About Everlea Yarn
Hi, I'm Janna Maria. Everlea Yarn is my collection of lovingly made yarns and tools for knitting and weaving.
I am a trained textile artist, having received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University's Fibres program in 2013, preceded by a technical Textile Art diploma from Capilano University.
My signature line of fingering, sport and worsted weight merino wool yarns begin as 100% organic merino sourced from New Zealand which is spun in Ontario and then dyed by me here in British Columbia with plant dyes, some of which are foraged locally. Textiles dyed with natural dyes become more beautiful over time, especially Indigo, which is by far my favourite dye source. In my practice, I choose plant sources which are historically industry-standard, providing naturally dyed yarns that are lightfast and washfast.
I also handcraft handheld tapestry looms for weavers of all levels with beautiful maple and walnut woods. My popular weaving kits come with one of my handcrafted looms accompanied by a beautiful selection of plant-dyed yarns. Being a tapestry weaver by trade, I offer a free online introductory tapestry weaving workshop with each kit!
Image below: Janna Maria sits in her weaving studio while filming tapestry classes with the School of SweetGeorgia.
I am a natural dyer, a weaver and a teacher.
I first learned how to dye textiles and weave tapestry in 2008 during my two years in Capilano University's Textile Art diploma program. In 2014 I began weaving tapestry as my primary artistic medium. I have been offering textile workshops for over a decade, including an invitation in 2011 to Aurora College (Northwest Territories) to teach my self-designed five-week textile art program.
Everlea Yarn Co's Beginnings
Early on in my career, pursuing art did not seem like a sustainable option. In Capilano University's Textile Art Program (2008-2010) I pursued techniques and modes that I thought could be multiplied and put into the fastest production possible, not necessarily taking note of the techniques that I was personally drawn to. It wasn't until I entered into Concordia University's Fibres and Material Practices program in Montreal that I really sunk into an art practice that felt authentically my own. I delved deep into a slow, personal investigation into printing with natural dyes - techniques I brought with me from Capilano.
Everlea Yarn Co evolved out of my art practice, at the center of which is an investigation into my relationships with others. I explore ideas of how personal growth can be either challenged or realized through one's perception of their surroundings. In 2010 I met Katherine Earle and that is where Everlea began.
Everlea is our last names conjoined and reimagined:
My last name, Vallee, and fellow artist Katherine Earle's last name combined is what became Everlea. Let me tell you more about our history.
In 2013, having just graduated from university as well as welcomed my son Sam into the universe, my family and I moved to the New York metropolitan area for my partner's education. It was there that Katherine Earle and I, both Fibres graduates of Concordia University, formed Everlea Textiles; an art collective based on the sole notion of supporting each other in our respective artistic pursuits. We organized photoshoots, attended seminars together and shared skills with one another. In 2014 I began pursuing tapestry as my primary artistic medium using my own naturally dyed yarns. I shared my tapestry skills with Katherine, who was already an established hand-weaver, and in 2017, after having moved across the continent back to my home province of British Columbia, Katherine and continued our collaboration long-distance, weaving a joint series of tapestries based on photos taken during time together in New York. Our project website can be found here: www.everleatextileart.weebly.com
Everlea Yarn's beginnings
In 2016 my family and I moved back to BC, and in the spring of 2018, in anticipation of my son entering kindergarten in the fall, I developed and launched Everlea Yarn, my own line of yarn - exactly the kind that I want to use: consciously sourced, Canadian spun and naturally dyed. In 2021 in collaboration with my maternal grandfather who is a retired cabinet maker, I designed and began producing by hand, Everlea Mini Looms and later, Everlea Tapestry Looms: beautiful hand-held weaving looms for weavers of all levels.
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See some examples of my tapestries woven with Everlea Yarn below. Find my art portfolio HERE.