground meat (I used lamb this time - I've also used beef. Use sliced portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian version. Whatever floats your boat). Drain meat, and drain pasta then immediately toss pasta with about 6 ounces of spinach, until it wilts. In a couple of loaf pans (or equivalent) layer pasta/spinach mixture, ground meat, pasta sauce of choice (I used Classico because it's gluten-free and we like all of their different flavors), and spoonfuls of ricotta cheese - repeat, then top the whole thing with shredded mozzarella and bake on 350 for 20 minutes. It's great fresh, and also reheats really well (especially in a toaster oven).

Things are slowing down and speeding up at the same time - I'm looking forward to 31 Days and Socktober next month (it still counts as Socktober if I design something using sock yarn that isn't socks, right?), and our third anniversary on the first (yay!) but also pausing to enjoy the now.

How do you find the balance between busyness and rest?


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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…