Madrona, fun and games edition

Madrona was, as always, a magical experience. This was my first time teaching there. My blocking class was full, and my students came ready to learn about swatching, washing, and blocking all the knits. It was fun!

I took two classes, but I’ll write about them in a later post because I’m using new knowledge from both classes on a little project, and I want to put all of it together for you. Curious? Watch this space! This post is about everything else. To tide you over, here’s a link to the class I took with Evelyn Clark last year.

Last Wednesday I was packing for Madrona, and I caught myself thinking, “Don’t buy any more fingering weight yarn.” (The bin is full.) And then I heard myself say out loud, “Unless it’s gradient!”

Sincere Sheep

So apparently I had to buy some gradient yarn. This is from Sincere Sheep. I bought just the gradient on Thursday, and the next day went back for a coordinating solid. And two days later I found myself buying beads from Bead Biz to go with them! This will be a fun design project.

Janine Bajus FeralKnitter

Janine Bajus was our speaker on Friday night. Very inspiring. As she wrapped up her talk, I was compelled to write down these 3 ideas, plus the big question.

You get to do what YOU want.
There is no one right way to do it.
You won’t know if it will work until you swatch.

What is holding you back?

I chatted with her on Saturday about her strikingly beautiful shawl, which actually isn’t finished yet. She wore it on Friday, the steek cut but not edged. Holding just fine! Now that I think about it, it would be cool to leave it that way, as a representation of the journey.

Carol Milne

I met glass artist Carol Milne. She’s well known for her knitted glass sculptures. Her current project is a glass entrelac dress. Glass entrelac? Yes. She knits the squares with wax cord, and makes a clay molds which are used to make the glass pieces.

knit wax for glass carol milne


New buddy Pamela Grossman tried on the beginnings of the dress. Pretty cool! You can sponsor a glass entrelac square, and when the June exhibit is over, Carol will send it to you. I want one! Check out her Facebook page for details. (It’s not up on her website yet.)

GS Mini

What else? I had a fabulous hotel room with a great view. And a fainting couch! I brought Minerva, my GS Mini, as a diversion. Last week when my #BangOutASweater gauge swatch lied to me, I started writing lyrics in my head. It’s to the tune of Blowing in the Wind. I’m sharing them with you here. If you use them anywhere, please credit them to me. And yes, I used the singular “they.”

Knitter’s Lament
Michele Lee Bernstein, PDXKnitterati

How many times must a knitter cast on
Before the swatch doesn’t lie?
How many swatches must one knitter frog
Before they break down and cry?
How many swear words will one knitter say
While knitting the umpteenth try?

The answer my friend, it’s all about the gauge
The answer is all about the gauge

How many binges must one knitter watch
On Netflix, to finish a sleeve?
Second sleeve, second sock, second mitt, second cuff
Our boredom must be relieved
How many times do we itch to cast on
Before our ends have been weaved?

The question my friend: What’s next in the queue?
What project is next in the queue?

How many times have you given a gift
And were told, “But wool makes me itch”?
How many gifts have been tossed in the wash
To felt, and shrink each precious stitch
Yes, but how many times have you given a gift
And seen the lives you enrich?

The answer my friend: It’s for the love of yarn
We do it for the love of yarn.

How many ways can a knitter make socks?
Up from the toe… Or down from the cuff?
How many ways can we learn to cast on
Before we know all the stuff
How many classes will we knitters take
Before we call it enough?

The answer my friend: It’s time to confess
At Madrona, we are obsessed.

As you can see, I had a fun time at Madrona! I’m knitting away on the little project I want to show you, using Latvian braids (from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s class) and speed swatching and proportions (from Franklin Habit’s class). Stay tuned for a class review! Here are a couple peeks out my window while you’re waiting…

Friday sunrise

Rainier peeking Friday

12 responses to “Madrona, fun and games edition

  1. Karen (carrotmusic on Ravelry)

    Holy colors, Batman! And there was glass and beautiful sky and excellent poetry (can I help you record that?). I guess I need to start playing the lottery so I can get myself to Madrona one of these years. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Oooooh, I LOVE your gradient, and the solid combo with the beads is fabulous! I got a gradient at Twisted… must dig that out. It might be a sincere sheep skein! Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  3. Sounds fabulous. I can’t wait to hear about speed swatching.

  4. That glass knitting is amazing!

    Love your new aong.

  5. So jealous! What a juicy weekend. And way to finesse the fingering-weight yarn problem . . .

  6. Thanks for sharing your talent of song with us. It was my first time there and i loved it. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.

  7. I give you your due on the poem/lyrics..a real kick.

    I took Janine’s color class last year at Madrona and found it to be THE BEST color class I ever took and she generously shared her Jamieson and Smith leftover bits for practice. It was like diving into a bathtub of gold for a stranded knitter.

    Now if I can get to your blocking class my knitting education will feel an obligation at the same time as your upcoming Twisted class..darn.

    I was amazed too with Carol Milne’s work and talk last year. She even had some reasonably priced small pieces for sale in the hotel gift shop. She needs our support on her funding.

    Madrona can be so much fun but I agree with another of your posters. You can spend a bundle just on train, hotel and classes. I can’t do it every year, sad to say.

  8. I enjoyed meeting you, Michelle, and hope our paths cross again soon!

  9. Looks like a blast!

  10. Pingback: Madrona 2016: Class reviews | PDXKnitterati

  11. Kriste Henderson

    I too bought gradient from Sincere Sheep. I don’t know what I will do with it. When you complete your design, will you post it, please?