Friday, December 18, 2020

Dear Amy

Amy and me at Chain Link 2017

Some of the best friendships in my life have started online. My friendship with Amy was one of them.

We "met" on Ravelry in 2014, when I was looking for a roommate for the the CGOA conference. Vashti Braha gave me Amy's name, thinking we would get along well. Turns out, Vashti was right. Although Amy already had a roommate lined up, we kept messaging each other on all manner of other topics. Soon the conversation moved to email, and as our friendship flourished, we agreed to room together whenever possible at a future CGOA conference.

Fast forward to 2017. The CGOA conference was scheduled for Chicago, just a few hours away from where I live, and Amy was planning to come. Finally we would meet in person! She flew in to Madison a day early, spent the night at Micawber Towers, and we drove down to Chicago the next day, talking as hard as we could. I introduced her to Culver's frozen custard. She entertained me with stories of her former jobs with the National Park Service. We talked about beading, crochet, theology, scenery, wildflowers, travel, yarn, pattern-writing, and more. The friendship born online had translated seamlessly into real life, and we were enjoying every minute.

At the conference, Amy seemed to know everyone. Wherever we went, there were happy cries of "Amy! It's great to see you!" She loved people, and people loved her. And no wonder: she was kind, funny, and smart, with an astringent sense of humor, and a wonderfully down-to-earth outlook on life. Being there with her was like being absorbed into a ready-made circle of friends.

Clockwise from front left: Tamara Kelly, mystery crocheter, Jessie Rayot, Pia Thadani,
Andee Graves, Amy, me, Amy Shelton, Kathy White.

Crocheting in the sun with Edith from the Chicago-area guild

To borrow a phrase from Donne, Amy was "involved in mankind". She cared. She volunteered; she made things for charity; she taught at her church; she mentored; she was active in local stitching groups. She loved listening to podcasts and interacting online with the podcasters and other listeners. She was a vocal, cheerful presence in many Ravelry groups. As a cancer survivor, and perpetual cancer patient, she sympathized with and encouraged other cancer patients wherever she found them.

Amy loved cats and birds, trees and flowers. She was a fearless crocheter, a talented designer, an inspired beader, a meticulous craftsperson, and an excellent writer who understood the importance of words. She was also a careful tech editor, and helped shape the pattern language for my book. Without her continual input, feedback, and encouragement, I would never have finished that years-long project.

Portland, 2018

Amy and I were roommates again at the CGOA conferences in 2018 (Portland, OR) and 2019 (Manchester, NH). We hoped to meet at a future conference, but cancer put an end to those plans.

She passed away last week. The world is a poorer place without her.

Manchester, 2019

Goodbye, dear Amy. When we meet again in heaven, I'm sure I'll find you making something beautiful, and talking away happily to whoever is blessed to be sitting next to you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. Oh, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend.
    This is a lovely tribute to her.
    Take care. Hugs to you. xx

  2. Beautifully written eulogy Sue! You have described your friend so well I can practically visualise her. An emotive tribute to your Amy. How fortunate you are to have met such a wonderful person. May the sweet memories of the times you spent together help you through the days ahead. Really sad for your loss. Amanda xx

  3. What a wonderful tribute to a fabulous sounding woman. I'm sorry she is gone, it's not fair is it? You will have such beautiful memories to savor over the years. ((hugs)), Teresa

  4. Oh She sounds amazing. How wonderful that your friendship was "pre arranged" by a friend ! Gone too soon. But your photos are wonderful and give me a sense of how lovely and talented and easy going she was.

  5. Oh Sue. I'm so sorry. I will miss Amy terribly.

  6. Thank you for sharing Amy with us, dear Sue. As you celebrate her life even though you miss her here and now, I care.

  7. What a lovely tribute for your friend, I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Amy sounds like a very special lady who lived her life to the full. I too lost a dear friend to cancer last week and she was very special too, I think these special people are Angels on loan to us for a short time and we are lucky to have known them, it's good to remember the good times we have shared together. xx

  8. What a wonderful tribute to your very dear friend, Amy. She will be missed by all those who knew her. So lovely to see her and read about her here. I bet you she's giving crochet lessons in Heaven. This letter to Amy is beautiful.

  9. Oh sweet friend, I am so sorry about the passing of your dear friend Amy. She certainly sounds like she was a remarkable lady. One day face to face you will indeed see her again in Heaven. I send ((hugs)) your way and prayers, too.

  10. My heart goes out to you and so many grieving the loss of family and dear, dear friends this year. You write so beautifully my dear Sue. Stay safe.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful person and a great friend. One more hard thing during a difficult time. My thoughts are with you.

  12. I'm sorry for your loss. Isn't it wonderful that we meet people on earth we seem to have known and will know for ever? I wish you a peaceful weekend.

  13. So sorry for your loss. A beautifully written eulogy. What an amazing woman you were blessed to have as a friend. Take care.💖

  14. Sue,
    Thank you for the wonderful tribute to my sister. She will be missed by so many people. It gladens my heart that she was loved by so many.


  15. I'm so sorry - how very sad for everyone, but what a beautiful tribute you've written to her.xxxx

  16. I'm so sorry, Sue. I am heartbroken. I miss her and know so many others do as well.
    I was hopeful we would meet again in Denver, but instead (if I am so lucky) it will be at that big conference in the sky.
    Thank you so much for such a beautifully written remembrance.

  17. Such beautiful words for a beautiful friend. I am so sorry.


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