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There's a horrifying hole that some of us are prone to falling into, and I call it The Beige Trap. It starts out innocently enough - let's have a clean palate and make all background items (walls, carpets, staple clothing...) neutral, then accent with color! Some people can safely stop there, moving forward brilliantly. For others, it's the beginning of a slippery slope that ends in an existence entirely filled with neutral colors that never makes the leap into vibrancy. {Note the safe white wicker bench acting as a backdrop.}

I've fallen into it, myself - I can't control the background of my home, since we're apartment-dwellers, but all of my staple clothing is grey/black. I started off with the good intention of accessorizing with greens and blues and oranges and purples... but then I drew the line between "background" and "accessory" a little too far into the latter's territory. {Those colorful accessories are way too small in comparison to how much black is in that shirt...}

What drew my attention to this was a series of photos I took, documenting a particular day. There was nothing special about it, but each one was filled with at least half a rainbow of saturated color - and I noticed how happy that made me. It's hard to live a vibrant life when you're surrounded by drab tones - I think that's part of what makes winter so oppressive at times.

I love color. Color is what inspires me, especially in yarn - the first time I walked into Purl Soho in New York and saw their tall shelves filled with luscious yarns, all neatly arranged in rainbow order, a handful of design concepts leapt on me without previous thought or invitation. I gulped to hide the fact that I'd started drooling like a dog with a treat on his nose. I finally came back to earth for long enough to realize that my lunch break was almost over and floated to the register with an armful of Alchemy (make it stop) in a color called Dragon (seriously) that was a couple of different mossy and yellowy greens artfully swirled together with a few splattered flecks of deep red (I can't even), and told the hapless shop employee that if I was a yarn, that is the yarn I would be.

We are surrounded by so many hues and shades - human skin tones, the way sky is never quite the same shade of blue from day to day (or even from hour to hour), not to mention all the minerals and plants and animals (did you know that alpacas used to also come in purple, green, and pink, besides the earthier hues, until European conquistadors decided to eradicate the South American natives' staple animals and started with the most visible?)... I mean, God chose to create a rainbow to remind us of a promise He made. Our Creator is creative, and uses a wildly varied palate.

So when I needed a gender-neutral yarn for a project, I went bold instead of beige. I'm currently sipping tea out of a cheerful yellow mug, that sits on my desk between sips next to a boldly patterned knitting bag. And I got out a few of my brighter accessories and resolved to actually start wearing them (my Bahama blue knit scarf totally goes with the mustard yellow coat I succumbed to in a moment of weakness!)

2147. A close parking spot, which made ferrying children and groceries through the rain easier
2148. Whole Foods' little coffee shop, and a soy chai
2149. Adam leaving a package of microfiber cloths in my car - perfect for drying off a cart


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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…