I’ve loved fiber and yarn since learning to knit at age five. But until a decade ago, I spent most of my time and energy in a 9-to-much-later-than-5-life that was more stressful than it was fun. A decade ago and far from earned retirement, I left a healthcare career and reinvented myself as a full time, serious knitter much to the shock and wonderment of some of my colleagues and other bystanders.
Although no one exactly said this directly to me, it was clear what they were thinking: mid-life, menopausal and madness, all m-words, no doubt were at the bottom of this. When I occasionally bumped into people I’d worked with, condolence-like greetings were the norm; the exceptions to this were knitters and other creative types who harbored similar yearnings to follow their passion.
I now am a knit designer and instructor who has taught at national, regional and local knitting events, including Stitches, the Black Sheep Gathering and Sock Summit 2009. My book, “Knit Socks! 15 Cool Patterns for Toasty Feet,” was published in 2004 by Storey Publishing. After six printings this book will be re-issues in September 2010 in a revised version (more patterns, new explanatory material, and updated yarns). The new book is entitled, “Knit Socks! 17 Classic Patterns for Cozy Feet.”
My husband Terry and I live in a condo in Vancouver, WA, with our two border terriers, Mac and Ella. The dogs, now 15 and nearly 14, quickly adjusted to napping in patches of sun, going on walks preceded by elevator rides and having the oldest park in the Northwest as their backyard. It isn’t pastoral and we have no garden, but we’ve come to appreciate the beauty that is here and the benefits of being urban pioneers.
My son Matt and his family (wife Renee and two sons) live not far away. My daughter Rebecca lives in Memphis, TN (closer than NYC). She is currently touring to promote her nonfiction book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which was published in February 2010.
Here are links to stories on the AARP website that accompanied the “Your Life Calling” video with Jane Pauley.
The Joy of Socks (also includes video of Your Life Calling)