The first time Kirk Dunn picked up knitting needles he was intent on surprising his girlfriend, who had toiled away on an Icelandic sweater for him.
He thought she would love if he sneakily stitched her up the same gift.
“It worked out pretty well because she was pretty surprised,” recalled Dunn, a Toronto-based actor, who began knitting in 1988. “After that though the knitting stayed…but the girlfriend didn’t.”
Despite the breakup, the experience helped him develop a love of the popular past time and kickstart a more-than-decade-long project he will unveil in a tour of churches and festivals across Ontario, appearing at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto on May 11 and 12.
The project, called the Knitting Pilgrim, saw Dunn knit three, intricate tapestries measuring five feet by eight feet in a style nicknamed “stitched glass” because it closely resembles the look, brightness and ornate nature of stained glass windows.
The pieces are composed of about 100 pounds of knitting and $10,000 of yarn. They are meant to explore “the commonalities and conflicts” of the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and are sprinkled with religious symbols including the Star of David, the Kaaba, the burning bush, a dove and a menorah.
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