Watch my life unravel...



Top Canadian Blogs - Top Blogs

Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


The Extraordinary Gift

This extraordinary gift started with Rachael. She’s a California blogger, knitter and novelist, and a lovely person to boot. Rachael put the wheels in motion in May, shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer.

Grace – who doesn’t yet have a blog but who will be a phenomenal blogger when she does – offered to help Rachael coordinate things. Rachael and Grace contacted a number of other knitters who read my blog, and asked them if they’d like to help create a gift for me.

And then the knitters started knitting! The Canadian knitters mailed their completed pieces to Grace. The American knitters mailed their pieces to Rachael. I’m not sure where the African and Australian knitters mailed their pieces. Grace then mailed the box of Canadian squares to Rachael in California, and Rachael and her friends and sisters got together and transformed all those gorgeous squares into the exquisite Zoom Blanket!

The Assembling Party in California

The Assembling Party in California

And look at it! Isn’t it the most beautiful blanket you’ve ever seen? EVER? It’s not just wonderful and touching and heartwarming and generous and kind, it’s also absolutely stunning!

The Zoom Blanket

The Zoom Blanket

Rachael then mailed the blanket to Grace and Grace attached the last square, which had arrived late, and boxed it up and delivered it to me, along with a whole bunch of lovely cards and touching notes.

I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday and I just lay there for the longest time thinking about this gift and what it means. I thought about all the work and cooperation that went into it. I thought about what it meant to the women who made it, and what it means to me. I thought about how friends I’ve never even met could care so much about me that they would somehow transcend geography to make something so wonderful, so full of love, just for me.

This year, as you know, has been crazy bad for me in some serious ways. Even so, it has been a much richer and more meaningful year than most. This blanket is – literally and symbolically – one of the treasured gifts to come out of this period of my life. It represents friendship and comfort and nurturing and warmth and community. It is a gift of tremendous beauty. It is a work of art. It is something I will cherish every day for the rest of my very long life.

Zoom Blanket!

Every time I look at this blanket – every time I think about this blanket – I am reminded that I am part of something much bigger and better than myself. I am part of a community, and this community, like this blanket, is even greater than the sum of its parts. Each of us is unique and special, but together we are an extraordinary force.

To all the women who contributed to this gift, thank you. You have given me a wonderful gift – something that knits all of us together forever. (You have even given me something that makes me look forward to winter, and you have no idea how extraordinary a gift that is for a wheelchair-bound Canadian girl with poor circulation!) Thank you so much. I love you all!

I’m going to put together another post about this blanket next week, with photos of each of the squares. I want you to see how gorgeous they are! (I’m planning to identify the knitters too, so if you don’t want to be identified, or if you’d rather I used a pseudonym for you, please let me know at Thanks.)

Duncan sends his love

38 comments to The Extraordinary Gift

  • Arden

    I’d like to thank Rachael and Grace for getting the ball rolling on this, and bringing it together so well. It was wonderful to be able to take a small part in such a lovely project.

    A lot of worldwide love has gone into that blanket, and now you can envelop yourself with it. Just as soon as Duncan’s finished warming it up for you 😉

  • It looks as if Duncan is bigger and better than *himself.* LOL A wonderful, beautiful gift even viewed through teary eyes.

  • J.

    what an amazing blanket. you can see all the love that has been put into that blanket. it’s really is stunning.

  • Your post made me cry, in a good way.

    There are days when I wonder if humanity, including me, deserves to survive and should not suffer extinction, as we have inflicted to other species on the planet.

    Then I see what human beings are capable of doing. Affirming life.

  • That is so beautiful and so moving. Those are some great ladies. And you’re a great lady, too!

  • The only thing better than getting to be a part of the project is seeing it come to fruition. I hope you feel the love and happy thoughts and wishes of health knit into every stitch, Zoom… *hugs*

  • This is the most wonderfulest thing ever … so lovely!

  • grace

    What do you mean ‘doesn’t have a blog yet’?

  • Leanne

    It was such a joy to be a part of this. Big hugs to Rachael and Grace for coordinating it all. There’s lots of love and healing power in that blanket for you to access whenever you need it.

  • grace

    Forgot to add, and I told this to the knitters at the time, that sending the squares off to Rachael was like putting a newborn in the mail. I actually extracted a promise from the nice man at the post office that the parecel would be in safe hands. He may have paled a little when I told him the newborn bit . . .

  • Mary Plante

    Hugs to Rachel and Grace. I’ve been reading Rachel’s blog for several years. I recommend you check it out and consider checking out her Facebook fan page, too. We don’t have too long to wait to order her first novel. Suck loving and talented knitters!

  • Malva

    I think we all felt lucky to be part of this, I know I did!

  • I love that Duncan is already on the scene and in command.
    Love to you. Always. xoxoxoxo

  • warms the cockles doesn’t it Zoomie?


  • Your post brought tears to my eyes. I was so honored to be able to take part in this blanket. I don’t know you in peson, but I feel as though I know you in heart and spirit. Take care and be warm.

  • I, too, feel blessed to have been able to take part in this project.
    You bring us such joy, dear Zoom. We wanted to reflect a little back your way.

  • So glad to see that Duncan approves!

  • Nat

    Just beautiful, the blogosphere is such a great place…

    I got choked up reading about this.

  • Lo

    Awe inspiring
    All in one blankie!

  • Lisa in Toronto

    Really impressive – I too am a big fan of Yarnagogo, and now do even more.

  • Lisa in Toronto

    aka “now so even more”
    I really can not type these days … sorry

  • Hee, hee, it was hard to keep a secret from you, but worth it… xo

  • Heather G.

    Hooray! I have been looking forward to the big reveal! Knitting a few squares seemed like a small thing in return for all the laughs and deep thoughts you’ve given me.

    Thank YOU, Zoom!

  • Em

    Yay! I’m so happy to have been a part of this gift. Since I finished my squares in June, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the big reveal! It’s been hard not to blog about it. :) We love you zoom!

  • I’ve taken part in these kind of projects and the feeling is so good from both ends. I love that my square became part of a larger square and is now keeping someone in Australia warm (a cancer survivor).

    And I have also been the recipient of some knitted love from a group of knitters. It makes you feel special and cared for. Everytime I wrap myself in it (admittedly not often since it’s summer) I feel the love in every stitch. A little hug.

  • wow. what a great story. it’s beautiful.

  • I love that you all loved being part of this project, and it makes me happy to hear you talking about it! Everything about this thing warms the cockles of my heart.

    (And Grace, yes, it’s just a matter of time til you start blogging. You’ve got everything you need, and then some – writing skills, knitting skills, a sense of humour. You’ve even got a network of blogging friends already. It’s only a matter of time.)

  • Mary

    We are all thrilled that we did something that makes you happy and warms your cockles! We are all about warming cockles! Snuggle up, and know we all hold you deep in our hearts. xox

  • Nancy

    OMG, Zoom, your blanket is absolutely STUNNING!
    and Extraordinary.
    It’s positively AWE-inspiring.
    And it fried the cockles of my heart.

    What an amazing gift! Holy cow.

    And what an amazing and wonderful and loving thing to do!
    Thanks Rachel and Grace, whoever & wherever you are, and thanks to all the other knitters who helped create such a beautiful thing. It’s a force of nature.

    I can’t wait to see the squares up-close and hear about the special people who created them (and perhaps why?).

    Congratulations, Zoom.
    You desire such a great gift.
    And thanks for sharing it.

    P.S. I’m a wee bit envious of the knitters.
    I would have loved to contribute to such a magnificent gift, but I’m a lousy knitter so my square might have wrecked the feng shui of that wonderful creation. It’s just as well I guess.

  • gc

    How lucky am I?!

    Not only do I have the BEST girlfriend in the world, but you should see her beam!

    Thank you blogosphere for your outpouring of love and support and for creating such a beautiful blanket that put such a big smile on the woman I love and made her so happy!

  • GC! Cutest comment ever FTW!

  • Bonnie

    Beautiful in so many ways. Good work girls!

  • Zoom – the knitting is gorgeous. I found myself welling up just reading the story. What a wonderful wonderful gift.

  • Beautiful on a hundred fronts. Be well, Zoom.

  • Gillian

    The blanket looks great on your sofa. It was fun to be asked to contribute.

  • I have tears in my eyes. What a gift! I hope that when you wrap this blanket around yourself, all the love seeps right into every one of your pores and brings you speedy healing after your upcoming surgery.

  • […] *Rachael Herron is the famous Californian knit blogger Yarnagogo, and she was instrumental in the conception and creation of the Zoom blanket. […]