Auntie Ann Knits

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lois's Shawl for Lisa

I never met Lois, but Lois has touched my life, and now Lisa's.

Lois lived in our town, but I never knew her. When she passed away, DH was hired to help clear out her home. The family lived far away and wasn't interested in most of her 'stuff'. Clever man that he his, DH salvaged all of Lois's needles, hooks and yarn for me.

I know these things about Lois: she loved her tools and cared for them with love. She hand-sewed a sweet little case for her collection of crochet hooks, which range all the way down to a tiny size 15. She had a number of good quality scissors, and on each one she had crocheted yarn around one handle and affixed a needle threader.

In going through Lois's yarn, it became clear to me that Lois had meant to knit a prayer shawl for someone. There it all was: the needles, the pattern, and four skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn. One of the skeins had been hand-wound into a ball. Had she begun it, only to rip it out for some reason? Had she never started? I'll never know.

To pay the universe back for letting me have all of Lois's tools and leftover yarn, I decided to knit the prayer shawl. I am not exactly a praying type, and I wasn't sure who the shawl would go to. I figured the answer would probably come to me as I was knitting it.

When the shawl was nearly done, our neighbor and friend Lisa was hospitalized with pneumonia. Lisa has had a rough several years in terms of her health. She has undergone treatment for breast cancer, which (knock on wood) so far seems successful. She had an extremely painful bout of shingles. Her liver failed. She was in the hospital numerous times. Now she seems to be doing better on many fronts, but has just had cataract surgery on top of everything else.

Obviously the shawl should go to Lisa, it seemed to me.


And here is Lisa at our last knit night, wearing the shawl and knitting away.

Lisa and Sarah

Big enough for two!

When I took it around the corner to Lisa's, her husband's reaction was, "she'll wear that every night". It seems like a perfect thing for cuddling in front of the television. This is knit just like a big Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth pattern, on the bias -- very simple.

I have to say that at first I didn't like knitting with this yarn. It's highly textured, making it a little splitty and grabby. I had to very deliberately knit much more loosely than I normally do (a good lesson for me, perhaps?). But the more I knit with it, the easier it became to do, and I do really like the result.

To Lois: I feel as though I did know you just a little after all, and I thank you.