Every so often, as a knitter, a skein of yarn falls into your hands that is truly precious – one that demands you do something special with it, so it becomes an item you always treasure.
One such yarn came along last year as part of indigodragonfly’s World Wide Knit In Public Day Auction, to benefit The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund. The idea was simple. One could bid on the rights to name one of several one-of-a-kind colourways, and decide what colours were used to dye that yarn. Then others could bid on the finished skeins. There were only four skeins of each colourway made, so bidding on some of them turned out to be pretty fierce.
Some of the stories were wonderful, and happy, and sad, but most of all, filled with memories and meaning. The skein that I obtained, “Yes They’re Fake – The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me” has a story, and I will let the person who named it tell that story.
I’m just me coming through the other side of my year in Hell. I HAD Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed on June 24, 2011. I felt a lump on June 17. I had a double mastectomy on July 15, 2011. I had 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks, then 33 daily radiation treatments. Based on the type of my Breast Cancer I had a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy (I had to get spaded so to speak;) I have had silicone breast implants placed. I’m doing well now just need to get the final work on the girls, and get back in shape and healthy. Unfortunately my family on both sides has a lot of cancer experience.
In addition to me – I had 4 great aunts, an aunt, a second cousin, and a first cousin who also had Breast Cancer – my Grandmother died of a liver metastasis – we never pushed to find her primary but 3 of her sisters had breast cancer. My Grandfather had a malignant nasal polyp and died following a stroke while having radiation treatment. My mother has had Colon Cancer _she’s still alive and driving my crazy! Her brother – my uncle also had Colon Cancer as well as throat cancer (he died of throat cancer). My Grandmother on Daddy’s side died of Lung Cancer at 52 – but she also had cancer in her ovaries. (We think the Ovaries were primary but have no way to be sure). In March while I was still in the midst of my battle my Father was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic Colon Cancer – he is fighting now too. He had a colon resection and is now having chemo. Doing well but his longterm outlook is grim. Mind you he is sneaking off this weekend to race his car! I joke with friends sometimes that I was gonna have cancer it was just a question of where. We have all just kept on living with everything going on. Some of our fights were harder than others and some of us suffered a bit more than the rest.
Yes They’re Fake – The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me: Reasoning behind the color. I’m thinking mainly gray – for the blur that your life becomes after you hear the words “you have Cancer”. Charcoal bits for the really bad days that you feel like crap and are tired of the fight. Red for the days you come up for air and think “hell yeah I can do this, I can beat this thing”. Finally, pink because it is the color for Breast Cancer.
Wendy tells me that the name came from a T-shirt…she has a collection of smart-assed “Fuck Cancer” T-shirts, that includes another that says “My oncologist does my hair”.
And just to illustrate Wendy’s kindness and spirit, I only have my skein of this very special yarn because of her generosity. I placed a bid before leaving to take my parents to the airport that day, and returned after the auction had ended, only to discover that I had been outbid several times over, but that Wendy had sent a message saying that she was raising my bid herself and covering the difference.
This long story leads to the KAL that begins today in the indigodragonfly Ravelry group. We were tossing around ideas as to which pattern would be the perfect one for this yarn, and I threw out Anne Hanson‘s Aria Delicato. All four of us decided that it was indeed perfect and that we would all knit it together. And there are even some others joining us along the way, using other indigodragonfly yarns.
Feel free to join us, too! I will post more as we go along, because there are more amazing stories to be told and I am sure the finished scarves are going to be absolutely beautiful.