Sunday, November 13, 2011


Many years ago, Phenom's mother had breast cancer. A result of her surgery was that she didn't like weight on her chest. But, she was an older human and would get chilled in the evenings. So, I selected a faux mohair yarn and knitted her an afghan. I selected a fairly complicated, fancy stitch. I worked on it for weeks. It was fuzzy and warm, but light weight. Every moment spent working on it, I imagined her curled up in her rocking easy chair, watching television, and warmed by the afghan.

I gave it to her for a birthday gift. She loved it. She treasured it. She carefully laid it over the back of the couch in her sitting room, never to be soiled or touched by human hands. She would take visitors into her sitting room for the purpose of showing it off, and making them admire it. But, so far as I know, it never warmed her lap.

This weekend, I learned that a friend of mine has experienced a deterioration of her illness to the point that she now uses a wheelchair many days. Because there is nerve involvement in her illness, she gets chilled.

Tonight, I started making her a very special "soothy sack." A soothy sack is a pillow filled with beans or rice or ground nut shells that you can warm in the microwave and use to warm yourself. I particularly like tucking a soothy sack into my bed during the winter. They are comforting when one has chills from a fever or an ache.

This sack is unique because I'm making channels, putting just a spoonful of rice in each channel and sewing a seam to create a patchwork of small pillows. I hope that the distribution of rice will allow for not too much weight to be put on any one spot. I'm not sure how the small amounts of rice will hold heat. And, I've added a bit of cinnamon oil to make it smell comforting.

As I fill, pin, sew, and unpin, I've been running my hands over the mounds of rice. I hope that my friend finds this comforting, and helpful as she has bad days. I hope that my hands add a little bit of magic, too.

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