Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cutsie Hat & Scarf

Sometimes you just get distracted. It's true! You do a project, take the photo and say: 'I need to get this on the blog!' and then life intervenes.

I made this hat and scarf sometime in June. I know, I know, I track my projects by my blog posts...but I refer back to that life intervenes thing. I was doing other things. Like work. Work can mess up a perfectly good day.

I got the pattern out of a magazine - I don't remember which one mebbe Creative Knitting? Interweave? Geez, I really don't remember. It was pretty darn easy and of course, the yarn is Caron By The Pound in jonquil. I really do have other yarn - I just have a lot of Caron By the Pound. (Though I must admit, I may have found a new love in worsted weight yarn that's an even better value than CBTP - I have yet to knit with it so I will let you know what happens!)

I can't remember a thing about this project. I think it went fast. I don't remember the size of the needles or anything..I'm telling you, this is life's fault. I can tell you it's sitting in the inventory getting ready for the fall sale in November. If I run across the pattern again, I will fill you in on the particulars.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Prayer Shawl - The Travis Wrap

I wish I didn't need to make this prayer wrap. A very dear friend of mine lost his son in an auto accident. I didn't know what to do for him. I've never seen him so vulnerable with hints of being lost. I told him how sorry I was and later as I was sitting and knitting, I remembered I started a knit group that had as one of it's missions to provide shawls for those who have suffered a loss. Though we have only given shawls to those who have lost loved ones in war; there was no reason not to give my friend a shawl to honor the life of his son.

I started knitting it and I worried it wasn't the right color because I started out with just the cream color. I took it out and added the purple. I didn't like the pattern stitch so I did my own. I love the generous size of it. It wraps around me and is very comforting so I am hoping he and members of his family find comfort in it as well.

The fringe was added at random - three to each tassel - some are all cream, some all purple; most a combination. I finished this while watching The Color Purple at 4 in the morning. My husband came downstairs to go to work, saw me wrapped in it and said "Very nice." I took it to church so the knit group could see it and they all thought is was great. One of the pastors walked in the parlor and he blessed it so it is now on the way to my friend. It will arrive at his home before he returns so it will be waiting for him.

It's the least I can do.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Trouble With Prayer Shawls

We sent out nine prayer shawls today as part of our work with Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers. The last time we sent out the informational letters, we got no response. We received a letter after the shawls were delivered and you can find it on the blog in the January archives.

It was great to get that letter, but there's only one problem with doing this ministry - you never how to, or when to, smile. I mean the reason anyone gets these particular shawls is because they've lost a loved one. They are not injured, they are not missing - they are gone.

In our efforts to make sense of it and to show a heartfelt love and support, we send a prayer shawl to a family we most do not know hoping they will take our offer of love and not feel as if we are intruding on their own personal and private struggle.

We train ourselves to believe that what we do is a right thing. We train ourselves never to expect to hear from a family member and if we do, we prepare ourselves to hear a family member voice displeasure. From the batch of letters I recently sent out, I received three phone calls.

There was a mother who told me about her son and how he had gotten an apartment not far from the Chicago beaches and he loved living there.

Then there was a call from a mom who appreciated the program and looked forward to getting the shawl and wanted to change the address we had.

Then there was the call from the father who appreciated what we do and wanted us to know the child he lost was his only son. He also said there were three boys lost in his very small town and he wanted to make sure I got the name of one of the men he saw just the other day. He gave me the name - I did recognize it, and when I looked it up, I discovered we sent the letter to his ex-wife. Looking over the entire list, I saw there were several soldiers with divorced parents. Fathers and mothers lost their child and that doesn't change because the marriage didn't last. So, we pulled out more prayer shawls to send one to each parent.

It felt good talking to each parent; knowing what we did was appreciated and how they felt assured that we did not forget their children in an unpopular conflict, They were happy to share bits and memories of their children's lives with me and I was touched and happy to hear them. I feel full and blessed to be able to contribute and to want to give something even though I still don't understand how we got here - it's important, but not at that exact moment when a parent is talking about the child with all the memories made. It's those times when it's more important to do the good and right thing. It's the time to listen.

Still don't know when to smile.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Prayer Shawl

This is the latest prayer shawl I made. I know I made it a few weeks ago, but I don't remember exactly when. Chances are good this prayer shawl will go to the next of kin of a fallen soldier.

I've done post regarding Prayer Shawls 4 Fallen Soldiers before and this amazing project continues to provide blessings in ways I never imagined.

I recently sent out seven letters to families telling them a shawl has been created in memory of a loved one. The last mailing we did, we received a wonderful letter from a mother you can read about here. We send letters out before we send the shawls to make sure the letters get to the right place, to make sure the family is somehow offended or doesn't want the shawl, or if we need to send the shawl to someone or someplace else. We give those letters a few weeks to get there and come back and then we send out the shawls. The letter includes names, addresses, email and phone numbers so family members can verify we are not capitalizing on their grief. We train ourselves never to expect contact.

I received a phone message from a mother who was so moved by the project (even though the shawl has not yet been sent) that she wants to donate cash/yarn to further the goal. I left a message back for her that said we would accept her donation and we promise to use the yarn to create a shawl that will be sent to another family and in the note we would specify the shawl came through the generosity of a soldier's family who wanted to move it forward.

Blessings are like ripples: they go forth, hit the shore and then come back and they stop at so many places between.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin