Cancer Blanket Tree

Rows and rows of stitches – a repetitive exercise for the brain
Tree wrapped in a Cancer blanket

I have always been a bad knitter and hate repetitive tasks; I have always been envious of yarn-bombers.

To help recover from gaps in my memory ‘chemo brain’, I was advised to keep doing repetitive tasks, until I had mastered them, then take up another task as a way of re-training my brain.

I bought wool oddments and decided to knit a blanket while watching television. I had to relearn from scratch. I cannot tell you how many stitches I dropped and how much unravelling I needed to do. But it worked – I got it right and can knit better now than before my chemo treatment. I had visions of my ‘Cancer Blanket’ becoming some sort of heir-loom.

I got the idea from this little warmer in Vienna when I visited in January this year.

I loved the blanket and felt a great sense of achievement, but alas, everyone else in my family hated it. So, as part of the dejunking, when deciding whether to donate it to the charity shop or put it straight in the bin, I recalled a blanket that I took a snap of in Vienna. It wasn’t your usual yarnstormer – it was  as if the crafter wanted to warm up a cold building by wrapping a blanket around a thigh of one of its columns.

But it gave me the idea. I took my blanket and wrapped it around a sad tree I knew of near a corner shop where passers-by continually dump their rubbish – cigarette packets, beer and wine bottles, unwanted take-aways, broken umbrellas and the occasional mattress.

Oddly enough the area was recently cleaned, but the blanket was left. Since then people have stopped throwing their rubbish there.

I am now on sailing knots.

Dumped mattress and square of hardboard and naked tree

UPDATE 28th October 2016:

The blanket has now been removed. People have been dumping their rubbish again including a mattress.



26 thoughts on “Cancer Blanket Tree

  1. I don’t have a clue what that stitch is, but I recognize it as one my mother used. It gave me quite a pang — but a lovely one. And your use for the piece is wonderful. Some years ago, a New York City mayor set out to prove that cleaning up the city could — should — begin by such mundane things as picking up litter and not allowing people to relieve themselves in the street. It worked for a time, until people with other ideas came along. You’ve just proved it again. There certainly are downward spirals in neighborhoods, but there can be upward spirals, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In England that stitch is called ‘pearl’ but it has different names around the world. Yes I read about the mayor of New York and his ‘broken windows’ theory – I mentioned it at the end of one of my posts ( ) We had a good keep Britain Tidy campaign in the 70s which worked really well, the trouble is no-one has educated the younger generations or people from other parts of the world who have now made the country their home – it is almost an act of rebellion.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a brilliant solution to your de~cluttering programme SOL ~ you couldn’t just throw all that hard work away, even though the project has served it’s original purpose. It’s amazing that it’s been left behind to warm the tree now the rubbish has been cleared away and hasn’t been vandalised. I remember Keep Britain Tidy ~ we could do with resurrecting that movement again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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