Monday, August 10, 2009

Meet Connie: Gardener, Knitter, Life Enthusiast!

When I caught up with Connie, who landscapes the HCW yards and who is an avid knitter, it was a Saturday. Illustrating the concept "no rest for the weary," she explained she was running around, muddy from working in her orchid hothouse, forever trying to get caught up. It should be noted that this information was offered in a most cheerful way, not as a complaint but sounding more like-- Isn't it so cool I will never get caught up since I have so many great things going on! Connie did take time to talk to me about gardens and yarn and how those two dovetail so nicely for her. Here's what she had to say:

Spike: How long have you been landscaping for HCW?
Connie: Suzanne loves to help people. Nine years ago, when I got back into knitting, I started hanging around the shop and all of a sudden I had a big debt (for yarn) and Suzanne empowered me-- she had me do the yard. That's how I started over there. Now, about twice a year I go in and tear everything out and mulch and make it pretty.

Spike: And landscaping isn't just a hobby, it's a business for you, right?
Connie: I’ve spent my life studying plants and working with plants in any capacity. For twenty years I worked for IBM and Eastman Kodak as an office system and copier repairperson. Then I had enough of that, decided to retire. Before you know it you’re working again. I’m a plant lover. I fell into that.

Spike: When did you first start knitting?
Connie: I started knitting as a little kid in Michigan. A great aunt taught me when I was about 8. I put knitting on the back burner when I was an adult and living in Texas— it seemed unnecessary. Then I had a neice who wanted a sweater. I went over to the store when it was by the Tavern, and got what I needed and made a sweater. That was a long time ago... I’ve known Suzanne probably thirty years. I left it again for another ten, fifteen years. Then knitting got popular again nine or ten years ago. I walked in the store and got hooked again. I was retired and had time. I fell back in love with it--I couldn’t believe how beautiful the yarn had gotten. Things were getting interesting—people were making all crazy scarves, hairs and fur. That pulled me back in.

Spike: But you are so busy with your business. Do you still make time to knit?
Connie: I’m busy at work but I have a passion to make things. The knitting goes along with the gardening. I can sit in my garden, even though it’s a thousand degrees out, and I have a beautfil shawl in front of me so I’ll knit a couple of rows. There are a million projects going—my husband has to put up with it. I probably have more yarn than Suzanne. It's the same thing in gardeing you have all the colors and textures—it’s like painting a picture. I guess it’s why I like shawls so much—all the lace and textures. I love to see all the things happening and what I can create with colors, textures and lace patterns. I throw it all together and wow-- I have these colorscapes. It’s like a big beautiful garden.

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