Monday, January 29, 2007

Madrona Fiber Arts!

Wow. I had a great time at the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat.

It was so worth it to me to stay at the hotel because it allowed me to really enjoy my time there. My head/brain was swimming with information everyday. I didn't have to battle the traffic everyday and that was certainly a treat.

I attended three full days of classes. I spent all three days with Jean Wong.

I took Tailored Knitting the Japanese Way(two days) and Fine Finishing Techniques(one day). I learned so much. Jean is a patient teacher, always making sure everyone understands what she is trying to explain. She had to explain some concepts two, three different ways so we all could understand it. If you ever get a chance to take a class with her I highly recommend it!

Here are some photos taken during class. The first one is of an example of how we create a pattern for our particular body measurements and guage of yarn/needle size for a sweater we are designing.

Here we are working hard at using the concepts we have learned and applying them to our personal pattern.

Below is my work area...a complete mess! This is a very involved process but I love the idea of having this knowledge. It will liberate me from being dependant on patterns. Let the creating begin!

I have so much to share about the weekend.

Thursday night I met up with Sandy. We hadn't seen each other for over a year. We had scheduled to get together for dinner so we planned to meet up at the marketplace. She came up to my hotel room so I could drop off all the stuff I accumulated at the marketplace. She mentioned she wanted to do this sweater/shrug that was on the cover of Vogue knitting Fall 2005. I said "I know exactly what one you mean!" I went to the closet and pulled out the sweater I had done. She is going to knit this. Go to her blog and check out her progress. She is doing great! Thanks Sandy for your hospitality! We need to plan for one of those knitting cruises - preferably to foreign countries! :)

I met Tina and Kaci of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. What sweet women! By the time I left on Saturday they knew me by name. I went back so many times. Tina commented that she thought I bought all the pink/purple yarns she had. I bought sock yarn, roving, bamboo yarn and a wonderful fingering weight yarn made of kid mohair, silk and a little bit of nylon. This is going to make a wonderful shawl! I'll get pics posted soon. Their new colorway Backstabber(the one in the middle in the photo below)...absolutely *my colors*!!!

Sock yarns - how many skeins do I have in the stash?? Does it matter that I'm a member of the 2007 Rockin' Sock Club? NAW. After all, these are my colors!

This is a super soft Bamboo yarn. I will make a short-sleeve shirt. I bought the pattern that was displayed with the yarn. Maybe I'll use my "Tailored Knitting the Japanese Way" knowledge and create a Naomi original.

The reason why I kept going back to Blue Moon's booth was because I got to purchase things that you can't get on their website. It was SOOOO much fun! I won't show photos of the roving because I purchased some for my friend Terry who pushed me over the edge to start spinning. I don't want to ruin her surprise. She knows she's getting some, she just doesn't know what or what color(s).

Friday night I met up with Greg, my best friend Jamie, and her husband Chris. We had a nice dinner at the Pacific Grill. They have great atmosphere but I thought the food was overpriced. It was nice that it was just a couple blocks away. We could walk.

After Jamie and Chris dropped us off at the hotel, Greg and I went up to the bar on the 26th floor of the Sheraton to have a drink. We sat down at the windows, enjoying the view. Next thing I knew, Fiona Ellis and the Yarn Harlot Stephanie Pearl-McPhee sat at the table next to us. I was so thrilled. I had no camera with me. Greg could not understand why I was so excited about it. When we got up to go I had to go over to them to say hello. I stumbled badly. I told Stephanie I loved her. How stupid is that??? I do love her!! She said "I love you, too" (yeah right!). We introduced ourselves and she said everyone had been talking about my sweater that day (the Vogue one I spoke about earlier in this post). Wow. I was amazed that she even noticed!

The next morning at (what else) the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth, I ran into Fiona and she recognized me and we exhanged pleasantries. What a nice woman!

I met Melinda, a fellow Feral Knitter. Why didn't I already know her? I'm fairly new to "Ferals" and the only time I saw Melinda was in early January(?). She was across the table and I was not feeling well and wasn't very social that night.

What is a Feral Knitter? We are knitters that enjoy the art of Fair Isle knitting and we meet every other Monday in Lake Forest Park. I had never met Melinda in person but I had been a lurker of her blog. When I was in the registration line I looked behind me and I recognized her photo from her blog. I introduced myself and found she was also in the two day Jean Wong class. We sat next to each other in class and I had the honor of getting to know her better. Melinda is an amazing knitter! Her blog is full of great techniques and tips.

I have more stories and photos to share but I need to get going. Start planning on coming to Madrona next year! Save the dates - February 14-17, 2008.


Sandy said...

Knitting cruise. So I looked at what Nicky Epstein is doing this year (i love her books, don't know if I could keep up with most of her projects). She is doing a tour in Sept. (drat, I'll be back in school, unless I quit between now and then). And where is Nicky going????? That would be Austrailia and New Zealand. Sigh! i will keep you updated on the jacket project.

pss, after you left, I bought another ridiculous amount of yarn.

bizyhands said...

Hi Naomi!
Wow, after reading about your experience, I wished I was a mouse in your pocket. Sounds like a fantastic 3 days. That's funny about Stephanie. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has those out-of-mind moments! Thanks again for the fiber, although I was hoping you'd mess up and show it here. Dang! Glad you're back and it was everything you hoped for and more.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Naomi! I just stumbled on your blog looking for the Madrona site. I met you last year at the Lake City Starbucks during the storm that took out your lights and my tree. We bonded over knitting. Anyway, I'm signed up for 3 days of Jean Wong classes this year. I was up in Vancouver for a weekend retreat with her and of course I now want more more more.

Are you going to Madronna this year? Maybe we could meet for lunch.


Anonymous said...

BTW you can reach me at

Anonymous said...

I was also in Jean Wong's class Thursday and Friday and I heard someone say they were taking her classes all three days, I thought, "that person is crazy". :-) My brain was buzzing after two days, I don't know how you did it.
Did JW mention her video? I mentioned to her that I wanted to take the Japanese Finishing class next year and she recommended the video. I wonder if all the class material is covered in the video, did she happen to say?
Where were you sitting Thurs. & Fri.?

Anonymous said...

D'oh. I just looked and saw this post is from last year. I took the class this year, 2008. hahahahahahaha
That's what I get for googling "Jean Wong Madrona" and then not looking at the date!