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Monday, March 2, 2009

Charity Knitting- Pocket Shawls

Here is a good idea from one of our generous and talented customers! Please let us know of any charity knitting you are involved in so we can let others know of volunteer opportunities.

Pocket Shawls

In April of 2008 the SECU Family House opened to provide accommodations for patients and family families of patients who are receiving treatment at UNC Hospitals. This facility was funded by the State Employees Credit Union, the State of North Carolina and many caring members of the Chapel Hill community who saw and responded to this tremendous need. Most of the guests at Family House are dealing with the worst imaginable medical crises and are many hours from their homes.

Staff members at Family House are attempting to establish programming to support the guests whose stays often last from weeks to months. This is a challenge because of the tremendous physical, emotional and psychological demands of their situations.

Many of you have probably heard of the powerful effects of the presentation of prayer shawls to those in crises. Prayer shawls are wonderful reminder reminders to receivers that they are not alone. While it is not feasible to gift each guest with a prayer shawl at Family House, the gift of a pocket shawl may be possible. A pocket shawl is a soft four inch square of knitted fabric with an attached message of hope and encouragement.

Most of our knitters have leftover yarn from many projects in many colors. It can be fun to see how creative we can be in just an hour or half hour. The key is to limit the size of the pocket shawl to 4 square inches and choose a yarn that is very soft to the touch. The simplest and softest is just a garter stitch, but it might be fun to try out a new stitch. Most knitters have yarn leftovers from past projects, but another possibility is to make a pocket shawl out of the gauge swatch for your next project. Worsted weight works well with 20 stitches cast on, but a lighter weight yarn will give more stitches to play with. A few garter stitches around the edge will prevent rolling. Add a small tassel and the pocket shawl is ready to be slipped into a pocket as a reminder that this community cares about the recipient.

Make as many or few as you like and drop them by the shop on your next visit. We will see that they reach the guests at Family House.

If you want to find out more about Family House and its mission, check out their website: or call 919.932.8000.

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