Where the Mermaids Live
Back in January I posted a photo on Instagram of some yarn for a project I was planning to knit. I tagged the designer of the pattern and thus began a wonderful connection.
The yarn was my own Twigs + Twine Yarn Co. line in the colorways Thistle and Granite Falls and the pattern was the Scottish Highlands Shawl by Kay Hopkins.
As I cast on and made progress I continued to post photos of my project and tag Kay in them. We began to chat and she invited me to come to a retreat she was hosting. How could I resist the opportunity to get to meet her in person AND spend the weekend knitting? As I continued chatting with Kay and the other ladies attending I got the idea of dyeing up a special colorway for the retreat. The ladies all loved the idea and so I got to work and created the new color - Weekend Getaway.
The retreat was held in Lincoln City, OR at a rental house on the beach in April. I had never been to Lincoln City nor had I ever traveled that far by myself and I was meeting up with about nine other ladies I had never met before. I have to admit I was a little nervous, but...I had a reliable car, a full and endless tank of gas, GPS, and I knew all ten of us had at least one thing in common. We all loved knitting.
So with that in mind, I loaded up my car with plenty of yarn and hit the road.
The drive was actually very relaxing. I'm not really much of a driving enthusiast and it typically makes me sleepy. I just find it boring. But I took my time, stopped when I needed to and just enjoyed the scenery along the Columbia River. It was a beautiful drive and I couldn't help thinking the whole time just how much my son would enjoy it.
I was the last to arrive at the beach house as I had the furthest to travel but when I got there everyone was so welcoming and nice. We all hit it off right away. We played a couple of games to get to know each other a bit, shared some knitting and just chatted.
The next morning it was just beautiful to wake up and see the sun rising over the ocean. It was a sight I enjoyed each morning I was there. Many of the ladies took walks on the beach or enjoyed knitting out on the porch. I would have liked that but found the weather a bit cold and decided to just enjoy the view from inside out of the wind.
My little granddaughter also enjoyed the view. She would FaceTime me at least once a day, sometimes more, and ask to see the ocean. I managed to find a mermaid doll to bring back to her and on one of our FaceTime calls, I told her a story about how the mermaids live in the ocean. She loved it. More about where the mermaids live in a minute but first...let's get back to the retreat.
There was so much good food to eat. We took turns making meals and all the ladies outdid themselves. We even had eggs benedict one morning. They were amazing!
On Saturday morning after breakfast I broke out the yarn and the ladies went wild. There isn't a local yarn store in Lincoln City but that was ok because the ladies had their own private yarn store. They loved the colorway I dyed up for the retreat and several other colorways I had brought. They pretty much cleaned me out. I went home with a lot less yarn and bags than I left with and even a few custom orders.
The retreat was unstructured, basically no plan at all, but we did get a lesson in continental knitting and brioche. It was just a go with the flow lets see what happens, knit and relax kind of weekend. About the only planned activity was to go to dinner on Sunday night at a local restaurant. But we were all enjoying just being at the beach house and talking and knitting that we decided not to go and just grabbed some takeout instead. That was the best clam chowder I had ever eaten and I don't really like clam chowder all that much. But it was so good I stopped at the restaurant for lunch the next day before leaving town.
As I was having lunch I was thinking about the little mermaid doll I had gotten for my granddaughter and the story I had told her of the mermaids living in the ocean and just how much she would love being there. I wanted to not only bring her the doll but somehow also bring her the ocean. So after finishing my lunch, I trekked 20 minutes down to the beach, in boots, climbing over logs and driftwood and being beaten by the wind to capture a 30-second video of the ocean. Yup, I'm that kind of grandma. I remembered I had a digital photo frame at home and thought I could give her the photo frame with the video of the ocean along with the mermaid doll. But...disappointingly...when I got home and tried to add the video to the photo frame I discovered the photo frame wouldn't play the video. Ugh! But I was able to add several photos of the ocean so the photo frame would play a slideshow for her. It wasn't exactly what I had planned when I was climbing over the logs to get down to the beach but it worked and she loved it anyway. Now she could have her own mermaid and also see where the mermaids live.
On my return home I took a little detour to McMinnville, OR. to stop at a local yarn store there that the ladies had told me about - Oregon Knitting Co. I picked up a few new skeins there to add to my stash and a couple for my daughter for her birthday. I actually use to live in McMinnville and it felt a little weird to be back. I hadn't been there since I was 16 but as soon as I entered the town it brought back so many memories of when I lived there. Things that I hadn't thought about in ages.
I really enjoyed traveling to Lincoln City and the retreat. It was so nice to get to meet Kay and all the other ladies. To just get away and enjoy a weekend of not having to get up at a certain time or having any agenda. To just be able to enjoy the sunrise over the ocean each morning and the smell of the salty air. The daily FaceTime calls from my granddaughter asking to see the ocean, the food, the yarn, the comradery and the shared love of knitting.
Oh, and that shawl that started it all? I'm still working on it. But I'm making progress and hope to have it finished soon.
I really liked Lincoln City. It's a small but beautiful town right on the ocean. It's a place I'd like to visit again, maybe with my husband next time or the rest of my family. Maybe I'll take my granddaughter there one day and she'll remember the story I told her about where the mermaids live.
Until next time,
Carry a little joy wherever you go.