Project Peace 2017 details...

by Christina

Peace...this we choose each day.
— Anonymous

It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year since Project Peace 2016. It's been 363 days since I set Project Peace out into the world... it was the day after the Presidential election in the United States. It's been said that timing was everything and that we needed something positive. Well, here we are, a year later and I'm thinking our need for a ray of hope and a sprinkle of optimism might be needed more now than ever.  I feel like I'm preparing a huge party and EVERYONE is invited yet I've still so many things to do.

This year's artwork, illustrated by my friend Lisa Orgler includes the peace bird that can also be found on last year's cover page as well as the artwork for the International Peace Park shawl. I asked her to include a woolly sheep to acknowledge the sustainable and renewable resource we all love. She's incorporated the peace bird, the sheep, yarn, and olive branches. Just perfect!

What is Project Peace?

Project Peace is an annual knit-along from December 1-21 supplemented with 21 days of blog posts centered on peace culminating on December 21 in what has been labeled "World-wide Knit-in for Peace Day." Project Peace is all about providing opportunities and awareness of how to incorporate more peace into ones life. 

Two years ago over coffee, I said to my friend "if I could get knitters around the world to knit on the same pattern in the name of peace during the month of December, I'd create 'world peace'." It started as a bit of a joke but the idea began to grow. Last December, there were over 25,000 downloads for the Project Peace pattern; the pattern spent several weeks in the top 10 of what's hot now and for a couple of days it was number one.

Key dates for Project Peace 2017...

  • Pattern pre-orders on Ravelry will begin on November 15 (Ravelry pattern page is forthcoming)
  • The pattern pre-order will contain the cover page and yarn requirements so you'll be able to get ready
  • Pattern releases and KAL begins on December 1
  • Daily blogging begins on December 1 through the 21st
  • World-wide knit-in for peace day (WWKFP) is on December 21
  • Threads on the Healthy Knitter Ravelry group will be available on November 15 so you can begin interacting and pin your location for WWKFP

New features to Project Peace...

  • Several indie dyers are creating custom color-ways  for purchase. A separate post will announce the dyers and how you can get this very special yarn. I'm super excited about this and I think you'll be amazed at what these dyers and shops are creating.
  • A couple of shops are creating some kits...again, more on this in a separate post
  • My mum has been making project bags for months now. There will be about 300 limited edition bags available in December. There are still some PP16 bags (link at the top of the page) that are super special. If you don't have one from last year, you'll want both. This year's bag is not a simple repeat from last year. Because this year's project is just a bit bigger so are the bags.

About the pattern...

This year's pattern is themed off of the "ripple effect." As many of you know, Project Peace is focused on cultivating peace in our daily lives. Through the "peace-along" (aka daily blog posts), I (along with a few guests) provide tips on how to choose peace whether that be an activity, a quote, some music, a story, etc... As each one of us chooses peace, the effects ripple out to others.

The pattern is an asymetrical trianglular shawl in stockinette stitch with garter ridges to reflect the ripples after a pebble has been tossed in the water with a wavy, easy-to-knit, lace border. I've intentionally made this shawl accessible to most knitters from a technical perspective yet enough detail to promote mindful knitting. There'll be a modest size "to finish in December" and modifications provided to make it a bit larger.

To me, one of the most amazing things about this shawl beyond it's simplicity and symbolism is that it's a canvas for you to express what peace means to you in the knitted form. Any type of yarn will work e.g. woolen or worsted spun, tweedy, smooth, rustic/earthy, shiny, speckled, solids, make it striped, color-blocked or in a gradient. You can stash-dive, buy a kit from one of the shops (to be announced later), or purchase some of the specially dyed yarn (again, announced later).

One more unique feature...

This year there will be a small nominal charge for the pattern. Proceeds will be used to support organizations focused on helping youth live healthy, sustainable lives. More on this later but I'm super excited about this as it's yet another opportunity for us as knitters to "ripple" peace out into our world.

I need you...

to help me spread peace around the world, to knitters everywhere. This is another aspect of the ripple effect. Last year over 25,000 people downloaded the PP16 pattern in November and December. If each one of those individuals told just one other person think of what might happen. Here's a few ideas:

  • Once the pattern page on Ravelry is live, please "fav" the pattern page, place the pattern in your queue and create a pattern project page...all of those items bring the pattern to the top on Ravelry's algorithm. This is necessary to get the pattern into the "What's Hot Now."
  • Encourage a friend to join the KAL and peace-along to knit peace
  • The artwork page above is downloadable. Print this and share with as many people as you can.
  • Take this info to your local yarn store (LYS) and ask them to share with their customers
  • Ask your LYS to host a KAL
  • Ask your LYS to sponsor a knit-in on 12/21 for WWKFP Day
  • Post on social media using the artwork from above or email me to get the jpg or pdf if that's easier for you
  • If you're a blogger or have a pod-cast, please share with your audience
  • If you're a yarn shop owner or employee, ask your customers how they'd like to knit peace in December. How might they like to ripple peace...a food drive, donate knitted items, teach knitting in the schools, have a social outing and make it obvious you are knitting for peace... so many ideas
  • Place this content in newsletters
  • Contact your guild or area knitting groups to share with more people
  • Post the cover page on bulletin boards at your local library

How many people can we reach? 25,000, 50,000 or more. Last year with Project Peace, metaphorically speaking, I threw the pebble in the water to see how many people I might impact...and I was blown away with the response. And now, it's time for this ripple to reach farther and it's possible with your help.

Although I've so much to do before November 15, I can't wait to share all the things I've been working on...the activities, guests, special treats for all, a few give-aways. So, stay tuned to the blog, Instagram (@thehealthyknitter) and Ravelry (christinacampbell) for more details. Please share with me how you are reaching out to others whether it's on the blog as a comment or email me.

Let peace ripple...

Camino de Paz, November KAL and walk-along

by Christina

It's almost November and that means it's time for the annual Healthy Knitter knit-along and walk-along. In years past, I've conducted this as a mystery KAL yet this November I decided to change things up just a bit and be transparent. For those of you that just can't take the leap with a mystery KAL, this ones for you.


Meet Camino de Paz, the path of peace. Knit and walk (not simultaneously of course) the path of peace in November and find yourself ready for Project Peace (kicks off 12/1). Camino de Paz is a simple color work cowl using 2 colors of sport weight yarn. It's the perfect first color work project yet equally rewarding for the knitter with lots of color work experience. The finished size is just right to wear on a walk to ward off a chill. Finally, it's just the right size project for gift case you needed to knit up a quick gift for someone. 

Of course, there's a back story to this pattern. Pour yourself a wee cuppa to find out about the inspiration behind this cowl. 

The idea for this cowl began on December 24, 2016. We'd just finished Project Peace 2016 and my life had been forever altered as a result of all the wonders that occurred during those magical 21 days. Each new day was filled with inspiration and several of those moments have been turned into patterns including Camino de Paz. 

The motif. It was Christmas Eve and hard as I tried to focus during Mass, I couldn't take my eyes off the shirt worn by the woman sitting in the pew in front of me. It was a struggle that went like this attention, don't forget this pattern, pay attention, oh where is my phone to take a photo when I need it, pay attention, don't worry as you'll never forget this motif, pay attention, wait what did it look like again? ...  it was days before I was able to sketch out the motif. I'm still not sure if the motif that I drew was actually the pattern on this woman's shirt but I liked the result nonetheless.


The name. In February, I visited my parents in Albuquerque. On a late night trip to the co-op, I found some yogurt labeled "Camino de Paz." Of course, this caught my attention. Peace yogurt...I had to try. Best yogurt E.V.E.R. Turns out that Camino de Paz is a middle school north of Santa Fe that teaches the students to farm (produce, sheep, goats) and sell the products at local farmer's markets. I'll share more about this school as we near closer to December. It only seemed right that there should be a pattern named Camino de Paz. 

The Walk-along. For all the walk-alongs, I try to name the pattern with some word that has to do with walking. It just seemed like Camino de Paz was the perfect name for a walk-along.

November is one of those months that can be challenging to walk. As the weather changes, our thoughts of getting cozy on the sofa with a blanket, warm beverage, and some knitting prevail...walking takes a back seat. For this walk-along, the challenge is to walk every day for 30 days regardless of how far. Walk for 5 minutes or walk for 50; it doesn't matter just as long as you get up and go for a "walk." 

Giveaway. With the pattern purchase you'll receive a 30-day walking log. Fill this out each day and at the end of the month, send me documentation that you've walked all 30 days. Or you could do a 30-day post on Instagram with a photo from each walk. Use the hashtag #caminodepazwalkalong At the end of the month, everyone that walked daily will be entered into a giveaway for a project bag and some yarn (TBD) and I'll randomly select a winner. Of course, the real prize is the fact that you walked daily for 30 days. 

Need some support? Join The Healthy Knitter Ravelry group and interact with other super friendly and kind knitters that love to walk. 

The pattern. Purchase the pattern on Ravelry. Use the coupon code NOVEMBERWAL2017 to receive 20% off. After you select "buy now" there will be a link that says "apply coupon code." Click that button, enter the code and automatically see the price reduced. If you don't see the price lowered then something hasn't worked right. Please make sure that the code has worked prior to purchasing. The code is valid through Thursday November 2, midnight, Central Time.

Currently, only the information sheet is available on Ravelry. The full pattern will be released on November 1 along with the document to record your 30 days of walking. All the details about yarn requirements are listed on the information sheet (sent to you via Ravelry upon purchase) or on the pattern page in Ravelry. 

Whew, that's a lot of information. I'm so excited about this pattern and can't wait to see all the new Camino de Paz cowls and to read about people's adventures. Please make sure to post photos on the HK Ravelry group. Remember to make a project page on Ravelry, click "fave" and place the cowl in your queue. All these actions help the pattern receive more attention.

I'll leave you with a wonderful quote by Thoreau. 

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
— Henry David Thoreau

The story behind the International Peace Park shawl...

by Christina

On September 21, the International Day of Peace, I released a very special shawl pattern named International Peace Park, in honor of that day. I thought long and hard about a shorter name for this pattern but the inspiration for the shawl truly was the International Peace Park, so the name stuck. You can read more about the symbolism of this shawl on a previous blog post and on the Ravelry page. The pattern is on sale (20% off) through today (9/25) with the coupon code IPP2017 (apply at check-out prior to paying).

The International Peace Park shawl available on Ravelry

The International Peace Park shawl available on Ravelry

Today, I want to tell you a bit more about the back-story on this design. Some of you may recall that I had some big summer plans to camp and travel the Pacific Northwest with my duaghter in the spirit of the April mystery knit-along and walk-along, Coddiwomple. Those plans changed when our famil decided to remain in Iowa and not relocate to the west but I wasn't ready to abandon my ideas for a mother-daughter camping trip.

mother daughter adventure_300.jpg

So we made our way to Glacier National Park in Montana for a week of camping not knowing where we'd camp but with the sole purpose of spending time together in the wilderness. We compromised from the get-go... 6 miles a day of walking, no more (said the daughter), no less (said I).

IPP emblem.jpg

Prior to having children, I camped A LOT. We camped with our first child but after the second and third arrived, camping no longer seemed realistic. I've sorely missed camping and I've also felt a responsibility to expose my 13 year old daughter to this form of independence. I want her to know she can draw strength from nature as she moves forward in life. It was time...

We spent our first night at a campground 1.5 hours south of the Glacier National Park on Flathead Lake. We'd learned the best way to get a campsite in the "park" was to arrive at a campground at 5:30 a.m. and wait in line. If lucky, you'd end up with a spot. So we broke down camp at 4 a.m. the following morning and headed to park, hoping to get a campsite. "What if we don't get a spot?" said my daughter. I replied "then we'll figure it out."


As luck would have it, we were 4th in line with 4 spots available...and we got an amazing spot on the shores of Lake McDonald. Here's my daughter expressing her joy of both finding a campsite but also the "room with a view."

arrival at Lake MacDonald.jpg

We ventured to Avalanche Lake, one of the most accessible and popular hikes in the park. Since we arrived so early we beat the traffic headed up to the lake and were greeted with the most amazing view of mountains, waterfalls and a pristine alpine lake. The walk down made us realize just how many people were in the park...

avalanche lake 1.jpg

Other hikes revealed bear grass, furry critters, mountain goats, wildflowers galore, hunting for heart-shaped rocks, close encounters with two bears, and jaw-dropping views.

We hiked (6 miles a day, no more, no less), she read, I knit, we played in the frigid water, drank coffee/cocoa, and had time to focus on one another. What a gift!

On the last night as we feel asleep under the vast night sky, we vowed to spend time together each year for years to come. On the outside I smiled with delight. On the inside I cried knowing that this strength and independence she garners will carry her to distant lands to experience her own adventures; to make her own way in this world and to touch others with her gifts. And that's what it's all about, right?

So, not only does this shawl represent a map of Waterton-Glacier National Parks, it reminds me of our mother-daughter coddiwomple as I knit on the prototype during this time.

On our last day in the park, the smoke that covered so much of the Pacific Northwest thsi summer began to roll in leaving the mountains with the most beautiful haze as if the scene were fading out.

GNP smoke rolls in.jpg

It continues to amaze me how knitting connects us with loved ones, nature, life's experiences, and can provide us with nourishing solitude or create community. If you choose to knit this shawl, may you find peace.

Bird Woman Falls in the background...

Bird Woman Falls in the background...