Sunday, February 22, 2009

Princess - meet pumpkin

Well, I'm back to reality now. I look forward to Madrona Fiber Festival every year with the same anticipation I used to reserve for birthdays and Christmas. The flight there was smooth, weather for travel was great and the plane actually landed thirty minutes early.

The location (Tacoma Washington) is stunningly beautiful. The hotel is luxurious, the classes top notch and the market divine but it's the friends that are the best part. I took two full day classes this year with a day off in between. It was a nice pace - not overly rushed. On Wednesday, Hope and I went to the Museum of Glass accompanied by the talented Lucy Neatby. The glass artist in residence is Lino Tagliapietra and we had a chance to watch him work in the museum's hot room. I think I spent more money in the museum gift shop then I did on yarn but everything was on deep discount so I couldn't resist. I got a really cool brooch by this artist for $25. Apparently he designed a bracelet featured in the Sex in the City movie. The regular price was something like $145.

On Thursday, we took Judith McKenzie's spinning fat yarn class. Any spinner knows that once we train ourselves to spin thin yarn - it's hard to go back. There are so many great sweater designs now using chunky yarn that this is definitely a skill worth cultivating. Here she is demonstrating on her Tina II for the class. And yes - I was happy to get that lovely Wild Apple in the background of the shot.

Vanessa and I both brought our Wee Robins to the retreat and I must say that it traveled like a dream. I carried it as a back pack and it fit perfectly in the overhead bin on the plane. It was great to be able to have significant time to bond with it - I continue to be extremely happy with the yarns I'm making on it. On Friday Vanessa and I sat by the fire in the lobby for most of the afternoon and spun. Vanessa bought a sheep to shoe kit from BMFA and here she is spinning thread to make a 3 ply sock yarn. At one point it was so fine I couldn't see it in mid air. She's my spinning Sensei.

Friday was another Judith class on spinning silk. As always it was chuck full of great advice. I picked up a lazy kate called the Will Taylor / JMM Clever Kate . Here's a photo on another one on Flickr. The spokes come off for flat storage and packing which will be easier than lugging my arched Schacht lazy kate again. I also got her Mother McKenzie's dye kit which I can't wait to try out when the weather gets warm again (please tell me it will). I also snagged some pink, cream and taupe Kauni, Judith's new book the Intentional Spinner and some amazing Malabrigo sock yarn in a shade called Archangel.

It was so cool to wander the hotel and see knitting needles and spinning wheels in every corner. Isn't that the way every hotel should look? Here are Therese and Denise chatting (with her lovely Tina II wheel) and Hope wearing her hot off the needles Coco Knits sweater.

Sunday was my travel day back. Monday is a stat holiday here in Ontario so I spend the day locating an open grocery store and doing 10 loads of laundry. Back to reality - I guess the coach really does turn into a pumpkin at the end of the retreat but at least I know there's always next year.