Tag Archives: Red Alder Fiber Arts

Red Alder 2022 recap

This picture says it all. It was so wonderful to be back in a classroom with my knitters! This is my Brioche Pastiche class from Thursday morning. This was my first ”away” teaching since Red Alder in 2020. It’s been a long two years.

I taught 4 classes, and it was a joy. I brought my laptop and document camera, so it was the best of both worlds. Everyone could see the demonstration at the same time like a Zoom class, and then i could go around the room and fine tune with people.

The market was fun, and I had a great time signing books with the fun peeps from Northwest Yarns.

Melissa, Heather, Tristan, and Echo from Northwest Yarns
Thanks, Echo!
Karen and Donna
Nancy of Schmutzerella Yarns with her ravishing Oregon Sky
Dyers Jen of Matchmaker Yarns & Kalliope of Anzula Luxury Fibers
Test knitter Kris

I met Kris in person; she was so helpful test knitting for Brioche Knit Love. So nice to put faces with names!

Here’s what came home with me:

Sparkly fingering weight yarn from Schmutzerella, and beads from Bead Biz. I have a plan for this combination.

Sparkly DK weight yarn from Anzula Luxury Fibers. Apparently I was having a thing for all things sparkly. I think I have a plan for this, too.

And worsted weight yarn from Anzula, as a backup if the sparkles don’t work for what I was planning…

Red Alder is already planning for next year; mark your calendars for February 16-19, 2023!

Edited to add my weekend knitwear!

Here are more pictures from the weekend.

Chihuly art glass at the old Union Station
Love this reflection!
Union Station reflection on the Bridge of Glass
Mural. I’ve seen this expression on Bisquee
The mountain peeked out at sunset on Friday

Now hard at work (at home) trying to pare down the to-do list! It grew quite a bit these past two weeks. Onward!

Math swatch, Red Alder Retreat

I started a new design with the *real yarn* twice before resorting to a math swatch.

The first time you jump in without swatching, it’s understandable, especially if you’ve knit with this yarn and needle size before. I thought I had the undulating stitch pattern figured out. Not quite. So I started over.

There are four ways to arrange the two stitch patterns, and I need to pick two that will consistently look the same on the repeats.

I knit for quite a while before I realized that I still wasn’t going to get the symmetry I wanted. so I finally resorted to a math swatch. Yes, I just made up that term. I didn’t need to knit the motifs completely; I just needed to know if the motifs were going to stack consistently. That’s why this just looks like a jumble of kinky yarn (it was from a piece I had frogged after blocking).

I make the mistakes so you don’t have to!

My classes at Red Alder

I’m getting ready to go to Tacoma, Washington next week to teach at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat. There is still room in many classes, so if you’re up for some in-person fun, check it out here. Vaccinations and masks are required. I’ll have a trunk show and book signing with Northwest Yarns in the market; they’re carrying my book, Brioche Knit Love. I’ll confirm times (I think lunchtime Friday and late morning into lunch on Saturday?) and post. Looking forward to it!

Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat in February

It’s been a while since I’ve been to an in-person event. I have really missed that energy! Now it’s time to plan, hoping that the pandemic will have calmed, but keeping health and safety in mind.

Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat is scheduled for February 17-20 in Tacoma, Washington. This will be the second year of this show; the first was in 2020, and 2021 was canceled. The first one was fabulous, and I have no doubt that 2022 will be equally great. Covid policies are in place, but they may change as conditions change. Your safety is Red Alder’s priority.

Classes are listed on the website now, as well as registration information. Registration begins November 6 at 4 pm Pacific time.

I’m teaching four classes:

Brioche Pastiche, which is a quick start to 2 color brioche in the round, and increases and decreases

Syncopation, 2 color syncopated brioche knit flat

Minerva Entrelac Cowl, learn to knit entrelac, flat

Designing with Favorite Shawl Shapes. This class sets you free to dream up your own shawls.

Just being swift for Mary Scott, Red Alder 2020

I’m pretty excited to think about actually going places next year. May it be so!

February Freebies

There are a few fun things I want to share with you.

First of all, Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat isn’t happening this year, but they’re doing a series of interviews with some of the teachers over the canceled retreat weekend of February 11 – 14. It’s free to watch, but you have to register first. You can register here to see/hear Sarah Larson (spinner, editor), Franklin Habit (knitter, designer), Anne Hanson of KnitSpot (designer, yarn purveyor), and Rebecca Mezoff (weaver and tapestry artist). I’m really happy that the good folks from Red Alder are reaching out to us as this pandemic lockdown continues. I’m looking forward to Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat in 2022! (That sounds like a long time from now…)

Second, how about a free pattern? Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks) is offering a cropped sweater pattern, Feel the Bern (Ravelry link), based on those meme-tastic mittens Senator Bernie Sanders was wearing on Inauguration Day. Her pattern hasn’t been tech edited, but it’s based on her Soldotna Crop pattern, which I found very easy to follow. Others have already posted finished sweaters on Instagram.

Imagine this yoke, but in browns, in that (in)famous mitten pattern!

Oh, not a freebie, really, but you might be interested in the Fiberuary challenge going on over on Instagram. Daily postings based on these prompts, and you can participate, too! Share a little about yourself, and learn about other knitters and crafters. Do as much or as little as you’d like. Look for the hashtags #fiberuarychallenge and #fiberuarychallenge2021

Okay, back to Sleeve Island for me!

Red Alder 1.0

The first ever Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat is in the books, and it was fabulous. It followed in the footsteps of Madrona, but it was its own thing, created from scratch, and ever so wonderful.

I arrived to see Red Alder’s Becky with her finished Petite Brioche (note how she has diagnosed and fixed the WS of her brioche rib by watching the video for continental knitters) and her Clematis hat work-in-progress. This all came about due to an Instagram conversation last week! (In case you’re new here, my Petite Brioche is a free beginner brioche pattern with video tutorials, link here.)

I taught 4 classes: Herringbone Braids and Beyond, Athena Entrelac Cowl, Brioche Pastiche, and Fixing Lace Mistakes.

This is always my favorite moment in the Tink Lace class, if just for the shock value. The students always get over it…eventually. And then they fix it!

Krista brought her finished Brioche Pastiche to show me. It looks great!

And Joan brought her finished Dotty Cake hat to show me, too. I just happened to have mine with me because I used it for a sample in my Herringbone Braids class. Serendipity!

The market had lots of familiar faces, and some new ones, too.

I’m seeing Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and Shannon more on the road than at home! Last month at VKLive NYC, this month at Red Alder, next month at VKLive Seattle/Bellevue. This is their first Madrona/Red Alder show. And we’ll have our annual Rose City Yarn Crawl mega-trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake with them and Debbi Stone on Thursday, March 5. See you there!

Rebecca from A Hundred Ravens yarn showed me some beautiful colors on a yak base, and others on merino.

Greenwood Fiberworks had some gorgeous mini-skein kits.

Foxy Stacey and Cindy were flaunting all the colors at Fierce Fibers. I re-acquainted myself with a few gradient colorways that have me daydreaming again. This was the first Madrona/Red Alder show for Fierce Fibers, too.

There was a lot more in the market; this was just a tiny taste.

Besides teaching, I took a class on Knit 1 Below with Harry Welles. It looks like brioche; it just uses another way to get that result. It was interesting, but I’ll just keep knitting brioche…you know I’m smitten!

Evenings were fun, too. Here’s Red Alder’s John in fine disco gear from the Friday night Fiber-In. I’ll leave you to search the web for Harry’s crochet pants.

Clara Parkes gave the keynote at the Saturday banquet, about wool, of course!

There were some yarn winding shenanigans before the banquet; Mary Scott Huff needed a swift so I stepped in. I still say this beautiful color from Fierce Fibers is NOT pink. Terra cotta? It has a lovely brown undertone.

The hotel Murano features a different glass artist on each floor; I finally got up close and personal with this piece, which I’ve admired on their key cards for years. I didn’t realize how subversive it is! Susan Taylor Glasgow’s statement says, “My life and art are the result of homemaking gone awry. I have the luxury of exploring the complexities of domestic life from the safe distance of my studio.”

Happily ever after, cooking, ironing and vacuuming…ha!

I’m so glad the inaugural Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat was a success. Lots of smiles! I look forward to this event again next year.

Moonrise over Tacoma, first night.

Moonset over Tacoma, last morning. And that’s as much Mt. Rainier view I had all weekend!

Did you go to Red Alder? What did you love?

Jump on this: Red Alder

Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat is coming right up, February 13-16. Registration closes February 1. There are still spots in some classes, and a very few hotel rooms have opened up at the Hotel Murano, too. Rooms must be booked by today, January 29, for the Red Alder rate, by emailing Nichole; See Red Alder’s registration page on their website for more info. There are also other hotels listed on the Location page.

I’m teaching:
Brioche Pastiche (full)
Fixing Your Mistakes: Lace Edition (one spot left)
Herringbone Braids and Beyond
Athena Entrelac Cowl

Come knit with me!

Knitting season is in full swing

And so are knitting classes. My schedule is set for the rest of this year. Here’s the lowdown on local and not so local offerings:

First, a heads up for locals who want to learn brioche: I’ve added a weekday Petite Brioche class at Twisted on Tuesday, November 19, 11 am. Sign up now; these fill quickly.

Brioche increases and decreases

Hopscotch scarf

I’m also teaching two intermediate brioche classes at Twisted on Saturday, November 16: Next Steps in Brioche (increases and decreases), and Hopscotch (syncopated brioche scarf). These are great if you have the basic brioche rib in your toolkit already. Same sign up link!

I’m teaching Shall We Dance, my planned pooling cowl at For Yarn’s Sake on Sunday, November 17. Sign up and info here.

And that’s it for the local classes! Further afield, I’ll be in Columbus for Vogue Knitting Live November 1-3. And at Vogue Knitting Destinations: Portland on November 15.

And looking into next year? I’ll be at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC in January! Registration is now open; if you’re planning to go, I’d love to see you there, January 17-19.

I’ll be teaching at Red Alder Fiber Retreat in Tacoma February 13-16; Red Alder is the new retreat following Madrona, which has retired. Class listings are up so you can start planning, but registration isn’t live yet. I’m very pleased to be part of this new adventure, and hope you’ll come be a part of it, too.

I love classes; there’s so much more to them than the stated project or skill. We share a lot of tangential knowledge, too. It’s like being immersed in a different language.

What new knitting skill do you want to learn?