Saturday, March 5, 2011


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Have you ever felt chinchilla fur? Maybe -- maybe not.  I'm not questioning that you may have touched a chinchilla, or a chinchilla pelt but, if you have, take a minute to think about the experience. Can you honestly say that you felt the fur?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Years ago, one of my coworkers at the bank was a fellow who raised chinchillas for their fur. He had a lovely wife for whom he had some chincilla pelts made into a cape. The day he picked it up from the furrier, he brought it to my office for me to see... and to touch.  I thought that I had a fully active and sensitive set of fingertips, but while I could see that my hand was touching the fur, I experienced no tactile sensation at all; the fur was so soft I could not feel it.  It must be quite like touching a cloud.

While I was on Sweetie Duty a few days ago, I started working on another Prayer Shawl, a ministry of our church.  I had noticed last Sunday that there was only one shawl left in our cabinet. It's amazing how many shawls are made by a relatively small group of participants, and also amazing how many have gone out the door to folks who have a need for them (anyone from the church may take a shawl to give away; they do not have to participate in their creation.)

In my stash were six skeins of an extremely soft yarn of variegated pastel colors, pictured above.  I can feel it with my fingers, so it's not as soft as chinchilla fur -- which is what got me started on my earlier train of thought -- but it is very, very soft, and a real pleasure to work with.  I cannot knit properly, so I crochet to create my shawls. Crochet is, to me, much easier than knitting, and it's much easier to correct any mistakes I might make and, being a relative novice, I make mistakes.

I've used about a skein and a half of yarn, so far.  I've discovered, through making other shawls, that it takes six skeins of this size to make a shawl of ample proportions (if it will wrap around my frame, it is ample.)  Since we don't know the size of the persons to whom the shawls will go, it's much better to err on the ample side than to have a skimpy shawl.

For me, working on a shawl is generally an evening activity, though I have been known to pick up one in progress when I just need a break during the day and don't care to read or watch TV.  Using my hands calms my mind.

If you knit or crochet, or create fabric in other ways (a few of our shawls were light-weight quilts of shawl dimensions), you might want to investigate the Shawl Ministry.  It's a good thing.

Tomorrow is also a day.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, Don't think I have ever felt chinchilla fur before... But--your prayer shawl looks wonderful. I love those colors and it truly does look very very soft. What a great ministry that is, in your church.

Tracy said...

Yes, I felt chinchilla and it is so lovely. I never thought of it for a prayer shawl. How special~
thanks so much for sharing your involvement in this ministry!

George said...

I haven't felt chinchilla fur before. I'm sure I would remember something that soft if I had.
Your shawl ministry sounds like a wonderful ministry. Thank you for being a part of it.

StitchinByTheLake said...

We have the shawl ministry at my church too and it's a really special gift that the knitters and crocheters give to people they don't see or know. A friend knitted me one a couple of years ago and I treasure it. I wrap up in it early in the morning when I'm doing my prayers and I just feel loved. blessings, marlene

Marvin said...

I have touched chinchilla fur and it is, indeed, very soft, though I don't remember your sensation of touching nothingness.

Arkansas Patti said...

I have felt chinchilla fur, but on a LIVE animal which is my favorite place to touch it.
The prayer shawl is a lovely thought and your colors delightful.

Anonymous said...

I have felt some very soft furs and feathers and other things I can't mention here. They all felt good.

The White-throated Sparrow you commented on is almost exactly like the White Crowned Sparrow you said you have. The only difference is that patch of yellow between the eyes and beak.

Jingle Poetry said...


you rock.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

How wonderful, please post a picture when you are done, beautiful yarn.