Susan is launching the limited edition FUBC shawl kit in part as a response to her diagnosis and subsequent recovery from breast cancer and also to raise funds for CancerCare who supported her through this traumatic experience. After treatment, and particularly after surgery, women with breast cancer often feel physically very vulnerable around the chest area. Scarves and shawls wrapped around the neck and draped over the shoulders and chest provide a protective, cocooning barrier with the wearer feeling more confident and less ‘exposed’. A shawl therefore seemed the most appropriate design response on deciding to create a kit to both help raise awareness of Breast Cancer and also to raise funds for CancerCare, Susan’s local charity.
“Breast cancer tries to take away everything that makes you feel female, but these things do not define me, I am still a woman” Susan Crawford, 2017
12 months ago Susan was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive breast cancer and was given poor odds for survival. An intensive period of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy culminated a year later with Susan cancer free. She was, and continues to be, supported by the amazing local charity CancerCare, who provide complementary treatments and professional advice to cancer patients and their carers at no cost to the user.
Susan also became part of Phoenix, CancerCare‘s online group and formed friendships with many other women going through the same experiences. A short time after joining a project began photographing members of Phoenix sharing their scars, both physical and mental. These ‘Scarletts’ as they became known wanted to share their personal experiences of how cancer, and particularly, breast cancer, attempts to strip women of their physicality, their visual identity. Through the portraits they wanted to take back ownership of their bodies, and to be proud of who they had become. Susan not only took part in the photo shoot but opened up her farm to the project and a wonderful weekend ensued of sharing, unburdening and empowerment. These portraits have been turned into the ‘Knocker Jotter‘ which is being sold to raise funds for CancerCare.
To help support this campaign and to put two fingers up at the horror that is cancer, Susan created the ‘fubc’ shawl kit. The kit includes two skeins of Susan’s exclusive 100% Lonk wool, Ghyll, one undyed and one dyed, enough to make one of two shawl patterns included in the kit both inspired by the shape and structure of Lonk horns. One of the shawls is designed by Susan herself, and the second by her good friend, designer Tess Young. In addition a copy of the ‘Knocker Jotter’ is included in every kit.The ‘Knocker Jotter’ is a journal containing 200 lined pages with the portraits of the 16 Scarletts interspersed throughout.
What makes these kits even more special is the dyeing. Susan reached out to four hand dyers, Old Maiden Aunt, Countess Ablaze, Skein Queen and Knitting Goddess. These four women all instantly agreed to provide an exclusive colourway inspired by one of the portraits in the journal. Each dyer dyed approximately 100 skeins. No two are identical and the four colourways are very different, each reflecting the approach of the dyer. There are less than 400 kits available. Susan’s 2016 limited edition Lancashire Lonk yarn is available only in the fubc kits. Read more about the creation of the shawl kits on Susan’s blog.
The price for the kit including yarn, printed pattern booklet containing both shawl patterns and a copy of the Knocker Jotter is £65 with a percentage of monies from each kit sale being donated to CancerCare.