Local author Sylvia Olsen knows the ties that bind, and for her they are made of wool with love.
The prolific storyteller has just published her 17th book, Knitting Stories, which shares not only her designs, but personal anecdotes about her life and her family.
“This one was the easiest to write,” says Olsen. “There are 17 essays. It came really easily. It is a really good genre for me, I loved writing it.”
Olsen has a long history in knitting and with Cowichan Sweaters, she ran a small sweater shop at Tsartlip First Nation from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s.
She learned to knit when she was just 12. “My Aunty Freda taught me to knit. I was always about working with my hands,” she says.
When she moved to Tsartlip she was astounded by the number of wool workers in the community.
“My kids were raised with wool and sweaters. It’s a really big part of who we are and it made the essays easy to come by,” she says.
The family pitched in and posed for the many photographs that grace the book as well.
Seven original patterns are included for items including a snuggly infinity scarf, bolero, sweater, skirt, toque, poncho and fingerless gloves. Knitting Stories is available at Munros and Bolen Books.