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Raveling {Everyday Beautiful}

part three of three

More knitting. But really, it's such an exemplary example of community done right! So, I've talked about knitters gathering, and the legacy of knitting - today, knitting across the miles. There's a spectacular community for fiber folk called Ravelry (imagine Facebook, for knitters, without all the hateful comments), and it's made a tremendous impact on me.

Groups (for every interest: tea-drinkers, journalers, 20-somethings, and Harry Potter fans are a few I've been a part of) and knit-alongs (a group of people working on the same project simultaneously) on Ravelry have gotten me through dark and otherwise friendless times, knowing that I had a place to take my questions (knitting related or not) where I would be welcomed and encouraged.

Knit-alongs are one of my favorite group knitting activities, and they're made so much easier by a digital age - I can knit along with ladies from my local shop, with a group of knitters from all over the world through Ravelry, or just tackle a new technique with an out-of-state friend and text each other project update photos, advice, and encouragement.

With Adam leaving on deployment next week, I found myself on Ravelry, updating my current projects, filling in details and missing photos, and checking in with groups I haven't had time to interact with in a long time - and realizing how much I've missed this beautiful community of makers and carers and givers and sharers.

This post is day 29 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here.


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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
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Graffiti for Humanity
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World Changers

A couple of months ago, someone texted to ask if we had any "extra" books that we'd like to donate for the kids of a homeless family that our church was temporarily housing. We read all of our picture books regularly (sometimes multiple times a day) so I asked Brooklyn, who is almost five, if she wanted to go to the bookstore and buy some books, explaining who they were for (because I am in full support of kids having books, just perhaps not at the involuntary expense of my own kids - I have a thing against voluntelling them to do nice things).
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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.

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