catherine thomson

catherine thomson

catherine thomson designs




Catherine Thomson’s fine hand-knitted gossamer lace shawls, made mainly from the finest natural fibres, have elements of boldness and fragility, designed to be as light as air, wafting in the slightest breeze. Her shawls combine traditional stitches and motifs of the ancient craft of Shetland lace with those of her own designs, inspired by nature around her. The type of stitches used and the placement of the stitches can produce either soft and delicate, or bold and dramatic pieces.

Her craft has been an everyday part of her life since emigrating to Canada from Scotland as a young adult. She was taught the craft of knitting by oral instruction as a young child and it became part of her life, but it took on a different meaning while adjusting to her new life. The craft kept her connected to her traditional roots while growing new roots, and kept her grounded.

artist statement

Shetland Lace making is the best known Heritage craft of Scotland, being taught by oral instruction. I learned to knit in Scotland by oral instruction at an early age. Later in life, having emigrated to Canada as a young adult, I began designing my own Shetland Lace creations, using the traditional motifs and continuing to use very fine natural yarns. Later, as exciting new synthetic and technology-based materials came available, I included designs based on these fibres in my creations.

Creation of large lace pieces is an intricate and lengthy process, so my focus was in creation of pieces for submission to competitions and exhibitions, especially in galleries and museum, where I have represented Canada internationally. To guide and encourage others through the processes of lace design and creation, I have made videos available, given presentations at conferences and other venues, given interviews on the topic, and authored a book of my lace knitting patterns at the invitation of a publisher.