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52 Lists: your favorite quotes

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.

A list of my favorite quotes

This was not thought out in advance, so these are the first that came to mind, with a little editing, because I could have happily just put 20 Tolkien/Sherlock Holmes quotes

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.
Coco Chanel

You will never find a book long enough, or a cup of tea big enough, to suit me.
CS Lewis

Above all shadows rides the sun
and stars forever dwell
I will not say the day is done
nor bid the stars farewell.
JRR Tolkien

You cannot wait for inspiration - you have to go after it with a club.
Jack London

Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the song without the words
and never stops - at all.
Emily Dickinson

If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Live in the sunshine
swim in the sea
drink the wild air
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like: design is how it works.
Steve Jobs

To affect the quality of the day;
that is the highest of arts.
Henry David Thoreau

When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.
Desiderius Erasmus

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it
Rudyard Kipling

Knit on, with confidence, through all crises.
Elizabeth Zimmerman

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.

The road goes ever on and on
down from the door where it began
now far ahead the road has gone
and I must follow, if I can.
JRR Tolkien

You take the measure of a man by two things: what's said, and what's done.
from Beowulf


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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…