My Sister’s Shawl

Sunday was my Sisters Birthday.

Normally this would mean a phone call and an hour or so of girlish chatter. She would tell me her plans for the day and I would tell her that I missed her and wish her a Happy Birthday.


I couldn’t do that this year.

My sister fell victim to Cancer this this past March. She, like many others, fought valiantly for several years. She underwent several surgeries and chemo sessions, but in the end the disease won the war.


I went to go visit her the November prior. We had decided that it would be better for both of us if  I made the long flight from South Georgia to Boise ID while she was still well enough to engage the visit. At that point they had stopped all treatment. It was no longer helping so she made the choice to accept it with grace and enjoy every moment left.

I believe it was the best trip I’d ever had with her. We walked along the river – she loved the river – and rested quietly in the apartment sipping tea and watching the geese play in the lake outside the window.

The colors of Idaho in Autumn are positively breathtaking. The yellow and gold trees are unbelievable.


I , of course, had to go into every yarn shop in town. My goal was to find some yarn the color of the trees. I even had the pattern in hand. The Adelei Shawl by Wendy Neal. Unfortunately nothing I saw was quite right. It was too yellow or too brown or rusty. I could see the color in my head, just not on any shelf. I did however find some locally grown yarn called Alpaca Purls. It’s a blend of Alpaca, Wool and Bamboo from Windy Ridge Alpacas. I snatched some up for another project. I also found an Idaho Tote Bag that would serve me as a knitting bag for years to come.

When my visit came to a close, I hugged my sister tightly and said Good-Bye, knowing it would in all likelihood be the last time I would feel her embrace.

The yarn sat on a shelf , still in the bag, until I got the call from Darby. She insisted there was no time for travel and then she was gone. She was able to go peacefully at home, surrounded by friends,  and for that I was grateful.

When I had recovered enough to pick up my needles, the first project I headed for was my pattern. I still needed to dye my yarn. I chose to use 100% super wash merino. With the color still clear in my mind, I set about the task. I like to use Jaquard dyes. They are easy to use and fun to manipulate by blending.


The color came out PERFECT. Exactly as I wanted it. The pattern was a fun knit too, although if I were to do it again I think I would add one more repeat to make it a bit longer.  But that’s just me. It’s a well written pattern and stunning to wear.


It’s been too hot to wrap up in a shawl, but this last Sunday I had to pull it out and admire the beauty that will always remind me of my sister and that glorious Autumn in Boise.




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I miss you dear Sister…

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5 Responses to My Sister’s Shawl

  1. Pingback: Portuguese Bean Soup | Creative Country Life

  2. Andrea says:

    beautiful story, yarn, color, and shawl, Dona! What a sweet way to remember your sister.

  3. sale says:

    Best wishes!Your blog is very good!

  4. Linda says:

    Beautiful story of your sister. Beautiful shawl, is it your pattern? Thank your for sharing your stories!