Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Recent knitting: Every project has a story

I have recently finished some gift knitting. In order to keep this post shorter, than longer (because everyone knows I can make a short story take forever) I am just going to include the last couple.

One of my customers, his name is Paden, young man but clearly a good man, was hiking last summer with his girlfriend and his three dogs. This was toward the end of summer, the water levels in a lot of rivers was down as at the end of a season, if what snow is still remaining hasn't melted it may not. Their adventure was planned around hot springs, natural geyser boiling pools of water that is usually cooled with nearby river water. Usually.

As they approached a particular pool, two of his dogs, being water breeds, break away from their pack and jump in. Paden realized immediately that the water is too hot and jumps in after them to help them out.

I will skip most of the next part, because it hurts me to think of the screams of his beloved fur babies as they are basically boiled alive. Paden sustained burns over 50% of his body and had to be life-flighted to Seattle where he underwent skin grafting surgeries, during one of which his heart stopped. The fight to bring him back, electric shocks to revive his heart, caused 'bed sores' on his feet that are so deep, that when he showed them to me, I feel I have seen the bones, specifically heel bones, in his feet. It wasn't until much later that he was told his dogs had died.

It was in December that he was standing at my counter giving me his account of what happened to him after what was reported in the news. I was so surprised to see him, because by all accounts it would be a very long time before he was healed enough to leave the hospital or nursing/reha facilities. But here he was, with a huge smile on his face telling me what he's learned and experienced about his fellow humans since his .... What do I call this? It began as an adventure, a tragic accident that became a fight for survival. Trial? Experience?

And what did he learn? There are a lot of people in the world who must voice an opinion. Anymore, not a lot of people care to wait for an appropriate time to say what they think. It is incredible to think after all he went through that someone would approach him to question why he would jump in after DOGS? (Read this as "DOGS are animals, it's a fairy tale to think them capable of returning your affection.") He very kindly limited telling me what he was asked in that area, and clearly it was the opposite reactions that bolstered his spirit. He heard from people everywhere who sent him clippings from their local newspapers, some with money, some with notes saying they would have done the same thing for their dogs. Here is the link from an article I found from the UK! They were gifted a black lab pup to replace one of their dogs... Not that a dog can be replaced because they each have their own personalities, but a new pup to get up and get outside for. There was a crowd-fund set up to cover their hospital bills, his job was held for him until he can go back.

As we visited, I noticed his hat was a well-used, to the point of rattyness, Seattle Seahawks beanie. So the next knit night I consulted with Britt, my LYS owner, and mother of boys and fans of the NFL on the correct colors and made him a couple of hats, a beanie and an ear flap hat. Here is a picture: I will replace it with a picture of him in one or both of the hats, if I can.

The other project is about continuing kindnesses, I suppose.

For a couple of years, I have been spending my run-around time knitting chemo hats for Halos of Hope. By that I mean, when my husband and I leave the house, he always drives and I knit. Sometimes when we get to our destination, I take my knitting in with me. Well, honestly, most of the time. In restaurants, while we wait for our food, if I finish before Superman, which happens a lot as I don't seem to have the appetite he does, I can get a few rows done. Sometimes I knit as we walk around collecting what we need at the grocery store, always at the movie theater. At this point, I have my system down to a hat or so every weekend.

At first, I used up the acrylic yarns that I had single skeins of. If I had more than a skein, I can make bigger projects, but single skeins don't accomplish much. After more than a year, I had not many single skeins left. Marly Bird sent me a couple of gift bags of Red Heart yarns which do not have yarns available in my local craft stores, these are newer yarn lines that have glitter or a strand of tinsel in it.

At this point I should probably say that I would prefer to see a person battling cancer without anything on their head. I would prefer to see them with their head held high, bald and beautiful. However, not having fought that battle myself, I can understand the need for comfort....

I have fallen in love HARD for chemo hats with sparkle. I'm hoping it comes off as glamour or magic dust for a cancer patient's spirit. There are two Red Heart Yarns, Sparkle and Shimmer, containing a teeny bit of tinsel in the strand, and from each skein I can get two beanie-type hats. However, in my area, you can't find them at any local craft store. Someday, but not yet.

So, having just worked through the yarn that Marly had sent me, I was online trying to figure out, budget, penny-pinch to afford an order large enough of this yarn worthy of delivery charges. I shared what I was working on with a tenant who always wants to know what's on my needles. That tenant wrote me a check for large enough to order yarn for myself to knit about 40 hats and yarn for a co-worker who's been helping me create hats for Halos.

My husband and I began consulting on a way to repay the kindness of this tenant, and I found some yarn that is mostly alpaca in my stash and a half pi shawl pattern, Vernal Equinox, that I thought would make this a special project. Also I ordered gloves from Buffalo Wool Co for the husband that are my husband's favorites. Here is a picture of the finished shawl, I hope to replace it with one of her in it. She fell recently, and has been laid up and stuck at home, so really hope to see her soon.

Anyway, this is what I've knitted lately. Hope you are Happy Knitting!

You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits


  1. What a blessing you are to others!

    1. I'm not a blessing to everyone I'd like to be, I'm too slow and distracted. I can only use what I have, which is the same as everyone else, isn't it? Thanks for your comment.