In September, I was excited to learn that Christina Campbell (one of my favorite designers) was mulling over themes and working on designs for her sixth annual Project Peace knit-along (KAL). I have been a faithful participant and my completed project list includes seven of her patterns among which are four previousProject Peace designs. (The 2018 cowl just never made it to my needles.) At the time, I even thought to create a Ravelry project page as a placeholder just to get ready.
Then, as the days slipped from autumn into winter without any additional hints of her creative direction, I wondered if this year’s Project Peace might be yet another pandemic casualty. And, on what should have been launch day, she alerted the readers of her blog that even with a new pattern created, an appropriate theme selected, and original artwork designed, her heart just wasn’t into managing a knit-along and leading a month of daily meditations. She was “letting go” Project Peace, not for forever but for 2021. While disappointed from a craft perspective, I applaud her honest courage. My first thought was, with two of Christina’s designs in my project queue, I would simply substitute one for another and create my own KAL (just without the “along”.) Then, after a bit of reflection, I decided to follow her example of “letting go” to focus on the six projects already on my needles and leave her beautiful designs for another time.
And with the end of 2020 came the completion of this year’s Project Peace shawl. I started with three stitches and, just before midnight, I cast off 483 stitches while enjoying Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse sing and dance our way into the New Year.
December was another Covid month; all our gifts arrived by mail but also sunny drives in rural Wisconsin, the first shovelable snow, and quiet knitting while enjoying Christina Campbell’s daily thoughts on peace. Her words reflect my sentiments on both knitting and peace:
Knitting... such a simple act, one stitch followed by the next,
lined up in columns of stitches, twisting and turning,
openings here and there,
ultimately creating a beautiful fabric to warm the recipient...
knitting ... one stitch at a time from one continuous fiber...
knitting does not promise to be easy...
knitting does not promise to be without mistakes and flaws...
knitting does not promised to be a constant state of harmony...
and so it is true with peace.
Christina Campbell, December 21, 2020
Each morning a smidge of peace arrives in my mailbox; just a click away from a longer meditation. From December 1-21, in addition to a wonderful knit-a-long pattern, Christina Campbell shares daily reflections on her 2020 theme “peace in place”. Her creative writing, landscape photographs, and peace building challenges are inspirational. I am writing more and reflecting on her definition of peace “…cultivating right relationships with self, others, and the Earth”.
While Phoenix is not our stay-in-place place in these Covid times, I remember a quiet walk through the Desert Botanical Garden. The trails wend through flora exotic to my Midwest field and forest eye. The garden offers brilliant pops of color against the subdued desert backdrop, as well as sculpture placed so artfully so as to merge with the landscape. Certainly what Chihuly intended with his Glass Towers. In another era we might have asked: Is it live or is it Memorex?
During a week of rollercoaster emotions but definitely a big add in my positive column, is the news that Christina Campbell will host another Project Peace knit-along. Since 2016, I have joined her and knitters from around the world by picking up my needles and conscientiously focusing on peace during hectic December days. What started five years ago as a unique idea to conduct a knitting “peace-along” after the electoral dismay of 2016 has continued each December. Every year Christina shares a new themed pattern and daily meditations. Project Peace 2020’s theme is “peace in place inspired by the need to connect with place during the pandemic and find peace in the now.”
My Ravelry project page is built and I am anxiously awaiting yarn suggestions (November 18) and the pattern drop on November 30. I am already imaging the fiber loveliness that will become an elongated, textured shawl since Christina’s previous patterns gave me these crafted beauties.
You can even follow everyone’s progress on Instagram: @thehealthyknitter by checking the hashtags: #projectpeace2020 and #knitforpeace.