Thursday, August 18, 2005
A trio of Steamboat Springs girls spent a portion of their summer vacation organizing a creative memorial to friends who died suddenly in accidents during the past 12 months.
Mia Quick, Marilyn Harris and Madeleine Traverse have recruited people who knit and crochet to create 40 unique panels that will be joined into a pair of "memory blankets" memorializing the lives of Travis Taber and Ashley Stamp.
Travis died in October 2004 when the all-terrain vehicle he was operating tipped over. Ashley died in a ski accident in December 2004 in Vail while warming up for a race. Both were students at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
Marilyn, a classmate of Travis', recruited Quick and Traverse to help her.
"I wanted to make something (the families of Ashley and Travis) could use for a long time and a remembrance of how much we cared about Ashley and Travis," Marilyn, 12, said.
The girls enlisted the help of teachers, students and members of the community to knit or crochet at least one 12-inch square to be incorporated into the larger blanket. They received guidance from Jodee Anderson of The Fiber Exchange.
Most people asked for guidance on colors and yarns to use, Marilyn said, but she encouraged them to create a square that appealed to them, regardless of whether the square eventually would fit into a thematic design.
She got the wide variety of techniques and materials she was hoping for. The squares range from traditional crochet patterns to squares made out of furry-textured yarn pieces in bright color schemes.
"It kind of expresses diversity," Marilyn said. "They show more than one personality."
The girls haven't decided on the best occasion to present the completed blankets to the families of their late friends. But they hope the gift of the memory blankets will touch the families.
"It always means more to people when you've made a gift yourself," Madeleine said.
"If it's handmade, it comes from the heart," Marilyn add--ed.
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