I have another friend who just found that she has cancer. This time it's ovarian cancer, and quite serious. I made a prayer shawl for her - the concept is that you take a simple shawl pattern, make it for someone, and pray for them while you knit, crochet, sew or weave it.
I thought I'd take the opportunity to share my pattern. There are others out there, as well, but this one works for me. I keep skeins of Yarn Bee "Luscious" on hand to make these, because it is so very soft. I use 2 skeins, which are 3.5 oz. and 186 yards each. But any bulky yarn will do. I use size 13 needles, so it works up quickly. The stitch is a simplified feather and fan pattern - have you guessed yet that I'm a bit obsessed with it?
Cast on any multiple of 12 stitches - this one is 48.
Rows 1 and 2 - knit
Row 3 - purl
Row 4 - k2 tog 2x; *k1,yo 4x, k2tog 4x*, repeat instructions between *'s across until last 4 stitches; end k2tog 2x.
Keep knitting till you are almost out of yarn. Bind off loosely. I try to end on one of the "ridges" in the pattern to make it look neat.