Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sad news

Dear Friends of Yarn Garden,

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our owner, Linda Carter, this last Sunday night. While she had not been feeling well these past few years, her death was still sudden and unexpected. The loss will be deeply felt by her family and staff. Our current plan is for the Yarn Garden to remain open, managed by her sister and long time store manager, Jo Hartman.

Please join us for a celebration of Linda's life, complete with special knitting projects, at the Yarn Garden all next weekend December 12th thru the 14th. Come wearing a little of her favorite color, red. A special memorial will be held at the store for close friends and family on Friday, the 12th at 5:00pm.

Linda is survived by her parents, Gerald and Phyllis Williams, two sisters Jo Hartman and Connie Ellsbury, two daughters Jill Carter and Julie Painter, three grandchildren Jessica, Jeffrey and Jordan Painter and one great grandchild Rowhan Painter.

It was Linda’s love of all things yarn that gave birth to the magical place known as Yarn Garden. With Linda’s vision and business savvy, the dream of her own yarn store became a reality. Ten years ago she thought it would be a small, quiet retirement business with only a couple of employees; she had no idea that her good taste in yarns, and Portland's knitting fever would help the store grow to become one of the largest on the west coast.

Linda lived a full and vibrant life. In the 1970’s she help to found a wilderness organization, the Umpqua Wilderness Defenders, where she helped save three wilderness areas in Southern Oregon. She lived in a log cabin where she ran a farm, rode horses, grew organic vegetables, raised sheep and two children – and of course spun wool. In later years, she traveled to Scotland and New Zealand where she surveyed many a yarn mill and visited some of her favorite places on earth, pastures full of sheep.

Those who wish to donate in her honor can contribute to one of her favorite charity organizations, Heifer International (www.heifer.org). She loved the way the organization helped underprivileged families and villages around the world by purchasing livestock, especially wool-producing sheep.

You can also knit a scarf for the Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf Project (www.orphan.org), a great charitable knitting initiative that provides warmth and encouragement to foster youth in Oregon. Red was Linda's favorite color, she had a personal collection of many, many red scarves that she knitted. She would be delighted that the project continued. The Yarn Garden will accept red scarves through the end of January.

Over the weekend we will also complete a project Linda had been wanting to do for years, which is create a knitted outfit for the little sheep mascot that has sat in the window of the store for the last few years. She had always wanted a little knitted flower garden for the sheep to graze on; she wanted him to have some socks, a little hat, a scarf, but she never had time to work on that project. Come be creative with us.

We know Linda will miss her store, the wonderful customers and her expert staff, but she is in a better place now - the big yarn store in the sky.

December 5, 2008