News / Regina

Literary event combining public readings and knitting coming to Regina

A publishing company is spicing up a cross-Canada literary event by adding knitting to the equation.

For six years, FICTIONistas has brought people together to hear passages read by women authors. This year, they paired up authors with knitters in their areas, each of whom created an article of clothing inspired by the book for the author to wear during the reading.

“When they asked me if I was interested in doing it and explained the whole knitting connection, I thought it was really weird but really cool,” said author Lisa Bird-Wilson, who is participating in her first FICTIONistas event on Thursday in Regina.

For author-knitting pair Bird-Wilson and Bonnie Zink, both of Saskatoon, that's an interpretation of a traditional Métis sash.

“The book is based on themes of identity and being Metis — who your family is, where you come from and how you know who you are,” said Bird-Wilson, whose book of short stories was released in April.

“The sash is mentioned a few times in the book and is kind of symbolic for a lot of different things around those themes.”

Bird-Wilson will read passages from her book, "Just Pretending", and wear the knitted creation at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Artful Dodger for the newly named FictionKNITstas event.

The scarf she will wear is not the traditional red usually found on the woven garment, but blue and black with a hint of red.

Zink, who has been knitting for almost 40 years and works as a freelance writer, sees a link between the creative outlets.

“It works out nicely because they are both creative arts,” said Zink, “and I relate to both sides of it.”

Bird-Wilson will be joined by Winnipeg author Faith Johnston as well as host and past participant Brenda Niskala for the free event, which is organized by Coteau Books.

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