Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sheepless in Seattle

I realize I've been a wee bit MIA. I had 4 editorial deadlines bearing down on me early February and then the Internet went down on us. It's been 2.5 weeks of negotiating with Ma Bell as to whether it's our phone line or not. Trust me - it's the phone line. I hear crackling when I call people. I'll have to type this post quickly as this connection may be gone in a heart beat.

The other big news is that I went to the Madrona Winter Retreat last week in Tacoma Washington. Five glorious days of spinning, knitting and shopping for fibre related products. I met up with Vanessa, Diane, Hope, Jessica, and a host of other great knitters. The company was as great as the program.

The trip out was a bit hairy since a raging snow storm hit Toronto right about the time I was preparing to leave for the airport. Barreling down a runway in a blizzard ain't for the faint of heart but we made it to Seattle safely. Imagine a hotel with comfy sofas and a long fireplace crawling with knitters every where. Yes, we'd all found our tribe.

I spent two days taking a class with Kathryn Alexander on energized singles. My Kromski Sonata fit nicely into the hard sided suitcase I bought and traveled with no ill effects. Kathryn Alexander is truly a creative genius. Her sense of colour, shape and innovation leave me feeling rather inept but hopeful that I can expand my horizons. After class I tried on one of her designs and Hope tried it on too. It's a cute jacket - a sassy happy little design. I may just treat myself to this one for getting through winter.

I spent a half day with Judith (I could listen to her talk all day) MacKenzie McCuin. She has an avid fan base and I can see why. She gave a 1/2 day on wild textures and I was able to try my hand at boucle and novelty yarns. I don't tend to knit with these but there are times when they make great embellishments so knowing how to make them is kind of cool. She was the key note speaker at the banquet on Saturday night and I really found her story about the Bison very interesting. She's producing a Bison yarn that is so wonderfully soft. Very expensive but lucious in every way. The red colourway is amazing.

I picked up some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Laci in the Thraven colourway to make the Irtfa shawl from Knitspot. Vanessa's is to die for. The Thraven is a rich black with a fly green colour woven through it. Yummm.

I had Saturday afternoon to myself to walk the market. I snagged some Schaefer Miss Priss in the Mr. Green Jeans colourway to make Mr. Green Jeans. I also got an amazing glass button from Michael and Sheila Ernst which matches perfectly.

About 2 blocks away from the hotel sits a lovely little bakery. When you see a sign like this - it about sums up the opportunity.

Hello Cupcake - goodbye skinny jeans. The Red Velvet and Mocha Chocolate cup cakes were my favourites.

A great location. Beautiful yarn, exciting workshops, knitting and wonderful company. I know it was a great vacation because I keep re playing it in my head. Oh, and yes - I've already mentally booked the time off again next year!


Jessica said...

It was great to meet you!

Denise said...

I'm glad to hear you're planning to come back next year! It was wonderful meeting you - you're a great roommate.

Thanks again for the delicious cupcakes you left for us in the room. They made a delicious and healthful breakfast the next day.

Connie said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I couldn't find an email address for you, so I hope you don't mind if I reply in a comment on your blog...

I think Hana would be great for the Printed Silk Cardi. The only thing is that the gauge is a bit smaller (I think it's 26 sts per 4 inches) than the La Luz, so you might have to do some math. But in terms of yarn, Hana is *beautiful* and would work really well I think. In fact, I used it to make a drawstring chemise (also from the spring IK) for myself and I might want to make a printed silk cardi in it too.

Dr. Steph said...

Sorry to hear about your internet. If it's your phone line call 611, not sympatico. We did that and our internet is finally better and our phone doesn't crackle anymore (I blame squirrels).

Looks like a fun time. I'm hoping to join you next year.