The way back

In your house, I bet – is your stash.  Not just your yarn, but your books, your tools,  your half finished projects, some of the things you’ve made… we all have a legacy that we keep around us when we’re textile artists.  Deeply personal collections of tools, fibres and items that we use to do what we do, the way we do it.  Now imagine that you’re not simply a textile artist… but that in addition to that, you’ve been a textile artist, full-time, your whole life.  Imagine you teach the textile arts. Write books about them. Give classes, make videos – imagine that you are fully immersed, and it is literally your life. How you spend your time, what you do for a living… Imagine that you are the artist in residence at an arts centre, and you teach there too.  Now imagine what you would have there. What you would keep in that space to show people, to help pass along what you do, and create a whole new generation of textile artists.

Now imagine that building burns to the ground. Ashes.  Nothing left. The whole building, and all the stuff you had in it- gone in a single night.
Imagine what you would have lost, and how you would feel… and then know this. 

On Monday, October 29th, the Rainforest Arts Center, where Judith MacKenzie is the artist in residence, burned like that. Absolutely everything is gone. Several looms. Fourteen spinning wheels – yarns, spinning fibre, a library of textile books… things Judith needed to teach both at the arts centre and at events like SOAR, Sock Summit and Fibre Festivals.

As you will be imagining now, this is a tremendous loss, both to the community, and to Judith personally.  Judith is a dear friend of mine, and someone I look up to, and am inspired by, and I know that she’s a mentor and guiding light to almost everyone she’s ever taught, and I know that there are thousands and thousands of us.  Her other friends know this too, and so in response to the fire, there’s a website here:

Rebuild Judith’s Studio

and, as I’m hoping you’re hoping… a nice donation button you can use to help.  There’s other stuff there too, like the start of a wish list of things Judith needs in order to teach.  That list, the site, all of this is just the beginning of figuring out how to put her textile life back together, and if you have a little money, or some tools, or anything that you think could help re-equip her, I know that her friends and I would be very grateful, and that Judith would be… well.  I don’t even have words for what Judith would feel.  She would never, ever ask for this kind of help. Judith is remarkable and resourceful and independent and proud and I know too, that although she would never show it,  this has to be one of the most devastating losses of her life.  I know that, because I know how it would hurt me, and you know how it would hurt you. 

It will take a long time for her to rebuild what she’s lost – and some of the things really are irreplaceable – but this community takes care of its own, and Judith MacKenzie?  She’s definitely ours. 

Thanks in advance. Peace out from Oxford.  Pictures tomorrow.

114 thoughts on “The way back

  1. Wow, first one to comment! =)
    Thank you Stephanie for such a great blog and for your wonderful books!
    Ina from Sweden

  2. Wow – I can’t even imagine what Judith must be going through. To lose so much is beyond what I can truly comprehend. I just made a modest contribution and I know the rest of the Fibre Arts community both north and south of the border will step up and do the same.
    Judith will have what she needs for her new studio, of that I have no doubt. Thank you to those that are organizing this and to you Stephanie and anyone else that is spreading the word.
    We all benefit from Judith’s wisdom and expertise and in helping to rebuild her studio, not only will Judith benefit, but each and everyone of us will too.

  3. I was a little fast there…
    Such a sad thing about the Arts Center! I can’t imagine going through someting like that. I’ll do everything I can to help Judith rebuild her studio.
    Please send her my thoughts and best wishes!

  4. While I respect this post, and the idea that knitters take care of their own (because we’re awesome like that) I think that we should be aware that Judith isn’t the only one who lost everything this week. Hundreds of businesses and lives have been torn apart on the East Coast, and the people there need our help too.

  5. Thanks to AlishaC for saying what I was thinking. I hope others will follow this donation to the Arts Center with a donation to their favorite relief organization (Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.)

  6. !!!! Took my first ever spinning class with Judith Just last September. She is amazing. Thanks for spreading the word.

  7. I took a class with Judy in London last year and she was an amazing teacher. My spinning improved 100% as soon as I sat down in her class room. I’ve also got several of her books and videos. I’ll definitely be clicking through to that website & making a donation.
    I can only imagine how devastating this is to Judy and my prayers are with her and everyone else affected by this fire.

  8. I’m overwhelmed just thinking of this loss! I’ve had the great good fortune to take a few classes with Judith and my heart breaks for her loss. Thank you Stephanie , for putting out the word so well. I pray that your “magic” will come to rest on her as she starts to rebuild. It will never be the same, but perhaps we can help her make it wonderful again!

  9. and the hits just keep on coming. (sorry, i’m in NYC and mopey this morning). I’ve taken 2 classes with Judith and credit her with actually teaching me to spin and turning me into a spinner.
    Will definitely be donating to this. And the Red Cross.

  10. Stef–do you know who’s sponsoring this site? There’s nothing on it that identifies who is responsible and what their connection to Judith might be. I, for one, would be more comfortable donating if I knew. (What, me? Cynical???)

  11. Thank you for letting us know, yes and giving to those who need it will always be a good thing. Giving to support someone who has and will keep giving is also an ongoing good.

  12. Such a terrible loss….and thank you to Alisha for reminding us that others have suffered losses as well. I donated a small amount…wish it could be more.

  13. Although I do feel sorry for the people on the East Coast, they were forewarned. I’m sure if Judith would have had the advanced notice that this fire storm were going to hit her studio, she wouldn’t have lost everything. Please accept my modest donation.

  14. Thank you SO much for posting. I heard about this just after it happened when someone posted on Ravelry and it was so upsetting. I immediately wanted to send her everything I had…except that I just started spinning and all I have is a drop spindle and one braid of fiber. *sad sigh* So I am very glad you have given us another way to donate to the cause. I hope that the road to recovery is quick and filled with fiber and wheels, etc.

  15. So sorry to hear about Judith’s Big Time Loss!! I cannot believe how bad Hurricane Sandy was! We have a lot of family in NYC and Long Island and it is scary! Things have come to a grinding halt!!
    Stephanie, thank you for passing this on. Funds are low at my house but I have some Alpaca fleece I will send. Wish I could do more!
    I follow the YarnHarlot on twitter and that’s how I found out about Judith’s plight. I really feel inspired by how you do a lot of fund raising for stuff important to you.
    Again, thanks for keeping these things on the wire!

  16. Actually, I don’t have to imagine. I lived through this not too long ago.
    My heart mourns for her loss because it is not easy, but she must still have many, many blessings.

  17. I also lost much of my stash, projects, pattern books, and tools on the 29th. During Hurricane Sandy, trees fell and knocked down power lines to my house, sparking our natural gas system and igniting our whole house. I was able to pull some stuff from the wreckage but I’m afraid the yarn is too damaged by smoke to save. My thoughts go out to Judith.

  18. For those of you concerned about who runs the site you can always do a /whois on the internet to find out who a site is registered by then search the net for the person it lists. I did it for the site and it looks pretty legitimate to me.

  19. Robin @ 9:16 – Are you saying that because people knew the hurricane was coming, they could have used that time to secure their homes, belongings, and families from damage/loss? That’s pretty cynical.
    All disasters like this are terrible. I hope people who were Judith’s students and friends can help her out…If I lost even my minor stash I’d be devastated.

  20. Judith’s soothing “You’re not a crappy spinner; you’re a beginning spinner” words to me came to mind when I heard the news. Donation made.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear this happened. I’ve taken classes with Judith, and she really is a national treasure. I’ll be donating too. Thanks for telling us about this, Stephanie.

  22. OMG. I just started to cry.
    I took a class with Judith at MDSW and she is one of my favorite teacher of any subject. She had some beautiful historical pieces with her. This is really tragic.

  23. Oh, dear. I am so very sorry for Judith’s loss. Thank you for posting and for linking to the site. Donation made and sending the link on to the rest of my knitting circle.

  24. Does anybody know who is sponsoring the fundraising effort? It’s great that the fiber community is rallying behind Judith, but it would make me feel better if I knew who was collecting the money and how it would get to Judith.

  25. Robin, your cyncism is horrifying. I have friends who did evacuate from Breezy Point in NY, as yes, they were forewarned, and they lost their entire home. Everything they owned is gone. They couldn’t take it all with them. They couldn’t move the house. Thousands of people are suffering still and over 90 are dead. I feel horrible for Judith and will donate, but really, let’s keep this in perspective.

  26. Thank you for getting the word out. Donation made. For those asking about who is sponsoring the website, my paypal sent a receipt back from Lisa Kobeck, who I believe is a friend of Judith (and Stephanie).

  27. I don’t think anyone is unaware of what happened on the East Coast (NY wasn’t the only place hit). However, I fail to see what that has to do with this post, and suggesting that the donation would only make sense if followed up with a donation to a rescue organization is a bit presumptuous and rude.
    You don’t have to donate if you don’t want to, but try to be respectful of those who do, and step off the soapbox.

  28. Gosh, this seems to be the week for losses…what with Hurricane Sandy damage and et al. I cannot imagine losing my stuff…but it would take care of my UFO problem. Ha ha. Seriously, my aorta goes out to Judith. Such suffering for so many people right now!!

  29. To those who are being a wee bit unfeeling: Judith wouldn’t have been able to take most of those things with her in the evacuation. If she couldn’t fit it in a car (I don’t know of any car that can fit fourteen spinning wheels!) she wouldn’t have taken it. I’m sure the space in her car was taken up more important things, like photographs and other irreplaceable items.
    I wish her the best. Who knows? Maybe she’ll receive some new treasures in the rebuilding.

  30. Lucky for you I didn’t know you were in Oxford today or I would have been stalking the city with books, looking for you. 🙂 Hope you had a lovely time!

  31. My heart goes out to her. What a devastating loss. Donation made, and heartfelt thoughts sent to her.

  32. I trust Stephanie enough to support any cause she recommends. I’m kind of surprised that any regular blog leaders wouldn’t. She’s got a very public life, and she wouldn’t support some fraudulent plan on her blog.
    And if there’s not enough information on the web site for any one person to be sure about chipping in, then wait. It will take months to even begin to equip Judith, and a donation in a month or two or six will still be useful.
    I have Judith’s books and I want to donate, but it’s going to be a few weeks till my bank account will let me. Thanks, Stephanie for letting us know how we can help.

  33. I know her loss is devastating. I lost so much in Hurricane Jean in 2004 in Florida. I had just closed my yarn shop and all unsold yarn was in our home which was totaled. I estimated I lost $10,000 worth of yarn, as well as a 50 year collection of books and patterns. Unfortunately, the insurance co didn’t think that was worth anything. So it was a total loss!
    I hope her insurance company has a bigger heart!

  34. Thank you Stephanie for getting the word out about this tragic loss and letting us know how we can help.
    Sadly there will ALWAYS be people in need. We can only try to help those we can, and hope upon hope that one day it won’t be us in this position. Or that if it is, people will look on us with the same generosity that we have shown.

  35. Thank you Stephanie and thank you everyone who loves and admires Judith. We are continuing to work on the site and will have a comments page up soon where you can all send Judith your kind thoughts and supportive messages.
    We have set this site up with Judith’s knowledge and input.
    Judith would have no idea how to begin to establish this site for herself. Between the three of us and with the assistance of so many others in the fiber community, we were able to work with Judith to direct this recovery effort. We are Natasha Puffer, Andrea Eyre and Lisa Kobeck. Please do let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

  36. Words cannot express how hard it must be to lose one’s home, or all the accoutrements of a professional career. My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered losses this week. I will be sending small donations to Judith’s fund and to the Red Cross. Thanks, Stephanie, for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

  37. Thanks so much for posting this! I came *this* close to emailing you Wednesday morning when I heard the news…you can rally the fiber masses like no one else. Thanks again!

  38. Friends, the people behind this fundraising effort, this website, are ROCK solid. Deeply trustworthy. My heartfelt thanks go out to Lisa, Andrea, and Natasha for their work on this and Stephanie for sharing it with “the blog.” Since I heard of this disaster a few days ago, I’ve been watching Yarnharlot like a hawk, knowing that would be how I would learn of a way to reach out to Judith. Judith is not just one of us in this fiber community – she is a teacher and mentor whose impact on our learning and love of the fiber arts is deeply profound. ANYONE who has taken a class from her or heard her speak knows that gems fall from her mouth. Let’s show her just how much of a treasure she is to us and that the silver lining of any disaster is the way your community comes together to support you when you need them the most.

  39. I generally do not donate but this one touched me deeply. My daughter has a textile degree and I know how much her stuff means to her. Thank you for writing a blog about this. Blessings to you both

  40. I’m fairly new to the fiber community and have only a small stash of yarn and tools myself but if I had lost just my small amount of stuff I would be devastated. Small donation made since that’s all I can afford and I’ll be donating blood to help with Sandy as I’m O-. My heart goes out to Judith and all those affected by Sandy.

  41. Thank you for informing and providing us with a way to help Judith. I love her and appreciate her, and I am so sorry there was a fire.

  42. I was completely shocked to see the total devastation of this fire. I went to the donation page, it was quick, easy & straight forward. It would be nice to know how well the donations are accumulating (the same way that you show doctors without borders donations). A little inspiration to keep everyone helping someone who has had such a devastating loss. My sincere sympathy to Judith at this difficult time.

  43. Just a by the way. There is CERF, Craft Emergency Relief Fund, They can help, too. I will pass this along to Judith.
    I know all help is appreciated, please continue to donate as you can.

  44. My father is an art dealer and I know that many museums simply aren’t insured: the cost to try to cover such unique artworks would devour everything. I can only hope Judith can get some help there, but the hours spent and the creative works, gone… I’m so sorry for her loss.

  45. Diane G., thanks for your comment. We’ve been working on adding a goal tracker this morning and it should be on the site soon.

  46. That poor poor woman, I cannot imagine how she feels right now. I don’t really have moneys at the minute(student) but as soon as they put the address up she can have my niddy noddy and i have stacks of needles, life sucks. She must be due for some pretty amazing Karma splashback.

  47. Judith is a lovely, lovely woman. I had the pleasure of sitting next to her at our first Sock Summit and got to visit with her a little. I realized pretty quickly that she was very much who I wanted to be like when I grew up.
    I’m so sorry to hear this happened and will reach out right now to see how I can help. A little bit of love from us will go a long way.

  48. Some more confirmation that this site is legitimate (as if we need more). Amy Clarke Moore (sixswansflying on Ravelry), editor of Spin-Off Magazine and one of the first people to get the word out of the fire, posted on Ravelry that she has heard from Judith today that the site is legit.

  49. Oh, my heavens! I’ve never been fortunate enough to meet Judith or take a class with her, but I cannot even begin to imagine how devastating her loss must be. I’ve sent a modest donation, too — I know the things can’t all be replaced, but I know the fiber community will certainly do its best to help one of our luminaries rebuild her life’s work.

  50. Hi Stephanie, I was just thinking as I was doing the dishes . . . I have some fiber I can send, some clover bamboo knitting needles, and some knitting markers. The fiber feels soft, and looks like it is mill batts of grey/brown mohair? and or wool. Please let me know if you’d like me to send this for Judith and where to send it. I also have a Louet wholesale account and can order wholesale for you and have it dropped shipped to an address for Judith. Please let me know if any of this helps. Thank you, Kristine

  51. While I certainly sympathize with Judith and personally know the tragedy of losing a lifetime (and loved ones’ lives) in a fire, I can’t help but think of all the people along the East Coast who have also lost their stash, their projects (both WIPs and FOs), their equipment, and so on. I got lucky in that my house wasn’t damaged – only my yard, driveway, and power lines – and I acknowledge how fortunate I am. By all means, donate to Judith, but please, if you have the resources to donate to her, I urge you to use a small amount of those funds to donate to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
    To Robin, the commenter whose sympathy to those affected by the hurricane because we were “forewarned” – I’d love to know how much of your life fits into your car, as someone else has mentioned. As much as we all love fiber crafts, when it comes to prioritizing, I don’t know how many of us would cram our entire stash and all our spinning wheels into our vehicles when we have other needs (and the needs of our families) to consider.
    For those people, Judith and others, who lost so much this week, I hope you can find some fiber and needles/hooks/wheels/whatever your preference to help ease the trauma resulting from this destruction.

  52. Wow, I’m just in tears. I cannot even imagine that happening. Some of my stuff is in storage and I thought that was pretty horrifying. Another thank you to you for bringing this to our attention. I’m donating what a free class someone gave me, guess who? Were all connected.
    Pay it forward.

  53. At least a dozen floor looms were lost in the fire. It was a teaching studio so there was a wide variety of spinning and weaving equipment. There were also irreplaceable historical textiles from around the world.
    I am grateful every day to Judith for all she shares. I look forward to seeing this loving and generous fiber community come to her aid.

  54. Reaching out in community to those in need is always good. Lets not argue about which good should be served. There are always places and people who have needs. Give where your heart moves you and as much as your bank account can stand. It will all even out. No one person can support the whole world.

  55. Sorry to hear about her loss, my thoughts have been with the East coast, warning or not, they too have lost so much. Surprise gifts or UFO for the upcoming holidays. I’d be happy to send my stash surplus to knitters there who have to start from scratch and lets face it yarn ain’t cheap.

  56. Oh, no, poor Judith! I sent a small donation and many good thoughts. Thank you so much for letting us know about this site. Judith is a treasure and I am so glad I can do some small thing to help out.
    I am also so sorry for the victims of Sandy. I hope that we can remember to be kind to each other, because there is more than enough hard to go around.
    Good thoughts to everyone, with extra good thoughts going to victims of Sandy. I think our hearts are big enough to feel for both Judith and the people suffering because of Sandy. And many other people suffering for other reasons, too. Hugs and love to all.
    Or as the bumper sticker says, “God Bless Everyone–No Exceptions.”

  57. I’m sorry to hear about this. I donated a bit to go towards the effort. I hope she gets back to fibering again soon! Thank you for doing this Stephanie!

  58. I took a spinning class from Judith at Sock Summit II. She was very generous with me. My wheel was tweaked and squeaky. She got on the floor and oiled and nudged. I am happy to make a donation.

  59. Sorry about Judith’s loss, but my heart is with the Sandy sufferers. The devastation is so widespread. And there’s hardly a place to turn, because the loss is everywhere.

  60. *Gasp* Oh no! I’ll head over to see what I can do. Judith is an inspiration. And so are you Stephanie!

  61. That is terrible news, and I am sorry to hear it. I am in NYC, but in a couple weeks when the worst has passed, I will donate to rebuild. The couple of people here who seem determined to pile on to the horribleness of this week – god, how do you sleep? I prefer to focus on the creative generosity of most people. I have been amazed by the strength and wonderful determination of people this week.

  62. I am heartbroken for her.I just bought my Lendrum in Saptember because I was so inspired by Judith at Sock Summitt, My goal i- to get competent enough to take a class from her and also to join you all in the future at Port Ludlow. I was sure I would just knit knit knit and then there was Judith all kind and wise and I was encouraged by Tina And Debbie and whoosh there I went. I think we will need to move heaven and earth to help get her a new studio anything else is just out of the question. She is such a gift now she will have to accept some gifts from us.

  63. This whole story raises conflicting feelings. Here in the northeast US post-Sandy, we are witnessing the impact of global warming with loss of life and lack of the most basic necessities, at least in our culture (running water, electricity, heat, not to mention more than 100 lives lost). Judy’s fire accident in Washington state is very sad and all who consider fiber art a basic necessity should support Judy holeheardedly. Still, the timing of these events are somewhat problematic. Stephanie, how is your London vacation?

  64. Have met Judith and so sorry for her great loss.. So thankful she was not in the house at the time and is indeed fine. That is what is important, she is alive!
    While I am so very sorry for her loss and sickened by the fact her studio/home has been destroyed I feel confident she will be ok through home insurance and savings. Fingers crossed.
    Hurricane Sandy hit the US hard and the stories coming from the storm so very sad and hard to comprehend as a Canadian on the other coast.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that stuff is stuff and human life important. Should my house be burned down or flooded and destroyed tomorrow would I really care? Yes I would, but my main concern would be the fact that my husband, 3 kids and 2 dogs were alive and well, ready for the next phase.
    Stuff is stuff. And just that.

  65. Thank you so much for posting about this. I heard about it Tuesday night and Judith has been on my mind so much since them. I had the wonderful opportunity to be at a retreat just a few weeks ago where Judith was our instructor for the whole 4 days and it changed the way I see spinning/knitting/dyeing/designing. I posted on my very little known blog about it so that the few people who read it might know about what is going on and go donate money or items. I know I have a box mentally half full of things I can send as soon as they get a P.O. Box set up.

  66. My heart just breaks for Judith. I have only taken one class from her, but learned SO much and she is such a treasure. Donation made.

  67. Hopefully she has insurance for this. I am sorry for her loss, but, at this time, I think everything I am able to give is better sent to the Red Cross for the relief efforts on the East Coast. Judith lost stuff, but those people lost everything.

  68. I am sick just thinking about this. Sitting on the couch bawling. I cannot imagine her loss.
    Judith may already be aware, but make sure that she knows about CERF ( They exist exactly for this purpose.
    I will pass this info along to my weaving guild as well – we are a large group that appreciates Judith’s work, and will do what we can to help.

  69. I have been to the weaving studio. There were at least 12 looms and lots of other spinning and weaving equipment, as well as fiber, yarn, books, and irreplaceable historical textiles that she used in her teaching. She generously built that studio for the benefit of her students. It was amazingly beautiful.
    It was not insured because they would not give her a rider because of the building’s age.
    Judith has given so generously to the fiber community. I am glad that we have the opportunity to give something back.

  70. Each one of us must follow his/her own heart when it comes to our donations. Over the years my donations have gone for tsunami relief, cancer research, library funding, and so on. This time around I see that one of “our own” needs our help, so that is where my contribution is going. As the web site gets everything organized, I am sure we will also realize that we have tangible items to pass along as well. Please, let’s not get snarky with each other…we’re better than that.

  71. I just made a small donation. I wish I could do more but I don’t have a steady income and I know every little bit helps. I don’t know Judith personally but I have gained so much from her DVDs and her calmness that I want to do what I can. Thank you for alerting us Steph!

  72. I think some of the “snarkiness” comes from a feeling of being overwhelmed by the needs of people we feel close to, either because of geography, hearing their stories, or through shared experiences and interests. The losses and miseries of millions do not wipe out the losses and misery of one.
    In America, there is enough wealth to offer help to everyone in need. Help where you feel you can/should/want and others will help where they can. And everyone will be blessed by this.

  73. I have taken many classes with Judith and she was the one who turned me into a spinner and knitter. I made my small donation. I hope it helps. Let us not turn this into a forum for “Sandy”. We all do what we can, where we can.
    I have “stuff” but am not sure if they are needed, such as spare bobbins, Kates, fiber I can contribute. where to send?? I am just a fellow spinner, knitter,not a dealer or anyone with larger resources.

  74. I am laughing to myself because some of the stuff I could contribute I got from her!!! what goes around comes around????

  75. Huge loss. But knitters are good people. When I lost all of my knitterly goods, friends and strangers (now friends!) from donated to me their extra needles and notions.

  76. I know Judith only through you, bought her book and DVD on your recommendation right here on the blog, and it’s through you that I feel her influence.
    I’ve donated what I can.
    I want you to think for a moment about the fact that a stranger in another country has donated to a friend of yours whom she has never met, and that we all know that this is just, fair, and as it should be because over the years you have communicated the importance of your friend with passion and eloquence. You have great influence, and you use it better than anyone I know.
    I know that much of what Judith had there must have been irreplaceable, but I hope that my donation and those of others helps to build a lifetime of work right back up, and perhaps build it stronger, better, and with a few new treasures.

  77. Thanks for alerting us to Judith’s plight and how we can help with donations. I hope she realizes that she herself is the national treasure, not her stuff. It is a devastating loss and I hope she can regain and rebuild all she has lost because she has more talent than can be imagined and is such an inspiration to us all.

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  79. I love Judith. I took her spinning class in Pt. Ludlow. I am honored to have a chance to give something back. Fortunately, I’ve got some extra cash and donated what I was going to spend on myself to Judith. She is awesome. Thanks Stephanie.

  80. Yarn Harlot has been to NY to sell her books and make some money from us who have been hit hard by the Hurricane. At least acknowledge your sorrow for those who have had their lives destroyed by the Hurricane. I will no longer read this blog for that reason.

  81. Oh, how awful. She has lost not only her livlihood, but also tangible representations of cherished memories. I cannot even begin to imagine that.
    My thought are with her. I hope the link will stay up for awhile, so that people like me can help when they are able.

  82. I’m conflicted on how to react to this post. All loss is tragic, and I’m so sorry this happened to your friend and mentor. Given the situation on the East Coast (where many of your fans and supporters live) the timing just feels off.
    While asking for donationa, you couldn’t at least acknowledge that many of your fans are currently going through such devestating loss it is unimaginable. Entire towns gone, new Inlets where homes and lives once were and most of all, human life that was lost in the storm.
    Many of your fans live in an area that was just devestated by this storm, and many shops you visit to promote your goods are still without basic resources (or may even be destroyed in some areas).
    Again, I am so sorry for Judith’s loss, but at this time, my resources will be going out East where entire communities were burned down, flooded out or even wiped away.
    Thank you for your concern.

  83. Let’s all take a moment to remember, please, that The Blog is actually Steph’s living room. She therefore has every right to decide what the topic of conversation will be on any given day. Today is about her friend Judith. Many yesterdays were devoted to Doctors/Knitters Without Borders, which has done immense amounts of good for the world at large. Perhaps tomorrow or the next day will be about the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
    Everyone’s problems are equally valid. Stephanie talking about Judith’s loss in no way diminishes or ignores the suffering of people on the East Coast. By the same token, it doesn’t diminish or ignore my suffering (my mother died a few weeks ago). It simply means that today she wants to help her friend Judith.
    Please also remember that she’s traveling huge distances on a tight schedule this month. She took the time to write a blog post for us anyway.
    Cut her some slack.

  84. John Donne said that “No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.” Empathy for Ms. MacKenzie does not imply a disregard for the suffering of others, whether in NY or Afghanistan or anywhere else, in my humble opinion.

  85. Loss is loss and it is all heart-breaking. I don’t know Judith but I appreciate her craft so I donated immediately. I don’t have much but I can share in more than one direction. Thank you for continuing to help us see those in need. Safe travels home.

  86. Can someone please let Judith know that she may qualify for help from the Craft Emergency Relief Fund+ also known as CERF+. This is fantastic grass roots non-profit that has been helping full time crafts people for over 25 years with financial and other assistance who have sustained career threatening disasters. I tried to email her but was not successful.

  87. Thank you so much for letting us know so that we have the chance to help out. Anyone who has met Judith knows what a special person she is, above and beyond her skills in fiber and teaching. I’ll be sending what I can, as I would do for any friend.

  88. I’ve been reading the comments and felt that I wanted to make a very small point, especially to those who are upset with asking for help with Judith’s loss in comparison to the loss of those on the east coast. Please remember that Stephanie has a very limited readership. Huge, in the fiber world, but small in light of population of the North American continent. So, please, remember that millions of people have heard about “Sandy”, and are helping, only maybe a hundred thousand or two will hear about Judith’s needs.
    Thanks for listening.

  89. My heart goes out to Judith, and, as others have said, I knew you would write so eloquently about it. My heart breaks the most about all of the historical relics and treasures that she had and has now lost. I will donate when I can and am looking forward to being able to give Judith a big hug this Friday night and express my concern for her personally. She is one of the most lovely people I know!!
    To those of you who have said you won’t read this blog anymore because you feel that Steph doesn’t have concern for those affected by Hurricane Sandy… obviously don’t know Steph. She is another one of our worldly treasures….kind, compassionate, caring, loyal, generally awesome person. Imagine you had a friend who lost her husband and two kids in a car accident in San Francisco on the same day that Sandy hit the east coast. Would you not out out a call for help for your friend because so many others lost so much more than her on the same day? Ridiculous! Like Sarah from Seattle said….donate where and when you can and know that your donation will help in some small way just like everyone else’s no matter who they designate it to.
    There are too many people hurting in the world EVERY DAY to be so petty. If you are blessed enough to be able to donate money, then do it! If not, there are many ways that people can help. The world would be better off if we all remembered that every day.
    Off soap box now. You’re great Steph! Thanks for posting. I know you love Judith as much as we do. See you Friday!

  90. Ah, Presbytera, always a voice of reason. thanks. and thanks to Steph for sharing Judith story. My heart goes out to her, as well as all those who felt the storms wrath. I will send along what support I can to those who are struggling with those losses.

  91. May everyone respond where they can, in the best way they can, with hearts that are compassionate.
    I hope you are all seeing that Canadians hydro workers from BC,Ontario,and Quebec are helping to get electricity restored in NY and NJ. I am sure teams from other provinces are there as well.
    There is enough love to go around, and no shortage of human suffering. Let’s not quibble.

  92. I’m sitting here by candlelight, reading this on my phone, because we’re on our 6th night with no power. Judith’s loss is a heartbreaking event, and I am glad there is a caring community to help her out. I’m trying to figure out how I can mobilize other communities to help other artists in need – my teacher (and remarkable woman) Sheila Goloborotko lost her printmaking studio in Brooklyn to flooding. She moved as much as she could to the 2nd floor, but printmaking presses weigh thousands of pounds, and while she was able to save her collection (prints by herself and others), ink and paper were too much to get it all moved. I don’t know if I can find the kind of forum that fiber artists have developed to help Sheila rebuild. It’s all very overwhelming.

  93. My sympathy also to Presbytera — I’m sorry about the loss of your mother. Thank you for reminding us all that it doesn’t help anyone to compare suffering. Is a hurricane any better or worse than a fire? It’s all terrible for whomever has lost everything that they cherish.

  94. For those complaining that a friend of Stephanie’s has been prioritised over Sandy’s devastation on the East Coast, may I remind you about Sandy’s forgotten victims in the Caribbean? At least 69 deaths have been reported across the Caribbean so far, including 52 in Haiti and 11 in Cuba. (Yes I know more have been recorded in America, but this is not a competition)
    At least 130,000 homes in the city and surrounding province were damaged in the storm, according to Cuban officials, and more than 15,000 houses were completely destroyed. Another 52,000 homes were damaged in the adjacent province of Holguin, where swollen rivers flooded towns and turned farms into swamps.
    Cholera and other diseases are now breaking out in these areas with alarming ferocity. Yet this mainly goes unreported.
    Remember, everywhere there is a disaster, everywhere there is loss. No one person’s loss is more than another’s.
    Stephanie chose to focus on her friend right now. Her blog, her friend – what is wrong with that. Given how much Steph has done for DWB/KWB – fundraising via the blog, cycling etc, do you really think she values Judith’s loss above all others? And will neglect all others?
    If you can, donate. If you can’t, Stephanie will understand. These are difficult days. If you can donate both to Judith and/or to Doctors Without Borders then all the better. Stephanie is not judging you on whether you can/will/can’t/won’t donate. So please stop judging her because she chose to focus on a friend. Steph has not forgotten the rest of you, just as I hope those on the East coast will not forget those in Haiti and Cuba and will reach out to them as soon as they can.

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  96. As someone who lost everything in Katrina, I can empathize with someone who lost everything for whatever reason. I, too, worked out of my house. All resource books I owned became wood pulp. I have just made a donation to Judith’s rebuild – and have also donated to those affected by Sandy. There are many people that need our help. Let’s just be grateful for what we have and help others as much as possible.

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