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Henny's Story

Where did it actually begin????.....Once upon an island, not your toes in the sand island, but a blistery cold and wet spot, in the North Sea , just off the coast of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, I was born.  Being the youngest of six girls (plus 3 brothers), in our household, knitting was a necessity....NOT a fun hobby.  Mom had me knitting even before I started kindergarten, and I sported a brand new pair of mittens, which I had created at age five, as I went off to school.  I recall mom busy with knitting us dresses, white lace knee socks (which I always seemed to get dirty), hats, jumpers, slippers, sweaters, and yes, even our underwear was knit by "Moe Bos", out of a thin white cotton.  Fine lace patterns bordered the edges and they were called "hempjes and onderbroekjes".  My mom had a talent like no other.  She could just look at something, and without any type of pattern, create one similar....and she expected the same from us girls.

     Growing up, I felt as if I was forced to learn the art of knitting and crocheting, not realizing what a great gift she had imparted to me.  As I started my family with four children, they also wore knitted outfits, and I was proud.  Somewhere during these years, knitting became a hobby.   Now Moe Bos has been gone for many years, but her gift continues.  As a middle school teacher, my students learned in after-school programs, where I encouraged boys and girls to participate.  Then after retirement, I have been traveling to Kenya, to teach knitting and crocheting to the women in the small villages and to children at an AIDS orphanage.  There are now two groups, totaling about 35 women, who make knitted goods to sell in the market.  Each time I am overseas, I thank the Lord for my mom, as I share her gift and love of knitting with others.

     After several trips to Kenya in the past years, I decided to spend more time here in the states.  One of my dreams, besides going to Africa, was to open my own yarn shop.  I feel so blessed to own a small shop in downtown Caledonia, where I'm able to  teach knitting and crocheting through Community Ed. and offer beautiful yarns and classes to my community.  Students are able to walk downtown from five of our local schools and I hope to pass the gift of knitting on to many.

      In honor of Moe Bos, one of the dresses she made for me, when I was a student at Caledonia High, is hanging in my yarn shop.  I never want to forget what a great gift she has given me and I dedicate my shop to her.