Imagine all those stories you’ve heard and read about throughout your life – what do they all have in common? Passion. The hero of the story always searches for their calling. Some want to save lives. Others want to find great love. For Carol Holmes, it was simple: spreading joy through the art of knitting.
When Carol let me into her Sterling Court apartment, one of her neighbors, Marge, was making her way out with a bag of yarn. Carol had many more bags – all filled with a variety of colors and textures.
“I’m a knitting instructor,” Carol explains. She had given some yarn to Marge, so that she can knit too. For Carol, knitting wasn’t just her chosen profession; she loved the art form wholeheartedly. But once upon a time, Carol’s life revolved around something completely different.
Sitting comfortably on her couch, Carol tells the first stretch of her story. For 25 years, she made a very successful career for herself as a regional and national sales manager for companies such as ACS Communications, Sprint, and Samsung. But as she entered her 60s, Carol started to really think about her life and what she wanted to do with the rest of it.
This is where knitting gets introduced. “I had an amazing instructor from Sweden,” Carol shares with a big grin. “She opened my eyes to the world of knitting.”
Carol dove into her newfound love: she knitted anything that her mind imagined. Bringing out a thick blue binder, Carol flipped through photos of her work. It was evident how much progress she’s made throughout the years. None of her pieces looked conventional – each piece was unique, drawing a map of her imagination. When we reach a photo of a young boy cocooned in an afghan, she says it was one of her twin grandsons, Alek. “He’s 6 years old here, he’s 17 now.” Carol laughs at the photo, recalling how much Alek loved the afghan. “You should see that thing now, it’s completely worn out!” She has many people to knit for in her very creative and supportive family, including her sons Mark and Chris, daughters-in-law Liz and Melanie, and two more grandsons Max and Asher.
One day, as she was knitting her new creation, Carol came back to the question: what does she want to do for the rest of her life? “The answer was in my hands.” She started a knitting business that quickly grew to include all ages and various sectors including Vi Retirement Community, public and private schools, adult community centers and more.
Sadly, Carol’s business had to be on the back burner when she was diagnosed with cancer. But she remains optimistic. As she recovers, Carol continues to spread the same joy she found with knitting. She invites her neighbors, like Marge, to let her teach them how to knit. She indicates the many bags of yarn in her apartment. “I have plenty to share.”
Before Carol and I part ways, she gives me a warm hug and offers to teach me how to knit. She hands me a business card. In colorful letters are the words that have become her motto: Just Imagine Knit.
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