National Parks 2020: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located in Southern Colorado.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

Many Native peoples lived on or around the land on which the park now occupies, including the Uts, the Jacarilla Apaches, the Navajo, and the Twea/Tiwa. The traditional Ute phrase for the Great Sand Dunes is Saa waap maa nache (sand that moves). Jicarilla Apaches settled in northern New Mexico and called the dunes Sei-anyedi (it goes up and down). Blanca Peak, just southeast of the dunes, is one of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo, who call it Sisnaajini (White Shell Mountain). These various tribes collected the inner layers of bark from ponderosa pine trees for use as food and medicine. The people from the Tewa/Tiwa-speaking pueblos along the Rio Grande remember a traditional site of great importance located in the valley near the dunes: the lake through which their people emerged into the present world. They call the lake Sip’ophe (Sandy Place Lake), which is thought to be the springs or lakes immediately west of the dunefield.

When was it established as a National Park?

March 17, 1932

Why is this park amazing?

This park is home to the largest dunes in North America, huge dunes like the towering Star Dune, and for the seasonal Medano Creek and beach created at the base of the dunes. The backcountry Medano Pass Primitive Road winds through a canyon toward the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Trails lead to forests, wetlands and alpine lakes like Medano Lake, which is home to trout and tundra wildlife.

Why did we choose these colors?

The photo we found perfectly captured the park at sunset, and we tried to pull out the sky, the mountains, the water, the reeds, the wildlife. It’s a dreamy skein of a dreamy photo of what we can only imagine is a dreamy space.

For more information:

National Parks 2020: Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Lake Clark National Park is located in southwest Alaska, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

people first came to the Lake Clark region around the end of the last ice age. Dena’ina, Yup’ik, and Sugpiaq peoples. The Dena’ina people have called Qizhjeh Vena, also known as Lake Clark, home for thousands of years, and still reside here, living with and off the land, and working to preserve their culture.

When was it established as a National Park?

December 2, 1980

Why is this park amazing?

Volcanoes steam, salmon run, bears forage, and craggy mountains reflect in shimmering turquoise lakes. Here, too, local people and culture still depend on the land and water. Lake Clark preserves the ancestral homelands of the Dena’ina people, an intact ecosystem at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, and a rich cultural wilderness.

Why did we choose these colors?

With a park name of Lake Clark, OF COURSE we’re going to showcase the lake and the area surrounding it for our colorway. Rich blues and greens run through the skein, making us all want to jump in a lake in celebration.

For more information:

National Parks 2020: Saguaro National Park

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Saguaro National Park is located in southern Arizona; its 2 sections are on either side of the city of Tucson.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

About 2,300 years ago, a group we now call the Hohokam had settled in southern Arizona – including the Santa Cruz valley.  By AD 700, they had a well-developed agricultural economy including extensive irrigation systems. Hohokam villages existed in the areas surrounding what is now Tuscon and Saguaro National Park for about 600 years – along Rincon Creek and its tributary washes. Then, during the 15th century, the Hohokam culture simply vanished. Other native people that have resided in this area include Akimel O’odham (also known as Pima), Apache, Hopi, Maricopa, Yaqui, Tohono O’odham (“Desert People”), Yavapai, and Zuni.

When was it established as a National Park?

October 14, 1994

Why is this park amazing?

The park is named for the large saguaro cactus, native to its desert environment. In the western Tucson Mountain District, Signal Hill Trail leads to petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people. In the eastern Rincon Mountain District, Cactus Forest Drive is a loop road with striking views of the desert landscape.

Why did we choose these colors?

We chose a photo of a saguaro in bloom, its green and orange striking against the blue Arizona sky. 

For more information:

National Parks 2020: Kobuk National Park

It’s time once again to explore more National Parks through yarny goodness. Over the past four years, we have explored the United States through its National Parks, and in 2020, we will have represented them all. Many of these are lesser-known National Parks, and we hope you spend some time exploring them through the links we’ve shared.

Check out our Socks on Vacay/Socks on Staycay summertime sock knitting collaboration with our friend Shannon Squire, too: https://shannonsquire.com/socks-on-vacay-staycay-2020/

Thanks for exploring parks and making socks with us once again this summer! To get your yarn, check out our list of LYS’s offering National Parks (Parks yarn will ONLY be available at our LYS partners through the summer): http://knittedwit.com/

Where is this National Park located?

Kobuk Valley National Park is located in the Arctic region of northwestern Alaska, about 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Whose land does this National Park reside upon?

Kobuk Valley National Park has been home to humans for as long as there have been people on this continent. During the last Ice Age, the valley remained free of ice and teamed with big game, including the woolly mammoth. Some of America’s very first inhabitants called Kobuk Valley their home. At a wide bend in the Kobuk River called Onion Portage, archeologists have found evidence that for at least 9,000 years, the caribou herd has been crossing the river there during their annual migrations. For just as long, humans have been gathering there to hunt them. Local Inupiaq Eskimos still hunt the caribou as they cross the Kobuk River at Onion Portage, just as their ancestors have done for ten thousand years. 

When was it established as a National Park?

December 2, 1980

Why is this park amazing?

Kobuk Valley National Park is home to a rich and varied landscape. The mighty boreal forest reaches its northern limits here before giving way to the rolling expanse of the arctic tundra, creating an open woodland of birch and spruce carpeted with moss and caribou lichen. The park is bisected by the Kobuk River, which slowly meanders its way across the landscape for 61 miles. To the north of the river stretch the peaks of the Baird Mountains, while to the south lie the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, the largest active sand dunes in the Arctic. Half a million caribou migrate through, their tracks crisscrossing sculpted dunes.

Why did we choose these colors?

The photo we chose to recreate in our Kobuk Valley skein shows the wide open sky, peppered with heavy clouds, over the sand dune’y valley. The mountains beckon in the distance. The skein mixes those blue-greys and browns in the most delightful way.

For more information:

HerStory August 2020: Madam C.J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove, aka Madam C.J. Walker, was the first female self-made millionaire in America. She was the sixth child in her family, and the first one born into freedom. (The rest were enslaved at birth in Louisiana, as were her parents.) Both parents died before Sarah turned 8; she moved in with her older sister in Mississippi shortly after and worked as a domestic servant from a very young age. Sarah had all of three months of formal education in her whole life. 

To escape her abusive brother-in-law, Sarah married her first husband at age 14. (PUKE!!!) She had her daughter A’Lelia at 17, and after her first husband died 2 years later, the pair moved to St. Louis, where Sarah worked as a laundress, determined to give her daughter a chance at a formal education. Both of her brothers were barbers, and, suffering from scalp and hair problems that were rampant in the Black community in her time, Sarah began selling hair-care products marketed toward Black women while developing her own hair and scalp care products in response to her own hair loss. After getting married for the 3rd time (her second marriage was a blip in her history, and doesn’t seem worth mentioning), to a mister Charles Walker, from which she gleaned her professional moniker of Madame C.J. Walker, the family moved from one coast to another, and everywhere in between, as they began to invest in Sarah’s burgeoning door-to-door business. The business expanded throughout the country and the Caribbean, and Walker opened a beauty school to instruct other Black women in the proper ways to apply and market her product. She ran business seminars, teaching Black woman how to budget and run their own businesses, opening doors for them to control their financial destinies. She hosted local business clubs throughout the country for her beauty consultants, and through her organization, National Beauty Culturists and Benevolent Association of Madam C.J. Walker Agents, convened a national conference in Philadelphia in 1917 that was one of the first national gatherings of female entrepreneurs. Somewhere in there, she divorced Charles, but kept his name, and A’Lelia and Sarah continued to build the heck out their business. 

Walker became more overtly political after her semi-retirement, using her influence and growing financial privilege to advocate for change. She supported other Black entrepreneurs and took part in the Harlem Renaissance. She devoted large parts of her fortune to supporting and founding charities advocating for the Black community. When she died at age 51 from hypertension, her legacy was already powerful and her daughter A’Lelia continued that legacy. Many Black women were empowered and inspired by the legacy Walker left. Our August colorway, Beauty Culture, pays colorful homage to Madam C.J. Walker’s legacy.