As arrival of the shawl neared I began focusing on the women who have been touched by breast cancer, those I know and those I don’t. It is both heartbreaking and heartening. Once the shawl arrived and I knit my rows and began talking about the shawl I experienced another connection.
A reporter from the Tahlequah Daily Press came to our farm to interview me about the shawl. Betty is a knitter and we talked about lace, learning to knit, a local group of knitters that I didn’t know about but was invited to visit, and a nearby historical home that hosts fiber workshops.
Before Betty left she gave me directions to the LYS in Ft Smith which I would visit the following day. Betty is a newlywed and the yarn for husband’s sweater, her current project, was bought at Stringtown in Ft Smith. She said I’d like it, and she was right.
Saturday morning I left the farm and drove several hours to Stringtown, a fun little yarn shop in a quaint building just across the state line in Arkansas. This was my first chance to meet Kay, the shawl’s designer, in person – although we’d talked on the phone and emailed for months. The shop owner, Elizabeth, was warm and encouraging as were all of the women who showed up to meet Kay and I and see the Traveling Shawl. After several hours I left Ft Smith knowing I’d return to Stringtown and happy that I’d met more knitters.
When I returned Christopher asked if I was feeling the “sisterhood” of the traveling shawl. I was – but in an unexpected way – I had met new friends in the knitting world through the Traveling Shawl both in my own community and widespread. The essence of the Traveling Shawl is three-fold for me – honoring those who have experienced breast cancer, raising funds in the hopes of a cure, and sharing the knitting experience.
Below is a photo commemorating the six month progress of the Traveling Shawl taken at Stringtown Yarn in Ft Smith, Arkansas. Kay Meadors on the left, Denise Bell on the right – the star of the show is in the center!
And a great big thank you to Betty for a wonderful article in the Tahlequah Daily Press!
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