Tag Archives: Crochet Retreat

Hooks & Boats

¬†This is where hooks shall be whittled with Jimbo the greatest hook maker I know! The best part about him coming to the retreat (besides getting to see him cause he’s so awesome) is that he’s teaching how to whittle your own hooks, and both my hubby and my son’s best friend signed up to take his class! Hah! More hooks for me!

Fall has definately arrived at Cama, sadly we’re not getting huge amounts of fall color because of the way we were wet and then really dry, the poor leaves aren’t real sure about what to do! Yet we’re having the most glorious foggy mornings with crisp sunny days! WONDERFUL weather for a retreat! Now if the orcas show up like I ordered it’s all good!

I was taking care of details and logistics with Andrew from CWB and park staff yesturday. You wouldn’t believe how excited everyone is for the retreat to start! I brought Big Red the octopus, which I finally finished, just need to weave in ends, and they fell in love!

They are all plotting and scheming along side me about how to best do the exhibit and how to get as much participation as possible, and where to do fundraisers with it! It’s great to have our enthusiasm for our craft spill over to others! Ok, so most of these folks are like family to me, this park is really special and we have all put our heart and soul into it, so you know that makes a difference. But in some odd way I feel like I can finally bring two of the best things in my life together in one place! The CLF and Cama Beach, what a fabulous combo!

You still have time to sign up for the retreat but not much, I stop taking registrations Oct. 10. Even day pass folks get the fabulous goody bags so, if you can only make it for the day please come! To register go to our website!

Crochet Countdown!

Less than a month until the retreat! Can you believe it? For two years we’ve plotted and schemed to make a crochet fantasy come true, and as this fantasy becomes reality Im too excited for words! Well, that’s not completely true or I wouldn’t be writing this blog post, so let’s just say I’m so excited!

I’ve written about the Puget Sound-Scape Project, and mentioned the afghan we’re creating for the Center for Wooden Boats auction in the spring. A huge thank you to Plymouth Yarn for donating the navy and ecru Encore to create the nautical themed afghan. I also want to thank instructor and volunteer extraordinare Deborah Burger for chosing the fillet charts to use for the colorwork and coming up with some kind of crochet magic that will make this a fabulous project to show off just how cool crochet can be!

Now to tempt you some more… Each evening we’ll have activities and speakers. The first evening is our yarn tasting which I have already blogged about, so let me write a little about the other evening events.

Monday night we are going to be blessed with the presence of Andee Graves, also known as Mamastwohands on Ravelry.com, who will give a fabulous talk on how to keep our hands and bodies healthy while crocheting. Andee is an amazingly talented massage therapist and ergonomics expert and we are so lucky to have her speak on this very important topic! After all we’ve heard the horror stories of carpel tunnel and arthritis which have hampered crocheters throughout time, let’s avoid that fate shall we?

After her talk we’ll play crochet games like the “Free Form Game” a game designed by a CLF Member for National Crochet month. It will help you grow in your free form and shake up the same ol’ same ol’ crochet habits! Plus it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ll also play pass the swatch, which will end up being our souvenirs made by each other for each other ūüėÄ

We’ll have give aways each evening with wonderful goodies from hooks to kits and pattern books, and yes, yarn.

Also don’t forget you can buy CLF Gear from our online store ¬†or pick up a copy of the CLF First Ever Book from our website!¬†

If you are just too tempted and must come to the retreat (you know you want to) there are still cabin’s available!Prices range from $67 -$55 per night. ¬†Book yours today by calling 360-387-1005, don’t forget to say you’re with the crochet retreat!

Cro-citement! Crochetivity! Cro-lovely!

Now that school is up and running, and Crochet @ Cama¬†is just around the corner! Just over a month until it’s here! I can’t believe it! I am getting soooooooooooooo excited. Two years of scheming and dreaming is almost at an end and the fun will begin!

A quick reminder that the early bird price of $75 will stay in place until tomorrow, Sept. 4, 2010. I know the website says Sept. 2, but I haven’t had a chance to update the website, so take advantage of me!!! You can find out more about the retreat, including registration here on the CLF¬†Webiste. Remember the retreat fee covers all of the activities, excluding the morning classes, those you need to register for separately. After you pay for your retreat you’ll be directed to the class registration page. If you miss that, don’t worry, I send you an email with important registration information including the link to class registration. But, hurry you don’t want to miss out on a class because it’s full!

Locally here in NW Washington State you can get day passes at Pinch Knitter Yarns¬†in Stanwood, WA. They entitle you to all priveledges and activities at the retreat (except the classes, but you can sign up for those at the store too). I will try to get those up on the website in the coming week as well. That way if you’re working you can maybe take a day off or play hookey instead of having to worry about all four days!

Once again I want to thank Center for Wooden Boats for also being our partner! We’ll be making an afghan for them as a donation for their wonderful charity auction held each spring. The proceeds go to their programming that serves under privileged urban youth, bring them in touch with the confidence that making things with your hands brings and with their natural world! I love this organization!

Now for the fun part, thanks to a dear friend on Camano Island I have come up with our final and most fun activity! I’m sure you’ve heard of the Coral Reef Project that has gone global. If not here’s what is on display at the Smithsonian (our very own Bonnie Pierce, who is teaching at the retreat has pieces included!) in Washington, DC.¬† Well, I thought hey why not do a Puget Sound-scape! Since we’ll be right on the shores of the sound why not create that lovely underwater eco-system in crochet?

Puget Sound has an amazingly diverse eco-system that is threatened by toxins produced by industry, shipping, and the local population. Calling attention to it in a beautiful way, and hopefully having some events in our local area post retreat we can perhaps gain awareness and some donations for our local Washington State University¬†Extension Program (facing terrible budget cuts) Beach Watchers. These folks do a fabulous job of monitoring¬†beaches, providing elementary, secondary and adult educational opportunities, and reminding us all that Patrick is a Sea Star and not a Starfish (inside joke…).

I’m going to get the ball rolling on that project pre-event to give people an idea, but imagine creating eel grass in crochet, and nudibranchs,sea cucumbers, sea stars, sun stars, crabs, clams, oysters, muscles, kelp, bull kelp, sea lettuce, rocks, and wee little fishes! I think we can make something gorgeous while teaching each other new stitches and offering each other creative inspiration!

So, yes, I’m hyper. I’m excited…and I hope you can come and cro-spazz out with me!

Retreat News & Blog Forecast

Well, I finally have a moment to blog. I tell you the middle of July through August are crazy times for this crochet fanatic!

It’s even more crazy as I scramble through the late stages of the retreat planning. I would like to remind you all that I have NEVER organized¬†a retreat before, but I have done lots of work with groups. I hear getting the place is the hardest part, but for me that was the easiest beings I live next door practically to Cama¬†Beach State Park. (No you will not be camping! I swear it! It’s way too comfy a place. I do NOT do camping.)

We still have room for about 10 more people, and if we want those morning classes to happen we need to get registered. You KNOW you want to!

This retreat will be a mix of education and expansion of crochet skills. Building community, and friendships and bolstering our creativity. Did I mention how fun it’s going to be? I’m thrilled and excited to be able to do this with people. I’ve kept the prices low to make sure people of all income brackets can participate.

On top of that I have some friends with some pretty special talents wanting to come up and offer massage and other self care techniques; I still have to work out the details, but if this is of interest to you let me know.

Please remember even if you are staying outside of the park, that the retreat fee is in place, this covers the cost of renting buildings and some other fun little perks.

My local yarn store is hosting a party for us on Monday. In fact remind me to change the schedule, we’re going to do that during the lunch break, and I’ll have a separate yarn tasting that evening. Sirkku¬†just brought in some fabulous crochet stitch markers that are awesomely made and priced! (Can you say pretty and affordable? I knew you could.)

Anyway, if you haven’t registered PLEASE PLEASE Do check out the retreat here, contact me with questions!

Also, I just got my review copy of Linda Permann’s book, Crochet Adorned today. I’ve only had about ten minutes to flip through it, but wow…great photos and from my initial glances some really cute projects. I’ll delve into it tonight and let the daughter weigh in her two cents as well. She is a great critic ūüėÄ

So stay tuned, that review is on it’s way!

This hat Sets Our Picot Free!


This is a fabulous hat! Made by CLF Member Rubyshoecreations using the Lattice Hat pattern from Rheatheylia. I love the surface crochet lattices, and saw some other versions of the hat on Ravelry.com as well. With fall approaching I ask you, can we make enough hats? No, no we cannot. Hats are fabulous accessories and in my un-humble opinion you can never have too many of them!

Congratulations Rubyshoecreations, you are hereby awarded the CLF Set My Picot Free award for making a fabulous hat!

I would also like to remind all of our readers to go to the CLF¬†Website to sign up for the retreat! We’re getting close to the deadline for the early bird special to expire! Only $75 for a four-day¬†retreat folks! We’ve got a yarn tasting planned for Monday October 18, Guest Speakers in the evenings, activities in the afternoons including a Dye Workshop specifically with crochet in mind, as well as morning classes that you must pre-register for!

You can get your buddies together to room in the warm and cozy cabins, and we’ve got so much fun planned, it will be a true CLF experience! Liberating, Community Building and Crochet like you have never crocheted before!

CLF NEWS: 5000 members! Website Updates & A hitch…

We have officially become 5000 voices strong! This is amazing. You have no idea what it’s like for me, to sit at my friend’s kitchen table or the library (where I can get a decent internet connection), plotting and scheming and scheming and plotting the domination of crochet of the globe. Ok, that part is still a joke. Me being “Fearless Leader” is a fun joke too, but the CLF is not a joke. What a wonderful collective body! I’d be posting about this on Ravelry right now if I could, but something is either going on with me or it, and I can’t post right now…sadness. I’m sure we’ll fix it all just fine soon enough, no rush, I just want to thank all 5,000 people on our message board.

One member put it so nicely, and to paraphrase, with 5,000 people it still feels intimate and cozy. That is such a complement, because that was the goal. Sure we have disagreements, but with maturity. We talk about some pretty weighty issues and they remain civil discussions.

I will never ever back down about my being anti-sweat shop labor, or against designers giving away their work for peanuts, nor shall I stay quiet about large publishing houses and yarn companies not providing fair compensation. If I find out some unseemly truth, I will speak out against it.

I will not let us be called whiners, or malcontents, without addressing the very real issues that we have been shut out, and put down. That we will strive to gain equal footing by showing our best, and being our best. The other thing I will not rest at doing is educating people about the truth of crochet, and de-mythtifying it!

You can read about some of the CLF Aims on our Just the FAQs page on our website! Which I have recently updated to reflect our membership growth, and fixed broken links for the retreat pages (some worked/some didn’t…le grand sigh), currently I’m talking to a caterer about one of the days at the retreat and if folks are interested in Greek food let me know. I can do a poll for the menu and have folks vote on it to make our decision, and what kind of price range they are comfortable with ūüôā The owner of the restaurant makes the most delicious food, it’s homestyle but still modern and even better delicious!

And my hitch…I’m having trouble on Ravelry. I cannot post, or respond to messages, restarting my puter didn’t help, my cookies are enabled, so I’m sure they know there is a problem and are working on it. No complaints against them there at all! But, I wanted you all to know I’d be in the CLF partying for all I’m worth if I could!

Thank you all 5,000 you have taken my little joke and made us a force to be heard…that is no small thing!

CLF Retreat: It’s not just pretty…

So, I’ve talked up the venue, it’s time to switch some gears. Let’s talk about what’s going to transpire at the retreat!

This is a different set up from the other conferences and events I’ve attended. Based off conversations with CLF members, fellow crochet enthusiasts, and comrades in the hook, I’ve arranged something to do more than just provide a venue to expand our crochet knowledge; it will forge life long memories!

One of my beefs with my conference experiences was that I hardly ever had a good amount of time to just sit and be with the people I traveled so far to meet! My online friends, the crocheters I admire, we are always so busy that we maybe get the chance to sit down for half a cup of coffee, if we’re lucky do dinner or squeeze in lunch and then fly. For me, beyond the craft that I love, it’s about people. I mean if I want to expand my skills, I don’t have to take a class, I can sit down with videos, books, and attempt trial and error discovery. I mean that worked for me for over 25 years! Why do I go to conferences? To be with other people who love what I love, people who understand why I love the feel of the hook in my hand and how it glides in a graceful dance in my fingers as I create things. I go to events with other crocheters, because like me, they¬†also ¬†buy too much yarn, make things for those they love, use crochet to relax, and get this delightful feeling of accomplishment when they tackle a new project and complete it to the weaving in of the ends.

And then, I do learn. The first thing I learned at a conference was how much I really did know, I thought I wasn’t that great a crocheter. When a well known crocheter came up to my yarn stall and gushed over my wares and my crochet, I learned that I was indeed “a designer.” I met generous spirits who encouraged me, and I learned to pass on that generosity to others. We are connected via our love of fiber arts. And that my friends is what this retreat is about: Connections.

Our mornings will have classes ranging from how to make your own hook to crochet Fair Isle, to Free Forming, and Photographing your work, to my classes All about the Yarn and Commando Crochet: Let’s go patternless.

After a lunch in town or in your cabin, we’ll meet up in the afternoons to crochet together, take a nature hike or two, learn about color theory and texture theory out in nature, on the beach or in the forest. We will crochet afghan squares for a special auction item for our partner in crime, Center For Wooden Boats.

We have games planned, from pass the swatch where we create our own one of a kind souvenir of the retreat to playing the free form game! Speakers will spin yarns for us to take home (ok they’ll tell stories or give us great information) and we will kick it all off with a fabulous opening ceremony complete with a yarn tasting.

What’s more? We’ll sing songs, roast marshmallows, get silly, maybe yarn bomb each other, and make deep and lasting friendships, or enrich existing friendships.¬†

I’m soooo excited! So don’t forget to book mark the CLF Website, think about what crochet classes you want to take, think about what crochet memories you want to make! I’m hoping to have a sizable head count by June so I can get all of the goody bags in good order. So the sooner you register the better! But, if not, we’ll have enough, that’s just me and my “don’t do it at the last minute” syndrome ūüėČ I can’t wait to see you!