We invite you to share your Friendship Shawl story on these pages. We'd love to know about the special person who has touched your life and something about the shawl design you selected. E-mail your story and digital photo to: info@WarmUpAmerica.org or mail them to: Friendship Shawl, 469 Hospital Dr., 2nd Floor Suite E, Gastonia, NC 28054.
Alice, Brooklyn, NY
When I saw on TV how Katrina victims are still suffering, I was upset and wanted to do something. I'm on a fixed income, however, and don't have money to contribute to the relief effort. A few weeks ago, I met someone at my church who told me she had knitted Friendship Shawls for Katrina victims, sent them to Warm Up America, which distributed them, through another church in the South. It got me thinking about how I could put my "stash" of yarn to good work. I have knitted six shawls so far and sent them to Warm Up America. I wrote them saying they could send them to Katrina victims or to women in shelters or to whomever they thought needed a little extra warmth.
Tanis, Jersey City, NY
Having a relationship that our friends are envious of, calling each other multiple times a day and missing her terribly when I went away to college, my mom and I have been two peas in a pod since the day I was born.
Mom taught me how to knit with the assistance of an old friend when I was 9. She always said I took to it "like a duck to water" and right from that first badly casted on stitch, I was hooked. I watched her struggle with a mauve-colored mohair sweater for me during that time and vowed that someday I would make her something just as gorgeous.
My husband and I got engaged in the fall of 2004. We had almost 2 years until the wedding and I figured in early 2006 I was home free with the planning for a wedding to take place on June 10th. In early June I got a call from my mom, requesting a beaded shawl for her to wear to the event. Panicked, I searched for the perfect pattern, too afraid to take on lace knitting this late in the game. I had 10 days and a full time job, last-minute plans and relatives coming from all over.
Mom needed a shawl.
I found a perfect beaded scarf pattern for her in an old Rowan book and adjusted it to be a shawl, ran around Manhattan buying the yarn, the golden beads and casted on and started knitting like a crazy person. That shawl was worked on at lunch, on my morning and evening commute on the subway, when I got home from work, in bed before going to sleep. I even tried knitting and working out on the elliptical matching at the same time (for the record, not a good idea).
Wrists aching, vision blurred, I struggled on. Using every last bead and every inch of yarn, I finished the day before we were due to drive home to Boston for the wedding.
That shawl was a true labor of love, every stitch full of thoughts and memories shared by my mother and I and prayers for our future and good health.
Seeing my mom walk down the aisle before me outside in a beautiful garden, beads sparkling and yarn perfectly matching her dress, I felt proud to be her daughter. We had come full circle, the mauve sweater for a 9-year old in exchange for a beaded "mother of the bride" shawl.
I'll never forget how amazing Mom looked that day.
Chris, Rockland County, NY
I volunteer at a local nursing home several weekends a month, which is how I first met Sarah, a spry 89 year old.
Often bedridden by painful arthritis, she does her best to get around with a cane but most of the time is in a wheel chair.She has no family and friends who visit and I wanted to do something special for her.
I'm a beginning crocheter and decided to make her a Friendship Shawl, so I selected a very easy pattern from the Craft Yarn Council's web site:(http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/projects/april00_crochetproj.html). Sarah was surprised and thrilled with her shawl—she wears it all day everyday but she's too shy to have her picture taken. This gift said everything that I found too awkward to express to her in words…Sarah is my friend.
Mary, New York City
My niece Tiffany is very special to me for many reasons. Of course, I tease her about being my one and only niece, which is true, but there's more. She's so much fun to be with and she shows amazing kindness to those around her, whether they are friends, family or people at work. Trained as a geriatric counselor, she helps individuals and families maneuver today's complicated health care system and to find the community support they need to live quality lives. Her days are long and challenging and I hoped this "swingy," purple (her favorite color) Friendship Shawl would be the perfect pick me up. She assures me it is…as does her cat Figgy!