Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Good News about shawls and shawl ministry

The shawl ministry has been welcomed into the fabric of the church life. News of it has gone all the way to the top of the church, and as importantly all the way to the shoulders of folks in need right here in our community.

No one needs to be a member of a church to receive a shawl or to be part of the knitting of one. The stories about where these shawls (and pockets and scarves go) is enough. And we learn as we go along. A person who is ill often means an entire family in need of comfort or consideration--the pockets recently came into their own when we discovered that.

I saw the first photo of someone wearing one of the shawls--soft blues draped like a quiet smile around her shoulders--and it made me smile deep down. That's what the knitting and the ministry is all about--finding a way to smile through the hard times or celebrate the good ones.

Now as I finish the shawl on my needles, I'll be able to visualize the difference it will make.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I'm a bit behind. I meant to have Patreen's pockets blogged before now. Once again, my photos can't capture the colour and good humour of these pockets as they came tumbling out of Patreen's bag.

She does not want her photo taken, but I don't think she'd mind that I tell you that is her elbow. Also, it seems only fair to mention that the hands are Ella's --uncharacteristically quiet. She is usually knitting up a storm. We all stopped to admire the pockets.

Now if you are new to the blog and you are wondering what these pockets are all about, here's the story on that. Some folks will have times or places when a shawl or a stole with pockets just won't work for them. If they are in the hospital and arounda lot of equipment or they just don't fancy a stole.

The pocket is a good size for attaching to a wheelchair or zimmer frame with some keepsake inside --a wee prayer or a special photo or something to remind folks that they are connected to us, to each other, to a part of a caring community. So you see, the pockets are a bit like Dr. Who's tardis--much bigger on the inside!

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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Getting Shawls on Shoulders!

Thursday in Dunnet Church Hall was one of those quiet celebrations that represents the culmination of a lot of work as we got the shawls that have been made, displayed, and blessed in packages with labels and care instructions.

Now they are ready for distribution throughout the areas covered by the Central Churches of Caithness. Thanks to our partners, Central Churches and Project Linus UK, we can concentrate on the knitting in the confidence that our knitting will go to welcome homes.

As we knit and stuffed and chatted, I was reminded that no one knew the whole history of the shawls that led to the shawl ministry for Northern Loops.

It started with a book. Angela had the book, but Ruan (being a librarian) is often the one who brings books to us, so it might have started with her. This book was about knitting for peace. That was perhaps the first thread in the shawl ministry.

Another book -- one of very few about knitting collaboratively--had a pattern for a shawl made out of triangles. Now if this were a panto, I would expect to hear boos and hisses from the crowd because we did an awful lot of triangles, and then as a consequence, an awful lot of sewing up. I might not have mentioned triangles --folks rightly are a bit twitchy on the subject--if I had not run across the original paper templates I used to try to design with in the boot of my car. No one will be surprised to hear that I find forgotten things in the boot of my car, but just to let you know that this was found because I was tidying up--honestly!

Olive and Angela are shown here working to get the shawls into the packages. As with triangles, it sounded easier than it turned out to be.

Lastly I include here a photo of the wool recently donated to Margaret. It will start the cycle all over again because the shawl ministry will keeping putting shawls on shoulders.

Oh I forgot to mention another thread of the shawl ministry. When we started down this path, I put Northern Loops on the map of the international shawl ministry from a reference in Angela's book to the ministry, the first in Scotland! So the shawl ministry is one of the ways a handful of knitters in the far north of Scotland help make a better community here in our own backyard and beyond.

It was a busy Thursday. Tomorrow I'll blog the latest in Patreen's pockets.
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