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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Sharing the Hugs

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

Click here to post it!

Sharing the Hugs
Created By: Sheila Angalet

AS long as I can remember, I watched my mother doing some kind of needlework. Most of the time though, she was either knitting or crocheting. While I was younger and she was working, she was not as prolific a needlewoman as she was once she retired.

I picked up hook and needles early - how could I not, with Mom as an example?

Once retired, with more time to persue her crafting, she was never without hook or needles in hand. Afghans, doilies, sweaters - she crafted them all, and with love, for family members and friends. Sometimes people asked her for a piece, and other times she just surprised people with a gift.

After my Dad passed away, Mom did even more. As she became more active in our church, her fingers flew to make afghans, doilies, table cloths and bed spreads for the church to raffle off. The years marched on, and while the finer thread pieces were not as often done, afghans were ALWAYS being made for some occasion or for someone.

As time went on, Mom's work got simpler and mine got more involved. But as prolific as Mom was with her needlework, I was a great "starter" - but not as good a "finisher".

As my mother-in-law also grew older and moved closer to us, she became the new recipient of mom's flying fingers, and absolutely loved it.

Unfortunately, in early 2003, my mother-in-law had some major health setbacks and could no longer be on her own. Her needs were more than we could handle at home with our children, and so we made the painful decision to place her in long-term care.

As her mental faculties failed, the one constant was her love for her afghans. She would finger the stitches and yarns, tactile sensations seemed to get through to her. And my Mom would supply her with afghans to keep that much of her "alive".

More unfortunately, at the end of 2003, my Mom died very unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism. She lived a good, long life (she was 86 when she died) but for us, her death was too soon.

Mom's death left a hole in our lives and the lives of many people. She was buried with her hook and yarn and a square of the latest afghan she had been working on.

But now, someone had to pick up the yarn and continue in her stead with the donations to church.

I picked up my hooks and needles again. My children started learning how to crochet and knit as well.

Suddenly, the starter was able to finish and a love of the art was reborn!

As we neared the first anniversary of Mom's death, I was visiting my Mother-in-Law at the home and saw their "giving tree" set up for the holidays. REsidents at the home made requests for things they wanted Santa to bring them, and neighborhood "elves" helped Santa out.

As I looked at the tags, I saw at least a dozen asking for - of all things - an afghan. I wanted to grab each of those tags up and run home and crochet them each an afghan - but I knew I could not make 12 in just three weeks. So I left those tags there.

Two weeks later, my Mother-in-Law joined my mother in Heaven.

As the holidays came to an end, the fact that I had seen all those requests for afghans continued to bother me. Such simple requests. And how many of us take our afghans for granted - and here, these people in the twilight of their lives, just wanted the warmth and love that a hand-crafted afghan could bring them.

As the days went by and I continued to ponder this, an idea started to form. Each day, if gathered momentum - until finally - "it" was born.

"It" is a small non-profit that I created to honor my mother and my mother-in-law - the crafter and the one who loved the fruits of the fingers. Its goal is to provide the warmth and hugs that hand-crafted afghans can bring to those who want or need them.

It takes it's name from the initials of my mom and mother-in-law - M - for Mary and EI for Elizabeth Irma. The project's full name is MEI Scrapghans Hug.

The premise is a simple one. Each of us as yarn crafters always winds up with a bit of scrap yarn leftover from a project. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Seldom is there enough to do another project. IF most crafters are like me, there are boxes and bags of left-over yarn, waiting for the chance to become something.

We ask that yarn crafters take that excess yarn, and create a "square" and send it to us. We will then take their square and join it with others from around the wrold to make scrapghans that we will present to those who want or need that kind of love and hugs.

In the two years since the idea took shape and the web site went live, we have received hundreds of "squares". Finally catalogued and sorted, they are being attached to create the scrapghans of hugs and love that will be gifted out.

There are currently four scrapghans finished and ready to go - and countless more in the wings. Our first gifts will go to the local Ronald McDonald House, the home where my Mother-In-Law spent her last days, the local Veterans Home and, if they will accept them, to Enterprise, Alabama and those who lost so much in the devastating tonado that ripped through the town and school there just two weeks ago.

The hobby of my mother has become our passion and our mission.

What better way to honor all that she taught me and my children with a simple hook and some yarn?

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