Forillon National Park gets special yarn colour for Canada's 150th

A Halifax-base company has created a special yarn collection for some of Canada's national parks to celebrate Canada 150, including Quebec's Forillon National Park.

13 yarns were created for 13 national parks, one in every province and territory

Fleece Artist, a Halifax-based company, has created a collection of yarns died to represent 13 Canadian national parks, once in each territory and province. (Fleece Artist)

The bright colours of Quebec's Forillon National Park are being featured in a special, hand-dyed yarn.

To  to mark Canada's 150th anniversary, Jana Dempsey, who created Hand Maiden Fine Yarns in Halifax, made a collection of yarns dyed in the colours of 13 national parks across Canada, one for every province and territory.

The yarns are sold across Canada including through her family's Halifax yarn shop, Fleece Artist. They are also available online. 

Dempsey said the idea for the yarn collection grew out of her love for camping and knitting while camping. To pick the colours, she and her staff highlighted features of each park and chose the different yarns' hues based on that.

One of her colleagues had a childhood friend with a farm near Forillon, which is located at the tip of the Gaspé peninsula. 

Wool dyed by hand

"We had, first of all, that kind of image, the farms and the fields ... of wildflowers. So I had these red-purple colours in mind, and this kind of, field greens and field yellows," Dempsey said in an interview on the CBC Radio program Breakaway.

"But then of course we needed some cliff colours, so then we went into the grey for the cliffs."

"Also, we want to make something that's wearable, and it's these rich, rich purples and reds and a rich grey tone. It's very nice to wear, it's quite pretty," she said.

The wool is all dyed by hand, she said, explaining that "we spend a lot time with each skein of yarn, making it look just right, so it had to appeal to us first."

The response the yarns have gotten is off the charts, Dempsey says. 

"It was something people really took to heart, really got excited about," she said.

Customers knitting inside the parks matching their yarn colour

"People have getting them and sometimes they're trading them, and sometimes it's places they want to go to, sometimes it's places they're on the way to," Dempsey added. "So that part of it was unexpected." 

Customers have sent in photos of themselves using a specific park-coloured yarn as well of them knitting in the park the yarn is coloured for.

"We have someone driving across the country, hitting each park as they went — or as many as they could — and doing a project as they went," said Dempsey.

"We've also got quite a few people who have purchased the whole collection and are making themselves blankets. So they're going to have their national park blanket with all the colours of the country," she said.

With files from Marika Wheeler