Collages by Tracy Jager of Living Feral make me smile. They remind me of those weird dreams where characters turn into other people randomly, and you know you're in your house but it doesn't look like your house - you know those kind?
Above is a new one that I'm loving. Also check out the awesome desk calendar she offers.
Wool Is Not Enough is a wee yarn shop that recently opened up in the International Village Mall. The proprietor Shoshana was kind enough to answer some questions about her shop right in the middle of the holiday season AND amidst moving the shop. Read the interview below:
Janna: First off, I'm really curious if there is some inside joke to the acronym of the name of your shop, WINE?
Shoshana: No the acronym means nothing it was an accident that I didn't even realize until someone pointed it out. The name is just a play on the expression "once is not enough." Wool is not enough means you need lessons, needles, other yarn, friends to knit with etc. because a knitter cannot live on wool alone.
J: Which products that you offer are you most excited about?
S: I try to offer quality products in an affordable price range. I think that the Berroco line can't be beat for this and I will be carrying more of it all the time. I also carry the old stand by Sirdar, not just quality but their pattern library is unmatched and timeless. I also love the Mirasol line because it supports a school in the highlands of Peru for the children who raise the animals and it is also very good value for the money with excellent quality.
I also believe that I carry more Katia yarn than any other store in the GVA. The one ball scarves
are great fun. people love them. Katia is also a very good company that supports their product with patterns and videos. I don't think any other company does these scarves better.
So I'm, excited about carrying some Canadian yarns. I am sourcing these now. I am also excited about carrying the Knit Pick needles, which aren't available in any other Vancouver yarn stores as I know of. I love the rainbows. I also carry milk cassein needles which are made of milk plastic. They are soft and pliable absorbing the oils from skin and yarns as well as warmth to create a lovely slick but pliable silent needle to knit with, my favorites.
J: Part of the reason I wanted to interview you was because of your recent fundraising to buy a herd of goats for villages in Uganda. How is that going so far? Can you tell us more about the program?
S: The kid mohair for kid goats promotion continues until Jan 15th. I need to make a sample from the yarn to promote it, and maybe find a good free pattern i can give people with it. I just wanted to give something back for the success of my business.
Plan Canada is a great charity that provides tools for success in underdeveloped communities, such as goats, chickens, trees, learning kits etc. Instead of just food aid. The dollars are also matched by governments to increase the donation. Actually one of my main yarn suppliers Diamond Yarn decided to give 20 chickens 15 goats and 10 donkeys to underdeveloped communities through OXFAM rather than give us all pens. That's way better than pens. I think the more businesses give back the better all our communities become.
J: So, you shared with me in an email earlier that you're changing the location of your shop. What's the reason for the move so soon after opening?
S: Each yarn store needs to get a feel for it's clientele. My customers will be different in Gastown than they are in Chinatown where I am currently located, even though it is only 2 blocks away. I'm moving because it is time. I began teaching lessons, then opened a pop up shop in my friends front window, for the summer, then I opened a yarn kiosk in a mall in Chinatown because there is no yarn store in downtown Vancouver. Now I am moving to Gastown and opening my own store. The mall has been great for exposure and my business has done very well far surpassing my expectations for the first quarter, but it is challenging to be in the hallway. So it is time too move upwards and onwards. I will be building my collection over the coming year, adding new lines every month or so, or as finances allow.
J: You mentioned something about a yarn parade or something awesome like this in one our past convos. Can you elaborate on said awesomeness?
S: I am having a yarn parade because it (moving the shop two blocks) really isn't far enough away to rent a truck to take over a rolling slat wall and a rolling shelf unit. So I thought why not have a parade and march the yarn over. Following the parade there I will be having a New year's Grand Opening Reception until midnight with food and entertainment. Lots of fun.
J: So anyone is welcome to join in the yarn parade then?
S:Yes of course everyone is welcome for the yarn parade. We are marching the yarn to the new store with live musicians, and we need hands to help push the rolling shelves.
J: When and where will it be occurring?
5 pm beginning at the International Village location (88 West Pender) on December 31st, new years eve
J: And where will your new location be?
S: 77 E Cordova St.
J: Anything else you want to share about Wool Is Not Enough?
S: That's about it for now. I'm a bit nervous about my new venture into Gastown but I just need to let people know where to find me and they will come I think. Check back next year and we'll see.
J: Thanks so much Shoshana! I wish you the best of luck in your move and with the future of the shop :)
Wool Is Not Enough links
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
Cream butter and sugar. Sift in flour. Knead well.
Roll into logs and cover with wax paper. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Cut cookie from roll (1/4" - 1/2" thick).
The recipe says bake @325 for 15-20 min, but mine took about 30 min before I saw a little bit of browning which is how I like it.
For these I also added raspberry jam by pressing the ball of a teaspoon into the tops of the cookie dough and placing a small dollop of jam on top before putting them in the oven.
This Christmas season I've received a number of cards in the mail from my mom containing family holiday recipes; pretty special. One of them was my great aunt Nancy's shortbread. I tend to assume that anything as good aunt Nancy's shortbread is probably really hard to make well, but this recipe is quite possibly the simplest recipe ever with only three ingredients: butter, sugar and flour. And so delicious; Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside (with or without jam on top). With that said butter is the main ingredient, so since I don't have any will-power when it comes to treats there has been a lot of tummy aches and heartburn around the house lately ;)
Also a lot of scenes that look like this:
Me, as I walk into the room to present Danny with my first ever batch of fresh baked shortbread: (in a sing-song voice) "I know how to make shortbread!"
Danny: (echoing my tune) "I hope you like man-boobs"
Janna Maria Vallee is a tapestry weaver, longtime knitter, and 2013 graduate of Concordia University's Fibres and Material Practices program. In her art practice Janna combines textiles and socially engaged media. She founded VY in 2008.