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Knitting: When tradition becomes an art

Le tricot: Quand la tradition devient un art

Knitting is an ancestral art that is sometimes seen more as a traditional or family know-how than an art in its own right. We all have a grandmother or relative who knitted or knitted and who anchored in us this idea that knitting comes down to making accessories and clothes as a hobby for fun to counter the insidious cold of the Quebec winter. On the other hand, knitting, although it is part of the traditions of our people, is much more than a hobby or pastime; it is a well-defined craft. This article draws a portrait of these textile artists who invest tirelessly in the creation of high-quality knitted products, thanks to the valuable testimonials of companies such as Charlevoix Pure Laine and La Fiber et Moi .

From one thing to another

There is no single path to achieve a career related to knitting. As in any artistic process, the routes to reach the destination are far from linear. The types of studies carried out here are very varied since there is not, strictly speaking, a program centered solely on knitting. For Sophie Marino, designer behind La Fiber & Moi, it was a question of pattern design studies, while for the artists at Charlevoix Pure Laine, it was a question of textile quality control studies for one of between them while his two partners are both self-taught. In any case, there is significant work in fashion and/or crafts before starting his own business. At Charlevoix Pure Laine, the motivation of all this creative journey is a common passion for the material, more particularly wool. Added to this passion at La Fiber & Moi is the family history of the designer who passed on to her a strong taste for art, but also all the know-how necessary to make superb knits.

Charlevoix Pure Wool

Master points

On a more theoretical side, knitting is a little more complicated than it seems. The possible choices of materials are more varied than they appear to be. The fibers differ and have particular characteristics depending on their origin, whether they are natural or synthetic. In the case of La Fiber & Moi, the preferred material is fiber spun 100% with baby alpaca wool, which gives both warmth and great softness to the company's various creations. These are made using the molding technique. For Charlevoix Pure Laine, the choice fell instead on the wool of Quebec sheep, a choice motivated by the fact that this wool is often little recovered in Quebec. It is worked in the form of knitting and felt.

Charlevoix Pure Wool

Building your business one stitch at a time

To succeed in the industry, as in many crafts, the three Ps are essential qualities: perseverance, passion and precision. To this must be added, of course, a rigor and a certain skill which is necessary for the success of the creation, as for any manual work in general. We must not overlook an important trait of the artist either: the satisfaction related to the accomplishment of a job well done. This characteristic leads a creator to invest fully and to work tirelessly until obtaining what he wishes to present as an end result. All this then constitutes assets when one wishes to embark on the arts and crafts. According to the two companies, when you decide to take the big step, you have to know yourself and have confidence in yourself to start your own business; it is a necessity. Without this, it is impossible to succeed in standing out and creating something unique, criteria that guarantee success. Above all, as Sophie Marino (La Fiber & Moi) points out, the most essential key is to let your passion shine, this is what appeals most to customers and the public.

When you have all these qualities, you largely guarantee the success of your business and it is at this time that you can take advantage of all that can bring, both professionally and personally, the profession of 'entrepreneur. Indeed, having your own business is a great personal investment, but turns out to be very rewarding by all the pride and personal fulfillment that it brings, by going beyond your own limits and by regularly accomplishing small and big challenges. . For an artist at heart, this is a golden opportunity to be able to express their creativity, externalize their art and go ever further in the realization and accomplishment of it.

Featured companies in this article

Fiber and Me

La Fiber & Moi is a company based in the Eastern Townships, more precisely in Dunham, since 2014. The pieces, made essentially of baby alpaca fiber and recycled fur, stand out for their versatility, which allows them to be able to be worn in multiple ways or be unisex, as is the case with many of the company's scarves. The multiplicity of colors available and the possibility of requesting custom-made are two other characteristics that make the company stand out. La Fiber & Moi strives to meet a market need and a customer demand when it creates its knitted products.

Charlevoix Pure Wool

Charlevoix Pure Laine is a nine-year-old company whose objective is to recover wool from Quebec sheep, to which breeders do not always give a second life or real use, by transforming it to create warm accessories. for the cold seasons of our northern region. Both knitting and wool felt are put forward by the three creators, in addition to creation from knitting looms. The company in the Charlevoix region has two workshop-boutiques and a factory.

Knitting remains a Quebec tradition that is still part of our lives, although it has left the family setting to become an art product. This demonstrates the value of the know-how of our ancestors, proving that on certain occasions ancestral techniques remain effective and up-to-date solutions to challenges that have not changed, such as the harsh Quebec winter. Sometimes resorting to the old ways is beneficial. Our elders had developed techniques that allowed them to create good quality clothing that was not lost over time. This leads to reflection as we observe the current industrial fashion unbalancing all the quality-price ratios. A return to popular wisdom that favors quality over quantity may be one of the avenues to explore to reinstate responsible consumption.

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