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Finding Stillness

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Finding Stillness

I’ve been thinking a lot about stillness this month. 

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My life feels like a series of snapshots that end up moving in a chaotic fashion. Every day is pretty structured, but do I ever get time to be still? I mean, really still. With a three year old and a one year old? Most of the time I am keeping up with diapers and deadlines. There’s not much stillness in my life. 

When I chose to do this challenge of knitting strictly from my stash this year, I didn’t realize that it would bring stillness. I haven’t taken great care of my yarn since we’ve moved. I haven’t had time to browse, to smell, to feel the skeins and hanks. In the time I’ve had, I’ve noticed myself going to the closet where my stash is stored and just looking. Admiring. I may have accumulated my stash out of a state of sadness, but each piece still holds a bit of love. Each piece has a purpose. 

I‘ve had many moments of discontent where I wish I had more sweater quantities, more naturally dyed, more fingering weight, more worsted- exc. 

But for the most part, I love my stash. I love the opportunity to make something beautiful out of nothing. That was probably the point of all the purchases in the first place. In my postpartum haze, I needed something tangible to create. To show that I have purpose. 

That’s what we find in the stillness. After the anxiety, the disappointment, and discontent fade away there is our purpose. We belong just because we exist. Nothing more. We can create something magical out of the loose threads of our lives. 

It’s agony for me to slow down and be still. I continuously want to move forward- to find success in busyness. I’ve never found success in that. So I must learn to be still. 

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Spruce Knits Stash Project.

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Spruce Knits Stash Project.

Apparently I have a lot of yarn. 

Apparently I have so much that I could probably knit an entire year's worth of garments without looking up and buying anything. 

Apparently I should use this as an opportunity to do good in the world. 

So I am launching my Stash Project, apparently. 

Here are my rules: 
*Knit Stash Only yarn from June 17th 2018 to June 17th 2019
*Write about my struggles (because they're going to be real) 
*Write up stash busting patterns for those of you who also want to quell your stash. 
*Donate my yarn budget to charity- especially since the world needs me to spend more doing good than it does me acquiring more yarn. 
*Read more books that help me check my privilege. 

I would love it if you could join me. The last few days/ weeks/ months/ years, I've been feeling incredibly useless to change the current wrong that's happening in the world. I write to help, but I often feel like a non-contributor. I am angry. Something has to be done. This is one small way I can make myself feel like I am doing SOMETHING. Jesus, anything. So I am sitting here, reading good books that allow me to check my privilege, and understanding that I have so much I can do. I can write, I can read, I can knit, I can give. I have a voice. I have talent. 

Right now I don't have the lifestyle that allows me to give the way I want and acquire yarn the way I want. If you do have the freedom in your life, please please do both- and buy from independent dyers. My patterns are both yarn buying enabling and stash busting. 

Now you might wonder why reading is a part of this project. Well, it wouldn't be worth it to me if I didn't learn something else in the process. Simply, I love reading, but it's more than that. I want to make sure that I am learning how to be a better human to other humans. The only way to do that is to study the voices in the margins. My book choices will be from diverse voices in order for me to understand a perspective that is not mine. This is the whole point of the project; to move out of my comfort zone in order to give others some comfort. We do these things to learn how to be human. 

If you're interested, follow me by using the hashtag #SpruceKnitsStashProject. 

The rules for you: 
*Use your stash (all yarn you buy is your stash, so the parameters are pretty large) 
*Knit for yourself or others
*Give something of yourself. Whether you donate, volunteer or just generally be a decent human being to those around you. Be a good neighbor. 
*Show me what you're reading. Show me you're learning. 

I hope that you join me. 

Lets do better. 

 

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2018 Intentional Word: Practice.

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2018 Intentional Word: Practice.

2018 is going to be the year of Practice. 

I have plenty of goals, enough to drag me down into an existential panic. I think, however, these goals are going to be good for me. There will need to be a large amount of self control practiced this year, which is why I have chosen this word for my intention. 

Practice in reading: If I am going to hit my book goal and finish the Read Harder Challenge, like I want to, but fail desperately every year, then I need to keep it in my practice. 

Practice in writing: The only way to become a better writer is to keep writing. The only way to get my words out is to stretch my horizons and do things I have only dreamt of. 

Practice in knitting: I am already a pretty prolific knitter, but that doesn't mean I can't get better. 

Practice in health: My entire health life needs a jumpstart. This will help me do more yoga and less binge drinking. Drink more tea and do more meditating. 

Practice in activism: This is where "Practice what you preach" comes in handy. This year I am going to be more involved in my local community. 

Practice in love: My family needs me to be there for them, and that means allowing myself to love fiercely and completely. This one actually scares me, I know what it's like to hurt; I want to protect myself. 

2018 is going to have many things, I am sure. It should be really interesting to see how this ends up happening. I am hopeful for this year. 

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