These last few days have been spent at the annual Woolly Thyme hook in Victoria, BC. Seventy plus hookers doing what they love best. It was a mad din of chatter, interrupted only by the sipping of tea and noshing of chocolate.
What struck me most was the incredible array of expensive fabrics, tools, cutting machines and accessories. Our small contingent from Gabriola are apparently total hippy throwbacks. (We use mainly recycled materials and often cut our strips with, believe it or not, scissors!) I had no idea that there were other ways to do it.
Many fantastic creations were on display.
I took the photo below to show how finely some people work. This piece could have been done in needlepoint.
And this lovely arbutus tree was hooked by my friend Gill Elcock, in a style which is called "primitive". Gill taught me everything I know, so I guess I am primitive too. All right by me!
And the piece that totally blew me (and many others) away was Deirdre Pinnock's brilliant doormat, (seen here in progress) "Make America Clean Again". Made completely from recycled materials, it allows one to make a political statement whilst wiping one's feet. At one point the ladies were lined up ten deep to take photos of Deirdre's clever work.
I'm an artist who has been making stuff for 30 years. I used to spin, knit, weave, quilt, design, write, embroider and garden, and I still do most of these things, but for the last few years I have been focused on stitching images from Canada's first natural history, the Codex Canadensis.
I try to live a life of minimal consumption and maximum creation. More and more, I see how these are connected.