Sharing Our Passion (Part II)

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life, that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet

As promised last week, I’m continuing the theme of sharing our skills and talents, passing them generation to generation. I also mentioned I would show photos of the beautiful afghan my daughter Shayna is creating for her dad. Shayna is a fulltime massage therapist, so carving out time to make this blanket is truly a labor of love. And when I use the word “creating”, I assure you, this is a one-of-a-kind item.

The beautiful ivory wool is from Ireland. We have Irish heritage on my mother’s side of the family. Ron, Shayna, and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Ireland and Scotland a few years ago. Our tour bus stopped at a beautiful store featuring handmade Irish products (sweaters, scarves, hats, shawls, etc.) Shay and I were captivated by the luscious wool yarn. My sweet husband bought enough for an afghan and had it shipped to Shayna. Pieces like the dark green one Shay is holding will be sewn between the ivory ones. The designs are of Celtic origin, a further connection to our Irish ancestry.

I have always been grateful to Shayna’s grandmother, Sylvia for taking the time to patiently teach Shay to knit. Sylvia tried several times to teach me, but I’ve never been able to get the two needles to work! I’ll stick with crocheting.

While conducting my Healing Environments Program, we would sometimes receive requests from the families of crafters who had passed away. The photo below shows the great great granddaughter of the creator of the crocheted work the baby is holding. The family brought the individual squares in a bag they had discovered at the crafter’s home. The baby had recently been born, and they felt it would be a special tribute to their deceased loved one for the newborn, to have a blanket made by her.

They brought the pieces to my office, we laid them out on our worktable, and shuffled them around until we had a pattern that pleased the family. I was given the honor of assembling the blanket and adding a border. This is a perfect example of how sharing our skills can be passed down through the generations.

In my last blog, I mentioned the American Sewing Guild members who conducted Sew-Ins at St Mary each fall, when they would make special items for the patients. This photo shows them holding the Lap Activity Pads, designed to help patients who needed to relearn to button, tie, zip, etc. after an accident or stroke. This item was also used by the physical therapy techs to calm dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. The girls in front are holding the popular neckroll pillows.

ASG Sew-In at St Mary, September 2016

And I also mentioned having taught my grandsons (Yoni, Davi, and Rafi) to tie fleece blankets this summer. Here they are with their finished project. We plan to make more when we’re all together at Thanksgiving, and donate them.