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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Jeremy's Blankets
 

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Jeremy's Blankets

I have three children, two here with me and one waiting in heaven. He was slightly over three years old when he died of a brain tumor he had fought for most of his life.

I love to knit complicated patterns, but when we watch movies in the dark, I use an easy knit-only blanket pattern with a simple edge design, which is knitted corner-to-corner, so it's soft AND stretchy to wrap around you. It requires Homespun yarn. Usually I use the light blue "Waterfall". I'm looking for a store near me that carries a good selection of your new Homespun baby colors. The free pattern is on your website at:

http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/khs-diagonalBabyBlanket.html

I knit these and send them to a major hospital, specifying that they be donated to the sickest children in the hospital. (When Jeremy and I lived there for months, the little homemade Easter bunny, etc. meant so much more than a plastic store-bought toy donation. I knew someone's love was in that bunny, and I felt less alone; plus he LOVED the unique, soft things people made.)

I doubled the pattern for a male friend who was dying of liver disease. He told me it was the most nurturing gift he had received in his whole life. (He got his transplant and is doing well!)

I don't have a group, but I'd love to have people join me. I only have time to make two or three per year. I teach (in a low-paying state), and I have huge bills due to a chronic illness, so I don't have lots of time and can't always afford yarn.

In two years, I've donated four baby blankets (one to a friend whose baby was seriously ill). I got a precious, bittersweet letter from the hospital's social worker. The mother of a two-year-old boy with cancer gave her permission to tell me that her son loved the blanket and caressed his cheek with the soft corner of it, just like Jeremy used to do.

To other knitters, you have a talent that others envy. I took an adult version of the blanket to the hospital when my daughter had surgery. People were excessively complimentary of it! It was soft and soothing for her. Such a gift shows love for humankind, even for those whom we don't know personally. One small gift goes on to affect the lives of others and increases in strength, and I believe these gifts can result in life-changing acts in the future.

The local media has not reported on it, nor has the hospital newsletter, to my knowledge, most probably because I make so few. I haven't called attention to it with the media, because it's only a one-woman project, but it would be a great POSITIVE human-interest story if others, especially mothers who had suffered through the death or serious illness of a child would join and work with me, donating to whichever hospital they wished. I am registering on your website today, so my e-mail address should be available there, I guess. Not sure how this works, so just in case, it's:

candacebland@bellsouth.net

Please e-mail me if you are interested. I never thought before about asking anyone to join me.

I have sent a JPG image of an adult version, so the colors are darker than I would use for a child. The link on your website (above) shows the baby version. If you need me to increase the resolution or edit the image in any way, let me know.

Sincerely,
Candace Bland


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