I have had more than one occasion to thank my lucky stars for knitters and blog readers over the past year. It still amazes me how incredibly generous and supportive you are with your thoughts, your comments and your correspondence. Sometimes something you say or do really moves me, and reminds me just how lucky I am to be a part of a community of such thoughtful and talented folk. Today is one of those occasions. I received an exciting looking parcel from Ireland – and this is what I found inside.

It was knitted by ten women whom I have never met.

“Dear Kate . . .

. . .We thought that since you have returned to hill walking and have acquired your lovely new van that you may like a little blanket for your legs to warm you up on your return from the summit. . . .

. . . We think the Irish and the Scottish are kindred spirits where bad weather is concerned . . .

. . . the weather decided to turn, and blocking this bad boy was a bit of a nightmare!

. . . if you’re ever in Ireland and looking for company, you know who to call . . .

. . . best of luck with your continued recovery . . .

Karen, Helen, Helen, Roseanne, Siobhan, Clare, Eimear, Diane, Kiko, and Isobel”

Really, I think it might be the most beautiful blanket I have ever seen. I am completely blown away by it.

Does it not make you want to start knitting cables immediately?

Thankyou, lovely, generous ladies.

We will certainly be bringing your wonderful blanket with us when we visit Ireland later this Summer.

149 thoughts on “generosity

  1. That is one amazing blanket and couldn’t have found a more well deserved recipient. Did they do their own thing (like you usually do) or did they actually have a pattern for this ( like I would need)? Beautiful knitters all.

  2. Isn’t that utterly perfect? What lovely ladies they are. I wonder if you’ll manage to meet them when you go to Ireland?

  3. What a beautiful blanket! You have many, many people who are thinking about you and sending you good thoughts for your recovery.

  4. Yes, I do want to knit cables immediately. And what is that lovely river bend-type cable? I’ve never seen it before. In all it’s an excellent piece of knitting and a generous gift.

  5. Gorgeous creation…but made even more wonderful when you consider every stitch was done with love. Bravo Team Ireland. Well-deserved, Kate.

  6. Incredible – I love all the different textures. I wish I could reach through the screen and feel the wonderful dimensions of all of those gorgeous cables! What a wonderful collaboration of many hands and hearts – it’s a piece of the knitting world infused with the spirit of an old-fashioned quilting bee.

    Beautiful, beautiful generosity.

  7. this is so PRETTY! I am also curious to know the pattern for the “wave” part: does anyone have a clue or a description of this stitch? In the mean time: tuck yourself in comfortably!

  8. What a lovely blanket. These ladies have put into wool our wishes for your recovery and the esteem we have for you and this blog. x

  9. That is an incredible blanket. Seriously gorgeous. What incredibly kind knitters. With such a lovely gift, I feel like saying I hope you enjoy it is redundant.. because it is abundantly clear there is no one who could not admire that blanket.

  10. Not to detract from the generosity of the knitters, but please can we have more close-ups of the finished article. And, would those kind knitters consider putting a pattern together for the blanket, and the proceeds could maybe go to stroke research?

      1. Yes, I agree. This is a wonderful idea. Thank you from all of us who are so inspired by Kate.

  11. Generosity, beauty, compassion. All an expression of an open heart – the most beautiful of all. No one deserves it more!

  12. Beautiful blanket, beautifully made for you by skillful, thoughtful ladies.
    And yes, I’d love to have a go at knitting something similar.

    Hope you can meet up with the knitters when you visit Ireland Kate.

  13. So beautiful and so inspirational. There is more than wool for the warmth in that blanket. How wonderful to know you have touched so many lives, and that your fellow knitters care so deeply. Now when you have to take to the couch you will never be alone there!!

  14. How wonderful people can be. That is a beautiful blanket and a very heart warming sentiment… altogether a lovely gift. And it not only makes me want to knit cables, but… I think I may have to! I’m off to hunt out cables that fit into neat strips like that.

  15. Oh! That is breathtakingly beautiful — and what a truly lovely gesture, too. I’ve been part of making collaborative blankets before, and I know the warm thoughts that go into them; it always makes me so happy to see that the recipients feel that love, too.

  16. Oh Kate, how blessed you are.
    And to the lovely women of Ireland who knit this for you with their own hands, all I can say is: well, I can’t think of anything big enough to say. The blanket is so very very beautiful. Such lovely knitting. Such lovely colors. Such lovely hearts.

  17. That’s the good karma you bring to all of us bouncing back at you. The blanket is just stunning! I am especially drawn to the “pretzel twist” cables. I am sure they have a much nicer name than that, but you know which ones I mean…

  18. Wow! It’s gorgeous. Those are some talented cable knitters. I too will knit some cables…just as soon as the humidex goes away and it’s no longer 40C outside ;-)

  19. I am blown away by that blanket. It is just so beautiful, classic, and a million other words that I just cannot think of right now. I’ve been wanting to knit a blanket for awhile now. That one is quite inspirational!

  20. To the lovely talented Irish ladies, care of Kate’s blog comments:
    Thank you for putting into a cabled blanket the love and respect so many of us feel for Kate. What an incredible gift.

    To Kate:
    Thank you for sharing the dedication (both words and knitting style/time/prowess) with us mere mortals. How lucky you are, and how truly worth such a priceless gift.

  21. Here’s an echo to everyone’s words. This makes me teary eyed, but in the most wonderful and happy way. How this lovely knitted blanket will enrich your life.
    Such generosity and goodness from such talented and caring women.
    The kindness of strangers can blow one away. May it warm and sustain you.
    You do deserve it for all of your courage and grace in such an incredibly difficult journey.

  22. That is astonishing! A work of sculpture or fantasy or something- I just want to have it on my lap and run my fingers over it. Enjoy it for us!

  23. Fabulous – I love the colours because I am very partial to blue and white combinations but I adore the strip sampler pattern even more. What an inspirational blanket from a group of exceptionally talented ladies.

  24. Everything about this is incredibly beautiful and joyous. To the Irish knitters, my admiration; to Kate, thank you for sharing this. As so many others have said before me, it only echoes our fondness for you and celebration of your recovery.

    And I so want to knit a river of cables now!

  25. I am delighted for you Kate – after sharing your story which touched so many hearts this is indeed a wonderful thing for you to receive from those beautiful and generous warm hearted Irish ladies – it is a magnificent piece of work, gorgeous muted colours, and fabulous cables and patterns. I am sure it will keep the chills away.

  26. Absolutely stunning–both the blanket (one of the prettiest “group-project” blankets I’ve seen in ages) and the generosity of the knitters. You ladies rock!

  27. This is beautiful! You will feel such warmth and love. Thank you for sharing these photos. The knitting makes me smile.

  28. It is absolutely gorgeous! I also can’t help but see a metaphor in your recovery and hiking in hills, valleys and curves, twists and turns of the cables. So many varieties and so many warm hugs and lovin’. I love your thoughts on your journey, it keeps me inspired when I’m off my path. Thank you for sharing so much. God bless you and the Irish knitters. Lisa

  29. What an awesome blanket-you will certainly feel those sweet ladies caring and love when you wrap it around you. I hope you get to visit them!

  30. What a jaw-droppingly beautiful creation/ gesture. It couldn’t go to a better home either. It’s the 3D knotwork that really blows me away – I’ve never seen that in knitting before and didn’t know it was possible. My husband says it should be called Celtic Knitwork…

    Hurray for there being such generosity and beauty in the world.

  31. That’s absolutely stunning, I’m really taken by the colours within the blanket as well as the utterly gorgeous cabling work. And wow, what a story.

  32. Oh my! Yes it is the most beautiful blanket I’ve ever seen. Their loving generosity and kind spirits are so wonderful. Kate you are inspirational!

  33. The people who did this gorgeous blanket are some of my knitting peeps. They are the kindest, most wonderful people I have ever known. When my own tragedy came, they have been there for me as well….I believe that they are good karma incarnate. I am so glad that you get to feel their support and care as well.

  34. The world is full of such good people, very moving … well done Irish knitters. Kate a most worthy recipient of such generosity. Incredible knitting and thanks for sharing yet another beautiful post.

  35. Very, very lovely! And a wonderful thing to gaze at with those befuddled post-walking eyes- no doubt it will take you on lots of visual adventures ; )


  36. Everyone has said it ahead of me….yes, it is totally breath-takingly beautiful! Knitters are such wonderful people and certainly these knitters in particular. Onward with your recovery!
    (and yes, a pattern would be a wonderful way to raise research funds…)

  37. It’s the spirit of knitting, captured in a blanket. Wonderful ladies of Ireland and wonderful Kate. I love your blog.

  38. How very wonderful! My fingers just want to follow the wavy lines and cables.. and what beautiful colours. A truly special gift for you.

    Years ago in my previous life I worked at the BBC – the director had been interviewing local people from the west coast of Ireland and my job was to transcribe the tapes. I remember very well there was one very old lady who was totally blind – she was knitting a complex cabled pattern and talking to the director about selkies and mists and the smell of the sea. I have never forgotten it and how her fingers never missed a beat as they worked. Your blanket reminds me of her and her gentle voice moving in and out of her memories, sometimes gaelic sometimes english…….

  39. wow – is about all I can manage at this moment… those women are incredibly kind, generous and amazing! You MUST meet them this summer!

  40. So beautiful! This blanket is not just a work of art, it’s a work of love and kindness and compassion. It will warm you in every way possible on chilly days.

    If you do decide to take it with you on your travels, please don’t pack it in your checked luggage! I lost a stunning Aran sweater that my mother knit for me, just two weeks after she gave it to me. To this day, I’ll never pack a precious thing in my checked luggage ever again.

  41. Those ladies in Ireland have big, generous, caring, kind hearts. Such care can only give us all cheer despite the interminable recession plaguing us. Exquisite work and a gift well deserved. My gosh you must be beaming with smiles everytime you remember receiving that blanket.

  42. Wow, that blanket is just stunning in every possible way. I think all the previous comments have summed it up very nicely; there doesn’t seem to be anything grand enough to say about such a lovely blanket or the generosity behind it.

    I’m off to find some yarn. That blanket punched me right in the muse and I now have to create something similar for my niece-to-be. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures with us, Kate.

  43. Such a wonderful gift demonstrating so brilliantly the inspiration that you are to all your readers. The heartwarming benefits of their talent and generosity reverberate around the world, bringing a glow to the mildly wintery Antipodes.

  44. A beautiful piece of work. Those Ladies do what we Irish do best – reaching out to others and giving support in a practical but loving way when your back’s agains the wall.

  45. The blanket is beautiful – as are the sentiments behind it. Such a kind and caring gesture – stunningly executed. It made me think, about your situation and the kindness that has come from all directions and in so many ways and always accepted so graciously by you. The world is a pretty good place.

  46. That blanket is BEAUTIFUL! The cables are exquisite… and it reminds me of cairns, celtic knotwork, and the beautiful stonework that can be found whilst rambling in rural Ireland.

    Which part of Ireland are you visiting?

  47. Everyone has used all the words I could say about the beautiful blanket. It almost took me as much time to read the comments as it took to knit it.

  48. That is the mot wonderful blanket I have ever seen! I do want to go grab my knitting and throw in a few cables!

  49. Such a beautiful and thoughtful blanket – really stunning – knitters are amazing. Thank you so very much for sharing it with your readers. I also vote for a pattern – I’d love to get in line for it. All the Best to you and your recovery.

  50. AMAZING!! I can feel the love from just looking at the blanket. YES!! I’m inspired to start a cable project soon….maybe a blanket for my little girl?

    Kate, I want to tell you how you have inspired me….in every way….sending you happy thoughts from SF.

  51. Absolutely breathtaking! It’s so heartwarming and reassuring to know there are such warm kind folks out there in this world of ours.

  52. How absolutely lovely – it makes your heart warm to see generosity such as this – there is hope for the human race!
    Cheers to you and thank you, also for sharing so generously of yourself,

  53. Oh my goodness! What lovely ladies to knit such a beautiful present. Of course, if you were not also lovely, they wouldn’t have bothered.

  54. What a wonderful and beautiful gift. So many perfectly done stitches, each one carrying a thoughtful message of caring and love. Wow!

  55. Hey you are more than welcome! It was lots of fun to put together! Just to add – the yarn we chose was one spun in Ireland, in Kerry Woollen Mills. And we wanted to give you this type of project also as a thank you for your recent work in the area of our national textile history. Thank you and good luck in your continued recovery and studies!

  56. Utterly stunning! The muted colours are so beautiful and warm. You deserve such kindness. Your blog is such a treasure.

  57. That’s absolutely beautiful, and so is the sentiment behind it…
    I wish you and Tom joy with it. Thank you so much for letting us share part of your life!

  58. The knitted blanket is so beautiful, love the patterns used, and the colours.
    How very thoughtful of these ladies in Ireland. I particularly like that triskelle? or love knott pattern.

  59. I have just returned from a little camping expedition and must say that every camper should have their very special blanket for such adventures. This is one of especial, uplifting gorgeousness and generosity. The very sweetest of dreams.

  60. That’s one awesome blanket! I’m insane with jealousy at their talent and loveliness.
    Of course – you’ve shared so much of your talent and life with us, that it inspires folk to give something back.
    People are amazing :)

  61. Your photo’s of that blanket are stunning! And yes,,,my fingers were twitching for a cable needle as I scanned through the photo’s. Lucky lady!

  62. A very beautiful gesture from those ladies and an amazing blanket. I love everything about it. The cables and the colours are perfect.
    I was wondering how it is made. Are they individual vertical panes, which are then sewn together?

  63. That’s gorgeous! I usually read all your posts but I must have missed this one, so I’m delighted that you’ve linked to it from today’s. What a fabulous, fabulous gift.

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)