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There's a tension in my neck that's been building for days. It starts in my shoulder and creeps up toward my ear, and every so often it twists a little tighter and clouds my mind a little more. Even though this happens periodically, it's so insidious that it always take me a little while to identify the cause.

First I examine the physical. Am I tired? hungry? experiencing caffeine withdrawal? (Yes, I have an addiction, no, I don't have a problem with that fact.) Do I need fresh air? How long has it been since I took a shower, just standing there and letting the hot water wash over me?

Then, I question my emotions. Am I anxious about anything? neglecting my quiet time? lonely? Have I knitted today? (While knitting brings me joy, its absence is usually indicative of a deeper problem, more than a problem in itself.) And with that last question, I draw closer to the root.

Because when I'm enveloped in a lethargy, not only of body, but also of mind - when I forget everything I try to remember, and wonder why I'm getting out of bed in the morning - when I am consumed with consuming, and haven't spotted a creative tiger to catch by the tail for days --- then I slowly realize, through the haze, that I've been neglecting the passion that keeps my fires burning, and I'm about to go out.

So I open a blank page - crisp and smooth and lined, or a white box with a blinking cursor - and I write.

You don't have anything to write about my inner dialogue scolds. But I have to write I reply. And so I do. And with every stroke of the pen or click of the keys, the tension releases a little more. And I begin to remember the forgotten things - the joy of adventure, the wonder of beauty, and the way I was made; a wordsmith with a writer's cramp that can only be gotten rid of by working through it.

2696. No one being hurt by a dropped mug
2697. Walking to the library
2698. A storm blowing in to clear my head as I cleared the kitchen
2699. Finding the perfect paint color for an accent wall
2700! The paint guys' kind words and thoughtfulness
2701. Free queso


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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…