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Join textile artist Jennifer Smith-Windsor for a video tour of her Security Blanket exhibition at Craft Ontario.
From artist Jennifer Smith-Windsor: Security Blanket explores two notions of security. First, the security of the home—represented by antique, handmade domestic textiles such as doilies and lace. And second, the security of the state—represented by eight government-issue military blankets from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. View a photo gallery of her textile-art pieces.
“Being a textile artist places one in a curious place within the art world,” says Jennifer Smith-Windsor. “It is a very niche area and often hard to define. Am I an artist? A craftsperson? A craft-artist? An artistic craftsperson? It’s not always easy explaining what my work is about.” Read more of her interview about her work and her current exhibition, Security Blanket, at Craft Ontario.
Knitting is the common thread connecting the stories of Sylvia Olsen’s new book, but the tales told are about so much more than craft. We readers are granted a view into the lives of knitters and new perspectives on the country we inhabit.
Enjoy an excerpt from Sylvia Olsen’s book “Unravelling Canada: A Knitting Odyssey,” due out April 17, 2021. Kate describes the book as “about knitting, about knitters, about stopping for coffee on the road,” and that it “is, indeed, as much about the road and how it got there.”
The fléché technique is a creation of descendants of French settlers established in Québec, and it is unique: Wherever else this specific form of finger-braiding has been found, it can be traced back to its origins here.
While Master of Living Tradition Hélène Blouin cannot imagine ever being done learning about the art and craft of fléché, she has reached a high level of expertise, and is committed to passing on her knowledge.
This month in Common Threads: a virtual tour, a commemoration of those lost to COVID-19, a piece on a now-extinct fibre dog, upcoming Local Yarn Store Day, and a fascinating thread on the business of knitwear design.
Inspired by a project one of designer Laurie Dolhan’s students embroidered, this pattern features the simplest stitches combining to convey a most powerful sentiment: welcome.
Throughout history, we as human beings have spun, woven, knit, and stitched intention and love into our everyday. Nothing says home to me like the simple softness and comfort of handmade fibres.
When COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in March, 2020, craft shops were hit hard. Owners scrambled to get products and classes online, working unimaginably long days, pivoting on the head of a pin to serve their customers, all while under pressure from shifting restrictions, growing demand, and the looming threat of supply-chain interruptions. As we approach the anniversary of the start of our collective pandemic experience, we caught up with shop owners from across Canada.
“Holding up okay and doing well are rather different,” writes Yarns Untangled owner Amelia Lyon. “The truth is that lockdowns for this small business are a bit of a mixed bag. It is a boon that we are in the internet age and we can reach our customers through the wonders of online shopping, social media, and direct email campaigns. It was enlightening to discover just how much could be accomplished with a smart phone and an internet connection.”
Amélie Blanchard left a career in TV and documentary production to raise goats and to spin and dye yarn. Here, she talks about how taking that path led her to found Quebec’s Twist fibre festival.
Indulge in a virtual visit through time and space to the 2019 Twist fibre festival in Quebec, the last time the festival was held in-person before COVID-19 made large gatherings impossible. We can practically feel the sun on our faces and smell the wool all around. Enjoy.
Although we can’t yet gather in person due to COVID-19, there are many virtual fibre and textile events planned in Canada for this spring, which can help us stay connected to our craft and our friends.
February is a great time for giving wool clothes a good look-over to check for areas of wear. Catching them early avoids having to pull things out of rotation to do more complicated mends down the line. Learn how to sew a modified (broken) backstitch mend to create an attractive seed pattern and a sturdy reinforcement.
From a portable yarn bombing to window displays to gallery exhibitions, here’s what’s going on in fibre and textile art in February, 2021.
Artists from Kinngait, Nunavut, formerly known as Cape Dorset and also known as the Capital of Inuit Art, produced a large amount of meaningful and very bold textiles in the 1950s and ‘60s. Take a virtual tour of the exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada.