Saturday, January 16, 2010

tugging at my heartstrings

A year or two ago I got back in touch with an old childhood friend. A few weeks ago I learned that she was in the hospital, because her immune system decided to munch on her heart, and she needed a new one. (There is a more technical term for the auto immune disease that munched on her heart. I don't remember what it is, except that it's rare and very scary.)

After obsessively following her online updates and wringing my hands with worry, I realized that I could direct that nervous energy to something productive. Silly, yes, but also productive. If she needed a new heart, why not just make one? So obvious.


Thank you, Kristin Ledgett, for this beautiful and simple pattern. I made mine larger than life using an aran weight yarn (Harrisville Highland) and size 4 needles. And I stuffed it with leftovers from combing my blue cormo, figuring that that could just be blood that needs to be oxygenated, right?

Joclyn received her new heart yesterday. Not the wool one (though that should also have landed in Brooklyn by now), but the real beating kind. And is doing great. She is a superstar. (As is the person who signed their donor card, and made her continued life possible. Please, if you can, make sure that you are signed up to be an organ donor.)

And for a study of contrasts, I wanted to help spread the word that a lot of knitting designers are pledging to donate a portion of their pattern sales for the next little while to charities that can help out in Haiti. The full list can be found here, on Ravelry.

From today through the end of February of this year, I am donating all of my pattern sales (minus the paypal fees) to Doctors Without Borders. I'll probably donate in a couple of batches, and will post the totals on the pattern descriptions in Ravelry when all is said and done. Specifically, those patterns of mine are the Francie socks, the 1989 hat, and the Smoke Signals hat.

In addition, because I like to see people actually use my patterns, I will donate $1 for every person who sends me a private message on Ravelry to let me know they've completed knitting one of the patterns, between today and the end of February.

There are tons of other designers who are donating part or all of their pattern sales to charities over the next few weeks, so please check them out. If there's a pattern you've been thinking of buying, now is a great time to do it.

Hug your loved ones. Life is precious.


Blogger Unknown said...

That is amazing - it's so important that people like you exist out there to lend support to friends when they are in need. Kudoss to you!

And the heart you made is fantastic. What an original and amazing idea.

As for the donor... whoever he or she is deserves just as many prayers....

Thank you for sharing.

1/16/2010 6:35 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

What a wonderful friend you are! This is a nice post. On a sidenote, did you ever spin up any of that lovely cormo fleece you dyed blue? It looked lovely when it was carded.

1/16/2010 7:01 PM  
Blogger LaurieM said...

I'm glad to hear your friend is better. The knit heart look really neat.

1/16/2010 11:02 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

It is indeed - great to know your friend is doing well.

I've been meaning to make some Francie socks for a long time so I'm off to buy that :)

1/17/2010 12:48 PM  
Blogger Nana Sadie said...

I wonder if Kristin Ledgett has any idea how many heart survivors have either knit her pattern for themselves or had them knit by great friends like you? It's just the perfect symbol for this sort of thing!!
(I made myself one, too)

I'll keep your friend in my prayers - I'm so glad she's doing well...

1/17/2010 8:05 PM  
Anonymous SockPixie said...

I hope your friend is recovering well.

1/19/2010 8:55 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

That heart is amazing, sending best wishes to your friend.

1/19/2010 3:27 PM  
Anonymous flyngmunky said...

a beautiful post. thank you for sharing. your friend and her donor are in my prayers.

1/29/2010 4:59 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The best Valentine's Day story by far. You are a sweetheart.

2/06/2010 6:30 PM  

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