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52 Lists: your accomplishments

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

Right. So, anything I've ever done that might be classified as an "accomplishment" was only done because others helped me. I cannot in good conscience list off those things without recognizing the people behind them, so here's my Oscar speech...

A list of my accomplishments knitters (and muggles) I'd like to thank...

...all the knitters of Hand Held, who welcomed and taught (and employed) me so graciously
...the Fayetteville Public Library, who permitted a teen knitting club to continue despite the fact that very few people came (but it meant so much to those few)
...Shannon Okey, who took two interns instead of one, writes amazing letters of recommendation, and continues to encourage
...the editors and staff at SOHO Publishing, who hired the least qualified applicant (in my opinion) and then made sure I got to experience all sorts of wonderful things outside my job description parents, who encouraged me to pursue a crazy dream
...the yarn rep who let me ride with her to a the fiber arts trade show
...and the show organizer who put me up on her couch and fed me pizza once we got there, despite never having seen me before Bear, for squishing yarn, listening to monologues, enduring big projects with tight deadlines, taking great pictures, and enthusiastically making new acquaintances think that what I do is a lot cooler than it probably really is
...those who have invited me to teach them how to knit, through the process teaching me
...and my ever-patient Littles, who comment on the beauty of yarn, search for dropped stitches, and make excellent tiny models

There are others - not forgotten, but unlisted for the sake of brevity. And that's just the knitting stuff - there are so many people who have played a huge role in my life! No matter how independent we try or want to be or think we are, everything we've done we owe to others, directly or indirectly.


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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…