Saturday, 14 February 2009

Sarah Richards - A truly special lady

Yesterday was such a sad day. I learned that Sarah Richards had lost her battle with breast cancer.

Sarah was a founder member of the Knitting Noras and will be sadly missed. She had such a joie de vivre that was infectious to all who crossed her path. She brought such joy to all who knew her.

Although I have known her a shorter time than most of the Knitting Noras I can remember vividly the first time I tentatively went to my first Knit Out which was then at the Cafe Nero in Bolton. Not knowing what to expect I hovered on the doorstep to be called over by this very jolly lady saying you must be Jan - come on over and get a chair and sit down. I couldn't have been made more welcome.I used to jokingly call her "The bag lady" after this as my first impression was of a lady knitting surrounded by lots of carrier bags from which she produced at regular intervals balls of wool, magazines and needles for knitting club arrivals to view.

My overall memories of Sarah are always associated with laughter. Whenever she was at a meeting it was usually a noisy one filled with her witty chatter. Even when she was diagnosed with breast cancer her humour did not desert her and I have several of her newsy cancer update letters stored on my PC. She made fun of the fact she had lost her hair. Likening herself to Tank Girl and Beetle Juice and including photos of herself. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting Sarah will remember her for the warmth, the love and the humour that she took with her through life.

The photos on here are "borrowed" from Flickr from Eadaoin and Sarah's photos. Some are from Larmer Tree festival where Sarah and some of the Knitting Noras had a great time, some from knit outs and the last photo is when Sarah was presented with Big Pink. That was a blanket made up of squares, with love, by the members of the Knitting Noras and christened Big Pink by Eadaoin as a code name when it was an undercover hush hush operation. I wasn't there at the presentation but I believe Sarah was very touched by it.

Lisa has dedicated the Knitted Landscape Garden, that I have mentioned in previous posts, to Sarah and that is on view from today at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh. These are the words Lisa wrote prior to yesterday's sad news

"Our founder Sarah Richards was recently diagnosed with cancer, and is currently undergoing treatment. All her friends from The Knitting Noras pulled together and made a blanket for her from individually knitted pink squares. Every stitch was filled with love and we hope the blanket has kept her warm and given her some comfort at this difficult time. Sarah is not well enough at the moment to visit this latest exhibition of the Knitted Landscape, and we dedicate it to her.

The Knitting Noras’ latest project is to produce a Naked Knitting Calender for 2010 – and to donate proceeds to Christies Hospital, Manchester."

For those of you who never knew Sarah you missed the opportunity to meet a really genuine lady. She will be very sadly missed by those of us who did have the pleasure of her company. One of my last memories of her is her sitting at Vicky's house perched on a huge bean bag knitting a premature baby blanket for Bliss charity.She was entertaining us with her funny tales and I remember just hearing her laughing. Lisa has written some words about Sarah on our Naked Calendar web site which can be viewed by clicking on this blog title.

Farewell Sarah - you will be missed so much by us all.


Crobbles said...

Beautifully written Jan.

June said...

So sad it brought tears to my eyes.
A well written tribute that came from the heart.

Zu said...

Beautiful post Jan. Best wishes to all during this difficult time. *hugs*

Joan Barleycorn said...

A lovely post. It is so sad that Sarah was taken from us so soon.