Sunday, November 27, 2011

Things Pam Knitted...

Pam was a natural at knitting. She started knitting around 2002 after she'd been to visit me here in Santa Fe. While she was here I took her to see a psychic. Well of course, this is woo woo town. Amongst other things the woman said that Pam was a weaver and had been a Hopi Indian. Well of course. The following Christmas I went to stay with Pam in Long Island where she was living alone in a rented apartment. She was very depressed having broken up with her boyfriend Keith. She was feeling stuck and lost and lonely. We went shopping to Port Jefferson and walked past a knitting shop. 'Come on,' I said, 'Go in there and get some wool.' The answer was a weary sigh and a no.'Come on. Remember that woman said you are a weaver? This could be just the thing to cheer you up.' The answer was still no so I dragged her into the shop and forced her to buy some wool and knitting needles. Back in Santa Fe when I spoke to her on the phone she was so excited,'Jane! Jane! I love knitting, I just love it!' So she went on to knit and knit and knit. She never stopped knitting until the day she died. 

Recently after scouring lots of blogs where women knit gorgeously I felt the urge to knit. My friend from madrigal group Barbara an addicted knitter told me of Looking Glass Yarns on Luisa Street. A few weeks ago I had just finished guzzling coffee and working on my play at Santa Fe Baking Co just round the corner from Luisa Street aha I thought I'll go in. The shop is run by two sisters which sent a pang through my heart. I signed up there and then for a fingerless glove class. My mum had already taught us to knit when we were teens but I never stuck it out and never followed a pattern. Last week I asked mum who taught her to knit. 'No one, I taught myself. Well I had to do something as an only child left alone night after night while my parents went out drinking!'

Pam knitted some things for me the pink, the blue and the pale green below. All the other sweaters were at her house when we went to clear it out. After her death. I've been meaning to do a post on this for ages. Now we've got our fabulous new camera we had a lovely time at our cabin taking these photos.

Funny how everything is a drama for me. The whole time knitting the gloves there was a running commentary from me about every problem and mistake. Loud screams and expletives. Pam never said a word. Just quietly got on with it. Now I look at these pieces that she made I'm amazed at what she accomplished. So quietly and undramatically she was so talented. I'm so proud of her.

And now for my fingerless gloves..... Pam as usual you were right when you kept telling me to knit and I dismissed you... I love it!!!!


  1. How lovely. I had a big smile on my face as I read this and looked at your gorgeous pictures. You're right about Pam being a talented knitter, the garments are beautiful with some quite complicated stitches. Thank you for sharing. JoanneX

  2. These are stunning. I just discovered Looking Glass Yarns two weeks ago thanks to a friend. I am working on finishing a basic sweater and I want to learn more. Pam's sweaters are works of art.

  3. oh, god--what a fabulous post. i am all glum and dreading the holidaze, and worried about work, and disenchanted with blogworld, and blah and blah, and here you are with this wonderful Pam story and these amazing garments & photos. i COVET some of those sweaters. Abs Fab! and the pix of nice, jane.
    big hug and real thanx!
    xo susan

  4. Joanne, I'm glad you like this. I can see you smiling. xo

  5. Claire thanks. Wow you are knitting too! Glad to have you following and I want to see that basic sweater! kiss Hugh.. a big smacker on his cheek! xo

  6. Susan, I love you! You are the best. I am so glad this cheered you up. Do feel better about chrimbles (as Pam would say), work and bloggy worldyhood. xoxoxo

  7. I don't know if I ever told you this, but around the end of June 2008, Pam came over to my place. It was a beautiful day. We sat in the gazebo and had a couple of glasses of wine. I told her that Karen Allen who had just completed the Indiana Jones sequel owned a lovely fiber arts store in the Berkshires ( and we made plans to take a drive to western Mass to visit the shop. She was going to teach me how to knit.

    Pam was extraordinarily talented in everything she did - singing, knitting, innkeeping.

  8. I think Karen Allen is so lovely, always liked her seeming purity.. is she a big knitter? Must google her! Pam would have loved that Karen...xo

  9. oh, i LOVE to get to know other people's knitting "story"! enjoyed reading this : )
    i am so proud of YOU, the mittens are beautiful!
    keep on knitting,


  10. thanks for taking a look Vibeke.. I'm so smitten with my mittens! xoxo

  11. Thank you for sharing this knitting story!