Seeking Suggestions

My mother called me today with the news that my grandfather was admitted to the hospital on Monday morning and isn’t doing well. He’s had alzheimers for several years, somewhat managed by medication and fairly lucid, but slowly declining, but this is heart and lung stuff. He’s 81 and is overweight and not very mobile, so it’s understandable.

I’m considering flying home (Ann Arbor, MI) in a couple of days and driving up to the visit the hospital (northern MI, 8 hours by car). For a variety of reasons not having anything to do with national security, my luggage will be very tight, so I can’t really bring any of the projects I have underway or am planning to start soon. So I have to start something entirely new. And I was thinking about making something for my grandmother, who is having trouble coping. Aside from the issues involved with your husband of 60 years being in this state, my grandfather’s illness causes him to tend toward the beligerent and difficult and she bears the brunt of it.

Anyway, I was thinking of some sort of shawl, and I think I’d have enough down time in flying and driving to finish it. But I don’t know that I’d get a chance to block intricate lace. Anyone got any ideas for me? A pattern that I could get online (free or otherwise) or could find in a book that the local LYS would carry. Thanks.


  1. Jocelyn:

    Sorry to hear about this, Amy. My first thought on a project would be to adapt the Sursa shawl from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book 2 using other yarns (it calls for Silk Garden and Cash Iroha). It’s a really easy and versatile. Hope that helps. We’re all thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

  2. Alex:

    So sorry to hear about your grandfather. My first thought on simple shawls is the Clapotis, but you might also consider something from Folk Shawls - the Litla Dimun is very simple, or the Wool Peddler’s Shawl which is mostly garter st. with a lace border. Have a safe trip.

  3. Melissa:

    How about just a really simple triangle shawl…cast on 3 stitches, increase each end every other row. It’s very simple and quick, but also nice for your grandmother.

  4. Kathy:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather.

    I’m a fan of Cozy, from Knitty:


    Have a safe trip.

  5. Chris:

    Sorry to hear about your grandfather… A simple triangle shawl or Clapotis, as others have mentioned, both sound good.

  6. mari:

    Amy, sorry about your granddad, a friend of mine is going through something similar…
    In the new Interweave Evelyn Clark has a new “shawlette” that might be nice to do. The shetland leaf shawl in wrap style might be a good option too.

  7. AnaBanana:

    I would just start a plain triangle garter stitch shawl. No pattern start with 3 stitches then just increase one stitch at the beginning of each row and make it as large as you wish. Then give it a nice little crochet edge.

    Voila, no pattern needed no fuss no muss. Sometimes I add in a moss stitch edging in which case I need stitch markers and move them as I go.

    Here is a shawl similar:

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