I hope you are already on the mailing list for Madrona Fiber Arts news, because it is always such a great, inspirational, energizing event. Madrona is held every February in Tacoma, Washington (Tacoma? you say, disbelievingly--yes, Tacoma, the Tac in SeaTac Airport. It's a 20 minute shuttle ride from the airport, and the hotel that houses the retreat is within walking distance of the Glass Museum and lots of restaurants.)
This year I'll be teaching Fair Isle Color: How Do They Do That?, a 6-hour class on how colors are used in Fair Isle knitting--we'll start with history and theory, and then move to making color choices and swatching. (Thursday, February 11th). On Sunday, February 14th I'll be teaching Fair Isle Yoke Sweaters--we'll work through the structure of seamless yoke sweaters on a small scale, using Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage system, and I'll talk about the different ways to add patterning to the yoke. On Saturday (I think) I'll be manning (femaling?) a Fair Isle table in the Rotunda--come see me with your stranded knitting questions or to show me your current knitting project or just say hi.
Most exciting (read, stomach clenching), though, is that I'll be giving the Teacher Night talk on Friday night! This is a free event, followed by teacher show and tell--teachers set up tables with their work, and you get to wander around and meet them and regret that you didn't sign up for such and such because you had no idea that it was so cool.
I'm so excited about sharing my life in obsession with so many knitters, but I'm also just a wee bit scared. So I cast on for a power shawl that I can wear while giving my talk. The pattern and colors are much bolder than usual--as I learn to be bolder than usual. The power of knitting!
Sign up for classes opens on Tuesday, November 10th. Registration opens at an unspecified time (servers have been known to crash when everyone tries at once), so be prepared to check frequently. There is an amazing number of fantastic classes!
If you've been through this before you know that classes often sell out quickly--it's important to be ready when the Register button appears. Have your list of classes ready in front of you, in date order (because that's how they are sorted on the form)--have second choices at hand, too, because you don't want to lose time going back to see what else is on offer. Have your credit card out, and know ahead of time whether you want to go to the banquet (Cat Bordhi is the speaker this year!). Move quickly and surely through the process, and don't despair if the class you wanted so badly is full--get on the waiting list right away and you will be surprised at how things shift around. The market is fun, the Teacher's Charity Night is fun, the Teacher Night is fun, the Rotunda demonstrations are fun, seeing all the people wearing their handmade clothes is fun--there's so much to do even if you don't sign up for anything.
Oh oh oh! I nearly forgot to tell you! I've found a new designer, and I'm so happy and relieved and beyond excited about the possibilities of this collaboration. Schedule conflicts mean that we are looking at a publication date more like May, which means I won't have it with me at Madrona. (But maybe I'll have some printouts to show at the Rotunda table!) And of course, it was through the help of you readers that I found my new designer. SUCH a relief.
The photo shows my "office." As you can see, I've taken over the dining room--the dining table is covered with a sweater (I'm trying to write up the pattern), several small orders ready for packing, pages from The Joy of Color, pages torn from magazines to paste into my inspiration journal, a copy of In the Footsteps of Sheep...
Against the window is my standing desk--I love love love this! When you like to knit and spin and read, you sit a lot. Couple that with computer work and you can have some serious structural issues--standing feels just plain good. I cobbled mine together from a shallow Ikea desk top (it's long and shallow, to fit into the room), some Ikea adjustable legs, and some bed risers from Bed Bath & Beyond. It's important to get the height right so you don't injure your wrists or elbows--I spent a couple of weeks adding and removing layers of books to raise the keyboard and mouse pad until I figured out the baby bear spot. Once I'd measured that, I could fiddle with the adjustable legs and risers to set the desk up to my preferred height. Although it would be great to have a desk that was adjustable with the flip of a switch--sometimes it would be nice to sit while working--my desk was cheap and it works well for me.