Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Five by Five

Thank you for your comments on the last post. I think it's the first time in my life I read a poem over the next day, and desired to make neither additions nor deletions. Everything I have felt for the last four days is right there, buried in those three cryptic stanzas.

Last Friday my dear friend was diagnosed with cancer. By the end of September she will have had 5 days of radiation and a surgery to remove the tumour in her colon. She will be in the hospital about a week.


Friday night I didn't sleep, so Saturday was a bit of a sinkhole for me, but I drove to Village Yarns and headed straight for the Mission Falls 1824 washable wool. After her surgery my friend will need something to pull around her at 4.40 AM in the halflight, when she is awake and fearful and hurting, and her family and friends are all sleeping in their own beds.

The kind, sympathetic, supportive and incredibly helpful owner had 19 balls of this colour - I bought them all, drove home, and started flipping through the books: Cables Untangled, Aran Knitting, and Viking Patterns for Knitting. I did some haphazard math, double checked it as well as my distracted, exhausted, grief-stricken, fearful brain would allow, and cast on.



This takes precedence over everything else in my life at the moment, so the house is a mess and the lace, four days from completion, is resting for now. I am trying for 1.5 balls per day, hoping to be done in about two weeks. Finished dimensions will be about 28" by 80".

The central cable is just a vertically-symmetrical closed celtic knot from Starmore, and the edge is a mirror-image three-bight Norse happiness symbol on a four-stitch, four-row rope cable. I would have liked to have designed something more meaningful for the centre but time is of the serious essence here and I had to use what I could find that would fit the dimensions I was hoping for.

Originally I had chosen more of a taupe colour, but the shop owner gently suggested that a strong green would be more appropriate for a "wellness blanket" (thank you Karen for that phrase). I think she's so right and I'm glad she brought me up short before I bought depressing beige yarn for my friend's recovery.
I'm trying to be positive and happy as I knit this for my friend. I don't know how well I'm succeeding on the happiness thing but I do know that I'm thinking of her and wishing her healing, and praying all I can, with every wrap of yarn and sweep of needle.

13 comments:

Gwen said...

Oh, if I could only knit without a Non Knitters Rage welling up inside me when I pick up the needles. My contribution will be much less impressive, and more along the lines of highly distracting books to read in hospital. I will look for green covers, though.

Sandy said...

Is it wrong to be so excited about my blanket? I know it will snuggle around me enveloping me with warmth and comfort - the warmth and comfort of your mighty heart. Please know, my dear one, that your presence in my life is a soothing balm - in a wild, tempestuous, ragingly weird way. I laugh with you like none other, and that laughter is going to carry me through the darkness. I love you.

Jo said...

Shan, the wellness blanket is beautiful. I hope your friend pulls through this disease and chemo and further treatments.

kate said...

perfect.

Shan said...

DAMN YOU SANDY YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN CRACKED MY HARD CANDY SHELL.

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT.

Plus now I have this pressure to be funny. (Like, on purpose.)

lizbon said...

Oh that is just the green I was imagining. It looks gorgeous - love the cables.

I don't think you need worry about trying to feel happy if you don't feel happy while knitting it. Just put the love in there and it will work magic.

Sandy said...

No! No pressure! No pressure! Tony says,"No pressure!" You don't have to TRY to be anything for me. Just be.

Michelle said...

I think the best part about it is that you're DOING something - something loving, something wonderful - instead of avoiding the issue because you "don't know what to say" or feel awkward. My Mom's beaten 3 kinds of cancer now (got to love those genes I've inherited) and many of her closest friends pulled away in the hard times, leaving her feeling even worse. I think the blanket is beautiful, and the love behind it even more so.

Gena said...

That is such a beautiful thing to do for your friend. I hope her treatments go well. You don't have to be happy while you knit the blanket, but you could send all your good health vibes into it while you work. Sort of try to embed healthiness into it?

amanda said...

Wow, you are an incredible friend. I am so sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis, sending good thoughts to your friend.

karen said...

For Shan and for Sandy....
With the beautiful wellness blanket, every stitch knitted with strong intent and emotion, and with all of the positive healing thoughts going towards you,Sandy,via this blog - all will be well... and you will be surrounded by all of this energy every time you wrap yourself in it.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Karen, for your kind words and your positive thoughts. Believe me, I am absorbing all the love, all the good intentions, and all the powerful positive energy sent my way.

Sue H said...

Such a beautiful blankie, and a really cooling healing colour.
Sandy, I too will be sending my prayers your way along with many others. Get well soon dear friend of my friend.