Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sharon's Shawl

I brought Sharon her shawl today. Here she is wearing it on her deck (click to enlarge). Her husband is in home hospice care, and was asleep when I stopped by.

Sharon gave me permission to post these photos. When I asked if I could take them, she laughed and said, "You're going to put them on your blog, aren't you?"

The house has seen a lot of new people lately: family and friends, hospice workers, healthcare aides. Sharon's little dog, Misty, has been very disconcerted by all this. When I got there, she wouldn't do anything but growl at me, trying to protect her person against another stranger; by the end of my visit, though, she let me pat her.

Here's another shot of the shawl. I really did love making it, even though the yarn drove me crazy and even though there are plenty of errors.

A friend at work said, "Isn't it a Buddhist practice to make sure that every project contains an error?" I told her that if so, this is the most Buddhist prayer shawl ever.

I hope the shawl, however flawed, will bring Sharon a little bit of comfort during a hard time.


  1. It's very beautiful. Your knitting has inspired me to pick up my needles again, too. It's going to be a woolly Christmas, I tell you.

  2. Anonymous2:49 AM

    Isn't the 'deliberate error' a New England practice re quilts?

    The shawl looks splendid, made with love.


  3. That was a wonderfully thoughtful and caring gift, Susan! If I were in Sharon's position I'd feel wrapped in love every time I put it on. From the smile on her face I doubt she sees any flaws. It seems clear to me that she sees something beautiful created for her by a loving friend.


  4. I thought the custom of leaving an error in a handmade work was Navajo in origin, but when I googled it I came up with this. Apparently it's all a myth, at least in quilting. Probably equally so with knitting. Still, it's a pleasant thought.

  5. the shawl is lovely. And you've inspired me to get back to my knitting of scarves to donate to our local social services agency. Now you should make Misty a dog blanky.

  6. Wow that is a beautiful shawl! I'm sure she feels loved.

  7. Anonymous8:10 PM

    If I were in Sharon's position I'd feel wrapped in love every time I put it on.

    Well folks, I am Sharon, and I do feel wrapped in love and comfort. Yesterday was not a good day, and I spent the evening wrapped in my lovely shawl reading one of the Crosswick Journals by Madeleine L'Engle -- a wonderful writer who recently died -- whose words have given me comfort and pleasure over the years. And I'm "not saying Susans' written work is comforting. It's not, it's challenging, but my oh my, her knitting; her love and friendship are beyond words.

    And every one of those wrinkles on my face in the blog picture are well-earned!

    I want to leave with this note, Susan and I met in a curious comedy of errors (on my part) when I signed up for a short summer course with her first summer in Reno and my first summer in Reno in 36 years.

    Ten years ago I was in my late fifties thinking I'd smooze a quick course at the "U." Susan, on the other hand, was a new, young faculty member from the Ivies who expected a whole lot more than I'd anticipated giving.

    Every day after class I'd go down to a park by our river (we only have one river here)and wonder what on earth I was doing and why.

    Well, Dr. Palwick is one hell of a good teacher. It also turns out she's one very dear, dear friend.


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