It’s Mother’s Day – I’ll be fixing all her favorite things for mine
But there are always other women who influence our lives, so I thought I tell you about one who just might be responsible for my addiction to string
Crochet is probably the very first fiber art I learned as a child. With two working parents it was a wonderful gift from a neighbor that “got me started” So here is a thank you to the late Shirley Eustis for taking the time to share a craft she loved with the little girl next door. I think she enjoyed teaching me, since she had only boys and in the early 50’s fiber art was not done often by boys. Still, the “cookie lady” had plenty of fans among all the boys & girls in the neighborhood (and many of on into adulthood coveted her baking talents.) When the Eustis family moved to West Nyack, although our families still visited often, so cookie cravings could be assuaged, there was a definite void in my world of string.
Until, what really got me “hooked” on yarn like string, was the generosities of a “Real” yarn shop owner Mrs Phyllis Goldman Even the NY Times thought it newsworthy when Goldman Yarns closed in 2006
This time last year I had the great pleasure to speak with the then about to retire owners of Goldman’s Yarn. They were retiring after SEVENTY YEARS “in the business”
These shop owners NEVER made that child feel that her choices in techniques were inferior.
Mrs Goldman also never made me feel bad when I chose “practical” yarns.
What she did was to instill in me a respect for the craft and a belief that I should always use the best materials I could afford and do the work to the highest standard I was capable of.
She knew, that in order to spend time (cause the Lord knows I did not have very much money) in her store I was giving up another special treat. Twice a month, if there was a show we could agree on, my brother and I were allowed to take the bus to the theater and see a movie – about a block from her store.
My brothers ‘covered’ for me. They went to the movies after escorting me to the store, and came back for me after the show. We never lied, but eventually we did get “caught”. Once we could sit down again, and after my Dad visited the shop, I had permission to continue.
Mrs Goldman took the time on more than one occasion to show me more advanced stitches, the basics of Knitting, how to read BOTH Knit & Crochet symbol based patterns –
If you are finding my reference charts useful, you can thank Mrs G – she also was quite the believer in swatching
Mrs G is the person most responsible for my determination to be an excellent craftsman in whatever needlearts I choose to pursue – she made it important to know the tools and techniques – to practice them until I got it right -without making it a chore – She taught the joy of accomplishment.
Did I mention my love of Needlepoint started in Goldman’s? (I still have that piece, a bargello done in shades of blues – I remember she was not completely happy with me substituting something for white but she could see it was what I wanted – to this day you will rarely find white in my concoctions other than whip cream.
I could recite a long list of small kindnesses this lady and her staff provided but you get the idea – like helping me find the exact yarn in the sale bin – looking back I even wonder if it really belonged there or was just another example of how a wonderful lady made me her customer for life or at least a hefty portion of the life of her business. I don’t think I have ever purchased a Needlepoint Canvas from anyone else
After 9/11 everyone talked about how they did not know there were nice and caring New Yorkers. But for those of us who lived there, we know that Real NEW YORK Attitude can be found every day in the Millions like Mrs G.
Somehow TNNA will be the poorer without a chance to greet this wonderful couple.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who influence our lives