March 20, 2018 by Dr. G
I wrote ten blog posts documenting my journey at OCEANDOTCOMM. You can find those posts through the tag #odotcomm18.
I have been working on two main projects at OCEANDOTCOMM. I shared in a previous post my goal of writing one-minute reads in the ABT format, themed around each of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The second project started forming and developing on its own during the event, that I couldn’t NOT make this happen.
The story starts during an ice-breaking exercise we had on the first evening. We were paired up with another participant and had to introduce the other person. Rachel Pendergrass and I exchanged information with each other, and then we started talking about random topics and interests. I shared that I crochet and showed her some images of the temperature scarves and “tapestries” I’ve made, and she then shared that information with the group. The reaction in the room was unbelievable – so positive, so enthusiastic! (some people had been by my poster at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting where I presented on this)
At the end of the introductions, Gabriele Kerber came up to me and presented me with a gift. Gabriele is a freelance science writer from Germany. She is also a crocheter and makes small marine animals and passes them along to people. This adorable sea turtle is part of her “Sea Wanderer” pay-it-forward program.
We kept talking about crocheting throughout the meeting – and couldn’t stop talking about crocheting! I finally suggested that perhaps we could work on creating something that combines coastal optimism with needlework.
After continued conversations, this led to our project named…. Stitching Hope for the Coast!
What we’re doing is asking anyone (not just OCEANDOTCOMM participants) to knit, crochet, quilt… create anything with yarn or fabric that represents hope for the Louisiana coast. We’re creating a group on Ravelry, have a website (http://tinyurl.com/stitchingcoast) and hashtag (#stitchingcoast) ready to go, and now, we just need needleworkers! It doesn’t matter the age or level of ability or where you live. We are hoping that family, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers across the globe will want to participate.
We are definitely going to have a virtual showcase of these items, which will begin July 1st. I’ll post the URL for that here and on the Stitching Hope for the Coast website.
Gabriele has already begun her project! She is using three different colors of yarn to represent erosion and accretion of the Louisiana coast, and she plans on doing this for different time periods and taking photos to create a time-lapse of the changing coastline. I can’t wait to see what she creates!
For myself, I have a couple of different ideas, and I might quilt instead of crochet, as I haven’t quilted in some time. It will depend upon what fabrics I find at the store. I’m excited to get started!
Please share details about our project far and wide. We would like to have as many people participate as possible. Thank you, and let’s hope for lots and lots of coastal optimism!