The idea for this book began several years ago. I was teaching classes in local yarn shops and knew I wanted to design a series of patterns that had a theme but did not know where to begin. Life happens and it was set aside for a while.
Over the years, I’ve met some very wonderful people in the Canadian knitting community. I have been fortunate enough to have been asked to design for yarn companies, local shops and even a magazine.
In the summer of 2018 I was able to make more time for myself. There were no submission deadlines plus I had taken a break from teaching; my work hours were less demanding. With this gift, I began exploring new techniques, shapes and textures.
One day I was sitting alone, wanting to knit, but unsure of what to make next. I opened the small cabinet where I store my yarns and dug around for something to inspire me. What I found instead was a train of thought that simply wouldn’t stop to get insurance for trip.
I picked up a ball of extremely colourful wool that had been hand dyed in Canada, cast on a few stitches and began to explore.
I worked various combinations of texture patterns, increases and decreases; adding cables, lace and twisted stitches. Notes were furiously scribbled as I knit, ripped back and knit again, taking photos of the results each and every time.
I realized that in the effort to create the right texture or shape for that particularly busy yarn, more ideas than I ever could have expected were flowing from me. That single ball of yarn contained all the ideas for this book.
The theme became clear: Canadian-dyed yarn. I wanted to use yarns that had been lovingly crafted with care regarding their source and their impact on the world, while exploring new ideas about shape and surface. These yarns could all be found not too far from home.
Over the following weeks, I wrote and knit, then knit and wrote. Packages arrived from dyers containing the necessary inspiration to keep me going. I delivered some of this yarn to very kind knitters who were also ready to explore and make my visions real.
In hindsight I realize that this inspiration comes from all things small. Each project is built from textures and shapes that grow one stitch at a time. The materials themselves also come from small concepts, individually crafted to be special and unique.
I’ve chosen to focus on the amazing small businesses that have worked hard to create more ecologically sound practices. The dyers whose yarns I have featured care about our environment; each is making a conscious, mindful effort to promote an industry that reduces pollution significantly by using fewer chemicals or inventing techniques that use less water. There is a great deal of focus on innovation, sustainability and maintaining the integrity of the fibre used to create their yarns.
It is with great pride that I present this series of pieces designed using the creations of some truly outstanding people. In some cases, I decided to let these sources be the inspiration during my creative process.
It is my hope to delight the creators of these beautiful yarns and, more importantly, to delight and inspire you to seek them out and give them a well deserved role in your own making journey.