A Tribute to Mary

Notes from the past: Pittsburgh, PA

“Get away from me with that thing! Can’t you see I am knitting!?!”

Mary S.

On a cold windy day in February 2006 , a friendship blossomed between a spunky lady called Mary and a timid dutch girl trying to find her way in the United States of America.

During this time I was slightly depressed because I so much missed my family and friends in the Netherlands. I missed drinking cappucino in a grand cafe with my girlfriends, I missed having lunch with my mom and I felt so incredbily loneley… Allthough I had made the choice to merry my sweet husband and live in the USA, at times I had a hard time adjusting. But then came Mary…

Impression of Mary:

paislyglassesglass pendanthandbag

Mary’s ecclectic and colorful energy was like a fresh breeze of change in my grey and dormant world. Her swirly and caring energy could not have come at a better time.

After my husband explained to me in Washington D.C. what the english word “yarn” meant, I had outspoken the wish to learn how to knit, but did not know where to begin. Mary, who is a colleague of my husband’s, heard about my wish and appeared in my life with a pair of #7 Clover bamboo needles and a ball of black, yes black, light worsted weight 100% wool yarn.

There we were, in a room of the Renaissane Hotel in Pittsburgh PA, me the pupil making a slip knot, and casting on under the friendly watchfull eye of Mary. I was a bit nervous for I was afraid to make a mistake, but Mary’s voice was patiently friendly and soothingly caring and before I knew it, I was attempting my first knit stitches.

“Why don’t you try to hold the needles like this?”, Mary’s voice guided me. “Relax your hands a bit… yes, wrap the yarn that way around your needle… not too tight now, just a tiny bit looser… see, you are doing just fine”.

As she picked up some of her own knitting while still watching me closely, I was deeply concentrating and zoned into my very first rows of knit stitches. After a while, Mary took my work out of my hands, examined it closely then looked at me intensely and said: “Girl… you are a knitter”.

With those 5 words, spoken out loud by Mary, my journey as a Novice Knitter had commenced. Little did we both know that this was also a start of a sweet, colorful, sparkling friendship adorned with inspiring knitting sessions, and numerous yarnshop visits.

Mary, I bow before you and say thank you for being my friend, teaching and guiding me during my first steps into a world that is called knitting. Your patient and friendly manner of teaching has set a standard in my knitting ways which I always will bring forth. I am lucky to have had a teacher like you! And I am even more lucky to call you my friend.


I love love love swatching… when I buy a new ball of yarn I cannot wait to make a swatch and see how the yarn behaves in certain stitches.

For the past week, I have been knitting up swatches of 3 yarns in preparation of a post I want to make with regard to variegated yarns and how they behave in certain stitches.

Here a preview of the yarns that I am going to discuss:

Manos del Uruguay colorway #107
Manos Swatch

Cascade yarn Jewel colorway 890 (garnet)
cascade swatch

South West Trading Bamboo colorway Parrot 139

swt bamboo swatch

Tomorrow I am going to write about a fantasticly insane or should I say insanely fantastic needle case Mary put together… Here are some teasers:

needlecase tease 1
needlecase teaser 2

And I am going to write about the two yarnshops I visited in Denver and Boulder. Don’t miss out!


3 Responses to A Tribute to Mary

  1. Rennagayle says:

    Oh, how I envy you for a Mary in your life-she sounds like such a blessing! I had to learn knitting by watching videos on the internet, so there was no one to tell me if I needed to do something differently (and I probably do). Still, I’m sure God knew you needed a Mary more than most, in your struggle to adjust to a new life which no longer included family or the familiar. Hail to the Mary’s of this world! 🙂

  2. Alex says:

    What a gorgeous needlecase. You’re so lucky to have such a person in your life. I don’t, but I can only hope to be a Mary to somebody else. =)

  3. Marianne says:

    When I was alittle girl I learned to knit at school, the experience wasn’t like yours at all ! Luckily my grandmother helped me out and I am forever grateful of that !
    Wat fijn voor je dat je zo’n goede vriendin hebt zo ver weg van huis, je moet je soms erg eenzaam voelen ! Ik heb net ook je laatste berichtje gelezen en vindt het heel erg dapper van je dat je zoveel hebt opgegeven en je hart hebt gevolgd. Maar je hebt er dan ook wel iets heel erg moois voor teruggekregen, de liefde van je man !

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