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knitting

To All the Yarn Makers Out There: Thank You

To All the Yarn Makers Out There: Thank You

Not long after I started knitting Stitched Glass, and the number of yarn balls on our living room floor grew exponentially, my wife Claire started saving the discarded yarn labels. She stuffed them in a clear plastic bag, and put the bag in a chest, and kept them. I remember asking her what she planned to do with them. She shrugged. “I dunno,” she said, “but I’m not going to throw them out until I’m sure we won’t miss them.”

The number of yarn labels grew, of course, because Stitched Glass is such a giant project. You can collect a lot of yarn over 15 years – and believe me, I did. I bought yarn in Canada, France, the UK, the United States, Thailand, Switzerland, and Italy. I don’t have labels for some of the wonderful stores where yarn was sold by weight. But this photo gives you a sense of how many labels we accumulated for Stitched Glass alone.

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 It makes me marvel. And mostly, it makes me want to thank all the wonderful people out there making yarn so people like me can enjoy it.

 And enjoy it I have.

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 Thank you, yarn makers of the world. You make knitters like me very happy.

Local Knitting: Me and Topsy Farms

Local Knitting: Me and Topsy Farms

I’ve been working on and off on a pillow design for Topsy Farms. I’ve written about Topsy Farms before – run by Sally Bowen and Ian Murray, Topsy is located on Amherst Island, about two and a half hours east of Toronto – in other words, one ferry east of Prince Edward County. I was born near Amherst Island, in Amherstview, and it was my father’s first charge after graduating from theological school at Knox College, University of Toronto. My parents moved back to Amherst Island decades later, and my father was again the minister at St. Paul’s, so I have roots there. Our kids loved their time traipsing through A.I. farmers’ fields, watching cows get milked in barns, and feeding Topsy Farms lambs with baby bottles. (Read More)

Feeding the Hungry Yarn Stash: Topsy Farms

Feeding the Hungry Yarn Stash: Topsy Farms

Part of the money awarded to me through my Chalmers Arts Fellowship for my installation, Stitched Glass, was allotted to supplies – namely, yarn. Lots and lots of yarn.

I didn’t quite understand how much yarn was required to knit three tapestries, each of which is about five feet wide by eight feet high. Which makes sense, given I didn’t quite understand how long it would take to knit Stitched Glass (that’s thirteen years and counting). 

So I started buying yarn wherever we went, wherever we saw an interesting yarn store. We have bought yarn in many places in Ontario, in Canada, and abroad... (Read More)