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Monday, February 25, 2008

Madrona, Part 2, the Stash Additions: A Mosaic says a thousand words, or All that glitters is not Koigu

The Market place at Madrona had a lot of great vendors. I walked through once or twice every day and found new things.

1. koiguheaven, 2. Fair Isling on Blue Moon, 3. assortment, 4. Knitting Languages, 5. Black Water Abbey Marilyn, 6. Red, 7. FleeceArtist Green, 8. STR LW

My plan was to enhance the reds in my stash. The reds include Fleece Artist Marina (oh so soft!), STR LW in black and red, and Black Water Abbey worsted. The Marilyn pattern was knit up in this red it was love at first sight.

It was tempting to fill my bags at the Koigu Wall, but I managed to hold myself back, remembering I had some already in stash at home, so I bought the red, for project Spectrum, and some sensible black.

The regrets...the cashmere/silk scarf kit, the Fair Isle Bag Kit, the Kitty Kat shawl pin, Shibui, the Rowan goes on. Sigh. I'll just have to save up for another time.
Question. If I paid my Visa bill twice and now I have a credit balance, is it money I already spent? Hmmmm...guilt free Amazon shopping! Creative budgeting?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Madrona, Part 1, The Classes

My first Madrona Fiber Retreat was a lot of fun. I started off with a visit with my sister who lives in Tacoma. I fed her squirrels (her hubby says they are rodents) but being from a place with no squirrels makes us both go ga ga over them. She had a bowl of claybabies which intrigued me as well. She dug them up herself. The socks became my first FO of the trip and were gifted to her for her BD. Yarn-Koigu, size 1 shortie clovers, pattern open cable rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. Her petite snowbells bloomed while I was there. Lucky me!

The Retreat was held in the Hotel Murano which is undergoing renovations. We shared the space with hard hats. My room was very new and the bed was most confortable. I loved the glass canoes hanging in the lobby.

I took 4 classes. Kakishibu, or persimmon dyeing taught by Chris Conrad was most interesting. What really interested me was the fact that mordants are not needed. Even more interesting I learned that the dye is made from tiny green persimmons which are pressed for the juice. The juice is then fermented for 3-5 years! Who made this process up?
I'm showing some of the class projects made my some of the very talented ladies there as mine were not as dramatic, heh.

I also took Fun Funky Beads taught by Darla Fanton. The beads are felted on to a styrofoam ball. All that stabbing with the needles was quite therapeutic.

The two other classes I took were Beginning I-cord taught by Margaret Radcliffe where I learned some handy i-cord techniques such a a bag handle and starting a top down beanie with i-cord with no run away DPs, and Beyond Finishing taught by Sue Ewen, in which I learned to knit curly cues and such.

Another FO was Koolhaas hat, in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed. It's a bit large even for my big headed son, but a very fun and addicting knit indeed. I used size 8 unknown circulars. 7s would have been better.

I really enjoyed sitting in the lobby watching some very incredible knits walk by and talking with all the talented and friendly knitters, especially Norma. I'm so thrilled to have met some Feral Knitters, Janine who had an impressive and colorful pile of yarn for her Fair Isle color class and Weebug as she got out and I got in the slowest elevators in the world;)

My sister picked me up for dinner every night so I missed the evening group sessions and my opportunity to meet knitting celebrities, sigh. If I have a chance to go again, I will plan for them.

I won a door prize though, which is great since I lost 40 of my yarn stash dollars at the Emerald Queen Casino.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bagus interuptus

The Bar Harbor Shell Bag will just have to wait until I come back from Madrona. At least it dried completely in rainy cool Nuuanu. As it was drying I thought it would make a lovely bucket to have besides my knitting chair. Anything to avoid making lining, heh.

I'm looking forward to getting away from the hell hole work for awhile and dye with persimmons.