We hope you enjoy this post by Meghan, one of our fabulous employees here at KW headquarters:
Several years ago I moved to Chicago. I was young and scared and excited and penniless. I papered that city with my resume. One of the places that I asked for a job at was a great neighborhood bar called Goldstar Bar in a burgeoning neighborhood full of artists and students. The neighborhood has since transitioned to one of a more affluent nature but back then it was still a bit rough. Although Goldstar didn’t hire me, I found a place of comfort within its walls. I met many friends there, played free pool and admired (or at least observed) the always changing artworks the owners curated from their patrons. It was at Goldstar that my partner confessed his love for me. Among the many lovely friends that were made there, one stands out in particular. She was a co-owner with her mother and husband. Her name was Susan and it’s to her memory that I dedicate this post.
Susan was one of the nicest people I have ever met. She was constantly rescuing cats, both finding homes for the tame ones and fixing and letting free the feral ones. She was an old school punk and had seen some amazing bands and had great stories. She loved spooky cemetaries and ghost stories but was far from spooky herself. Halloween was her favorite holiday and she always threw an amazing Halloween party at her house. Combining her two loves, she also held a yearly Halloween themed fundraiser specifically dedicated to raising money for the black dogs and cats at the shelter, as they are the ones to tend to get adopted last. All the Goldstar regulars ended up being her good friends. Susan was a friendship magnet; everyone was drawn to her.
My partner and I left Chicago for Philadelphia a year ago. Within 6 months, we heard the devastating news that Susan was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Throughout the next several months Susan and her family battled cancer. She had a great network of friends and family to support her in her treatment. Her community rallied around her to put on fundraisers to raise money for treatment.
I wanted to do something a little more personal than donate money over Paypal (though I happily did that too). Thinking of Susan’s love of Halloween, I was drawn to the Stratum hat by Melissa LaBarre because of it’s resemblance to a spider web. I had found some really cute pins with creepy spiders depicted on them that I could affix to the hat when I it was knit.
I chose to knit with Road To China Worsted because it is positively the softest yarn I have ever felt and I thought it would be appropriate for someone dealing with Chemo treatments. I didn’t feel it was enough though. (It’s never enough when you want to comfort someone dealing with something you can’t even begin to imagine.) So I made a pillow, using a sexy, retro witch iron-on, some vintage-looking yellow printed cotton and bit of black polka-dotted piping. We included a zombie themed card that my partner made on Photoshop and lot’s of positive thoughts and love.
Susan lost her battle with cancer on December 10 in the comfort of her own home surrounded with her closest circle of loved ones.
In honor of all those who have been affected by Pancreatic Cancer, we here at Kelbourne Woolens wanted to do something to give back. For the next 30 days, a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the patterns below will go towards pancreatic cancer research. I have chosen these patterns because they can all be knit in either Road to China Worsted or Road to China Light and the items made from these yarns will be the softest things you could make for someone you want to give comfort to.