Our Fibre Community
There’s a conversation to be had on the growth of our fibre arts community.
Last week Knit City announced it will not be happening in Vancouver next Fall, and many have you asked what it might mean to a business such as ours. I would like to propose that this is a good time to look beyond the initial reactions to this as a loss of a well-established fibre arts event and see the potential for growth that this might open up.
The west coast fibre arts community in Canada is strong. We have an abundance of talent in our local designers, dyers, teachers and artists and that in no small part can be traced back to a conscientious group of fibre artists that wanted to see that happen and made it a collective goal. The community is strong and many benefit from the groups, whether formal or informal, that are bound together with their love of string.
As sad as this might be, I’d like to throw out an idea that this gives the West Coast fibre arts community a chance to re-envision how we’d like the landscape to grow, right here in the Lower Mainland.
As an annual Autumn event, Knit City took up a lot of fibre arts community space. With it not happening in 2024 there will be a few missing pieces in the community: exposure for emerging artists, the opportunity of large collective gathering, as well as a financial impact on our community. But IF this event will not to fill that space every second year starting 2024, think of what we collectively could do with it?
What would be YOUR vision for YOUR fibre arts community? Maybe this is an opportunity to ask what else we might want to see in our community? What would YOU [those that benefit from this community] want to see and what role would YOU be willing to take on? How can we together build that community with our time, effort and buying power? I see this as an opportunity for the community to grow organically.
I’ve heard ideas on roadtrips, and yarn crawls. But what other ways can we collectively support and grow local? There is fibre arts being done so many different ways in the community… is there a way to strengthen connections between the various silos of knit groups, teachers, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs?
If you have been daydreaming about how to increase your fibre diet, or want to see something built in your community, maybe this is a fertile time to make that commitment. Next Fall west coast fibre artists, crafters and dreamers will be itching to meet, create, socialize and spend. Its now time to start thinking about your role in that. Did you know there is a volunteer run organization that has hosted event like comprehensive yarn crawls and brought in world-renowned teachers into our midst? The West Coast Knitters Guild is always open to new members and if you have an idea that can collectively benefit the fibre arts community it all starts with someone willing to put in their time to spark the idea.
There are other guilds for spinners, weavers, and those that sew, quilt, needlework and otherwise play with string. Reach out and see if you find a connect. Knit groups at libraries, schools, coffee shops, community centres and livings rooms can spark these conversations and reach out to support their yarn stores and indie dyers and designers. Collaborate! Create! Just don’t accept this as a loss to the community. Make the community stronger and use the space to build something new.
Each one of us can strengthen OUR fibre arts community; this is a great opportunity to grow in a new direction. What do YOU want to see in kc’s 2024 wake, and more importantly what will you do about it?