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Dear friends,

I began writing this letter in August, but find myself finishing it in September. From one day to the next, there’s a chill in the air. Last night, I pulled out my trusty worker’s jacket (a second-hand “bleu de travail” I picked up at the flea market) for the first time since spring.

The last two months have been difficult, though I hoped to get by without mentioning it. In brief, my doctors here in France took a long, careful look at me and found that not everything is as it should be. As a result, I am in the midst of a series of chemotherapy treatments that will last at least until the end of this month. They may add a few more sessions. Right now, we don’t know.

As chemo goes, mine is kind. My prognosis is excellent. The cancer is neither rare nor swift. Four sessions in, I’m as roly-poly as ever. My eyebrows and beard have thinned, but they’re hanging on. I can still work, though not as much as I’d like to.

Once every two weeks, I go to the hospital and a kind, gentle nurse who says my accent is charming sticks a needle in my arm and attaches to it a plastic bag of custom-tailored poison.

After that, I go to bed for several days. More days, each time. I’ve never known fatigue like this. It’s not drowsiness. It’s not mere physical exhaustion. I feel … vanished. I have a body, somewhere, but it won’t move even if I will it to move. I want to wake up. I tell myself: wake up, wake up, wake up. Still, I don’t wake up.

The idleness is getting me down. I have a lifelong horror of enforced stillness, of unwilling confinement. Here I am, though, and the only way out is through, and the only way through is by not going out.

During the long hours when I can’t move but can think–a frightening prospect with a brain like mine–I have taken to knitting in my head. 

That’s exactly what it sounds like. Face down on the pillow, I imagine casting on. I count stitches as the phantom yarn slides around the phantom needle. I begin to knit. I create impossible swatches where cables morph into lace and back again for no reason at all, and acres of plain knitting emerge and vanish as my brain slips in and out of consciousness.*

After a few days, I blink and stir and drag myself off the bed. Then, I knit for real. And in earnest. Life goes on and so does work. I rush to get as much done as possible before the next round knocks me down again.

What am I knitting?

It’s time to refresh the windows at Les Tricoteurs Volants, my neighborhood’s charming yarn shop. The theme is antique knitted lace. With Enrico, the owner, I mined my collection of Victorian patterns for a selection of especially bewitching edgings.

The original inspiration for the window display was the sort of lace notebook kept by many knitters in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The example in my collection, dated 1882, is typical: patterns copied out painstakingly by hand, with a tiny reference swatch pinned to the page.

Tiny swatches won’t stop passersby, however. So I’m going big. 

Enrico had some bulky natural white wool/mohair tucked away in the shop. Not for sale, just the remnants of a sample batch spun up for him by an independent mill. It’s not the most pleasant stuff to knit with–sticky as flypaper, and sheds like a nervous cat–but it makes bold, proud lace. You should be able to spot this sucker from across the street.

The Apple Leaf Edging

I’ve often recommended to students in my introductory lace classes that they begin by using heavier-weight yarns (like DK or worsted) to play with whatever motifs tickle their fancy. Don’t worry about doing a whole shawl or even a shawlette. Just play, explore, grow accustomed to the ways mesh and motifs are constructed and shaped. Thicker yarn will help you to see and understand what’s going on, instead of just fumbling along with a death grip on the pattern.

Do that for a little while, and you’ll jump into your first “real” lace project with confidence and gusto.

To more advanced students, I often recommend … the same thing. Pick a fascinating motif or edging and try it out. Use whatever yarn and needles are handy. Since you’ve already got a sense of how lace works, your brain will delight in combinations of yarn overs and decreases you haven’t seen before. You’ll begin to imagine new ways of doing things. You may even end up designing something of your own.

These laces from the late 19th century were designed to stand out in a crowded field. There were thousands of edgings being published in books, magazines, and newspapers. You couldn’t keep feeding knitters the same plate of leaves and diamonds and chevrons and expect them to lap it up. 

So the designers went wild. Look at this.

The Gotto Edging

The largest holes? Those begin with a base that’s something like a one-row buttonhole, from which a whole litter of new stitches is born in the next row.** Zing! Wow! Fun to work. Blew my mind. Made me forget the nice nurse and her bag of poison for a while. 

It’s okay, you know, to give your brain a break from whatever rough stuff you’re going through. Living in the moment is great, until it isn’t. Then I don’t want to live in the moment, I want to knit through it until it’s over.

And so I shall.



*Upon reflection, this sounds less like an impossible swatch than it does any number of shawl patterns I could name, but will not.

**If you’re interested, I am gradually releasing all these edgings patterns, corrected and translated into modern knitting terminology, to the patrons in my Patreon group. Apple Leaf is already there, Gotto will follow next. Then the others, in due course.

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About The Author

Franklin Habit has been sharing his brainy and hilarious writing and illustrations with the knitting world since 2005.

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  • Thinking of you Franklin, and wishing you nothing but good health!

    • Always remember you have friends all over the world wishing you good health!

      • I have thoroughly enjoyed your writings since I first came upon them. Your wit and dry humor makes me smile. I hope in the deepest part of my soul that you will come through these difficult times with no residuals. Be strong and know we are all with you.

    • Thanks for sharing your troubles with us, and your tips for getting through a rough patch. Wishing you a return to complete health.

      • Wishing for you a swift return to good health. ❤

        • Praying for your swift and complete recovery, Sir. God bless you.

      • My thoughts exactly!

        • Praying for you speedy recovery.
          God Bless

    • Sorry to hear you’re going through this. Sending good thoughts your way. Thanks for the lace tips and encouragement.

    • Thank you…your words of encouragement are just what I needed to hear as I tackle some difficult issues in my life. Knit on!

      • You’ve given me so much joy and contentment over the years reading your letters. I hope you can feel the reciprocated deep affection of all of us knitters around the world rooting for you, and wishing for you better days ahead. (And please ignore the bozos that post unkind comments on your instagram. They are not worth your time. Don’t let the b$&@%€#’s get the better of you. )

        Good health, peace and comfort dear Franklin.

    • Thinking of you and praying for a full and rapid recovery. Love your suggestion about knitting lace with thicker yarn.

  • I hope the chemo banishes the cancer quickly and permanently.

    • Also praying for a swift and complete recovery for you. Thank you for an encouraging article about lace knitting. God bless as well.

    • Your words have always brought a smile and comfort to me, Franklin. Hopefully all of our heartfelt wishes for your daily recovery (as small as it may be) will help you too. Thank you for sharing your life-changing journey with us. I wish for you health and lace knitting

    • Oh Dear Franklin- thinking of you and the joy you have bought me through your letters. Love and health to you.

      • God bless you, Franklin, and grant you peace and strength!

        • Get well soon.

  • Thank you for this, Franklin. My very best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. I also read your thoughtful IG post on healthcare. Despite the fact that the NHS here in the UK is in meltdown, I would take it in a heartbeat over the US system of extortionist insurance rates, co-pays, lab fees, medicine costs, etc. As an over 60, meds here are free. No co-pays. No lab fees. Lovely and dedicated staff.

    Thank you for your wonderful posts!

    • I heartily agree! I do my fair share of complaining about Canada’s health care system (I really shouldn’t) but I am ever so grateful for it!

      So very glad to hear your prognosis is excellent, Franklin! I wish you all the very best for a speedy amd smooth recovery.

    • Totally agree

  • Thank you for sharing beautiful words and knitting in the midst of what sounds like a very difficult time. You make the world a better place.

  • God bless…..may HE erase the ordeal you are going through and then fill your life with good health and happiness

    • Keeping you in my prayers, Franklin. It always brightens my day when I see one of your letters in my inbox. I also love knitted lace!

    • Sending you good wishes and appreciation for your talent and humor. Hope your good health returns quickly. Much love to you.

  • There’s something about making lace when the going gets tough. It’s comforting, beautiful, and requires a bit of concentration. I really hope you’re back to yourself soon.

    • Dear Franklin, I immediately click on any article I see that you have written. You have such away with words. I, as everyone here, am sad to hear what you are going through, and glad that there is a way through. I love the idea of knitting in your thoughts when one can’t actually knit. Your advice to try lace on larger yarn first is great and beautiful projects can be the result. Our thoughts are with you as you as you head towards a full recovery

  • Wishing you the best. I love your writing and knitting styles.

    • Please keep us up to date. You are very important to us!

  • Franklin, wishing you a speedy recovery. Knitting in your mind is a unique approach for sure. I very much enjoy your posts. Let’s hope you’ll be back to your old self in good time.

  • Love&Light FH.

  • Thank you for sharing, Franklin.

  • Sending healing thoughts your way.

    • May a full, speedy and lasting recovery be yours.
      Thank you for the lace wisdom!

  • You’ve got this, Sir! And we are all here to support you. ❤️

    • I hope you feel all the concern and love being beamed your way by all of your grateful readers.

  • Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    • oh… dear Franklin, so sorry to hear of your travails but thank you for the lace, how you should know it was something I’ve sought for years…. Cannot imagine but I believe. Do what you can and do a walk even if only around your apartment… do it religiously even if your bones complain… it will lower your blood pressure, drain off nervous energy, and calm your mind. I know your apartment is small but I recall it is shaped around in a small rabbit warren… I walk around my stairwell here …round and round I go, sometimes stopping to change direction to take pressure off my ankles. It will help you regain your strength. We need you Franklin… sending all good wishes your way.

      • This is such a thoughtful comment. It sounds like it comes from someone who has been where he is now. I’m lucky enough to have not been where he is, yet, and I so wish I could help. But I take comfort to see help offered so eloquently.

      • I second this!

    • Prayers for you to gain strength and a full recovery.

  • I am so sorry you have to go through this difficult time. It is my true hope that your brave and strong spirit will lead you quickly to total recovery.

  • Sleep is good medicine. Knitting is good medicine. Keep listening to your body and mind. Snack and hydrate often. It’s extra rough going it alone, but you’re doing great! Sending prayers and virtual hugs your way.

  • Vive le tricot!

  • Simply Beautiful, Franklin ~ Stay Strong & just keep Moving!
    Beyond Blessings & complete Health for you!
    You have much to do

  • Franklin, your description of the fatigue that ensues from chemo is spot on. I am so sorry that you must endure it. I am a cancer survivor and recall not being able to pick up a needle for days after chemo. But I always took knitting with me during chemo. Helped to pass the time and lower my blood pressure.
    All the best for your recovery!

  • Dear Dear Franklin – wishing you love and comfort – we’re here for you on your journey – please keep ‘mentioning’ it – you have brought much joy and laughter to so many!

  • Bon courage xx

  • The only way out is through. Let yourself feel, let others help. You are brave. You are not alone.m

  • Be well, dear sir 🙂 I love the giant lace – oh, the possibilities!!

  • Such a beautiful, touching article. Get well soon!

  • Wishing you well Franklin! Your love of antique lace is serving you well at this time.

  • I had to drive my Mom to her chemo appointments when I was 18 years old. I know what you’re going through. I so wish you obliterate your cancer, and I’m glad you’re in your happy place while you’re doing it. Vive La France

  • Love you, Franklin. Be well!

  • Sending you good thoughts. May all go well !

  • Blessings to you! Ain’t no hill for a climber!

  • The patterns you have established for all of us that will never be in print are ones of inspiration found in the creative mind.

  • Great lace knitting advice!
    And you are doing as Elizabeth Zimmermann said, “Knit on, through all crises”

  • Love you Franklin! I’ll be praying for you as you navigate these rough waters. You are a beautiful soul!

  • I echo all the wonderful thoughts and prayers that others have written. Positive thoughts, humor and knitting are a winning combo. God speed.

  • Sending love and healing energy your way Franklin. ❤️

  • Sending my best wishes for your speedy recovery! And many thanks for continuing to share what’s going on in your brain:-)

  • Franklin, use the happiness and satisfaction you get from knitting to drive away the cancer fully and permanently. Sending you positive energy to aid in your healing.

  • You got this Franklin!! Thinking of you!

  • Franklin, you wrote, “. . . they begin by using heavier-weight yarns (like DK or worsted) to play with whatever motifs tickle their fancy. “

    Brilliant! As a knitting teacher I truly believe this excellent advice to hold true regardless of any new-to-you technique whether it be lace, Brioche, Fisherman’s Rib, etc, or if you’re a brand new beginning knitter, stockinette. Always use fat yarn and fat needles in order to see those stitches.

    Holding you in my heart as you travel the exhausting path called chemo.

    • Thank you for teaching us, even as you go through this difficult journey. Knitting is life. Blessings.

  • Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. On your difficult days, please know many of us will be thinking of you as we knit and how you are a constant source of inspiration.

  • Heal quickly, Franklin.

  • They are doing amazing things for cancer patients these days. Within the last nine months, both my sister and I have been treated, she with chemo and radiation for me, and we both have good prognoses. Knitting has definitely helped me along the way.

  • Chemo is a drag, for sure. I said I was going through heck. But when it’s over you’ll join the so far so good club, hopefully for a long long time

  • Thank you for chronicling your journey through this
    . It helps me feel less lonely through mine. Love7

  • Thank you for sharing the good and the bad in your life. May your good humor pull you through to the other side. Thank goodness your C is treatable and manageable. Bonne chance.

  • Sending you loads of good wishes and thoughts as you go through this ordeal, please know we are with you in spirit.

  • For you … praying and Metta meditation for healing restoration love support rest toward strength a day at a time
    Big embracing love to you

  • I am sorry to learn of your health struggles. I admire your sharing of feelings and experience, your positive attitude and focus on the future doing what you love.

  • Be well, Franklin.

  • Hang in there. I hope someone will be there caring for you during those days of unconsciousness

  • Oh dear dear Franklin: I am saddened to hear of your battle with chemo! Sending healing vibes packed with Love Light Comfort and a winning prognosis. You tales of knitting lace were as inspiring as always. You’ve a vast and loving group rooting for you. There’s power in group prayer and you seem to have and army of us adding to your own prayers for a total and healthy outcome!

  • Franklin my sincere wishes for you to get back on your feet soon and back to the life you love. Your knitting and adventures take me from my reality to yours and I look forward to whatever you share with us.

  • Franklin, Along with the other followers of you, I send you my prayers as you live through these tough days. Thank God for knitting which can help while away the miserable days until we are fully back to being ourselves again. Those resting days help your body to recover and enable you to awaken to be able to enjoy again your knitting. Prayers across the pond to you.

  • What wonderful article! Thank you for sharing!

  • Hope you continue to find your strength and inspiration through treatment. Dreaming of knitting is a good thing!

  • As always, Franklin, it’s great to hear from you. Wishing you good health.

  • Your article reached me at a serendipitous time and I thank you for that. Best wishes for a thorough and speedy recovery. I always look forward to your articles.

  • Speedy recovery, Franklin. I hope you can feel all the prayers being released to the universe on your behalf.

  • Wishing you all the best. Your articles are ALWAYS the ones I look forward to reading!

  • Thank you for sharing your talent, humor and life with us. I hope you return to good health quickly and send you my very best.

  • Franklin we are holding you up like the strongest cast on you can think of!
    Hummm, I ‘ll have to try knitting in my brain, maybe it will help with the tinking on my needles!

  • I love your letters,please keep going. My heart goes out you in your chemo journey. Hope you feel better soon x.

  • Best strength to you through this! Love your continued long distance inspiration….. sending you good thoughts from the hill where the flerd of sheep and cashmere goats, apples coming red ripe, and tomato/pepper patch are moving toward fall. Produce covered countertops are changing to sauces while stitches fly on the needles into sweaters and wraps.

  • Wishing you a speedy as possible recovery and all the care you need and want.

    lace knitting – YES!

  • Dear Franklin, sending you all the love, hugs, healing vibes, and prayers. I can relate to what your going through. It sucks. Your strength and probably stubbornness will see you through – as will your knitting and this gorgeous lace. Loads of love to you.

  • Sending my best wishes for your continued recovery. A friend of mine just went through this treatment and beyond-exhaustion, so I sadly recognized your description. I’m so glad your nimble mind occupied itself while waiting for energy to return. Which it does. It will.

    I knitted, years ago, samples on fairly sturdy wool of Victorian lace motifs, for artist trading cards. They took a lot of doing and redoing, and I learned so much in the process. Especially the ones with a 25-line repeat, with different numbers of stitches on different lines..

  • Dear Franklin, sending all my best wishes for you for a speedy recovery. Your letters never fail to bring a smile to my heart.

  • Sending healing thoughts. Hang in there!

  • I took Franklins lace class in New York at Vogue Knitting live. I have been he’s fan foe almost 3 decades. I am a 27 year cancer survivor. I have never lasso hard as his bit on knitters on the moon. Hang in there Franklin. I love knitting the lace you taught me. Ginni

  • Much love and good health to you Franklin! And thank you for your ever enjoyable writings. I am always overjoyed whenever I see one appear in my mailbox.
    I enjoy the big and bold statement that bulky lace makes and it gives such a modern vibe to the same well known charts. Thank you for the reminder, and I am keeping you in my thoughts here in sunny Spain. Get well very very soon. M.

  • Sending you my thoughts and prayers for a full recovery. I always love reading your posts and look forward to the next one.

  • Wishing you good things and lots of lace in your life.

  • Stay strong and knit on!
    You are an inspiration ❤️

  • Mr Habit…praying extra hard you will be up and about very soon.

  • Oh dear! So sorry to read of this health issue. I do hope the tough times go more quickly and when they are over, there is a knitting celebration with renewed energy and health.

  • Always enjoy your writing. Wishing you the speediest recovery.

  • Thinking of you …
    Knew you’d have those 19th c lace patterns …

    and I leaned to knit lace that way as well. Very gratifying.

    Will you be the Bill Cunningham of Paris with your jacket? (sans bicycle?). Showing us the sights and charm instead of the sartorial.

  • I love the tough knitting lace. You go man!

  • Franklin, I love reading your letters. They make my day better, no matter what‘s going on. Best wishes to you for a swift and complete recovery

  • oh là là… j’étais si contente de recevoir une lettre de Paris – mais ces nouvelles sont vraiment un sale coup! Une pensée m’a traversé l’esprit: on fait de très belles perruques pour les gens qui perdent leur cheveux avec la chimio, mais existe-t’il des fausses barbes? J’espère que vous n’en aurez pas besoin… Bon courage pour les séances à venir. J’écris en français pour que vous restiez dans le bain même si vous ne sortez pas en ce moment, et n’oubliiez pas tout ce que vous avez appris…

  • I love the idea of wild mind knitting. Who knows how it will manifest on the good days when you have no clear project but just an itch to cast on and make. May the chemo routine pass quickly and your fall be a happier time than this late summer. I envy your cold days since here in NC, August has decided to return and disrupt September.

  • You have so much support and love from your knitting community, Franklin. Take it all in and let it feed your soul. Thinking of you with nothing but 100% healing thoughts. And ENERGY!

  • Thinking of you and adding my prayers and well wishes. Chemo is hard, but not impossible, and the bone deep fatigue will ease eventually. I knitted baby booties and tiny socks during my eight months of chemo for my [then] someday grandchildren. I survived to see those beautiful grandchildren and watch them outgrow and wear out the socks!

  • Take care and my most heartfelt wishes for these “in bed” times to pass quickly. And “sheds like a nervous cat” is the BEST visual image!

  • Wishing you a speedy return to robust good health!

  • Wishing you a speedy and complete recovery!

  • Beautiful letter from a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing with ut. Wishing you a full and fast recovery.

  • Much gratitude for you and your wildly entertaining writing. Sending much loving energy to you.

  • Sending you loving wishes for good health.

  • Oh, this is wonderful! How do you manage to create such beauty out of such desperate times? Whatever your source, you are very much appreciated.

  • Oh Franklin, I’m so sorry you have to go through yet more chemo. But you are so wonderfully honest and brave I will hold you as the pattern for knitting my life through anything that seeks to keep me down.

  • Dear Franklin- We are approaching the DFW fiber fest here, which is where I met you many years ago. We had a most charming conversation about yarn and opera; sharing our passions for both.
    Now- another shared experience. I am an 11 year cancer survivor, and with those words, I send you the assurance that where you are Now, will become where you were Then. It’s a scary road, but you are managing it, as you do everything, with style. Bisous.

  • Best wishes Franklin, and thank you.

  • Franklin, désolé qu’une telle chose vous arrive dans mon pays mais les soins et le personnel sont de qualité. J’ai testé en 2000, 2019 et 2022… Un seul conseil, écoutez votre corps et dormez quand vous le pouvez même si vous avez l’impression de ressembler à de la salade cuite…Moi je ne tricotais pas dans ma tête, trop compliqué !!! Je listais les départements et préfectures, puis les prénoms par ordre alpha. A vous de trouver votre méthode.
    Je tricote, pas aussi bien que vous, surtout pas de dentelle mais des jacquarts plein de couleurs !
    Dernier conseil, mettez de la couleur, de la vraie !!! ça réveille le teint gris et permet d’attendre le lendemain avec le sourire. Zen Franklin, Caroline.

  • I am sad that you are going though this. But love the thought of you knitting in your mind when you can’t do it otherwise. Also thank you for the tip of practice lace on heaver yarn.!!! you are in my thoughts and prayers

  • Wishing you a speedy recovery and all the best. I always look forward to your posts here because they are funny and full of insight. You will get through this difficult time!

  • Lovely Patterns! I love the idea of marche sur la ru et voila!!! Ginormous lace swatches!!! Take care and know people are concerned and wishing you the best! ❤️

  • Thank you for your amazing knitting information, inspiration and helpful tips. Sending many healing vibes to you during this challenging time.

  • Wishing you the best, Franklin! I had a very simple lace piece I started a couple of days after cancer surgery, worked on during chemo (until the Benadryl kicked in – naptime!) and finished the night after my last radiation. Elizabeth Zimmerman was right about knitting being good for the soul. Cheers and blessings!

  • Wishing you love, light, and health. Thank you for the reminder that one can remain positive, regardless of the circumstances. Knit on!

  • So glad to hear you’re in good hands. I dream of visiting your charming yarn shop windows one day.

  • Your shop windows are always a marvel! May your mental knitting be just as fun as your other knitting. Peace, healing, and flawless lace, Franklin.

  • Sending you my very, very best wishes for a smoother and absolutely complete recovery! I love your columns, and they are always a highlight of my day. Thank you, Franklin Habit! ❤️

  • I suffer from periodic insomnia, and often knit in my head as a way to calm my brain (a natural extension from counting sheep to counting stitches!) I wish you good care and good health and good knitting on the other side of this.

  • Despite it all your wisdom and joy for life and knitting shine through. We are grateful for your brilliant writing and inspiration. Lots of Love to you.

  • Wishing you a full recovery and the very best of health in the future. Always a joy to read your letters. Love the idea of over sized lace projects, you’ve filled me with ideas!

  • Franklin, my dear, I have always thought of you as my charming cousin in New York, and then in France, I’ve followed your knitting career since that pattern in Knitty, you know the one, and I had no idea you had a Patreon. Gonna fix that! Be well, Franklin. You are loved.

  • Thinking of you and my prayers go out to you. Thank you for sharing and inspiring both with your attitude on life and your knitting. Following your adventures in France are a highlight of all the articles on MDK.

  • Thinking of you Franklin and keeping you in prayer.

  • Dear Franklin,
    I hope you get through this ordeal soon and cancer free. Your words echoed with me, particularly the part about knitting in your head. I do something similar when I have a panic attack or get struck by a blow of depression. Colors, textures, that yummy soft feeling of new yarns and projects to conquer, what a delight! May your suffering be short and mild.

  • Beautiful! I have knitted in my head in the dentist’s chair, it helps calm me.

  • Wishing you well. May good health, energy and lots of yarn soon be part of your days.

  • Elizabeth z said it best, “Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.” I love that you’re knitting in your head when you can’t deal with needles. Thank you for sharing- it’s excellent to know you are on the road the health, bumpy though it may be.

  • Quietly cheering you on from my corner of the world. I’m glad to hear that your prognosis is good, even if the getting there part in the middle is terrible. I share your horror at enforced idleness – just reading your description made me twitch – and I hope you are past that part soon, or that you find a way to make peace with it.

  • Sending you positive energy and hoping this is soon over.

  • Hugs and good thoughts from Chicago.

  • Your writing is so healing–for all of us and hopefully, for you!

  • Wishing you the best. Thank you for sharing in this terrible time for you.

  • I will be in Paris at the end of the month and can’t wait to see your window display in person! Stay well

  • It’s a shame that the phantom knitting doesn’t use up stash … :-p I’d have a lot less stash that way.

  • Stay strong my friend. Been there.

  • Thank you Franklin. Very much wishing you well.

  • May this time of illness pass into memory as you get back into your fiber filled life. I am sending you healing thoughts, Franklin. Many of us have been there…..

  • Thank you for inspiring lace knitting. I love it but need more practice and more patience. I’m sending you strength. You are beating this disease. Don’t give up. I almost did but am glad I changed my mind.

  • Ah Franklin! Thank you for your letter! I so enjoy them!. You must take very good care of yourself as you are an invaluable contribution to our world. And you should enjoy your life too.
    Be well!

  • I’m happy to know your prognosis is good. Thank you for sharing that. There are many of us who feel like we know you and wish you well.

    • This is so true, Franklin. We DO know your talent, humor and we know you’ll come through this latest trial. Many are asking God to give you strength to master this cancer. Adding my prayers, too.
      I always enjoy your letters about knitting and the adventures you share with us. God Speed! As Churchill is quoted as saying, “Nevah, nevah, nevah give up!” Be well, Franklin. We need you!
      Susan G. in steamy New England.

  • Prayers

  • Franklin, praying you will move through the chemo with as little discomfort as possible and that the cancer will be in the rear view forever. Good luck. Be well.

  • I became a “patron” of Franklin several months ago and now I look forward to the workroom chat with him almost every Sunday afternoon. He’s not only an accomplished knitter and teacher, he also gives insights into Paris and Europe from an interesting ex-pat point of view.

  • Gorgeous lace. 20 years since the chemo and going strong. Finishing chemo is the best and you will be there soon. Hang in!
    Your writing and knitting are superb!

    • Oh Franklin…. another crack added to my broken heart. Just know how many people all over the world love your work and, more, importantly, just love you.
      Damned cancer in any form in any body is vile. Please beat this one to a quaking pulp and knit more
      Much love

  • Hope this life-episode soon retreats in the rear-view mirror and brighter days are ahead.

  • Take care. Sending good thoughts your way.

  • Hope your recovery goes well. I love your writing (and knitting) and hope to see many more articles from you. Take good care, Susan Bloch

  • Thinking of you, Franklin. You are in my prayers.

  • Thinking of you and wishing you a quick and complete recovery. Thank you for your awesome letters.

  • Speedy recovery Franklin. You got this!

  • Dear Franklin, I am so sorry you are having to go through this unpleasantness. I hope your chemo will be completely successful and over soon. Love and best wishes from the US!

  • Love Franklin’s writing! Wish him well in his healthcare journey.

  • Healing thoughts to you Franklin! Knitting is definitely therapy.

  • Breathe deeply and keep knitting! Know that your virtual knitting community is behind you wishing you the very best.

  • Dear Franklin, You may be sleepy and tired, but you still can write a heck of a letter. Take care of yourself

  • Those large-scale swatches look great and have me wondering how they’d translate to a knitted-on edging for a baby blanket or lap robe — or even a lace-and-cable shawl! Here’s hoping you make a full and speedy recovery.

  • Sending healing thoughts your way, friend. Rest & be well.

  • No matter how many of your posts I read, each is lovely, caring, and different! I’ve followed you since Panopticon days and empathized with your moving woes and triumphs. Also, I’m thrilled to pieces for you that you brain on autopilot chooses to allow you to knit like Alice in Wonderland – just “oh wow, look what’s happening now and isn’t that interesting”. Your brain has turned out to be a pretty good pal. Keep strong and I’ll catch up with you asap.

  • Glad you’re finding your way through this. Knit on, my friend. We’re all here for you.

  • Sending you a gentle hug across the ocean. Thank you so much to MDK for hosting this brilliant man who I’ve never met but through his writings have come to love dearly.

  • Wishing you the very best for an excellent recovery.

  • Thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Your description of the cancer fatigue is the most impactful I have seen or heard.

  • I can imagine the combination of active mind/crushing chemo fatigue body. Only you would use the combination to knit in your head! Be well, and hurry the day for your chemo penance to be done.

  • Hey there Franklin Praying all goes well with your treatment and feel much better soon!❤️

  • Sorry you are going through this ordeal. No platitudes. Just be well.

  • Get well soon!

  • My very best wishes for your speedy recovery. Also, thank you for your recent post on Instagram, which was brilliant.

  • Franklin, Wishing you the best speedy recovery. I took your embroidery class and loved it! Take good care.

  • I’m sending best wishes for positive tests and more energy ASAP. I also hope those hours of mental knitting result in amazing new patterns for the knitting world! Rest and recover, Franklin-you are beloved!

  • As great a writer as he is a yarn star.

  • I find knitting in one’s head works for dentist and other medical appointments that might be anxiety causing too.

  • Dear Franklin, I had no idea that you were poorly, my thoughts and prayers are with you. So clever of your brain to start knitting to keep you focussed on getting better with each stitch. Be well soon x

  • Knitting is serving you well. As always, sending love and bear hugs your way.

  • It’s like you’re knitting yourself back together after each bout of chemicals. I pray they are successful, and soon you’ll have the energy to spin, knit, and dream to your heart’s content. Your encouragement on lace knitting is timely and appreciated!

  • Wishing you better days ahead Franklin as the knitting world loves you. I follow you on Facebook but for some reason I am unable to leave a comment. Sending you positive energy from The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts to get through this ordeal. Knit on.

  • Sending hugs and good wishes

  • Wishing you a speedy recovery and many more years of lace.

  • Sending you many good and healing thoughts.

  • I am always excited to read your articles as they are informative and filled with humour. I was taken back to read about your current struggles and wish you a return to good health in the near future. Knitting or thinking about knitting does help with many situations in will be knitting more than ever soon…thinking of you and sending some healing thoughts your way.

  • Love these deep lacy thoughts, Franklin

  • May you have a speedy and full recovery. Many Blessings.

  • You delight and inspire. Be well.

  • Praying for you and your family Franklin. Thank you for sharing and for your beautiful lace work! So stunning!!!

  • And then one day, in the future, you wake up one morning expecting to be tired….and you’re not.
    Been there. done that and DARNIT no t-shirt given!
    Much love your way as you travel this path.

  • My prayers are with you. Thank you for mentioning to us.

  • I wish you a return to vibrant health. You are a treasure.

  • An early list serve knitting group I was on talked about knitting Moose Lace – meaning lace with thick yarn and big needles. So I knit my first lace garment in Aran weight and worked my way down to fingering weight.
    It was a great introduction!
    Hang in there, Franklin. With love and esteem.

  • Bonjour Franklin,

    Bonne chance avec vos traitements et ne perdez pas de vue que bientôt vous serez de retour sur pieds et en santé. On compte sur vous et on apprécie tous vos chroniques.

    Micheline, Québec

  • Thinking of you. Take a deep breath and just ride the periodic tidal wave of chemo. It will pass. I’m 46 years past my stage three cancer, and I know it was the chemo that saved my life. ♥️

  • Dear Mr. Habit – I would think the extreme fatigue you feel is “normal” after you’ve had a treatment. I do like the fact you can knit in your head and it shifts patterns – much easier than actually swatching! I am a former nurse who took care of patients who got less refined chemo than you’re getting now. Am grateful the doctor and nurses are treating you well!!! And thank you for the lace patterns – I do like lace and sometimes it’s difficult to find knitted lace edgings!! I wish you well, courage, and endurance!! Most sincerely, Peggy

  • It was a leafy lace edging in a stitch dictionary that made me fall in love with the intricacies of knitting when I was a teenager. Before I found that I never tried any fancy stitches and afterwards I’d have a go at EVERYTHING.

  • That’s the pits. I’m glad you have such a great sense of humor. And so many ‘good energy’ interests. I only wish I could think of words to say that are as healing as yours have been to me and others. Healing vibes being sent your way ))))))))))!

  • May you continue to feel peace and joy every day ❤️

  • Sending good thoughts (along with many, many other friends and fans) for a speedy return to good health.

  • Franklin, your humor & gifted writing have brightened many a day for all of us. Sending loving thoughts & strength back to you. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bon retablissment, Franklin, I am afraid the email will not let me place the accent on the “e”.
    I always enjoy you letters and your instagrams.

  • Franklin, I am so sorry that you are so bone deep tired, and glad that your prognosis is good.
    I always look for something to make a cancer patient smile, but feel that whatever is said is too trite. Needle therapy- not attached to a bag- is a wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. I always look forward to your letters from Paris.

  • I am so sorry to hear of your cancer. It’s a horrific thing to go through. The chemo will pass and you’ll be on the mend again–knitting to your heart’s content. Be kind to yourself, rest well, and let others help you. Take care.

  • Bon Courage, Franklin!

  • Feel better soon! I too used to “knit in my head” technique when I could not do so in real life. It’s magic. Pregnant with twins, with carpal tunnel, I used this knitting in my head thing to lower my blood pressure and keep from killing everyone as I was being poked and prodded towards the end of the pregnancy in hospital. It worked very well…not a replacement for actual knitting, but good enough to make my blood pressure decrease so the nurse could let me go home again.

  • <3 <3 <3 — as ever.

    Today is my last day of work at the job I started almost three years ago. I had to move on (didn't particularly want to, but…).

    So, onward, and I'm taking courage from your courage as I do so. =^..^=

  • for strength as you move thru this battle!!

  • How fortunate you are to be receiving such good medical so easily and economically- and what a contrast with our medical insurers coverage system.
    I love the lace – so satisfying to knit!

  • Wishing you best & speedy recovery! I look forward to your notes. Be strong, sleep well, dream of lace knitting

  • Thanks for the article!

  • Hang in there. We all wish you a complete, speedy recovery. As for facing each treatment with good cheer in your heart, just do the best you can. It is exhausting. You have filled our lives with happy knitting and delight. Thank you.

  • sending you joyful and healing thoughts!

  • Omg I am sooo very sorry to hear this ! Sending you only the best wishes on a full and speedy recovery! I look forward to your blogs! You give me and others encouragement! Keep knitting through ! Sincerely, Mary Pritschet

  • Bon rétablissement! You are well loved and respected and you can see by all the comments that we wish you an easy recovery and lifelong good health! Please continue knitting (and writing) whether it’s in your head or with your hands. We hang on your words.

  • Best wishes for renewed good health soonest!

  • Bless you, Franklin for sharing your story with us. I love that knitting lace is helping you through the chemo. I only recently starting knitting lace and I do love it. My prayers are with you as you go through this that you continue to have faith and stay strong. As Leo Buscalia once said: No winter lasts forever. So many of us are sending positive thoughts and your prayers your way.

  • Came over from your Patreon, Franklin, and glad to read that not too many days (I think) after you wrote this you had an upright day!

  • This makes me sad (the illness, not the lace), and I know I will be thinking of you — though you don’t know me — as I knit, or walk.

  • God Speed! Your lace is as lovely as you are!

  • Adding to all the other well wishers. Your articles are my favorite among many wonderful MDK posts, am saddened to know you are struggling. You are loved by knitters worldwide!

    • Franklin ~ I also am a lace knitter. My only question is where was your suggestion to use a heavy yarn to learn with when I was learning about lace 70 years ago. I used the same fine as sewing thread crochet cotton that my mother used for tatting to knit my first bit of lace around a handkerchief. I am so sorry to hear of your illness and that the cure is causing such distress. You are in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.

  • Sending only good thoughts and am glad you are in a place that you can get care.

  • Your letters are just wonderful. One shouldn’t wait until bad times to say it, yet one does wait. Well done, and keep going.

  • I particularly enjoyed this musing. I am sorry your are dealing with health issues. I did, however, empathize with you. I have Multiple Sclerosis, and chronic pain. The fatigue and pain I deal with limits my ability to do things, so I could really relate to you. I love these little lace swatches! They are a reminders to think outside the box…I can still learn and practice new knitting without having to commit to a large project.

  • Keeping you in my prayers! So glad you have knitting as a diversion as you go through chemo.
    Keep us posted!

  • What a beautiful soul…revealing the ‘terrors of the night’ …
    the strength and determination to keep going…I send greetings!

  • I wish you well, Franklin, and am hoping for a speedy and forever recovery!

  • Going through something like this and writing about it like you do is inspiring. Thank you and all the best!

  • Franklin, thank you. You expressed in words how I feel after chemo.
    Janet Bondanella

  • Dear Franklin
    My father healed himself of cancer. When I asked him how he did this, he said: I just simply
    accepted it. When people say to fight it, he said there was no ‘fight’ in it, that will only
    create resistance in the body. He just accepted it and said there was no other way. His cancer never
    came back and he lived to age 94. Olivia Newton John spoke similar wards, she didn’t
    believe in the “fight”. That only creates seperation. Command your cells to work at their
    optimum level and be cancer free. Hope this helps. Joe

  • Dear Franklin, I have just come across your article on lace and recent diagnosis. I am so sorry to hear this news but sounds like you are in good hands ( yours and the nurses). I was compelled to respond. There is nothing like creating to sooth and distract the mind from dark days. Mine is drawing ,painting and making which I reach for. Meditation for the creative soul & physical being. Something everyone should be encouraged to explore. The world would indeed be a better place if more people dug out their inner ‘artist/ maker’. I for one am sure you are inspiring many with yr beautiful writing and I wish you a speedy recovery and good health X Victoria
    ps.the lace looks amazing. I inherited a few small lace collars my grandma made as a teenager, must resurrect them and find a use for them.

  • Beautiful edgings! Keep knitting your way through these difficult moments! May your nurses bring you some comfort in every awful chemo moment. I hope today you saw something beautiful, made something —even one stitch of beautiful and had a bit more energy. Truly hope you feel better!!

  • Thanks as always for sharing with your readers. We want to know about the downs and the ups. Sending you all the best wishes for health and recovery as soon as possible.

  • Franklin, I wish you a very speedy recovery! You’re one of my favorite teachers. And I learned from you again in this post — try lace on DK or worsted. So simple, but such a great tip!

    When I’m too tired/sick to knit, I’m really in bad shape. So I know the feeling. And I hope it passes for you very quickly!

  • Of course you had to mention the unmentionable fearsome monster! No one should be on that journey alone, and talking about it makes it smaller. Been there. you gave a clear description of the events as I experienced them. The only difference is that I saw a hypnotherapist to make a tape, as the thought of caveman poison was too hard to swallow.
    There are better times on the other side. I used knitting to help me reorganize my neurons, and convolutions in my brain.
    Spunky, unrelenting, talk back patients due best. So have at it and kick that monsters booty! You know if you were here everyone would be smothering you with hugs and motza balls!!

  • Dear Franklin, having been a nurse, a chemo nurse, an oncology nurse and finally a hospice nurse over 45 years I can visualize in detail everything you have described. I am so sorry. But I applaud your decision to knit through it, diversion from the unpleasant today is why many of us knit in the first place. I love your edgings, my grandmother taught me to crochet delicate little doll clothes as a child. And I moved on to knitting from there. Soldier on Franklin! You’re in my prayers.

  • I’ve been sending you whatever good mojo that I have. Much love

  • Brilliant. I love that knitting in your head helps you though the worst patches. Funny, this morning I woke absolutely certain that my cable stitches had morphed into lace that fanned out. Then here you are with giant beautiful lace.
    Keep healing, my friend. We’re all cheering for you and the French health system – plus your wisdom to get that extra coverage!!! Best wishes for complete and rapid healing.

  • Much love to you, Franklin. And cheers to a good prognosis. As a glass-half-full kind woman, it does my heart good to know your cancer is neither rare nor swift. Pour ta santé.

  • Franklin~dear man~I love reading your posts and I appreciate your telling us what’s going on with you. I am sending thoughts of healing and needed energy to get on the other side of this.

  • I wish you all the best of health. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Lace seams intimidating but once you begin can’t stop. An amazing creative art that it will never disappear. Muchos besos y abrazos

  • Dear Franklin,
    I am so sorry that you are dealing with such terrible health issues. I really enjoy your letters. Your thoughts and ideas are amazing and inspirational. Sending you strength and all good thoughts with best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. Refuah schleimah.

  • Franklin: Merci Beaucoup .Je vais prier pour vous. You are living this old French major and crazy knitter’s dream. Keep writing. You will get through this.

  • I wish the best to you, first time reading your writing and loved it… take care of yourself and keep writing

  • Hey kiddo – I’m two years out from a type of cancer that was also slow-growing. Chemo was d0-able and not fun, but not the horrors we saw in the movies in the 80s and 90s. There were symptoms I didn’t even anticipate – numb feet and hands, blood cell levels going down and knocking me down with it – but for each new pain in the butt there was something that could be done. Everything pointed to survival in time. And yet. Part of you wonders, doesn’t it? There are days you will be tired and you will look at survival rates and wonder where you are on the tables – and none of it applies because you are unique and your story will be yours. Plus all that crap on the internet is ten years old and already needs updating.
    I opted to tell everyone everything not because I enjoy having everyone freak out around me (ugh!) but because they needed that information and I needed the occasional bit of grace to get tasks done later than anticipated at times. Like you, I had the kind of job that required effort, but not a lot of getting up and out the door (thank you COVID pandemic). You know this, but I will say it anyway: there will be times you just need to give yourself that grace to rest, recover, and renew yourself after the ritual poisoning that is chemo. It’s been three years since everything started for me and I still have days where I don’t get it all done. And now I am keenly aware that death will happen. Just not now. So I let everyone I love know I love them, and everyone I appreciate know I appreciate them. And I ruminate over my past sins as a parent, as a professional, as a friend. And I hope to leave a better legacy than the one I think I was going to leave. The jury is out on that, LOL. but I will die trying. So in line with what I decided to do three years ago: your writing (yes, I followed the Panopticon back in the day), your life, your sharing of your abilities and creativity have impacted my life in a wonderful way. Two of my six offspring are of the gay persuasion. Your writing has helped too numerous to relate. Thank you. You are very much present and you have meant a great deal to me, even though we don’t know each other at all, save a few Facebook posts – and have only “met” once at Vogue Knitting Live, when I addressed you out of the blue as “Mr. Habit!” between classes and the mind-numbing overspending that was the Marketplace. I suspect you are very much present to many others as well. None of us matter, though, as much as your loved ones – hell, even Dolores;). Get well soon, dear Frankin!

  • I must say Franklin, I like all your posts but the last gave me such pause. I have two friends currently going through Chemo and your description of your feelings seemed so apt: the feeling of being vanished was so on target. Let me just say I wish you lots of luck and I love walking through the city, albeit through graveyards, with you

  • Thank you for sharing your lived experience with us. May this be just a small tangle in your ball of yarn.

  • Sending healing thoughts and positive energy your way.

  • I know from personal experience that the first thing to disappear during times of trouble is the wit, and yet somehow yours is still intact. And I am sure it took every bit of strength you had to find it. When your body tells you to rest, then you rest. But thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us. It helps others to know that they are not alone. Take care and be well.

  • Wishing you a full recovery as quickly as possible!

  • Sending you much love Franklin. Thank you for taking the time to write even though you’re feeling rough. I have several ancient knitting books and I agree that sometimes the only way to work out what they’re going on about is to dive in and start following the pattern with any old yarn and needles.

  • Franklin, take care of you, and whether knitting in your dreams or on real needles, we knitters understand that. Medical issues don’t keep a good knitter down. We might only do a few stitches, but it keeps us grounded and calm (at least a little).

  • Franklin. your last paragraph made me cry. My dad just died and I’m helping my 85 year old mom through it all. That’s exactly how I’m handling it.

    I wish you the best and a complete and speedy recovery. I always love reading everything you write. Thank you for expressing life’s joys and sorrows so eloquently.

  • Healing prayers and love are behind you, dear Franklin. Your writings are refreshingly funny and brilliant. I look forward to them. You will get through this. With caring and love.

  • Chemo brain is a real thing. Be cautious with decisions for a year or so. Knit away, it keeps us sane.

  • Sending you grace and restoration via the quantum entanglement line, aka “good vibs”.

  • Franklin, be well. Wishing you easier days ahead.

  • Positive energy and much fiber-wrapped love to you, Franklin.

  • Thank goodness you are getting the care you need in a civilized country that understands healthcare is a basic human right. May you make a speedy and full recovery. ❤️

  • Franklin, you are so loved in the knitting community — thank you for letting us know of your illness. We will wave the pointy sticks to drive away the bad and celebrate the good!


  • You bring so much joy to the world with your knitting and your writing. I remember discovering Flo the elephant as a fairly new knitter and what fun it was to make and gift to a dear friend. Wishing you a quick recovery and sending lots of healing thoughts your way.

  • I think those of us who experience what’s behind the medical term “fatigue” sometimes struggle to get across what it really means; you’ve done an amazing job here–visceral and haunting. Sending all good wishes for the poison doing its work and your body recovering from it. I love the idea of bulky lace as a form of play! And finding ease and joy wherever we can. Bisous.

  • As always, Franklin, your writings bring joy and happiness to my morning cup of tea. Your creativity is amazing even face down following a chemo treatment. I love the knitted lace and love antique patterns! Becoming an antique myself, I love pulling out my old books and patterns I used years ago and having a look see! Still lovely in my eyes! May that bag of poison knock the bad stuff out of you and leave you happily knitting in a charming cafe. Sip a rose’ for me

  • Hang in there Franklin, you will get through it, and keep thinking positive it will take you a long way. Love reading your newsletter from Paris. I was in Paris once and loved it.

  • I hadn’t noticed it before, but so many of those Victorian edgings are a knitted version of bobbin lace!

    I hope someone is caring for you and feeding you while you are between chemo treatments, as it’s so hard to do yourself.

    Best wishes from Australia

  • Get well, Franklin. Your letters are a tonic and the high point of my day. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  • I know exactly how Franklin feels and doesn’t feel. Went through chemo for 27 treatments and there is no language that can describe the fatigue and other side effects. It will pass, but slowly, and then it’s gone. And then something happens because of it. It’s like an old friend that calls you every once in awhile.

  • Franklin, I remember watching your Craftsy colors class with my daughter who was maybe 9 at the time and is also a knitter— and she liked your teaching so much that she joined me to watch your edgings class. She also loved your style— her 9-year-old assessment is that you reminded her of a professor who is also a pirate, which is a pretty awesome combination. I’m just writing that because I thought you would get a kick out of it, but also to say that a lot of us have loved your work for ages and are thinking of you, wishing you a return to good health and continued good spirits.

  • Wishing you lots of strength and sending hugs from across the ocean. We are all rooting for you!

  • The only way out is through….. wishing you peace and good health, and “through”.

  • So difficult to hear of these struggles, but good to hear the prognosis is good. I’ve managed to get through a cancer diagnosis and there is plenty of good after treatment! Continue being strong, Franklin.

  • Wishing you a full, speedy recovery. Your columns are wonderful.

  • Wishing you well on your chemo journey…so difficult but overjoyed that your prognosis is good!

  • Hugs and prayers for the next few weeks to pass quickly for you, and then a return to a full and newly healthy life again.❤️

  • Soigne-toi bien (soignez-vous bien) et bon rétablissement. <3

  • Franklin, wishing you a speedy recovery. Although it was against your initial thought, special thanks for sharing your story. I have a dear friend who has been navigating surgeries and oncologists who calls knitting her stress relief. I have shared your article with her. As she faces down chemo next month, I think it will help prepare her for the unknowable!

  • Carry on through all crises as someone once said.

  • Thank you for sharing your path. You inspire me to try lace knitting and face insurmountable stations of life with determination. Blessings!

  • Thank you and hope your journey to wellness goes as smoothly and rapidly as possible. Good health to you in the future

  • Dear Franklin,

    Sending you so much love and healing. ❤️

  • I knitted my way through chemo. Arrived in the hospital scared and disorientated and every time i took out my knitting (socks! portable, relatable, manageable, familiar) i instantly felt soothed and at home. And the nurses loved it too! At the end of the 4 months I even had a couple of handsome pairs of socks to show for all that tired time. I’m sending all my love and best wishes for a wonderful recovery. (Be patient! But knitting helps with that, too.)

  • Wishing you good health from Scotland Franklin!

  • Soigne-toi bien, Franklin et bon rétablissement. Courage.

  • A truly charming and courageous letter from an icon in the industry. Bless you Franklin, heal quickly!

  • Thinking of you and wishing you a complete and fast recovery! Stay strong!

  • Wishing you comfort through your treatments. I very much enjoy your installments.

  • Dear Franklin,
    Not sure if written words are more felt than wishes sent through the ether, but just in case here is a heart felt wish for you: Good health — and may you absorb all the love knitters are sending you. Thank you for all the joy you bring.

  • I got the feeling from your last few letters that something was lurking. I am glad your prognosis is good, and your cancer is neither rare nor swift. I would not wish chemo on anyone. The fatigue is indescribable. I am 23 years post disease. May you say the same.

  • Love following you and your Paris (best city in the world) adventures here and on Insta. Sending you excellent health vibes–glad to hear it is not a rare or aggressive cancer.

  • Dear Franklin, I have so enjoyed living life vicariously through you in Paris. All that you have written has been a treasure. Praying that God will heal your body and restore it to the way it was created to be. Know that everyday you are loved by HIM and us, your faithful readers and fans.

  • Bonne chance. Franklin! You have been my inspiration for so long!! You will prevail, I just know it!

  • Franklin, force et bonne santé.

  • Sending my very best wishes for a speedy recovery. I will keep you in my prayers.
    Thank you for being you!!

  • Hi Franklin, sending thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. I too was diagnosed with cancer but my prognosis is not so kind. I totally understand the fatigue. You’re not alone with that. I was thinking today, how is this possible to be so fatigued, but there it is. I like the idea of knitting in your mind. I travel in my mind during MRIs.
    Wishing you the best.

  • Dear Franklin,
    Sending you good juju for a swift & full recovery!
    Knit on!

  • Love and good health to you, Franklin!

  • Speedy healing wishes to a brave soul xxxxx

  • Hang in there, Franklin. My significant other fought 13 years to go into remission from the most aggressive form of multiple myeloma. His doctor first told him t hat he had 7 years to live. It has been 16 years and he is alive!
    Sending prayers and hope to you!
    Hugs from a former pupil.

  • Wishing you a speedy recovery, Franklin. You are an inspiration to the knitting world and we are all rooting for your good health

  • May the doctors and nurses treat you skillfully and gently so that you heal and recover quickly. I hope you’re soon knitting and designing many more interesting patterns and sharing more observations of your explorations of Paris.

  • Wishing you well!

  • Dear Franklin, please know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your letter took me back to my own chemotherapy in 2005… when your prognosis is good, as you say, just know that you WILL regain your strength, and the day will come when your images of knitting will become real knitting again. I wasn’t knitting at the time, but I ended up with neuropathy in my hands and feet, and while physical therapy and acupuncture helped my feet, it was knitting that helped my hands recover. I haven’t stopped knitting since.
    Wishing you all the very best for a full and strong recovery,
    Anne in California

  • Love and strength goes out to you. Your giant lace is gorgeous!

  • Thank you Franklin. I always look forward to your letters. Wishing you the best outcome in your journey.

  • Franklin – I send you healing compassion and love. Life can be hard (and is…) but you are a source of great strength. Our collective thoughts are bouncing strength back to you. Feel better.

  • Your essays are always so interesting and uplifting. I hope all goes well with your treatments. I would love to meet you in person sometime!

  • mes prières sont avec toi

  • Good luck getting through it, Franklin.

  • Franklin, I love you. I love your wit. I love your words. I love your writing. Get well soon as I can have more of you to love. BTW- I almost never leave comments, but this comes from the heart. Gail

  • I inadvertently did this with my first lace project. At the time, I was only knitting with DK yarn – I was new enough to not have explored other yarn weights and didn’t have the luxury of a friendly LYS. I found a gorgeous pattern from Purl Soho (Checkerboard Lace Scarf) and made a big wide scarf with it on DK weight yarn. Many years later I knit a second one (also DK weight) and realized halfway through it that the pattern actually calls for fingering weight yarn – oops! However, both scarves turned out beautifully imo and if I’d paid attention to the yarn weight the first time, I might never have knit the pattern.

    Franklin, I’m so glad that your move to Paris has been good for you and that the medical system is treating you so well. I wish you the best as you continue treatment and hope we have many more years of letters with you.

  • Thank you Franklin for sharing with all of us what you are going through. I am sending you good thoughts.

  • Thank you Franklin for sharing with all of us what you are going through. I am sending you good thoughts.

  • I pray for the day when things get better and your strength returns. I always appreciate your letters sharing your thoughts and insights, even more so now that I know how difficult it for you to create them. Wishing you much love and fortitude.

  • This is, indeed, a remarkable piece of writing. I find it especially poignant since I, too, went through chemo and radiation in early 2022. The specific circumstances are different but the net result is the same – a loss of “self” that is as difficult to describe to others as it is to overcome. (I am also an avid knitter but found it impossible to knit during the worst of the protocol and immediate aftermath; instead, I became obsessed with Stanley Tucci’s books and Italian food recipes that I dreamed of making after my 9 weeks of a feeding tube were over. That is yet to happen, 18 months later.) Thank you, Franklin, for putting into words the process of being turned inside out and the long slog of putting ones’ self back together again.

  • Dear Franklin

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    I too can relate to the fatigue and wonderful nurses hanging my bag with the biohazard red symbol.

    I need to find a wonderful new hobby, this may be it.
    Thankyou for the inspirations.

    Ce Barnes
    P.s. also interested in Tattting

  • I love the idea of knitting in your head as therapy when our bodies are too spent to actually knit. I am sending you my prayers for resilience and health along with encouragement for your sense of humor which is, as I know full well, medically valuable.

  • So grateful you (and I) have knitting as our constant to get us through whatever needs getting through. Sending healing positive vibes your way!!

  • Franklin,
    Thanks so much for the post and my best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m glad knitting is bringing you comfort whether in the mind or on the needles. I have a machine made lace curtain that I have wanted to recreate on needles for another window. You’ve inspired me to do the chart and knit it up!

  • Like everyone, I enjoy and look forward to reading the letter from Paris. I’m so sorry to hear of this illness. Thank God there is a treatment even if it is a miserable necessity. We are all grateful for Franklin and know he will soon recover and continue to give us joy in his posts.

  • While I know it’s hard to open the deepest parts of your life to a world of people, most of whom you have never met, I hope that the most important result has been seeing how many people who may never have met you in person still care about you deeply. I am one of those, and like all the other people in this list of hundreds, and all the others who feel the same but did not happen to write, I am sending you all my best thoughts, wishes, and energy. I know you will come out on the other side with even more depth and wisdom than you already have. I’ll look forward to more of your eloquent, fabulous, hilarious letters once you’re feeling better!

  • Meilleurs voeux de bonne sante, Franklin.
    I hope your knitting continues to soothe the soul and refresh your spirits.

  • Thiѕ blog was… hoѡ dօ you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found sometһing whiϲh helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

  • This makes me want to knit lace again. Xoxo Franklin.

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