Project Peace 2018...

by Christina

Peace... this we choose each day.
— Anonymous
 Be a seed… nourish and grow! Pattern details release on 11/15 on  Ravelry!

Be a seed… nourish and grow! Pattern details release on 11/15 on Ravelry!

It’s hard to believe that Project Peace begins in 3 weeks. It’s no secret, this year has been a challenge for me and I’ve been quiet on the blog as a result. Each time I think I’m ready to reconnect with all of you with consistency I find myself needing more time alone. I’m grateful for your support, patience, kindness and understanding. This year, I’ve been reminded so many times of all the wonderful people there are in the world.

Some of you are new to the blog so let me briefly share some history about Project Peace. For a brief review, read this post published by Interweave or feel free to peruse posts from previous years.

Project Peace began as a simple idea over coffee with a friend in the fall of 2015. I mentioned “what if I could get 1000 knitters around the world to knit on the same pattern at the same time in the name of peace?” I chuckled and said “if I was successful, it would be my version of world peace.” Never did I imagine what would happen. By the end of December in 2016, there were over 20,000 downloads for the free Project Peace pattern. It was a challenging time for many and the focus on peace during those dark days provided a glimmer of hope. To create a larger impact, in 2017, I charged a nominal fee for the pattern and donated proceeds to non-profit organizations that are working towards a healthy, peaceful future.

Project Peace is about choosing peace in one’s daily life. Since those initial days of Project Peace, I’ve learned A LOT about peace, what it means and how much more I need to learn. I’ve a better understanding that it’s a loaded word with many preconceived ideas that may or may not be appropriate. We’ve used this word so casually over the years that for many the true meaning has been lost. BUT the impetus for Project Peace was to remind people that peace is a choice. It’s not something that will someday be given to us… for free, without work. Peace is built from the bottom-up and that’s us.

During the month of December, I provide suggestions on the blog that can be incorporated into your daily life that might help bring a little peace to your day. I do this through the act of knitting, using knitting as a metaphor, creating commu[k]nity, introducing you to others that represent some element of peace… the list goes on.

Project Peace is not focused on any specific religion, faith, political party or agenda. I intentionally work to make Project Peace inclusive to all people…. My goal is to create a global knitting commu[k]nity that is inclusive and without borders.

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I’m so excited about this year’s project as I’ve worked over the past 4 months to create a pattern that promotes intentional and mindful knitting…. Oh gosh, I just can’t wait. The theme this year is “Seeds of Peace.” This idea came to me last year during Project Peace 2017 and I knew I wanted to design a cowl that would capture this concept. It is my hope that “seeds of peace” will remind each one of us to be seeds that with nourishment will grow to positively impact others. We’ll chat more on this later.

This year’s pattern proceeds will be used to support two non-profit organizations, Seeds of Peace, a summer camp in Maine that hosts kids from North America, Africa, and the Middle East to develop healthy communication skills. The other group is called Gardens for Health, three women teaching others in Rwanda how to cultivate food to prevent malnutrition. So, let’s help spread peace through our seeds….

Last year, people asked me how they could donate more. In addition to the Project Peace 2018 pattern there will also be an opportunity to purchase an ebook with forthcoming patterns. There will be 5 patterns in the ebook that are related to “seeds of peace” including patterns for fingerless mitts, a hat, and 2 other cowl patterns. There will also be an updated version of the Project Peace 2018 pattern for other weights of yarn; this will be released at the end of December. One pattern will be released during Project Peace and the others will be published on Ravelry in January/early February. Profits from the ebook will also be used to support this year’s organizations. It’s a win-win… more peaceful knits for you that extend into the New Year and more funds to help others working towards creating a peaceful world.

I need your help… please be a seed…

It’s up to us to spread peace around the world… peace begins with us. There are over 3000 people subscribed to this blog… if each one of us, encourages 1 other person to knit for peace, that would be 6000 people, and if that person asked one other person then that’s 12,000…that’s a lot of seeds being planted for peace. Just think… we have the power to engage others in cultivating peace in our world.

·        Can I ask that each one of you please encourage one other person to knit for peace?

·        To encourage one other person to subscribe to this blog?

·        Ask each one of those people to do the same thing?

An action you can do right now:

Now, here’s a really easy thing to do… go to the Healthy Knitter Ravelry group, join the group. Then, go to the thread for the global map. We’ve had some issues with the map this year, so we’ve created a solution that makes this very easy for you. All you have to do is leave a note with your location and we’ll get you added. How many people can we get to place a pin on the map? If you notice your location is already been pinned by someone else, please make sure you are added as well…

  • What state in the US can have the most representation?

  • What country outside of the US can have the most pins?

  • Which continent can be covered?

  Global map of knitters  for peace… add your location! Let’s cover the world with peaceful knitters.

Global map of knitters for peace… add your location! Let’s cover the world with peaceful knitters.

The pattern details for Project Peace 2018 will be published on November 15 on Ravelry. At that time, you can purchase the details for the single pattern. The pattern instructions will be released on December 1. You’ll also have the option to purchase the ebook (patterns to be released during December, January and February).

All of the following actions, help increase the visibility of Project Peace on Ravelry. On November 15, do the following:

  • Like (or “fav”) the pattern on Ravelry

  • Place the pattern in your queue on Ravelry

  • Create a project page on Ravelry

Are you ready? Ready to focus on peace… yes, it’s a busy time but isn’t that the point? We have to make time for peace. If we wait for the right time, we may wait too long. It’s up to us to choose peace. Please continue to join me on this adventure… it’s become my mission… how about you?

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In the coming days, I’ll be popping into your inbox with some additional opportunities. There will be bags again this year plus a few other new items. I’m excited to share.

Please share how you will actively work to engage other knitters in an opportunity to cultivate a culture of peace in our lives! I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis.
— Elizabeth Zimmerman

The seasonal shift...

by Christina

Hellooooooo... welcome back or is it I that has returned? 

I've been away.

I've been quiet.

I've been recovering. 

I've been surviving then thriving and then back to surviving. It's a long road...

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In all honesty, I write a blog post in my head to all of you almost every day. While I walk, I think (and think and think and think) and it turns into what seems like a wonderful blog post. Then I return home and "poof" the urgency to write has vaporized. 

My father's unexpected passing in December uprooted my world and has caused such sadness. So many people have been over the top kind during this time and for that I'm truly grateful. But the pain is real as many of you know. Over the summer I allowed myself to focus on family and projects that felt right in the moment. There was lots of knitting and very little designing as I just wanted to knit, knit, and knit. I've traveled to remote places that may be of interest to you and I'll share more about these trips as we journey through the fall.... together. 

 From the top, Ramona Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith, the Islands Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hogue, and Tecumseh by Caitlin Boyd. 

From the top, Ramona Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith, the Islands Cardigan by Carrie Bostick Hogue, and Tecumseh by Caitlin Boyd. 

And here we are in the last unofficial week of summer (in the US) marked by the upcoming  Labor Day weekend. Although the earth has almost another month of summer in the Northern Hemisphere with the first official day of fall on September 22, we are in the midst of a seasonal shift. The leaves in central Iowa have tinges of lighter green and yellow, the corn is drying, the acorns are falling from the sky, and the native grasses are growing taller and taller. Harvest is right around the corner, soccer in full swing, crisp apples and the need to wear warmer clothes... but not quite yet as it's 90 degrees outside, muggy, and a thunderstorm is brewing. 

 Anaashah sweater by Jenn Steingass.

Anaashah sweater by Jenn Steingass.

So for today, I only pop into your inbox to let you know that you are on my mind and to share a few key dates for the fall. I've been making plans for Project Peace 2018 for months and I'm eager to focus on cultivating peace for 21 days in December. There will be a few extra items to add to this calendar but I wanted to make sure you mark these dates.

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I will return soon to tell you more about Project Peace 2018. I will share that I am over the moon excited about the design(s). Yes, you read that right... there's more than one option this year because we all know there's more than one road to peace. And please remember that the only way we continue to make this initiative grow is to tell everyone you know... your friends, family, knitting groups, guilds, local yarn stores.... we can spread peace, one stitch at a time. 

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I know that I need to finish up a few loose ends from the spring. I need to announce a winner from our spring walk-along. It's on my list.

And finally, I want to share that if anyone is seeking a movie recommendation I found one that is a must. It's called "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and can be watched on Netflix. Best movie I've seen in a long time... 

Until next time... and that will be soon.

Knit one, walk two, and peace always...

Earth Day... celebrate with a new pattern, Bee Kind

by Christina

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.
— Chief Seattle
  Bee Kind  available on Ravelry now (coupon code below)

Bee Kind available on Ravelry now (coupon code below)

On this very special day, Earth Day, I'm so excited to finally publish this pattern, Bee Kind. I wrote this pattern 2 years ago while spending 2 weeks in solitude on Martha's Vineyard. At that time, I was a recipient of a grant at a writer's/artist's residency program from the Turkey Land Cove Foundation. My goal was to work on a book about walking and knitting and while that's still a goal, other topics such as knitting and peace took center-stage during the 2 weeks alone. While tucked away in the woods, I designed this pattern, Bee Kind to honor the work that bees do to keep our planet functioning. I've been trying to find the perfect time to release this pattern and today seemed just the occasion.


I choose the quote above to remind us that we are one thread... a thread that can be knit together to keep us all connected. Through knitting and the work of the bees we are all bound together. 

And because I love what this day stands for, I have an extra special treat for you. TODAY (through 4/22, 11:59 central time) only, you can use the coupon code "BEEKIND" for 50% off this pattern. Beginning, 4/23, apply the coupon code for 20% through 4/27. 

For those of you knitting Brudarach, Bee Kind is actually a companion piece. I never intended for this to happen but last week, I realized, "hey, they match." So now, I need to make another brudarach using Shibui's birch in the color pollen. 

And more good news... there will be several give-aways coming up this week. Some very special yarn, project bags and seeds. More details are forthcoming but for now... leave a comment on the blog to enter. Comment on what Earth Day and knitting mean to you. Receive an extra entry if you purchase the pattern. I'll close the commenting period on Friday 4/27. But what you're winning, you will love and I'll share more later. 

I'm hoping that you'll be able to take time today to honor our plant, get out in nature, smell the air, notice the colors of shifting seasons, and be thankful for all that we have. Be kind to yourself, to those around you and to make healthy choices... not just for you but also for the planet, our home.