I love to knit and crochet year-round, but when the temperatures drop and leaves crackle under my feet, I’m especially motivated to examine my stash for the perfect worsted weight yarn to turn into hats, scarves, and socks. Once again, I have too many projects on needles, and it’s probably a good thing Bloomington still doesn’t have a yarn shop to tempt me with luscious textures and colors. But the stash isn’t diminishing as fast as I would like, in part because the Bloomington Hospital’s volunteer coordinator provides skeins for the Yarn Club (where I knit every two weeks in the company of members pictured below).
Thankfully, I haven’t had reasons to spend much time at the hospital. As I walk its hallways, I find myself immersed in a completely different world than the one I normally inhabit, one where people have different priorities and lingo. Perhaps I would feel more “at home” if I watched more television dramas set in hospitals. The hospital may be a place of joy for those celebrating the birth of a child or a loved one’s recovery from a serious illness, but it also can be a stressful, scary, and overwhelming place for others. Maybe that’s why it’s so satisfying to join other members of the Yarn Club in turning colorful skeins of yarn into shawls, lap blankets, and hats for patients in need of a little comfort.
Evidently, it’s a custom to have employees do a ceremonial signing of the last I-beam before it is put in place in a new building. Bloomington is building a new hospital, and recently this beam was in the hospital lobby for staff to sign. Since this happened on a day when the Yarn Club met, we volunteers were honored when they invited us to sign it too. Soon after, it was hoisted into place. It’s kind of neat having this small connection to the new building.
Another reason my stash isn’t diminishing as fast as I would like is because I recently had a birthday and was the recipient of some very lovely yarn. Sam, who runs my favorite yarn store, Ply Fiber Arts, in Richmond, Indiana, filled this lovely West African basket with Medina yarn and a mosaic shawl pattern. I told myself I couldn’t start it until I finished several other projects, one of which is a set of four placemats (the pattern can be found at Rebecca Langford’s great website, Yarnandchai.com).
I’m happy to report that I started the fourth one last evening, and they are turning out well. But true confessions are in order–I also started the mosaic shawl, and it’s going to be beautiful!
One last yarn-related update. If you drive through Bloomington’s downtown, you’ll see many trees covered with knitted and crocheted sweaters. This is part of the “Wrapped in Love” project to benefit Middleway House, a local resource that “provides meaningful alternatives to living with violence.” I took part in making Granny squares for one of the tree sweaters several years ago, and it warms my heart to see it still in use for a third season. Here’s hoping that you also find things to do this fall that warm your heart, along with the hearts of others.