Madrona: That’s a wrap!

The 20th, and very last, Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat was last weekend. It was perfect, and perfectly wonderful. This community of fiber artists just feels like home. I had the honor and pleasure of both teaching and being a student, as well as a happy shopper and fiber socializer. Here’s a taste of the weekend. It’s a long post. Savor it, because it’s the last Madrona post!

I taught two classes, Brioche Pastiche hat, and YO? YO! Fancy Stitches.

My brioche class was the best it has ever been. The students were ready for adventure, and did a great job learning brioche rib, and then adding increases and decreases. They also learned to fix mistakes.

The fancy stitches class made samplers like this one, and Ann from last year’s mini class brought me this vintage pattern with a version of one of the stitches we do.

She also wore her Tumbling Leaves shawl. I love it when people show me their projects from my designs!

Karen in brioche class wore her gorgeous deep purple Summertime Blues wrap.

And Jennifer from last year’s Athena Entrelac class showed me her Athena, knit with her handspun alpaca. Brilliant!

Do you plan your retreat attire around your knits? I do! Left to right: Meander Cowl (it was really all about those leopard print boots that I wanted to wear to the teacher talent show, so I switched to my planned pooling cowl later that day, which also pulled the browns together), Lucky Star (the rainbow version), and Garland Shawl. On Sunday I wore my gradient gray and pollen Lucky Star, but alas, no pic.

I took an all day class on Bohus knitting with Susanna Hansson on Saturday. This knitting style from Sweden was the basis of a cottage industry in response to the Great Depression; the Bohus Stickning cooperative operated between 1939 and 1969. The style features stranded colorwork with both knits and purls in fine gauge wool and angora.

Do the purl bumps make a difference? You bet they do! See the difference? The first time I came to a round with purls, I actually giggled in delight. I hadn’t realized that the purl bumps would appear in the contrasting color from the previous round; it wasn’t obvious from the chart.

Here’s my Blue Shimmer cuff start, along with one of the class samples. These are my US size 1 Lantern Moon ebony dpns; I worked the ribbing on US size 0 needles. Not my comfort zone, but it’s so pretty.

And here’s a smattering of student projects! I really enjoyed this class, and would highly recommend it.

But there’s more to Madrona than just classes. The market was full of inspiring and useful things.

This Hazel Knits Lively DK from the Fiber Gallery is going to be a brioche project in the near future. I love how these two colors, Paisley and Plum Glace, go together.

And this Blue Moon Fiber Arts Plushy in Clusterfact (also from the Fiber Gallery booth) is going to be another adventure in planned pooling. I just can’t stop…

The Canon Hand Dyes booth is always inspiring; her colors are beautiful.

I bought this Chicken Boots notions bag to corral my essentials in my big tote; this made it much easier to find my wallet without carrying the bulk of my purse. I, um, may have also acquired a matching Double Double project bag, my favorite style. I had to get it now; Saremy is not going to continue making bags; she’s launching her Sew Sew video livestream on YouTube.

I enjoyed knitting and chatting with people throughout the retreat. It’s really the people who make Madrona such a delight. Here are a few examples.

I met Zina, the knitter of this wonderful hat. She gathered the mountain goat fluff on a hike, but didn’t know how to spin. The story of how she processed the fluff, including Judith MacKenzie offering to spin it for her(!) is on her blog here.

At the teacher showcase, I chatted with Heather, who said that she wanted to learn to crochet, but she was having a hard time because she’s left-handed. I was so pleased to tell her that crochet designer Laurinda Reddig was going to be demo-ing in the Rotunda the next day, and that she could help her because she’s left handed too. I saw Heather two nights later with her spinning wheel near the fireplace, and she said that Laurinda had helped her with crochet.

I ran into Cecillie moments later, and she told me that she was having difficulty showing her left-handed friend Elizabeth how to crochet. Aha! I popped back over to Heather, and then Heather, a crocheter of all of one day, was showing Elizabeth how to get things going. That’s the spirit of Madrona.

Cecillie, Heather, Elizabeth

I met Pamela several years ago at Madrona. She is a brioche fiend! I introduced her to Sarah Hauschka last year; Sarah taught us linked double knitting, which is like working both colors of brioche in the same pass. The fabric is slightly different than brioche, which Sarah discovered over the course of this year. (There was a long thread on Facebook about it!)

Suzanne Pedersen and Cornie Talley created and sustained this beautiful fiber arts community called Madrona. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it! Thank you, Suzanne and Cornie. ❤️

I’m also pleased that there will be a fiber retreat next year in the same venue. John Mullarkey and Rebecca Edwards are launching Red Alder in 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing it grow!

9 responses to “Madrona: That’s a wrap!

  1. Such a fun post. Meeting fiber friends (or is that *fiends*) is just the best. Glad you were able to see Madrona out in style! Onward and upward.

  2. Sounds like you had a blast! Love your outfits with your knits!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time! Your outfits look great, and yes, I coordinate my outfits to my knits as well 🙂 The classes all sound really interesting and fun!
    I have been wanting to get to Madrona and am sorry I never got there. But it’s good to hear there is something on the same lines launching in the future!

  4. I was looking for the ‘Like’ button all the way through this blog. Your class has opened the world of Brioche to me-this year’s challenge, perhaps…The last Madrona was indeed very special-new friends, lots of laughter and learning. Fingers crossed for Red Alder!

  5. I’d been hearing people talk about Bohus knitting on podcasts, and thought the poor dears were mispronouncing “Bauhaus” … picture my surprise when I finally saw it in print last year!

  6. Ooh, you pretty much convinced me some time ago that I really need to learn brioche, and now I think I need to investigate bohus, too!

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