Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

It’s over. It ended in a bar in Montreal (Blizzarts) exactly one week after it started in a knitting shop (Beehive Wool Shop) in Victoria.

No, this wasn’t one of those fast-to-ignite-quick-to-burn types of things, although sometimes it felt like it. Yes, there were new discoveries made. And yes, it did feel at times like running head long into the unknown with no brakes, heart pounding and palms sweaty. Yes, there was love, that all consuming, insecure-but-hell-be-damned sort.

 Is this about a new relationship? When did that happen?

 Thanks for asking, I say. In fact, many new connections were made over the week.

Okay so dish already.

I’ll give you another hint. It involves entertainment, the kind that takes you places, makes you see, feel and hear things you never could have imagined.

Okay, now you’re getting kinky.

It’s nothing of the sort.

So you’re not talking about a relationship. You’re excited about something you saw or heard, some entertainment. Good entertainment if I read you correctly.


So is this about a concert, a new movie or a hot show on television?

Entertainment was definitely involved, but it had nothing to do with movies or television.

Then, you got me. What was it?

It was a very special week.

I know. You’ve already said that.

It used to be done all the time, before it lost some of its lustre. But this week it made a come back in a big way.

Do tell.

Good old-fashioned story telling.


Yes, you heard me correctly. Some of Canada’s leading female authors (sixteen to be exact) participated in this cross-country event, their strong voices heard in all the eleven cities they visited. Draped over their shoulders and around their necks, intricate shawlettes and scarves, bags and shawls made by participating knitters. The event was aptly dubbed FictionKnitstas. The items donned by the authors were specifically made by the knitters and reflected a theme from the author’s book.

There were many incredible knitters in the audience at these reading events. They listened to the stories and kept their hands busy, chuckling at a funny passage, looking up from time to time to see the author’s expression, the audience’s reaction. I wondered if this was how it was done in the days before television, movies and before all the noise grabbed hold of our attention. It made me feel nostalgic for a time I never knew except in my fantasies.


I could talk about this all day, being a chatty Cathy and all.

Don’t let me stop you.

As one of the authors (Nicolai’s Daughters) on tour, I was in awe of the effort and thoughtfulness the knitters put into this unique reading series, and the support they provided by showing up to events. My knitter, Monica Miller, spent countless hours reading my book, asking me questions about the storyline, patterns, colours, and design. I wore her finished project, a shawlette, with pride. It comforted me when I was nervous, kept me grounded and feeling supported even when audiences were relatively small in some locations.

I also loved meeting and reading with so many wonderful authors. Short story writer, Nicole Dixon (High Water Mark), novelists, Gillian Campbell (Apple House), Dora Dueck (What You Get At Home), Ailsa Kay (Under Budapest), Faith Johnston (The Only Man In The World), Christine Eddie (The Douglas Notebooks), Dede Crane (Every Happy Family), Cordelia Strube (Milosz), Mary Hagey (Castles in the Air), and mystery/crime writer, Cathy Ace (The Corpse with the Golden Nose).

Wow, this sounds great.

It was.

So why so down?

It’s over. I’ll miss the experience. These incredible women.

But that’s not all of it, is it? I mean you knew it would end eventually. Right?

I guess so. It’s just that it’s so hard to draw attention to what writers and knitters do in a star-struck noisey world. I just wish we could all be heard. We all work so hard. I wish more people would notice.

I’m sure you’ve got ideas.

Thanks for asking.


Go to reading events and bring a friend, buy books or borrow them from the library, read the work of these and other authors, tell your friends how great reading events are, invite an author to your book club meeting (they don’t bite and they are interesting to talk to), shout their praises. Most importantly: read.

I’ll do my best.

I can’t ask for anything more.

   everyhappy family-lo-res  


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