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The End It Project: Slavery Footprint {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head here. Because it's the 27th, a day that I spend each month focusing on the 27 million slaves in our world, today's 7 topic is clothing and possessions.

Because I've been targeting slave-made products for the past while (and because clothing and possessions aren't areas of excess in our lives, at least compared to other areas, so I'm spending less time on them this month), I thought this would be a great opportunity to highlight Made in a Free World.

They're a group whose goal is to empower people (from individuals to corporations) with innovative solutions that will ultimately end the system of slavery. Among other things, they have a wonderful online tool that allows you to calculate your "slavery footprint" - that is, the number of slaves who worked to make the things that you currently own. It's an eye-opening exercise, if for no other reason than that, in order to get an accurate count, you have to dig through your fridge and bathroom cabinets and closet and take inventory - you may think that you don't have much, but I was honestly shocked at how many Tshirts and pieces of jewelry I have (since I only wear the same 5 pieces over and over, I should probably look into finding someone who would use and appreciate the rest). They don't give you a higher number than you deserve - in each category, you're given the opportunity to fine-tune. That also provides some eye-opening information (like, raspberries being a potential problem or how many hours soccer ball makers usually work consecutively), and they've put a lot of thought into the process of determining an individual's footprint.

So little of what we use and own is made by ourselves from raw materials - even if you cook your own food, the ingredients had to come from somewhere. If you sew your own clothes, the fabric had to be made by someone. As a knitter, I recognize that the yarn, needles, and other notions that I use are globally sourced. But that's not a reason to not try to make globally-minded ethical decisions --- that's a reason to try harder, because it is harder. Our little family's possessions were provided by the efforts of about 27 slaves - it's my hope and prayer that this month's efforts will ultimately have a global impact, as well as a lasting personal one.

I encourage you to visit MIAFW's website and take their Slavery Footprint Survey - then prayerfully consider the result, not with guilt or shame, but with the intention of moving on from the present into a brighter future.


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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…