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Rubbing Elbows with Fiber Royalty

Oct 5, 2007

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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Pegperson wrote
on Dec 1, 2007 12:36 PM
Thanks for your input all these years Bruce and I hope things all work out in the end.
My problem is looking at all the different patterns and trying to decide what to knit first. I've just finished a chemo hat but I mix it w/the Fun Fur which makes it fuzzy looking. Have a wonderful day!

Peggy Stark

Joan wrote
on Oct 14, 2007 10:46 PM
Good luck to Bruce and his Family. I really like the personal touch of this group and the "family" type caring atmosphere! Happy trails again to you!
SuzanneS wrote
on Oct 12, 2007 3:56 PM
I am making the vest with Plymouth's Boku. So far, so good! The yarn is producing very nice striping and I plan on not matching stripes/colors as I add on yarn and to the 2nd side. This should be a quick project, no sleeves! Yeah!
NathaliaH wrote
on Oct 8, 2007 12:00 PM
ok, so here is a tech problem. It appears there has been a change (or the first four weks of school have caused me to lose my mind- either is equally probable), I tried the LOG IN link from the e-mail to download the really cute vest, but got an eror message telling me to disable my pop-up blocker (not interested in doing this). I've never encountered this message before and have jumped from the e-mail to the site before. Must I really disable the popup blocker or go to the main site to log on??? Really cute vest!!!
Charmaine wrote
on Oct 8, 2007 2:32 AM
I'm here with Laura W with the tears in my eyes after reading Bruce's good bye. Good luck and may your years at Interweave prove useful in your new endeavors. Despite what others have said I find these personal stories very interesting and insightful, much more so that straight knitting talk which I can get from any one of the many knitting books on my shelf. I also enjoy the variety of different conversations. By the way, whatever happened to the Bonsai Tunic Sandi?
sheri@2 wrote
on Oct 7, 2007 12:34 PM
Hi Guys,
It is a very nice farewell letter, but please change dinning table to dining table, before Bruce's new boss reads it!!
JoyceS wrote
on Oct 6, 2007 2:45 PM
I once worked in a ysrn/needlework shop and discovered Interweave Press Knits. Fell in love with many of the patterns so now I subscribe to it. It is a major highlight when it arrives in mail. I wish I could get my husband to knit too so I could buy more yarn and make more of the items. Keep up the great work.
Meeb wrote
on Oct 6, 2007 2:44 PM
maybe it's a colorado thing that the business of knitting is a little more personal and little less business, at times. works for me. nice hat, bruce. godspeed....oh, and GO ROCKIES!!
SharonC wrote
on Oct 6, 2007 12:05 PM
Hey Bruce, maybe one day you'll find your way back again. And remember Bonnie M.'s advice!
AnneH wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 8:26 PM
It seems to me that Knitting Daily is much too frequestly used for expressing personal feeligs in rather uninteresting details or endless praise of each other as persons. I am sure it is all relevant for you in the office, but for me as a reader I really really uninteresting. Me and my knitting friends wish you would concentrate on business, meaning KNITTING / YARNS /TECHNIQUES/KNITTING ARTISTS/ KNITTING NEWS FROM THE WORLD. Greetings from knitting-girls from Denmark and China (where we keep our knitting-fellowship alive and kicking through cyber-space).
BonnieM wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 8:23 PM
Wherever you turn your talents Bruce, when checking out a new system be sure to say, "Did you swatch that?" Best of luck.
Mandy wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 8:04 PM
What a wonderful post. Good luck in whatever comes next for you! :)
CarlaG wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 5:21 PM
Hey there - it has been too long between some truly interesting knitting posts - enough already with the sales ads and goodbyes and crochet and etc. Lets get back to the real life knitting adventures like the Hot Tomato. Love ya, Carla
SaraJ wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 3:47 PM
Thanks for everything you put in to Knitting Daily; I'm sure it must have given you many fits that you wished there were a digital duct tape for - Perhaps you were the digital duct tape!

Good luck in your new endeavors, and good health.
CorcoranC wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 3:32 PM
Thanks for all you have done for Interweave, especially your help in getting this sight up and running. Knitting Daily has been more than a treat, it's something to savor during a quieter moment of my day. In reading your words, it comes to mind, what a great guy (G.G.) you must be. Wishing you and your family much joy.Please write and let the staff and readers know how you are doing from time to time.
Corky Crimmins
MarianneY wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 2:51 PM
Thank you for your work at Interweave to make it what it is today. And, thank you for giving me a good chuckle on how to make a poncho. Your use of duck tape makes me think that you have had some affiliation with the Boy Scouts along the way. (I have one son who is an Eagle Scout, and my younger two are Life Scouts, working on completing their Eagle ranks, so I know what duck tape means to Boy Scouts. Best wishes in your new adventures!
Adrienne C wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 2:12 PM
What a lovely farewell message. Best of luck to you, Bruce!
LauraW wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 2:03 PM
Okay, that got to me. I don't even know this man and I'm in tears. You've been very blessed to have him.
KaroleeL wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 2:02 PM
I love that - "The knitters are giving their wearers a permanent hug". May God bless you and your family as you start a new stitch in your life. :-)
Anonymous wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 1:16 PM
Best wishes, Bruce. You described so well the reason why we knit and the heart in each stitch.
Rebecca S wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 1:14 PM
Best Wishes to you Bruce! We so appreciate your behind the scenes but yet so vital work to make Knitting Daily what it is today! Blessings to you on your future endevours!
Cfanning wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 1:12 PM
What a nice man! Hope only the best for he and his family, where-ever their travels take them.

Carole, Marietta, GA
AIRknitter wrote
on Oct 5, 2007 10:43 AM
Wishing you only happiness in the next chapter of your life.