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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Transforming Transplant

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!

Transforming Transplant
Created By: Marilynn Newman

The story begins when I was 9 years old. My Aunt Lilian Smith taught me to make chains and have jump-ropes while I visited her very charming but non-child friendly home during my childhood. Each summer we would spend a week together. Each summer my skills at jumping and crocheting increased.
Fast-forward 36 years. It is February 2006. My husband is dying of liver disease. He is in and out of the hospital. Finally his doc made the statement that we didn't want to hear. We were afraid that a transplant would be the only hope, and we were right.
We packed ourselves away from Tennessee and down to Florida to Mayo Clinic. There, we met some interesting folks. But I also met up with a knitting circle at the church we found to attend. They encouraged me and prayed with me. They even accepted that I didn't have a clue about knitting...only crochet. We worked together to make blankets, hats and scarves for Russian people. We made school-bags for Haitian school children. We worked. I found peace and patience while crocheting with these knitters during the LONG wait that I had to endure while waiting for the transplant.
During that time I also discovered that most of the liver failure patients were really cold all the time. That inspired me to make over-sized baby-blankets. The recipients of my blankets were always grateful, and they knew I understood their situation after they saw my husband cuddled up in a blanket I had made.
July 4th passed...I hit a wall emotionally. I needed something that would totally occupy my mental state to the point that I couldn't think about the long long wait. I found some raffia and started making a sun-hat. Raffia is 3 ft long strips of straw-like material. It's really hard to crochet, but, it served the purpose. I had to really pay attention to the project. I have two hats now that my daughter and I share together. I may never work with raffia again. Ha!
July 9th arrived sunny and bright, and my husband had a new liver. I was exhausted from the rush to get to the hospital, prepped and ready. They did tell us that we might be sent home if the liver was not a good one. However, surgery went without complications. I crocheted most of the night that night. I fell asleep with the project in my lap.
I went to the hospital, crochet bag in one hand, lap-top in the other. I was in this thing for the long haul. During my husband's hospital stay, I made two more baby blankets for folks back home at church.
Crochet saved my sanity during that trial by fire. I remember praying making double-crochet stitches: "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost". Those three words became a mantra to me. Some people said that I had a glow about me that was inexplicable. I know that I had help. I was calling out and praying all the time I was stitching. It calmed me and gave my hands something to do. How could I worry when I was crocheting?
It has been almost 1 year since the transplant. I crochet blankets, prayer shawls, and chemo caps now. My church has a very small prayer shawl ministry that is an outpouring of the huge blessing I have received from the ability to crochet. I know that my Aunt Lilian is looking down and smiling.

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