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"Catherine's Hat:" a tribute to a knitter

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  • Rocking Horse Farm
    Hello again group, today is a big news day for us. We ve learned that one of our readers and a pattern contributor has passed away. Catherine N. was a lifelong
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2006
      Hello again group, today is a big news day for us. We've learned that
      one of our readers and a pattern contributor has passed away.

      Catherine N. was a lifelong knitter, seamstress, quilter, and enjoyed
      many other creative hobbies. She began machine knitting when the
      machines were still somewhat new to the world, but learned how to get
      the most out of the machine while continuing to use the skills and
      knowledge of her handknitting talents.

      Even though Catherine began machine knitting before Carole started
      her business (in the 1970's) Catherine was around to support the
      industry by attending knit club meetings and seminars, and
      subscribing to knitting publications.

      Our fondest memory and perhaps the biggest gift Catherine left for
      everyone was her Stocking Hat pattern. When she was well in her 80's
      she came to a Charity Knit-a-Thon at our store with her daughter
      Beverly, also a machine knitter. Catherine had her own favorite
      stocking hat pattern in her hand, and when she whipped them out
      everyone else at the Knit-a-Thon praised the finished product. It was
      a perfect knitting machine hat pattern, just the right size and
      stitch tension. It was the type of pattern that allowed the knitter
      to use their creativity with designs and colors while letting the
      machine do the utility work... so when a person knits Catherine's Hat
      it is a relaxing experience and one can truly enjoy the feel of the
      yarn and the warmth of the moment. No stress with this project!

      When the other knitters at the Knit-a-Thon asked Catherine about the
      pattern she was using, they expected her to say "it's all in here"
      while pointing to her head, the way a chef protects her secret
      recipes. But instead, Catherine humbly unfolded her hand where a
      tattered scrap of paper had the faded instructions for the hat.

      To make a long story short, Catherine agreed that it would be nice to
      have her hat pattern re-typed for easy reading, and she allowed it to
      be shared with other knitters. She didn't request any credit for it,
      because after all, "It's just a hat. Everybody has a hat pattern."

      Just the same, when we published it in the ROCKING HORSE NEWS in
      1999, we called it "CATHERINE'S HAT." Since then it has become a
      favorite of many knitters who like the simplicity and relaxation of
      the pattern, as well as the versatility it seems to have. You can use
      many types of yarns and always seem to end up with a standard-size
      finished product.

      I'm sure Catherine never expected her favorite hat recipe (I don't
      remember if it was Catherine or a different knitter who always
      referred to her patterns as recipes) to travel around the world, but
      it certainly has. Because not only has it been printed, first in our
      publication, and currently in our pattern collection "PRETTY AND
      PRACTICAL" but we know that knitters use it. We've shown Catherine's
      Hat at Seminars all around the United States, and we've received
      stories and pictures about knitters using the pattern to make hats
      for charities. If a person considers the charity knitting, it is safe
      to bet there is someone in the world wearing Catherine's Hats right

      This is a nice tribute for Catherine. It's not unique, because
      Catherine certainly didn't invent the hat... and there are more
      instances very similar to this, if you think about Prayer Shawls or
      Preemie Cardigans or Operation Toasty Toes slippers... but it's fun
      to think about the mark that Catherine left on the world even if she
      never intended to. Lots of us leave a mark without realizing it.

      Catherine's services will be later this week in her home town in

      OTHER NEWS--------------------------------

      My goodness, time flies! It's time for our local event calendar, and
      don't forget that if you are too far away to attend in person you may
      always email a message that we can read at club.

      Embroidery/Sewing club meets Sat. Sept. 2, 10am. Free. (yes, it's a
      holiday weekend, but we are still meeting) PLEASE bring show and tell
      or something you can demonstrate. If everybody shares, everybody
      wins! And it's fun to share.

      Knit Club is Sat. Sept. 2, 1:30pm. The same request applies, please
      bring things to share.

      #### We will be working on some September Seminar things inbetween
      these meetings, in case anyone would like to stay and help. I'm not
      sure if we will be assembling Seminar books, but we will have jobs
      for people! ####

      Fiber Friends (spinning/knitting guild) does not meet in September
      because of the Seminar

      Antique Round Sock Machine knitters will not be having their regular
      gathering in October, instead you are invited to register for the
      September Seminar on Saturday and be with Pete & Deb Oswald at the
      Seminar. This should be a fun day for you, and included in your
      registration fee will be morning coffee and rolls, lunch (no potluck
      this time, please!) a Seminar book with some nifty Yarn and Fiber
      facts, door prizes, and special Saturday-only vendors that normally
      wouldn't be at one of our gatherings. These include fleece vendors!
      So bring your spinning wheel too, if you wish!

      SEPTEMBER SEMINAR REGISTRATION FORMS can be printed out from this
      Yahoo Group link:


      We have no other special classes or workshops scheduled until after
      the September Seminar.

      Carole will be teaching at Bonnie Triola's final Great Lakes Seminar
      on September 15-16 (the store will remain open while she is away).
      Bonnie is a knitting professional who has designed for or worked with
      several famous name designers in New York and Beverly Hills. She has
      published books and patterns for machine knitters and sold high
      quality yarns for several years. Her Great Lakes Seminar is highly
      regarded as one of the permier machine knitting seminars in the
      world. This will be the second time Carole is a featured
      demonstrator. Registration is actually closed for this seminar, but
      information about the future of the Great Lakes Seminar can be found


      Until next time, happy knitting and sewing!
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