Rubbing Elbows with Fiber Royalty

Linda Ligon (seated) and Bruce

By Bruce Hallmark, Guest Editor

I’m not Sandi Wiseheart. I’m not even close. She knows more about knitting (and “dare I say crochet”) than most people I know. And that’s a pretty high standard considering I’ve had the privilege of hanging around Interweave Press for a combined total of seven years (1994-95 and 2002-present).

I've served as the business manager for Knitting Daily for most of this year—a choice assignment I came to by way of the Sales & Marketing Department and a long stint as “The Web Guy.”

I left Interweave in 1995 (after only about 18 months) because I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and throughout the United States with my then-significant-other-now-wife, Beth, before going on to graduate school. It pained me to leave the company because I loved the people (both co-workers and customers), our beautiful products, and the passion for handcrafts that is so palpable here it practically oozes out of walls. In 2002, I was lucky enough to come back.

Around Interweave, if you’re not a knitter, or a spinner, or a beader, or a needle artist you can feel like you’re walking around in the land of giants. And there be giants here: Linda Ligon, Marilyn Murphy, Ann Budd, Pam Allen, Lily Chin, Nancy Bush, Amy Clarke Moore, Eunny Jang… and the list goes on.

Yes, I’ve had the inside track for years. Being “The Web Guy” never got me in to any exclusive clubs in New York City, but it did get me invited to a lot of meetings in Loveland. No, I haven’t gushed or swooned like some of you might have while rubbing elbows with fiber royalty, rather I’ve had the opportunity to know many of them personally. Back in 1994, Linda Ligon taught me to use a drop spindle at the very same dinning room table on which she started Interweave Press in 1977. That’s a memory I get to keep for life (and I still have the yarn to prove it). I also have the much-less-spectacular but more humorous memory of telling Sandi that the easiest way to make a poncho was to knit a really big swatch, cut a hole in the middle and drop it over your head… and, use duct tape on the neckline of it starts to unravel. See, I really am "the web GUY."

(Left to right): Beth, Nathan, Bruce, and Luke

Looking back, memories will be what I have. Today is my last day at InterweavePress. I am headed off to other career pursuits. I already miss everyone here (no crying please, there’s been enough of that already). Sandi graciously gave me the opportunity to offer some commentary and ride off into the sunset…. But this place is a part of me, so I expect I will always be a dot somewhere on the horizon. I have friends here and Interweave is family. Being around passionate people—whatever their passion—is a life changing experience.

“What I know for sure” (hopefully Oprah won’t mind me borrowing that) is that every knitter I know has heart, and knitting is an integral part of their lives. It’s more than yarn and patterns; fashion and drape; cotton vs. merino. Whether you wear your knitting or give it away, anything handknit is tangible love. It’s a gift of self. And the knitters of those garments are giving their wearers a permanent hug. I can’t tell you how much I’m counting on that.

Thank you, Bruce, for everything, but especially for helping us to build the wonderful place that is Knitting Daily. You will be missed. (Who else will there be to advise me on the best uses for duct tape in my knitting?)—Sandi

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I finished a UFO! Whoo! Done are the Waving Lace Socks that are destined for Michelle (shhh, don't tell her yet!). I am now swatching for Nicholas' cabled pullover.

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