Monday, September 29, 2008

A Kerry Blue Saturated With Memories

The Kerry Blue Shawl is one of my oldest WIPs. I began it as part of a KAL on the About.com knitting forum. That forum is where I joined the online knitting community when I first got back into serious knitting in late 2004. I send my thanks to the many wonderful and helpful knitters I met via that forum, especially the one who posts as MousePotato who was so generous with her advice. She agreed to lead the KAL, introduced me to Emily Ocher's circular cast-on and was extremely informative in too many ways for me to describe here.

This shawl traveled with me through one of the most painful experiences of my life--my father's illness from metastasized melanoma and subsequent death. I carried it with me during the summer of 2005 while my father was in the last stages of his illness and I was flying home to Texas every few weeks. Because the lace patterns line up and are easy to memorize it was the perfect travel knitting.

I also knitted on it at while staying in Texas, sitting with my father in the den while we watched television together and talked and later, by my father's bedside, after he could no longer walk and a hospital bed replaced his easy chair. I especially recall one night toward the end of his life when I stayed up all night until my brother relieved me at almost dawn. Working on the shawl kept me awake and helped to relieve the heartbreak I was experiencing. My father died a few days later, by which time I had returned to California.

I know this story is sorrowful but this shawl does not represent sorrow to me. It is a tangible reminder of a time when our family gathered together to care for and say goodbye to a man we deeply loved and admired and to support our mother who lost her best friend and husband of 54 years. I knitted on an ocean wave lace edging because my favorite family holidays as a child and as an adult were spent at the beach.

Here are the blocking shots. The process was hard on my back but it was a joy to see the lace reveal itself as I stretched out the blocking wires. Neither shot captures the color. I'll try for accurate color when I do the project post.


(The dark horizontal ridge visible in the bottom photo is the hem of one of the towels I placed under the shawl.)

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1 Comments:

Blogger CatBookMom said...

That's a lovely story, Tess. I remember when that KAL started, and I think Lunadog participated; she has a Kerry Blue, which I first saw in 2005 when I was in Vancouver.

So nice that you have good memories of knitting it, and the warm feelings of being close to your father.

10/01/2008 10:37 AM  

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