1. DIANA wrote:

    I got it just fine….WOW

    Posted on 6.26.08 ·
  2. Cindy wrote:



    Posted on 6.26.08 ·
  3. Jillian wrote:

    Hey Brenda – I’ve been listening to the podcast for months now, but never left a comment before. I just want to send you a big virtual hug, and let you know I’ll be thinking of you during this tough time. Jean sounds like an amazing lady, and I think that this podcast was a great tribute to her.

    Posted on 6.26.08 ·
  4. Erin wrote:

    I’m so sorry, Brenda. What a hole in your heart – will be thinking of you. Wish you were here in Texas to be fed goat cheese and comforted with puppies. I’ll be toasting Jean tonight.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  5. Lisa wrote:

    I am so sorry. Know that your virtual community is thinking of you and we all send you hugs and “sweaters” during this cold time.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  6. Christine wrote:

    Prayers, blessings, and gratitude for you – and for the gift that Jean gave you and thus us. Peace.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  7. Azadriel Justice wrote:

    Sending you hugs and love during this difficult time. I raise my glass to Jean, to you and to all of us. This world is a better place for Jean having been here and she will be deeply missed. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  8. Caelidh wrote:

    Wow.. I haven’t even finished this episode and already I am moved to tears. I remember that essay…

    I really loved your earlier Cast On’s because they seemed more inspirational. more from the heart. More from what you had to say rather than just knitting content.

    While Knitting content is cool.. bringing the passion aspects of knitting and creating and what life is all about is what draws me to your podcast.

    I have been absent from your blog.. but I still listen to your podcast.. but I have to admit.. I really enjoy the earlier ones where you so eloquently communicate your spirit to the world. You are the one who inspired me to go out and do my own podcast…..

    Thanks Brenda!!!

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  9. Liz, Kent, UK wrote:

    Thank you for sharing so openly with us your feelings for a hugely significant woman in your life. Knitting has become very precious to me so I appreciate the value of her gift to you. I’ve bought some nice Californian red for tonight’s toast – I’ll be thinking of you. Hug x

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  10. Laney wrote:

    Brenda – as I listened to your heart thoughts of Jean, I was reminded of a friend so dear to my own life and history that I can’t imagine the loss you feel. I will indeed raise a glass to Jean and to Estelle (my friend) and to the beauty and treasure of friends and pray that I will be a friend as they are and have been.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  11. Sara wrote:

    Brenda, I was also moved to tears listening to your podcast this morning. It was touching and heartening, a poignant and honest way to honor your friend’s memory. I would be deeply pleased if my friends remember me in such a way. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. This evening, I’ll be lifting a glass to Jean and all the friends we dearly love.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  12. AndreaPgn wrote:

    How nice it must have been to have her in your life. She’ll be remembered tonight.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  13. Annamarie wrote:


    Thank you for all you share with us, your loyal listeners.

    Posted on 6.27.08 ·
  14. Valeria wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I’m very sorry for your loss, I’ll take my knitting tonight and pour myself a glass of wine and remember all the people who taught me to knit (my mother who died almost 10 years ago) and my aunt who taught me the beginnings of crochet and a nice, sweet lady known to my parrents who taught me frivolit√ɬ©/tatting. I’ll also light a candle and that will be especially with you in my mind and hope the warmth and light will come to you in this sad time.

    Thank you for your podcasts, thank you for sharing and thank you for being you.

    Take care.
    Big hug

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  15. Heidi wrote:

    Ah, Darling Brenda.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you, as Dionysian as they may be.
    I am so grateful for her gift to you which you’ve shared with all of us all around the planet. What kind of magical person can make such a marvelous thing happen?
    Love to you and Ms. Tonia,

    *Oh thank you, thank you, thank you, Jean.*

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  16. Amber wrote:

    Brenda, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Thank you for sharing so openly, and causing the rest of us to think about our own absent friends. Here’s to Jean.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  17. Lorri wrote:

    Brenda, my heart goes out to you. I know that Jean played a starring role in your cast of characters during Act One – The early years of knitting – and that this is one role that will go unfilled as no understudy could do it justice.

    I was listening to you during my morning walk. Just after you asked us to raise a toast in memory of Jean and absent friends and the opening strains of Heavenly Day began, the sky opened up, as if on cue, and a summer shower began. It seems as if the heavens wept along with the rest of us.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and know that we are here for you as much, if not more, than you are there for us.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  18. Dear Brenda,

    I only recently found your podcast, having become recently disabled and having newly open time on my hands. In just a couple of weeks, I’ve already begun to enjoy your beautiful voice and have been catching up on earlier shows. This morning’s post was so touching. While we’ve never met, just know that I am a friend and will be offering prayers for your comfort. Losing a friend–a true friend–is a delicate time. Be good to yourself and knit your sorrows into something soft and beautiful.

    Take care, Beth

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  19. Auntly H wrote:

    to absent friends…..


    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  20. Denise wrote:

    I was teary-eyed by the end of it. Thanks for airing that essay again, and for reminding me (and everyone) that even something that seems so small, like teaching a friend to knit, can have a huge, far-reaching impact.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  21. Red wrote:

    Sorry about the loss of your friend. So glad that you have people to share that love with and have the support you need.

    As I listened to the end and your comment about toasting absent friends, I was glad that I bought tickets to see an old friend later this summer. We’ve know each other half our lives and she too was a friend who taught me crafting skills.

    Thanks for sharing and agree with you about the soul satisfication making things with your hands can bring. The fact that your knitting skill was taught you by a friend is even better.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  22. Sara in WI wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. You are my friend, tho we’ve never met. And I send hugs to you………

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  23. Nadine wrote:

    Many hugs for you and thank you so much for sharing. I’ll raise my glass to Jean tonight and to the company that knitting brings in real and virtual life.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  24. Lesley wrote:

    Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, and we are grateful to be an ear for you.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  25. Kayleigh wrote:

    Beautiful podcast. I’ll be raising a glass and a knitting needle tonight to Jean,

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  26. alala wrote:

    I’m so sorry for your – well, our – loss. I’ve raised a mug of chamomile tea (I have a cold – no wine for me) to Jean’s memory, and my thoughts are with you in this sorrowful time.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  27. Kristen wrote:

    Very sorry. Wishing you peace.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  28. Susan wrote:

    What sad news for you. Reminds us all to keep our friends close, and let them know we love them. We never know ….

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  29. Ellen wrote:

    I am so sorry, Brenda! Also that you are so far away.
    But I have to tell you, I wish I could be a Jean to someone!

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  30. Oh, Brenda. You and I had such a similar loss Tuesday night. My Nana, the woman who taught ME to knit, also died on Tuesday night.

    I’m in tears listening to this episode and as I type this to you, but I want you to know how wonderful it is to have your voice to knit to. To my Nana and to your Jean, Slainte and swift journey. To you, Brenda, much love and shared tears.

    Posted on 6.28.08 ·
  31. Tara wrote:

    I was so touched by your episode. Thank you for allowing yourself to be so vulnerable and for allowing all of us to share in this moment with you. What a truly beautiful episode.

    I also wanted to thank you for introducing me to Patty Griffin. I’m downloading her latest album from iTunes as I type this. What a talent artist she is!

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  32. Angelina wrote:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am definitely raising a glass to Jean; you obviously have the joy of beautiful memories, and of course the knitting – what an amazing gift from a lovely friend. I wish you peace, and safe travels to Jean.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  33. Michele wrote:

    What more is there to say that hasn’t been said in the 39 replies before mine? But say it again I will:

    Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss. But in your usual spirit of loving and giving, you have somehow managed to transform a personal tragedy into a gift for others and a gift for Jean as well. You’ve made her life even more meaningful by honoring her role in bringing you into our lives. You’ve closed the circle (joining without twisting, if you will) that holds us all together as we struggle to create beauty in our own lives by the simple act of tangling some strings.

    The glass will be raised tomorrow to honor you, Jean, and the makers and sharers of beauty everywhere.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  34. Nic wrote:

    I finished my socks in Jean’s honour yesterday. Friends can be absent in so many ways and you’ve made me more determined to fight my way back to a friend who is currently ill and blocking us all out.
    Nic xx

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  35. Tracy Hite wrote:

    Thanks to a Zune software glitch, I got another copy of show 64 right after Jean’s show. So fire up those fiddles, boys, and hand her one last drink, the world was Jean’s tonight.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  36. Laine wrote:

    Hey Brenda. Just wanted to let you know I am so sorry about the death of your friend. She gave you a gift, and in turn, gave all of us a gift. Thinking of you.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  37. Aileen wrote:

    To Absent Friends & in remembrance of the ones that touch our lives the most. I can totally relate … they would only want us to move on & live life to the most & in the present. Take care Brenda – Regards, Aileen

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  38. Abigail wrote:

    I too was moved to tears by this episode. Brenda, I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. I will be thinking of her and you and will raise a glass to both of you.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  39. Kirsty wrote:

    What a moving tribute to Jean, I’m sitting here with my glass raised and tears streaming down my face.

    Posted on 6.29.08 ·
  40. Amy wrote:

    Brenda, Thank you for sharing Jean with us for these last few years. You have mentioned her again and again in your pod-casts and it is apparent how much you loved her and how much joy she brought into your life, and subsequently into the lives of thousands around the world through this wonderful listening friendship.

    To Absent Friends, may the love they have given live on through all of us.

    Posted on 6.30.08 ·
  41. Tara S wrote:

    I am sorry for your loss.
    To absent friends….

    Posted on 6.30.08 ·
  42. Brenda, I am so sorry to hear that this world lost one of THE BEST. All though your podcast as I was hanging on to every word and every syllable you uttered because I just knew that you had lost someone very dear to your heart. I am so very sorry for your loss. I don’t usually drink too much – especially if I’m going to be knitting but tonight I WILL make the exception and Toast your beloved friend Jean. {{{{{HUGS}}}}} from PA.

    Posted on 6.30.08 ·
  43. Lori wrote:

    I am sorry for your loss.

    Posted on 6.30.08 ·
  44. Turtleknits wrote:

    Brenda, my deepest sympathy for the loss of your dear friend Jean. As she was a part of your life, she was a part of ours, too.

    Posted on 7.1.08 ·
  45. Erin wrote:

    I’ve been listening to the podcast for a while now, but never reached out to comment… I just wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with you.

    To absent friends…

    Posted on 7.1.08 ·
  46. Jenna wrote:

    Dear Brenda,

    I am always moved by your podcasts. You touch my heart in so many ways, your description of the lake shining in winter, your walks in the countryside, churchyards, the abandoned barn with all it’s history and possibilities, and now the passing of dear Jean. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.
    Cheers to Jean and all absent friends.
    Warm hugs of comfort and caring to you from across the sea.

    Posted on 7.1.08 ·
  47. Kathy wrote:

    I read Jean’s obituary in The Oregonian last Saturday. I didn’t know her, but as I read I felt sadness and a connection to her: she was my age,she had a sweet little Pug, she was a knitter. And I didn’t know that this incredible woman I was reading about your Jean. This evening as I sat down with my Ipod and my knitting and listened, it hit me like a blow.
    This podcast is part of my sweater now.
    I’ve poured my glass. A toast to Jean and the warmest hugs to you Brenda.

    Posted on 7.2.08 ·
  48. Janey wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    I’ve just listened to this podcast and I felt so sad for you, I will raise a glass to Jean and you later on today. Thank you for being brave enough to share your grief with us, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m standing with you in this even though I didn’t know Jean (or even you really!) but I do know what its like to miss someone so dear to you.

    Keep up with the great work on the podcast,
    Love Janey x

    Posted on 7.2.08 ·
  49. Kathy wrote:

    Godspeed, Jean…and thank you for Brenda.

    Posted on 7.2.08 ·
  50. Deidre wrote:

    Thanks for this episode. The essay is just what I needed for today!

    Posted on 7.2.08 ·
  51. Iann wrote:

    To Jean!!! And to you Brenda, may you be well.

    Posted on 7.3.08 ·
  52. Lisa wrote:

    What a touching and moving celebration of your friend’s life. Thank you for sharing that with me.

    Posted on 7.4.08 ·
  53. Maribel wrote:

    It is amazing how friendships survive, no matter the distance and through the years, your love for Jean will continue forever and thank you for reminding me of what is important.

    Blessings from NYC

    Posted on 7.5.08 ·
  54. Bev wrote:

    Thank you for sharing your love and loss for Jean . . .

    Posted on 7.5.08 ·
  55. Christy wrote:

    Today, I’m getting together with my best knitting friend. I will be remembering Jean as we raise our glasses at dinner tonight.

    Posted on 7.5.08 ·
  56. ChrisBee wrote:

    Just listened to this episode, will raise a glass tonite to Jean. She will never really be absent from your life.

    Posted on 7.6.08 ·
  57. Nicole wrote:

    All the best to you Brenda. And thanks to Jean for teaching you to knit so that you can share with us all.

    Posted on 7.6.08 ·
  58. Ai Lu wrote:


    I appreciate your sincerity and your willingness to share the difficult moments of your life with your podcast listeners.

    I am one of the people who has “listened back” in order to catch every episode that you have produced, and I remember well your mention of your friend Jean, whom I am so sorry to hear has passed away. Yes, the folks who teach knitters to knit are special indeed, and your episode was a fitting tribute to your friendship with Jean.

    May you be well, exceedingly well, and I hope to see you back strong as ever soon.

    Ai Lu

    Posted on 7.7.08 ·
  59. Hi Brenda. I’m so sorry to hear about your dear friend. My partner works at legacy.com, a company that hosts online obits and guestbooks. I found Jean’s and thought you might be interested in seeing it. http://www.legacy.com/oregon/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=112383621 Hope that link works. Lots of hugs. -SBE

    Posted on 7.7.08 ·
  60. Sharon wrote:


    You have no idea how your podcast soothed my soul when I was going through a difficult time about 2 1/2 years ago. Learning how to knit was a saving grace and knitting while I was listening to you helped me make it through. I am so thankful that Jean taught you how to knit and blessed that you created Cast-On.

    Your tribute to Jean was truly moving. May you find comfort in knowing that what you do means so much to so many people.

    All the best to you,
    Sharon Trimbo

    Posted on 7.7.08 ·
  61. Many hugs and heartfelt thanks to both you and Jean, and a virtual qiviut shawl to wrap yourself in.

    Posted on 7.8.08 ·
  62. Stephanie wrote:

    So sorry for your loss. I have never heard you so somber before.

    On a totally different note:
    I can NOT beleive you were once a cheerleader!!!!

    Posted on 7.8.08 ·
  63. penny wrote:

    may you find comfort among friends, family, and fibre. {{{hugs}}}

    Posted on 7.8.08 ·
  64. Larissa wrote:

    I listened to your podcast on the day you posted it as I also live in the UK.
    It touched me so deeply that I shed tears for your loss as I too have experienced losing (too many) dear ones.
    Sending you best wishes Brenda, and I raise a glass to Jean and to you.

    Posted on 7.8.08 ·
  65. angelarae wrote:

    Hi Brenda,
    So sorry for your loss. Jean sounds like she was a wonderful lady. Hugs.


    Posted on 7.9.08 ·
  66. Elizabeth wrote:

    Hello Brenda,
    I only started listening to your podcasts a couple of months ago, and I have just finished series 2. I didn’t want to jump ahead in the podcasts, but when I saw this title it struck a cord. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it can be to have oceans between friends and family. I live in Chile with my husband and two daughters; my mother is in the UK and my brother in the USA.

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your podcasts. I have a few friends here who knit, and a few who speak english, but none that do both. So, it is so nice to hear your lovely voice talking about knitting in english, taking me back to the countries I have left behind.

    Once again, I am sorry that you lost someone so close to you. Thankyou for sharing your life and heart with so many people.


    Posted on 7.9.08 ·
  67. ulli wrote:

    my heart is with you and jean

    Posted on 7.9.08 ·
  68. Shannon wrote:

    Brenda, I am so sorry for your loss. Because of your beautiful tribute, I’m feeling the loss of Jean, as well. She, and you, will be on my mind…


    Posted on 7.10.08 ·
  69. Karen Wenzel Weigel wrote:

    Dear Brenda-
    I am not (yet) a knitter but have enjoyed the fruits of many a labor through the gift of Jean’s hands and heart…I am her sister in Chicago and I just want to extend a warm loving thanks to you for sharing Jean with the knitting community of which she was a big part.
    Brenda, my heart goes out to you and I truly feel the pain of your loss–of your dear friend Jean as I too continue to grieve the loss of my “Irish twin” sister. Jean was such a remarkable individual on so many levels–and it is so wonderful to hear how she touched so many lives in so many different ways…so many more individuals than we ever-ever imagined. I feel so blessed to have had her as my own sister, yes, as quirky as she was! As I listened to your podcast I had tears streaming down my face the entire time while you shared a special part of yourself much like Jean always did with all her family and friends. Jean was always celebrating LIFE and expects us to do the same.
    Thank you, Brenda, for being such a special part of Jean’s “family” in Portland.
    And please continue to share your gifts with others–
    And Jean, I will always toast to you and Dad!
    Karen Wenzel Weigel

    Posted on 7.11.08 ·
  70. Mary Ann Wenzel wrote:

    It was pleasure to read your tribute to Jean and the comments that followed.
    She lived life to the fullest and it is comforting to hear of the many lives she touched.
    It is indeed a small world.
    Jean’s Mom,
    Chesterton, Indiana
    46304 USA

    Posted on 7.11.08 ·
  71. sprite wrote:


    May the memories carry you and Jean’s loved ones through the dark days ahead.

    Thank you for sharing yourself — the good and the bad days — with us.

    Posted on 7.13.08 ·
  72. curlym wrote:

    To your dear friend Jean – I raise my glass, knit and reflect on how precious those special people in our lives are and how much they are missed.

    Posted on 7.13.08 ·
  73. Alice wrote:

    I have listened to your podcast for months since I started knitting last October, it is the first time I leave a comment. I have caught up listening to the podcast since the first episode and heard you talk about Jean in so many occasion, how she helped you to pick your first project, the cable sweater that was way too big, you met her again in Portland recently, etc. I have certain image of her in my head even though I don’t know how she really looked like. Human connection can be such a weird thing! I don’t really know her, but my eyes gone wet today while hearing the news, so I decided to leave a comment.
    You are right, without her, we wouldn’t have met each other, all of us.
    I am so sorry for your lost (and our lost in a way, for a great knitter). May strength be with you and Jean’s loved ones. Rest assured that Jean has definitely changed the world by her stitches.

    Posted on 7.13.08 ·
  74. Meg Wenzel Kovacs wrote:

    Dear Brenda-
    I received a call from your friend, Kathy, who shared with me the heart felt tribute you offered via podcast in my sister, Jeans honor. Wow, I can’t tell you how much it meant to her family. My Mother and I went out to Portland last week and we were blessed to meet her MANY friends- Pug friends, hiking friends, ER friends, neighbor friends, Peace Corp friends and of course many knitting friends. The depth and breadth of connections Jean had made was really unbelievable to us. We were so happy to see the Portland community (and beyond) appreciated the smart, generous, passionate, funny, quirky person she was. You may know my Dad was a teacher and an inspiration (whom we sadly lost 12/22/07) and Jean would be so pleased to know her teaching -the art of knitting – was appreciated and will be lovingly passed on. Thanks also for the sweet comments of your listeners; they are really a balm during a very difficult time. Please send loving thoughts as we memorialize Jean Thursday July 17th in our home town of Chesterton, Indiana. We will be drinking champagne (that she had left at Christmas ) in her honor! Love, Meg Wenzel Kovacs

    Posted on 7.13.08 ·
  75. Meg Wenzel Kovacs wrote:
    Posted on 7.13.08 ·
  76. Monica wrote:

    First I laughed. Then I was terribly afraid when you spoke of endings that you were ending the podcast. And then I cried. The funny thing about the internet is the attachment that I’ve formed in my mind with so many people that I’ve not met, and in your case Brenda, never even spoken to. But my heart went out to you, and I felt the same sense of panicked inadequacy I always do when faced with a friend who has experienced a loss. My thanks go to both yourself and Jean for your generosity of spirit, for your ability to share, teach, and create.

    Posted on 7.14.08 ·
  77. Paula wrote:

    I’ve been a faithful listener since the beginning but this is the first time I’ve left a comment. Your recent podcast touched me in ways I cannot begin to express here. I am so sorry for your loss and will raise a glass to your dear friend Jean. I will also honor the memory of my friend, Stephanie, who left me too early some 20 years ago.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us; although we’ve never met, I’m honored to be a part of your virtual community at this time.

    May you and Jean’s family find comfort and strength during this difficult time.

    Paula, in Ohio

    Posted on 7.14.08 ·
  78. Steph wrote:

    The stitches on my needles became blurry as I listened to this podcast, from the tears in my eyes. I’m sorry for your loss – at the same time, what a blessing you had in a friend like Jean.

    Posted on 7.17.08 ·
  79. Jennifer wrote:


    I am so sorry. Last night, after listening to the episode, I raised my glass to absent friends. I am thinking of you and hoping you find comfort in our craft, and in the support of everyone who loves you, and loved Jean.

    Posted on 7.17.08 ·
  80. Magpie wrote:


    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have faith that the love and happy memories that you have of Jean, as well as her wonderful gift of knitting will get you through this very difficult time. It is always difficult to loose a friend, but even more so when it is sudden, and completely unexpected.

    To absent friends.

    Posted on 7.17.08 ·
  81. pipneyjane wrote:


    I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Jean sounds like she was a lovely lady – I can only imagine the hole in your heart her death has left behind. As I sat in my lonely hotel room on Wednesday night, I listened to your voice create a memory of her for all of us. The stitches blurred on my needles and I raised my glass of wine – “To Jean and other absent friends. And to Brenda for her grief”.

    – Pam

    Posted on 7.18.08 ·
  82. Femke wrote:

    Wow. What a tribute to your friend. The reason I like your podcast so much is that it is not really about knitting, but about life. This episode was very moving, although I knew what was coming I still had tears in my eyes when I listened to it a second time.

    Posted on 7.18.08 ·
  83. mary wrote:

    just listened today.


    will raise a glass tonight. to *all* of our absent.

    my sister just posted to Goodreads this lovely quotation from *Jayber Crow* by Wendell Berry:

    “I saw that, for me, this country would always be populated with presences and absences, presences and absences, the living and the dead. The world as it is would always be a reminder of the world that was and of the world that is to come.” – p. 132.

    Posted on 7.18.08 ·
  84. Hi Brenda, I was very moved by this episode. I didn’t know what was coming so it hit me hard. It is so wonderful to listen to someone who can communicate as beautifully as you. I have been listening to you, in the distance, for some time now (even though I am not much of a knitter) and I appreciate that you can let us into your life so intimately. I am very sad for your loss. Best Riley.

    Posted on 7.23.08 ·
  85. lisa Co. Springs wrote:

    Just got around to listening to episode 65. Brenda, I just can’t tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Jean sounds like a wonderful woman, and I’m sure you will miss your dear friend. Hugs.

    Posted on 7.24.08 ·
  86. maxly wrote:


    I miss you. I miss your voice, and your words.

    Thank you for sharing Jean with us.



    Posted on 7.24.08 ·
  87. Kathleen wrote:

    Hi Brenda:

    I am a relatively new listener to your podcast, just a few months, but it has been a very important part of my life during this short time and I have downloaded all the old episodes and started from the beginning. I’ve been coming out of a pretty difficult few years in my own life, and one of the real necessary steps in this has been to get back into some sort of exercise program, and exercise is so damn boring!! much of the time so I really needed something good to listen to. I got totally hooked on your deep, thoughtful, complex, multifacted shows every week. I find myself laughing out loud or shedding tears fairly frequently as I walk along….having the podcast to look forward to has really helped me to get out there and walk.

    Episode 65 was a lovely sweet tribute to your friend Jean and your friendship with her and with all of us. I heard the essay about memory for the first time just recently, and it was wonderful to hear it again, especially the end part, which is poetry, really. Today when I was listening, it made me think of one of my favorite lines from the Vermont poet, Alan Broughton, “….The wages of dying is love.”

    Take care. Thanks for putting yourself out there for us, like your friend Jean must’ve put herself out there for you more than once. When we listen to your voice we can see you riding those wild waves of life with grace and abandon and compassion and that’s a gift to us all.

    Posted on 7.26.08 ·
  88. Megan wrote:


    I’ve listened to your podcasts sporadically since the very start, but sadly less and further between now that I have a shorter commute. So it was only this weekend, on a long drive home to visit family in Oregon, that I caught up with your latest podcast.

    I wanted to let you know that I was driving through Portland, over the I-5 bridge, as I listened to your story about Jean and to the sad news of her passing. So, for you, a few tears fell for her in her adopted home town, as well.

    Thank you for sharing Jean’s gift with us. Not just the knitting but, as you noted in this episode, the commitment to a creative life.

    Posted on 7.30.08 ·
  89. Robin wrote:

    Everyone has expressed so much and so well. I add my thoughts and best wishes to you and all who knew Jean in the hopes that you feel supported and loved during this time. I feel gratitude for your sharing your heart with us.

    Posted on 8.3.08 ·
  90. Helen wrote:

    I was really touched by your remembrance of Jean. I hope that you will podcast again soon and tell us what happened to her.

    Posted on 8.3.08 ·
  91. Laura wrote:

    I’m very, very behind in listening to all podcasts, not just yours, so have just heard this tonight. I’m very sorry to hear about your friend. Hugs. Big, big, strong hugs.

    Posted on 8.6.08 ·
  92. jae wrote:

    this episode brought tears to my eyes and i fell in love with “heavenly days” thanks for sharing. i hope you heal soon.

    Posted on 8.7.08 ·
  93. Robyn B wrote:

    I too have been on vacation and just listened to your podcast. It is so very difficult to lose people we care about, especially those that hold a special place. Jean’s gift changed the course of your life forever. She will never be far from my thoughts when I listen to your podcasts. Her legacy to you is now ours as well. May God protect you and grant you peace.

    Robyn Becker
    Virginia, US

    Posted on 8.7.08 ·
  94. Robyn B wrote:

    p.s. We miss you. Please come back soon and just let us know you are all right.

    Warmest hugs

    Posted on 8.8.08 ·
  95. Leah wrote:

    We miss you! Hope you’ll be back soon.

    Posted on 8.8.08 ·
  96. Kell wrote:


    I’m very sorry for your loss. I just found your podcast and this was the first episode I listened to. It was a lovely tribute. I’m currently vacationing and was listening to your podcast while walking my dog on the beach this morning. I sat and said a silent prayer for her and for you.

    Posted on 8.8.08 ·
  97. April wrote:


    I agree with the other comments- we miss you and this podcast was the perfect tribute to Jean. I also want to send you a virtual hug to help you through this difficult time. I wish I could do more for you. Thanks for all you do for us listeners.

    Take care,


    Posted on 8.10.08 ·
  98. Nick wrote:


    I recently found you podcast after my domestic partner Carl recommended it to me. I am currently listening from the very start however the tribute to Jean was the first episode that I heard. I was sitting at my desk at work and I cried. It reminded me so much of our friend Cheryl who we lost to Cancer about a year ago. She not only helped us with our knitting she helped us with life. Every time I knit I think about her. I taught myself from books, but Cheryl help me see what I was doing wrong and that it was ok to make a mistake. She also helped me see that I wasn’t a total screw up as a parent….kids don’t come with instructions. She was a great teacher and friend. There is not a day that goes by that she is not missed. She is still with us though, because every item that we knit, she has a part in, due to all the things she taught us. I would venture to say that Jean is still with you in your knitting as well.


    Posted on 8.11.08 ·
  99. Cherry wrote:

    Dear Brenda,
    I am one of Jean’s knitting friends from PDX. I was told about your podcast tribute by another friend (from the east coast – another amazing connection). Jean truly was just how people have described her: fun, energetic, quirky, pug loving and most of all, very into knitting. I learned so much from her, even though I’ve been knitting for 40 years. I still find it hard to think of her as being gone. Friends and I have been sorting through and passing around her knitting paraphenalia and I can’t help but picture her and hear her as I pick up a book of hers, or poke through another bag of yarn. She was a rare generous soul – giving in every sense. Our lives have been graced with knowing her, and as your title of the podcast suggests, other friends as well. If only we always lived without taking each other for granted! Thank you for your elegant tribute.
    a new friend, Cherry

    Posted on 8.12.08 ·
  100. sarah wrote:

    hi brenda–absent friends was the first podcast i ever heard from you and since then i’m daily listening to one (ususally more) of your older podcasts. when i first heard absent friends i didn’t really get the whole podcast–i was washing dishes, doing laundry, etc…so i missed that jean who taught you to knit had passed. i just re-listened to it again today and wanted to say that Jean truly has touched my life through you. I understand from your podcast you aren’t a christian and I do profess to be a christian. that has no meaning it is an observation and i wanted to tell you that i believe God does put those amazing people in our lives. i’m not sure what it means when they are taken away–i haven’t got that far, but i am greatful to be blessed by a woman that had the insight to TEACH you to knit and not just knit for you. so…thanks for sharing your deeepest feelings and stories with us. i feel like many others that we’ve now been friends for years. can’t wait for your next episode.

    Posted on 8.13.08 ·
  101. Katje Sabin wrote:

    Oh, Brenda. What a tremendous gift: to have shared your friend, and your deep love for her, with us via the podcast. Joy shared is joy doubled; sorrow shared is sorrow halved. May you be surrounded by friends and family, may you find comfort and peace in the wake of this loss, may you feel the waves of gratitude and warm wishes from all your listeners everywhere flow around you and lift you up during your dark hours.

    When I grow up, I think I want to be Jean.

    Posted on 8.15.08 ·
  102. Robyn B wrote:

    Dear Brenda,
    Welcome Back! We missed your voice and your active presence in our lives. How wonderful you have found your way back to us. May you be find some peace and solace in the days and weeks to come.

    Virginia US

    Posted on 8.18.08 ·
  103. Joan wrote:

    Back yet again – it’s funny, I’ve been listening to you for a while now, but have never posted a comment and here I am going at it for the third time! Yikes! But I have a question for you that I hope you can answer.
    First, my sympathies on the loss of your friend, Jean. She must have been a wonderful person and we can never ever afford to lose the wonderful persons in our lives. I’m so sorry, so very sorry for your loss!
    And so, I have to ask about Jean’s little Miss Bette Davis. It may seem weird to get this query from a total stranger who doesn’t really know you or your family or Jean. And the funny thing is, I’m not an animal person usually, but there was something so poignant about that little critter who obviously was so dearly loved by Jean and who now is so bereft and is probably only viewed as “just another critter.” I don’t know why, but that thought breaks my heart. Funny, the ones we love help to define us by their love, so when they are gone, we lose a part of who we are. Why wouldn’t that be true for animals, too?
    Sorry, but I had to ask.
    Take care of yourself and thanks for coming back!
    Joan G in Ellicott City “merlin” USA

    Posted on 8.19.08 ·
  104. This is by far my favorite ep. I have listened thru all over them more than once but this one always gets me. It brings back memories of the person that taught me about crafting. She is gone now but there isnt a day that my heart doesnt reach out to her, esp when I have fiber in my hands…

    Thank you brenda for sharing this with us…


    Posted on 11.3.10 ·

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