Monday, November 22, 2010

We could all use a little more "free."

I have a friend who has a favorite saying, "Everyone love free stuff." Well actually, she uses a more colorful word than "stuff," but this is a family blog so...Anyway, these days it seems like more than ever, we could all use the surprise and joy of special little things, given freely with love.

In that spirit, I have three free things to share with you. Two that you can get, and one (perhaps the best) that you can give.

First, Classic Elite has kicked off a promotion that comes as quite a cool surprise. The "Love Your Shop" giveaway is an unadulterated celebration of the LYS.

Here's how it works. You spend $40 or more between Nov. 11 and Dec. 15 on yarn, patterns or books at any LYS that carries Classic Elite (like Loops, hint hint). It doesn't have to be Classic Elite products - it can be anything. You send Classic Elite your receipt, and they send you a free pattern booklet plus 3 mini-skeins of yarn. All the details are here. How awesome is that?

Now for the second freebie. This Friday, yea the veritable Black Friday, Loops is jumping into the "doorbuster" melée for the first time. We are opening early, at 9am at both locations (We can be early birds, but 4am? Masochists we are not.) We'll have secret "doorbuster" discounts from 9-11am, and will have a free, really cool gadget-y booklight for the first 25 customers through the door at each store.

So you can knit in the dark without stabbing yourself. Or knit in the car at night without your husband/driver glaring at you. Yeah Brent, I'm talkin' to you.

Now the last freebie - your chance to give - comes courtesy of my friend Marilyn. Her sister, Gretchen, is about to undergo surgery for a benign brain tumor. And somehow, amidst all the chaos and emotional turmoil that must accompany such a challenge, she is leading an effort to help others. Here is the letter I received:

Dear Friends and Family:

I will undergo an operation at MD Anderson Hospital on December 10 to remove a benign meningioma tumor from just under the skull above my forehead on the right side of my brain. The predicted outcome is excellent and the risks are 5% or less. That doesn’t mean it isn’t scary, but I remain optimistic that I will recover completely and return to work in good health, minus a bit of hair, in January.

One has only to sit in the waiting room at MD Anderson’s Brain and Spine Clinic to realize that a benign tumor in the quietest part of the brain makes you the luckiest person in the room. Most of the other waiting room patron’s lives are profoundly affected by cancer. Except for the friendly, supportive staff, there was not a smile to be found.

I would like you to help me bring some happiness to cancer patients at MD Anderson. You can do this by donating a cute hat or scarf to me for Christmas or for my birthday, which is also in December. I will wear as many as I can wear and donate all your gifts to MD Anderson in the New Year. Your donation to Hats That Smile can be for a woman, man, or child and the hats and scarves can be as fun and festive as you like. (Please avoid wool because it itches!)

The idea behind Hats That Smile is to brighten cancer patient’s lives with something special and unexpected that allows them to give and get smiles during a difficult time. Your name will be put on the card attached to the hat you donate. The front of the card label will have the Hats That Smile logo. The message on the back of the card encourages the recipient to smile at each person they meet while they wear your gift. I personally can’t wait to wear your hats with a big, healthy smile!

Send your hat donations to me:
Gretchen Bebb Poplinger
c/o Speech Pathways
2509 Dorrington
Houston, TX 77030

Thanks to all of you for your hats, prayers, love and healing thoughts. Your kindness and well wishes will be on my mind in December. I’m twice the lucky one because I have you!



And here is a photo of the gorgeous Gretchen:

To be honest, I receive info on these types of charity efforts quite often - but it's been awhile since one has touched me as much as this one.

If you'd like to participate, here are a couple of patterns to inspire you.

This is Felicity by Wanette Clyde, a free ravelry download (photo by lapoli). Would be perfect and inexpensive in Berroco Comfort.

And this is Swirl Hat by Mandie Harrington, another free Rav download (photo by knitwit). Try Panda Cotton for a soft, itch-free hat.

You will bring softness and love to someone you have never met. And "free" doesn't get any better than that.

- Shelley
shop online at


Anonymous Elizabeth said...

As someone who has recently finished chemo, please send solid hats only. The Felicity hat would be great, but the Swirl Hat has "holes" in it that may make the wearer self-conscious about what can or can't be seen underneath. :)

December 1, 2010 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iagree with Elizabeth-I'm a 10 yr survivor who knits for my oncologist's center. If the pattern has "organized" holes-which can be filled with ribbon those are fun. But, other than that, cute is the operative word. I want people to smile at a chemo patient because the smiles make them feel better than the "oh, you have cancer" looks.

December 2, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

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