Canada quilt
February 2013
July 2013

Canada quilt

Project info
my history
me, because I REALLY need yet another blanket!
the more ideas I have, the bigger it gets!
Needles & yarn
US 6 - 4.0 mm
Briggs & Little Heritage
lots - and I hand-dyed many of them
Briggs & Little Regal
the more the merrier
B&L seconds bin

Another epic project I’ve been thinking about for 6 or 7 years. I want to knit a quilt with images that make me think of Canada: not necessarily the standard iconic Canadian images, but ones that are personal and iconic to me. This will be colour-work: intarsia and stranded, as well as short rows, multi-directional knitting, and whatever else it takes. Apparently I am not entirely happy unless I have an epic Briggs and Little project on the needles (and what better yarn to use for this project than a classic Canadian wool from Canadian sheep!).

Nov, 2013: Finally completely finished. The knitting of this only took 4 months, but the finishing and quilting and binding (endless kilometres of i-cord!!) took about 5 months.


30 - Maple Leaf: Well, OK, I needed one classic, internationally-recognized Canadian icon. Besides, I like maple trees, from the few, rare ones on the west coast, to the glorious hardwood ridges of the east, so brilliant, it takes your breath away.

29 - L’Anse aux Meadows: This spot on the northern tip of Newfoundland is the earliest known Viking settlement in North America. This square shows the settlement as it is now, but with a ghostly, not-quite-there Viking ship from the past offshore.

28 - Dinosaur Fossil: the dinosaur fossils beds in Alberta are some of the richest in the world, and they seemed magical to me as a child.

27 - Inuksuk: An icon of the Canadian north. And I often see them on rocky stretches of lonely northern highways. Apparently, we all need to say, “I was here”.

26 - Sambro Lighthouse: This lighthouse off the coast of Halifax is the oldest working lighthouse in North America. It is the first part of Canada that many, many immigrants (including my father) saw as they sailed toward Pier 21.

25 - Canadarm: One of Canada’s contributions towards space exploration. This was a pretty big deal when I was a child. And this square is also for Canada’s Commander Chris Hadfield… because… of course.

24 - Northern Lights (with Caribou): I love watching the northern lights, whether I’m bundled up in winter gear lying in a snowbank, or out camping on the banks of Fundy. I’ve never actually seen a caribou at the same time as the aurora borealis, but the caribou is my favourite ungulate, so I added it.

23 - DHC-2 Beaver Flying over the Tundra: The Beaver is a Canadian-designed and built plane, and is still one of the best bush planes in the world. And it is still very important in the north. I used to fly in a Beaver out to my summer job on a small island off the coast of BC.

Petroglyph Horse at Writing-on-Stone: I remember feeling a great sense of being linked to history when I first saw this as a child in Alberta. Such an amazing place. This square will not be used - it will be replaced by the dinosaur fossil.

22- Blackfly: What can I say; I’m an entomologist, and the blackfly is the ultimate, ubiquitous Canadian insect, plaguing me everywhere I’ve done field work in Canada. Those of you who have seen the National Film Board short for Wade Hemsworth’s “Blackfly Song” may recognize this from the last scene. And if you haven’t seen it, go see it now!.

21 - Gate into Old Québec City: As a newcomer from the ‘young’ western Canada, I was fascinated by the history in old Québec, the only walled city in North America with extant walls. I spent a very frigid (-30 C) and blizzard-y day exploring the citadel and the old city. Nearly froze, but I loved it.

20 - Outport Village and Fishing Dories, Newfoundland: I lived and worked one summer in Newfoundland. I fell in love with the dories, so functional and beautiful; each region seemed to have its own design. I was also intrigued by the villages clinging to the base of cliffs at the water’s edge.

19 – Old-Fashioned Sugar Bush: Canada, and especially Quebéc, has always been the leading producer of maple sugar.

18 – Logo for UN Peacekeepers: Canada was pivotal in creating the United Nations Peacekeeping Force during the Suez Canal crisis in the 50’s. Many think that Canada ‘came of age’ in terms of international affairs during this crisis.

17- Canoe (1 & 2): Canoes were used here long before Europeans came; coueurs de bois used canoes for the fur trade and to explore the pays en haut; and carrying on the tradition, I have explored thousands of kilometres of waterways in my own canoe. (I will use only the sunset canoe.)

16 - A.J. Casson - White Pine: This is for the Group of Seven and Canadian art. For me, this painting captures the spirit of the Canadian shield.

15 - Kenojuak Ashevak - Radiant Owl: What better way to represent the north and Inuit culture than one of the iconic owls from one of of Cape Dorset’s iconic artists? I love her joyous owls.

14 - Migrating Canada Geese: All my life I’ve loved the sight and wild sound of Canada geese migrating high overhead.

13 - Cienture Fléchée: This is my knitted approximation of the finger-woven L’Assomption sashes worn by voyageurs and coureur de bois, and still important in Métis culture today. So this square is for the Native and French and Métis cultures of Canada.

12 - Hudson’s Bay Blanket: What can I say? - the company that owned and ran and built much of Canada for many years. (I’m not entirely sure that the colours of this square will fit in with the rest. I’ll wait till they’re all done and see.)

11 - Grain Elevator: For the prairies and wheat. Grain elevators were an integral part of the prairies in my childhood. I was saddened when I visited a few years ago and realized that most had disappeared.

10 - Old-fashioned Radio and Modern CBC Logo: CBC (especially radio) is part of the glue that holds Canada together. I’ll always remember the first time I moved far away from home: I went to work and heard the Morningside theme music and realized I was still “home”.

9 - Emily Carr - Raven: Emily Carr is a favourite west coast artist. And the raven is one of my favourite west coast birds, both in reality and mythology.

8 - North Star: As a child I used to read about American slaves following the north star to Canada, and wondered how they could follow something directly overhead. Then we traveled to the USA, and I realized that as I went south, the north star became more northerly. Now when I see the night sky circling around the north star almost overhead, I know I am home. This is my attempt to capture the rotation of the other stars around the north star.

7 - Snow: “Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver” (my country is not a country, it’s winter) -Jilles Vigneault. Our country is defined by winter. I was glad to leave southwest BC where winters have more rain than snow, and go to Alberta, where winters included -110C weather (including windchill). And yes, each of these snowflakes is different.

6 - Bluenose: A little working schooner from the Grand Banks fleet. Rich men from all up and down the eastern seaboard built racing schooners to challenge her, but they were never able to beat this fishing schooner from Lunenburg.

5 - Haida Orca: From my west coast days. I’ve seen hundreds of orcas along the coast, and I am always, always awed by their power and beauty. I found this image in a book of poetry when I was working on a small coastal island one summer. I was never able to discover the artist.

4 – Railroad Bridge: This country built the railroad; the railroad built this country. Perhaps neither would have existed without the other. As a child traveling through the mountains, I used to love seeing the old railway bridges, 100 or more years old.

3 – Whiskey Jack: or Canada jay or grey jay. One of my favourite northern birds, and a companion almost everywhere I’ve hiked in Canada. Bold and saucy, and always ready to con (or charm) me out of part of my sandwich.

2 – David Thompson Map: David Thompson is probably my favourite historic Canadian. Unlike most historic figures who develop serious flaws if you look too closely at them, the more I learn about Thompson, the more I admire him. He mapped much of North America, from Montreal to the west coast, from the McKenzie River in the north to south of the current American border. On foot! This is part of his map of the S. Saskatchewan River.

1 – Petroglyph Turtle: This image from an Ontario provincial park is what started my whole quilt idea. I saw this ancient turtle carved into stone, and thought, “this is part of my heritage, the history of my land, my place.”

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February 2013
July 2013
About this pattern
Personal pattern (not in Ravelry)
About this yarn
by Briggs & Little
100% Wool
215 yards / 113 grams

7738 projects

stashed 5246 times

teerling's star rating
About this yarn
by Briggs & Little
100% Wool
272 yards / 113 grams

5604 projects

stashed 3973 times

teerling's star rating
  • Project created: February 25, 2013
  • Finished: November 12, 2013
  • Updated: November 11, 2017
  • Progress updates: 8 updates