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Speaking Engagements

Crocheted cherry blossoms
Book Tour, Books, Speaking Engagements

Vancouver to Courtenay

Crocheted cherry blossoms
Photo caption: Cherry Blossom photo by Jeff Christenson

I have two free public events this week:

Tomorrow night I will be at the Roundhouse with Ann-Marie Metten and Lenore Rowntree discussing the Joy Kogawa House Cherry Blossom Project for the Vancouver Community Arts Council’s ‘Eco Arts Salon’ series.

This is a free event held from 7-9 pm. I will be showing some examples of yarn bombing and knit graffiti and we’ll also discuss the benefits and challenges of the cherry tree project. Bring your knitting needles and crochet hooks, we will bring the yarn.

Participants will get to knit or crochet some pink cherry blossoms from yarn (or pompoms if you’ve never knitted before!) to donate to Kogawa House’s fund-raising campaign.

On Saturday the 26th, I’ll be in the Comox Valley, aka my hometown, talking about subversive craft at the Courtenay Library from 2-3 pm. This event will be very special for me as both my grandmother and mother have worked most of their careers at this library, and I spend a few years there as a teenager learning the Dewy Decimal system after school. I’ll be discussing the artists in both my books and answering questions.

Both Hoopla and Yarn Bombing books will be available for sale and signing at both events. In the coming weeks I’ll also be at the Burnaby Public Library, Seattle’s Urban Uprising, and Vancouver’s One of a Kind show. See my events page for more details.

Book Tour, Books, Events, Hoopla, Speaking Engagements

A Whole Lot of Hoopla

Hoopla test embroidery

A test embroidery that didn't make it to the final book cover

Is it September already? The days have been flying by as I prep for the upcoming tour for my new book Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery. The nine city tour will have me visiting bookstores and textile centers throughout the east and west coasts of the US. I’m excited to see so many places and to meet makers in every city. Many of the artists profiled in the book were interviewed over the telephone or Skype, so it will be a great treat to meet them in person. I am also hoping to visit with a few yarn bombers along the way.

If you live in Brooklyn/NYC, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, White Rock, San Mateo, San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland; please come out and celebrate with me. I always enjoy meeting new crafty people and hearing stories about their handmade work.

I’ve also been planning a bit of what do during my downtime when I’m traveling. I have designs on visiting Lotta Jansdotter‘s studio in Brooklyn, the Book Bakery in Toronto, and 826 Valencia in San Francisco. I will be experiencing a milestone birthday while on the road, so I think that a missing limbs poster or a glass eyeball from the pirate store may be exactly what I need to mark the occassion.

Speaking Engagements, Writing Life, Yarn Bombing

A Gift

Mandy, my co-author, and I gave a talk at the New Westminster Public Library two weeks ago about our book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti. The week before, we had finished the installation of the cherry tree at Historic Joy Kogawa House. During the event, I had exchanged a few words with a lovely, elderly Japanese lady.

Much to my surprise, I found out later that not only had she traveled from New West to South Vancouver on transit to see our woolen tree installation, but she also came to the library baring many handmade gifts for us – crocheted doilies, little woolen shoes to hang that were reminiscent of our book cover, magnets, and a miniature cherry ‘tree’ which was a dormant cutting from her own tree adorned with hand-worked blossoms.

The cutting has been sitting on my writing desk for the last couple of weeks. It kept me company as I worked through the final stretch of edits on my new manuscript, Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery. I’d been watering it every second day or so, hoping to see some of the buds blossom, impatiently feeling that it might never happen as I drafted emails and looked up synonyms, and scratched out phrases.

This morning, I exchanged email with my editor Susan about a final detail in my book, and as I was thinking that I might close to finally finishing this long term project, I looked over – and there was the twig in bloom, a beautiful metaphor for patience. It was worth the wait.

Books, Speaking Engagements, Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing at Historic Joy Kogawa House

Yarn Bombing at Historic Joy Kogawa House

Crocheted cherry blossoms

Help writing blossom at Historic Joy Kogawa House! Join Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, co-authors of the book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, to cover the Joy Kogawa cherry tree in hundreds of knitted blossoms.

You are invited to come and knit or crochet pink cherry blossoms to help cover this historic tree, whose story is told in Joy Kogawa’s Naomi’s Tree, a picture book about friendship. Knitters and crocheters of all levels are welcome to attend these FREE events.

Join one of these two community knit-ins at the Historic Joy Kogawa House, 1450 West 64th Avenue, Vancouver, on:

Sunday, January 23, 2 to 3:30pm
Saturday, February 5, 2 to 3:30pm

Or help to stitch all of the cherry blossoms into place at Historic Joy Kogawa House on:
Sunday, March 6, 2 to 3:30pm

Leanne and Mandy will entertain stitchers with daring tales of yarn bombing feats from around the world, books will be available for sale and signing, and refreshments will be served. Yarn and needles will be provided; however, donations of pink yarn are appreciated!

Can’t make it to the event? Mail in your knitted or crocheted cherry blossoms to be added to the tree, as follows:

Historic Joy Kogawa House
1450 West 64th Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6P 2N4

Or drop your blossoms in the covered bin you’ll find just down the steps from the sidewalk in front of the house at 1450 West 64th Avenue. Submissions will be accepted up until March 1, 2011. All cherry blossoms should be made out of pink yarn.

For more information see or

Crocheted cherry blossoms