Friday, June 7, 2013

FictionKNITstas Bring Great Yarns to Regina

Lisa Bird-Wilson, book in hand,
knit shawl on shoulder,
traditional woven shawl on podium. 
The FictionKNITstas Tour arrived in Regina last week, featuring Lisa Bird-Wilson (Just Pretending - Coteau Books) and Faith Johnston (The Only Man in the World - Turnstone).

The event was sponsored by Coteau Books, the first publisher behind the Fictionistas, a unique reading series promoting female Canadian writers. (Several other presses have since joined in.)  And it was hosted by Brenda Niskala (For the Love of Strangers - Coteau Books).

This was the first reading I've attended at The Artful Dodger, a licensed coffee house on 11th Avenue, whose full name goes on to include "Cafe and Music Emporium".

Not a bad location for a reading — though there is the matter of that Dodger. who looms with Dickensian grace over the stage, competing for audience eye contact... But the readers were entertaining and their work, engaging, so I ignored that guy...

The FictionKNITstas Tour features a twist on the original reading series by showcasing hand-knit items that tie into elements of the authors' work — a Métis sash knit by a Saskatoon knitter (Bonnie Zink) for Lisa Bird-Wilson, a shawl by a Port Elgin, Ontario, knitter for Faith Johnston.

Faith Johnston with pine cone
patterned shawl
Brenda Niskala, with the Artful Dodger. 

Thanks, FictionKNITstas, for a great evening! Great yarns, great books, great readings. 



  1. Shelly, the sash was a fun knit. Lisa and I conversed back and forth in order to come up with something that truly represented the heart of her writings. She put her soul on the page and I put mine into the stitching. This combination produced a brilliant reproduction of the Metis sash in knitted form.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I was unable to attend, but sent my spirit in each and every stitch.

    1. Hi Bonnie -- thanks for dropping by!

      I was very impressed with the knitting elements of this project.

      As a knitter myself, I'm very aware of how much of ourselves we put into each piece -- not the least of which are the daydreams that we knit into those repetitive stitches... And the planning, for those stitches that are less so.

      Which is why, back when I was _way_ more prolific as a knitter, I claimed I'd never knit for anyone but me, because I'd then be giving away my dreams...

      Though what the difference is between that and sharing my creative writing, I never did figure out!

      Again, hi and thanks!


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