Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Beginnings and Ends.

Cheerful shades of Malabrigo Worsted.

My friend Rosemary and I started this blanket together a couple of weeks ago for a friend who became seriously ill while working Zambia. She was camping, and a terrible accident occurred that resulted in her being covered in burns. She was sent to South Africa, where she was joined by her mother, sister and uncle.

Rosemary and I, who have known this friend since we were children, were so upset by this news, and wanted to do something, anything, to help. There wasn't much that we could do from so far away, Rose being in Virginia, and me being in London, but Rose had the perfect idea that we could knit her something. Of course! If anything, the knitting we would do would be a comfort to us, who felt so helpless at this worrying time.

The pattern starting to grow.

We exchanged countless emails, deciding on the pattern, the yarn, the logistics. We started the blanket and as updates came in on our friend's progress, the blanket grew. We so looked forward to the day when we could send it off to her, hoping it would cheer her hospital room and keep her warm and comforted in the South African winter.

Yesterday, we got the devastating news that our dear childhood friend didn't make it. She lasted 58 days from the day of her accident - it never occurred to us she wouldn't continue to progress. Rose emailed to tell me the news - and also, what would we do with the blanket??


I looked at the pile of knitting last night. I'd completed about half of my portion. Looking at it, once full of so much hope and so much potential... I wondered if I would be able face knitting the rest.

We've decided to keep knitting. Now her family could use some comfort and some tangible affirmation that she touched lives. And actually, once I forced myself to pick up the knitting again, working each stitch comforted me too. Although knitting this blanket is a constant reminder of what we've lost, something about the soft yarn in my hands, the cheerful colours that remind us of our friend and the rhythm of each stitch are soothing. I don't know what I would've done without it.


Jo said...

I'm so sorry Megan.

I hope that your beautiful blanket brings everyone some comfort.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is tragic. You have such a big heart to continue with such a difficult project. I know that as hard as it may be to continue with the blanket it will mean so much to your friend's family. Best of luck.

Julie said...

oh, that is so very tragic; I'm so sorry for your loss. The blanket will be such a comfort to her family, for sure.

Mom2Schnauzers said...

I'm just a lurker here but this post brought tears to my eyes. This blanket will, indeed, comfort her family and be a reminder of how much she meant to you. I'm sorry for your loss.

Rebecca said...

Oh Meghan, I'm so sorry. I don't really have words that will comfort, except to save you're a wonderful friend to continue such a project for her family. I hope that in time it helps both them and you get through such a difficult time.

Ariane said...

I think you are really courageous by continue knitting this blanket.
Maybe, when you finish it, a part of the mourning process will be over.

Toutes mes condoléances à vous et à sa famille (sorry for the french phrase: it's a sympathy form we use in those times...)

meghanaf said...

Thank you everyone for such kind comments. Rose and I are still working away and I'll try to share a photo with you of the finished blanket once we're done.

hibou said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend. I'm terribly sorry that she didn't make it.

Sarah said...

I found your blog on Ravelry and this is the first post I've read. I am so sorry for your loss. In times like this I am so, so grateful for knitting.

I am glad it brings you peace.

AndiPants said...

I occasionally lurk on your blog and I wanted to finally comment and say that I'm so sorry about your loss. I hope your friend's family finds the blanket comforting. The colors on your blanket are beautiful and warm. I'm glad that it's helping you deal with your grief.

jane said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. There aren't words. The blanket is beautiful --perfect.

meghanaf said...

Thanks again everyone for your lovely comments. I've sent my half of the blanket to Rose now, to be joined up and given to my friend's mom. Will post pictures of the finished projects as soon as I can. xxx