Fasts and Flower Gardens

School is sneaking up on me! I had a minor freak out last week when I realized how many plans I still had to complete before returning to the classroom. Every year, I push things off until summer, and then my summer to do list is 12 months long!

Ok, a lot of items on the list are craft related, but still.

After I calmed down, I took project inventory. My dresser renovation awaited knobs from Home Depot and liner paper, easy peasy. The toddler dress I started for the KnitReadPray Children's KAL was going gangbusters (and I have until September 30th for that one). I finished my cross stitch gift for my daughter's new apartment, just have to get it framed.

I finally started my Grandma's Flower Garden test knit with some incredibly squishy yarn from Lolodidit even though it was supposed to be tested and complete by August 14th.  Good thing I've test knit before for this designer, and she knows my knitting path may wander, but I get there eventually.  The pattern was released on August 19th and through September 12th, use the discount code GRANDMA for approximately $1.50 off the pattern (exchange rates and whatnot).

Here's my progress so far:

And then there's the next test knit I just agreed to, a really cool fall bag ... but I'm getting ahead of myself (breathe, don't freak).

In book news, I finished Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker this morning. I read her book 7 last week and was blown away by it. (You might remember I was less than enthused about her most recent book, For the Love). If you are one of the few, like me, who has yet to discover 7, go get yourself a copy right now, we'll wait.

At the outset, Hatmaker decides to focus on 7 areas and limit herself to 7 things that relate to each subject for 7 months. Her 7? Food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.  While I know there's absolutely no way I could exist on only 7 foods for a month,  I'm starting to get the whole "work uniform" a la Steve Jobs (although I look awful in turtlenecks). I found the next 2 easy since every summer for the past 3 years I've celebrated Cleaningpalooza. Sadly, each summer, I still have SO MUCH STUFF TO GET RID OF!

And that media chapter? Going an entire month without social media, and limited myself to essential emails and texts for a month is probably the most beneficial fast for me, tough as it is to admit it.

My takeaway from this book? Do your best not to slide back in to your old ways after you've addressed one of these topics. Here's looking at a much smaller cleanup summer 2017!

I also picked up what she calls the "prequel" to 7, Interrupted about how the Hatmaker family left their cozy insulated American Christianity for Missional Christianity. This book came out around the same time as Shane Claiborne's Irressistable Revolution and books like that. Yes, I did the shoe thing and went on mission, but that didn't stick either. My mom tried to make me feel better by telling me my mission is my kids (and there's a whole book about missional motherhood these days), but towards the end of this book, the author writes
Are you a teacher? Your school is a mission field, plain and simple.
Yes, I teach in a public school, but that doesn't negate this statement, and this book isn't a "how to" but more a "why you". This book was put in my way for a reason, and it just might be the book you're looking for too! If you haven't read either of these books, I highly recommend them; I'm glad I read her most recent one first, or I would've been even more disappointed. Hopefully this author has another truly inspirational book in her.

Have you read either of these books? If so, what was your reaction?

Today, I'm linking up with Nicole and Keep Calm Craft On.  On Wednesdays, I participate in the Yarn Along on Ginny Sheller's blog.  Please join us either by contributing a link to your fibery work in progress and current read and / or by checking out the posts to the link parties.  You may find your next book or project waiting for you!


  1. beautiful knitting!! I bet it will block beautifully :) I am inspired by your reading more than one book and now that school has started and there is a 'schedule' feeling in the air, I might just try more than one book too. It's not easy for me though, I'm one at a time kind of gal.

    1. I read different books at different times of day. In the morning, I usually read nonfiction like the books in this post. In the afternoon/evening I usually turn to fiction. However, these 2 books were so compelling, I put my novel reading on hold! Now I'm reading "The Happiness Project" which is also very compelling. My poor pile of novels from the library is very neglected!

  2. I read 7 - twice! Loved it and the ideas have helped me make changes, slowly. I have not read Interrupted - yet. I tried not to make a summer list this year and it is a good thing because there was a lot of life getting in my way so I am returning to work with lots of dreams of finding a better balance.

    1. I think I learned my lesson this year about summer to-do lists. No more! I can also see reading 7 more than once - there is so much in there! I've definitely become more mindful of what I buy and use after reading it once though. The second time around I should focus on the people around me.

  3. I haven't read these books get but I've added "7" to my must read list. Which is extensive. I'm still struggling to find time to read since my daughter was born even though she's 5 now :).