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Books, DIY, Events, Speaking Engagements, Workshop

Upcoming Event: A Day of Knitting

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This weekend I’ll be in West Vancouver  at the West Vancouver Memorial Library to talk about the origins of yarn bombing and teach eager yarn bombing newbies how to make ‘pom pom bombs’. It will be a fun couple hours of looking at different knit graffiti projects from around the world and sharing stories.

Here is the library’s official release – don’t miss events with Holli Yeoh or Knit Social! AND, the librarians have their own special literary ‘yarn storm’ planned for the building that day too.

West Vancouver Memorial Library to weave together an exciting celebration of fibre arts

Thursday, February 13, 2014, West Vancouver, B.C. – The walls and halls of West Vancouver Memorial Library are covered in fibre arts this month, inspired by the exhibition TEXTILES at the Library. The exhibition features the work of more than 20 Vancouver fibre artists, working in a variety of media and techniques, and showcases both the quality of work being done in the Lower Mainland and the infinite variety found in the fibre arts.

February 22 will be a day devoted to needles, yarn, backstitches and crotchets at West Vancouver Memorial Library’s Day of Knitting festivities. The celebration includes knitting workshops, authors, presentations, instruction, a knit-in, a Yarn Storm exhibition and much more.

The festivities kick-off at 10 a.m. with two exciting workshops. At Around and Around, attendees will learn how to create a one-of-a-kind coffee cozy from published Vancouver-based knitwear and designer Holli Yeoh. Those interested in learning more about the growing trend in creating knit graffiti will love theYarn Bomb Primer and Pom-Pom Making Workshop hosted by author Leanne Prain, including a slideshow presentation exploring the global rise in knitting art for the public to enjoy.

From 1 – 2 p.m., knitters of all ages will gather in Welsh Hall for a Knit-In where they’ll work on their own projects or help produce “yarns bombs” to be placed in the Library.

Knit Social’s Cascadia includes a presentation from a new book devoted to knit-works inspired by our local landscape, and runs from 2:30 – 4 p.m. The authors have gathered from the region’s abundant design talent patterns for gorgeous sweaters, shawls, hats, socks and other fun-to-knit, beautiful-to-wear garments.

The fun continues the following week with Yarn Storm at the Library, an exhibition featuring knitted literary themed graffiti created by local crafters and Library staff, placed throughout the Library’s halls and stacks.

The TEXTILES exhibition is on display through March 11 with work from artists of the Greater Vancouver Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild, The Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts, The North Shore Needle Arts Guild, The Surface Design Association, The Coast Character Doll Group and FibreEssence.

For more details, including registration and additional information on the presenters, visit westvanlibrary.ca/knitting.

DIY, DIY Ideas, Events, Hoopla, Workshop

How to embroider on paper

Rob and Andrea, the masterminds behind Got Craft?, invited me to participate in this year’s Got Craft? Holiday fair which took place at the Croatian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver this past weekend. Since the workshop was a drop-in affair, I created a simple and fun craft project inspired by the Photo Feelism project in Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery, which instructs readers how to stitch on photographic paper.

I used my Print Gocco to silkscreen 100 die-cut cards that I bought from an art store. I chose simple fonts in a medium weight, and gave one card a simple snowflake and the other a few little stars. Workshops participants were asked to embellish the simple designs however they wanted – they could trace the silk-screened artwork or draw around the design. My good friend Mary Alice Elcock (of the preserving blog Plan to Can) was there to help me by taking photos and showing participants how to make french knots, her favourite stitch.

Here are some blurry iphone photos of the weekend:

Emily Smith, one of the main organizers of MakerFaire Vancouver, made a card even though she’d been up all night felting an LED sign for the MakerFaire booth. Yes, you read that right, FELTING an LED sign. Emily is amazing.

Artist Rachael Ashe‘s freeform interpretation.

If you’d like to try this project on your own, any piece of card will do. Recycle a Christmas card or use an old photograph.

A few tips for stitching on paper, photographs, or cardstock:

1. Pre-punch your stitch pattern on the card with your needle before threading it. This makes pulling your thread and needle through the card much easier.

2. Use a thimble to protect your fingers. Cardstock is more rigid than fabric, therefore your needle will require a stronger push, which a thimble can provide

3. If you try and make your stitches appear close together (as in a backstitch), make use of the holes already made from the other stitches. Too many holes close together in your card will cause the paper to tear

4. Always knot your floss when you start so you don’t pull the thread out of the paper.

5. Divide your floss in half so that it consists of three threads (commercial floss comes in six strands to make up the larger thread). This will make it easier to work with.

6. Choose a sturdy needle. I like crewel needles for this kind of project.

7. Don’t forget to have fun!