Tag Archives: Puget Sound

Creating Puget Sound in Crochet

From WSU Beachwatchers, Island County WA. ¬†So, a last minute addition to our retreat activities. You know when inspiration hits me it hits hard! We’re going to crochet a Puget Sound-scape! Or how to make an ecology in yarn ūüėÄ

The Center for Wooden boats is one of our partners in the retreat, and they are an organization close to my heart! Their main campus is in Seattle, WA on Lake Union, but their newest campus is at Cama Beach. These folks have a mission to bring youth and adults to the water, safely and educated about our marine environment from the boat angle. As they say getting people into sails instead of cells (cell phones that is)… Another group I adore is the WSU Beachwaters, they monitor our beaches and educate the public about our marine environment from under the waves and on the shore lines. We have an AMAZING environment!!

Inspired by the coral reef project, I thought “Wow! Why not crochet Puget Sound!” Cama Beach is officially the most living beach in Puget Sound (as per the Army Corps of Engineers survey), why not use nature as our inspiration, create a massive project and then help fund raise for our wonderful non-profits dedicated to educating people and preserving this unique eco-system of which we are ALL a part of!

So at the retreat we’re going to work on Sea Slugs, and Anenomes, and rocks, and sea grasses and kelp… And why not use the reference guides created by WSU Beachwatchers from Island Co. WA?

Though, if you haven’t noticed, I’m in full retreat mode now that we’re almost a month away! I’m working up a guideline for participation in the project from those not at the retreat! My goal is to have Center For Wooden Boats, Beach Watchers and other non-profits dedicated to our marine environment have use of this project to raise money and awareness!! Plus, it’s soooo cool! I’m working on this fella right now; the Red Octopus!¬†¬†¬†

This is such a fun project! I hope it inspires you to come play with us! October 17-21, 2010 at Cama Beach. Remember you can get day passes at Pinch Knitter Yarns in Stanwood, WA or via the CLF Website!                  

So I’ll shut up now and just share some more cool things that can be crocheted!

                                                      

My favorite grass in puget sound! It’s a cradle for so much life! Best place to find crabbies ūüėÄ

      

                                                                                         
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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.

It’s a good day to Dye…

I keep getting asked, “So what does the retreat fee cover?” Now, granted I do have the schedule up on the website, which details the activities. But, I thought I might inspire you all, both those that have registered and those who have yet to do so, with the “GRAND PLAN!”…

In answer to the question, the retreat fee covers the purchasing of supplies for the workshops, and anything else I can’t get donated for our wonderful retreat goers. Morning classes are separate from the retreat fee, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have learning opportunities if you just sign up for the retreat!

In the mornings we’ll be working on a Puget Soundscape. Crocheting the underwater eco-system that exists just feet from the shores of Cama Beach. I will be working on that in the next few weeks, and will start posting my pictures. A local business will host a party in the Winter or Spring (we are just creating the plan) which will be a fund raiser for a local environmental educational group, and we will use the Puget Soundscape as the center of the party!

In that experience you can learn new stitches, work with new fibers, I’m providing the yarn! Our experienced staff and volunteers will be on hand to share some of their knowledge and experience. You won’t be alone in this adventure! It’s going to be fun!

The Dye Workshop on Wednesday will be awesome, I’m going to try to have some light colored yarns, but please if you are coming if you can bring something you want dyed that would be great! I’m providing the dyes, and pots, and the expertise! I will teach you have to make long repeats of color for crochet, how to set your dyes, and how to make “mottled” or colorful yarns that will not pool into splotch city.¬† I will teach several methods of dyeing including kettle dyeing and my secret recipe will be unveiled for oven dyeing!

Our games will be Pass the Swatch and the Free Form game, both designed to teach us about our yarns, hooks, and stitches. Each game is designed to expand our understanding of crochet and to help us with various issues! We’ll also be making each other souvenirs in this fashion…so imagine a motif with five or six people’s work…when you go home it’s like having an autograph book! “Look at what Bonnie did on row 6! I love those stitches!)

Nature walks or bringing nature in to the buildings with us (if it’s too icky outside), we’ll explore textures, and colors. Wow, sounds like a class? Yeah, we’re calling it a workshop ūüėÄ

Sounds like a bang for your buck to me!

Plus we’ll have music and speakers, and an opportunity to give back to Center For Wooden Boats who have generously partnered with us! We’ll be making afghan squares in nautical motifs for the project.¬† Don’t know how to do color work? excellent time to learn, and we’ll be on hand to help!

So you see, as much as these are experiences, they are learning experiences as well. Yes, we will play and have fun. But it’s kind of like my “Craziest Yarn” competition at the Stanwood Camano Fair, if you can spin the weirdest, wildest yarn, and get feathers and foamy bits and straws to stay in your yarn, the next time you go to spin a sock yarn you’ll find it that much easier .

There is always method to my madness!!

So, come on JOIN US! You know you want to!

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!

And life goes on…

Before I get down to brass tacks and business, I want to thank you all for the beautiful messages of condolence. I’d like to say that I’m “over it” and moving on, but I can say, I’m merely moving. Truth be told, I’ve experienced a lot of grief in my life and it is really no stranger. This time though it’s just a wee bit stacked up, and I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other to get my work done in between fits of pouting and mourning.

Sometimes life just ain’t fair.

And again, thank you so very much for your kind words and thoughts.

So, maudlin blahing aside, here’s the work at hand.

Please register for the retreat by going to the CLF Website !!¬† I know I’m going to need it by October, that’s for sure!

We have people coming from all over the US, from New Jersey to Colorado, Montana to Califoria, it’s really amazing to see the registrants home bases! We can sure use some local Washington folk, so I’ve finished our brochures and those will be sent to local yarn stores every where in the North Puget Sound area. Come on people, sign up, let’s show the industry what we’re made of…

I even added a new afternoon workshop: How to Dye Yarn for Crochet! Ooooh yeah, we’re gonna have a good ol’ fashion dye party!

The retreat is October 17-21, 2010 at one of the most beautiful venues you can find in Puget Sound!