News and Meetup Announcement for September 14th.
Something different this month. A spotlight on a Philanthropic knitter from our Guild and a prep for Breast Cancer Awareness month (please scroll down to read).
I will again be at the Solana Beach Library lower level parking lot on Tuesday September 14, from 11 am to 12 noon, location details here. I will be outside in the shade of a tree knitting. Please join me – bring a beach chair, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water. The library is open, but not for groups. The meetup is for you to drop off your completed knitted items for donation and to obtain free yarn and patterns. If you have suggestions for other outdoor sites for a knitting meetup, please send me those suggestions.
If there are Guild knitters who have items to donate I would be happy to pick them up, just call me or write to me at PhilanthropyATSanDiegoKnittersDOT.com – my contact information is also in the Guild Directory.
— Debbie Vacek, Philanthropy
“At the age of 50 I fell in love with knitting. I knitted more items than my family needed, so I began making hats to send to sailors on US Navy ships. I loved being part of a team by mailing off my packages from time to time.
“In February 2011, I went in for a routine mammogram, and got a callback rather than a letter. I needed a biopsy. While awaiting the results, I began knitting hats for people who lose their hair due to chemotherapy. On March 11, 2011, the day of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I had my own personal earthquake hearing that I had breast cancer.
“The routine mammogram helped to catch my cancer early. I had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy, followed by six rounds of chemotherapy and then 45 sessions of radiation.
“Along the way, I knit hats in earnest, this time for me. My hair came out within two weeks of the first round of chemotherapy. I had a very nice wig, but preferred the hats I made of soft fibers with colors that looked good next to my face.
“I made enough hats for my needs, and I kept going. I used my stash making a wide variety of styles, having fun with some novelty yarns. I relaxed by knitting during chemo treatments. I noticed a basket in the corner of the chemosuite where people put hats, wigs, and lap blankets for donation to other cancer patients.
“At 3:38 p.m on September 8, 2011, on my last day of chemotherapy, the Great San Diego Blackout occurred. I was able to finish my treatment with battery power. On that final treatment day I donated my stash of knitted hats. The nurses noticed, I said I had made them to share. I placed a hang tag with words of encouragement and care instructions. The nurses were very happy to share my projects and I became inspired to continue knitting to share.
“All told, I have made more than 200 hats for the chemosuite, and continue to deliver them. I have made Knitted Knockers for people I know who have had mastectomies. They report they are more comfortable than the prosthetics. (Our philanthropy site has directions here, as does www.knittedknockers.org.)
“When the pandemic hit, I made several hundred ear savers from cotton yarn and sent them to various medical centers via my DAR Service to America group.
“Last fall, I learned about the nonprofit Operation Gratitude and began making hats and scarves for them as part of their Handmade with Love program. They have criterion and accept a wide variety of colors and fibers to share with people serving our country. Operationgratitude.com and on Facebook.
“After the recent stash sale, I asked about remaining yarn, if I could purchase for my charity projects. The stash people invited me to go through the yarn and take yarn for these projects if we could get there quickly, I did. I am thankful for the support.
“I am so grateful to be part of such a talented and caring group. Be well and stay safe.”
— Colleen R. Lukoff