Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One Small Teddy Bear

Primary Children's Medical Center is in need of teddy bears and bright slippers for little boys. As I was knitting this small creature, I recalled a sweet encounter twenty-one years ago...

Audrey was just five weeks old when we drove from Burley to Salt Lake's Primary Children's Hospital. She was scheduled for plastic surgery to open her eyelids.

(from my journal) ...As we entered the outpatient area, I bit my lip. It was only 7:00 in the morning and the room was filled with parents and children. As my eyes scanned the room, my heart ached and I was filled with an overwhelming gratitude for the health of my children. Audrey's little handicap suddenly seemed SO small.

Three children in particular caught my attention; a little girl with big brown eyes and braced leg; a young burn victim - his face, his arms, his legs were covered in scar tissue, he had very little hair left on his head. 

And a little six-year-old boy.  It was clear that this was not his first experience at this hospital. He made his rounds to talk with the nurses and technicians. Each seemed to know him by name. He walked with a limp, his speech was slow and slurred. His head was shaved with the exception of his "mohawk" and revealed numerous scars from previous surgeries. In visiting with his mother, we learned that this was to be his 49th surgical attempt to drain access fluid from his brain.

He held a straggly teddy bear in his arms that looked as though it had been by his side through every hospital ordeal. It was thread-bare and worn. This young boy noticed another who was visibly nervous about having his tonsils removed. His mother was having difficulty consoling him. He cried and cried. The young "experience" boy walked over to comfort him and asked, "Would you like to take my teddy bear with you? It helps me feel better." It was more than my heart could take. 

If this little teddy bear could talk, imagine the stories it would tell.

"No one has ever become poor
by giving."
-- Anne Frank

Knitting with a Cause

Lynette (violin) figured that if we are going to be doing all this knitting, we might as well have an official Utah Symphony knitting circle. "Knit Two Together" meets monthly now. They share food, fun, knitting patterns, projects, and collect knitted articles for humanitarian effort and various charities. I haven't been able to attend the official meetings yet due to scheduling conflicts, but that hasn't stopped me from donating a few items.
Elizabeth (music librarian) designed a hat and booties for preemie babies. Look at the green one above.  It has an "umbilical cord" -- so cute. I took her basic pattern and designed a few variations. These will go to Primary Children's Hospital.

Lynette found this website . Warm Woolies is a non-profit organization whose volunteers knit warm clothing for orphanages in Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and reservations throughout the northern United States. Their goal is to knit 10.000 pieces of warm wool clothing for these children. So far, I have knit 2 of the 10,000.

Knitting Frenzy!

Remember these little people? I took them to a Utah Symphony rehearsal to show them off to my fellow passionate knitters and they caused quite a stir. There is now a knitting frenzy spreading through the group. We knit at lunch time, on breaks, on buses and share techniques and patterns. It's pretty fun! 

Lisa (string bass) knit a felted purse (pattern sent out by Lois - violin) and I just HAD to try this technique, which was totally new to me.  The purse is knit with wool on sizable needles and is absolutely giant until it is washed twice in hot water. It then shrinks up to a smallish purse just one-half its original size. The amazing thing is, it hardly looks knit at all -- more like one solid fabric! I've knit four purses so far; here are my first couple.

My nephew Colby and his wife Cami have a new baby girl, Imogen Kiera Slaughter. I knit these up and made a card to send their way. (Knitted flower pattern courtesy of Lynette - violin.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Hunt

Katie had a great time experimenting with Randy's new camera.  Nice shots, Katie!

Girls in Spring Dresses with Bows and Pink Sashes

These are a few of my favorite things!

Spring has Sprung!

Our daily reminders that Spring has finally arrived --

Flowering Gardens

Blossoming Trees

And THESE guys!
Ferdinand and Mildred are back! They return to our swimming pool each and every year. Unfortunately, they have chosen to quack their happy song in the middle of the night. Bailey (our dog) can't even scare them off! They will persist in making this their home until we clean and cover the pool in a couple of weeks. It only takes one rocky landing; when they are surprised with the cover where water used to be, they will make their way north again.