27 September 2013

Just starting....finally by Guest Blogger Gail

Hi! I'm Gail, a Southern California gal, retired & relocated to Anacortes, WA about 2 years ago. I met Kelli Wyll at our LYS prior to moving here while checking out the area. She is one of several women who have been instrumental in my growth as a knitter. Along the way we've become both friends & co-workers and I started following her blog.

When I read about Melissa's choice to publish her pattern and use the sales as a fundraiser for Emerging from Cancer and then read Rachel's story, I knew it was time to join my first KAL. I am knitting this project to honor the memory of my sister, Jan, who lost her battle with a very aggressive breast cancer less than 6 months after her diagnosis. Initially, I thought about choosing a pink yarn for this project, but that just didn't suit my sister's memory. The very last word you would choose to describe Jan is "girly." So I searched for a yarn that would symbolize her independence, strength, courage, and vulnerability. I found it in a baby alpaca yarn from Juniper Moon Farm called Herriot in a color named Granite. This has to be the softest yarn I've every used! The color is hard to describe ~ something between black, gray & brown. It's luscious! I've only finished two pattern repeats so far, but already I'm both entertained and challenged by both the pattern and my memories. Thank you, Melissa & Rachel for providing the inspiration for this journey.

When I figure out how I can add a photo, I will. Meanwhile, you can find me on Ravelry as islandbirdknits.


  1. well, here you are, Gail! glad to have you with us...I love that the yarn you chose to honor your sister is something that reminds you of her ~ it's beautiful (I just saw some of this in Oregon a few days ago)

    it's so touching that you're knitting memories of your sister into this shawl ~ it makes it that much more special

    thanks for taking the time to post & I can't wait to see a picture, Gail :)

  2. Gail you're great and not only do I like you cause you knit...but you give me the most beautiful furniture.

    Thanks for kaling with us.

  3. Gail, this shawl for Jan will be healing for you. I promise. As you knit it you will not only remember, you will look forward to a future that will hold marks of Jan within the shawl. I have an old prayer shawl of my mom's. I have no idea who made it for her. When she died shortly before I was diagnosed with cancer myself, I took it home and I put it away because it was painful. I remember her sitting in the chemo chair with it on to ward off the chills. I myself, used that shawl when I had my chills and it always made me feel like there was a mom hug in there...and it was a GOOD thing...not a painful thing. I wish that for you and Jan's Shawl. May her warmth be apparent and her hug be with you.

    {{CYBER HUGS}} Glad you are here Gail!!!