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.