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  • Robin Sweeney

Meet the Linnanes Part 2

Meet Jennifer Linnane, the daughter of Bev Linnane featured in our previous Member Spotlight. Jen comes from a talented family and said her mother knits, quilts, rug hooks and sews and grandmother knitted and crocheted and her great grandmother was a prolific quilter and they all made all sorts of wonderful things for her. Her mother, a quite talented seamstress, made some of her clothes as she was growing up. However, in High School Jen remembers wearing some handmade rust-colored corduroy overalls while yearning for trendy black Levi’s jeans. She now wonders if she was spoiled by all the lovely handmade items in her life since she was surrounded by it.

Jen’s mother taught her how to knit in High School, but she didn’t have the patience for it since it took too long. However, after graduating from college and not being able to find a job, Jen said she had to do something so she wouldn’t lose her mind with all her free time, so she took up knitting again. Showing that the creativity in her family was passed on in her genes, her first sweater was a complicated one with wrapped yarn and cables. “It had to be interesting!” says Jen and this theme also seems to fit with her job as an Industrial Designer, a combination of engineering, art and people, a very creative profession. She describes herself as a “multipotentialite” with interests in everything and anything.

When asked about her mother’s knitting, she is in awe of her talent and says her mother tends towards more classic designs and colors, but is still known to go rogue every now and then. . However, Jen acknowledges her tastes are further out there more with colors and design. In fact, if her family was asked what Jen’s favorite color is for knitting they would likely respond with “Monkey Vomit Green,” based on a family visit to the National Zoo in which an Orangutang spewed vile green vomit all over its concrete enclosure and then proceeded to do disgusting monkey things with it afterwards. Now that’s ’s a graphic image, isn’t it?

If she is over at her parents’ house, she finds she is likely doing other things like cooking together or visiting, but if she is able to sit and knit with her mother, those are precious times. It has only been in the last 3-5 years that she has started knitting seriously again, and thinks the isolation under Covid also pushed her into it. She also credits the Greater Boston Knitting Guild with her increased interest in knitting in that her mother joined a few years ago and encouraged her to join, too. She enjoys learning from others and since she finds very few people her age who knit, her mother fills that niche. Jen describes interacting with a mother who knits as “knitting together but apart.” Examples of knitting together but apart include her mother doing a yarn bombing event at Tower Hill and Jen going to visit and support her, and Jen participating in a similar event at the Peabody Museum, plus both working on the Asa Tricosa Ziggurat KAL by GBKG in January 2023. Jen has supported her Mom’s knitting habits by designing and building exhibit booth set ups and business cards and shopping bags for Bev’s Rabbit Hollow craft fair appearances. . Bev and Jen enjoyed a bucket-list one-day visit to Rhinebeck in 2022, which neither one had never attended. They can always be tempted into shopping for yarn together and have been known to wander into local yarn shops and yarn crawls whether their stash needs building or not.

Jen states she is known to be the black sheep of the family because her creativity can be so out there. But she says she looks at her father (engineer—technical skills) and her mother (nurse—process and people skills) and is not surprised she ended up in a technical but creative field like industrial design. She was encouraged by her family in her creativity and feels she is very lucky in that way. However, she laughs when her mother lovingly tells her, “You broke all the rules!” and sometimes even asks “Where did you come from…?”

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