Favorite Handmade Item – McKenzie Goodrich

Oh, joy, one of my absolute favorite people in Bloomington blessing the blog with her presence today!! Have you met McKenzie Goodrich?! Well, let me introduce you! Her smile is breathtaking, her laughter catching. Her spirit and warmth will give you all the feels, and her acceptance of you, even on your first meeting, will make you feel like you’ve known her forever. McKenzie and her husband Jeremy own Shine Insurance, located on the downtown square just above NoCo! Yes, McKenzie happens to be my insurance agent (for all of my small businesses no less!), but more than that, McKenzie is my friend. She has an open heart, a business mind, and the best curly hair this side of the Mississippi! I’m blessed to call her my friend, and overjoyed that she’s heading up some ‘boss lady’ get-togethers wherein other lady bosses from the area can get together and share their stories and sagas in a safe environment. I am forever grateful to have McKenzie . . .
(I was going to finish that sentence . . . but i think it’s perfect as is).

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cableI have a favorite sweater, knit by my grandfather’s sister. My great aunt Nina (pronounced nine-uh) was a tiny creature who loved to knit. In her youth, she was often physically unwell, and spent a lot of time at home, crafting her days away. When I was a kid, I firmly believed that she ran a yarn store from the sunroom of her home. In reality, she just had a lot of yarn, and displayed it well.

Nina knit on the regular, probably daily. She never learned to drive, she didn’t have children, she didn’t work outside of her home. Crafting brought her great joy, and sharing her creations made her absolutely giddy. Nina’s retirement apartment is where I remember her best, and it’s where the sweater became mine. I learned to knit sitting on a dining chair next to Nina’s Power Lift Recliner. I still have the deep red yarn and metal needles she passed along to me for practice, but I have no idea how she created the cables on my favorite sweater. My knit skills are basic.

My sweater is a smooth cream color made from wild wool yarn that would be scratchy to some, but which I find comforting as a hug. The buttons are my best-loved feature – they’re hand-knit. Cable knit design is so classic, and their puffs are fun to squeeze between my fingers. The sweater is big and chunky, and considering Nina’s diminutive stature, I wonder whether she intended it for a man. I’ll never know for sure, I was gifted the sweater after Nina passed (she was 93). It had been resting in her cedar chest. Lucky for me, it’s a perfect fit. I wear it with love, this family heirloom, and feel for sure that my ancestral sisters have my back.

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