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Once More We Begin Again

I'm not superstitious, per se, but I do adore rituals and traditions. Introvert that I am, the new year excites me almost more than Christmas, because it means I get to set my little world in order and start afresh (in case you hadn't guessed, I am not attending a loud, sparkly, staying-up-late party this evening).

So I spent my day in a spree of cleaning and organizing and cooking (we're having lots of company over the weekend, Christmas remnants). I hung our new calendar (the last step of the cleaning phase), reorganized the mood board that hangs over my desk (a yearly tradition since I first got it when I was a teenager), and read the letter I wrote to myself at the end of last year. Later I'll write a letter for next year, once I've decided what I want to say (after all, there's a lot of weight in writing something that will be worth reading a whole year later).

It's been a big year, with a lot of change (really, though, can't that be said of almost every year?) - but the majority of it has stood out as good. There have been so many gifts - provision, reassurance, community, rest, growth, friendship, renewal... and I'm looking forward to whatever adventures the next year holds for us!

2273. An hour's chatting over tea with Cathy
2274. Tobin sweetly and contentedly playing while I inadvertently took a nap on the couch
2275. The amaryllis growing 18" in one week
2276. An exceptionally good very-early issue of Mary Jane's Farm, and time to read it
2277. An off day improving
2278. Going through a real estate flyer with Adam, circling houses we liked


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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…