Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Very Special WIP Wednesday

qiviut yarn She knits in pearls

The WIP I have to share this week is a very special one.  So special that I am finding it hard to put in to words, but I will try.  I am making a smoke-ring for a very dear friend of mine who has been diagnosed with colon cancer.  When I first learned of her diagnosis, I had no idea what I could say or do to offer her my support and show her I care.  I was so dumbfounded for words I, I'm embarrassed to say, I said nothing at all and I'm still a bit ashamed of this.  What do you say?  What can you do?  I didn't know at all.  Until she let me know exactly what I could do and it just so happens to be one of the things I love to do.  I can knit for her.  Why this was not obvious, I'll never know.  It so happens that one of the many nasty side effects from chemo is a heightened sensitivity to cold so knitted goods will be of comfort to her mental and physically.  I was so happy that I could be of help. 

Of course, there's just one problem with my plan, she's allergic to wool.  OH MY GOODNESS!! That must be every knitters worse nightmare!  Why can't she be allergic to acrylic?  I could happily deal with that.  I'm not a huge fan of acrylic (although I admit there is some ok stuff out there these days) and I'm happy to steer clear of it.  Steering clear of wool is a whole different story.  Everything I touched that was in a colorway she enjoys (jewel tones) had some bit of wool in it, even if it was only 10%.  I did come to find out that she can do Qiviut which is the super soft underwool of the muskox.  Of course this is one of the most expensive fibers around.  Plus, most of the 100% Qiviut yarn is in boring (natural) browns.  I found a few beautiful Qiviut blends, but most of those were blended with merino wool.  DAMN!!!  I was very thankful to find out that she could tolerate the Artic Dream Qiviut, it is a Qiviut/Cashmere/Silk blend that is heavenly to the touch.  Hurray, I found the yarn.  But here comes another problem, the price.  This stuff isn't cheap at all.  I'm not working, so coming up with an extra $152 (especially when we just moved unexpectedly) was not a possibility.  But I'm clever and thanks to Facebook and other mutual friends, I was able to raise the money.  I'll leave the list of contributors anonymous for now.  They shall be revealed when the project is done and sent or to our dear friend.  I hope she knows how much her friends love her and have come together for this project.  She's a pretty smart gal, so I'm sure she knows.
Qiviut Cowl She Knits in Pearls

This pattern is free on Ravelry, it is the New New Shale Cowl  by Leila Raabe Designs.  No, that isn't a typo, it really is the New New Shale Cowl.  It's a simple ripple stitch that works well with a yarn that is so heavenly variegated.  I personally think that the more complex the yarn is, the simpler the stitch design needs to be.  A lovely lacey design would simple be lost among all the color changes.  It also means I'm not cursing my way through a project that is meant to be knit with love (not extreme profanities). 

The yarn is Arctic Dream and the colorway is Winter Storm.  It is a luxurious blend of 55% Qiviut, 30% Cashmere, 15% silk.  This delicate lace weight yarn comes in a hank with approximately 437 yards or 58 grams.  Who the hell comes up with these numbers?  Artic Qiviut is a based out of North Pole, Alaska and was purchased at Northern Threads.  I love being able to support local businesses.

As I said earlier, I'm embarrassed that I had no idea what to do or say when my friend was in crisis and my reaction was poor in that I said and did nothing.  I hope to never do this again.  What have you found helpful when you were in crisis, or how have you helped to show support and care to a friend or loved one?  Have you ever made something for that friend, if so what?   I haven't read the manual on friendship but am always willing to learn as much as I can.

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