mothers' day knitting

After finishing that last sweater, I was feeling adrift, knitting-wise. I still have Gemini on the needles but I'm still a bit stymied by the question of how much negative ease I actually want it to have. And I started a pair of socks a couple weeks ago...

...but I might run out of yarn. What you see above is the first of a pair of Spring Forward socks (Knitty again! How about that?). With the gusset nearly finished, I've got 21 grams left of a 50 gram ball of yarn, and I'm nervous it won't be enough. The prudent thing would be to rip back and do fewer repeats of the pattern on the cuff, but I'm tempted to throw caution to the wind and keep going just in case it works out. Because I'm such a risk-taker you know.

Anyway, I found myself less than enthusiastic about my current projects, and feeling a little like just casting on another sweater for myself would be both a tad selfish (since I've made so many of late) and impractical (summer is nigh). Then three days ago my next-door neighbor told me she is on medical leave from her job as a teacher because she has breast cancer. That's the sort of news that hits you in the gut and sucks the air out of you and reminds you yet again that life is short and precious and that the most petty thing in the world you could possibly complain about is how your kids don't like vegetables and you might run out of yarn for the sock you're knitting. I wouldn't say we are close, but she is a friend, a wonderful neighbor and a kind person. So is her partner. She is also young, probably my age (I'm 33) or not much older.

Immediately, I knew what I had to knit next. I'm making her a blanket.

I'm using yarn I normally wouldn't go near (Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick 'n Quick, which is 80% acrylic and 20% wool), but I could afford enough for a whole lap blanket and it's washable (I'm not sure where she stands on the whole hand-wash-only issue) and the cream color seems right for her. The yarn's nicer than I expected it would be, to be honest. Not nasty and squeaky like many acrylics, and soft enough.

I think sometimes knitters make stuff for people when we don't know what else to do.  How do you one show support without interfering in someone's private life? How do you make yourself available to help without getting in the way? My SIL was successfully treated for Hodgkin's Lymphoma three years ago, so I have an inkling (just an inkling, mind you) of how much this sucks. I made her a blanket, too; the one I'm knitting now is based on the same improvised pattern, only the gauge is slightly different. I hope she likes it. I hope it brings her comfort. And I hope she takes me up on the offer to bring some food over once in a while, and help weed her garden.

Sometimes it's easier just being an anonymous knitter for the greater good. Afghans for Afghans has launched a new campaign for just hats, mittens and socks due sometime in July 2012. I've already made a hat and plan to knit some more things, probably socks, to contribute. Some days it just seems there's just too much suffering and not enough comfort to go around.


Anonymous said…
A blanket is the perfect thing to give your neighbor. It's always cold in the chemo rooms and she will feel your support as a warm blanket and appreciate it.
Anonymous said…
I met you in the park today, and I wonder if this is the reason why. We spoke about knitting and so I came home to check your blog. I have a friend who is 33 and has breast cancer. She is lovely and would totally love something hand knit. I am going to make her a shoulder wrap I think. I wonder if our friend is the same person? I guess it doesn't matter. It was lovely meeting you in the park and I am excited to start knitting up a little love for Karyn. Thanks for the inspiration.

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