LOS ANGELES, April 5 (UPI) -- Two blankets containing the handiwork of such Hollywood luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor, Debra Messing, Daryl Hannah and Bridget Fonda are being auctioned off on eBay to raise money for the New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund.
The project -- dubbed Celebrity Knitted Blankets -- is the brainchild of Edith Eig, often referred to as Hollywood's "knitting guru." Eig and her husband Merrill Eig own and operate La Knitterie Parisienne in Studio City, a section of Los Angeles that is home to a heavy concentration of TV and movie production studios and offices.
That proximity to the places where celebrities work has helped Eig develop a clientele that includes stars such as Camryn Mannheim ("The Practice"), Tyne Daly ("Judging Amy") and supermodel Tyra Banks -- who also knitted or crocheted squares for the blankets. Contributors Megan Mullally and Shelley Morrison -- who co-star with Messing on the NBC comedy "Will & Grace" -- also are regulars at the shop, which Morrison describes as "a knitter's Disneyland."
Morrison -- who plays the sassy maid Rosario on the Emmy-winning series -- said she was already a customer at La Knitterie, but now that she works in the neighborhood, she's at the shop every chance she gets.
"They had this table where you could sit and knit and talk with other people and I loved learning new stitches," said Morrison, who has been around Hollywood long enough to have played Sister Sixto on "The Flying Nun" (1967-70).
"Then lo and behold I'm cast in 'Will & Grace' and we're two minutes from the shop and I'm always there," said Morrison. "Megan and Debra have started to knit, and they're in there all the time."
The list of contributors to the blanket also includes Julianne Moore, Sofia Coppola and Caroline Rhea, whose upcoming new daytime TV talk show is being promoted as a replacement for "Rosie" when Rosie O'Donnell wraps production on her show.
At least one male star is represented. C. Thomas Howell ("Gods and Generals," "Gettysburg") knitted a square with his 9-year-old daughter Isabelle. Rachell Ashwell, the host of "Shabby Chic" on FTV, Fashion Television, also kicked in.
Each contributor made at least one 7"x9" square, which Eig then crocheted into two patchwork blankets. The materials were donated by La Knitterie Parisienne and the National Needlework Association.
One of the blankets has 64 squares and measures 84" x 76." The other has 24 squares, and is about the size of a twin bed blanket. The blankets come with a chart indicating which celebrity made which square.
Eig said she came up with the idea for the blanket auction because she felt she needed to do something for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I felt a responsibility to share my skills and passion for knitting with my celebrity clientele," she said, "so that together we could create something made with love to raise money for this important charity and contribute to the rebuilding and healing of America."
In a statement issued through a publicist, Taylor suggested that her participation in the project is a way of standing up to terrorism.
"I went down to Ground Zero two days after 9-11," said the two-time Oscar-winning actress. "I looked straight into Hell -- and it looked straight back at me defying me to be sucked into it. I refused with all my life."
Messing said she is honored to be involved in the project.
"Anything that can be done to help, support and give to the families who are in such need and who have experienced such loss is a gift to all involved, including the giver," said the Emmy-winning actress in a prepared statement. "I hope this blanket is a source of warmth and comfort to all victims of September 11th."
Bidding on each item started at $1,000, but Eig agrees that there are those who would start the bidding at that level just for the square that Taylor made -- especially when they learn that Taylor learned to knit just for this occasion, and that her square is violet.
"It matches her eyes," said Eig. "We helped her pick the color."
The eBay auction (members/ebay.com/aboutme/laknitpar/) is scheduled to run through April 15.