I have a friend. She goes by Kari-Mel and she found me through another blog when I wrote about wanting to invite that other blogger over for dinner. Kari-Mel stuck around. She didn’t have a blog of her own, and I had no way to follow her back. She commented on my posts regularly, and shortly thereafter, she followed me on a little blogging merry-go-round when I shut one down and opened another one up. And she kept talking. I’d email her back. She’d respond. She was always so sweet and encouraging to me when I was upset, depressed, or down in one way or another. She was happy when I had good things happen for me. She was a cheerleader for me when I chronicled trying to regain my health from the obesity that has haunted me for years. When I started losing the weight, she clapped louder and harder than anyone except maybe my sister and husband.
I learned that she was sick through a comment she left on a post about a family member of mine who was gravely sick. Kari-Mel has lung cancer, and she started a blog to chronicle her adventures. I ran a gamut of emotions when I learned that about this person whom I’ve never hugged or spoken to on the phone, and it surprised me, the intensity of these emotions. I was really mad. Good people shouldn’t get sick! I was sad. I don’t want anything to happen to her! I was determined. I’m not a doctor, but I wanted to do something for her. I wanted to help, and being that we’re a couple states away from each other, I did the only thing I could think of. I learned to knit socks for her. I’m learning that when I feel helpless, I knit.
I had only knit a scarf and a blanket when I found out about Kari-Mel’s illness. I probably wouldn’t have thought of trying socks in my dizziest daydreams so soon after picking the knitting back up after my 20 year break, but I had a purpose. First, I thought of a blanket for her. Or a hat, for if she loses her hair (which she started to, and then took matters into her own hands and shaved her head. Brave girl). But she assured me that her daughter had her covered on the blanket front and she had plenty of hats, and planned to get a wig if her hair did indeed fall out. But she did mention her extremities have been cold. SOCKS! Perfect! Smaller project, something I could get done reasonably fast, and something that I could add in my own personal touch.
The problem was that I’d never done socks. Turn a heel? Confusing. Gusset? I didn’t even know what that was. Toe up or Cuff down? Ribbing? Wha? Well, I’m the type of knitter (and learner) that gets my hands in it. I won’t learn it without trying it. I can’t read a pattern and intuit what it will do to the yarn (at least, not yet) and so I just have to follow the pattern instructions and watch and see what happens. So I got online to learn what a Turkish Cast On looked like, adapted it to circular needles, and started even though I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. I trusted the pattern and just went. I did a test sock in leftover yarn that I thought would actually work if I liked the result. But they didn’t fit over my own foot, and I know with Kari-Mel’s swelling issues they wouldn’t be comfortable for her. That wasn’t acceptable, so it was a practice sock, and then I was ready for the real thing. Then I found this yarn.
Imagination handpainted yarn in Wicked Witch colorway from KnitPicks. PERFECT. And so were born the Kicking Cancer’s Ass Socks, with a little Wicked Witch thrown in for attitude and sass. Just what an embattled survivor needs to shore up their boots (or tootsies) for the kicking of cancer’s ass.
Socks in progress…
Thing is, Kari-Mel thinks I did such an incredible thing for her, that I’m an ‘angel’ and that it may be the nicest thing an internet ‘stranger’ has done for her. What she doesn’t know is that I did it because I wanted to help and couldn’t think of what to do that would mean something besides what her doctors are already doing. I wanted to let her know her friendship has meant something to me and that I thought of her and her comfort and wanted to do more than sit idly by while she went through this. I also may have a new knitting convert. She told me yesterday she’d picked up the needles. My plan to help knitters take over the world has had startling success! Mwaaahahahahahahahahaha!
She loves the socks. They fit her well. And they’ll keep her feet warm, with just a little ass kicking thrown in. I’m not a doctor, but I can picture her getting her treatments wearing my socks and I know I’ve helped a little. Her feet aren’t cold.
(picture lifted from her blog post)