Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Joke's on ME...and I'm Drooling!

Oh, My!

Never in my wildest dreams did I suspect my ISE3 pal was Dorene, who I call "Mozart" because of her talent and skill at knitting true heirloom works of art.

I've been drooling over Dorene's gorgeous Estonian Garden shawl since I helped her block it in a hotel room. It was simply the most gorgeous shawl, and I fell in love with it that day, pushing in dressing wires and securing them with T-pins.

It was the perfect color. It was the perfect weight--light, cotton, soft and delicious. It was long and luxurious. It was the kind of shawl I'd always wanted to make, but knew I didn't have that kind of patience or skill.

Last week my service dog of twelve years died, and after 5 months of hospice for him here at home, I decided to drive to California to be with family so I could start the healing process.

I was still in California when the package arrived, and when I got home, I looked at the return address and didn't recognize the name. I knew it had to be from my scarf pal, and was expecting a garter stitch scarf, since my pal told me she was a novice knitter.

I ripped into the package and found the most glorious hatbox, heavy duty and covered in a vintage fabric pattern. Opening it up, I see so many wonderful packages, all wrapped beautifully in magenta tissue paper and tied up with cotton yarn. Yippee, I thought---how did my pal ever know one of my fav songs was about "bright paper packages tied up with strings"? It was like Christmas!

Of course, I spotted what had to be the scarf package first--soft, large and wrapped with great care. I opened it up, and saw it was an ESTONIÃ…N GARDEN SHAWL--just like the one I helped Dorene block a month earlier. Same delicious color, too---a color I flipped over when I first set eyes on it.

I got goosebumps big time. How could my pal have known I was hopelessly in love with that shawl? How could she have chosen just the right color? How on earth could a rank beginning knitter EVER have knitted a whole Estonian, when she stated she'd only been knitting a few months?

The more packages I opened--a chartreuse tape measure (my color!), a melon-cucumber scented candle, so clean and fresh smelling in a matching green color, a bookmark about the joys of sharing hugs--one of my favorite things, and also the very same Lantern Moon knitting needle holder I'd been lusting after. This was getting downright spooky, as the gorgeous hatbox also contained a large sachet of French Lavender flower heads, my all-time favorite scent, and a bar of imported French Lavender soap!

Really, really big goosebumps now. I realize when I finger the shawl that it HAD to have been knit by Dorene, and no way was this novice work. The way the package had been fixed up, the attention to all the little details of elegant wrapping--it all screamed, "MOZART!"

I then found Dorene's silk knitting label inside the shawl, and realized it wasn't my package at all--that it was Dorene's package meant for her secret pal--that oh-so-lucky secret pal! Horrified that I'd opened it all up, and not recognized her daughter-in-law's name, I realized it had come to me by mistake.

I quickly wrote Celia and Cynthia, explaining that I'd received the incredibly glorious Estonian Shawl from Dorene by mistake, ending my explanation with a sigh--because I surely did love that shawl and hoped Dorene's secret pal would appreciate all the endless hours of work Dorene put into this heirloom art piece. I knew her fingers ached, and that she'd worked nonstop on it, pushed through the pain and created something that would be treasured forever.

I'd been begging her to please keep it for herself (she modeled it for me--it looked drop dead gorgeous on her!) and pass it on to her children and grandchildren. I encouraged her to make a different scarf for her novice scarf pal, not an heirloom that should be kept in the family and treasured.

I mean, if I EVER made something that exquisite, I'd make sure a very loved family member got it, one who would be sure to take good care of it and pass it on to her children, and her children's children.

I wrote Dorene and this morning received an email that I was her secret pal for real, and that the package was for me, and that the awesome Estonian was made just for me!!!!!!!

OMG! I'm wheeling on the ceiling. I'm so excited I could burst--never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever have something so beautiful, and knit by someone I admire so much, whose work is just out of this world wonderful!

I'm still pinching myself. Is this real? Is this really MINE? I get to wear this gorgeous shawl???????

I'm totally knocked out. This is like a dream come true. MY Estonian! Made JUST for me! Made with love and good thoughts and smiles and hugs, and filled with so much positive energy from the Queen of Lace!


Blogger Courtney said...

I am very happy for you, it is a lovely story and what makes it even better is that it is true. I am very sorry for the loss of your best friend/companion/pet, I know how devastating it is, I work at a Veterinary Hospital and I see first hand everyday. I am truly sorry.

5:32 PM  
Blogger allegra918 said...

what an incredible package! lucky you!

5:33 PM  
Blogger megan said...

what a fantastic story and wonderful package! that's tremendous.

5:50 PM  
Blogger sharyn said...

How wonderful that she was able to keep it a secret! You truly deserve that package (although I was secretly hoping it was coming to me!)

6:00 PM  
Blogger Dorene said...


It was my honor to have been able to make this "heirloom" for you. It is yours, truly yours. Good thoughts and warm wishes were knit into every stitch.

Truly, you are one courageous, warm, talented, funny, awe-inspiring woman, and I have been so blessed that our paths have crossed. We met at a time when I was recovering from cancer and I was in dire need of inspiration, and Debi, you were it.

I am honored to know you. You are my hero, the wind beneath my wings.

With much admiration, respect and love.....Dorene

6:03 PM  
Blogger Bonnie D. said...

Debi & Dorene: What a wonderful story! Obviously, Dorene loved making it and passing it on to her very special friend. And Debi, how wonderful that it's coming at such a tender time for you.

This was a wonderful story!!

6:22 PM  
Blogger peaknits said...

This is a story of friendship! OMG I had seen this scarf and I am so jealous. I am so glad for you that you have had an extra special exchnage experience!

7:01 PM  
Blogger stephanie said...

How wonderful! Sounds like a beautiful gift for a beautiful person from a beautiful friend!
I am so sorry for the loss of your companion dog, as a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence, you remind me why I love raising puppies to give away.
Best -s

7:15 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

This is the best exchange story ever. You guys should be the spokespeople for knitting swaps! So glad youcould make someone so happy with your gift and in return she could do the same for you.

9:10 PM  
Blogger CynCyn said...

whew! i was worried you were going to post the package back to dorene!! but i didn't want to ruin the surprise that she was your secret pal.

9:24 PM  
Blogger celia said...

I am so glad you like the scarf. :) It's gorgeous, isn't it. And what a funny story too.. I don't think I would have been able to keep it a secret if I were Dorene. Well done!

11:35 PM  
Blogger Pennie said...

Awesome :)

11:38 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Thank you, everyone! I have truly never been so surprised before--Dorene did the BEST job of hiding who she was. I'm going to wear my incredible shawl this weekend out on a special date with my hubby. No one will be eyeballing my wheelchair because the Estonian will WOW them! I am still pinching myself....

Courtney, thank you so much for your kind words. Peek, my service dog, was my lifeline to independence for so many years. I can thank outstanding veterinary care for all the extra time I had with him.

Stephanie, you're one of the angels we service dog handlers all love! You have the most important job of all--raising and socializing the puppies, and then, you have to let them go. I can't imagine how hard that must be for you. What you're doing for CCI puppies is so important, and so very appreciated!

Dorene, what can I say? I'm so honored to have this shawl, and to have all the love knitted into each stitch. You commiserated with me all through the months of hospice, and at the end, when I cried on your shoulder. No gift could be more precious than that. You knitted compassion into that incredible work of art, and I'll feel it each time I wear it.

I can't bear to fold this away when it's not being worn, so I'm going to have to think of a way to display it for everyone to see!

12:41 PM  
Blogger pinky said...

Yay for you! Your post made me cheer with joy!

1:28 AM  

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