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A Knitting Passion that Inspired the Country

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

For some people, staying home and social distancing during the pandemic gave them a little more free time to pick up a new hobby, or like in Jean Allen’s case, reignite an old passion.

Jean, resident of Queen Anne Healthcare in Seattle, Washington, reignited her passion for knitting during the pandemic — and people across the country noticed. After an interview with the press, Jean received letters and knitting materials locally and across the U.S.

“It absolutely astounded me,” Jean expressed.

Among the thoughtful gifts and letters, jean received a knitting kit to put together her own needles and special cards with sweet messages of love and encouragement.

To those who love to knit, Jean shared: “Just keep on knitting … It can be very peaceful.”

Jean’s beginnings in knitting

Her grandmother and mother knit, and Jean learned from these two important women in her life.

“I could say to my friends, ‘This is what my grandmother did,’” Jean shared.

Later in life, Jean opened a yarn shop in her small town in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Jean Allen’s Yarn Barn.

“I had a lovely time,” she shared.

Jean fondly remembers her friends and family members visiting her yarn shop. One happy memory was when her husband told Jean that she increased their tax payments.

“That was exciting to realize that I made enough profit to up his payment,” Jean remembered fondly. “And we laughed a lot about that.”

At 96 years young, Jean looks back on her life with gratitude.

“I have been fortunate and blessed,” she shared. “I don’t know why [God] singled me out from all the world to give me a long life, but nevertheless, I do tell him that I appreciate it.”

Life at Queen Anne Healthcare

Jean has lived at Queen Anne Healthcare since 2016.

“All the employees are marvelous,” Jean expressed, “so I signed up to stay the rest of my life.”

Jean shared she didn’t want to go home to live alone, and because she had such a great experience at Queen Anne Healthcare, she chose to stay.

Hear Jean’s knitting story on the podcast

Hear Jean’s inspiring story of owning her own knitting shop, overcoming the COVID-19 virus, and discovering once again her love for knitting in a special episode on the People of Avamere Pod.

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