Monday, January 4, 2010

The Birth of SusanNeedlehands

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to feel soft things with her hands.  Unfortunately, her parents had never let her or her sisters have pets you could actually pet, like a cat or a dog.

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Nooooo, she had chickens and ducks, hermit crabs, and fish.  But nothing with honest-to-gosh fur you could rub and hug and pet pet pet pet.

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Luckily for her, however, her mother, aunt, and grandmother were all handy with yarn and needles--sewing and knitting needles, crochet hooks, all could be used to transform a ball of yarn into something beautiful, warm, and practical.

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After many lessons with each mentor, the girl finally got the hang of knitting with two pointy needles and crocheting with a strange shaped hook.  It took a long time because she was left-handed, and her mentors kept trying to make her do things their way (right-handed), until one of them figured it out and finally had her mirror the actions in the hand she preferred.

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The girl had many passions in life, knitting and crocheting being two of them.  Sometimes she would do these activities almost as much as her favorite activity (reading), while other times they would be set aside for other interests such as playing guitar, drawing, painting, and writing poetry and music.

[Credits:,, drawing by author,]

But the girl grew up, as children are wont to do.  She moved out and went to school to become a teacher.  She started teaching and was sooooo consumed in learning how to be a teacher that pretty much all her other interests and activities fell by the wayside for a number of years.

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The (now) woman got a new roommate who, in addition to her original roommate, was interested in learning how to knit.  The three of them went to yarn shops together and got all the necessary supplies.  The woman taught her roommates how to knit and they had a lovely time sitting in front of the TV, watching old movies (especially those featuring Johnny Depp) and knitting scarves and wristbands.  During one such movie, the younger roommate gave the woman the nickname "Susan Needlehands" because of her flashing needle action that happened to coincide with the fabulous hair-cutting scene.

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The younger roommate insisted that the woman could sell her scarves at a local farmer's market that was just starting up in the neighborhood.  The two did all of the necessary paperwork to set up shop and would take turns spelling each other at their table/booth from Sunday to Sunday.

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Sadly, the younger roommate passed away, due to sudden and unforeseen circumstances.  Her memory and spirit live on in the name SusanNeedlehands and in the shop I have created on Etsy.

Thank you for reading.

En memoria de Shirley Janairo


  1. identifying where you've come from is a great way to know where you're going. keep up the great work!

  2. I loved reading this! So many things you said reminded me of myself - like absorbing yourself in teaching (done that) which meant putting aside the other pursuits. Looks like you're back on track!