Walk for happiness...

by Christina

First, my apologies that I missed blogging last week. I had just returned from a week-end in Rhode Island that was incredibly inspiring...so much that I was stumped and all coherent thoughts worthy of writing escaped me. I finally found a way to put pen to paper but first you need a little background information.

Last May, I received a grant for a 2-week residency program on Martha's Vineyard to focus on developing "The Healthy Knitter." The name of the residency is Turkeyland Cove Foundation; I highly recommend applying if you have a creative dream that you wish to pursue. I tell you all of this because the trip to Rhode Island was a reunion of sorts. Almost all of the 100 women that have received grants to attend the residency program came together to meet one another, to connect and get reinvigorated to carry on our creative works. When you get that many individuals together that are all working in some way to make the world a better place, it can be inspiring beyond belief but also a little overwhelming. So, I didn't write and instead contemplated how I should begin because there were some people I'd like you to meet.

Today, I introduce you to a woman named Paula Francis, a woman that radiates with compassion, peace and happiness. I'd heard of this woman last summer and finally had the opportunity to meet her during the reunion weekend.

Paula is walking around the United States in the name of happiness known as the "Happiness Walk." Her travels were inspired by Peace Pilgrim, a woman that gave up everything (even her name) to raise awareness of and to spread peace. Paula is doing the same thing...walking with just a small pack of clothes and spending the night with people that host her along the way yet there's a twist. She's interviewing folks to find out what makes them happy and what matters most in their lives.  The mission of the Gross National Happiness non-profit organization is to "increase personal happiness and our collective wellbeing by changing how we measure progress and success." The data she collects from her interviews will be transcribed, analyzed and then provided to policy makers as evidence of the values that need to be at the forefront of policy making.

In the past few years, Paula has walked almost 4500 miles in the name of happiness. From June to November she'll be walking up the West Coast beginning in Santa Monica and ending in the Seattle area.

Paula's Happiness Walk Route. The red path denotes the miles she's walked thus far, the blue is what's yet to come. 

Paula's Happiness Walk Route. The red path denotes the miles she's walked thus far, the blue is what's yet to come. 

Meeting Paula was truly an honor and when she showed me an image of the word "Coddiwomple" on her phone I felt it was destiny to have met her. I thought to myself
"not only is this woman all about peace and walking but she knows what coddiwomple means."  To have such strength, trust and commitment in self and others is truly beyond inspiring.  

From the map above, it appears that next summer Paula will be walking through Idaho and since that's where I typically spend my summers I might just see if I can join her. In the name of happiness and peace...

I just have to point out that I'm wearing a Project Peace cowl (Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Camper)

I just have to point out that I'm wearing a Project Peace cowl (Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Camper)


I'm pleased to report that the next shipment of Project Peace bags arrived on my doorstep last week. On Friday, I dropped them off at the screen printers. Supposedly it will take 2 weeks but fingers crossed they are done sooner than that. For those of you on the waitlist, I'll be emailing you to let you know they've arrived and to provide further instructions. Hopefully, there will be enough to go around this time with 165 in this batch. My mother has been very busy!

We are half way through Coddiwomple with lots of walking and knitting taking place. It's never too late to start if you are interested in receiving some walking encouragement from now until the end of April. Simply purchase the pattern for coddiwomple on Ravelry here. You'll receive the pattern for a mystery project and daily tips to inspire more walking. 

Mindful Monday

Paula's inspiration and motivation for a better world reminds us that no dream is too big. All it takes it's a dose of courage and simply putting one foot in front of the other. This is the way to discovering happiness....one step at a time.

 What's your dream? What have you wanted to accomplish but always thought "naaah, can't do that because..." What if you said, "yes, I can do that and this is how...." Dream big. Paula shows us it's possible. 

Health and peace...

by Christina

It's a seriously grey day here in Iowa...for weeks, we've been having those kind of days. While many find these days drab and dreary, I find them rejuvenating and comforting. The type of day that says "curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and some knitting" but yet also "go for a walk and be empowered."

Spring is here, not the upside of spring with sun and full blooms but the aspect of spring where the work is getting done. Things are growing underneath the soil ready to break through the ground or the leaves that are ever-so slowly bursting out of their shell and ready to uncoil.

Each time I go for a walk whether it be an intentional one or for transportation, I'm looking for signs of spring. I was delighted today to see some color! Albeit lichen and moss growing on a tree.

But then I found evidence of spring flowers to go with our showers...

Today marks the beginning of Coddiwomple, a mystery knit-along and walk-along. It's a pattern for sale on Ravelry that includes the knitting instructions for a wrap/scarf as well as daily emails from me with some encouragement to walk during the month of April. Even if you don't need any more knitting projects, you might just want a little motivation to get walking. It's been a long winter for many of us (or for those of you trying to maintain your summer enthusiasm as you head into winter) and getting moving again can be challenging.

If you've signed up GREAT! If you haven't signed up, consider doing so as a gift to yourself, a gift of health and peace. You might also consider "gifting" it to a fellow knitting friend. Then you can walk together whether you live in the same town or chat on the phone with one another while walking regardless of the miles in between. Alternatively, you could meet at your LYS and walk before you knit...or after you knit. Don't forget you can join the Healthy Knitter group on Ravelry and follow/participate in the "Coddiwomple walking" thread. So many ways to support one another with our walking goals and remember we are a "kindness of knitters."


Just 1 update...my mum, aka "grey grandmother" is making progress on the next round of bags. They should be arriving in Iowa at the end of this week, then off to the screen printers. I'm busy making tags and working on envelopes. I hope by now everyone has received their order from the first round of bags yet I'm suspecting that the international orders might still be in transit.

Mindful Monday Tip #14

Your health is one component of peace. That's not to say that you have to be the perfect specimen of health to have peace. No, not at all. But if you are engaging in healthful practices it may be easier to find peace in your day.

What does health look like? What does it feel like? There are so many ways to answer these questions. Feel free to comment.

So today, let's go for a walk. Make this your mantra...each day upon rising say to yourself "Today, let's go for a walk." It's the mantra that never expires! I love this song but if we continually wait for the perfect conditions we might just always be waiting for tomorrow.

May you have a week filled with lots of stitches and steps...


by Christina

Sometimes you just have to put your head down and get the job done. I'm sure there is a quote out there to capture that feeling but nothing is coming to mind. I digress...I have news!

Announcing Coddiwomple, a mystery knit-along and WALK-along and if you purchase the pattern now through April 2, it's automatically 20% off. No coupon code needed. Once we begin on Monday April 3rd, the pattern will be full price.

When you purchase the pattern now, you'll receive the specifics regarding the project and walk-along. The actual knit-along and walk-along begins April 3rd. On that day, you'll receive the first knitting clue. The subsequent clues will be delivered to you via Ravelry on the following Sunday evenings in April with a final wrap-up on April 30. 

A word about walk-alongs. Most people know what a mystery knit-along is...you don't know all the details on what you're knitting so it's a surprise (aka mystery). But a walk-along is a term that I created to compliment the knit-along. This will be the 4th Healthy Knitter walk-along and I try to do something different each time. For the new special twist, when you purchase the pattern, your name will be added to a private email list. You'll receive an email from me daily from April 3-30 to inspire, motivate and encourage you to accomplish your walking goal(s). Opting out is fine if you just don't want one more email in your inbox. These will be simple tips (much shorter than Project Peace) and might just include a recipe or two.

April can be a challenging month to get out there and walk due to crazy weather. Committing to the walk-along is a great way to remain engaged even when you'd rather stay inside or forgo that walk.

Now, if you find yourself saying this "I just can't take on one more knitting project" and deciding this isn't for you, think about this for a moment. The "pattern" is $5.20 (while on sale). That's approximately 20 cents per day...even if you don't want to knit right now, you can receive daily encouragement. What else can you buy for 20 cents a day? What other support will you find to aide you in walking that costs less? Make a commitment to you and let's get walking (and knitting).

Now, what does Coddiwomple mean? That's part of the mystery but refrain from looking it up. Trust in the process and enjoy the final product.

coddiwomple chevron_500.jpg


It's been almost a week since the project bags were mailed. I've heard from a few people and treasure your amazing feedback. Thank you for all the kind words about my mum's sewing skills...she is truly amazing and does incredible work. She's over 25% of the way through the next batch so if you are on the wait-list, please know there is progress. I didn't reply to everyone that sent me an email for the wait-list but will do so when they are ready.

Soon, I'll be updating the online shop with a few additional items including Project Peace wooden rulers and peace buttons, custom made by Katrinkles. I didn't order very many because I wanted to see what the level of interest might be. I'll announce the update so you can be ready if you are interested. From there, I'll find out if that's something to re-stock.

Mindful Monday Tip #13

Well, this one will be sad and is a bit deep. Today we said good-bye to our amazing dog. His name was Dutch, a Bernese Mountain dog. He was only 7.5 years old but that's actually old for that breed. It's been rough. We were blessed to have an amazing dog that treated us so well. We were fortunate to have a couple of weeks with him to say good-bye but that final day, today has been a heart-breaker.

As you step into this new week, do you have someone that you should rekindle a relationship with? Do you have fences to mend? Life is too short...

I hope you'll join me for Coddiwomple...

May your body be as active as your needles!