Jan 29, 2011

Bev Galeskas

While searching the internet today, I came across the news that Bev Galeskas died last month.  Did you know Bev?  She was the founder of Fiber Trends, one of the most popular knitting pattern companies around.  If you’ve knit a pair of felted clogs, you’ve knit one of her patterns.  Bev was a talented designer in her own right, but also published and distributed many independent designer’s patterns under the Fiber Trends name.  She may have been the first independent designer, as the majority of the patterns published prior to Fiber Trends were published by yarn companies to promote their yarn.

The news of her passing made me sad.  As a new knitter, I was intrigued by the felted clogs pattern and was discouraged from trying it by a LYS owner.  She told me the pattern was too challenging for me.  Perhaps she hadn’t knitted one of the Fiber Trends patterns before, or perhaps she underestimated the power of desire.  She had to know that knitting happens one stitch at a time, and when you are eager to have the finished product, you’re willing to persevere. . .I wish I’d taken the challenge and ignored what that shop keeper told me. . .it took many more scarves and hats until I was willing to attempt the slippers on my own.  When I did, I was surprised to learn that Bev included stitch counts after nearly every row.  While there were techniques that were new to me, the directions she wrote were clear, and guided me stitch by stitch to a perfectly executed finished object.  Actually, many finished products.  I think I’ve made about a dozen pair of these in adult sizes, and at least two in children’s sizes.  It's too bad that I let someone else's judgment of my skills keep me from such a brilliant pattern.

Later, I cast on for the Pacific Northwest Shawl.   

The graphs coupled with written instructions helped me learn to read graphs with confidence.  The Fiber Trends' Sheep Shawl is in my pile of UFOs, but has the same appeal—I just can’t seem to find the time to sit with a graph and do some “thinking” knitting.  Both of these shawls were designed by Evelyn Clark, but have the same attention to detail that Bev's pattern's have, the quality that so many of us came to expect from Fiber Trends.

I knit a pair of clogs today in Bev’s memory.  I hope she’s looking down and approves.

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