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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.


Lisa Boyer said...

Thanks for taking us to Madrona with you! Wow...those glass canoes are amazing. I love your little felted beads...and I LOVE squirrels, too! I could just watch them for hours. I've never lived where there are squirrels, either, and I have a hard time thinking of them as "rodents". But I guess some people like geckoes and I've grown to despise the little *&^%;s, pooping all over the place. Urgh. I'd much prefer squirrels...they look like funny upright kitty-cats.

mysticalfeet said...

Welcome back!! We missed you back here in Paradise... Aloha Knitters was quiet Thursday. The beads are gorgeous. The claybabies, too. The persimmony dyeing lore is pretty cool. Guess we're lucky they didn't ferment it for drinking, eh? I share your fascination with squirrels, as does Ella. Cricket has never seen a squirrel, and I imagine he'd have an aneurysm over one, should we be so unfortunate as to stumble across one.

Did you see Harlot's Must Have?!!

Opal said...

Yay you're back! I missed you! Did you bring back anything Persimmon-dyed? I'd *love* to see it!

I've never seen a squirell so I'd be equally fascinated. I love the felted beads you made. So pretty! Can't wait to hear more about Madrona and see you at MJ!

Aim said...

Those Claybabies are really interesting! Sounds like you had a really fun time--yay for classes!!!

I come from the land of squirrels. Yuck, I hate them. They can be so damaging to property, and carry diseases, including rabies....(I know, I know, they look like totoro!)

Rachel said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time! I like the Koolhaas hat you knitted. Isn't it a fun pattern?

Lilikoi Knits said...

Welcome back!

Kathy said...

All incredible. But the glass canoe has won my heart