Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love,
the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
My knitting friend, Gloria Johnson, died yesterday with her cat, Mai Tai, and her husband, Allen, keeping vigil at her side. I met her many years ago at Meg Swansen’s Schoolhouse Press’ Knitting Camp in Wisconsin. She was with a group of knitters from Dayton, Ohio where she lived. Over time, I joined the Dayton Knitting Guild and made such good friends. Gloria edited the DKG newsletter, The Call of the Wool. In the course of time, she and her friend, Patsy McCoy, organized a knitting retreat in New Harmony, Indiana. I’ve attended, been refreshed, and returned home enriched and inspired ever since. We lost Patsy five years ago and Gloria soldiered on with the help of her husband, Allen, ever since in spite of the fact that she has been gravely ill.
We have lost so many knitting friends in the past few years: Joyce, Eunice, Teresa, Patsy, Gloria, and Barb S. among others including Elizabeth and Mama. My idea of heaven is clouds of yarn and the folks I love knitting lace and colorful patterns for the snow and the rainbows.
Now, about the photo. It is a Cocoon and the pattern came from Gloria. Patsy knit one as a sample for New Harmony the last year she was there. I came home, altered the pattern for finer yarn and knit the jacket in the photo. I am sitting here with it on as I write. My two friends gave me the gift of their knowledge, and inspiration. I want to remember them by passing it on to any knitters who might want yet another project. SELECT THIS LINK to download the printable PDF Cocoon pattern.
Candy Loveridge said:
Thanks for such a tribute to Gloria, She will be missed.
Mary Ann said:
You have given us a loving tribute to your friend, Katherine. She sounds like someone I would have loved to know. I, too, have printed out the Cocoon pattern and will think of both Gloria and you when I work on it.
Kathleen Pooler said:
This is such a lovely and loving tribute to your friends, Patsy and Gloria. The idea of being able to wrap yourself in a tangible item such as the beautiful handwoven jacket, seems so comforting. A dear friend of mine had knitted me a beautiful prayer shawl when I was ill. I have it prominently displayed and everytime I walk by it or wrap myself in it, I feel her warmth and love.
Heather J. said:
I too knew Gloria. She was quite a character. I loved listening to her stories. I especially liked the one about meeting Albert Einstein. She even named her Chicken purse after him. I dont like thinking about missing a person after they die. I like knowing that I got to be a part of their life. I always read the “Call of the Wool” from cover to cover when Gloria was the editor. At first I didnt know that she was the author of most of it.
Thanks Katherine for this post. I printed off the pattern right away. Dont know when I will knit it. I will make it in memory of Gloria.