This weekend: May is almost over but MMMM crochet events are not!

Delridge Day

This weekend, like every weekend, it seems, is PACKED to the gills with things to do in Seattle.  When I first moved to Seattle, I remember seeing this old scary/fascinating boarded-up turn-of-the-century school while exploring West Seattle, which is now the AMAZING Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.  The building, now filled with life again, is itself like a giant bellows breathing big breaths of creative life back into the Delridge and West Seattle communities.  Come visit the Center this Saturday the 30th, 11-5  for “Delridge Day”, celebrating the community with music, multiple art projects including MMMM, farmer’s markets, hoola-hooping, break dancing, skateboarding, battling Chefs.  Wow!  Stop by!  I’ll be there from 11-4.  The Sew People will also be there from 1-5, you can repurpose some old clothes into some new kind of awesomeness!

150 measured 1

Then, on Sunday the 31st from 11 am – 3 pm, I’ll be at the Alki “Seattle Summer Streets” Party, hosted by Cascade Bicycle Club.   Alki Avenue SW will be closed off from California Way SW to 63rd Avenue SW, first for a race at 9am, and then for street party fun for the rest of the day.  Come find me somewhere down there (somewhere in the shade!!)

Here’s the whole list of the day’s activities

 

9:30 a.m. West Seattle 5K Run/Walk
11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Cascade Bicycle Club helmet sales & information booth
11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Bike Maintenance demos by Alki Bike & Board and Sustainable West Seattle.
noon – 4 p.m. Cascade Bicycle Club “Advocacy Alley” & staff info booth
noon – 3 p.m. Kids Learn to Ride classes
noon – 4 p.m. Bike arts & craft booth
12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. Ryan Leech show
1 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Kids’ Bike Parade
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Cascade Bicycle Club Bike Blender
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Rock music stage & skateboarding at Coastal Surf Boutique
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Mini Bike championships
2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Ryan Leech Show
3 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Kids’ Bike Parade
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mini Bike championships
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At Delridge Library….all about the Mother

DSC_0225It’s been almost three weeks of really traveling the cardinal directions of Seattle.  Today I’m spending some time crocheting up huge strips of hand-dyed silk, alpaca and pearls for the wearable element of MMMM, and I also need to reflect upon and share some of the places I have been to.  Thank you Delridge neighborhood for joining in with MMMM!  

brother and sister crocheting duo

brother and sister crocheting duo

 

A diverse group of all ages

A diverse group of all ages

Now that Camp Long has been confirmed as the site for this installation integrated into the natural environment, interpreting and celebrating our urban creeks and watersheds, it felt good to be working just around the corner from the Longfellow Creek watershed at The Delridge Library , and sharing my project with members of the community the creek runs through.  

It was one of my best attended events that wasn’t a street fair, several children playing hookie from homework made long beautiful chains, including 2 four years olds.  Towards the end of the day, yarn was everywhere with kids running around the room eating animal crackers, and still crocheting.  I loved it!  For me, art and learning are both messy chaotic and wayfaring processes, full of sensory overload.  So I was quite pleased with the rumpus!  And glad I could create a space where children can mess around and babies can screech while mother messes around with yarn!   Even my doula stopped by, Betsy Hoffmeister who is an activist in her community supporting mothers and children with birth and breastfeeding support.  

Betsy and Becca

Betsy and Becca

We have hardly seen each other since she was with me during the birth of my son, so I am really thrilled to have a tiny fuzzy whirlpool made by her hands join this long river.   She sat and taught her daughter to crochet, as well as two other mother and child pairs.  

Brenda teaches her son

Brenda teaches her son

Crocheting has been a way for me to generate my giant installations in tiny bits of time, because it’s a very simple looping process I can keep in a little bag and carry with me throughout my daily life.  My ordinary experiences of watching my kid at the playground or waiting for a few minutes in the car get imbedded in the larger mythical narrative of my work.

I'm just waiting...not driving

I'm just waiting...not driving

 

 

  I always feel like this correlates with how myths or archetypes would have been created, the repetition of the ordinary story until it transcends the individual.  So to have these moments of mothers and  children, passing hands through hands, recorded in knots in this work, to me, gives it some powerful magic.

See the entire set of images here

Mariko and little one

Mariko and little one

Robert and Tenny hold back nothing

Robert and Tenny hold back nothing

 

babies don't crochet, but they sing for us

babies don't crochet, but they sing for us

 

 

already a crocheting ace, taught by her grandmother

already a crocheting ace, taught by her grandmother

 

a tiny pool

a tiny pool

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A HUGE thank you to Karin Skacel Haack at Skacel Yarn! Crochet hooks for kids!

This piece is bringing me in contact with so many generous people, freely giving their support (a hem, Sharon Arnold at dimensions variable), encouragement, their time, old clothes, old yarn, etc. etc.  But I have to just also give a gigantic thank you to Karin Skacel Haack , the president of Skacel Collection, Inc. , a Seattle-based family business importing yarns and beautiful German crochet hooks.  Karin contacted me during the making of my last project, The Silvering Path, and wanted to donate some yarn. crochet-party I believe she had seen Small but Mighty Wandering Pearl, and also one of her newest designers had helped me with some beading on that project.  She generously gave us a mountain of yellow yarn and other supplies.  She also came for a day and crocheted.  Karin and I recently got in touch again, and she again wanted to donate more yarn and asked me what else I might need for this new massive project.  I told her how I have been giving away my crochet hooks to kids who come to the events, and yarn where I could, to the point it was outside of my budget.  She said she’d find me some hooks too.

Well, her awesome web designer Candice, came to the Southwest Library crochet event with a giant bag of the most beautiful blue yarns, and a box of an unbelievable amount of glittery crochet hooks (yes, they have gold glitter in them, they are truly the glam rockstars of crochet hooks).  Not only has she insured that I can take this piece to the scale that I would like it to be without busting my budget, but also I can make sure to pass on a crochet hook to every kid I come across.  

Skacel yarn and hooks!

Skacel yarn and hooks!

Crochet hooks are like special wands of transformation, simple and elemental, archetypal tools that can create infinite variety through the single gesture of knotting loops inside of loops.  I don’t even know how old they are…..It feels good and full-circle to hopefully keep a kid working with their hands.  Handwork and reading were really the saving grace of my childhood.  Someone somewhere taught me the simple gestures that have shaped my life and set my hands and mind into the motions that will probably be with me for as long as I know.  Thank you Karin for such generosity.

 

 

crocheting at Delridge Library

crocheting at Delridge Library

 

four hands together

four hands together

Come see me at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival this Sunday, 5/3, 10am-3pm

sustainable-west-seattleJoin me at the Sustainable West Seattle Festival this Sunday from 10 am – 3 pm. I’ll have my own booth for people the hang out in for a bit and crochet.  There are a whole host of other exhibitors, Community Resiliency demos, music/performances (including the Duwamish Drummers and Dancers, and the Senior Center Line Dancers!)   And the West Seattle Farmers market is going on at the same time, so venture out rain or shine!

And Thank You West Seattle for all the interest in my project!  The West Seattle Blog has sent a ton of hits my way, and I’m just so energized by all the support for this work.

 

Crocheting at Delridge Library

Crocheting at Delridge Library

small hands learning the chain stitch

small hands learning the chain stitch