There are many things at which I excel. I am a competent knitter, an accomplished cook, and I am pretty good at my day job. At least that's what I want my boss to think.
One thing I do not do well, and which causes me sadness, is keeping and nurturing long-distance friendships. I am friendly and kind. I and welcome people warmly into my life. But my story of my life is peppered with friendships formed which withered and died when they or I moved away. Distance is my enemy.
Every time I pick up my knitting, look through a pattern book, or see a beautifully knit sweater, I think of one of those friendships with a real sense of loss.
Picture it: The far north side of Chicago – 1993. As a lobbyist, I had a job which only kept me fully occupied 6 months of the year. The other six months I spent in various yarn shops, knitting, gabbing, and making friends.
At Thorpe Yarns in Evanston I made one such friend. Her name was Julie Pack. A native of upstate New York, she was a music major (Horn) at Northwestern University, and without a doubt one of the finest knitters I have ever met. (She knit some of the most amazing Kaffe Fasset designs -- I was always in awe of her.) She was also a good friend and we had many a good laugh together. And a couple of good cries, as well.
Like many of the important people in my life, Julie moved away. First she moved to Texas where she played First Horn in a symphony orchestra. The last I heard from her, she had moved to Colorado and was set to marry her boyfriend, Dick (whose last name escapes me), who also played the horn and had been her professor at NU. we received an invitation to her wedding, but because Myfanwe was pregnant and money was tight, we were unable to go. We moved to a new apartment right after Myfanwe had the baby, and we could never find her address or phone number in the craziness which was our life. (Actually, we moved three times in three years. We're lucky we didn't loose our minds!) I’ve felt bad for the last 9 years. I even stopped knitting for a while because I felt such guilt and such loss. (That didn't help my sanity a bit!) I miss her. I would really like to reconnect with her. I'd like her to know my son. I'd like to cook her a Morrocan feast. I'd like to know what she has been knitting.
I’ve tried Googling her, and mostly I find a Julie Pack who is involved in rodeos and roping cattle – things MY Julie Pack would not be doing. I did find a couple of out-of-date links to MY Julie Pack, but nothing functional.
Knitters are amazing people. Please, spread the word. A knitter somewhere knows Julie. Wherever she is, she's bound to be one of the best knitters around. If you know her, please direct her to this site and let her know I’m looking for her. We have so much to catch up on!
Last night was the Stitch n Bitch at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. I’ll have pictures tomorrow – but let’s just say that it was HUGE. Lots of fun and HUGE. Franklin Habit and Andrew from Stitches in Britches ™ were there, as was my friend NancyKwik -- who graciously gave me a ride-- thank G-d, ‘cuz otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go with my feet.
I also met a wonderful, creative knitter, Jen, whose recent submission to Knitty was on display and wowed the crowd, to put it mildly. She designs imaginative knits for babies and young’uns. Check out her site and don’t overlook the kits she sells – they would make great gifts.