Vancouver Yarn has been on the back burner for me since its tender age of 3 while I was in Montreal and New York over the past six years. Since my return to BC this past summer I'm finally feeling settled. I've begun paying attention to local textile happenings again and I'm super excited to dive in. Creating that first Vancouver Yarn page while on my lunch break during a nannying gig one January '08 afternoon is a fond memory. I had no idea at the time that the knitting and DIY scene was exploding. I thought I was late to the game but that was just the beginning (Ravelry was only 1yo!) This month VY celebrates its 9th birthday and I have to admit I'm blown away by how many new knitwear designers, indie yarn dyers, and yarn shops have emerged in and around Vancouver since our beginnings, not to mention podcasts (which didn't exist back then). I've always tried to make VY a great local textile resource despite my proximity, but now that I'm back it's time to step it up a notch.
To begin with I'll be offering a monthly newsletter which will come out on the first Wednesday of the month and include my pick of the upcoming workshops in town, a rundown of what we're aware of events-wise for the next month or so, our featured Instagram and Pintrest posts, and a classifieds section. Let me know if you have any suggestions for it. For people/businesses wanting to submit information to this website, our calendar, or submit a classifieds ad in the monthly newsletter all the info including free and paid options can be found HERE.
Actively seeking out submissions is a new approach for us. Until now most of the info on Vancouver Yarn has been sourced by me. So, let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you.
Happy New Year!
PS I kind of feel like I've been reintroducing myself lately so I thought a photo of me would make sense - hence the months old Knit City pic.
This text originated in our monthly newsletter. Sign up to get the second half which includes my pick of the upcoming workshops in town, a rundown of what we're aware of events-wise for the next month, our featured instagram and pintrest posts, and a classifieds section. To add your event, product or what-have-you to our classifieds for only $4 go here.
This is a longer post than normal, but it will be worth the read if your at all interested in the happenings of VY. I will be as concise as I possibly can. There are three main happenings; 1) The new website (isn't it pretty?) 2) Our new blog location (right on the website now) and 3) My upcoming move to Montreal
1) The new website:
I've been meaning to clean up the website for quite awhile. When I built VY in 2008 I had no design experience nor any web building experience, so as we received more and more visitors I was continually inspired to make it even better for you, and I've learned a lot. For that reason it has been perpetually changing (in small ways): I've added and removed pages based on what gets visited. This time around I have removed the 'free patterns' page (boo) since it was not in the top 50 most visited pages as well as the 'lessons' page. The lessons page was kind of high maintenance and not very user friendly (users had to create their own calendar first) and therefore not many people used it. Buh-bye pages!
The new website is definitely better with its cleaner look and organized pages. I've cut down on pictures which will allow the pages to upload quicker, have added a navigation system that is more intuitive, and have also given the 'links' page an overhaul. I was beginning to refer to it as my virtual junk drawer, avoiding de-cluttering it at all costs. But alas I finally did it; eliminating links that weren't being updated and adding more exciting links, and there are more to come (any suggestions?)
Other new features:
-Discussion forum: This is one of the things I wanted to add back in 2008 but wasn't sure how. Now that I know, here it is. The best part is that you can sign up using Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and the list goes on. Check it out and start a topic! (update May 2012 - this feature has since been removed due to lack of interest)
- Favicon: That cute little yarn icon to the left of the url address. I've always wanted one of those.
- 'Stores with Yarn' page. I thought it would be a good idea to make a distinction between the stores that specialize in yarn, and the ones that just happen to carry some yarn. This change came about after the Dressew fiasco ensued, where Dressew began to carry some of the same yarn brands (like Rowan) as our local yarn shops. To be honest I've avoided creating discussion about it for fear I would inadvertently promote them. But the gist is Dressew has been selling yarn for $2 a ball for quite some time but did not directly compete with our local yarn shops since they did not carry the same yarn. Recently they began carrying some of the same yarn brands (as a few local yarn shops) for a fraction of the price. This caused somewhat of a uproar as many people believe it is unjust and unethical to do so since you lys' are struggling small businesses too. I asked a cashier at Dressew if she thought it was unethical and she responded by saying that it is only fair since Dressew buys yarn by the truck load. Others have responded with the argument that 'some people can't afford yarn at actual yarn shops in the first place, shouldn't they have the opportunity to knit and crochet too?'
I wonder if the supplier (Westminster Fibres) is at fault, as they undercut long-time loyal clients.
What do you think?
okay, back to business......
2) The new blog location:
So I've moved the blog for a couple of reasons. Firstly it is now completely incorporated into the website which looks nicer and is faster and easier to access. Secondly, having your blog hosted on your own website, not separately, is just a smart thing to do. I feel safer knowing it won't get deleted, blocked or spammed as so many free blogs have.
For those of you who have faithful followed us through Reader and such, just click the RSS button on the top right and you can re-subscribe. Thanks.
P.S. Sorry for skipping the June Blog Feature. I got all caught up in things and totally forgot. July is a duesy though, check back in the first week of the month for it.
3) My big move to Montreal
It is possible that all of these new improvements might be over-compensation for the pre-guilt I feel for the fact that I will probably be a little neglectful (blogfully and otherwise) for the next while as I finish my fine art degree in the Fibres Program at Concordia University in Montreal. Danny and I (and our Cat Lily too) are moving at the end of July to Montreal (a few blocks away from the famous Jean Talon Market and a 15 min Metro to school). We are uber prepared; I'm all registered for classes, Danny flew in to be interviewed and got a job teaching for the Montreal English School Board, and our rent is paid for July!
Going to Concordia is a continuation of my education in the Textile Art Program at Capilano University. Cap gave me an extremely strong technical foundation that I think will serve me well at Concordia. I love sharing my new projects, processes and such, so feel free to check me out on my website and blog here, www.jannamaria.com
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.