Amalialad

Excerpts from The Brooklyn Handknit Story ©2002 Karen Nourse, Parsons School of Design, New York
It all began when I started knitting with the babysitter. I came home one day to find Tsering had picked up and continued my knitting from the knitting basket and started me on an incredible journey of design, women, business. Starting Brooklyn Handknit, I was a young mother and an artist. My decision to dive in was made in knowing I could satisfy my creative self, make a living and care for small children. Quickly, I became a part of a community of women, my knitters were Tibetan refugees from Nepal and India living in Brooklyn. Weekly rituals dropping off and picking up, arriving alone or in groups of two or three at my door, networks of women knitting while taking the subway or bus. Serving and drinking tea, laughing, talking about kids, family, work, making deadlines, never disappointing. Late night calls to Kathmandu, explaining production details, dealing with limitations of adverse conditions: curfews, no electricity, Maoist terrorists taking over the country. From Brooklyn or Kathmandu, carefully crafted designs arrived slightly scented with salted buttered tea. Ten years later and still knitting, I was at new juncture and starting a new business. In New Hampshire, at Russell's family's farm house on New Year's with friends visiting, I wanted to use the moment to come up with the name of the next chapter. At the kitchen table with adults, kids and the wood stove smoking, all kinds of suggestions were tossed around. On a cube note pad, Louisa wrote out Amalialad. It's Dalai Lama spelled backward in honor of all your women who have supported you the along the way. My reaction - it's beautiful but I can hardly pronounce it. If its hard for me, what about others? Confident her reply, they will learn. Amalialad.

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