Arts & Entertainment

Sun Peaks gets official district tartan

 | December 14, 2020

Master weaver student registers tartan

One of Knive’s creations with the tartan she designed. Photo supplied

Soon Sun Peaks will have its own official district tartan, thanks to the hard work of local master weaver student and ArtZone Sun Peaks president Marj Knive. 

The tartan was first created for sale in the annual art auction last year. 

Knive said she was inspired by a meadow of wildflowers during a hike on the mountain and thought she could incorporate the colours in her auction piece. 

The original image which inspired the tartan. Photo supplied

She started with matching colours of yarn with the colours from the photo and also took inspiration from another plaid jacket she saw which incorporated some similar colours. 

“I thought, I can figure this out,” she said. 

Currently she’s enrolled in a master weavers program at Olds College and despite not having to make a tartan for school until next year Knive went ahead with the project. 

“I had been studying how to design a plaid and then I thought I can incorporate what I’m learning…let’s see what I can come up with.”

She started by drawing it out and then with her daughter’s help they tweaked the colours and design. Once the colours were chosen they took a photo and made it black and white to see the values of the colour, slightly changing the yarn until they all had different values. 

They also had to use fibonacci number sequences to determine how many threads to use to make the design appealing. 

In the end the plaid has a balance of small and large squares and with some mixed and some solid colours. 

“In this particular plaid there’s a black square and then yellow-green colour. And those are the pivot points of the tartan, so you can look at it either direction and they’re exactly the same.”

Once she finalized her design, Knive got to work weaving, which took two or three weeks. Once completed she used the tartan to make a purse for the auction, and quickly decided to add a matching scarf. 

When both were completed and in the auction, Knive said it was Nancy Greene Raine who encouraged her to register it as an official tartan. 

“I thought that was a really neat idea…and there seems to be a lot of interest in it and it seems like a lot of people really liked it.”

With the help of Linda Strachan, Knive prepared her application, which included making slight adjustments to the design, getting a letter of support from the municipality and submitting it to the Scottish Register of Tartans. 

Knive’s final tartan scarf. Photo supplied

Once her registration is accepted anyone who wishes to use it must have Knive’s permission. She will also be trademarking the tartan in Canada. 

“I didn’t set out to make a district tartan, that was never in my mind. But as it turns out it’s kind of neat how it transpired and I’m just tickled pink that it’s so well accepted and people have really encouraged me to do that.”

Knive is currently weaving another tartan scarf, but due to the long hours weaving takes she has made it a digital file which anyone interested could purchase items made of. 

On her recently launched Etsy page with many kinds of items available.

She’s also researching ways to sell it as different types of fabric and home decor pieces. 

“[Then] the possibilities are endless when you use a digital file,” she said.