Wow - what a great long weekend! I have to dedicate this post to my fantabulous hubby. In case I hadn't mentioned it earlier, (yeah, right), I spent the last 5 (yes, 5) days down in Tacoma, WA. My fab-friend, Winston's Mom & I headed south to visit Sandy & attend the Madrona Winter Retreat. This wouldn't have been possible if DH hadn't been so cooperative & understanding about my desire to spend a long weekend & Valentine's Day away from home & knitting. Now, he's pretty darned cool about these things (considering I've been to Europe twice for 3 weeks each while he stayed home w/the boys), but this weekend he truly went above and beyond. You see, President's Day weekend is the final weekend he and his Robotics Team have to finish their F.I.R.S.T. robot. They spend hours (and I do mean hours - I dub myself the "Robot Widow" during this time) putting on the finishing touches to their robot. So, to have me go & leave him to single parent-hood for 5 days speaks volumes about what an incredible husband he is. Please remember not only was he busy w/robots, but he also had to get the boys up & ready for school, make sure they were fed, and get them to their various activities (Jr. Nordic, Youth Soccer, & a birthday party). Wow...
On to Madrona. One Word - WOW! My head is full. It was incredible - to be among such creative and talented people! I'm constantly amazed at how someone can come up with some of the most incredible and creative ideas. Here's the run down:
Thursday, Feb. 14th, 2008
• Took an all day class entitled "Art Socks" with Sue Ewens. Fantastic. Essentially I learned how to do Intarsia for a sock. Pretty darned cool. Sue was an incredible teacher with tons of energy and enthusiasm. I was most impressed when asked about her favorite sock/knitting books she replied she really didn't have one since relying on a book might stifle her creative side. Me - I totally need the books & patterns. One day I'd love to learn how to design, but I don't think I'm quite there, yet. I understand the construction of a sock, but haven't felt the need to dabble in designing my own sock. However, after this class I have a better idea about how to use all my extra sock yarn! Here's a photo of my day's efforts:
Can you say, "end management"? Holy Schnikey - them's a lot of ends to weave in.... Sue didn't want us to weave as we went since we were just learning a new technique. However, in the future - in order to maintain my sanity (????) I think weaving as I go is the safest choice.
After dinner at the bar at Sea Grill (we kinda forgot it was Valentine's Day & that getting in for dinner might be a tad bit difficult), we returned to the hotel for a presentation about knitting & charity. Stephanie spoke about Doctors Without Borders / Medicines Sans Frontiers, Ruth Sorenson spoke about how the internet links knitters together, Melinda and friends (sorry, forgot their names) discussed a project to save a culture knitting on the Shetland Islands, and another woman discussed her efforts to use fiber arts in raising awareness over the war in Iraq, specifically about the number of women (over 2,000) killed while serving our country. Pretty intense. We were asked to give to any of the charities - knitters tend to be generous folks.
Ruth is also the designer of "Ruth's Cardigan" which uses Kauni yarn and was an internet hit after Stephanie and Melinda posted about this fabulous sweater on there blogs. So, as expected , several knitters showed up wearing 'the sweater.'
Front Row (L to R): Unknown knitter, Stephanie, Unknown knitter.
• No Classes for Me today. The registration for Madrona was such a technological cluster, that I wasn't able to enroll in a class I wanted for this day. So, while Margaret & Sandy were busy with their morning classes, I took the time to stroll down to the local Starbucks for coffee, and then spent time knitting and shopping at the Yarn Market. OMG - man, I was like a kid in a candy store. I went into shock after I arrived home & realized how much $$ I actually spent. But, I kept in mind that what I purchased isn't readily available here in Anchorage (internet not withstanding. Check out the loot:
• This morning was spend with Margaret Radcliff, of Maggie's Rags learning about variegated yarns & how to make the most of them. I learned so much & came away with ideas on how to avoid pooling & wierd stripes. Remember the "Funky Monkey's" from September? Yeah - this class would have been a great help. Here is what I have to show for 3 hours of work:
A little play with slipped stitches, alternating purl stitches, mixing it up w/two colors of yarn alternating between rows, knitting two yarns at once, etc. Pretty cool. Margaret was inspired by her swatch & purchased yarn to begin a sweater. I think I'll use my creation as a bookmark. Right now it's hanging in my classroom. My students just got a kick out the fact I went away for a long weekend to knit. Kids...
After lunch, I spent more time knitting & then perusing the Yarn Market. While visiting the Knit/Purl (lovely store w/lovely people!) booth, I met Sarah of Blue Garter. I recognized her by the "Blue Thistle"jacket. I just love that sweater & would love to make something similar. I was such a dork. Sarah was very sweet & kindly overlooked my dorkiness as I gushed about her sweater & meeting her in person. Geez...
The evening was spent dining at the banquet. We had Salmon - the non-vegetarian option. It was good, but of course, not like we make here at home. The vegetarian option looked very yummy & in hindsight, I wish I had made that choice. (Didn't know it was going to be salmon until we arrived). During the evening, we spotted a Kaffe Fawcett "Foolish Virgins" sweater in person! Holy Intarsia, batman! The woman (sorry, we were so intranced with the sweater, I forgot to ask) said it took her only a month to finish. Take a look:
After the banquet I finished these:
Pattern: Dublin Bay Socks
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight - Lagoon
Needles: Addi Turbo Size 1
Modfications: Tons - reduced the number of stitches from 72 to 64 & knit a short row heel.
This is the post that will never end... After a free morning to drink coffee & enjoy ice-less streets & warm sunshine in February, I had the pleasure of taking a class from Ruth Sorenson. The class was about making hats using the Kauni yarn. The skill of making the hat was nothing new, but learning how the yarn works was fantastic. Learning how to match the colors, or stagger the color repeats was very interesting.
Wow - it's getting late & I have to head back into the blustery weather (it's 40°F and blowing like crazy). Our program is having our open house this evening.
If you've read all the way through - well done! Needless to say anymore, the long weekend was glorious. So much to knit, so little time! You can see why my husband deserves Husband of the Year! I know I've left something out. I'll have to fill in the holes later.