Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Answered Prayers

Prayer Shawl
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I didn't think I'd have anything blog-worthy today, but lo and behold, I remembered that the finished Prayer Shawl for Chuck was in Lee's truck. So I got it out and took its picture. It's nice and stripey, and really doesn't look like it is a bunch of different colors, does it? I do realize that choosing to photograph lovely handknits while one is wearing a fairly garish tie-dye t-shirt is not the ideal fashion choice. But, it did get to be a reasonable length, and I am happy to say the knitting is fairly consistent, given that 7 people of varying ages and gauges worked on it.

Of course, it didn't get finished quickly enough to actually get it to our minister before he went far off, so it will have to be a "welcome back" shawl. That's good, because that leaves me plenty of time to wash it more than once and get all the dog and cat dander out of it. After sniffing the shawl, I realized everyone who had worked on it had multiple pets, and the recipient has allergies! So, I'll get it all clean and put it in a plastic bag, away from my animals.

How do you get one of these? Again, you go out and buy as many skeins of Noro Kureyon, Silk Garden or other self-striping yarn as you can find and parcel them out to people who want to help. Then knit up the standard broken garter stitch prayer shawl in whatever width you want. Each person knits up their ball of yarn! If you don't have enough people, some can knit more than one skein (on this one I knit three).

I thought the prayer shawl was a good item to post today, since, if I were a praying type, I'd say my prayers were answered today when Lee got a job lined up, after a lot of delays. He is going on as a contractor where he'd hoped to get a full time job with benefits, but the contract can extend, and they hope it will eventually become the "real" job that got put on hold. This means a lot more breathing room for us. Thanks to all who were sending out vibes, prayers or thoughts for this.

Now I invite you to turn your energies toward one of my favorite yarn vendors, Ray from Knitivity. He has already been through Hurricane Katrina, and now is having to deal with the aftermath of Ike. He actually makes his living dyeing yarn, which means if he can't dye, he can't earn money. Who knows how long he will be without electricity, or how much damage his mobile home received in the hurricane?

What I did to help a little was to go over and order some yarn, so that when he CAN do it, he will have work to do, and money to cover repairs and living expenses. And it's not like it's torture. The yarn is lovely! I ordered a "surprise" skein of sock yarn, and look forward to seeing what this month's surprise is. My kids' high school gym is full of refugees, and I have done little things to help people in general, but it is nice to know I helped someone specific, too. If you were wondering how you could help some of the people whose lives were precarious to start out with, and who can really be devastated by the aftermath of a random piece of weather, think about Ray or someone else you know of who could use a boost. All I know is that, with all our job issues, we haven't been that far from crossing the line where it would be hard to recover from ourselves.

Happy knitting--I'll be working on my socks during a meeting tonight but hope to get back to Maelstrom when I get home, and more tomorrow!

PS: I ordered yarn to make OpArt from the new Knitty for a baby who will be here in March. I got black and white KnitPicks Swoosh. Oops, Ray really doesn't like KnitPicks, but hey, I want to use the yarn called for in the pattern so it will be vaguely right. And I had to replace my needle gauge that I lent out at Chicks with Sticks and have not seen since. So I patronize LOTS of yarn sources, I am keeping the yarn economy happy!

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