Tag Archives: lefarge

Yarn “bombing” in the Capital

Tulip Festival, city Hall, Ottawa, Canada

Tulip Festival, city Hall, Ottawa, Canada

The Tulip festival was in full bloom when I visited Ottawa.  Ties between Canada and Holland, made during World War II, continue and I love that it’s through planting flowers and not through war memorials.  The activity of planting bulbs each fall and waiting for the winter snow to melt, for the tulip bulbs to burst into our Canadian spring, however short it may be, is full of hope.

I walked back to my daughter’s house after checking out the Tulip Festival activities at City Hall, past the Nanny Goat Hill Community Garden, and then I came across a yarn bombing by seniors in the trees in front of The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre.  They are getting ready for their annual Walk of Ages fundraiser.  All the flags attached to the trees were knit or crocheted.

Yarn bombing in front of The Good Companions Seniors' Centre, Ottawa Canada

Yarn bombing in front of The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, Ottawa Canada

Yarn bombing at The Good Companions Seniors' Centre, Ottawa

Yarn bombing at The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, Ottawa

Yarn bombing at The Good Companions Seniors' Centre, Ottawa

Yarn bombing at The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, Ottawa

Imagine the history of the last century if this tactic had been used.  If Dickens had written not of Mme Lafarge merely watching the beheadings and knitting the names into the fabric, but of her knitting covers for the guillotines, crocheting a woman’s discontent and fixing it to icons of her displeasure.

Perhaps more lives can be saved as cunning fingers wrap yarn around people and place.

The Good Companions Seniors' Centre, Ottawa

The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, Ottawa

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She’s satisfied today

I’m satisfied today.  I spent most of yesterday’s holiday putting together a pattern for a sweater.  In contrast to the black wool fabric, I’ve had this yarn for only two and a half years.  For the last four months, I’ve been knitting swatches to see what combinations of stitches might look good together.

At this point, I’ve probably knit and torn out the equivalent of a sweater and a half.  Knitting from the yarn rather than a pattern is challenging.  This yarn knits up stiffly and has a lot of bas-relief potential.  But I’m quite stubborn in my intent to stick to a certain theme and make a unique sweater.  It’s come at last to a place where I’ll be able to relax and start knitting the real thing.

If it doesn’t fit in the end, I’ll try again.  Isn’t this a waste of time? you may ask.  I’ll have to admit I just don’t care.

For me the process is a valuable meditation.  And grounding, as my hopes and worries become metaphors in tangible form.  Sometimes the project comes together and sometimes life does.   I end up with renewed energy (or patience) for work and relationships.  Problem-solving through the proxy of yarn or fabric, perhaps.

More than anything, the projects are imbued with the memories of a specific time.  Nothing as bad as those of Madam LeFarge’s as she knit her way through the French Revolution.   But certainly markers. The last summer on my parent’s farm, I knit my first and favourite bulky sweater while tanning in a two-piece bathing suit.  The sweater held the ripeness of a garden and welcome shade of huge maples.  As my grandmother died of cancer, I designed and sewed my future sister-in-law’s wedding gown.  The gown came to symbolize a generation passing and another one to come.  My daughter’s graduation dress was a collaborative delight in layers of pink.  She trusted me to make it and I learned the first steps in letting go.  Clear, beautiful images with a tactile quality.  I wouldn’t trade the time I spent.

Yesterday my friend’s second grandchild was born.  This event will be in held in the final graph paper sketches and in the wave pattern cables that will remain part of the finished design.  So many months to get this far.

Quite satisfying.

 

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