theraineysisters knitting and so much more

December 4, 2010

From Susan — Wrap it Up

Filed under: Wrapped in Care,Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 9:32 pm

In June of 2008, I posted about a program at the hospital where I work called the Wrapped in Care Program.  Women who suffer infant loss are given a handmade shawl as a way of saying we care, we are thinking  about you, you are not alone.  Many of you generously knitted and crocheted shawls for the program and for that I am so grateful.  I received a call this week from Dee Moore saying that they are running low on shawls.

I know many of you are crazy busy with the holidays — either doing your last minute knitting or shopping or getting ready for all of the festivities.  These shawls do not need to be done right away!  They can be knit any time throughout the upcoming year.   In fact, it would be preferred that they kind of trickle in as space is at a premium.   If you find yourself looking for a project that would find a good home, please consider this one.

Please read this brochure for details and mailing information.  THANK YOU!!

November 19, 2008

From Susan — A Brief Shawl Update

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 9:54 pm

Shawls must reproduce like bunnies out there in knitting land because I was deluged by shawls at last night’s Minnesota Knitters Guild meeting!  “Deluged” implies an overwhelming flood — maybe it would be more accurate to say I was accosted by several shawl-bearing knitters armed with finished shawls for the Wrapped in Care Project.  AND I received four more free kits from Patsy that her knitting peeps put together.   The kits were quickly dispersed and so the circle continues. 

I feel so proud to be a knitter!

November 16, 2008

From Susan — More Snow in the Forecast

Filed under: Winter Wonderland Shawl,Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 2:48 pm

More snow, but just a flake at a time!  I’ve been knitting on my snowflakes a bit here and there, with a somewhat stealth project in between.

This flake was a little more fun to do because there was a lot going on.   My hexies are smaller than they are supposed to be, so this may end up a scarf!

I am finding quite a few errors in the pattern, and no errata published.  I contacted them and asked about a particularly problematic omission and received information — with another error.  Okay, it is a tricky pattern and not a lot of people have made it.  However, there are  lot of mistakes, so be forewarned.  Many of the errors will become fixable once you are familiar with the pattern.   But if you like your numbers “clean,” this may not be the pattern for you!  If you decide to forge ahead, make a copy of the pattern and take notes as you go.  Most of the snowflakes are made twice, so the second one should be easier.

Wrapped in Care
I’d like to put in another plug for the Wrapped in Care Project.  We are still receiving shawls from around the country and closer to home, as well.  My Thursday knitting peeps continue to dazzle me with their generosity!  Here is a recent donation from Cathy, an Alix’s Prayer Shawl:

I took the liberty of sending a shawl directly to someone who shared her story in our company newsletter.  She knew from tests during her pregnancy that her baby would not survive.  In cases like that, the baby still must be carried to full term.  She knew her growing pregnancy would prompt questions and caring comments, and she did not want to have to explain her story to everyone who said, “When are you due?”  So, she enlisted the help of her co-workers to get the word out.  Her co-workers also hosted a baby shower and gave her keepstakes of the baby and items to help preserve memories (like a kit to make a plaster handprint of the baby).  Her baby died in utero one week before the due date. 

Most women don’t have that kind of preparation time and go into their childbirth with hope and joy.  The shawls cannot lessen the pain but at least can show support and caring from an anonymous friend.  We have had close to 50 shawls donated so far.  Thank you for all of your efforts!!

July 21, 2008

From Susan — Deer Readers

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 8:36 pm

I really learned a lot about deer!  You are all very knowledgeable.  Thank you, and I will never divulge if I made my DH pee in a bucket or cut off his hair :)!  Maybe the Irish Spring Soap is the easiest way to go…we’ll see!  He doesn’t have a whole lot of hair…but oldest daughter is in cosmetology school so I think we may have access to an unending supply!

Are you sitting down?  I have a finished object!  It has been so long I hardly know how to act.  I was so overwhelmed by the excitement that I immediately gave the thing away!  It was always destined for the Wrapped in Care Project.  I thought I better make at least one shawl, seeing as how shawls have been arriving from Canada and the UK!  There are at least 11 shawls so far.  I am amazed and touched at the response.  Dee — the chaplain collecting and distributing the shawls — said that when the first woman received her shawl, she wrapped herself up tight and would not let it go.  She had suffered not only the loss of her baby, but her mother as well.  She really needed a big hug and the shawl provided it.  I don’t know who will receive my shawl, but I hope she feels the warmth and care that I tried to put into every stitch.  And please check out this stunning work of art by Soo.  She designed this shawl and knitted it for Wrapped in Care — thanks, Soo!

I knitted my shawl using the Adamas Shawl pattern.  It is a very nice, basic shawl pattern.  I would recommend it highly, especially for the advanced beginner.  The instructions are both charted and written out long hand, so it will cover both preferences.  She included all RS and WS rows on the charts as well as the edge sts.  She also included the second half of the chart even though it is an exact repeat so the knitter could follow it better. 

The bad news is that I used cheap acrylic yarn so it would be “easy care” 🙁 .  I realized that I am a yarn snob for a reason.  The yarn, Caron’s Simply Soft in Country Blue, was not bad to knit with and the color was actually pretty, BUT it did not block very well because it is acrylic.  I am so used to wool and other natural fibers that block beautifully that it was a bit of a come down.  It takes as long to knit something out of crap as it does out of wondrous yarn, that it really does not pay to use crap. 

Here it is: 

It looks pretty good pinned out, but it kind of flopped when I unpinned it:

You can see that the points are mere blips!  Also, this pattern looks much prettier and more delicate in lighter weight yarn. 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately.  I don’t mean to focus so much on charity knitting, but it is what I have been finding myself doing the past few months, so bear with me.  I’ll be back to knitting for me again come the fall, which I hope will bring some interesting projects!

Sally will be back on line soon after dealing with a computer malfunction of epic proportions.  My knitting peeps always enjoy her posts the best (I think I’m insulted!), so I hope she returns soon.

July 11, 2008

From Susan — My Peeps is Back

Filed under: Mystic Waters Shawl,Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 12:10 am

Summer in Minnesota means that people go “Up North” — to cabins and resorts to enjoy our 15,000 lakes.  The city becomes a ghost town every weekend — especially over the 4th.  It has been tough finding two knitting peeps together at one time at my Thursday night group.  However, the peeps showed up tonight, at least 8 or so of us.  It was a wonderful way to spend an evening.  Are you knitting less and enjoying it more?  Then you must be at knitting night! 😉

Thanks to all of you for the unexpected and overwhelming response to the “old baby sweater.”  I guess the old classics truly stand the test of time.  I would share the pattern, but it would take a lot to uncover all the brain-webs and get to my inspiration, lost long ago!

I have been knitting a little here and a little there: trying to wrap up a shawl for Wrapped in Care and one for moi.  Dee Moore received three shawls from persons other than myself and has given one away.  She said when she saw how touched the mom was upon receiving the shawl, she was convinced this is a wonderful thing to do. 

I have been working on the Mystic Waters Shawl.  I hope people love it as my as I when I get it done.  I don’t know if it is a flashy as the Peacock Feathers or some other shawls, but something about it is very appealing to me.  I think it is the variety in the patterning that I like and the repetition of the squares within squares around the outer border.


I spoke to Sally today.  She has no cell phone service most of the time and cannot send emails, so she is pretty much incommunicado.   I miss our daily ::hourly:: phone chats and constant emails, etc.  It’s just not the same!

June 17, 2008

From Susan — Wrapped in Care

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 11:05 pm

Knitters are very kind and generous people.  Generous in spirit and generous by giving of themselves in the form of knitting.  I think most of us are more excited by the giving of a knitted item than the recipient.  It is an expression of love, affection, and caring — the gift of our time and talent, which is the most precious gift of all.  When asked, knitters step up to the plate every time.  I’ve seen it happen many times over, and I am counting on it now.  Prove me right, knitting peeps!

Wrapped in Care Shawl Project
I was approached recently by the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics — St. Paul about an idea they had come up with in their Bereavement Support Group —  a group for mothers who have suffered the death of an infant.  They would like to provide these women with a hand-knitted shawl at the time when they must say their final good-byes. 

The grieving parents often want to take a picture with their baby as a lasting memento.  If the mother has not already been discharged, she can be photographed holding her baby in a beautiful hand-knit shawl instead of a hospital gown.  Wrapped in Care.

They sought me out because they know I am an avid knitter — they wondered if I would be willing to knit a shawl for this fledgling idea of theirs.  And, did I happen to know any other knitters who might be interested.  It took me a few minutes to think about it (I am a bit slow on the uptake!). 

Do I know any knitters?
Until a few years ago, I was a solitary knitter, “networked” only with my sister.  Now, I am part of a weekly knitting group, a VP of the Knitters Guild, a regular blogger, and part of the Ravelry community.  I am linked to hundreds, no thousands, of knitters both locally and worldwide through the internet.  I started to think, wow, I could really get the word out and make this happen!

The Fates Played a Hand
Part of my role as a VP of the MKG is to plan monthly programs for the membership meetings.  The June 2008 program was selected long before I knew anything about the shawl project and the June topic: “Share Your Shawl” a member show-and-share of their gorgeous hand-knit shawls.  The program was held this evening, and it was an amazing sight — 47 of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring shawls you have ever seen! 

I thought this meeting would be the perfect time to roll out the “Wrapped in Care Shawl Project” and tie it into the “Share Your Shawl” theme.

I also realized that even though people have wonderful intentions, sometimes they get side-tracked as time goes by.  So, I went to the United Hospital Foundation and asked for funding for some free shawl kits to take to the Guild meeting.  I thought if people took a kit home, they would be more likely to knit a shawl.  So, I distributed 15 shawl kits at the meeting tonight.  Way to go, Guild Members!!!  Thanks in advance for your support!  Mwah!

This will be an ongoing effort with no specific deadline — too many shawls are needed.  United and Children’s are topnotch hospitals and provide excellent care to mothers and infants — but even so, 200 women each year leave the hospital with empty arms.

What can you do?
Please consider knitting a shawl!  I know many of you do charity knitting and many others are waiting to be inspired.  The details are included in the flyer and brochure linked below (and in the right-hand corner of the blog).  The finished shawls can be sent directly to Children’s Hospital.

My Thursday knitting peep, Emily, has really stepped up to the plate.  She is already on her third shawl!  Bless your heart, Emily — you’re wonderful!  Here are the shawls she knitted:

 The shawls do not need to be expensive.  And “easy care” is the key.  For the shawl kits, I did a lot of my shopping at JoAnn Fabrics (I know :)).  The Yarnery was another source!  The Bereavement Support Group said that soft yarn is preferred, in muted, non-variegated colors (or with very gentle variation in color) — these photograph the best. 

And please, help get the word out. 
Link this to everyone, everywhere.  I have created a pdf flyer and a bi-fold brochure that explain all the details, such as where to send the shawls, etc.  Take them to your knitting groups.  Link them to your blogs!  There are many free shawl patterns to choose from out there, such as The Alix Prayer Shawl and The Adamas ShawlI have also written up the two, very easy patterns pictured above.

Wrapped in Care Flyer

Wrapped in Care Free Patterns

These links will be available permanently in the right-hand column of our blog.

I am honored and humbled to be a part of this project.  I feel like it was meant to be — that the reason I blog and have linked up with other knitters over the years happened for a purpose.  I am so excited to share this with all of you!! 

Please help make this a reality.

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