Very Special Yarn: Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post, we’re sharing the stories behind colourways created at last Saturday’s WWKIP Event at Shall We Knit? in Waterloo. While we were there, we did some dyeing demos, auctioning off Naming Rights and the yarn itself, to support The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. In the end, we raised $1691.

So with that kind of success, you just know this is going to become an annual event! Get ready for next year.

Yes They’re Fake — The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me

Wendy’s colour, named for a T-shirt slogan very popular in the breast cancer community, was definitely a colourway that everyone was excited about. Before the dye hit the yarn. (sometimes that’s how it works)

I’m just me coming through the other side of my year in Hell. Some of you know I HAD Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed on June 24, 2011. I felt a lump on June 17. I’m doing well now just need to get the final work on the girls, and get back in shape and healthy. Unfortunately my family on both sides has a lot of cancer experience…
I joke with friends sometimes that I was gonna have cancer it was just a question of where. We have all just kept on living with everything going on. Some of our fights were harder than others and some of us suffered a bit more than the rest.

This colourway has gray – for the blur that your life becomes after you hear the words “you have Cancer”. Charcoal bits for the really bad days that you feel like crap and are tired of the fight. Red for the days you come up for air and think “hell yeah I can do this, I can beat this thing”. Finally, pink because it is the color for Breast Cancer.

Wendy, knowing what I know about you I don’t think it’s a mistake that of all the colours, the red came screaming to the surface, kind of taking over the others. 😉


I’ve Had Sufficient

Naomi‘s colourway:

…all the colours of my childhood home in the summer. the white siding and picket fence, emerald green shingles and shutters, a smattering of red for the Salvia that blooms in front of the fence, and a patch of sky blue for the backyard pool. The pool and gardens haven’t had the attention they usually get this summer– but next year Mom will be back to her old schedule.

”I’ve had sufficient” is an old dinner table exchange, and it takes two.
No thanks, I’ve had sufficient
What’s that? You went fishin?
No, I’ve had plenty
What? You caught 20?
You silly old fool.
What? You fell in the pool?”

In the pot:
I've had sufficient @nmillur


The Good, The Bad And The VERY Functional

Carolyn’s colourway is for her grandfather, a machinist, a car repair man, and was lovingly known as the diesel doctor. He could make anything out of anything (and it was even better if he found the parts in a dumpster or thrift store). He said it was beautiful if it was functional and that aesthetics weren’t important as long as the dang thing worked properly.

Up until 3 weeks before his passing he was still doing everything he could around the house including finishing up welding the world’s most incredible bottle tree that he had promised my mother the previous Christmas. One of his last wishes was that the bottle tree he had lovingly welded would be properly finished for my mother. The day before his passing my father and I spent hours brushing welds and painting this tree. Then finally I borrowed my grandfather’s post-hole digger and I dug my first post hole at my mother’s store to “plant” the tree. My grandfather actually lived to see his last creation finished and I would like the yarn to be inspired by it. Here is picture of the bottle tree (which is made out of steel and rebar that he found in a dumpster and the bottles he lovingly collected from thrift stores before he passed).

The bottle tree:
©Carolyn S.

On the drying rack:
The good the bad the very functional


Decorating The Tree With Clare (Dancing To Abba)

Lisa’s story needs no introduction:

My sister-in-law, Clare, died a year and a half ago. She was diagnosed with breast cancer just short of her 33rd birthday, 5 weeks before the due date of her first child. She lived a phenomenal amount in the 4 1/2 years after that diagnosis – managed to walk my nephew to his first day of school, which had been one of her goals! She was an Olympic torch bearer, and lit the cauldron in her community a year before she died, despite her body fighting against her. She was a world traveler, a teacher, and a dear friend to an incredibly close-knit group that had been friends since elementary school. She and my brother were a one-of-a-kind intertwined couple.

One family tradition that Clare and I loved to share was the crazy tree decorating at my mom’s. The fragrant tree would be placed in its stand, the motley assortment of mismatched ornaments hung (all with “Dancing Queen” playing in the background – what, you don’t listen to Abba while you decorate the tree?), and then came the ritual “flinging of the tinsel”. We would dance around to Abba’s greatest hits (on vinyl, no less), and create the gaudiest, shiniest, disco-inspired tree you have ever seen.

My kids help me do it now, though we use Lee Valley tinsel, so it’s not quite as much fun (though much more environmental), and we listen to Abba, and remember Auntie Clare.

On the drying rack:
Decorating with Clare


Thank you to everyone who shared their incredibly touching and often funny stories with us. Please go read them all. You won’t regret it!


2 thoughts on “Very Special Yarn: Part 2

  1. OMG! It’s gorgeous! I can’t wait to pet it! Really though, I want to thank you Kim – you gave us the chance to make our stories and memories concrete. Not just real but beautiful, and we had a hand in their creation. Everyone’s fight is amazing and beautiful in their own way, and the memories are priceless. In addition, we got to benefit a wonderful cause. Again, thank you very much. Oh yeah the red is great;)

  2. Pingback: Studiopalooza | indigodragonfly

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