Wool in my soup

I am a 67 year-old grandmother living on Vancouver Island. I have crocheted, cross-stitched and rug hooked, but I always had yarn on needles. Recently knitting has become my primary hobby!

Name:
Location: Canada

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I Once Was A Hooker With A Stripper!

That little statement could make a few eyes roll! I used to hook mats with strips of fabric or yarn and when I used the wool fabric, I had a stripper to make the strips in varying widths!

Since yarn and knitting needles have come back into my life with a fury, the rug hooking frame is stored away with a dust cover thrown over it and the stripper sits idly by - dejected, but ready whenever the urge to hook comes back. I have no doubt I will hook mats again, but for now the needles have won my interest!

The mat I have included here is actually a wall hanging! The yarn in it is red and black eyelash yarn for the hair on Bertha and Beulah in the centre of the mat. The remainder is mostly from recycled old skirts/shirts and pants! The story of Beulah and Bertha started back when I first found out I had breast cancer. No matter the problem you are dealing with, about 2:30 am you are wide awake and alone in the dark with your thoughts. These 'voices' would tell me that I was not going to make it; the doctors and nurses were sugar coating the outcome; I was not as lucky as I thought; the lab results had been mixed up and perhaps I did NOT have cancer; or perhaps the results were worse than I could imagine. These thoughts do not make for a restful sleep and I found it hard to put on a 'happy face' in the morning. My one goal, once I found out I had breast cancer, was to try to make this journey as easy as I possibly could for my family! How could I tell them about all my doubts and these 'voices'. I thought of these voices as belonging to two hateful and ugly women or witches. I gave them two names that I do not care for - Bertha and Beulah! My apologies to all the Berthas and Beulahs of the world.

The mornings that I was tired from Bertha's and Beulah's ranting at me, I would tell J (my DH) that Bertha and Beulah had visited last night and it made it easier for me to deal with it all! After a time, Bertha and Beulah did not hold sway over me as much; after all weeks, then months passed and I was stronger and healthier than I would have dreamed before B&B started coming in the night! About a year ago, when I had now lived without (I pray) breast cancer, I thought more about B and B and decided that they were really my guardian angels, but they were so new on the job that they did not quite know how to handle this gal with determination who would doubt their 'wisdom'! I had always thought of them in shades of grey, beige and taupe. So, the two gals on the outside edges of the mat are B and B when they first found me and the two in the middle are them after a day of having their hair and make up done and then a visit to $1.00 day at Sally Ann! They look so much better and now we get along very well and I talk to them once and awhile about helping others who are going through a bad patch - use sweet words - they help more than bitter words!!

For those of you who do not know about $1.00 day at Sally Ann, here is the story. I am sure all of you have heard of the Salvation Army and the fact that they help folk throughout the world when they have fallen on hard times. Well Sally Ann, as we affectionately call them, also run thrift shops and if you are looking for cheap woolen garments, or even wool and (SHHH!) acrylic yarn, they are a great source and the money you spend is paid forward to help others! I have bought yarn there for my charity knitting and you often can get some pure wool yarns! The shawl I am wearing in the photo of me by my profile was knitted with a huge ball of a crinkle cotton - probably for crocheting - and it cost me the princely sum of $3.00! I used the Flower Basket Pattern for the first time and I often wear the shawl as I knit! Many of the wool in the Bertha and Beulah go to Dollar Day at Sally Ann! mat I dyed myself. I love to do variegated dyeing for mats, as it gives beautiful effects!

A mat like this is a way of working through problems. There are knitting projects that are the same. The 'thrup' sound of the hook pulling the wool through the backing, or the rhythmic clicking or the needles is good for our souls! I have a few more mats that I did for this reason, but they will appear later in the blog!

I have been cancer free for nine years! I can hardly believe it myself. I tried on CeCe this morning and she fits fine, but is perhaps a little large in the bust! Do I need to frog her - No, NO, NNOO!! I can just insert larger tit bits into a larger bra! To some of you that may sound flippant, but you have to laugh about being breastless or you might just cry! As I always say when someone comments about my body shape is that I was in a war and wars create battle scars!! The fact that I am alive and sitting here is far more important than a few scars!

I did not start to write today's blog with so much philosophy, but sometimes I need to work through it again. If you know someone who is a cancer survivor and they get a little philosophical, it may be because someone with their type of cancer has just died and it makes one think - "How did I get so lucky?"

1 Comments:

Blogger All the Way With Knitting said...

That was so moving ,you are an amzing woman.I am so glad those ladies became friends.I have a Tiger who attacks me when I have severe panic attacks ( maybe because big cats terrified me as a child) .I have learnt to respect him as only doing his job and maybe telling me I am stressing myself ..slow down.I used to sit with Mum and make rag rugs out of necessity but I have a real urge to do some again for pleasure .I make quilts out of Holly's grown out of clothes and she does applique pictures..that book? It will be a very long while as she is studying ,knitting,drawing and loves listening to old radio comedies like Hancock ,The Goons etc .Enjoy that sponge .Angie.

1:20 PM  

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