We called her “our knitter,” but really we had to share her with the rest of the world. Sharon Coleman, who lead a Knitters Reading Group at our store and who was responsible for various “Guerrilla Knitting” projects in the St. Louis area passed away on May 23.
She had been our one-woman knitters’ group since not long after we opened the downtown store, sometime early in 2009. Off and on we would have several women join her but for a long time, it has just been her.
Undaunted by a serious cancer diagnosis a few years before we met her, Sharon poured herself into her knitting full throttle. She told us it was the thing that kept her going. And keep going she did. She was three years beyond a “you have weeks to live” diagnosis, and we enjoyed her company for 4 years more.
She knitted complex and lovely pieces that she donated to us to sell to support the River City Readers Program. We had a display at our downtown store for a long time. She also yarn-bombed the store, wrapping columns in various colors and textures. We looked forward to Fridays when we could see what surprise she left the night before. Some favorites are the rocks she covered in fabulous lavender and glam frizzy gold, or red curly-cue stitches that have served us a bookshelf stops.
Our last encounter with Sharon was at our Central West End store, where she had moved her group. Kris was there and chatted with her about her latest project. She was knitting apple cozies, great little pockets the perfect size for an apple. Kris thought it was the perfect gift for teachers and the two of them talked about her making some in quantity.
Sharon loved Left Bank Books and was passionate about River City Readers. Through her knitting, she found purpose. She found life. She fought illness with courage and grace. We are grateful for her support and friendship. She will be missed.
There will be a memorial service at Bopp Chapel this afternoon. You can count on us to be there.