This blog post is intensely personal in many ways.  I don't talk much about my personal life because it's, well, personal. And when I expose my personal life, it also means I am exposing the personal life of others, and that is not always fair for them.

Since last fall, I have been saying to myself and folks here that I have had this "feeling" that I need to spend more time with my husband and family this coming year, and wanted to do a bit less traveling so that I could do this. So we're not far into January and well, life has a way of handing you its idea of what you will be doing.

As some of you know, I have had an apprentice for the past year - Jen H. She has been taking on more dyeing as her skills increase. This has been a relief to me, since I have been the only person who, until now, has placed dye on yarn and fiber. She is young, energetic, has a great work ethic, and is an important member of our team. And yes, Jen has given me permission to talk about what is going on. 

Jen has been having headaches and some other symptoms with diminished eyesight. Had her vision changed?? Did she need glasses? We finally talked her into going to have her eyes checked. The optometrist saw something and had her see an ophthalmologist, who had her have an MRI, who had her see a neurosurgeon.  This has happened over the last 2-3 weeks and she is now being scheduled for surgery for the removal of a brain lesion/tumor. What we do know is that it is in a good location for removal and appears that the entire tumor can be "easily" removed.  Hopefully in the next couple of days.  Of course we do not know what the recovery period will be or what kind of followup treatments she might or might not need.

So the personal affects what is going on professionally. Jen is like the rest of us...we like to work hard, we like the routine of a good day's work, we all love ending the day knowing we got a bunch done and that we're pleased with the boxes of yarn that are being packed to head West to Stitches. Needless to say, all of what is happening with Jen has interrupted our routine, and everyone is pitching in doing different things than they normally do. 

Jen normally travels with us to Stitches in California, but not this year. We have 2 folks who will be pinch hitting with us to fill her shoes. Ivy, a part timer with us and a full-time college student. Wendy, who joins us from the Chicago area and has worked with us at Stitches Midwest.

I, of course, have been dyeing madly. But I can see that there are colors I will not get to do in the lineup by the time we ship this Friday, February 7. We will continue to ship yarn and colors as next week continues to fill in the colors. We expect that we will have lots of yarn at Stitches, but that the website will suffer in terms of quantity and variety as we will ship most everything that gets dyed to California.  There are also a couple of special dyes that I need to do during this time for our Outing to Mardi Gras and the first trip of the 2014 Miss Babs Knitting Tour. 

Also we want to recommend that if you haven't had your eyes checked in the past few years, that you do so soon. The eyes can be useful in diagnosing other physical problems you may be having.  If you are having headaches, pay attention and get them checked out.

We do ask that you say prayers, light a candle, hold Jen H. in your thoughts, and generally think positively as she goes through the next part of her treatment.

P.S. We have two Jens at Miss Babs - Jen H. and Jen J.  Jen J will be at Stitches West helping you with all your knitting, pattern subtitution, and yarn questions as she always does.



2/9/14 - Jen H. had the surgery two days ago, and she is recovering well. We don't have any other details than this, but all seemed to go well with the surgery.



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So glad she is recovering. Praying that all is positive once she is checked again. Prayers that this is beat and she will back to apprenticing soon.


I want to send a support and hopeful message to all of you. Quite a few years ago now a friend of mine in London (a needleworker) had brain surgery and has fully recovered BECAUSE it was found in the early stages and operable. I fully concur with the don’t ignore warning signs. Don’t think you’re a whiner. Go to the doctor and tell him/her what you’re experiencing. They’re there to help and the more you do the better they can help you. Best wishes.


Glad to hear Jenn’s surgery went well. I think I remember meeting her at the Michigan Fiber Festival this past year?

Please let her know we are thinking of her and praying for a swift recovery!


So glad to hear that Jen’s surgery has gone well, and praying for her continuing recovery and progress.

Elizabeth Quinn

Oh my gosh. What a wonderful support she has in you and the others. Mat God speed her recovery and hold her safe. Thoughts, prayers and positive energy to all.


Love, thoughts, prayers for Jen and all of her “family” for a speedy and full recovery

Melanie in SC

Sending warm wishes, virtual hugs, and heartfelt prayers for Jen H. and the entire Miss Babs familiy. Will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.


Prayers and love for Jen (from another Jen). Bless you all for pinch hitting!


Sorry to hear this, may the bless and keep all of you in the palm of his hand. Prayer for you Jen.


I have known Miss Babs and some of the members of her team for several years, and consider a few of them friends. When I got the news of Jen H’s sight problems, chills went through me (I am in the medical field and currently work for ophthalmologists who are also surgeons). I waited for the daily updates and brought my church into my prayers almost instantly.
If you do not know Jen H, you do the second she walked in the room…she lets you know she is there! Her skills and her love for her work are a joy to watch…soaking up knowledge from Miss Babs the way the yarn does the die…and Jen H also loves to help you learn…to pass on what she knows.
But most of all Jen H is a PROUD MOTHER. She loves to show off her kids, talk about them, laugh about them and worries about them.
I consider Jen H a friend, my love and prayers go out to her, Zak and the rest of her family and to her OTHER FAMILY…the one at MISS BABS Hand Died Yarn & Fibers, because that is want it is there, a family.


If you see Jen please give her a huge hug from me.

I am sending mojo her way.


candle lit, warm wishes sent. I know exactly how life can turn you around and land you upside down so I wanted to also send some love to Jen and the whole team. Thoughts of a speedy and easy recovery!!


Wishing Jen a full and speedy recovery and all code to her the strength and peace to help her and each other.

Thanks for sharing this and putting the message out to get your eyes checked regularly and listen to your body when something isn’t right.

Agree with all who have posted that while the business is important, it’s more important that you all don’t overtax yourselves. If the yarn tour ships late we will all be just fine.

Linda H

Prayers and positive thoughts going to Jenn H.


Prayers, white light, good thoughts, wishes and dreams to Jen H. Brain tumors SUCK (from personal experience). May you be circled in love and hope and healing from all who care about you. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Arthella P

Thoughts and prayers for Jen H. and the entire Miss Babs family.


I’m so sorry to hear about this. I’ll include Jen in my prayers and all of you as well.
Big hugs to all.

Sandy in NJ

Holding all of you – especially Jen and her family – in my heart. Prayers for strength and a speedy recovery. Thinking of everyone as I knit my Miss Babs beautiful yarn. I wish I could express just how happy it makes me.

Kris C

Sending Jen and all your team prayers, light, and love. Lifting Jen up in prayer right now…xo


Wishing Jen a successful surgery and speedy recovery. She (and everyone affected by this) is in my prayers. Hugs to all.


Oh my,of course Jen is in my prayers and thoughts…candles as well! Thank heavens she went to get her eyes checked. We will all deal with the yarn thing (and we do love what you do to that yarn!)…the important focus is on Jen and her recovery.


My thoughts and prayers are with Jen and the whole Miss Babs team. Circle your wagons and do what you have to do. It’s just string. Pretty, pretty, soft string, but in the grand scheme (“skein”) of life, people are more important and your many fans surely understand that!

Lisa F

Thank you for letting us know about this Miss Babs and Jen. I admire and respect your honesty and courage. Love and prayers, Lisa

Debra Noe

Life’s twists and turns…much like fibers, can be frightening and tedious, but can end up something beautiful! Healing energy, hugs and love to Jen!


Praying for Jen’s quick recovery.

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