DU Alumni / Magazine Feature / People

Alumna knitting to benefit Komen Foundation

Leslie Petrovski (BA English ’82, MA English ’91) is nuts about knitting.

A knitter since she was 7 years old, Petrovski writes about knitting for Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple Magazine, Knit.1 Magazine and Yarn Market News. And she authors a knitting blog, www.nakeidknits.com.

But her latest knitting adventure may be even more rewarding.

She’s a member of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Shawl, a group of 50 women creating a lace scarf, six rows at a time. It’s a collaboration among knitters representing all 50 states, including Colorado’s Petrovski. Knitting author Kay Meadors started the shawl last October as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“Although I hadn’t lost any friends or family members to breast cancer, I immediately thought of Joan Smith [a former DU staff member], a friend of mine who passed away from brain cancer three years ago,” Petrovski says. “I’m also acquainted with a talented young knitter, blogger and mother of two little kids, Nicole McMaster, who is currently fighting breast cancer.”

So Petrovski decided to knit in honor of them. The shawl is mailed from one knitter to another along with extra wool and a journal.

“The journal is a powerful document filled with stories of heartbreak, hope and healing,” she says. Petrovski says she mentioned both Smith and McMaster in her entry.

“When I received the shawl in the mail, I was not only taken by the shawl-in-progress’ beauty, but also by its inherit ‘specialness,’” Petrovski says. “The shawl is technically a rectangular lace ‘stole,’ and it’s being knit in ombre raspberry-colored yarn.”

She contributed six rows earlier this spring, and sent it on.

The shawl is now completed and will be raffled off in a drawing set for Oct. 8.

People who donate $5 to the Susan G. Komen Traveling Shawl fundraiser will be entered in the drawing to win the shawl. Multiple entries are allowed. The shawl’s pattern also is available for purchase for $5; proceeds go to the Komen Foundation as well.

“I hope that whoever wins the shawl doesn’t keep it in paper on a shelf,” Petrovski says, “but instead wears it in honor and in memory of the people whose lives and memories are knit into the piece.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Sept. 30.


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