Full Circle: a raffle (and a ridiculously long post!)

anniversary of a rescue

anniversary of a rescue

Today marks the anniversary of my son’s near fatal accident and his dramatic rescue. It feels like a birthday. I feel like celebrating.

The weird thing about this past year since his rescue is that I have not simply lived the grateful happy life I sort of expected in light of what happened that day. In fact, for months after the accident, I think I was actually dealing with some post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. I kept thinking I should just get over it already. Just be happy. My son was almost killed, and instead of having to live the grief of that I was dealing with happy things like the start of preschool, and the success of potty-training, and the celebration of Christmas with two little boys instead of just one. But still, I felt a gnawing anxiety and even grief. Sometimes I still do, even in the midst of overwhelming gratitude and relief.

Throughout the whole strange journey this year has been, I have found myself sustained by good friends. Two communities of friends in particular have been invaluable to me. The first community is you guys – the craft community, both virtual and real life. You folks were among the first I told in detail about what happened at the beach. I had to get it written out, and even though that was painful and made me feel vulnerable, you were unbelievably supportive and kind. You celebrated with me. You freaked out with me, too, over the awful thing that happened and the death that nearly resulted from it. And when I was ready to move forward and get back to my knitting and knitblogging, you were still there for me, no matter how inconsistent I was with either of those things. The craft community for me took a leap into real life as well this year, as I made actual knitting friends in Real Life, both in my neighborhood and through our Co-Op preschool. To have friends that have nothing to do with my work but only with something that is purely joyful to me has been a brand-new and wonderful experience for me.

The second community that has been there for me this past year (and for many years prior) has been a group of 29 female colleagues from across the U.S. and Canada. They are clergy, like me, and they, like me, are in the minority in their profession – only 13% of all ministers are women (that number if somewhat lower in my own denomination). Several years ago, a Catholic nun in Beech Grove, Indiana, had a dream of having her own monastic community reach out to Protestant clergywomen in order to help nurture and sustain them through the sharing of the rhythm and traditions of the monastic life. It was an unusual idea – to bring together Protestant clergywomen and Catholic women religious, two groups who have an awful lot in common and much to learn from each other but typically very little interaction with each other. Sister Mary Luke won a grant to fund her dream, and Women Touched by Grace was born. Starting in November 2003, (when I was 8 weeks pregnant with twins) we gathered twice a year for 10 days at the monastery. The program culminated with a trip to Italy, where we studied the life of St. Benedict.

These women (both the clergy and the nuns) were there for me during my pregnancy and early motherhood. They were there for me during my husband’s frightening medical problems and hospitalizations. In the past five years, three of the women have battled cancer, while others have gone through divorce, job loss, brain surgery, and betrayals. Through all of it, they have remained a rock-solid community for one another. It was a gift given to us by Sister Mary Luke and her fellow sisters, and it is a gift that keeps giving. They, like you, were among the first I shared the news of our son’s accident with. They supported me in my strange mix of grief and relief, and they provided a sounding board when I needed to talk, when I needed to cry, and when I needed to write.

That program has officially ended, and a new group of clergywomen has been invited to the monastery to receive the gifts the women there have to give. Their program has not been fully funded as ours was. So now I finally get to the reason for this raffle!! This is not a religion-related blog, and I do not share my religious views here (in fact, there is much to say about the spiritual value of the Women Touched by Grace community, but I refrain because I don’t feel this is the forum for that). The proceeds of this raffle will go towards a religious institution, but I hope that even if you are not Christian or religious, you might consider participating. Because in truth this money is meant to help women who need as much friendship and support as they can get. The whole program is based on women reaching out to women. I want to celebrate how women have sustained me in difficult times by trying to reach out and sustain other women too. These women need this time away and the nurture it will provide. They need community – both that of their colleagues and that of the nuns. They need the rest and renewal. They need the support that will keep them from burning out and from failing in the midst of isolation and other challenges. Want to help make it so? (and win fab prizes in the process?)

All right then!

Disclosure: Big love goes to Sister Mary Luke, who gave some of us some “seed money” to use to raise additional money however we could. I wish I could claim to have used a few hundred of my own dollars to make this contest possible, but I did not. The money funding this little venture has been given to me, and I hope to at least double it (though I’m hoping you guys may surpass my wildest dreams).

How it will work:
1. $5 buys one chance to win.
2. For every four chances you buy($20), you will get an additional chance free.
3. If you mention this contest on your blog (and provide me the link) you will get another free chance to win.
4. Buy as many chances as you wish!
5. The PayPal donations go directly to the Benedict Inn, a part of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, a nonprofit organization. You can be assured that this money will go directly to the program and not to my pockets. You can print off your receipt for your taxes. Y’all, I was mistaken. Kendra pointed out that the IRS has ruled that raffle ticket purchases cannot be counted as donations. Sorry about that!
6. You may stipulate on your entry which prize you would most like to win (though I can’t make guarantees).
7. The drawing will be on August 8th – while my family is actually at the beach where the accident happened – and winners will be announces shortly thereafter. Prizes will be mailed after we return home, around August 15th.

Prizes (bet you thought I’d never get to this point!)

Prize #1 – Mmmmmmmalabrigo Magnificence

You didn’t think I’d have a contest without offering a bit of Malabrigo did you?

6 skeins of Malabrigo, in Emerald

6 skeins of Malabrigo, in Emerald

That’s roughly 1300 yards of buttery goodness in a deliciously deep teal-ish green, enough to make a sweater or approximately one billion cowls.
It\'s calling your name, isn\'t it?

It's calling your name, isn't it?

But that’s not all. If you win the Malabrigo package, you will get a knitting book of your choosing from Amazon for $20 or less. I was going to offer a particular Elizabeth Zimmermann book, but then I thought the winner may already have it and wouldn’t it be fun to get to choose what you want? Yes, yes it would.

Prize value = $95

Prize #2 – Socktacular Stuff

You would’ve had to pry this one out of my hands, except that I had to buy my own exact same items. This stuff is just that yummy.

Lorna\'s Laces Shepherd Sock, Blackberry

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Blackberry

I love Lorna’s Laces, and I really love this semi-solid purple. I made some Fancy Silk Socks out of this last year for a swap and I just adored this luscious color. You’ll love it too. But perhaps you might also like something a little less solid?

Verve in Cherry Blossom, from The Unique Sheep, 400 yds superwash merino

Verve in Cherry Blossom, from The Unique Sheep, 400 yds superwash merino

My first experience with yarn from The Unique Sheep was the yarn I got to knit Moonshadow in, Leili. I was really taken with the beautiful colors I saw on the site so when it was time to plan this raffle I decided to get some sock yarn. I chose this gorgeous Cherry Blossom colorway – and later learned it was inspired by a photograph taken by MiniLaura, who won a photo contest put on by The Unique Sheep. When the yarn arrived, I couldn’t keep my hands off of it. So I ordered some more for one of you to win. I have to say, it knits up so pretty!

Cherry Blossom garter rib sock

Cherry Blossom garter rib sock

Oh, and see that super-cute sock bag that the sock is in?

Schrodinger Sock Knitting Cube, with squirrels!!

Schrodinger Sock Knitting Cube, with squirrels!!

Yeah, you’ll be getting one of those too. (First I ordered one for the raffle. Then I had to have one myself. Y’all, the squirrels are so freakin’ cute! I LOVE this bag.)

Schrodinger Sock Cube, Verve sock yarn, Lorna\'s Laces sock yarn

Schrodinger Sock Cube, Verve sock yarn, Lorna's Laces sock yarn

This package also comes with your choice of knitting (or other) book from Amazon for $15 or less. I was going to put a sock-knitting book with this package, but again, I thought it might be more fun for you to choose for yourself.

Prize value = $99


Prize#3 – Fantastic Fabric

It hasn’t happened yet, but I still have big dreams of making the Color Wheel Quilt from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts for Little Buddha’s and Tiny Dancer’s room. Maybe you might like to make one with me?

This prize is a Purl Color-Wheel Quilt Bundle plus the book that shows how to make it (or a book of you choosing, $20 or less, if you already own this one).

Color-Wheel Bundle

Color-Wheel Bundle

Here’s the deal with this, though. Purl ran out of this bundle right before I was ready to order. They are supposed to let me know when they have more ready to go, but it has been several weeks now and still none in stock. I still think it will happen (and hope it will be August 15th), but if not, you will get $70 (plus shipping) of your choosing from Purl. Still a good deal, right?

(Please note that this prize does not include the plain white fabric and the batting you would need to make this quilt. It just includes the fun stuff!)

Prize value = $95

Prize #4 – Lace-a-licious

This is the big one! I fell in love with Sea Silk at Knit Nouveau a few days after Little Buddha’s accident. I couldn’t resist splurging on some, and the stole I made with it has always felt like a celebration garment. Now’s your chance to celebrate a bit yourself.

3 hanks Sea Silk, in ivory, plus silver-lined crystal megatamas from Earth Faire

3 hanks Sea Silk, in ivory, plus silver-lined crystal megatamas from Earth Faire

3 hanks of Sea Silk in the gorgeous Ivory colorway – a little more than 1300 yards – plus 35 grams of silver-lined megatama beads (roughly 315 beads). And you will get your choice of one of Sivia Harding’s patterns. You ought to be able to make something really lovely with this!

isn\'t she beautiful?

isn't she beautiful?

Prize value = $125

Prize #5 – Non-crafty goodness

I do have some readers who don’t knit or sew, and I love you too! Don’t feel left out – you could win a little something too. There will be one drawing for a $30 gift certificate from Amazon. (make sure to stipulate on your entry/entries if you don’t want to be considered for any of the craft prizes and I will only include you in the drawing for this one)

Prize value = $30

Let’s get this party started!

Thanks, y’all, for everything!


77 thoughts on “Full Circle: a raffle (and a ridiculously long post!)

  1. great idea, Stacey!

    I went to the beach not long after this happened, last year, and I told everyone about it and kept my eye on the kids (strangers) who were playing nearby. It still haunts me, what happened to you–of course you’re not “over it.”


  2. I am so sorry to hear about your near tragedy and ecstatic that your little honey is okay πŸ™‚

    We are taking our children to the beach in a few weeks and I had been feeling particularly sure that they would be safe as long as they stayed out of the water. Thank you for opening up my eyes. More than your little boy has been saved by sharing his story.

  3. I remember reading this story last year and it really stuck with me. Thank you for sharing your near calamity with the greater community. I love the Benedictine tradition and so am thrilled to donate, hope you raise lotsa cash!:)

  4. Great idea! I gave $20 IF I were so very lucky to win I would go for the sock stash or the Malabrigo please!

  5. Stacey, I found your blog via a link from Pepperknit. I read the story of your son’s near-fatal accident; I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

    One note about your raffle, however: your note that you can print off your receipt for your taxes. However, the IRS has ruled that raffle ticket purchases are not donations, and therefore aren’t tax deductible.

    Good luck with the raffle, though. It’s clear from your writing how much Women Touched by Grace has meant to you.

  6. As I’m in the middle of my own fundraising effort, I can’t help but contribute here! What goes around, comes around, right? I’m totally in for the patchwork. I’ll email you the amount I donated, and I promise to link to this contest in the coming week! Lots of love.

  7. Pingback: A Contest with a Cause at Stash ‘n Stitch

  8. i too remember your original post of the day at the beach… thankful the year has come full circle. what an adorable photo! it seems natural to me that a mother’s heart carries within a mix of grief and relief at all times… and a heavy dose of grace too! (which is like the ultra-delicious scoop of whip cream on a morning cup of coffee!) blessings…

  9. I just saw your page for the first time, by way of Mintyfresh at Pepperknit. I was so amazed/saddened/thankful as I read your post about that frightening day, and the related stories of people who were not so fotunate. I am so happy that you can celebrate today as an anniversary of a rescue! And glad to read that the crafting community and your fellow women in ministry provided so much support. I look forward to reading your blog regularly now that I have found it, and I will definitely be making a donation.

  10. question:
    will you wind skeins of yarn for those of us who:
    a)don’t have ball winders;
    b)will be living in the alaskan wilderness at that point and won’t have access to LYS’s; or
    c)all of the above


  11. Your story touched me. I am so glad you still have your son. I nearly lost my life 3.5 years ago in a near fatal car accident, life will never be the same, but I am so thankful to be alive. I am donating to your cause now. I’d love to win a prize, of course, but more than happy to donate. Best of luck to you!

  12. i didn’t see a spot on the entry to post my prize wish…I’d love the seasilk if i were lucky enough to win πŸ™‚ (i came here from Ravelry, addicted to SeaSilk group)

  13. I donated! πŸ™‚
    This is such a wonderful raffle because it’s going to a great cause.
    And thank you so much for sharing your story; I know how you can feel vulnerable to post details about your life like that, but I truly believe that real stories such as yours can make others more aware (in the telling of your son’s incident), and also uplift someone’s spirits (in the telling of the Women Touched by Grace organization).

  14. You are amazing. That is all I can think of to say. If winning I think I would prefer the sock stuff or the quilt stuff or the malabrigo, so basically I would take anything. I am astonished by your generosity and strength. I will try to get your story and wonderful raffle out to all I contact. My blog sadly doesn’t reach very many people so plain word of mouth and maybe by some miracle my blog will start attracting crafters. You are amazing.

  15. What a wonderful idea!! Count me in, I’ll also link from my site and call my LYS owner. Here’s hoping you raise all the cash you need….knitters are so wonderful!
    If chosen, that malabrigo is calling for me!


  16. What a great opportunity to support other women – I love the idea of women of faith gathering to support one another. I too found my way over here from Pepperknit’s blog, and I will definitely be back for your great projects and thoughtful writing!

    Watch for a blog mention from me later today, and paypal didn’t give me an opportunity to tell you, but I covet the malabrigo!

  17. I am honored to be able to donate to such a worthy cause; and I would be thrilled to win any of the great prizes. (Though if I had to pick it’d be the SeaSilk, as I’m looking at a newfound lace obsession…oh my, or the MMMMalabrigo….oooooh, or the sock yarn….Oh, it doesn’t matter, what wonderful prizes!!)
    I am linking you to my blog; I don’t get a lot of traffic, but if even one person reads your story and heeds the warning….
    Thank you for spreading your story. I am still in tears. My kids are 5 and 7. We go to the beach as much as possible, and I’ve never given a thought to danger in the sand.
    I see myself spending much of my vacation perusing the great projects and funny, inspiring stories on the rest of your blog!!
    Thank you,

  18. I just donated….and should I be lucky enough to win something, that socky goodness is calling my name πŸ™‚

    I’ll link you to my blog today or tomorrow….

  19. I came to your blog through ravelry and your story brought tears to my eyes, I have two very small children and can’t imagine what you experienced. Thank you for sharing your story, it isn’t something I have heard of before.

  20. OO OO OOO! WOW! Lucsious stuff, so, OK I’ll donate. You can never have too much yarn or fabric, or too many friends. What a wonderful way to celebrate WTBG.
    I’m making a pair of teal-with-a-silver-metalic-thread socks to put in our ovarian cancer silent auction Aug. 22.

  21. OK, I made a donation. I love to knit but I only make scarves and prayer shawls (you know, nothing fancy)…so if I win I will donate it to whomever would really love it…

  22. i just exceeded my monthly donations budget this morning (so sorry) but did just want to comment on having read your story, how lucky you all were in this situation. Having lived right on the beach with a small child i can sympathize as to how quickly things can happen near the surf’s edge. And what a beautiful picture of the two of you together. Happy thoughts going out to you and yours.

  23. It’s the benefit of the raffle that caught my attention, but your prizes look gorgeous. I’d be happy to win anything except the quilting stuff.

  24. I’m in. And I’ll link to my blog, as well. On the off chance I win, I’d love the Malibrigo. However, the most important thing is to raise money for a good cause and that you and yours are safe & sound. My heart goes out to you.

  25. Hi. I don’t have a lot right now, but I will absolutely donate. Were I to win, mmmmmmalibrigo would be the one for me!

  26. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been a beach person for my entire life, and have never heard of such a danger. You’ve done a very good thing by inviting people into your experience.

    I donated, and if I should happen to win (yes! yes!) please put me down for either the sockly package of goodness or the (wow) sea silk.

  27. Pingback: Booty, Bounty, and Blessings « Funckie Dunckie Knits

  28. I contributed the trifle amount I could and linked to this from my page (see fancy link above)

    This is a good thing to do and to be apart of. Thank you for sharing.

  29. I found this entry while surfing, and my heart goes out to you and your family. And this is such a wonderful thing to do!

    I’ve linked to you from my blog, and I’ve donated $10 through paypal. Wish I could do more, but there just isn’t much money coming in right now. Best of luck for raising lots!


  30. I saw your feed advertised on Google reader, and it just so happened to be this post! Craziness! I am so glad to hear of your son’s rescue… who knew the sand could be so dangerous! Thank you for sharing your story and also telling us about the fabulous ministry. While I am not a woman in (paid) ministry, I can certainly attest to the value of a strong community of women. I donated, and also posted it on my blog.

    I look forward to reading more about your journey.

  31. Wow! What great prizes! That fabric has my name on it πŸ™‚ Sorry it took a while to get around to donating. But it’s done and I posted about this raffle on the blog (http://schrodinger212.blogspot.com/2008/07/no-not-baby-stuff-this-time.html), hope to send some more donations your way. I’m so glad you felt you had great support from different sources at such a difficult time, it sounds like an amazing community of woman, helped along by wonderful program. Good luck raising a ton of money!

  32. so if i mention your raffle on my blog will i get an entry or do i have to donate five dollars and mention the raffle i was just wondering. either way i get paid on monday and ill donate five dollars tomorrow,. your sone is precious and those curls are awesomely cute

  33. Delurking to win (I’m shameless, what can I say). I remember I first visited your site last year and it wasn’t long after that, that the accident happened. I was moved to tears last year, but your discussion of Women Touched by Grace brought me tears of joy. I went on women’s yoga retreat last year during a very bad part of my life and the power those women brought to those four days lifted me from a dark place. I know how meaningful such a retreat can be and I love the idea of WTbG.
    On to lighter things, I’d like to say I’m interested in everything but the Purl prize, as I’m not a sew-er. If it becomes a gift certificate, you can throw me back in the mix! Of course, all this explanation doesn’t matter because that emerald malabrigo is homing in on my stash…. :~D

  34. Thanks for the opportunity to support WTbG! And blessings on your two sons!!

    I purchased some tickets, but somehow neglected to find the place to indicate prize preferences: if I am lucky enough to win I would be happy with any of the yarn options, but would have no use for the quilting fabric. I am especially fond of sea silk and malabrigo!!

    best, Sage

  35. I can’t resist me some good woman-to-woman peer mentoring! ;o)

    Seriously, though, I would have donated and advertised even without the yummy prizes. Women in traditionally male-dominated fields can benefit so much from programs like these. Even when male colleagues are supportive and enthusiastic, it is still easy to feel isolated without the female support.

    My blog isn’t exactly high-traffic, but I hope that you get some exposure from here: http://kittymommy.blogspot.com/2008/07/my-little-fishies.html

  36. this is such an amazing story, and such a beautiful, loving image of you and your sweet boy! i am so glad that there are communities like this in the world, providing this sort of support and love. big hugs to you. xo

  37. Thank you for sharing your family’s story and for sharing your blessings through the Women Touched by Grace group.

    I am a Christian Educator who works with a female head of staff in one congregation and the pastor in my home congregation is also a female. Ministry is hard work and it has has additional challenges when you are a woman. I appreciate that Women Touched by Grace is ecumenical and supportive of women who may feel isolated in their ministry. Thank you for letting us know about it and giving us the opportunity to participate in supporting it.

  38. Pingback: Raffle! « YarnWhore Fondles Fiber

  39. Thank you so much for your story, and for the irresistible prizes on this raffle. Despite entering eleventy-billion blog giveaways since I started knitting 2 years ago, I’ve never won anything! So I’ve got my fingers crossed … anything but the fabric, since I ain’t a quilter. πŸ™‚ You’ll get a link from my blog, too!

  40. What a wonderful cause. I’m delighted to support it …. and still a bit shaken by your family’s experience, I must admit. Your son certainly had a guardian angel that day!

    I’ve made a donation and posted to my blog: http://www.stringandaprayer.blogspot.com. If I should win, I’d love any of the prizes except the fabric, since I’m not a quilter.


  41. Pingback: Celebrating the gift « Toxophily

  42. What a fantastic cause, and beautiful prizes! It is so awesome of you to give back to the communities that you love. Thanks for an inspiring post!

    And, I donated! (How can I resist? Great cause + malabrigo?!?!)

  43. Pingback: Pipe Dreams and Purling Plans » Blog Archive » Support

  44. I’ve been reading your blog since the accident – great projects, great photos, and the boys are delectible!
    Anyway, I gave $20 – my husband is a PK, so it’s all in the family in a way. Good works come around.
    I have a strong preference for the ivory Sea Silk, but all the prizes are great. No blog – sorry.

  45. Wow! What a great cause this is. What a powerful poster you are. I am not a regular reader of your blog. In fact, the only time I’ve read your blog besides this post was your post about your son’s accident. I was reading another blog (Ashley’s, I believe) and she had linked to your blog because you had one a contest she had. Anyway, I remember how your post gave me goosebumps. I experienced them all over again today. I am a twin and the fact that your son is a twin makes this story even more powerful for me. Anyway, my heart goes out to you as a mother. I am very impressed by the way you share your thoughts and feelings. I have made a donation and happy to support such a wonderful cause. Even though the contest is almost over, I will put a link on my blog in case my few readers want to support your great cause.

  46. I came here following a link on Julia’s blog. I followed the link to your entry about your son’s near-tragic accident. As a mother of 4, I understand all too well how you must have felt and still feel about the whole thing! You and your son probably have a closer relationship now than ever.

    I have just completed my donation but forgot to add a note about the raffle. Can I just email it to you?

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