Tag Archives: retreat

Crochet@Cama in Review ~ Photos and Fun!

 The retreat began with beautiful music by Don and Deb (Cerdeb) Burger of North Carolina, our LYSO (Local Yarn Store Owner) Sirkku Bingham joined in to play her sheep! Goody bags in hand, with crochet hooks at the ready, the first of many evening door prize drawings got the festivities kicked off!

The weather was unseasonably beautiful, and I’d love to take credit for it, but I’m not going to…beautiful sunny brisk days with gorgeous moonlit nights, and the water…Did I mention it stayed glass like all through the retreat? Eeriely fabulous!

From morning classes where folks learned new skills…

And yes...we bought yarn!

On Monday the local yarn store in Stanwood WA, Pinch Knitter Yarns hosted a wonderful luncheon party for our group of mad crocheters! Wonderful nibbles and fabulous yarn was had by all!

Monday night Andee Graves (Mama2Hands) gave an inspiring and intreguing talk about ergonomics and how to keep our hands, shoulders and necks healthy as we hook! Inspiring because she’s coming up with several classes for next year that will help crocheters on their road to healthy hooking and creative expression! I just can’t wait!!

Andee teaching us all about hooks, handles, grips and stretching!

Tuesday featured more classes! From free form to Commando Crochet to the dyeing of much, much yarn…

Bonnie Pierce free form crochet artist extraordinaire with Mary McDaniel

Many yarns were dyed on Tues

Jimbo and his giant hook "Dippy"

The Center For Wooden Boats' nautical afghan was nearly complete!

Deb Burger took on the charity afghan project. It’s not just any project, but a beautiful nautical themed afghan done in filet using Plymouth Encore. We finished all of the squares (20x20in) and just a bit of the border was left. More to come on that in future blog posts!

We had a great time trying on new stitches, and modeling each other’s clothes!

Group photo and ready for next year!

More retreat photos to come here on the blog and on our website! One thing for sure, we’re doing this again!! Mark your calendars for 2011! October 16-20 at Cama Beach State Park!!

Crochet Madness

We are sitting at 11 days until the retreat…am I nervous? Who me? Me? Nervous…nah…ok…well just a little bit. It’s a good nervous though, with donations pouring in from all over the place our goody bags, project supplies, door prizes and yarn tasting will be phenominal! It is indeed a crochet fantasy come true!

Just look at the list of donors to the retreat!

Plus Center For Wooden Boats for allowing us to partner with them in showing off their fabulous Cama Beach  Campus and for bringing in a Fancy Knotwork expert!  I also want to thank the gang at Laurell Hill for giving be a sweet deal on their wood hooks! AND Finally and certainly not least at all, to Sirkku and Pirk Bingham for all of their support and offering up Pinch Knitter Yarns on Monday of the retreat for a private party! Sirkku has been ever so supportive of the retreat, and me personally I don’t know how I would have gotten through August and September without her!

  It’s better than Christmas watching the goodies roll in!

Now if this isn’t just making you drool remember there are still a few more days to get your registration in for the retreat. We have room for another 4 or 5 people to stay at the retreat, and there are a few day passes left. To register go to the CLF Website, if you have questions please email me and I’ll get back to you asap!

Can you imagine four days filled with crochet, hooks, yarn? Making colorwork squares, playing the free form game, learning new skills, carving your own hooks, learning to dye for crochet? Can you imagine creating Puget Sound in yarn? All of that and so much more is on the agenda for the retreat!

By the way…remember that octopus I’ve been crocheting? Well Madame Cr-Octopus is complete 😀 She has approximately 285 suckers, and only part of her eighth leg, that one got caught in some mishap (or I ran out of that yarn…) it looks pretty realistic all told. Next I’m working on eel grass…straight lines sound good to me 😀

The Red Octopus created for the Puget Sound-Scape Project. This was taken before completion

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 😀

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 😀

      

                                                                                         

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 😀

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!

Crochet @ Cama! Classes & Activities

Ok, be prepared, my mind is solely focused on the Crochet @ Cama Retreat! You will be hearing a lot about it from now until the end of September. Why? Because I am a) excited b) I talk about things I’m doing.

Todays post is featuring the work of our fabulous teachers, Karen Whooley, Deb Burger, Jim “Jimbo” Price, and Bonnie Pierce, and yeah me Laurie Wheeler.

There is still time to sign up for classes, I would hate to have to have any cancelled due to a lack of sign ups, and I would also hate for you to miss out because the classes are full!  You must sign up for the retreat or purchase a day pass (coming soon) in order to sign up for the retreat! So do it today!

 Karen Whooley will teach a class on Fair Isle Crochet. You’ll be making a swatch, not this huge afghan but I just love this photo! If you click the photo it will take you to the project page on Ravelry. Karen is a gifted crocheter and a wonderful instructor, she has a very clear and concise way of teaching and infinite patience! 

Karen is also teaching a class on beginning crocheted lace. Whether you’re working in yarn or thread, you can learn some very simple stitching techniques that can lead to beautiful objects like those pictured above!

 How to crochet socks from the toe up are also being taught by Karen at the retreat! Don’t miss an opportunity to learn Karen’s tips and tricks! You’ll love it!

Internationally celebrated, Bonnie Pierce is a gifted crocheter and Free Form Diva! She is offering a three hour class on Beginning Free Form crochet that you just don’t want to miss!

Photographing you Finished Object! With Deborah Burger. Deb is a great photographer, and is teaching this short class on photo techniques for crocheters twice at the retreat! You want to sign up if you want your photos to pop online in your Ravelry projects page, or if you are trying to get published professionally, and especially if you sell your own patterns independently! Deb is also a gifted and talented crocheter and instructor with vast amounts of teaching experience! She and her husband are coming all the way from North Carolina to join us at the retreat, so sign up for her class! Trust me you’ll love the experience!

Whittlin’ is what Jimbo does best…or so he says, I personally think he does a great many things well! I have played with his hand turned hooks, and own a few 😀 Jim is offering two fabulous classes on how to whittle your own hook and our most subversive class yet! How to turn a bamboo needle into a hook! I can not wait for that one!!  This is me and Dippy crocheting together 😀 Dippy is accompanying Jim to the retreat…you too can crochet with Dippy 😀 Check out Jim’s blog to see his stunning work and know that we’ll be in safe hands when we learn to whittle!

And me “Fearless Leader”, Laurie Wheeler am teaching two courses: All About the Yarn, and Commando Crochet, Let’s Go Patternless!  You can learn to do and make things like

 This pirate outfit or a motif jacket or a bag or purse or scarf…Yes, I did NOT use a pattern to make that over coat ;D I’ll give you some really easy and simple information to take your crochet into confident new territory!

All about the yarn will help you get there too! Learning about your materials is important! In fact to add to that class experience if you go to my lulu.com store you’ll find the Secrets of Yarn Guide which is the platform for the All about The Yarn class 😀 It’s inexpensive and  really useful!

I’ve found a further activity for us, as a member of the community on Camano Island expressed interest in the Coral Reef Project, well heck we’re on Puget Sound, we can make a Crocheted Sound-Scape! How cool is that, and man do I have lots of yarn to share with you all!  So imagine this: We’re having a “Yarn Tasting”, Crochet Fix It Clinic, Dye Workshop, Afghan Making for Center for Wooden Boats (Our partner), our local LYS in Stanwood, WA Pinch Knitter Yarns is hosting a private party for us on the Monday during an extended lunch time!!

Can you believe all of this? Plus evening speakers and games, it’s all crochet, it’s all the time…Heck it’s a forward kind of retreat!

Now to take these fabulous classes you MUST sign up for the retreat! So do it quick, the price goes up to $95 on Sept. 2! Get your early bird deal NOW!!! Only $75!