Many years ago Elizabeth DeHority joined Club Scrap and I had the privilege of meeting her at the 2003 Retreat. You know how you sometimes just "connect" with people? We connected and have been friends ever since.
I discovered Elizabeth's blog called Keep on Spinning and was able to stay more informed about her whirlwind life as a mom, a doctor, wife of a doctor, knitter, and brave cancer fighter. My friend is battling stage four triple negative invasive lobular carcinome. The name sounds scary for good reason.
Elizabeth finds ways to squeeze every ounce of possibility from each day she is granted. She teaches and mentors others, cares for her two special needs boys, runs the kids to violin lessons, blogs, teaches Sunday school, endures chemo, does the laundry, cooks meals, spins wool, knits socks.
And she knits the most amazing wool socks. Each pair consists of 19,200 stitches made with the tiniest knitting needles you've ever seen. Each pair is bathed in prayer.
I would have given just about anything to wear a pair of her prayer socks--even for just one day. Or to at least touch them to see how soft those hand-spun, dyed, knit socks would be.
On March 29th, I received this cryptic message from Elizabeth via Facebook: "I need a favor. Message me if you have a minute later to help me with a little secret project."
To which I responded: "ANYTHING."
Then (abridged), "You know I've been getting Club Scrap boxes for like decades . . . I want to make two pair of socks, one for you, one for me, matching, to coordinate with one perfect Club Scrap color group. The theme of the kit isn't the important part, it's the colors. I am going to dye these panels . . . never mind the details. I will take photos of the whole process for you (and me) of prayer socks to match a CS kit . . . and then if you really wanted to do me a favor, if I send you photos of the process, and you scrap them, I'd love a copy of your pages for my album. And how big are your feet?"
I was elated. And honored!
So, we went about it. We chose the color palette for the May Dungarees collection. I sent her paper swatches and Pantone numbers. She researched the dye calculations and made test skeins, tweaked formulas, and tried again. She photographed the whole process and stayed in touch with me while she worked. I had no idea how much effort goes into just one pair of these handmade socks. She uploaded photos and sent me prints.
Which brings me to today, where I have the immense joy of sharing the culmination of our project with you. This is what Elizabeth said after viewing the completed pages:
"This has been the best collaborative project I've done in the longest time. Cancer is so isolating, even when you feel good enough to go do things with people, somebody always has germs or you have an appointment or just always something. So instead, we found the perfect way to do art TOGETHER, at my pace, and it has been really healing for me, amazing growth and restoration. I love you! I am so grateful!"
And I am so grateful.
Here are the pages so far. We just need to finish with a bit more journaling which will be completed after I get the pages off to Elizabeth.
|The "garment repair" tags were perfect for the start of the journaling.|
|Two panels of wool are temporarily knit for the dying process.|
|Elizabeth experimented with dye formulas until she got a great match for the paper collection.|
|Dying the wool panels.|
|The knitting begins! There is an actual sample of the wool in the center pocket.|
|Those precious hands at work . . .|
|We are both wearing our socks. Aren't they pretty?|
Elizabeth has another project she needs a little help with . . .
Elizabeth desperately wants to see to it that her friend Colleen can bring two precious babies home from orphanages in Eastern Europe. (Read more HERE.) Their 3-1/2 year old boy, Gage, has Cerebral Palsy and their 10 year old girl, Millie, has Down Syndrome and Institutional Autism. As of today, they have raised nearly $5,000 toward their "fully funded" goal of $9,500. Then they can book travel and bring their precious children home to the warm beds and loving family waiting for them.
Elizabeth has generously offered to donate a beautiful pair of prayer socks (or two) to the giveaway she's organized. Each donation of $20 puts your name into the hat to make 'em yours! You can view the rest of the items in the giveaway HERE and more info about Elizabeth's efforts HERE.
Colleen's family is using Reece's Rainbow to track the funding for the adoption. You've already gone this far, please take a second and watch this video about the organization. Grab Kleenex.
Thank you for reading this lengthy blog entry. If you're willing and able, let's join together to help this family bring their children home and make Elizabeth's dream a reality.
Keep on Spinning.
P.S. I will wear my socks. Elizabeth insists.
P.S.S. If you want to read a little bit more about another family Elizabeth helped through Reece's Rainbow, go here.