The sweaters, hats, mittens and legwarmers are Mary Scott Huff's artwork, her credentials. They also included birthday gifts for her 12-year-old daughter, which she went to get so she could wrap them. But the suitcase had been stolen overnight on Thursday from the car outside her Fairview, Oregon, home. Forgiving the spelling error in her blog post, the master knitter pleads with the "theif":
Dear Sir or Madam,The 17 sweaters are not just any sweaters - they are a livelihood. The artisan wants them back and she is asking nicely. I'm just spreading the word~
The things you stole from me yesterday are valuable, which you know, or I would still have them. The suitcase you took is full of things with this web address on them. On the chance that you have internet access, and that your curiosity compels you to visit here, I would like to beg you for mercy. I can forgive you. Those items, though I worked hard for them, are replaceable. And I know times are hard, and you're desperate. You might even have children, too....But last night I stayed awake all night, thinking about what I would tell you about the suitcase, if I ever had the chance. I know. It's full of sweaters. And mittens. And hats. And legwarmers. I bet you've never seen anything like it. My guess is that you've never heard of someone who makes their living by knitting. Well, they can, and do, and although we are few in number, we consider ourselves some of the most blessed people in the world. How I do it is this: I make up a knitting design out of my own head, and then I knit the garment, the old-fashioned way, with yarn and needles and my hands. I do it differently every time, a whole bunch of times, and then those items are all photographed and published into a book. Then other people can buy the book and make sweaters just like mine. To sell books, I have to take the suitcase of sweaters all over the world, showing them to knitters, and teaching them how to make their own. That's my job, and it's pretty special.
The sweaters you now have are the most important way I have of earning a living. They are my artwork, my portfolio, and my resume. They are also uninsurable, because each one is the only one of its kind. They are so important and irreplaceable that when they had to be sent away for photos, I couldn't bear to trust them to the mail. Instead, I bought them a plane ticket and flew them to the photo shoot and back. It took 6 months to knit them all, one at a time. Those may have been the hardest 6 months of my life, and my family suffered and sacrificed, too, during that time, so that I could succeed. The sweaters have never been checked into baggage on a plane. I can't afford to risk losing them.
To tell you the truth, if I thought you might put the sweaters on and keep warm in the cold dark rain, I would be happy for you to keep them all. But I don't think you will. I don't think you could possibly know how precious they are to me, or that there can never be another set....I would like to have had the chance to help you, and if you had asked me, I believe I would have. But you didn't give me that opportunity, and now I have some very big problems that only you can solve.I really need the sweaters back. My family needs them back. There aren't any others I can replace them with, and they are totally useless to you. I promise if you come to me I won't ask any questions....Only please help me by giving back what I cannot replace.
Mary Scott Huff