Monday, March 7, 2011

The Hood

I know that I'm very late in posting about knitting the hood of my cape.  I finished it around the first of February, but unfortunately I haven't had a chance to take a picture of it yet.

I knitted the beautiful cables for the facing, being touched by the story of Meggie and Micheala and their love for each other.  I cried when I read the story, it touching my heart so tenderly.  I cried over the beautiful story of Mam's boxes, knowing that each of her gifts meant more to the recipients than anything "store bought" could ever have meant.  I remember how my Mom's parents didn't have a lot to give at Christmas, especially with 16 grandchildren, so they would fix lunch bags for each one of us that had an apple, an orange and some hard and soft candy along with peanuts that my Grandpa grew each summer.  We always loved getting those bags and didn't care if there was a "real" gift (what our friends always told us that their Grandparents gave them) or not.  To us, those bags were extra extra special.  They came from Grandma and Grandpa's hearts.

I used one chart of the boxes set in a stockinette hood to offset the beautiful Angels on the back of the hood.

I lost my Grandfather on my Pop's side Labor Day of 1977.  He was my world, my Hero and my Teddy Bear.  I knew that whatever bad happened, he'd always be there.  I know he's still here with me.  My Husband, kids and I live in his house.  He's protected us over the years that we've lived here and made sure that we knew whenever something was about to happen in the house.  He's warned me when the fuses were about to blow and caught a dresser and gently lowered it onto my oldest daughter's bed when my son decided that it looked like it'd be fun to use it as a stepladder while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, then helped me to lift that dresser off of my Son.  Thank God that my Son wasn't hurt and didn't have a single scratch on him.  My Grandpa is represented by the top Angel on my hood.

When Pop died in January, he became my Angel too.  I know he's watching over me and my kids.  I can feel him still with me and know that the night before his Memorial Service, he showed me that he was with okay.  I know that he's in Heaven.  My Sister-in-Law and I spent the night with my Mom that night and as I was waiting to fall asleep, I saw the light in Pop's closet turn on and off very quickly and knew that he must be checking on us.  I've heard him several times when I've been in their house since then.  He's the second Angel on my hood.

I haven't had the chance to talk about the hood until now and as I sit typing, I'm continually wiping tears as they flow freely.

Each of Meggie's stories touch my heart and hopefully knitting her story and relating it to my life will help me to heal a little more with each stitch.

It's getting a little easier to think about Pop's passing, but there are days when I seem to break into tears at the drop of a hat.  Everyone has always told me that I'm "soft-hearted".  I know that I am, that can't be helped.  I'm so glad that Meggie's story has touched my heart and everyone else's that is knitting along with her.

Monday, January 31, 2011


A while back, someone in one of my many Yahoo groups, mentioned that there was a wonderful designer on Ravelry who was going to design a cape based on the lives of her and her family.  They said that there would be Celtic knotwork and other beautiful designs in the pattern.  I'm not one to shy away from a knitting challenge and this one was just too good to possibly be true.

I checked out the group and found the most wonderful group of people that are all connected either by blood or by love.  Meagheen designs from her heart and gifts us with her tremendous talents.  We're very blessed that she has accepted all of us into her family.

When I decided to knit the cape, I had to decide what color and yarn that I wanted to use.  I looked at several yarns and colors from Knit Picks which is my very favorite place to order yarn online.  I found several colors that I would have loved to use, but since there was no way that I could gather enough money together to order 4500 yards of yarn all at one time so it would be close to the same dyelot, I wasn't able to use their yarn.  I finally decided to use Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool in the Natural color.  It's dyelotted, but since it's not dyed, I know that there won't be too much color variation from sheep to sheep.

I've been telling friends and family that I wanted to make the cape for me, something I have rarely done in my 30 plus years of knitting.  When my Mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, a present under her tree to unwrap, I told her that I'd like to have several skeins of yarn for my cape.  She told me to buy them and that she'd pay me back and that I'd "better be surprised when I opened the package Christmas morning".  I laughed and told her that I would, although we went shopping together for the yarn.

My Dad asked me why I didn't just go buy a cape if I wanted one, and I told him that it wasn't the cape that I wanted as much as I wanted to knit Meggie's story.  He nodded and told me that he understood, but I could tell that he really didn't.

When I told him that I wanted to buy a spinning wheel and that one of my ultimate goals was to spin enough wool to knit the cape a second time out of handspun, he looked at me and simply asked "why?"

I explained to him that I wanted to create something that was "all" mine other than the pattern.  He chuckled and asked if I hadn't already done that with my three children.  I knew that he didn't understand, but he hugged me and told me that he hoped that I would be able to do everything that I wanted with my knitting.

Little did I know that that would be the last "real" conversation that I ever had with him.  He fell ill on Christmas Eve and was rushed to the hospital by my Mother Christmas morning.  After many tests and exams, the doctor told them that Pop needed emergency surgery, but that they weren't sure he was strong enough to withstand it.  My Mom called me and told me that she needed me and my Brother to come sit with her.  Mike, Alaina (my Sister-in-Law) and I went and were able to spend a bit of time with Pop.  

Pop was in a lot of pain and not able to talk much, but he was able to tell us that he loved us and talk a little bit before they had to take him in to surgery.  He made it through the surgery but never woke up totally.  The doctors and nurses kept him in an induced coma and on a ventilator until the Friday after New Years.  Although the doctors did everything that they possibly could, Pop never rallied and became sicker and sicker.  We had to make the very hard decision to remove all the tubes and machines that Friday.  He woke up just enough on Saturday that he was able to follow everyone that was in his room with his eyes, but was never able to speak.  He passed away quietly in the wee hours of January 9, 2011.

My Parents were married for a little over 54 years.  They had their ups and downs, just like everyone does, but they loved each other and they loved my Brother and I.  

In knitting Meggie's story, I'm dedicating it to the love that my Parents had for each other and for their family.  I wanted Pop to see my cape as it progressed.  I hope that he's watching from Heaven as I knit and that in knitting Meggie's story, my heart will start to heal.

I love you Pop, always. Meggie, thanks for accepting me into your wonderful family.  You've blessed me by letting me get to know you and your very large clan.