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52 Lists: moments that have shaped you

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 difficult moments in my past that have shaped me for the better

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved stories. She loved to read stories, and to make them up herself. Sometimes she wrote them down, but most of the time she just told them to herself. There were two that she especially liked; one about time traveling, and one about a spy.

The stories became her friends. She told them to herself so often that she would skip over the boring sections to get to her favorite parts. Sometimes she would be drawn to a certain chapter for weeks, telling it over and over and fine tuning it until it felt like it was what it was meant to be.

Even as she got older, she still told herself the stories, usually as she was falling asleep at night. Sometimes she told herself that it was silly and she should stop, but she never did.

Then one day one of the stories came true. And she realized that they weren't stories about time traveling or spies, but they were a way of keeping her dreams and ideals safe. That she had been taking little pieces of herself and tucking them away into the stories so they could keep living, unable to throw them away.

So she became the girl in her stories - and after awhile she realized that she didn't need the stories any more, because she was living them, instead.

Yet another unlistable list. I can't exactly quantify the moments that have shaped me, although I can reference specific chapters in my stories that mark those moments. But one long moment that I can point to is this deployment - it's given me the space to unpack all my mental boxes and really examine them. Without it, I might have kept telling the stories, instead of becoming them.


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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…