Back in the saddle...

by Christina

Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.
— Ann Frank

It's almost been 3 months since I last wrote. A lot has happened... I've not had the words or perhaps the drive to put pen to paper. To soothe my soul and attempt to heal my pain, I retreated and did what all knitters do... I knit.

Project Peace 2017 was, by all accounts, a huge success. Collectively we were able to donate $3000 to organizations focused on making this world a better place. We had 1000's of knitters creating "ripples of peace" shawls and so many people around the world knitting for peace on 12/21. The comments left on the blog are a testament to the fact that we can spread peace through knitting. I thank each and everyone of you for your participation and commitment to making this a better world, one stitch at a time.

But with all of the successes, came serious exhaustion. I needed a break. And then, my beautiful, seemingly healthy, young, genius of a father died unexpectedly on Christmas Eve. They say it was complications of the flu. It took me by surprise. I was caught off guard... this wasn't on my radar. This wasn't supposed to happen for at least 10 years, maybe 20. And from all of this I've been digging deep to find peace in the midst of losing someone so precious. It's just one day at a time... just like one stitch at a time.

So, I've been wanting to write but didn't know what to say. And, now there's so much I want and need to say about so many things that this post almost feels a bit like goulash. Funny, that was one of the only dinners my Dad knew how to cook, a recipe he learned in college. Take a can of cream of mushroom soup, can of franco-american spaghetti and some ground beef. Voila, goulash. And to think he survived; well, it's a miracle. I once tried to make this "vegetarian." While it's really not that good with the meat, it's horrific without it. My, how we all chuckled about this goulash over the years.


And so, I created a new shawl inspired by my Dad, our relationship, peace, moving through grief, and Sandhill cranes. I'll release it in May but know that there will be a soothing knit coming your way; perhaps you'll find it restorative as have I. I'll share more as we get closer to May.

While the sadness is still so real, I am finding a way forward. So, let this be a segue into what lies ahead. I've been able to reflect on what is the best way I can create a life with meaning. Certainly, there's a lot of work to be done in the realm of spreading peace through knitting. But I've been able to see how I really want to utilize knitting to capture human experiences. Knitting is never really just knitting. There's a message in it for all of us... we began to explore this topic during Project Peace 2017. While my designs have always carried meaning, this will become a more intentional aspect of my designs.

Here's what's in store for the next few months:

  • Tomorrow, March 20 is the International Day of Happiness. Check out the Action for Happiness website. Host a dinner in honor of the day, say something nice to someone, or do one thing that brings you joy. How will you celebrate?
  • April is the month for the annual mystery knitalong and walkalong. In the past 2 years, I've conducted this in April and November. With Project Peace in December, I've decided to host the walkalong only in April. On March 26, I'll announce all the details for this year's mystery KAL and walkalong. You won't want to miss this one. There'll be lots of inspiration to get you walking as we transition from one season to the next. Please consider joining...even if it's only for the walking.
  • Earth Day is April 22 and I'll be releasing a new shawl/wrap pattern in honor of bees and pollinator plants. There'll be a give-away! I'll have a couple other shawl patterns using plant-based fibers that will become available throughout the summer months.
  • Here's something I'm extra excited about. In soccer, when you get 3 goals it's called a hat-trick. So, I'll release 3 hat patterns on the 1st of each month beginning in June and we'll call the collection "a hat-trick." While it might be hot outside, you can still knit on a small, portable project and be ready for cooler walking weather. Won't that be fun?
  • And yes, there will be more in the fall with a commemorative pattern for the International Day of Peace (September 21) and a couple other items but mark your calendars now... Project Peace 2018 will happen from 12/1-21. The theme... yes, there's a theme, will be the "seeds of peace."

Each time a pattern is released (except for Project Peace) there'll be a blog-subscriber exclusive coupon to use on Ravlery. So stay tuned.

Again, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your interest in knitting, walking, and peace. May you find something here that makes a difference in your day. That is my wish for all of you. Until next Monday... with news about this year's mystery KAL and walk-along.

I'll leave you with a poem I found...

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
in order to bloom
— rupi kaur