– special from www.kogawahouse.com
Thu, 2011-03-03 12:46 — Ann-Marie Metten
Sometimes all you have to do is ask. Earlier this winter
volunteers at Historic Joy Kogawa House asked knitters from across
Vancouver to help them cheer up the dying cherry tree that stands just
outside the back gate at 1450 West 64th Avenue in Vancouver.
“The 60-year-old tree was leaking sap, branches had been snapped
by passing trucks—it really looked sad this winter,” said Ann-Marie
Metten, executive director of the writing program that welcomes writers
to live and write at the house for three months each year.
But soon the tree will be a cloud of pink blossoms and an early
sign of spring. On Sunday, March 6, 2 to 3:30pm, local knit graffiti
artists Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, authors of Yarn Bombing: The
Art of Knit and Crochet Graffiti (Arsenal, 2010), will cover the
tree with knitted blossoms. A fire truck and fire fighters from Fire
Hall No. 22 will be on hand to lift the writers into the tree so they
can safely sew blossoms in place.
Knitters from across Greater Vancouver have come together to
knit and crochet pink blossoms over the past two months. Knit-ins have
filled the tiny living room of the 1912 bungalow that Joy Kogawa writes
about in her children’s picture book, Naomi’s Tree, a story of
friendship, forgiveness, remembering, and love.
A knit-in Monday night in Council Chambers at Vancouver City
Hall had volunteers sitting in Councillors’ chairs as they spun pink
yarn into delicate blossoms. Young knitters at Bowen Island Community
School crafted beautiful blossoms under the guidance of local knitter
Anne Mann, who brought friends in to help the students with their
Blossoms have arrived in packages from Oregon and California,
from across Canada, and from as far away as Kingscliff, New South Wales.
“The most rewarding moment was when three small children arrived at the
house and lifted a branch full of blossoms from the hatchback of their
mother’s car,” Metten says. The little cherry tree survived yesterday’s
wind and rain, and stands planted in the front garden at the house.
It is the mother tree standing behind the house that on Sunday
will show signs of the love that knitters and writers have showered upon
Media interviews with the knit graffiti artists are welcome
before Sunday’s event. Thanks to Shaw Multicultural Channel, our media
Authors arrive; we orient them to their locations in the house and outside at
Fire truck and fire fighters arrive; we set them in place at the cherry tree
People begin to arrive. They visit the cherry tree and then gather in the
living room to sew cherry blossoms into chains
Writers start reading while knitters are working. Let’s call this part of the
program “Lit and Knit”—they take turns reading from their work while people sew
blossoms together; then they take a turn outside sewing blossoms onto the tree?
Four writers—40 or 50 minutes
Everyone outside to see cherry tree work in progress
Thank-yous and wrap-up. Attendees encouraged to become members and make
Cleanup and event ends