Fare forward, Jean Leinhauser

Jean Leinhauser, longtime champion of the needle arts, has passed away.

Jean's dedication to the needle arts was marked by an infectious enthusiasm for crochet in particular and an unerring commitment to furthering education in all things connected to crochet, from the tools to the yarn to the patterns. Her professional career began before I was born and continued until this year.

Jean had a wicked sense of humor as evidenced in part by the photo at left, where Jean (foreground) and Rita Weiss help my little friend Wimi dance a jig at the 2010 CGOA Chain Link conference.

Jean and Rita worked in tandem to publish a busload of knit and crochet books, including their latest, Crochet Master Class, which joins up 18 crochet techniques with masters of the technique to explain the methods and provide a pattern for each.

To learn more about Jean, read her interview with Dora Ohrenstein. Here's a little snippet of what you'll find there:

I had a dear little aunt named Emma who was a beautiful crocheter and she started to teach me how to crochet. I made a hundred eighty-six thousand million miles of chains and she couldn’t teach me to do anything else. She decided I was a total failure.

Or watch Jean and Rita Weiss talk crochet.

Then, after you have a little weep, go crochet something in tribute to Jean. Preferably something you've never crocheted before. Look up one of Jean's books and let her teach you something new.

That way, it not be Farewell, our friend, but (as T.S. Eliot wrote) Fare forward, travellers.





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