I worked so hard knitting for others in 2009 that I declared 2010 "The Year of Selfish Knitting." The rule was no "have to" knitting, only "want to" knitting. It started really well. Selfish felt good. Then I had lunch with my beloved Annabelle, my critic teacher from student teaching many, many years ago. Annabelle had breast cancer surgery during the summer of 2009 and participated in Casting for Recovery in April of 2010. CFR is a national organization providing retreat experiences for breast cancer survivors. Annabelle was gathering gifts for participants for the next CFR. All Annabelle had to do was ask and I decided I could design and knit a Survivor's Shawl. My first CFR retreat was in April 2011 and I made 17 shawls. The second was in 2012, and I made 20 shawls. I soon found I was addicted and couldn't stop knitting Survivor Shawls. I have made close to 60 and have given them to survivors all over the country.
Not only did I become addicted to knitting Survivor Shawls, I became addicted to pink yarn. Every time I was in a LYS or looking at a yarn catalogue or looking at an online yarn store I would be on the prowl for different pink yarn. Did you know that pink can be pale or deep, shaded with peach or blue or purple or green, or sparkly? I currently have 15 tubs of pink yarn. I bought hundreds of pink skeins to represent the hundreds of breast cancer survivors. The pinks are pale/bright, thick/thin, dark/pastel, plain/fancy, deep/light, soft/ruff, bold/subdued, hot/cool just like survivors. Bringing individual colors together to form the shawl represents all of those things breast cancer survivors have in common. Just as each fiber is beautiful on its own, so is each survivor. Bringing fibers and survivors together creates something spectacular.
I thought I was making the shawls for Annabelle and breast cancer survivors, but really I was making them for myself. As I worked on the shawls I found I could not feel angry, sad, upset or depressed. I could only feel joyous.
In my next post, I will share the Survivor Shawl pattern.