What a difference a week makes

First, my apologies to any readers who tried to get to my blog this evening from approximately 8:30 – 9:30pm EDT.

My website was suspended due to an “evil background wp_cron” that was causing a problem. Happily for everyone who has to live with me, the problem is resolved, and crochetbug.com is back up. (Thank you Blue Host!)

Now, to today’s blog post:

In early March, my friend, Becky, asked if I could crochet yellow ribbons to use as favors/decorations for a Spaghetti Banquet to be held in her husband Donn’s honor on April 12.

As my regular readers know, Donn has been living with sarcoma for almost two years now, and as it happens, yellow ribbons are one of the symbols used to raise awareness of this intractable form of cancer.

Sunflowers, it turns out are another important symbol in sarcoma survival circles, and when Becky mentioned that there was to be a raffle, I could not resist offering to make a small throw to be offered as a prize. Like many people I want to be able to make a difference in a positive way.

Last Thursday, after having looked over any number of wonderful sunflower options, I faced the fact that I needed something that was relatively simple if I were going to get it done in the time that remained, and after making a few modifications to Jean Leinhauser’s Square 26 from her book 101 Crochet Squares, this was the motif I settled on and the sum total of my progress that first day:

six sunflower crochet squares for a sarcoma awareness crochet blanket
Six squares for the sawtooth sunflower throw

Fast forward to last night where I was just five squares away from completion:

a sarcoma awareness crochet blanket in need of five more sunflower crochet squares
The sawtooth sunflower throw as of sunset, April 3, 3013

Then, this morning as I waited for coffee to brew, I finished work on the remaining squares:

a strip of five sunflower crochet squares for a sarcoma awareness crochet blanket
The last five squares

After fortifying myself with fresh coffee and a bowl of oatmeal, I finished joining all the squares of the last row:

all of the sunflower crochet squares for a sarcoma awareness crochet blanket laid out and ready to be joined
The sawtooth sunflower throw with the final row ready to be joined

Several hours and errands later, I finished joining all of the rows to each other, completed a modest (but important) single crochet border, soaked the entire throw in a small tub of somewhat soapy water and vinegar, ran it through the spin cycle on my washer (just long enough to get most of the water out), and then spread the newly finished throw on the guest bed under a fan.

Here is the result:

The completed sawtooth sunflower throw shows what a difference a week can make
The completed sawtooth sunflower throw shows what a difference a week can make

I have learned a lot from making this throw, not the least of which is how sunflowers and yellow ribbons became symbols of life with and after sarcoma. An astute and generous reader, Suzie Siegel, shared the story of Wendy Sommers with me, and the impact Wendy had on the sarcoma community.

Suzie Siegel explained that Wendy had survived many years with sarcoma, and (avid gardener that she was) saw sunflowers as symbols of hope because they turned their heads toward the sun, which (as Suzie Siegel notes) “was pretty optimistic in the San Francisco area where she lived.”

But the truth is that even if a person is not facing a challenge like sarcoma, sometimes it is helpful to be reminded to follow the sun and to do what you can to make a difference.