Monday, March 24, 2014

The story of the Nordic Shawl

Let me tell you the real story about the Nordic Shawl. How it all began and how it all ended. This blog post is a tribute not only to the pattern and its success itself. No this blog post is a tribute to an incredibly strong and wonderful lady called Pia, my inspiration for this creation.

My mother Eva has been a medical secretary for the majority of her life. A couple of years ago she retired but then a good colleague of hers - Pia - got sick with cancer and my mother decided to fill in for her during her treatment. It was just that one treatment ended up being two and three and four... The cancer spread quickly and what initially looked like a quick fix ended up being a long medical journey spent either in hospital or at home for Pia.

During this long time of treatments my mother and Pia developed an incredible bond. They spoke almost everyday about everything good, bad and ugly. Maybe just because they were just "distant" friends from the start. Maybe it was easier for them to bond just because they never were so emotionally close but "just" colleagues. Maybe it was because they were in a similar age being singles with grown up children... I don't know but I know my mother spoke about Pia often.

She told me the stories, how incredibly positive this woman was. Never giving up, always plugging along making it through and finding the silver lining in pain and illness.  She also told me there were rather serious and full out ugly conversations about side effects, life, death and how the cancer spread and showed up in new places. How she lost her hair, weight and natural shine. How she got older over night. But she kept her hopes and good spirit up. She was a real fighter.

My mother showed Pia my blog and told her about me, her only daughter living abroad. Pia came to love my blog. She said that she would always find strength and happiness through the colors and the creations I published. The pictures and the stories. Pia LOVED and ADORED my Gypsy blanket, the kaleidoscope of colors in the traditional granny squares. When my mom told me this I decided to make her something warm and cuddly to cheer her up in her fight against this terrible disease. I decided to make her a shawl.

I started on the shawl in early summer 2013. I wanted it to be "granny" with a modern Scandinavian twist. Timeless but not boring. I played around, inspired by dutch designs like this but I wanted it less eclectic and more "stylish". I got distracted and the shawl took longer to make than I thought as I put it aside several times because of family matters and life itself. And then late summer came and my mother told me Pia was getting very sick again. I rushed through the last sequence, the lace edging, and finished the shawl. But this time things looked really bad, my mother said. She asked me to hold on to the shawl for a week or so before sending it as she didn't know what was going to happen. A couple of weeks later Pia passed away. Her fight was over. She had told my mother she was ready to give in. Her fight came to an end.

I have never met Pia but it was with great sadness I sat there with the Nordic Shawl wrapped around my own shoulders and not hers. I felt like a failure as she never got the chance to enjoy and cherish this shawl I made for her. And that is when I for real decided to write out the pattern. For others to enjoy. For anyone, healthy or ill, to make and wrap around themselves on chilly days. Never in a million years did I expect so many would love this pattern as much as I do.

Every time I sell a pattern I think of Pia. I am proud to see my shawl everywhere in Cyber world. Every color combination makes every shawl different from another. This shawl can truly be anything you want it to be. It is timeless and simple. Just the way I wanted it to be.

My mother is so proud and says it feels like Pia is still alive through all the Nordic Shawls that are made. Maybe you think this is a rather sad story but for me it is not. After all, I think it has a happy ending. My intention was not to commercially design a pattern when I made this shawl. No, my intentions were very personal and that is why this Nordic Shawl is so special to me.

When writing this post, reflecting over the story and all the sales I've had of this pattern I felt strongly that I wanted to something more than just dedicate this pattern to Pia. I decided to donate 1 dollar of every sold Nordic Shawl pattern up until today's date to bring awareness to cancer which is a decease that will effect us all at some time in our life. It might be someone close, someone distant, a neighbor, a family member, a partner or a friend...

I'm so glad that my pattern can contribute to the Cancer Research and it really feels like the most natural thing to do.  A big THANK YOU to all of you who have purchased this pattern. Over 380 dollars (I have to count the exact numbers...) will be donated this week to the Swedish Cancer Society in the Memory of Pia. The Nordic Shawl have somewhat fulfilled its purpose in a different way than planned. I am incredibly happy to see so many of you all wearing it! It is fantastic. It brings a big smile on my face. And I know it would bring a big smile on Pia's face too.

You want to donate? Visit links below and make a donation now.
The American Cancer Society
Donate Now to The American Cancer Society
Cancer Research UK
Donate Now to Cancer Research UK
Svenska Cancerfonden
Ge en gåva nu till Svenska Cancerfonden

Or search for Cancer society in your home country.



Coming up next: Block your shawl to let the lace edging shine!

PS Stay tuned for the Nordic Shawl Potpourri later this week. 


Kärlek
Annette

Note: 
The Nordic Shawl pattern can be purchased here.
I highly recommend using Ideal yarn from Bergere de France for your Nordic Shawl make, available at LoveCrochet who ships worldwide and offers quick and smooth delivery. Want a summer version in cotton/acrylic mix? Buy Tilda yarn here.





Follow on Bloglovin

42 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing that story Annette. It's beautiful and sad at the same time. But it's a very good thing that you're doing and I'm glad I can contribute through you :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Annette, the story behind the Nordic Shawl is so touching. I'm so glad I decided to make it and I use it regularly in the evenings. I've decided to make it again in lighter colours for spring. I cannot wait to see the gallery of shawls

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a lovely story about Pia, so sad too of course, but how thoughtful to make a donation to cancer research in her memory.
    I love this silver grey version of your shawl. As neutrals go, grey has to be my favourite. The edging shows up so well too and red and pink and grey are wonderful together. Have a great new week now we are back to moody March weather!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am proud to have played a small part in your Nordic Shawl journey - your story was both heartfelt and touching. Next time I am wearing it I will think of your mother's friend, along with friends I have who have battled and won against this terrible disease, as well as those that have lost their fight. Blogland has a wonderful way of bringing people together, what ever their art. Lots of love Jane xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a wonderful story. Sad and happy. I am so glad that your shawl is providing much needed funds for such a wonderful cause. Yarns love and goodness at its best .

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Ugly cry".
    Oh, Annette, this has so much more meaning than the current trend of "selfies without make-up in support of cancer" that's flying around FB. I'm a breast cancer orphan myself, still sitting with an unfinished piece of cross stitch that was to become a cushion for my mom.
    Sharing with my group.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is heart warming. Thanks for sharing this.
    Esther.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a sad but beautiful story Annette, and what a fine thing it is you are doing in memory of Pia.
    I love looking at your beautiful shawl and seeing it all over blogland in many variations is wonderful, and now I am thinking that maybe after all, after reading your story (or rather, Pia's story) I would like to make one too, even though I am not much of shawl wearer.
    Thank you for sharing this with us Annette, and I look forward to seeing more of these lovely shawls with new eyes now I know the story behind it.
    Gill xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. A very touching and special post!! Smiles from South Africa :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. a wonderful story of inspiration Annette! Heather x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Annette, what an emotional story. My mother also died of cancer, so many years ago, i still donate to the Dutch Kankerfonds.......

    ReplyDelete
  12. A sad, but wonderfully inspiring story Annette. I have loved this shawl and wear mine almost daily. Cancer is such a horrid thing, not only deeply affecting the person trying to eradicate it, but all their close family too. I have lost a wonderful family member to this dreaded disease, and currently have another family member just finishing some chemo for her own battle. It's tough, but hopefully, with every penny donated, we can come a little bit closer to finding the cures so fewer people have to suffer as they do.

    Beautiful post Annette.

    Much love xxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, no words to add…
    a big hug, xxxx Ale

    ReplyDelete
  14. What an amazing story. It brought tears to my eyes.
    Pia would feel so touched by everything you have done, I'm feel sure.

    ReplyDelete
  15. There is a small spelling mistake in the paragraph about the amount of money you have raised. The sentence in italics. I thought you may like to change it x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing the back story of your lovely Nordic shawl. A beautiful tribute for Pia, who sounds like a woman that can inspire us all.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a beautiful story. Thank you for such a wonderful tale. I have only just started following your blog but love it already and will now have to buy your pattern and make one of these beautiful cosy and comforting shawls and will remember this story. Best wishes and kind regards Cilla Rule

    ReplyDelete
  18. Its really great when we can raise money while enjoying our beloved crafting. I'm no sports person!! Love what you've done Annette. I managed to raise over £100 for our cancer charities by crocheting my daffodil brooches this March. My sister has had a terminal cancer for 4 years but is thankfully in remission at the moment. Really looking forward to the potpourri! I love my shawl and now I shall start one for my sister. xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. This story is so touching!
    Thank you Annette for sharing it

    ReplyDelete
  20. This post made me cry,I read all your posts and when I get the money will be purchasing your pattern. Even before this post I have drooled over this pattern but in December I lost my job. Your blog is a source of happiness to me.I have a story similar as in I was crocheting for someone I grew to love and respect in a race to get something made before lung cancer stole her from me.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I had not idea of the story behind your shawl. Thank you for creating it, sharing the story and making such a great contribution in memory of your Mum's friend. xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lovely story. I'm about to be done with the colored part. I was sidelined on working on it for a while, but I'm back at it. Should have it done this week! YAY! I'm a little nervous about the colors. We'll see!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Heads up for a spelling mistake near the end of the your nordic shawl story..I am sure you meant to put COUNT.

    This is a great story, I am sure Pia is cheering you on :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for sharing a deep part of you Annette, all who read must be deeply touched, I know I was.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us, Annette, my Nordic Shawl is even dearer to me now. I love it and the pattern so much, and I have tears of sadness and gratitude after reading your post. Thank you for donating on behalf of all of us, Pia would have loved this post most of all, I think! Chrissie xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your Nordic Shawl pattern is by far my favorite! I have made many shawls, but have always felt a warmth and happiness when I wear this one, now I know why... Beautiful story, thanks for sharing it with us! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Annette your story made me cry but your post also shone with the goodness of people like you. It also told us of the strength that lovely people like Pia give us throughout the great struggle with cancer. Darling Annette your shawl is divine and always will be as every stitch was made with love. A wonderful post Annette, thank you so much, sorry I have been away for a while as I have had my own troubles but it is so lovely to be back with you again. Sending you big hugs and loves
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Such a beautiful story behind your shawl Annette, and so well written. I am quite sure that Pia is looking down now at all the beautiful shawls being worn everywhere. ♥
    Just going to buy my pattern now !
    Kate x

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a lovely story and origin for a pattern. I would not see a happy ending on this, but I'd rather call it a positive ending. It is so wonderful you have sold so many and it has been widely loved.
    I do believe in the energy of things and people and surely your shawl will spread the good and positive energy of Pia throughout the world.
    I have seen several Nordic Shawls over at IG already but cannot wait to see your next post about it.
    xEva

    ReplyDelete
  30. A beautiful blog. Good to know what the story is behind this beautifal shawl pattern and nice to hear that you will donate an amount of the shawl purchases to the cancer society. I already have bought a pattern and now I know the story behind it I'm really going to plan to begin with the shawl. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  31. A beautiful and touching story. Always loved your wonderful creations and this shawl i have been dreaming to crochet for me one day. The story makes it even more special. You are so right when you say we are or will be affected by cancer at some time in our life. My mom lost battle over 20 years ago and i had cancer of the uterous in the winter of 2013. I am now cancer free and feel so blessed and thankful as i know so many were not and will not be so lucky... I am hopping now in your shop as i feel i must get that pattern in my hands. One day i will crochet one for myself and for ladies that surround my life as a gift of love <3 thank you for sharing such a touching and moving story Annette. You should feel proud as i am sure your Nordic shawl will spread more love all over the globe xxx

    ReplyDelete
  32. Such a moving story behind the shawl. I had an experience with a shawl I knitted a few years ago, my friend was taken I'll at the beginning of the month so I decided to knit her a hug, then we found out it was cancer, I knitted every waking hour finally finishing it 2am one morning 20 days later, unfortunately my friend passed away the day I finished it and like Pia never saw the shawl made with love. I've just over ordered yarn to crochet your shawl pattern, I think I will make two and donate one to the local hospice, I think that seems right. Sending you hugs and love xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Annette, I read this two days ago and it made me cry and I couldn't comment. I've read it again this morning, it is an amazing post and I am more determined than ever to improve my crochet skills so that I can make and wear a nordic shawl. When I do, I shall wear it and think of Pia and also of my family members lost. Well done you for your amazing donation!! S xo

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thank you for sharing your story. I shall think of Pia when I wear my shawl. And a lovely idea to make the contribution to the cancer charity. X

    ReplyDelete
  35. Goodness, there is sadness here but I think you've made such good come of it that it must be a happy ending. And that's all we can do sometimes isn't it? Deal with something like this by doing something positive. Well done beautiful Annette, you've done a wonderful thing. xxx

    S x

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you for telling this story Annette. I will think about Pia whenever I wear my shawl.
    Lynne xx

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for sharing this you brought a tear to my eye, I lost my Dad to this terrible illness. It so good that you have found a positve way to help with you're beautiful shawl.
    Clare xx

    ReplyDelete
  38. What a touching story Annette, and well done for raising the money for such a worthwhile cause :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hola Annette!!
    Una historia que que impacta,que te llega al corazón por todos los sentimientos que en uno despierta.Coincido en que esta enfermedad nos va a tocar a todos de alguna forma.
    Me cuesta hablar de ello he perdido a mi papá por causa de ella y ami suegro.
    Es muy positivo tu actitud de colaborar con la lucha contra esta enfermedad.Mis felicitaciones y toda mi admiración.
    Cariños,GABY_MANOJITOSDEIDEAS.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you so much for your help I cant believe I took it apart after I had it correct lololll Love making this Will send pic when done Love this site scfnurse

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting my world. I love reading your comments and I do my utterly best to respond to questions and sweet messages. Thank you again for popping by.

Kärlek
Annette

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...