Day 16. Participate...

by Christina


Follow the fish, follow the knitting
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Traveling along a line… 60 North, an imaginery line that connects people, knitters, fisherfolk, peace, and my heart, today we visit the most special of places, Cordova, Alaska, a mere 4000 miles from Shetland. Here, you’ll find a tiny, little fishing village tucked away in the wild of Alaska remotely located on the Copper River Delta in Prince William Sound.

The Copper River Delta

The Copper River Delta

Here, reside approximately 2000 people, and while not an island, there’s that feel… there are no roads to Cordova, just a plane or a 6 hour ferry ride. A fishing town… where life revolves around the salmon and halibut…

boats…

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nets…

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the making of nets…

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and the processing of fish…

While Amazon has most certainly provided the people of Cordova with access to more “goods,” one can’t help but notice that the choices for groceries, eating out, or clothing options are limited. That life is just a wee bit simpler… in a really good way.

So with that need to acquire “stuff” set aside, one starts to feel the importance of connecting with the community… the drive to belong to something greater than a busy schedule, the need to do more… time seems to slow down just a bit.

Kids are out playing on the street…

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…people are hiking up the ski hill

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and meeting at their local yarn shop, The Net Loft.

In this remote, little village you’ll find one of the most beautiful shops in the all the land. Well, see it’s not really a yarn shop… it’s the general store, the mercantile, the haberdashery… there’s the most exquisite yarn with multiple collections themed off the colors from the surrounding area, jewelry, painting supplies, dishes, lotions, table linens, baby gifts… anything you might need for that special occasion.

And while this shop is like no other for it’s material contents… it’s much more than that…

it has heart and soul.

It’s a place for the people of Cordova to gather, to connect, to participate, to inspire, to teach the next generation the importance of art and craft, to engage…

It was here that I truly began to understand what it means to be a community… it was here the word took on new meaning and became…

commuKNITy

a collective group based on knitting… to participate, to be connected and to have a sense of belonging.

It is here, in Cordova, at the Net Loft, that those feelings of being connected took shape…

the livelihood of the people that live here, the fisherfolk…

the ties between fishing and knitting through the making of traditional gansey sweaters…

and the people that come together in the dark days of winter to gather, to participate, to make something beautiful, to place one stitch next to the other…

You can read more about this specific painting by  Nicola Slattery  on  Dotty’s blog . Pull up a chair, you’re in for a treat.

You can read more about this specific painting by Nicola Slattery on Dotty’s blog. Pull up a chair, you’re in for a treat.

Peace seed #16.

Knitting has the power to connect us. Whether it’s as a collective group of people at a knitting store, coffee shop, library, or a virtual group on Ravelry or perhaps through this blog or maybe it’s by way of connecting your yarn source with the person that is receiving the finished item…

what is your commuKNITy?

Many of you might be wondering… why did I go to Cordova? Dotty creates the most amazing event called “Fiber and Friends.” It doesn’t happen every year so I would highly recommend if you are at all interested in attending any of Dotty’s events you subscribe to the shop’s newsletter.

On a personal note, I met the most amazing people while attending this event… I’ve made friends for life whether they live in Cordova or were there for the week… Dotty, Coleen, Terri, Anna, Susan, Lori, Jane, and so many more. At a time when I was feeling rather isolated… I found my folk, my peacekin, right there in that geographically isolated little town with a huge heart. Thank you Dotty and The Net Loft.

peace, one stitch, one step, one breath at a time…

~Christina

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P.S. This post is one of the most cherished ones I've written yet... this place, the people, the message are so dear to me. There's something about 60 North that has captured my heart... Shetland and Cordova. It certainly can't be attributed to the weather... it's something about the magical aspect of the people and place.

Of all my blog posts, this one has been the most challenging to write. The need to do justice to this place and the people has created some pressure… expectations. Many posts, I just write and let them go, they’ll be what they are… but this one was different… how can I capture all those emotions in one short space. Maybe when the times right, I’ll be able to explore in words more specifics on the week.