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Unraveling Love Out Loud

Thanks to an overseas deployment, as the one left to keep the home fires burning I spent the greater part of this year and part of last solo with two kids under 4. "Solo" isn't entirely accurate - I might have been the only one at home making primary decisions, but I had so much help and support that I am so grateful for.

One person committed to putting my Littles to bed one Tuesday a month so that I could go to a yoga class. We were invited to dinner by people who were willing to cook around our dietary restrictions. A rotation of volunteers kept our yard mowed. People showed up when the car needed to be dropped off at the shop for new wheel bearings, when the truck battery died, when a dead tree became a hazard, when the garbage disposal broke, when the heater wouldn't stay on and we were all bunched around a space heater in a back bedroom - even when Brooklyn and Tobin both got a tummy bug and I was trying desperately to take care of them while not getting it myself.

There were so many people to thank, and just "thank you" seemed so insufficient, so I sat down to knit. I won three balls of yarn in a yarn crawl drawing, and made them into Love Out Loud gloves, to warm giving hands as they had warmed my heart.

It was a small offering in the face of such tremendous generosity, but if you'd like to make a pair yourself, head here and enter code write31days to get the pattern for free through the end of the month - and check back tomorrow for the story behind Refuge!

This is day eight of my series 31 Days of Unraveling Designs - check here for intro and post list!


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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…