Small world, Afghans for Afghans edition
Friday March 09th 2007, 11:19 am
Filed under: afghans for Afghans,Knit,Knitting a Gift,LYS

About five years ago, I ran into someone I barely knew, a former fellow knitter. She said she was a quilter now, and offered to give me her yarn stash! No. I knew what gorgeous work she’d done in the past. Surely you’ll get back to it someday.

No. Don’t want it. You take it. I’m getting rid of it. I’d rather have the closet space.

I finally thought, well, better me than Goodwill, okay, sure! So, soon after, Pamela came over to my house with all these fabric bags stuffed with yarn, nice yarn, good wools and the like. It was an incredible amount, and she refused any kind of payment; she was just glad to see it go to a good home. Wow.

There were twenty balls of a donegal tweed in brown (does that sound familiar yet?), and I ended up knitting them, along with a strand of a darker camelhair/lambswool blend, into a thick warm blanket. My plan was to give it back to her as a thank you for all the yarn. I didn’t know how to reach her other than her phone number she’d given me when we’d run into each other in a store.

I called. I left messages three times, eventually telling her answering machine that I had something I wanted to give her as a thank you. Eventually, I thought, well, I don’t want to stalk you, honey, I guess you’re not interested. And so I quietly kept the afghan. It sat to the side, unused and uncertain.

Last year I almost donated it to Afghans for Afghans, but, for no earthly reason I could tell you, I just didn’t feel like it.

Meantime, Sandi, my friend who gave me that red scooter down a few posts ago, opened a new yarn store last year, and started having knitting group nights every Thursday. I’ve wanted to go, but, not driving, I’ve just never made it there yet. I get to my old group, somehow, just fine. But I haven’t gotten to that one, even though it’s closer.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I decided this year to finally give that brown blanket to Afghans for Afghans at Stitches–it felt like the right time, at last–I emailed Ann Rubin to ask her if they could handle a larger item at this time, and that whole story happened.

It was long past when I should have been allowed to make such a change to the text of my book, but I asked my editor afterwards if, now that the Barn Swallows scarf had declared whom it had been for all along, if we could mention Ann and her organization in my book before it flew off to the printer. She checked, and–I absolutely love Martingale Press–said sure. So just barely in time, that happened, and that wonderful A4A organization will get the publicity it so much deserves: a place where individual knitters can create connections to other people, create a bit of world peace, one person at a time. And my profound thanks to whoever at Martingale decided I needed my projects suddenly back, so that I had Ann’s scarf in hand in time for Stitches to give to her. When I hadn’t even known I would need it, and neither did they.

Meantime. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has been doing some home repairs, and someone posted a comment on her blog. I read it, and immediately shot off a note to the woman: I had no idea who she was or where she lived in the world, but I simply said, I live in an Eichler home in California, meaning one where, like your house, the water lines were originally run under a concrete slab. We, like you, developed a leak under there. We knew that; what we didn’t know, was that by not immediately repairing it, the vibrations it set off ended up breaking the pipes open in 17 places. In our case, we’d been sitting for 18 months on plans to remodel our house. All the sudden, we could no longer just sit there, we had to really do something, with the result being that that remodel did happen. Meantime, (I told her), if you don’t want to jackhammer your whole slab, get that fixed right away.

I got a note back yesterday from the woman. She exclaimed, “I think I KNOW you!”

It was Pamela! All this time later, she’d come back to her needles after all. There was a knitting group meeting at Sandi’s shop, and she’d been going to it, in case I was interested in meeting up there.

If I had gone to Purlescence’s knitting nights all those times before, all those times it never quite happened, I would have seen Pamela, I would have given her her afghan and been glad of it, and that would have been the end of it. Ann Rubin would never have been able to ship it off to Afghanistan, Ann never would have gotten her scarf, and associating it with her and mentioning her in my book would never have occurred to me.

Pamela checked out my blog, saw the photo, says she missed out on a good thing, but was thrilled that that blanket is off to where it’s off to–“How cool is that!” was her reaction. Go Pamela!

And now I can finally, at last, get her yarn-holding bags back to her!

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