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.
Last week I got to peek into a few of the lectures and workshops that were taking place in Pender Harbour as part of the 17th International Fungi & Fibre Symposium. People from 15 countries gathered to study the magical art of mushroom dyeing. I met participants from Denmark, Norway, the United States and Australia, many of whom have been attending the biennial around the world for years. Some of them came with friends and others were pleasantly surprised to be bunking with people from their country, whom they'd never met. It was clear that everyone was in their element and soaking up the rare opportunity to geek out with others who share this rare interest.
The field of mushroom dyeing is vast, and from what I can gather even specialists are continuously learning from each dye pot and 'experiment' - a word I heard a lot last week. With pH levels and water quality playing keys roles, not to mention the endless (millions, really) species of mushrooms to study around the world, there is no shortage of experiments to be had.
Enjoy the video! Below you can find links to all the people and places I mention in it.
Fungi & Fibre Symposium 2016
Fibreworks Studio & Gallery
Caitlin Ffrench - instructor of Ecoprinting with Mushroom Dust
Ursula Bentz - instructor of nuno felting
Sunshine Coast Fibreshed
PS The 18th Fungi & Fibre Symposium will be just outside Oslo, Norway in 2018
Last Sunday after being in Vancouver for three days (ie away from my son for two whole nights!) I found that I was locked out of the apartment where I'd been staying. I had to choose to either miss a ferry or go without my computer for 7 days. Much to my own surprise I chose the latter - I was just so pooped and had a 3 hour commute ahead of me. So, I wish I had been able to post this Knit City recap sooner, but better late than never.
This year was my first time attending Knit City and I was over the moon the whole weekend. Between teaching a super fun class and seeing all the new books and designs that have just come out by local designers (and the locally made yarns that go with them. Oh, and awesome food trucks) I was in absolute heaven.
So, enjoy the video above. Be sure to turn your volume up for my narration. Below are all the local links that go with it. I'd love to hear about your Knit City stories in the comments, too.
In the Knit City 2016 recap:
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.