Community · Patterns

For the love of Nova Scotia

It’s been long and hard four months in Nova Scotia… At some point, between senseless mass shootings, a missing child, and all COVID deaths, there was so much heartbreak, that it was hard to find anything positive to think about. This was the time when I created this pattern to show support for all people of Nova Scotia.

In those gloomy days, we used our flag to feel connected, to assure ourselves that “we are in it together” and that we are “Nova Scotia strong”. Many people would display the flags on their houses and front lawns, often with messages of encouragement and gratitude. It is a bit unusual that seeing NS flags around my city made me feel closer to all those strangers, that a simple act of displaying a flag created a sense of connection. But it was more than that. The message behind the flag was “I feel it in my heart, too”.

I made this pattern within an hour, and knitted it in a few days. And then it was just sitting on my desk because all of a sudden it seemed to be “not enough”. Knitting it made me feel better, but just a bit. There was still too much to process.

And then something changed. The warm summer days filled with gardening, bonfires, s’mores, ocean waves, and fireflies turned my own emotional tide, as if I was given permission to feel happy again. Being able to go fishing or have dinner with friends washed away the effects of social isolation. And so my little flag slowly changed its meaning from heartbreak to gratitude. Conveniently, both live in our hearts.

In one of my workshops for teachers of young children, I ask my audience a question “How do we know, we are here?”

It is an invitation to reflect on the natural beauty and bounty of our province, something we often take for granted. We are fortunate to be able to have a strong bond with our land, to feel its healing powers, to belong to something bigger than ourselves. And that’s more than enough.

I guess, it is true for any place, but we happened to live here. So here it is, for all of you who love Nova Scotia with all your hearts.

I haven’t written a detailed pattern or instructions for the chart because you can use any method that you prefer. You can knit it flat or in a round. I used a combination of Fair Isle and Intarsia techniques. I learned both from Lucy Neatby, a Nova Scotia-based knitwear designer with an artists’s heart and an engineer’s mind.

You can also duplicate-stitch the pattern onto any knitted fabric. There are wide “margins” on the bottom and the top of the flag because stockinette fabric will roll up. You can use any size needles and yarn and turn it into a large pillow or a small wristband.

This is a Nova-Scotia’s-flag-inspired badge due to creative use of colours. I hope that people would see it as an artistic rendition, not breaking the official rules…

So if you dare, you can wear your heart on your sleeve, too!

Patterns · Personal Knitting


Warning: shameless bragging. Please don’t read any further if it might offend you. So here it is — my pattern, My Whole Heart, has been published in a real Canadian craft magazine! It’s called A Needle Pulling Thread, and the Fall issue is a collection of simple but neat needlecraft projects for Christmas ornaments. I really liked the message that connects all these projects — everyone, especially crafters, get frantic before the holidays, so maybe it’s time to slow down and simplify our lives a bit.

Knitted Heart Pattern

Magazine Heart Pattern2

All right, I am done bragging. Back to stitching the blanket.

Craftivism · Patterns

Do you bike?

Do you bike or know somebody who does? With the chart below you can knit a little cozy bracelet that says “I Bike”. That’s how this idea started last summer. One knitter suggested that it can make a coffee cozy, too.

I bike bracelet chart

All you need to know is the desirable circumference and the gauge for your chosen yarn and needles.  I used sock yarn and 2 mm double-pointed needles, for example. For the white bracelet I eliminated the “bike tracks” and used two repeats, for the total of 54 stitches. The bracelet/cozy is knit in a round, the colourwork technique is Fair Isle, the yarn is carried over on the inside.

I bike knitted bracelet

The grey bracelet has two repeats and the bike tracks between them.

I Bike Whristband_002

Here is the chart based on 60 stitches and 42 rounds

I Bike kniting chart

And if you wish to modify the chart, here is an Excel file that will allow you to do so.

Happy summer knitting!