Tag Archives: Classes

Cro-magination…

Cloudy or blue skies, the power of nature is always felt at Cama Beach.

Imagine with me for a moment. It’s early in the morning on the shores of Puget Sound. You’ve bundled up for the cool October morning, cup of hot coffee or tea or what ever wakes you up in the morning, in hand you huddle with others like wise clutching their morning steam power. There is a fog bank rolling over the top of Whidbey Island coming across the water towards the shores of Cama Beach. The water is still, and dark like glass.

It’s quiet, other than the murmurs and shivers of the early risers, until a lone loon wails it’s plaintive song. It’s cry echos against the hill-side, leaving everyone quietly in awe of the new day.

Through the fog bank, the light of the sun coming up from behind the hillside creates a miasma of pink and purple sunrise.

Shuffling off to class, bags and hooks in hand, focused on learning the new skill, or hoping to just pick up a trick or two, you find yourself draw to looking at the water. And suddenly it doesn’t matter if you are “getting it right”, you realise that you are sitting in a room with others, like yourself who love the textures of the fiber they are working with. You stop your reverie and look about the room, instead of picking up your hook you decide to watch the others. Their hands are dancing, in silent rhythms, magic is being made with a single hook and a strand of 4ply yarn.

After class you gather with a new friend to sit at a table outside and have lunch. Sure it’s misting, but the fresh marine air is crisp and clean. Worries melt away, and the early morning  cry of the Loon is replaced by the chattering of Bald Eagles. It’s primal, it’s touches your soul.

After lunch you gather together with your friends to enjoy a talk or a workshop, and once again the hooks come out, and the inspiration flows. You’ve figured out a new skill, or a half step that just makes it so much easier. Then you hear the shout of someone from outside, “Whale! Whale!” Hooks get dropped and people rush to the shore, and the local Orcas are playing not more than 100 feet off the shore, the Bald Eagles sing out, Kingfishers dive for fish, and some where you hear a gull laugh at the folly.

Beyond the crochet, beyond the new technique, beyond the learning about yarn and hooks, and fiber and color, you have had a time, that takes you back…no television noises, no non-stop chattering, no rush hour, no bumper to bumper shopping carts.  The joy and awe on everyone’s faces illuminates the afternoon, and then again the crochet hooks and yarn begin to stitch their magical threads.

As the sun begins to set behind the Olympic Mountains, the orange ball radiates out shafts of light that begin to paint the clouded sky in an artists’ palette of purples, reds, tangerine and it is outlined in gray and white. Everyone stops to look, to take a photo. The Eagle cries one last time as it heads to its nest, and the Raven child says “kerplunk”, you hear a distant Great Horned Owl hoot in the distance, and then the Loon once again sounds its plaintive cry…

Time for dinner, everyone decides to make it a potluck. The gathering of kindred souls has created a bubble that no one wants to break. Sitting in the old building, warm and cozy, good home cooked food to share with friends. Laughter, and more hooks and yarn it’s almost surreal in how good the experience is…

Now for the evening program. Not just a speaker full of hot air, but an interactive event, no one cares if you’re crocheting while they talk. No one admonishes you, you’re on a roll, everyone gets that. The instruments come out and songs are song both silly and sad, fun and heartwarming. The sounds of a dulcimer echo off the hills, and you are transported to a time further back still, when humans enjoyed simpler pleasures.

At last it’s time for bed so another day can begin a fresh. You wash, and change and scramble into your warm blanket, and as you rest your head on your pillow the visions of the day pass through your mind’s eye. You’ve never felt so relaxed, you’ve never been so inspired, you never expected life to be this good.

Yeah, I’m pitching the retreat…but I thought instead of telling you how reasonably priced it is, and how much work we’re putting into it, that I would share my end goal with you. The above story is exactly my vision for people coming to the retreat. I have a little piece of Heaven here on Camano Island; I want to share it with you.

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Happy Birthday Crochet Kharma!

Yesturday was my birthday, my gift from husband was a trip out to my favorite bookstores, which is a long drive through pretty country side.

This one book store has all manner of treasures, I know if I’m looking for something funky, out of the ordinary, or a subject that has little information on it, this used book store will have it at some point. Today I scored crochet gold!

I found two older crochet books, one from 1948, hardbound even, entitled  “The Complete Book of Crochet” by Elizabeth L. Mathieson. It’s a fabulous book for the crochet historian to possess. I’m honored to be it’s latest keeper!

The second book I found is PROOF of all that I have been requesting in books on crochet!! It’s entitled, “America’s Crochet Book”, by Gertrude Taylor. Published in 1972 by Charles Scribner & Sons. This book has it all from how to learn crochet with some of the best written instructions I’ve ever seen, (Lefties beware though, the antiquated view on left handedism is present but the other information is so worth skipping that vingnette).

Chapter One includes:

  1. General :  Types of hooks and hook sizes: Steel hooks, Aluminum or plastic hooks, wood hooks, afghan hooks
  2. Description of Beginning Stitches: Chain stitch, Single, Half Double, Double, Treble, Double Treble, Triple Treble, Slip Stitch
  3. Shaping of Crochet Pieces:  Decreases (in each of the stitches by the way), Increases, Bind off.
  4. Pracice stitches with yarn: Joining new thread

From starting your first project, to learning how to fit garments and finish them correctly (to make them as polished as anything anyone else purchases!) to instructions for Tunisian Crochet and hairpin lace…this book is an amazing amazing tribute to our craft.

The information on fitting garments and how to alter a pattern to fit YOUR body is EXACTLY what we have been asking for, and when publishers say it can’t be done we can now point at this book and blow them big raspberries!

It can be done! It has been done! And where was this book in my life 20 years ago!!! It’s fabulous! Written in plain Engligh with the beginning garment maker in mind I love this book.

Here’s a sample of some of the encouraging text!

“So many people think that they need only purchase yarn, hooks, and a pattern book to create gorgeous garments. This is not so. You must develop a new skill and start your way at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up rung by rung. If you have crocheted for years, making doilies, edgings, or tablecloths, you have a little head start on the brand new beginner, but still you must learn how to fit, block, and finish garments made of yarn.”

Have I been channeling her? Is she still around? Does anyone know her or did know her in real life, because I want to make sure some one hugs her on my behalf! I love, love, love this book and it is now my brand new favorite of all time!

Did I mention it’s in mint condition, dust jacket and all? Oh yes, it shall have a hallowed place in my home.

I want to thank all the wonderful folks on the CLF message board on Ravelry, and on Facebook for the birthday wishes!  How lovely to be thought of!

A reminder to you all the Crochet Liberation Front’s 3rd birthday is July 27th, what do you want to do to celebrate?

CLF News..updates: The Book, The Retreat, etc

Hello!

Well, my head is no longer spinning, but it will be a long time before things feel 100% ok again. As the reality of my father in law’s death sinks in, the more I really miss him. I think I fell in love with my husban deeper after meeting his dad! Joe and I could play name that tune together, and argue international politics for fun, and he had this great ability to make you want to do more, and be more. He thought our First Ever Book was a great concept, and was really proud of my figuring out how to do it on a shoestring!

He chuckled mightily at the thought of our adult book, his eyebrows raised, and asking, “Not too racy though right?” LOL..I teased him not answering, but he knew me well enough to know that it wouldn’t be raunchy!

Speaking of books…Needless to say, I’m a little behind schedule on getting things uploaded. That’s on my agenda this week. I have another website to work on too, and I’m behind in that AND I have work to do on the CLF Website. BTW  pdf is selling well of the CLF First Ever Book! Thanks to all of you who have purchased it from our own website!

The Retreat: Almost finalized the details. I have one more meeting with the people at the park and then I’ll get that portion of the website up. I think you’ll all be terribly happy with the prices etc…It’s going to be very informal, but chock a block full of crochet fun and crochet goodness.

Before the New Year the Retreat information will be available! BTW any business (especially yarn companies) that want to sponsor the retreat in the way of donations will get little web ads on the CLF website! And definately full acknowledgement at the retreat! I’ll be contacting many of you because we want to do a yarn tasting 🙂

So just getting back into things. Thank you all for your patience!