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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : To My Big Guns

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. 

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To My Big Guns
Created By: Janell C. Bennett

January 2007, my cousin Yvonne Gowdy informed me that she and her siblings were putting together a very special 90th birthday party for their Mother, my great aunt Maggie Washington. This little old lady is last of nine children born to people who were first generation freed African-American. I was so touched at the thought I just had to do something special, as well.

I called my great aunt and asked her was there anything she would like, anything. Mrs. Maggie Washington, retired deaconess told me in her calm way the only thing she wanted from me was my presence. I don't have tell you how much I puddled up yet I stilled asked. She laughed and said if the Lord let's see ninty she would be happy. I relented for the time being until I saw the prayer shawl ministry pattern, crocheted. Without even thinking about it I made it and was going to give it to her for her birthday but I realised she may not like the color, soft grey. So I gave that one to my cousin, a retired RN from Detroit.

I called my great aunt back asked her what was favortie color. "Yellow like the rising sun." I then asked her if she was still "taking a dollar" to pray for people. She never took a dime to pray for people. It was a running joke stemming from Roots:The Second Generation. She said yes but her knees tend to get sore from kneeling on her rug. I had her gift. "Aunt Maggie, I am going to custom knit you a prayer shawl so you can give your knees a bit of a vacation."

She laughed and thank you. The following week I went out and bought the needles and four skiens of yarn. I have way finish when one of my cat 'bleeched' all over it. I had to throw the yarn out and sanitzed the needles. I was half way finished again when one of the worst thing that happen to a family to mine. My big brother had a fight with his girlfriend during a bi-polar episode and walked out into the night and has not been seen since. I was a wreck. I couldn't knit or crochet. I didn't know what to do. So I called my great aunt and asked her if I gave her fifty dollars would that be enough to load her big guns for my brother. "Baby, from the moment I heard I have been praying and praying."

"How are your knees." I asked.

"I have Mr. Ben Gay," she said.

Right after that I started knitting again. I was finish in two weeks.

When her birthday finally came it turned out to be an altar call then a party. When it came my turn to speak to her. I handed the shawl in silver gift bag. "Here ya go, My Big Guns. Give your knees a vacation."

Now you would this is the end well it isn't that dear woman would wear it. Why? One, she thought a prayer shawl was a Catholic garment and she was Baptist. Two, she thought I was Catholic because I attended strict all girl Catholic high school and Three, my husband is Catholic. It took ten minutes to convince her that I wasn't Catholic I was United Methodist and pray shawls are for all faiths. Then that sweet woman said it was too pretty to wear. It took another five minutes to tell her the yarn I used was more then pretty. It was durable. I told her the only thing that could hurt this shawl would a be dose of sulfuric acid or double barrel shotgun blast and since she will never be anywhere near anything like that it will remain pretty forever.

"Could I wear it in church if I get chilly," she asked.

"Sweet Jesus, yes," I squealed.

Now, this should be the end but once again it isn't. Her daughter, got her nose out of joint and ask if you could have one. I said yes and she chose an aran fleck color. I crocheted it and though in a matching hat. Oh, my cousin, the retied RN uses hers to cuddle her granddaughter as she read stories to her on baby sitting nights.

My brother is still missing. It will be a year in about a month and half. I wouldn't call what I'm doing a ministry. I'm using my knitting to calm my nerves and bring pleasure to my family. They pray for me and talk to me when I need an outlet. And yarn and needles are cheaper then Prozac and Valium.

My advise to anyone who wants to start a prayer shawl ministry do it for the love of family, friends and the love of knitting and crocheting. I don't the book and I should but I feel all you need is faith. Different denominations just makes the choosing the right pattern just so much fun. The pattern and the color should complement the person who is to recieve the shawl.

I do believe I've had my say. Thank you.

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