Monday, January 11, 2010

The Big Reveal

Back in October, a dear friend's illness was revealed. I'm never good with these situations... beyond support and well-wishes and prayers as applicable, there's not really much one can *do*, and that drives me wild. If you're in town, you can take her to medical appointments and make dinners... when you're an hour and a half away, not so much. I'm a do-er. I wanted to DO something.

So I did. When the going gets tough, the tough get knitting. Having been a part of two separate hug blanket projects, I knew what to do. I started trawling Velda's blog comments, emailing everyone I could find and asking them if they could knit or crochet or wanted to try to learn real quick. I got in touch with Tammy, who put me in touch with a pile of Velda's friends from the cross-stitch boards. Emails flowed in, and eventually, so did the funkiest, sparkliest collection of purple squares you've ever seen.

I knit like a fiend through November, as did my dear friend Lisa. She'd never met Velda, but any friend of mine was a friend of hers and she cranked out about 9 lovely crochet squares before I could turn around. I encouraged my youngest step-daughter, who was one of V's day-care kids, into practicing her knitting for her beloved friend, and another square (mostly!) was born. Another family friend and knitter saw my step-daughter's knitting, heard the explanation, and immediately hit the needles hard, adding two more lovely squares as a show of support and love for a woman she'd never met. That's what knitters do when there's nothing else we can do.

I sat on the floor of my sewing room and seamed all those pieces together during breaks in exam week. Somehow, through complete chance, I had enough squares to make a blanket the size I desired. Somehow, also through chance and love and fate, all the squares look like they were meant to be a part of this whole.

Finished Hug Blanket

It was Jan 2 by the time my husband and I could arrange to make our annual Xmas pilgrimage to go visit Velda and family.

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Hubby's smirking. He knows what's coming...

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This is the closest V got to crying over the gift... which was very surprising! :)

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I know she's not admiring my shoddy seaming...

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Now that's what a hug is all about.

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All the women who schemed with me behind the scenes to make this happen... thank you so much. It would not have happened without you, and means infinitely more to both myself and Velda that you chose to be a part of this.

PS... isn't she gorgeous, Moon Boots and all?! :)

11 comments:

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I think that's the best thing you could do. I'm sure she loves it!

Kristin said...

Thank you so much for doing this for V. She is such a wonderful woman.

kate said...

If a measure of a friend is one square at a time, you just overflowed the linen cuboard baby! What a beauty and what an amazing friend your are!

Kim Stewart of Kija.ca said...

How wonderful you are!

Susan said...

Thank you, all. It was such a pleasure to set this in motion for Velda, and so wonderful to get a chance to know so many others who love her as well.

~Tammy said...

Thank you for doing this. I'm not a knitter, as is evidenced by my square, but it was comforting to hear the needles clicking away. I actually got my needles clicking - always my goal!

I've been snuggled in to the beauty and it is definetely that, a beauty.

Again, thank you!

Laine de Bergère said...

awww! that is superb. Beautiful collaboration and so huggable. A. xx

XUP said...

Yes, she is gorgeous. Even more gorgeous than the gorgeous quilt. There's something about a bald woman. It makes them look so strong and invulnerable, when you'd think it should be just the opposite.

Susan said...

XUP, you're absolutely right. I felt that too but couldn't put my finger on the words as well as you just have. I've never seen her look stronger.

Katla said...

Dear Susan,
I'm so happy to have been a part of this very special project. Thank you so very much for organizing and putting it all together. The afghan turned out absolutely smashing and I just love seeing the pictures of Velda.

Thanks again,

Katla Adams -- Panama

zoom said...

That's wonderful. My blanket meant the world to me when I got it, and it just keeps becoming more important to me as the months go by. For me, it's a symbol of everything that is right in the world.

I wish the very, very best for Velda - a complete recovery, while feeling loved and cared for throughout her treatment.