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Art for Art's Sake

This is going to be a pretty knitty post, but this was a fairly consuming project and it was also a fascinating experience...

Last Tuesday I bought 17 yards of fleece (if that sounds like a weird amount, it was the sum total of all they had at the two nearest Hobby Lobbys)...

...spent 5 hours cutting it into 3" strips using a rotary cutter I had borrowed from a quilting friend (because the cutter and guide were not designed for cutting a double layer of fleece, I had to kneel on the guide with one knee while pushing my full weight onto the blade in my right hand - thankfully, it never slipped and I still have all of the fingers and toes that I started with)...

...pushed through about 4 hours of very tedious linking together (fold end, snip, fold end, snip, pull through, repeat)...

...then embraced the extremely tactile experience of arm knitting it into a giant blanket. That part took about 2 hours, although I kept having to stop because my arms were cramping, so the actual knitting didn't take quite all of that. They were also flushed once I finished, from the constant motion of stitches being pushed up and pulled back down. I crammed on 30 stitches, the absolute limit for the length of my arm, and it ended up being the perfect size. At some point - like, in several years - I might like to make one for myself.

Because this one was not for me. I'm increasingly interested in knitting as an art form - it's practically impossible to place a monetary value on something that so much time, energy, financial investment, and heart went into, and even writing out the pattern takes a little of the joy out of it. But I adore artistic exchange - Morgan (find her and her amazing artwork here) now has a blanket she couldn't have knitted, and I have a picture I couldn't have painted.

Because the blanket was not portable (understatement) and I like to have a project to tote around, I've been making "house scarf hats" - that is, following the colors and sequencing of the house scarves in Harry Potter, but because I have no interest at this time in making a full length scarf, I made them 8 inches deep and seamed across the tops. It was a refreshing interlude between the manual labor of the Epic Blanket.

As always, I've immediately moved on to new projects - and while it may be a long time (if ever) before I make another blanket like that, I'm still grateful to have had the experience of doing it.


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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…