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It is a tragic fact that we become complacent far too easily. A few weeks ago, we were faced with a potential decision that sent us into a flurry of discussion and prayer and introspection. The decision was ultimately made for us, and in the wake of it we realized that we should have been doing all of that talking and praying and thinking all along, not just in a moment of perceived crisis.

One message that came through clearly to us was wherever you are, be all there. I will admit to having failed at that lately - we moved here and I sort of started trying to get settled and then quickly gave up, citing a toddler and a baby as reasons against fully engaging with our church and with local businesses.

But when we went to the paleo food truck on Saturday morning for breakfast, she remembered my name (there's one place we've definitely frequented, despite the occasional inconvenience) - and when we got cookies at Dempsey Bakery after a library trip a few weeks ago, Paula, the owner, told me about a new knitting store that had just opened at the beginning of the month (she knits - I don't remember how I found that out initially, but we generally talk about knitting when I go and she's there).

So, in the spirit of adventure, exploration, and being "all there," we braved the rain one day last week to visit Yarn Kandy. It is delightful. Some shops are so poked full that you can't even appreciate what's there - some are too big, or too small - some consider crocheting a task fit only for those who are mentally incapable of knitting - some assume that if you're younger than they are, you must be inferior in skill - and then some places are everything I would want a knit shop to be.

I've found a few like that, in all the shops I've been in... I love Hand Held, the shop I worked at in Fayetteville, and still visit whenever I have a chance - and it's largely shaped my views on what a knit shop should be (along with Purl Soho and Brooklyn General). Yarn Kandy met and exceeded my expectations.

Kandy (the adorable owner) sweetly invited me in, ascertained if I was a knitter, crocheter, or both, explained the layout of the shop, and continued to maintain friendly (but not pushy) conversation while I browsed. She learned to knit when she was eight, but really embraced it when her father died in 2001 - she was looking for something to ground her, and hasn't put it down since (except when she learned to spin a few years ago). She has a retail and business background, so after talking to another knit shop owner and accompanying her to Market last May, she dove in.

And I'm so glad that she did! Her shop is one of the smaller ones that I've seen, but she's used the space very well - a good selection of yarns, needles, notions, and even some spinning supplies. There's a table in the middle of the room surrounded by comfy chairs, most of which have been occupied by happily chatting knitters every time I've been in (yes, I've gone there more than once in the past seven days).

She has a yarn line from Ewe Ewe (which I'd never seen before) that I loved - Wooly Worsted is machine washable merino in 20 different colors, so I got a few balls to knit a skirt for Brooklyn. I finished it the next day (here's Norma Louise, named after my great-grandmother, if you know a tiny person that needs a tiny skirt), and went back for more to supplement the leftovers. Now I have a pair of pants on the needles for Tobin.

I miss my knitting tribe in Fayetteville. And while I've loved meeting (and creating) knitters at church, I think I'll also be frequenting Yarn Kandy on a regular basis. As much as I enjoy spending time with people who have different interests and viewpoints than I do, sometimes it's nice to gather with my own particular subculture, and speak my language without having to translate.

Beautiful dwelling is pursuing your passions and the people who share them.


kandy said…
Thank you so much Sarah Jo!
Trish King said…
You are my knitting teacher. I am so thankful for having you in my life every single day. You taught me to use my colorful imagination to make amazing, wonderful, beautiful, useful items with string and needles. Along with the instruction, I also gained amazing friendships that have changed my entire life for good. I also have found my own tribe to share time with. Thank you so much for changing my life!!! I love you!!

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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:

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