February 21, 2008

I am writing this blog entry with a sad and heavy heart. While I am typing these words my whole being is crying and I am searching for the right words to start telling you about a beautiful and gentle soul called Frank.

On Valentine’s day, just a week ago, while I was working at the yarnshop CloseKnit on Alberta Street I received a phone call. When I heard a young man’s voice telling me that one of our co-workers had committed suicide, I genuinly believed that the caller had dialed the wrong number.

The caller introduced himself as Dwayne and told me he was Frank’s roommate. As the harsh reality of Dwayne’s words finally set in, I broke down in tears.

Friendly and Gentle Soul

I vividly remember the first Sunday I had to work with Frank at CloseKnit. It was the end of Summer 2007 and I myself had just started working for Sally. I was nervous and therefore a bit aloof toward Frank, but soon enough my heart was warmed by this incredibly friendly and gentle soul. He would smile all the time, and he had this grounded way of being, quietly walking around the store, gently straightening out unruly skeins of yarn.

One time when I was observing his interaction with a costumer, it struck me how gracious his moves were. The way he would lower his head to better listen to the needs of the knitter he was helping, the way he would open a book and turn pages, every single gesture… so gracefully.

I began to really like this intelligent and eloquent young man and I also very quickly noticed that he knew a whole lot about knitting! Many a time I would consult him about a certain technique. And it was Frank who told me with how many intervals I should pick up stitches for the border of my choli.

I became very fond of Frank and every time I had to work on Sunday, I would look forward being with him at the yarnshop.

We all loved Frank at CloseKnit…

Left with a lot of questions

I am deeply deeply saddened and I am having a hard time to accept that Frank is not with us anymore. As the case with many of us, I am left with a lot of questions. Why did he do it? What was hurting him so bad in this life? How come I never sensed that our cheerfull co-worker was hurting so bad? I did not sense it… my God I did not sense it at all.

If only I had paid more attention. If only I had looked deeper into his eyes, listened better to what he had to say… just maybe I could have reached out and done something….anything

Finding peace in Frank’s death

Over the past few days I have done a lot of searching. Soul searching but mainly searching about who Frank was.

Through Kelly Moe, who works at Bishop’s above the yarnshop, we found Frank’s Myspace account. I have been visiting Frank’s account every single evening and by doing so, I found a blog called “the Portland Periscope“. Robert, the writer of this blog, wrote an incredibly beautiful post about Frank.

While visiting Frank’s account again a few nights ago, I heard this incredibly beautiful song called “Exactly” by Amy Steinberg. The words of Amy’s song blew my mind and I am listening to it every single day.

Amy Steinberg knew Frank. She wrote about him in her latest blog entry.

Both Robert’s post and Amy’s song are helping me to find peace in Frank’s death.

Gathering this Sunday, February 24th

Yesterday I read on Frank’s MySpace account that there will be a gathering this Sunday February 24th, at Irving Park at the intersection of Fremont and 7th at 5.30 pm.

All of us at CloseKnit will be attending.

More and more it becomes clear to me that Frank was and is still loved by so many people.

Frank, I am so fortunate to have met you and I truly hope our paths will cross again in another lifetime. I will always remember you as a beautiful, sweet and gentle soul.


In Loving Memory

Frank F.C. Strong

1981 – 2008

Sweet Encounters at the Teahouse

February 14, 2008

Heart in a Tree

I was quietly knitting away on a dreary Sunday morning at my favorite Teahouse, when suddenly I was unexpectedly graced by two beautiful ladies named Chayo and Christine.

Only minutes before they came into the Teahouse, I had been admiring endearing photography of little hearts found on Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon. A whole wall in the Teahouse was adorned by these little hearts.

Two ladies sat down at the table next to me and I soon learned that one of them, Chayo Wilson, was the one behind the endearing hearts. We chatted a little bit about photography and also about knitting. It was a nice and comfortable conversation… little did we know that later that day, we would bump into each other again and have a drink together… and little did we know that the next morning those two ladies would take me to a gentle yoga class somewhere in the neighborhood of Mount Tabor.

Sweet encounters like these, I heart…

Here is picture that Chayo took when we had a drink together. You can see my knitting behind the glass of Pinot Gris:

Meeting Nancy

Also, Chayo took a picture of Adrienne while she was knitting a Valentine Heart at the yarnshop CloseKnit on Alberta Street:

Adrienne making a heart

Be kind to your heart, Chayo says… keep it mended.

For more information on Chayo’s photography work, visit Chayo’s flickr account.

She also just set up her Etsy shop called Photozone.

Not only does Chayo photography work… she does other beautiful handmade work too! Visit her Etsy shop called Laughingoysterbabies (what a cute cute name!) by clicking here.

Wishing you all a happy Valentines Day!

Photography in this blog entry courtesy of Chayo Wilson.

Lady Melancholy

February 10, 2008

Every once in a while I get a visit from Lady Melancholy. This year she decided to come visit me in January. I recognized her heavy knock on my front door and when I saw her black silhouette through my window shades, my heart immediately grew heavy.

I stood there, in front of my door not knowing what to do, as I watched her enter into my house. Much to my unpleasant surprise, she brought along several of her friends; Depression, Confusion and Existential Angst.

Great. Just great. What else to do than to buckle up and ride this one out.

And so I did…

Questions upon questions

In my last entry, I had several questions I needed to address. Instead of having a quick answer, I found myself asking even more questions and at one point I got so confused that I did not know where to go, what to do, and how to proceed with this knitting blog I named “Getting Purly With It”.

But now, several weeks later, things are becoming more clear to me.

First of all, when I started this blog, in April 2007, I did not have a job. I was able to dedicate a lot of time to blogging. Sure enough, I even started to write up patterns, post picture tutorials and what not.

I want you to know that the whole process of designing, taking notes, writing out the pattern, making pictures and posting picture tutorials takes a whole lot of effort and time on my part.

Nowadays, I do have a job. I work 4 to 5 days a week, and let me tell ya, I just don’t have the time and energy anymore to issue patterns!

I am still designing, and I am still going strong in knitting. Only the part of pattern writing, tech editing, test knitting, copy editing, producing step by step picture tutorials…eh… I don’t think so… at least not for a little while.

Still a novice knitter

I consider myself still a novice knitter… I have still so much to learn, so much to discover, so much to try out in this wonderful world that is called knitting. It is such a delight for me and I just cannot wait to grow as a knitter, to master many techniques, and to touch many many fibers.

There is so much to learn and I am an eager student who does not want to be held back. I need to be able to just take off and fly.

And fly I shall. Ain’t nothing holding me back. Not even Lady Melancholy and her friends.

Thank you for reading and untill the next entry.