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Unravelling Canada : A Knitting Odyssey

Unravelling Canada: A Knitting Odyssey

Sylvia Olsen
$24.95

 


Author and knitter Sylvia Olsen explores Canada's history, landscape, economy and social issues on a cross-country knitting-themed road trip.

In 2015, Sylvia Olsen and her partner, Tex, embarked on a cross-Canada journey from the Salish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to conduct workshops, exchange experiences with other knitters and, Olsen hoped, discover a fresh appreciation for Canada.

Along the way, with stops in over forty destinations, including urban centres as well as smaller communities like Sioux Lookout, ON, and Shelburne, NS, Olsen observed that the knitters of Canada are as diverse as their country’s geography. But their textured and colourful stories about knitting create a common narrative. With themes ranging from personal identity, cultural appropriation, provincial stereotypes and national icons to “boyfriend sweaters” and love stories, Unravelling Canada is both a celebration and a discovery of an ever-changing national landscape. Insightful, optimistic and beautifully written, it is a book that will speak to knitters and would-be knitters alike.


 

“I love this book, for what it says about the artisans of the past and the present, for what it says about what gets passed on from family to family and between different cultures, for what it says about our country and the people who inhabit it. This book knits us together, not only with strands of wool but with compassion, intelligence, caring and storytelling of the most appealing kind.”

–Lorna Crozier, author of Through the Garden

“Sylvia’s book is a joy to read. It has so much: it’s a book about knitting, a story of a trip across Canada, a personal memoir and a collection of tales from lives of knitters all over the country. Along the way, she explores what it means to be a knitter, and what it means to be Canadian. It doesn’t shy away from the complications and contradictions of this country and its history, but finds kindness, shared beliefs and grounds for hope through creativity.”

–Kate Atherley, author of The Knitter's Dictionary

“Reading Unravelling Canada, I felt like I was travelling across Canada with two close friends. Sylvia brings a unique perspective to her story that is both relevant and timely. As she explains the historical intersectionality carried in every stitch of the iconic Cowichan sweater, she illuminates the Indigenous influence on Canadian knitting...This book is a must for anyone who loves a good road trip and for those who want to gain a better understanding of the fabric that holds our great country together.”

–Christopher Walker, fibre artist, knitwear designer and founder of the label Cabinboyknits

“The book is crammed with people’s stories, encounters with kindred spirits, and appreciation of the Canadian landscape. The word ‘unravelling’ in the title could mean a destruction, a discarding of something imperfect or no longer useful, but a knitter unravels in order to roll up and begin anew. In the course of her odyssey Sylvia Olsen unravels her view of the country, picks out preconceptions, adds some new design ideas, and rolls it back into material with which to craft a different way of looking at Canada.”

–Phyllis Parham Reeve, The Ormsby Review

“...the cheeky title reflects a deeper purpose: to tease out individual strands of identity that run through Canadian knitting history and practice.”

–Tina Anson Mine, Chatelaine Magazine

“She cunningly stitches together knitting and Canadian history to create an engaging and unique look at present-day knitters and wool shops...Unravelling Canada is a love letter to Canadian knitters and to everyone who calls Canada home.”

–Andrea Geary, Winnipeg Free Press

 


Douglas & McIntyre
ISBN: 9781771622868
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8.5 in - 256 pp
Publication Date: 17/04/2021
BISAC Subject(s): TRV006000-TRAVEL / Canada / General,CRA015000-CRAFTS & HOBBIES / Needlework / Knitting,SOC005000-SOCIAL SCIENCE / Customs & Traditions 

Description


Author and knitter Sylvia Olsen explores Canada's history, landscape, economy and social issues on a cross-country knitting-themed road trip.

In 2015, Sylvia Olsen and her partner, Tex, embarked on a cross-Canada journey from the Salish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean to conduct workshops, exchange experiences with other knitters and, Olsen hoped, discover a fresh appreciation for Canada.

Along the way, with stops in over forty destinations, including urban centres as well as smaller communities like Sioux Lookout, ON, and Shelburne, NS, Olsen observed that the knitters of Canada are as diverse as their country’s geography. But their textured and colourful stories about knitting create a common narrative. With themes ranging from personal identity, cultural appropriation, provincial stereotypes and national icons to “boyfriend sweaters” and love stories, Unravelling Canada is both a celebration and a discovery of an ever-changing national landscape. Insightful, optimistic and beautifully written, it is a book that will speak to knitters and would-be knitters alike.


 

“I love this book, for what it says about the artisans of the past and the present, for what it says about what gets passed on from family to family and between different cultures, for what it says about our country and the people who inhabit it. This book knits us together, not only with strands of wool but with compassion, intelligence, caring and storytelling of the most appealing kind.”

–Lorna Crozier, author of Through the Garden

“Sylvia’s book is a joy to read. It has so much: it’s a book about knitting, a story of a trip across Canada, a personal memoir and a collection of tales from lives of knitters all over the country. Along the way, she explores what it means to be a knitter, and what it means to be Canadian. It doesn’t shy away from the complications and contradictions of this country and its history, but finds kindness, shared beliefs and grounds for hope through creativity.”

–Kate Atherley, author of The Knitter's Dictionary

“Reading Unravelling Canada, I felt like I was travelling across Canada with two close friends. Sylvia brings a unique perspective to her story that is both relevant and timely. As she explains the historical intersectionality carried in every stitch of the iconic Cowichan sweater, she illuminates the Indigenous influence on Canadian knitting...This book is a must for anyone who loves a good road trip and for those who want to gain a better understanding of the fabric that holds our great country together.”

–Christopher Walker, fibre artist, knitwear designer and founder of the label Cabinboyknits

“The book is crammed with people’s stories, encounters with kindred spirits, and appreciation of the Canadian landscape. The word ‘unravelling’ in the title could mean a destruction, a discarding of something imperfect or no longer useful, but a knitter unravels in order to roll up and begin anew. In the course of her odyssey Sylvia Olsen unravels her view of the country, picks out preconceptions, adds some new design ideas, and rolls it back into material with which to craft a different way of looking at Canada.”

–Phyllis Parham Reeve, The Ormsby Review

“...the cheeky title reflects a deeper purpose: to tease out individual strands of identity that run through Canadian knitting history and practice.”

–Tina Anson Mine, Chatelaine Magazine

“She cunningly stitches together knitting and Canadian history to create an engaging and unique look at present-day knitters and wool shops...Unravelling Canada is a love letter to Canadian knitters and to everyone who calls Canada home.”

–Andrea Geary, Winnipeg Free Press

 

Details


Douglas & McIntyre
ISBN: 9781771622868
Paperback / softback
5.5 in x 8.5 in - 256 pp
Publication Date: 17/04/2021
BISAC Subject(s): TRV006000-TRAVEL / Canada / General,CRA015000-CRAFTS & HOBBIES / Needlework / Knitting,SOC005000-SOCIAL SCIENCE / Customs & Traditions